APW Happy Hour


Here is to Joan.

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

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“I don’t like when the ladies come up and say, ‘Oh, you broke barriers for women.’ And I say, ‘I’m still breaking barriers.’” —Joan Rivers

Apw,

This week has been a total blur of catching up because it’s fall. (I mean, it’s work-fall, not real-life-fall. I’m totally going to the pool this weekend.)

And then Joan Rivers died.

If you want an unapologetic feminist role model, she’s it. Yes, she made offensive jokes about everything under the sun. Yes, she was always, always, over the line—so far over the line you couldn’t even see the line anymore. But man, did she have it. She was a survivor, she was force of nature, she was a woman with a big heart. And she was talented and, more important to me, relentless. You get whatever talent cards you’re dealt, but it’s what you do with them that matters. And as much as she hated hearing it when she was alive—because damn if she wasn’t still relevant—I think today we can finally call her a pioneer. While she insisted her goal wasn’t breaking barriers for women—it was just to break barriers and make people laugh—she indisputably did just that, and I am grateful.

Of course, Joan Rivers isn’t just a feminist role model, she’s a Jewish feminist role model, and partially because of that, it’s David that sold me on her in the first place. We are sad in our household today, and when she died we were still only halfway through her Emmy special for fashion police—which is how fast this whole thing happened. The last thing I said about her before she collapsed was, “She is on fire!” And that, I think, is how she wanted to go out.

So this week, I’m pouring one out for a woman with no fucks to give. May her memory be a blessing.

meg

P.S. If you haven’t seen the amazing 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, that’s your weekend watching. You won’t regret it.

Highlights of APW This Week

Writing intern Kelsey is getting married TOMORROW!!!! Can we all wish her loads of luck?

Growing up.

A golden and glamorous restaurant dinner party wedding.

Planning a wedding after losing a parent.

The universal gift registry that marries gratitude with good design.

Coming clean about all those adult tasks we’re putting off. Accountability: check!

The pursuit of the imperfect wedding.

We don’t always get to feature New Orleans weddings, but when we do, they’re awesome.

Now sit back, grab a mojito, and enjoy our link roundup.

Link Roundup

Behind the scenes with Uzo Aduba at her first Emmys.

Motherhood: the big fat fuck you.

“The problem is, I’m black.”

Mindy Kaling: motivation for your day.

Move over Barbie, here comes Madame Curie. Check out the Indiegogo campaign right over here.

Calling his shots comes naturally.

Djuan Trent, Former Miss Kentucky, on why she came out as “queer.”

The conditions upon which one may claim to be a victim of “reverse racism.”

A federal judge strikes down the Texas abortion regulation.

Why one man spent a year giving haircuts to the homeless in NYC.

How to be polite.

Why so many college grads are highly educated, well placed, and going nowhere.

Celebrity Photo Leak

The great 2014 celebrity photo leak is just the beginning.

Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photo leak isn’t a scandal, it’s a sex crime.

Behind every bullied woman is a man yelling about free speech.

Our favorite tweet on the matter.

This is why you shouldn’t click on the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence.

From Rachel, a brief refresher on a woman’s right to privacy.

Jennifer Lawrence is not a thing to be passed around.

This isn’t about iPhones. This is about women being shamed, objectified, and treated like property.

APW’S 2014 HAPPY HOURS ARE SPONSORED BY MONOGAMY WINE AND PROMISQOUS WINE. Thank you Monogamy and PromisQous for helping make the APW mission possible! To follow PromisQous Wines on their foodie adventures, click here to follow them on Instagram.

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

Staff Picks

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  • joanna b.n.

    I’m first! All I know is, I survived this week, which despite being short was still hella long. And I am going to sit on the couch/back porch all weekend and eat and drink tasty and refreshing things and answer to noone. Except my hubby because I haven’t seen him all week, and I miss him and would love to lighten his grad student load.

    • That sounds like a wonderful idea!

    • Emily

      This week WAS long, wasn’t it? Do you think Holiday weeks are always the longest seeming? Anyway, I love your weekend plan and just announced to my cat and fiance that this is the Weekend of Nothing. He (the fiance, not the cat) then gently reminded me of all the last minute wedding stuff that has to be done before next weekend…damnit.

  • Grace from England

    I have news!! My boyfriend got offered a FULL TIME JOB. Seriously. He finished his masters a year ago, and will finally start a permenant position on Monday. Contract signed today. This is a huge step for us because he felt strongly that he didn’t want to get officially engaged before he could support himself, so I’m super proud. The only thing still niggling at me is that because it’s a minimum wage job, I still need some money from my parents to help us live since I’m now at med school for another year. We’re under pressure to marry next year because I have endometriosis and fertility is a big issue for me, and I really want to be married before we have a child. I know I’ve brought this up before but should I feel guilty about announcing an engagement while I’m still dependent on my parents? All things considered I’m concerned they’ll feel like I’m taking advantage of their generosity. Blah. We’re trying to save up enough for a bare bones courthouse wedding but for some reason something feels wrong?! It’s not like engaged = asking for money but I’m scared that’s how they’ll see it.

    Ps. Have an amazing day tomorrow Kelsey!! I have loved your essays so far

    • Amy March

      So, if he weren’t in the picture, how would you be paying for life? I’m not sure how med school works in England, but over here you’d be taking out student loans to cover your living expenses. I honestly would feel terribly guilty getting married while still dependent on my parents, and when that looked like a maybe years ago they made it abundantly clear that they would not be providing any support to me as a married person. In their view, you live with roommates somewhere cheaper, don’t have a tv, don’t have a car, take on a second job and figure it out, or you admit you’d rather not , let them help you, and acknowledge you’re not grown up enough for marriage.

      But I think it comes down to talking to them about it now, while it’s still abstract and you’re not putting them in the position of having to agree or feeling pressured. That’s the only chance you have of figuring out how your parents feel about it.

      • Grace from England

        Just to fill you in, student loans in England are based on your parents income. I don’t get enough to live on because the government knows my parents can help me, and you can’t request more. I’d prefer a bigger loan with no need to ask for money but that’s life.

    • Lawyerette510

      Talk to your parents. If you feel concerned about how they will react and how the issue of taking money from them combines with this next step, the only way to know how they feel is to talk to them. Also, engagement means lots of different things to different people: for us it meant moving quickly to getting married, for others it means a couple years before even planning the wedding. Only you and your boyfriend can know what that means for yall.

      • Grace from England

        I guess I don’t know how to bring up the subject without just announcing the engagement? He’s adamant he doesn’t want to announce for another few weeks while he settles in the job but this is giving me a lot of anxiety and I think you’re right, I won’t be able to relax about it until I’ve discussed it with them. Our plan is a July 2015 wedding so once we tell people it should all happen quite quickly.

        • Lawyerette510

          Hi mom and dad, as you know Boyfriend and I are serious about our relationship and the next logical step is an engagement, and I wanted to talk to you both about the possibility of my being engaged while still in school….

          • Grace from England

            I may have to memorise these exact words. Thanks!

    • Marcela

      Hubby and I got married right before he started vet school. This was after 4 years of college, 1 year of post-bac work,and 2 years of a masters program. During this whole time his parents provided financial assistance. When we got married they gave us a wedding gift of monthly help with our rent because vet school, like med school, is a full time gig and they understood that.

      Don’t listen to people who will tell you you can’t be a grown-up/ get married, without being 100% financially independent. Sometimes the ducks don’t work like that.

      • Grace from England

        Thank you for this. All I feel like I’ve seen around me lately are couples in their later 20s having a big fancy wedding after a 2 year engagement during which time they saved up plenty of their own money for all the things. You’d think after a year of APW I’d have shaken off that narrative but it’s still there, The ducks are lining up in their own sweet time, I just need to get my cards on the table with my family I think.

        • Marcela

          I’m not saying we don’t still struggle with it a bit, especially my husband with the added fun of male provider stereotype.
          Also from below, it sounds like your concern is more on the engagement period and remember that plenty of people who are otherwise completely “independent” accept financial assistance from their parents when it comes time to plan a wedding.

    • Nic

      My dad always tolde the worst thing someone could say to a request was “no.” I’m engaged and recently had to borrow money after did months of part-time/no work for either me or my partner. Life happens.

      • Grace from England

        That’s so true. Life HAS happened. We’re trying to work around a disease which seriously affected all of our major decision making. We’re just trying to play the hand we’ve been dealt.

        • KC

          Yes, playing the hand you’ve been dealt.

          Also: if your parents are *anything* like my parents and extended family and friends, if put in the context of “will increase the probability of a grandchild existing”, they will be *all over that*. Just sayin’ that your interests may not be independent on this one.

          (they might not be the same; I don’t know; but it’s worth taking into account, potentially)

    • Sarah E

      It’s really easy to put your own feelings in other people’s heads, too. I’m highly guilty of playing out conversations or arguments in my head, where all of my buried feelings (am I really a joy or a burden? am I the dead weight here? am I really impossible to be around?) come out of the other person’s mouth. In reality, you might have long relationships on which to base predictions, but your parents are humans who may or may not completely surprise you. Be wary of letting your imagination put your own worst fears into your parents’ imagined reply.

      Plus, you don’t know what will happen money-wise and it could be good or it could be bad. Your partner could get a raise in a few months, or opportunities for extra hours over the holidays. Or you could find out that one set of parents had set aside a financial gift expressly for the wedding. It’s a struggle not to imagine the bad turns, in order to prepare yourself, but it’s better to let the future take care of itself and just do the best you can in the present.

      • Grace from England

        This is EXACTLY what I’m doing!

    • Caroline

      Yay! Congrats on the BF’s job.
      We did this. We announced our engagement to our parents when we decided we were emotionally ready. We actually both were in school, and 95% financially supported by parents. It was fine. They were excited for us. My parents did ask us to push the wedding back from an 8 month engagement to a 20 month one, which we did because we could tell that they needed time to emotionally adapt to being parents of an engaged adult ( since I was 22 when we got engaged), and that we would have more emotional support if we waited. They continued to pay my way through school. We got marrie in a beautiful, somewhat fancy wedding 3 weeks ago, paid for 100% by my parents. They’re now paying for my final year of school.

      What I realized was, in my family, these things were essentially seperate. They paid for my school because they could, and they wanted me to have that advantage in life. They paid for the wedding because they always expected to pay for a child’s wedding, and they could, and they wanted us to have a nice wedding (with nice defined in certain financial ways we couldn’t afford on our own). They were excited about our marriage because it made us happy, and we are a great couple who support eachother and will make good spouses for eachother. I thought there were more strings than there were, but it turned out there were not.

      My being engaged and then married while they support me in school was literally mentioned only once: “hey, you know, being married may make you eligible for some financial aid. You should look into that to help reduce the crazy high costs of school.” It was just not an issue. I’m an adult and have been an adult, just happen to be an adult receiving the gift of a lot of money for an education from my parents.

  • We hit the pool (kiddy inflatable pool, but still) this week as well!

    Wednesday night I dreamed I went to visit Meg and the right half of her house was the private residence and the left half she had turned into giant awesome rooms to have parties in. There was one room that was a fantastic kitchen with a long granite island where people in sparkly dresses and fancy suits could stand around eating fondue. Because those kinds of parties are awesome. And then I dreamed I woke up and told Meg all about my dream and she thought it sounded like a great idea. And then I actually did wake up and decided I’d share it during happy hour and see what Meg actually thought of it.

    At least Meg and I have actually met once, so that helps the dream a bit.

    • I want to go that party. And sign me up for a sparkly dress too!

    • Mmm, fondue. And sparkly dresses and fancy clothes. Sounds like a great party!

  • StevenPortland

    This morning I mailed the final check for our wedding reception. After a year of planning and paying for the wedding and dinner last November and then planning and paying for this August’s reception, I am so relieved to be past all the expenses. Now we can get back to normal spending. Maybe I can buy some new clothes now!

    • Ragnhild

      I paid the last bill today as well (A very slow vendor for our June reception!) There are some minor costs for thank you notes and printing photos ahead, but those are fun ones :)

    • Violet

      Oh gosh, yes! The best part of a wedding being over is finally getting to use your money on other things (or save it). …or marriage, I guess. Yeah. That’s pretty cool too, actually. ; )

  • scw

    oh my gosh, I have so much to say today that I better put it in two comments. links first…

    a+ to the reverse racism buzzfeed, and I’m glad to see the photo leak section. I had a really great conversation with my new students about the leak.

    has anyone been following the columbia student carrying her mattress until she no longer attends the same school as her rapist? jezebel posted a video where she explains the project. http://jezebel.com/columbia-student-will-carry-her-mattress-until-her-rapi-1629625177

    • Lauren from NH

      I haven’t followed super closely but at first blush, the Columbia student project sounds like a very well thought out metaphor and I hope it initiates the kinds of discussions that open eyes and change minds.

  • Erin

    I tried on dresses last weekend with the full expectation that it would just be a happy fun time with my MOH an family. I already have a dress. A practical, frugal, pretty enough dress. Problem is that I never felt 100% about the practical, frugal, pretty dress. I, of course, fell in love with something new this weekend that made me feel incredible (now with 100% more sequins!). When I got the first dress, I kept asking my inner circle if it looked good enough. But when I put the other dress on, I didn’t care what anyone else thought. I knew I looked and felt fantastic.

    I’m struggling with the price difference a lot (even though no one else is and it’s probably doable with the budget). I think I’m just a little mad at myself for some reason for liking something higher budget. I want to feel amazing on my wedding day but I feel guilty about that at the same time. Weird?

    • Grace from England

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t often look at myself in the mirror and think “holy shit I look HOT”. And you deserve to feel like that on your wedding day. I’m sure your first dress looks great, but if the second one makes you FEEL amazing and you can afford it, please go buy it!!

      • Erin

        It was the FEEL amazing thing that took me by surprise. I’ve never felt that befor and certainly didn’t expect it. I get to try it again next month during a trunk show, so I’ll see if that feeling sticks around. If if does, I’m buying that dress!

    • scw

      get the dress you love! it’s not impractical if you can afford it.

      • Erin

        This is true! I’m not sure why I was secretly equating cheaper to practical when it comes to dresses.

    • H

      Let me just say I was so there. I bought the second dress I loved better (that coincidentally also involved more sequins, go sequins!) and don’t regret it. Nope, not one bit. I cringed over the idea of paying for a second dress, but once I did it I felt so much better. It was done and it was fabulous. Give yourself some time, but don’t let the guilt of buying two dresses, or paying more for a dress you like better keep you from feeling awesome on your wedding day. I am still giddy over dress number two. I put it on when the house is empty and practice my stately walk.

      • Erin

        High five for sequins! This is why I love APW! So happy to hear you have no regrets and love the second dress.

        I put on my current dress and take selfies/walk around the apartment with a look confusion on my face. I’m thinking I probably won’t regret dress number two in the long run, either.

        • H

          We have such a similar experience! I too bought dress number one because I wanted to be practical and frugal and at the time I thought it was pretty. But there is a folder on my computer literally plastered with selfies I took in that dress, trying so hard to accept and LIKE the way I looked in it. I’ve taken two pictures wearing the new dress, reference shots to send to my mom and grandma. After that I was done. It’s a totally different feeling with a dress you feel awesome in. I felt so good about buying a cheap dress, but I didn’t feel good *in* a cheap dress. That was the kicker for me.

          • Erin

            “I felt so good buying a cheap dress, but I didn’t feel good *in* a cheap dress.”

            You just hit the nail on the head! That’s exactly how I feel. I’m so glad to have your perspective since it does sound so similar. It’s helped put it in a new/better perspective for me.

    • Sarah

      I had the same happy excited IDGAF what everyone else here thinks of this dress experience. I say…get the dress that makes you excited, ESPECIALLY since you think you can work it out in the budget. Screw feeling guilty!

      • Erin

        Yes! I kept thinking about the everyone cries moment from TV, but the surprise IDGAF moment might have been better for me.

        • Sarah

          Haha yeah. I didn’t cry either even though I thought I would. But I walked out of that dressing room being like “I’m GETTING THIS” without waiting to hear opinions at all. That is SO unusual for me, so I knew it was right, haha.

    • A

      Well, if you’re getting professional photos, think about how much of a better investment it will be if you are in a dress that makes you look amazing!

  • EF

    guys, I got a job! My master’s dissertation is due in 3 weeks (ahhhh!) and I was really worried that I’d be done, hand it in, and have absolutely nothing to do afterwards. But I found a job that doesn’t care about my slight visa complications and starts immediately…and is still in the academic world! And gives me time to continue my part-time work with Lawyers Without Borders. I’m so psyched. But also this means we can probably afford a photographer for the wedding after all. Woo!

    Also whoever mentioned ReadyForZero a few weeks ago in the comments? You’re a star. It’s organised all my student loans, and I’ve figured out how I can pay them off in 10-12 years. This is fantastic news (law school loans are…large, my friend). So yay for the APW community!

    • scw

      congratulations on securing a job already! that must be such a relief.

    • Lauren from NH

      Welcome! Glad you are spreading the word too. Debt can be so overwhelming and become psychological baggage.

      • Shannon_ReadyForZero

        Thanks for mentioning ReadyForZero, Lauren!

    • Shannon_ReadyForZero

      Congratulations on your new job! I’m so glad you found ReadyForZero and that we’re helping you :). We also have a community on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/readyforzerocommunity/ so please feel free to join to meet others like you. I’d love to hear how things go for you moving forward!

    • Bets

      Congrats on the job! I have the same fears about having nothing to do after I’m done my dissertation, so I just wanted to say that I can relate and am so elated for you! It’s also always somewhat… encouraging… for me to see others on APW who are juggling thesis and wedding planning at the same time, I’ve consistently found those two projects to be a lot to handle, as exciting as they both are.

  • guestyguest

    While I’m all for celebrating a female pioneer who paved the way for many, I can’t stand behind a lot of the praise for Joan since she’s been openly racist, transphobic, etc. I’m seeing a lot of whitewashing over her nasty, hateful comments and it’s pretty upsetting. I feel sorry for her family though, that could not have been an easy decision for anyone.

    • Agreed. Yes Joan was a trailblazer but she’s said some awful horrible things about people under the guise of comedy, and I can’t respect that. I feel for her family but I can’t say that I’m in any way saddened that she died.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Harming black woman under the guise of comedy is not acceptable. She was a human being and flawed and all of that. I feel for her family and friends who have lost her. But I refuse to be ahistorical or disingenuous.

    • ferrous

      Yes, thank you. I’m not happy that she’s dead, and I feel for her family’s loss. But I’ve been seeing a certain phrasing a lot lately, “sure, she said problematic stuff, but man she was a pioneer.” I dislike that we are praising “pioneers” who dug up super racist tropes (i.e., the First Lady is a tranny, haha, black women look like men, geddit?).

      • A.

        Yeah, I agree. I feel like it should be the opposite, “Sure, she’s a feminist pioneer and broke down a lot of barriers, but man, did she say some awful, hateful stuff that perpetuated extreme bigotry.” But I guess some people feel that’s too akin to speaking ill of the dead, so maybe I’m just irreverent.

        • Meg Keene

          She had awful comedy. That was her type of comedy. It was her job. It’s a different thing.

          And no, it’s not about speaking ill of the dead, it’s about the fact that people who knew her personally and knew her work ADORED her. She was adored for many many things, including surviving and making jokes about everything. But she was adored for being a woman who made all the jokes she wasn’t allowed to make, and making them hilarious. Everything that came out of her mouth in her routine was something awful that you are not supposed to say. That was the joke.

          • ferrous

            Comedy works aimed “up.” (I’ve argued this before, forgive me.) At the company picnic, you roast the boss, not the janitor; rape jokes work when the punchline is the rapist, not the rape victim. Racism and transphobia aren’t edgy or even something you’re not supposed to say in mainstream America. Everyone is saying them. We have feminist/intersectional havens on-line, but I’ve heard so many people non-ironically repeat the MObama tranny joke in the past few days, I could scream.

          • Violet

            Agree agree agree. I think of comedy as exposing the ridiculousness and cruelness that we’ve come to expect in the world due to systemic oppression by subverting those expectations. Saying those same things all the racists/misogynists/etc. are already saying isn’t subverting expectations, it’s reinforcing whatever “ism” is on the table. Not cool.

          • honey come home

            100% to “Saying those same things all the racists/misogynists/etc. are already saying isn’t subverting expectations, it’s reinforcing whatever “ism” is on the table.”

            I think we want to think that because she was pioneering for women, and especially for women in comedy, that she is a feminist or a feminist icon. But, she was racist and transphobic and I don’t think you get a pass for saying horrible things about people because you are ALSO personally adored and bighearted and are doing so in comedy. But I think she also made people feel horrible for who they were, and said racist and transphobic things in ways that affirmed those not-so-secret beliefs instead of challenging them. Still, she has a real place in the history of feminism, and is a great example of someone who worked hard and that is admirable. That doesn’t mean her feminism is the kind I think I aspire to or that I’ll miss her comedy, though, the same way that I can admire the barriers Margaret Thatcher broke without missing her politics in the least.

          • Sarah E

            I agree. It reminds me of the Harry Potter line “Yeah, but the world isn’t divided into good people and Death Eaters.” You can be a relatively good person and still racist. You can be a relatively bad person and still have many moments of redemption. People are many-faceted creatures, so the glowing tributes and the pointed retributions are probably both wrong in some measure. I can’t say that I respect her career much, but I also can’t say that I’ve ever felt personal sadness at the death of anybody I didn’t personally know.

          • Meg Keene

            Comedy also works when it’s aimed everywhere.

            As for people repeating the joke seriously, they suck. We can’t not make jokes or make art because people might not get it.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Not really. Structural and societal inequalities mean that while the jokes may be aimed everywhere, they will fall differently so to speak. When you’re making jokes about people who literally face the threat of physical harm and even death merely for existing (for example, our transgender fellow humans), a joke about the very thing that that threatens their survival simply can’t be taken in with a chuckle. The level of offense in that is something I do not even have the words to adequately describe. We are not all on the same playing field so all jokes are not the same. And the messenger matters as well (e.g., white cishet woman making jokes about transgender humans).

            With that being said, I am not for censoring people and so I’m not advocating not making art because someone might be offended. HOWEVER, just because “art” doesn’t mean that art is not worthy of critique and interrogation. It’s not that people don’t get the joke or the art. It’s because the joke or art is offensive straight up.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I don’t think “Olds” get anything close to a free pass for thinking “jokes” like this are OK to tell BUT (I know, I know…) here’s the thing: she’s from a completely different generation. She was 81! I feel like Joan was the original Sarah Silverman and I can’t imagine anyone else pushing the envelope on stage, and pushing it so hard, for sixty damn years. If you do that your whole career I can’t see how that line wouldn’t get awfully blurry into your senior years.

            She was ELDERLY and still making horrifically wonderful jokes about her vagina right til the end and it was awesome. I’m going to watch the doc Meg recommends and maybe even follow it up with her STELLAR Louie episode.

            I really, really loved Joan and it’s been difficult for me to know what to do with the many, many offensive “jokes” that came up in recent years. The racist and transphobic lines were terrible (she called Michelle Obama – “BLACKIE O”, dudes) and I’m afraid I disagree with Meg that it was all part of her act just to say the most awful thing. When we make jokes like that OK, we make the world a worse place for women of colour, trans people (etc) to exist in. Srsly.

          • Class of 1980

            “here’s the thing: she’s from a completely different generation. She was
            81! I feel like Joan was the original Sarah Silverman and I can’t
            imagine anyone else pushing the envelope on stage, and pushing it so
            hard, for sixty damn years.”

            Well, not really. Joan in the 1960s, 1970s, and even 1980s was a very different Joan.

            She was sharp and funny back then, but she wasn’t mean. She became mean … for what reason I have no idea. It made me sad when I remember her previous humor.

            I understand that in her private life, she was a very loving and generous person. That’s why she had so many true friends.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Totally… I think that’s a pretty fair point. I’m just not sure how ANY of us would fare in trying to be relevant and politically correct through a sixty year career. Maybe I am saying we should give her a bit of a break for being old.

            Oh, fuck it… I’m probably just a Joanie-apologist because I just loved her so hard. It’s a tricky one, for sure…

          • ART

            So late to the party but in reading these comments I feel like this illustrates the difference between “I don’t f*ing care if you like it” (yay) and using privilege to take space/voice/power away from people (not yay). Definitely two different concepts, and if we want to take the first and run with it, let’s be clear about its limits.

          • A.

            Using the example above, I aboslutely do NOT find her calling Michelle Obama a “tranny” hilarious by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t care that she “targets everyone” – it is a disgusting thing to say on many levels. It was offensive to both transgender people and it was extremely racist. It wasn’t clever. It wasn’t simply irreverent. It was just cruel and, perpetuated long-held stereotypes in a modern era.

            I don’t mean to be overly combative, but it seems like you’re saying that you give these jokes a pass because they came from a source you personally admired and because you accept it as a larger whole of her “schtick.” I don’t and I think many people, particular those who were made the butts of her joke, would agree. Similar to discussions feminists have had about rape jokes (in which the victim is made the butt of the joke) in the past, I believe there actually are jokes that EVERYONE should not make, at least if they are decent people, feminist pioneer or not.

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah. I just don’t agree. All of her jokes sound awful out of context. They sound awful in context too, which is part of the point, but in context it’s different. You can’t really look at Joan Rivers outside of the context of watching her work, and it’s hard to talk about her outside of the context of her life and career. Being blacklisted by Jonny Carson after 20 years of being his substitute host because she took a job of her own (something many men had already done with great fanfare). Surviving the suicide of her husband. Raising a daughter on her own. The barriers she broke for women in comedy, all of it. You can’t take a pull quote from one of her jokes (which is going to be awful, because OMG that’s the whole point. I never watched her stuff without gasping.) and get her.

            My point is, it wasn’t part of her schtick. That would have been awful, if she was just someone who ran around being hateful as a person. It was part of her comedy. It was what she did, on stage, in performance, as a job. Off stage, not in performance she was just… one of the world’s great humans.

            As Kathy Griffin said on CNN last night before she had to leave because she starting crying pretty hard New celebrities would routinely get horribly offended, and then later, once they got to know her and her work, they grew to personally love her, and realize that it was a honor to be part of Joan Rivers act. Once you realize the context, it’s just a different ballgame.

            I get that you don’t agree, so forgive me while I go back to being terrifically sad for the loss of a great human. I’ll just leave it at us disagreeing.

          • guesT

            No great human mocks rape victims. Feminists do not mock black women or fat women. Those things are mutually exclusive, and there is no context that makes it feminist to kick women while they’re down.

          • A.

            Okay, agree to disagree. While I will never come around to your perspective on Joan Rivers (nor you to mine), I can also understand that we’re approaching her work in two totally different ways and that nothing is perfectly black and white.

          • A.

            ETA: I also want to note that I respect you and the work you do on this website a helluva lot, despite our difference on this one topic. I hope the pushback you’re getting on this isn’t personally hurting you too much, like you mention downthread, and I’m sorry if I contributed to that. It’s easy to forget that people can have truly emotional responses to celebrity deaths sometimes, especially when it comes to more controversial/misunderstood figures.

          • ferrous

            I’m trying to see this from your perspective, and I can see that there shouldn’t be a strict formula for comedy. (That way lies the road to humorless shrew.) I think I would appreciate her comedy if she had had a Chappelle epiphany (by some accounts, when he saw that his subversion was being used to perpetuate racism, he stopped and changed course). She perpetuated a lot of -isms, but it’s interesting to consider that she might not have “meant it.”

            Frankly, it’s hurtful to see that a lot of people think she was great–all this pioneer talk feels like an oddly painful reminder that suffrage was never for WOC. But it is good to hear another perspective. We’re stronger for lack of echo chambers. Agreed to disagree. Whale’s vagina and all that.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I want to marry this comment.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            This. Wasn’t surprised to see it here though.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I’m baffled at this line of thought. Because she broke down barriers in comedy as a woman, somehow that makes her a feminist icon and groundbreaking. Yet her being anti-woman, pushing misogynoir, which actually does harm people, transphobic and racist in her comedy, is explained away as “it was just her comedy” “it was her schtick” or as you later commented “it was her routine.” So harming OTHER women is ok as long as it’s a joke, as long as it was her schtick? And one can still be a feminist while doing this? NO. Emphatically NO. This view is ANTI-FEMINIST. You cannot be a feminist and actively engage in harming other women. Period. There are no exceptions to this, Meg. None.

          • Ann

            La’Marisa-Andrew, you nailed this. I’ve hung around APW post wedding as fun feminist community. Now that I now that Meg will defend rape victim jokes, I cannot, as a rape survivor and advocate for other survivors, call this a feminist space.

            There are good, nuanced comments about respecting Joan as a pioneer while rejecting her later work as racist, transphobic, and antifeminist. Melissa McEwan over at Shakesville as some great posts about loving/appreciating problematic art. I’m not so eloquent. But I can say that I’m hurt and uncomfortable with this space now. Meg has a right to say what she wants on her blog. And I have the right to not come back to this website (and stop recommending it to others).

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Well frankly I’m not sure I would even call her a pioneer. Moms Mabley was doing comedy in a groundbreaking way before Joan was even born. And Joan credited her as an influence. So when I say this discussion has been ahistorical it really is.

          • Claire

            Un-lurking to post this, but I’m increasingly disturbed as I read this thread. Joan Rivers was in many ways phenomenal and in some ways very hurtful to people. Those things can co-exist, and to love her and grieve deeply for her loss does not require endorsing everything she ever said.

            For instance: I love my uncle John, who’s transphobic. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving him, and admiring him for many things. But love, in many ways, means loving someone fully in their complexity.

            When commenters here explain that Joan’s words are deeply hurtful, and Meg says she “just [doesn’t] agree,” that’s what disturbs me. It reeks of using privilege to silence and deny the voices of trans folks, poc, etc: “I don’t like what you’re saying, so I will inform you that it’s not true.” That attitude is the exact opposite of everything I’ve come to expect from this wonderful community, and from Meg herself, which is why it’s so jarring. I trust that her reactions and defensiveness come from grief.

            I’ll keep reading APW, just as many of us keep adoring Joan, but without the faith I had before that this was a space free of bigotry. (Or apology for bigotry, which is almost worse.)

          • hmmmm

            This so much: “When commenters here explain that Joan’s words are deeply hurtful, and Meg says she “just [doesn’t] agree,” that’s what disturbs me. It reeks of using privilege to silence and deny the voices of trans folks, poc, etc: “I don’t like what you’re saying, so I will inform you that it’s not true.””

            This seems to be a time when those of us with race and cis privilege who consider ourselves allies might want to take a step back and try to really listen to the queer/trans WOC who are sharing their voices and experiences.

          • Class of 1980

            I think it’s problematic when someone like Joan gets a free pass, but someone who is less loved (for whatever reason) would be drawn and quartered for saying the same things.

            The same comments out of someone else’s mouth would result in people saying their jokes are unacceptable and that “they don’t get it” how damaging their humor is. And then we’d see all kinds of lectures on whatever issue they’d trampled on.

            I mean if some ultra-conservative commedian said these things as a joke, it wouldn’t be okay. I think you’re getting push-back because it feels inconsistent.

            Certainly, you have every right to be sad and I hope the push-back isn’t too upsetting, but no one can agree on everything. Thanks for allowing the comments to fall where they may even when they aren’t supportive of your own feelings. ;)

    • Lauren from NH

      I would be curious about her as a feminist icon also. I am not super familiar with her other than being aware of her large personality, but I thought (could be 100% wrong) in reviewing people’s (women’s) attire on the red carpet, she often did a lot of tearing people down, for their fashion and I am assuming for their shape as well. So yeah uninformed/somewhat negative perspective so I am listening in.

      • Amy March

        For me, what summed her up as a feminist icon the best (sorry, can’t remember where I read this, maybe Lena Dunham) was the idea that the boldest thing a woman can do is not care if you think she’s mean. Her brand of comedy isn’t my fave, male or female, but she pushed her way into standup when it was exclusively mail and her brash open style paved the way for many women to express themselves freely.

        • Meg Keene

          Agreed. Though I loved her comedy.

        • hmmmm

          Right…but there’s a difference between being mean/brash/irreverent and perpetuating racist/bigoted/transphobic hostility. Not sure that it’s okay to write off those elements of her “comedy.”

          • Amy March

            Not sure I did write them off. Also not sure there isn’t an element of holding her to a higher standard because she’s a Jewish woman in that critique. And 100% sure that it’s offensive to call her life’s work “comedy.” You may not like it, but it was comedy.

          • Meg Keene

            It was, indeed, comedy. And she wasn’t racist, bigoted, transphobic or… hell… anti-semitic. As many of her jokes were about jews as anything. That was her routine.

          • Seriously?

            You do not make jokes about a woman looking like a “tranny” if you’re not at least a little transphobic. Period.

          • hmmmm

            Nope, not holding her to a higher standard because she’s a Jewish woman. I have the same feelings of revulsion about many, many sexist/racist/bigoted male comedians today. In fact, I think she’s often given a pass because she’s a Jewish woman and, as one myself, I think I’m in a position to call it out and say that she was cruel and offensive a lot of the time.

          • amicookie

            THAT is what’s offensive?

        • emmers

          Yea, for me she’s just a badass, out there, woman. She was OK with working full throttle and building her business, even amidst criticism, and going against the “proper” role of a woman. She didn’t seem to let her gender slow her down in the least. I think of her as a full on feminist icon.

        • Class of 1980

          I said it above and I’ll say it here. Joan’s humor was not of the mean variety when she started out. That was a more recent development.

          In fact, almost no commedians back in the day were mean. Sharp and observant, yes, but not mean.

          Obviously, at some point she made a decision to change her style.

      • Meg Keene

        Watch the documentary. I’m not joking when I say it’s amazing. It was terrifically well reviewed when it came out, and after watching it you’ll get the whole picture of who she was (love it or hate it, which was really the point).

        Of course she tore women down. She tore everyone down. That was her comedy.

      • M.

        Part of what has brought her that feminist reputation is the fact that she was doing standup in the 60s as one of very few women, and talking about sexism, double standards, etc., and even abortion (all of this of course in ways that seem pretty tame almost 50 years later, but weren’t then), which was more or less NOT being done, esp. by women. In “A Piece of Work” she talks about how she was told to not under any circumstances to talk about those things, and that she insisted we MUST talk about hard things.

        I love this old bit from the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 about being a single girl vs. a single guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpPCFoXXhF0

        • This clip is SO good, I was just re-watching it today. I also think it’s quite surprising how different it is from her later stuff. I think that her career was so LONG adds a lot of nuance to this discussion. What she was doing in the 1960s was very different from what she was doing in the 2000s, and it was also for a very different audience.

      • GuestofGuests

        Spot on. Also, she said several times that she hated feminists and feminism, so it just seems extra ironic that she’s being called a feminist icon now.

      • I just came across this post today and I thought it was a good piece about her complex role as a feminist/feminist icon: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119330/joan-rivers-death-was-she-feminist-comedian

    • Meg Keene

      Yeah, after years watching her comedy, I just don’t agree, though I know it’s a popular opinion. Her comedy worked because it was so equal opportunity and so unapologetically over the line. She didn’t pretend everything was fair game and take on particular targets, EVERYTHING was fair game. She’s Jewish, and was in trouble this year for making a gassing joke about Jews. I heard it. I gasped and then laughed, because that’s what she did.

      But at the end of the day, the real thing is you can’t confuse Joan Rivers with her comedy. She made horrible jokes (horribly funny jokes) because EVERYTHING was on the table. Those weren’t her opinions, that was her routine. I’ve seen people quote her jokes like they were her options this week, which is always sort of startling, and a misunderstanding of the job of a comic. Oddly, I’ve never seen this done with male comics. We know where Jerry Seinfeld’s work ends, and where he as a human begins. Joan Rivers, man, she fought this her whole life. If the woman had made nasty hateful COMMENTS, that would be a terrible thing. But she did cutting comedy where she intentionally said REALLY offensive things about absolutely everyone and everything, including herself, and was a hugely generous big hearted amazing person.

      So anyway, all the respect in the world for her, and all the doors she opened for women. Including letting women comics do work like that. And for all the years of laughter I got from her. Because DAMN if I don’t like over the line comedy. She will be missed.

      • joanna b.n.

        Thank you for telling us more about her. I really didn’t know all of that!!

      • Anon

        Well… I would agree with this, except for everything she said about the Palestinian casualties, like, two weeks ago.

        I am fine with everything she says when she’s actually joking, but what she said about all the people who died wasn’t a joke. I am pro-Israel and I too believe what she said about Israelis wanting peace. But I can’t get behind her saying Palestinian civilians deserved to die because they didn’t get out. I mean… even the kids? And then to throw on top of that the Japanese who died in because of the atomic bomb. Those kids deserved that too? That crosses a line for me. I respect everyone who is grieving and I by no means think it’s karma (apparently some people on Twitter do and I think that’s disgusting). But yeah. I don’t think anyone is wrong for not being sad.

      • MC

        This is a really interesting discussion, because I’ve never thought about the fact that a comedian would make a joke that they did not personally agree with on some level. Maybe that’s just my observation as a millennial, but most professionally funny people I know seem to mostly have humor that matches their personalities and opinions. (Notable exception is Colbert, but his character is SO established as different from his real life that you can’t really even place him in the same category.)

        Thinking of it along other similar lines of work – if an actor consistently played bad, offensive characters in poorly-written movies* it would be hard not to think that he/she held those beliefs to some extent. I mean, everyone’s gotta make money, but if you’re at the level of success where you can choose your roles more deliberately, it would definitely reflect poorly on your character, in my book. Is that a reasonable comparison to make?

        *I’m not saying that Joan’s comedy is bad/poorly written – I’ve hardly seen any of it, and I’m def. interested in watching the documentary.

        • I actually would put Colbert in the same category. I would put Sasha Baron Cohen in the same category. These are two men who have established their comedic characters (whether singular or multiple, in the case of Cohen) and the fact that they play “characters” protects them from a lot of direct criticism for actions they take on stage. With many women, the “it’s a character I’m playing” explanation continues to hold no water, and that’s not okay.

          For example, there’s the fact that there are actresses who play unlikeable characters, and even though the roles they play are completely fictional (even farther removed than someone putting on a character for comedic purpose), they receive enormous criticism of their personal choices/stances, and even death threats. Two recent examples being Anna Gunn (Skylar White on Breaking Bad) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones). There’s always going to be someone playing the villain, but assuming that then, they are a villain? No, that makes no sense to me.

          I don’t like Joan River’s comedy. It’s not my style, but that kind of over the line style is not my kind of comedy, regardless of gender. But there’s something more to discuss when it comes to the way that “unlikeable” women are written off just for that one adjective being near them, while many men exhibiting the same behaviors get so. many. free. passes.

          It wasn’t Joan Rivers’ job to be anyone’s 100% ideal feminist. She was a comedian. I would say that 99% of what the average person saw of her was an act. So was she truly a bigoted, transphobic, etc etc person? I couldn’t tell you. I could discuss her comedy critically, I could respond about the drawbacks of “punching down” in performance art, but I can’t respond about her actual personal character. I’m pretty sure no one in these comments has ever had a single conversation with Joan Rivers, so how are we to know what’s an act, and what’s not?

          • MC

            Oh, yeah, all of that hatred directed to Anna Gunn and Lena Headey is terrible and terrifying and really not okay. And I do agree that our culture gives men a ton of free passes and I’m sure that a lot of the critiques directed at Joan were rooted in plain ol’ sexism because she was saying things that women shouldn’t say.

            But. I do think there’s a difference between crossing the line of your gendered socialization and saying things that just… should not be joked about. I’ve never met Joan Rivers, true, but I do know that she has refused to apologize for any of her jokes, even when rape/trauma survivors have spoken out against them. That reflects poorly on her personality, not only her career, and someone who’s been a celebrity for as long as she was damn well understood that. I would expect ANY decent person to apologize after making an insensitive joke about rape victims, and hopefully someday our culture will hold everyone to that standard at least.

      • Seriously?

        Making jokes about a group you are part of (i.e. Jewish) is vastly different from making jokes about groups you are privileged over. And I think it’s very telling who is supporting Joan River’s right to make those jokes here.

    • guesttttttttt

      Agreed. She was a pretty cool lady, but she also made a living by nitpicking women’s bodies, fat-shaming, and further legitimizing ill-treatment of women in the name of fashion critique. And I don’t think we should be forgetting that.

    • Becca

      Agreed. Today’s tribute really disappointed and alienated me. If I wasn’t so invested in this community and didn’t believe so much in everyone here, I would leave. I don’t have time or energy to engage in this discussion, but the short point to me is that words MATTER. Full stop.

    • Just popping in to share this, which I think a lot of people on this thread will appreciate: http://www.buzzfeed.com/sadydoyle/joan-rivers-shouldve-always-punched-up

      Personally, I think she’s a female icon, but not a feminist icon, and the above article articulates a lot of the reasons why I feel that way. A lot of people praising her in the media this week have repeatedly said “She said what everyone else was thinking,” I simply disagree, particularly in recent years. A lot of her jokes just made you groan; they just weren’t FUNNY, and gave you the feeling that she was just desperate for attention. Anyway, I think the BuzzFeed piece does a really nice job of examining the different aspects of her persona/comedy.

      • Lauren from NH

        I was wondering about the female/feminist icon distinction myself. I took a class in college that had a section looking at women’s movements in the developing world and our professor made sure to emphasize to us that there was a clear difference between a feminist movement and a women’s movement. An over simplified definition would be that a women’s movement is about solving an issue women are facing today, they could be called pragmatic, they work within a broken system to change women’s lives. An example would be the burka. Before the burka, women in some highly conservative Islamic cultures could not leave the house, the burka because their house and gave them greater freedom of movement, it improved their lives but did not challenge the system from which the problem originated. A feminist movement looks to the future, the ideal of what should be, it is inclusive and defies the system in pursuit of equality.

        Maybe the concept of women’s movement is somewhat parallel that Joan was a women’s pioneer, but not a feminist pioneer or maybe she started off as a feminist pioneer and got old or lost along the way (again, not super familiar with her body of work, but going to follow up). Thanks for the link.

  • scw

    this week was a big one for personal milestones. wednesday was the ten year anniversary of my move to philly, which means it was ten years ago this week that my fiance and I first met face to face. wednesday was also the eight month mark until our wedding!

    entering the 6-8 month mark has motivated me in a major way. we visited bario neal to pick our bands and set up an order with the company that is making the ties for our groomsmen. the flower girl/junior bridesmaid dresses arrived and everyone approves (http://www.childrensalon.com/ivory-and-gold-lace-tulle-dress.html, if you’re interested). I just finished addressing our save the date postcards and am sending them out as soon as the stamps arrive on monday. I’m attaching a picture of the front of the postcard because I’m really happy with how they turned out.

    this weekend we’re taking a trip to my hometown to see the progress on our venue (and enjoy the jazz festival that will be going on on it’s grounds!) and have a menu tasting with the rehearsal dinner caterer. I’m probably going into a little too much detail here, but I’m enjoying and being thankful for this good spell before some of the more nitty-gritty planning stuff happens.

    • Sarah E

      I’m in the 8-month range, too, and I wish I had that much to do! We’ve nixed so much from the day, that there is very little to do at this point, and much more to be done later, in the 2-3 month range, I think. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving when we’ll be back in PA (and also visit Bario-Neal to order!), and tidy up some more wedding things- visit the venue again, assess the sound system, figure out chair rentals, confirm addresses for invites, set a timeline for booze-buying, check in with the friend who is catering our dessert-only reception.

      Planning tasks still seem happy and hopeful to me, so I wish I had more to do to keep busy.

      • scw

        I fully support a dessert-only reception! that sounds wonderful.

    • Alison

      Love the postcards!

  • Lauren from NH

    If I could get a little friend advice…I visited my best friend from college last weekend, we were doing a ton of catching up and I told her T and I are almost engaged and it’s all really happening after 6 years. She is a good friend, she was happy for me, but from the place she is sitting in, it feels like lots of people are getting engaged (though I am one of the first of our peers, only 24 y’all), while her year long relationship is slowly winding out. I told her we are just accomplishing things in different areas of our lives, mine personal, her’s professional (she’s getting her masters in the spring) and she doesn’t want to get married right now, but none of that seemed to address her insecurity. I guess there isn’t a question in there. I want to be excited and get to share that with her, but I don’t want to bum her out. Anyone have any experience with this?

    • Emily

      When I got engaged, my best friend and her long-term relationship we’re fizzling out. It sucked because while I could see she wanted to be happy for us (and she was, don’t get me wrong) I could also see that she was disappointed that it wasn’t her engagement we were celebrating. It sucked, but after a few weeks she jumped in head-first on the wedding planning. I’d say give your friend some time to take it all in, chances are she KNOWS that this is a wonderful thing, she’s just having a rough time showing it.

    • ML

      I went through this too, and though I don’t have the perfect advice I would suggest a couple things: keep the engagement/wedding talk to just ONE of the many conversations topics you two discuss, and keep your expectations in check about how much happiness/excitement she “should” be showing. I think as a friend, it’s reasonable to want our friends to be happy for our happiness, but it’s good to be understanding when they are not exactly jumping and down like the perfect TV/movie girlfriend.

      All that said, congrats on the almost-engagement :)

      • Lauren from NH

        Thanks for the solidarity. I had to hold myself back a bit and that’s okay, she’s just one of very few people I share with uncensored and it was a little tough to realize we are on such different pages on this. Also I definitely feel a little nervous about being the first of my peers. Just navigating growing up ya know.

    • Amy March

      Do you *need* her to be excited though? For starters, “almost nearly about to be engaged” isn’t actually as exciting a moment as “actually engaged” for everyone. And perhaps especially difficult to muster excitement over for her, when she too may have recently considered herself nearly engaged.

      It sucks when you want something a friend can’t give , but it’s also huge when you can let go of your expectations and let her in.

      And [said with love and kindness] maybe never again point out that she’s doing well professionally. That’s just so not the point. She wants something she doesn’t have and you do and that’s hard, but it’s really not about the big picture of life, and pointing out other things that are good can come of as smug (unintentionally) really easily.

      • Elizabeth

        Yes to all of this, Amy March, but especially the last paragraph. The “well, you went to law school, so your personal life is naturally a few years behind ours” comments, though not made maliciously, were brutal a few years back.

        • singlelady

          This, this, this. Also, I have plenty of friends who also got their graduate/law/medical degrees and found a partner, so there’s nothing inherent about school that precludes finding someone, which makes the logic behind a well-intended sentiment fall through and feel even suckier.

      • Lauren from NH

        Maybe I did not explain well. As best I know her and as best she has told me, she does not want to get married until a bit down the road and was not anticipating an engagement in her current relationship. I think it is more of the general feeling that it is a desirable life milestone and also represents having found a strong partner when her partnership is failing.

        Maybe due to our interpretation of the situation but I have to disagree with you, I don’t think I was wrong to say I am proud of her professional accomplishments. We ladies get a lot of garbage thrown our way priming us for marriage being the crowning achievement of our lives from a very young age, which I am sure in part has contributed to the general negative feelings I mentioned above. Also I was trying to draw a parallel that it can be easy to look at your life and see what is lacking. I have made very minimal professional progress since leaving college and as someone who was very academically driven that has bothered me and eaten at me for time to time. But I have made lots of personal progress in my relationship, which was no cake walk, and I have told her so. She may feel that she is headed back to ground zero relationship wise, but that is not the only measure of her success.

        • Amy March

          No, I got all of that. I just don’t think it’s your place , even as a close friend, to be telling her how to measure or define life success. Even if you’re doing it nicely. And regardless of what she said before about wanting marriage now, turns out it’s actually stinging a bit. Sometimes it’s really important to just hear that she is sad, without trying to fix it.

          • singlelady

            Yep, giving friends the space to feel, without expecting or mandating how they feel is a huge gift–not always easy to give, but so important. I can (and do) feel very successful professionally and very unsuccessful personally. They co-exist, but they don’t balance (or zero) each other out. Even in the realm of my personal life, I can feel great about my awesome friendships and shit-tastic about my lack of a love life, about never having had a relationship last longer than 4 months, about the years between relationships, and about the long string of first dates that went nowhere. Feelings are complicated.

    • Sarah

      Honestly, if you think its bumming her out I would back off and not really talk about it with her for a while (maybe until you *do* get engaged). My best friend was going through rough relationship stuff, and eventually a break up in the several months right after I got engaged. It was a weird friendship time for us. She WAS happy for me, but I had to kind of put my happy relationship feelings aside so that I could be a supportive and good friend to my bestie who was having a hard time feeling “behind.” Of course I didn’t think she was behind! But she had feelings, and I had pleenty of other people to talk about my engagement with. Now we’re back on an even keel and she’s pretty much kicking ass at being a maid of honor. Just took a bit of time to get there.

    • Violet

      This is going to seem like an unreasonably nit-picky distinction, but there is a way to be considerate of someone feelings without trying to control what those feelings are. While you are considerate, she can be either bummed or not. You can’t control her feelings, only she can. So if as you’re talking she’s seeming bummed, wrap up the discussion and change topics. But don’t worry about making her feel better- she’s an adult, not a china doll. When I’m upset about something, people handling me like I’m fragile tends to make it worse. She wants to be excited and happy for you, so let her! If you turn it around and focus on her feelings without her asking you too, it’s making it harder for her to be happy for you. Obviously if your friend was upset about something and you ignored it and kept on with the topic that was upsetting her, that’s another thing because that would be inconsiderate.

      So anyway, if the question is how can you avoid bumming her out, I got nothin’. But if the question is how to be a good friend, I’d just suggest staying considerate as you have been up until now. That’s what I like of my friends, anyway!

    • Natalie

      Oh, ouch, I don’t have any advice, but I feel you. All 4 of my bridesmaids have recently been through bad breakups or are thinking about breaking up with their serious significant others or fiancé. I want to be there for them, and share my happiness with them, but not make them feel sad or remind them of their pain. It’s hard. I try to space out the “omg I’m getting married!” excitement with other stuff, like work talk or family stuff, or politics, or TV. And I try to give them space to be sad and cry on my shoulder.

    • Bethany

      I’d say definitely back off of the topic until “almost” is “actually.” A — even though I know that almost is real (my partner and I have discussed the topic a ton and once one of us gets a job, it’s going to happen), it can be easy for it not to feel “real” to others. One of my best friends told me that when I talked about being “almost engaged” that she had trouble not voicing comments like “uh, huh, sure you are. Almost isn’t “real.”” She said that she was always worried that one day she’d snap “well, I’m almost dating!” Ever since that discussion, I’ve backed off of the topic with her. I know that when I do get engaged, she’ll be thrilled, and I know that I can talk to her about my feelings of not being engaged (seriously, we were just waiting for me to have been in my job for 2 years before we got engaged, then we both lost our frickin’ jobs due to corporate mergers and new owners), but that if I were to tell her how excited I am about being “almost engaged” that it would rub her the wrong way.

      This is said with love from someone in a similar place of Almost. Apologies in advance if it hits a nerve or comes off the wrong way. I feel like talking about this sort of thing always ends up with me putting my foot in my mouth.

      • Lauren from NH

        I am trying to formulate a response, but everything is sounding rather defensive, which is not what I am going for. I guess the whole almost versus real does kind of hit a nerve in that my friend said something similar. That if we have a definitive plan to get married, then we are engaged, but then no ring/proposal/official announcement so…not? Which is not untrue, but feels just barely not judgmental or something. The way people make these transitions is changing, I hear a lot of people delaying engagement/marriage to try to get out from under student loans or reach a more stable place in their career, but it seems like the way we think and talk about these transitions hasn’t quite caught up. Which I guess is part of why, while respecting her feelings, I think there is value in talking to my friend about the messy prolonged transition.

    • enfp

      I’m almost a decade older than you (eep), and I’ve been there on both ends of this conversation over the course of the years, multiple times. I found that when I was in undergrad my life more often followed the same rhythms and milestones as my peers, and afterwards it tended to diverge more, which led to more of these situations. Marriage was the first round, but I actually found that having kids heightened this dynamic (I guess because having kids generally had a bigger effect on a friendship than marriage, though of course that’s not always the case). I think there’s no real way to avoid these moments, it’s just part of the ups and downs of adult friendship. I don’t have any good advice, really, though I think the comment about not being able to control her feelings is on point. It’s fair of you to want your friend to be happy for you and it’s fair for your friend to expect you to be sensitive to where she’s at in her life. You both want to be able to share your lives and have the other person engage with that. Sometimes it won’t be a problem. She’ll rally some excitement for you and you’ll keep the engagement talk to a reasonable minimum and ensure her life gets lots of focus too. But sometimes a friend just can’t be everything to you, at least not all the time. If you really can’t share your excitement without bumming her out right now, then you’ll find other people to get excited with, and later she’ll step up for you in some other way and your friendship will re-establish its equilibrium.

    • SoontobeNatalieN

      Speaking as someone who was in the “pre-engaged” category for a long while (It felt like forever, especially given that we had designed the ring and I *knew* he had it for 4 months), I can tell you that the reactions you get from friends when you talk about your “soon to be definitely, but not quite yet” wedding plans, will vary widely, and it may be a better idea to just keep them between you and your honey (or you, your honey, and this super awesome understanding community). I’ve actually been on both sides of this, and recently.

      When my fiance and I were almost engaged, and were only holding off because of family issues, I wanted so, so badly the social recognition and validation that seems to be given to a relationship between engaged/married people, but not to those “just dating”. I wanted to tell people “we’ve made the commitment! We’re very open with each other and others that we want to get married! Get excited!”.

      But then, shortly after we got engaged, a pair of friends who hadn’t been dating all that long (a month or two), told us that they were going to get married, too. That they knew it. I, all of a sudden, was on the other side of things. I was excited for them, but did I congratulate them on something that hadn’t happened yet? And what if they didn’t get engaged? (which they now aren’t as sure is going to happen).

      So, basically, I’d wait to see how excited your friend is when you and your man do get engaged – cause trust me, the excitement from your friends and family is worth waiting for.

    • singlelady

      I’m coming to this a day late, but I wanted to emphasize the awesome advice several others have already given, as someone who has been there and been there and been there for over a decade at this point.

      It’s possible to be really happy for someone else getting married or having kids or reaching some sort of socially-momentous personal milestone and really sad about the state of your own life in that regard. I’m in my 30s. The majority of my friends are married, and most of them have or are having kids (4 people had kids this week along!). I am generally content, but news of engagements and weddings and pregnancies and births are triggers for me. I sorely wish they weren’t, but I know they are, because they lead me away from feeling good about what I’ve accomplished and send me into a downward spiral of thinking obsessively about what I haven’t. I’m getting better at stopping the spiral, but it still happens every.single.damn.time. Like Thursday night I was a blubbery mess when I saw a childhood had a friend and I was packing to attend a wedding this weekend. It’s just a terrible combo for me.

      And this is why Amy March’s point about professional accomplishments not being the same is really important and often overlooked. The point isn’t that someone hasn’t done something awesome professionally (earning a degree, getting a new job, being promoted, etc are all super awesome things that should be commended, congratulated, and celebrated). But they are super awesome things in a realm that is quite different from one’s personal life, and so, fairly or not, they don’t feel the same when (it feels like everyone or all your people) are getting engaged and married and whatnot. I think it’s easy to think I’m getting engaged, you’re getting a degree, we’re both accomplishing things. And this is true. But when there’s something you want (even if it’s “just” a solid relationship, not imminent marriage) and you don’t have it or are falling away from it, your feelings are not rationally dividing themselves, and what you don’t have looms large. In this regard, the move to congratulate someone on professional success rings hollow — not because it is, but because in the context of a good friend and what feels like armies of people around you getting engaged/married, it feels meaningless and empty, a token trophy for the runner-up.

      Finally, giving a friend time and space to absorb the news on her own terms is really helpful. One of the kindest things a friend did for me was to call me, about a month before I was going to visit, to tell me she was pregnant. She hadn’t started telling most people yet but would be by the time I arrived, and telling me over the phone meant that a) she delivered the news and b) I had a lot of time to work through the emotions it generated in me (that she knew it would) before we saw one another. By the time we met up, I was ready to celebrate with her — because I was happy for her, but also frustrated about my own life, and I needed to work on the frustration to get to a place of shared joy.

      • I think giving time is good advice and letting the friend celebrate as much as she can. (And knowing that it could happen soon is probably good because she has time to get used to the idea.) Last summer one of my good friends got married (and I was a bridesmaid too) 6 weeks after my husband left me. I was so happy for her, but it was all very hard too. (Shopping for bridesmaids dresses 10 days after my ex left, for example. But I utlimately found it was possible to be happy for her (while being devastated myself), but I am also certain that I could not celebrate her marriage as fully as I had hoped to. But I did my best and I was happy for her, so much. And I survived (but I was also still in a fog from the shock of my own situation, so honestly that probably helped…)

      • Lauren from NH

        Thanks for your lengthy response. Though I want to give credit to other commenters for saying it different ways, your thoughts on being “behind” (to use Sarah’s term) in the romance department made me realize on a different level how others could view my relationship as a reminder of a very personal accomplishment that has evaded them. Being a loner in high school made me very independent and I have for a long time viewed my life as my path and mine alone, that the choices I have made would not suit others as their choices would not suit me, which is true. I guess I thought others preferred their adventures, being single or dating the guy who was more fun to party with than a reliable long term partner. But I am not just an outsider anymore. I have been in a partnership for 6 years, a partnership that in short order will be solidified into a marriage. There were things I gave for this relationship, ways I aggressively fought for this relationship when I imagine others would have walked away. And maybe all that is true and despite choices past and present, most people still desire partnership on a very deep level. I can see how it would sting to feel so very far away that kind of personal bond and how no accomplishment can adequately stand in.

  • That Forbes article is awesome and refreshing that it’s written by a man. Not that all men are bad, just that it’s wonderful when men choose to spend their time on feminist social issues.
    RIP Joan. I may not have watched her much but, you’re right Meg, she was a powerful progressive force and we should all be so lucky to be so strong.
    But mainly I’m commenting because I never get in early enough for the happy hour thread and I want to say I loved the grown up essay and feed and I’m still processing what it means to be a grown up, aren’t we all. I just don’t want to be someone filled with regrets when I’m old, and I think part of that is sowing wild oats, fearlessly plunging in and being who we are even when we don’t know who that is yet.
    Is it crazy that I’ve been wildly shy about my nearly six months pregnant belly and suddenly I feel the need to procure a sequined sparkly top to squeeze over it? If people are going to make weird ass comments to me anyway, maybe I should be unapologeticly bold. That’s what Joan would do.

    • jashshea

      How did I miss your pregnancy!? Congratulations!

    • Grace from England

      A sequinned belly bump sounds awesome! I also loved the Grown Up thread and went away to look up both Unfuck your habitat and YNAB. Very informative discussion!

    • Sparkles

      YES! We should get matching ones. I’ve been avoiding buying maternity clothes for some reason, and living in bits and pieces from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe, but I love the idea of a sequin sparkly top. Any leads?

      • I just spent an hour on ASOS maternity and nothing. I think they haven’t brought out all the sequins yet because it isn’t holiday. By then I’ll be ready to pop. They did have some really cute dresses though.

        • Sparkles

          I got this ASOS dress when I did my first (very small) round of maternity shopping). http://www.asos.com//Asos-Maternity/Asos-Maternity-Swing-Dress-With-Pockets-And-Cap-Sleeve/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4003308
          I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it. I wear it with a belt right under my boobs, so it looks less like a nightgown. It’s also incredible comfortable. I don’t think I paid that much for it, though.

          • Heather

            So late to this party, but dying to know if Asos maternity dresses are that short in person? I wanted to get one but had this thought that I’d be showing half my ass with every step…

          • Sparkles

            I usually wear that one with leggings. It is short. I wore it without one day and felt uncomfortable, but I usually only feel comfortable if a dress comes down to about my knees. It hits me mid thigh and I’m 5’6″.

          • I have a handful of maternity things and a couple of knit pencil skirts that sit comfortably under my bump so long as my top covers it. I just don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes that I can’t wear for more than another few months (even if I do need them for a little while after she’s born). Plus I wear a uniform at work (a now partially buttoned button down under and apron and black pants) so there isn’t much style going on in my life right now. I guess I just fantasize about having somewhere to go where it’s okay that I’m pregnant and a bit tired and I don’t have to try to hard but get to look slammin anyway. A girl can dream.

  • B

    I’m getting married tomorrow. I just wanted to say thank you and hip hip hooray for A Practical Wedding. This site made me feel like I wasn’t crazy and reminded me that there are places on the internet where the comments section is uplifting.

    • Lawyerette510

      YAY B!!!!!!!! Have an awesomely wonderful day!!!!

    • Ragnhild

      Yay! I hope you have an amazing day. My husband has passed me a few times reading APW comments, and he always say “Dont read the comments. But if you reply, only do so to the positive ones.” And I keep telling him its not that kind of comments :)

    • Emily

      I hate that in general about comment sections… they make me feel so down on humanity in general. I love APW’s comments! I’m really curious how APW has been able to create a reasonable comment section… is there a ton of comment deleting going on?

      • Meg Keene

        We delete almost no comments. If we take down five a month, that’s a lot. (Other than sometimes if a thread gets out of control and we take the whole thread down, but that’s also pretty rare.)

        It’s just six years of really hard work on my part building a community and a smart comment section, and another three years or so work on the part of my staff. It’s years of commenting and relating, and engaging with people being smart and kind on interesting issues, and encouraging more of that. And eventually building a community with standards that mostly self polices. It’s EXHAUSTING sometimes (see above, where I’m sure people will really disagree my personal thoughts on Joan Rivers, and some will be kind, and some will be less so, and it’s Friday and I’m tired, and I’m really personally sad about Joan Rivers, and it’s probably going to be slightly more than I can take right now, but this is part of my job.) BUT. It’s a mini-six-year part of my life’s work now, and I’m proud of it. TIRED, but proud.

        • joanna b.n.

          You should be damn, damn proud of what you’ve created here in terms of a respectful dialogue. It’s so freakin’ rare in this day and age, and you all have done it without being heavy handed. Though clearly, through great effort and intention behind the scenes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This community and how it engages with one another brings so much light to the world! :)

        • Emily

          Job very well done! I’ve recently been involved with a small website that accepted submissions and had a comments area and I’ve been horrified by the quality of both. I’ve also had no idea how to improve them. I valued APW’s commenters before, but now I’m even more impressed! Thank you for creating this breath of fresh air that is able to disagree in a civil manner space!

        • Violet

          Well, y’all truly deserve major kudos. I’d never comment on any other site. Ever. Even when people disagree here, it’s without character attacks and such. Thank you!

    • Natalie

      Yay! Congrats!

      And I agree. APW is a wonderful place of sanity that’s all too rare in the internet or real life wedding planning worlds.

  • Erin

    This week has been interesting. FH and I moved in together, in a brand new apartment. First hurdle of the move: our kitchen has no flat surfaces. Seriously. We have a freestanding oven/stove and a freestanding sink, a fridge and some cabinets above the sink. No counter to set up our microwave, toaster, etc. We decide, okay fine. We will tough it out until we can buy a kitchen cart and some shelves. Ikea is bringing our table today. We can use that for food prep for now. …Second hurdle: Ikea loses our order. They say they will put new items on the truck and deliver them Friday. Today is Friday and the same thing happens. We have no flat surfaces in the kitchen and no shelves to finish unpacking our living room. And we are getting squabbly with each other which is uncommon for us. Can I please have a pumpkin beer and some normalcy now?

    • Sarah

      Ugh, we had the same problem: stove, sink, no counterspace (WHY IS THIS ACCEPTABLE??). We bought a really long Ikea dining room buffet table and put it in our foyer which is now where i prep everything before cooking, and store appliances. What a pain in the ass…haha :(

      • Erin

        Thanks. It helps knowing we weren’t the only ones who came across this! And seriously, HOW IS THIS ACCEPTABLE? On what planet is a kitchen with no space to prep food considered “functioning?”

        • Sarah

          I don’t know! I’m good at the whole prep in the other room then cook everything in the kitchen now, but it was a huuuuuuuuge adjustment! I kept burning things! It really sucks. I can’t wait to have a functional kitchen again…someday.

          • Erin

            UPDATE: FH finally got a manager on the phone and arranged for delivery tomorrow. He called me to share this news and I didn’t feel any better. So I called the manager back myself and gave him a talk along the lines of “you know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” They have now promised us a phone call in the morning confirming our items have left the building, and a $50 refund on top of the delivery fee they offered to refund us the first time they screwed us over. ….I’m feeling badass enough after that experience to now take on the landlord about his definition of a functional kitchen.

          • Sarah

            Yes!!!!!! Go you!

          • Bethany

            Good on you!

          • Ugh IKEA

            I FEEL YOUR PAIN. This is the company I had to deal with when delivering our gigantic IKEA order: http://www.yelp.com/biz/dynamex-hayward

            Never again.

          • Ugh IKEA

            Maybe they’ve improved a bit because a see a couple good reviews, but I can seriously feel myself start to get ragey just thinking about it.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Ya! This!
        I once lived in an apartment where the kitchen didn’t have any drawers or counter space. It was the worst until I got a couple of expedits… Which are a pretty okay countertop height btw. Just in case you were curious.

    • Lawyerette510
      • Erin

        Those look fun! We fortunately do have space to put in a kitchen cart, but maybe we’l make those too!

  • enfp

    Happy Friday, APW. A bit random, but anyone out there want to give me some advice on whether to get a stand mixer?

    We didn’t put one one our (small, limited) registry, because I thought we just wouldn’t get enough use out of it to justify the space it would take up. We do bake fairly regularly, but mostly simple quick bread type things like muffins or cornbread. My partner’s baking skills are admittedly more advanced than mine, and he has been known to make pie and yeast breads. We live in an apartment so storage is an issue, and we are already well endowed in the kitchen appliance department – we have a food processor, a hand mixer and a good quality blender. I really can’t see us using any of the attachments. I am just not the kind of person who makes pasta from scratch. At the time, my partner was cool with that, but now he’s decided he wants one. He’s been baking a little more lately, and we were gifted a beautiful baking cookbook in which all the instructions are stand mixer based. For those of you who have one, is it worth the cost and storage space? Are they really that much better than a hand mixer? What do you actually use yours for?

    • Amy March

      He wants one? Register for it. They’re completely awesome.

    • jashshea

      Yes. Better than hand-mixer if you do a ton of baking. You can cream sugar/eggs/fats together WHILE YOU MEASURE dry ingredients!!! I use ours 3-5x a month.

      Ahem.

      We didn’t have ours for several months after the wedding b/c we had no room for it in our pre-house apartment. Is it something you could buy for yourself later when you have more space?

      • Lawyerette510

        Yep, it’s the starting things creaming while measuring (I do it by weight because I find that faster) the dry that has been such a change.

    • KC

      A stand mixer is awesome if you:
      1. regularly wear through hand mixers (because the motors aren’t very strong in most of them)
      2. can use it instead of other things (for instance, we have no bread machine, because kneading happens in the stand mixer and I count bread shaping as fun and bread-baking-timing as non-onerous)
      3. have counterspace for it to live on (because you’re not going to get nearly as much use out of it if you have to haul it out each time)

      It’s awesome for thick doughs (cookie doughs that are hard to mix by hand, for instance), things that need to be mixed for a set amount of time and you don’t really want to hang out there with the hand mixer (or don’t want to hand-knead), and marshmallows. (MARSHMALLOWS.)

      So, if you use your hand mixer once a week or more and can swap in the stand mixer, that will probably be “enough” use that you won’t need to dust it and other applications will follow. (things that stand mixers are not as good as hand mixers for: mixing things up in not-the-stand-mixer-bowl, and very small amounts, like whipping one egg white)

      Also, sometimes we want things that don’t totally make sense. Sometimes it’s good to be talked into reason, and sometimes it’s good to be allowed to just do the (non-harmful, affordable) thing you want. :-) So extending that grace to spouses is good, too.

      • enfp

        Your last point is a good one. He let me put the food processor on the registry even though he didn’t have much interest in getting one. If I got the big shiny appliance I wanted, maybe he should get his too.

      • Yes, I use mine for bread. And good point about leaving it on the counter. If mine wasn’t always on the counter it would be a pain to move it to use it.

    • Cbrown

      I’m a pretty avid baker and do just fine with a food processor (with a dough attachment) and the hand mixer. If I had a giant kitchen, maybe, but I couldn’t justify all three. I bake bread a few times per week and do cakes, and the food processor works really well.

      • Ellen

        To jump off this comment, maybe consider whether upgrading the food processor and/or hand mixer would suffice.

    • StevenPortland

      Stand mixers are fantastic!. The only downside is the space they take up on the counter. I went safe and bought a light tan colored one many years ago. While it would be nice to have a brightly colored one, at least the mixer doesn’t limit our color choices for the kitchen. Register for one!

    • I LOVE mine. I’ve had it for a few years now and though I bake less than I used to, I’ve gotten a TON of use out of it. I use it from everything from boxed cake mix to pizza dough. The best thing is using it for whipping cream or egg whites…it goes SO quickly!

    • enfp

      Just to clarify, we are already married, and thinking of buying it for ourselves. We can afford it, it’s just balancing it against our other wants and needs. Thanks for all these comments, they’re super helpful!

      • jashshea

        LOL, reading comprehension fail for me.

        When I have something that’s a want-not-need, I just save a tiny bit of money for it for a few months (like, save pocket change or all $5 bills you get or something). If I still want the thing 90 or 120 days later, I’ll typically buy it. 80% of the time I forget what I wanted.

    • Marcela

      I was pressured really hard to buy a stand mixer and we ended up deciding against it. We have a badass hand mixer that’s about as old as I am and still going strong and we splurged on a ninja with all the attachments. We’ve found it handy for the occasionally bread or pizza dough we make and it takes up little space in our kitchen.
      Caveat, we aren’t big bakers so your mileage may vary.

    • Lawyerette510

      I love my stand mixer! We use it for egg whites and making ice cream a lot, and I find that I use it for baking much more than the hand mixer. Also, we keep ours under the counter, so it’s not really an issue of counter space.

    • emilyg25

      Yes, it’s worth it to me, but I bake a lot. We use it to knead dough for bread or pizza crust, to mix cake batter, to whip cream or egg whites. And now I have a bunch of attachments, too (food grinder, sausage stuffer [lol, yes, really], ice cream maker). If you do a significant amount of heavy-duty mixing, it’s a good buy. It really makes it difference when it comes to kneading or whipping stiff peaks.

      ETA: I don’t find that it takes up a significant amount of space, but it’s pretty much the only appliance we keep out on the counter. And it’s my baby, so I don’t mind having it out. :)

    • Sarah

      I feel like I couldn’t live without mine, and I live without a food processor (albeit unhappily). I bake a lot, use it for pizza doughs, cookies, cakes, whipped cream, mashed potatoes, etc.

    • I use my Kitchenaid at least weekly, but I also love baking. It just has so much more power than my hand mixer did, so stiff cookie dough is a lot easier to work with.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’m curious if opinions vary based on whether or not you have a dishwasher in addition to a stand mixer. We don’t have a dishwasher or stand mixer, and I cringe a bit every time I have to use the largest mixing bowl (or frying pan or stock pot…).

      • KC

        My stand mixer bowl and stuff all gets happily sink-washed; it’s easier than the hand mixer, since the paddle and whisk things are larger (so, fewer odd nooks and crannies; easy to get the sponge or dishcloth in and around) and the bowl is deep and narrow (so, fits in the sink without splashing everywhere like the equivalent-volume shallow mixing bowl does).

        (but yes, I avoid using the stockpot that I have to wash in the bathtub. Only when I *really* have to use that one…)

    • Laura C

      For another perspective, we asked exactly this question while registering and ended up deciding against it, because, like here, all my friends said roughly “OMG it’s amazing, I use it for ____, ______, and ____” and I looked at their lists and thought “yeah, we don’t need one.” I bake a lot, but I grew up in a family that saw any kind of mixing appliance as illegitimate — lots of good memories of helping my dad knead bread — and while I cheat by using a hand mixer … I just couldn’t see admitting I was that far gone over to the machines and allowing it to dominate my kitchen like they do.

    • Megan

      I am firmly against having too many appliances to take up counter space, but I got my mixer for my shower a couple of months ago and I think it’s pretty awesome. I did luck out and happen to realize that it can stand on the bookshelf ABOVE our counters so it doesn’t actually have to take up counter space while still being accessible and not tucked away somewhere that’s hard to access. But, I’ve used it a lot, and after growing up without one and always mixing anything with my hand and a spoon–I really do love it! I also feel extra grown-up. Getting my mixer felt like a rite of passage :)

      I am much more of a baker and don’t see myself making homemade pasta and stuff–although I do like that you can get lots of attachments for it as one appliance instead of buying lots of different appliances.

    • I love mine! (It was my grandparents’ and I inherited it.) I use it regularly.

    • Whitney S.

      I love my mixer. My love got it a custom paint job. Can you imagine the auto shop when he hauled in the mixer and asked them to paint lilies on it ?!

    • Alice

      I love them, have used them extensively, and really want one. BUT. They’re expensive, and they do take up a lot of space, which just won’t work for my lifestyle. I am a pretty ambitious baker, and I have never encountered something that I absolutely can’t do without a stand mixer. I’d love one to save time and effort, but in the end they really are about convenience (and they look classy).

    • jashshea

      Hope you get this over email: KitchenAid standmixer sale going on right now at Best Buy!

      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/dotd-20140910

  • Any suggestions on how to find a florist? I’ve looked at The Knot but there are SO MANY FLORISTS LISTED. And most don’t have any type of pricing guidelines on their websites so I have no clue how to wittle this long list down. Finding my other vendors was easier because I had a price point or style or some other factor to help me start to narrow down….but with florists I’m at a loss.

    • Ellen

      Your ceremony and reception venues (if they’re different) may have recommendations and may also be able to talk about price points.

    • Erin

      Florists were hard for us too. We ended up visiting 3 before settling on one. Every other vendor was a one and one thing. I ended up googling our area + wedding florals or florist and looked at a lot of their websites. I emailed our planner for advice and she gave us a list. It also helps to email your venue(s) for recommendations to start with. I also found looking on wedding blogs and styled shoots helped get a feel for the individual styles. It really, really helps if you have a style in mind. I found that once I knew what we were going for, our florist just stood out as the one almost immediately.

      • I second the option to just Google! I found it was the quickest way to just blast through them. Then blast them all with the same email requesting prices.

        • B.

          Were you actually able to get them to give prices in an email?? What wizardry did you use??

          • Oh hm, good question. I looked back at my old emails…one asked if I could meet in person and I said we were based out of town, so we ended up having a phone chat. Another gave us quotes based on a pretty detailed description I gave her of what we wanted/needed + my Pinterest boards. I know at least one had us fill out a questionnaire too, so that may have helped. (Like some have that as part of the contact form on their website.) And I think one gave us a “starting at” price that I knew was too high. Also, I think I was pretty up front that our budget was tiny, so it was an easier equation. Like: here’s the inspo, here’s what we can spend, here’s what we definitely don’t need…so what can you do?

            I’m pretty sure the one we ended up hiring was the only one I talked to on the phone initially, but I’m actually glad I did talk to her because she made some great suggestions during that convo based on our budget.

          • Erin

            I was able to get prices by telling them my budget and by asking what their weddings start at. As in, “we’re having a big/small/rustic/whatever wedding and are looking for xyz centrepieces, we have # groomsmen and # bridesmaids, etc, etc and are hoping to spend $$$.” Alternately, you can ask what their weddings generally start at or what their average cost for a wedding your size is.

    • Libby

      Oh man, florists were hard. I felt the same way, I had no idea. I personally just had to read reviews, look at pictures on the florist’s website and from there pick a few I’d like to talk to and set up a consultation. None were able to give me prices before they had more information and I didn’t know what I wanted before talking it through with them. I ended up having four phone consultations (planning from afar) followed up with proposals before I chose one. Although it felt like overkill because I hadn’t had to do that with our other vendors, in the end I felt the process was worth it. I was able to get a sense of their style over the phone and then compare their proposals and prices for similar things to help make the decision.

    • Laura C

      Can you do any word of mouth? Not even necessarily with people who’ve had weddings — our florist was our florist because at my MIL’s work they occasionally have events with flowers and had used this florist. So if you know anyone who works near where you’re getting married and has a job where they have even one fundraiser or party a year that uses a florist, that could be a starting point.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      In 2012 in the Bay Area, we used Yelp. We met with 3, all of which had photos online of about what we wanted. We didn’t have a Pinterest board, and what we wanted wasn’t in style, so it wasn’t in the magazines, etc.

      The first was a shop that seemed poorly run.
      The second was someone who ran the business out of her home, ordering just what clients ordered.
      The last was a well-organized shop, and probably 2x the others, but within our budget, which we had based on comparables in wedding magazines and out-of-state florists’ websites.

    • Megan

      I found lots of venue ideas (and other vendors) by just looking at local photographers’ blogs and paying attention to the vendor credits. Most photographers credit other wedding vendors on their blog posts, so that’s always been helpful for me as a starting place.

    • Alison

      If http://www.borrowedandblue.com/ has a site for your city, they have general price ranges, from “Thrify” to “Priceless.” It doesn’t really explain what they mean, but it’s all selected by the vendor – I have found that the vendors who I’ve contacted have been generally within my budget.

  • Emily

    Hi APW! I want to educate myself more on class theory, class privileges (see, I’m not even sure what words to use). Can you recommend some websites or books?

    • jspe

      Resource Generation is amazing, and Classified is an awesome book. They also have a great retreat if you identify as having wealth, or are a partner to someone with wealth. http://www.resourcegeneration.org/resources

      • Emily

        I’ve read Classified. It felt like a good introduction, but I wanted more depth. I’ll check out the RG website again.

    • Amy March

      Chavs: the demonization of the working class and Coming Apart: the state of white America were both interesting. Neither is comprehensive or without flaw, but very interesting jumping off points.

    • Sarah

      Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. I also read “The Big Squeeze” in college which I believe is a collection of essays about the dwindling middle class and the pressures that the working class faces, in the context of the big recession.

      • KC

        (note: I didn’t really like Nickel and Dimed; it’s a great read on what it would be like if someone who was used to suburban middle class-ish life suddenly lost their money and their safety net, [except not really because she can ditch the experiment at any time] and how she reacts to surprise “gotchas” inherent in that, but it *isn’t* a read on what the whole life is actually like or the psychological effects of longterm paycheck-to-paycheck or whatever. A lot of her Big Showstopping Problems seemed really silly, while there are Big Showstopping Problems that *aren’t* silly that weren’t addressed. Basically, I entirely agree with the premise [that there are a lot of unexpected expenses to living poor; I have seen that] but much of the evidence in the book was unnecessarily weak, which I feel is a disservice to the premise.)

        (that said, I don’t have anything to suggest instead, aside from potentially this piece: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/ , and Nickel and Dimed is probably better than nothing – just realize that the evidence presented is a whole lot limper than reality.)

        • Sarah

          I think it’s just a good starting point. There are many problems and criticisms of it, particularly that she was actually living on (believe) 170% of what was considered the poverty line at that time, and that she actually started with money, but I enjoyed the overall point of her book, and I think it demystifies a lot of the issues and obstacles that the working poor deal with. Oh also, have you caught John Oliver’s segment on check cashing businesses? It’s semi related to this topic and its been on my mind!

        • Emily

          Thanks. I’ve actually read Nickel and Dimed too. Here’s more about what I want to learn: my town went through a massive natural disaster last year. Unfortunately we lost the housing that was available in low income ranges. It’s starting to appear that this housing cost range isn’t going to come back, and it is making me really sad. Words like gentrification are being thrown around. I would like to DO SOMETHING… but what? I’m involved with some groups but really nothing is happening. It has me thinking a lot about class divisions.

          • KC

            Yeah, one of the insane things about low income housing is that it is often low-income housing because it’s more susceptible to natural (and other) disasters, to crime, etc. So, people who have very little money/safety net to begin with *also* have to start from scratch more often (with no insurance, because who can afford insurance when they can’t afford dinner?). It’s a really nasty cycle.

            Some cities/towns create affordable housing regulations – aka, hey, all new developers, this percentage of your housing must be available at rents affordable to low incomes, this percentage of your housing must be available at rents affordable to median incomes (in places where even median incomes are being priced out of the market). So possibly talking with city council sort of people or housing commission sort of people and finding out what’s already in place and what would be good to have in place might be a way to go?

            Also, meeting and working with housing inspectors can be a potential advocacy thing; some people need translation help or even just a bit of Middle Class Muscle to get actual against-code housing issues (mold; safety issues; broken toilets) fixed without negative repercussions.

            Grabbing the problem by a different end, you can potentially help people get jobs by working with them on their applications and interview prep, or by tutoring/mentoring (either adult ESL or computer basics tutoring or kid/teen after-school sorts of things *or* prison GED programs).

            Food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters can also get you in touch with people who are at least working to put band-aids on things; often some of those people are also working on higher-level fixes.

            Good luck, and hooray for wanting to Actually Do Things!

          • Emily

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Maybe it’s the weather, but I’m down on the world today. This seems like a hopeless problem. One of the reasons I wanted to live here was that it felt diverse. I didn’t realize how vulnerable that diversity was. Ugh. You have listed some concrete steps that I can potentially take and maybe help a little. Could you tell me how to just rebuild several mobile home parks (away from the river)? Okay, sorry about that! I’ll take my despair elsewhere.

          • KC

            Unfortunately, rebuilding mobile home parks takes probably a lot more money than you have. (maybe less money than expected, but Money)

            (also: I forgot Habitat for Humanity!)

            Also, it’s a hopeless problem to entirely permanently fix, but it is *not* a hopeless problem to take a whack at and make a dent in (possibly a very, very small dent, but making a difference in one person’s life is still important).

            Also, chocolate goes well with despair. Sorry you’re down. It’s hard that the world is broken.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      The American Way of Eating is similar to Nickel and Dimed, but just about food.

      • whitlizflem

        This might not be the type of reading you have in mind, but the National Low Income Housing Coalition has good information http://nlihc.org

    • Valerie Day

      four minutes…with lego people. I’m constantly on the look-out too. I am sure we could get a good round up in comments–so maybe keep asking the question.

  • Jules

    Spending my weekend watching Firefly (for the first time! Why did I leave it for so long?) and starting to pack up the house for another move. Mostly just trying to relax – hope you all enjoy your weekends!

    • MC

      OMG FIREFLY. I resisted for a long time because my brother was into it and I thought it would be too nerdy for me. But it is SO GOOD. Only problem is that there are not nearly enough episodes.

      • Jules

        I’m so upset that I’m watching it just knowing that it ends. I want it to keep going!

        • Caroline

          I raced through firefly and then it ends, and you’re so sad it’s done. But I actually haven’t finished Buffy STILL for the reason. I’ve watched every episode but the finally, but I can’t bear it to end. (And yes I know, the graphic novels but that isn’t the same).

          • laurasmash

            Yes! I have a problem where if I know a show is ending I can’t watch like the last 3 episodes. I actually finished firefly because I saw the movie before I saw the whole show, and that pretty much ties up the loose ends. And I looooove it so much.

          • MC

            OMG you NEED to watch the last episode of Buffy, it is SO GOOD. I found the 7th season overall to be a little lackluster (all the potentials, Kennedy, eh) but the last episode totally redeemed it. One of the best TV show finales ever if you ask me, it’s seriously amazing. And then you can just rewatch the whole series again, right? :)

        • up_at_Dawn

          I loved Firefly. You can watch the movie Serenity- but be ready to cry.

          • Jules

            I didn’t know there was a movie! Thank you.

          • up_at_Dawn

            Yep, it’s excellent. But pretty much quashes any possibility of further sequels.

          • There are also comic books, which cover the story between the end of the series and the beginning of the movie.

    • FIREFLY!!! My partner had to make me watch it the first time (because I was convinced that “space cowboys” was not going to be my thing). But it SO good.

      • Alice

        So funny, I had exactly the same reaction, but I love it too!

  • jspe

    I’ve been posting as Anon for a while (one of many, obviously). but I’ve just created a Disqus account because I got engaged! I’m excited to join the commentariat. Somehow it felt weird when I was not engaged, and then less weird when I got pre-engaged. And now I can count this as normal wedding planning/cheaper than therapy.

    • Congratulations!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Haha cheaper than therapy… Truth.
      Congratulations!

  • Lauren

    I just moved about 400 miles to be with my long term, previously long distance boyfriend. I moved to a place where I know a few people but not a ton, and after just 4 days I’m really stressed out feeling like right now he is my only social outlet. It was the right decision to move, and I know I should cut myself some slack (new job and move in 1 week is a lot) but how do you make friends as an adult?

    • joanna b.n.

      Let me know when you figure it out. My history is very feast or famine… depending on whether I land the jackpot with work/school friends or not…

    • NrgGrl

      I’ve been there (and kind of still am). I moved to be with my (now) fiance about four years ago. And I was pretty friend-less for at least the first two years. Keep trying and be patient with yourself — it takes time. Making friends as an adult is just plain hard, even for the most extroverted among us. It’s not like you can walk up to someone in a bar and be like, “Heyyy, wanna be friends?!” (I mean, you COULD, but that might be considered strange). My sources of friends have mainly been coworkers, and my fiance who is a graduate student. (Being in school makes finding friends way, way, way, way easier.)

      • joanna b.n.

        Ha, I have scared my more shy hubby by telling him that “we are going to the bar and just going to introduce ourselves to people and make friends!” And he’s like, no, no no no no, you can’t just DO THAT. And I haven’t… yet…

        • Marcela

          My husband actually suggested this to me yesterday because I was having a fit of the sads about not having friends in our new town.

          • joanna b.n.

            :) Well, then, perhaps we should just do it. And if the people out there don’t like it, then they weren’t going to be our friends anyway! (You’re not in upstate NY, are you…?)

          • Marcela

            Gainesville FL I’m afraid. :(

    • Emily

      It’s harder, and it sounds so fresh for you. I’ve made friends through work, classes, neighbors, activities (volleyball leagues, etc). Does the place you moved to have a newcomers group? Or perhaps see what meet ups are happening nearby?

    • emilyg25

      Group activities that you enjoy. A running club, adult sports league, craft store that has craft nights, book group. Whatever it is that you like to do, find a group that does it.

      I moved to a new area where I knew no one and, even though I’m normally an introvert, absolutely threw myself into being sociable. I said yes to everything. Eventually, I met the people I’d become really close to—including the man who is now my husband—and settled back into my regular pattern of a few close friends and general introversion. But it was a great exercise to get out of my comfort zone for those first few years!

      • Erin

        This, but I want to add, if you don’t find the right group for you, start one yourself. I spent months in frustration trying out different writer’s groups after one of my moves, and every one was populated by senior citizens (some of whom were lovely, but I wanted to meet friends my own age). Eventually I realized there might be others with the same problem, and I formed a writers group on meetup directed at my age group. The group ran successfully for 3 years…until I moved away again.

    • BFF

      I hope there is some good advice shared here, because I still haven’t figured out how to make friends as an adult and I’m about to move to a new place, so the task will start again.

    • Amanda

      I found meetup.com to be helpful too. You can search for groups within X miles of your zipcode. I will say some groups are better than others and it might take trying a few different ones to find out!

    • StevenPortland

      Getting new friends as an adult is a real challenge. So recognize that everyone has this issue and don’t take it personally. One way to start is to look at meetup.com and see what groups have meetings in your area. You’ll have to try several out probably before you have success but it’s one way to do it. Larger metro areas have meetups just for people new to the area which are good.

      • Natalie

        I love meetup for finding friends who share your interests. I joined a meetup knitting group my first week in a new city. 5 years later, those knitting meetup ladies are my best friends. They’re throwing me a knitting bridal shower tomorrow!

        • Megan

          Yes!! I have a knitting group of 6 ladies who are my best local girlfriends. We were all recent grads looking for new friends. I love it! And I want to come to your knitting bridal shower–that sounds AWESOME! Have fun!

          • Natalie

            Knitting groups are the best :-)

    • Caroline

      I’ve found friends through work, dance classes, the synaogue. It’s definitely hard, but I think the best bet is to get out and do activities you like with other people. My husband moved to be with me, and met his friends slowly through a homebrew club, (and when he went back to school). Maybe meetups for activities you like or professional meetups?

      Also, as much as another poster jokes about it, I honestly think there is always sort of a “hey, let’s be friends…” Moment. Which usually, for me, happened when I either called up an aquantence who I clicked with but hadn’t hung out with outside of the environment we met in in a crises, or when I invited an aquantence over for dinner. It’s always a little awkward and scary but those are the make or break moments for a potential friendship I think.

    • MC

      I saw an APW recommendation last year for the book “MWF Seeks BFF” and really enjoyed reading it. Lots of good ideas for meeting people, and also, it was just reassuring to know that everyone struggles with this. One thing the author says is that sometimes when meeting new people she’d say something like, “I’m having a hard time making friends since I moved here,” and that other women would look SO RELIEVED to have someone else admit that. So don’t be afraid to be direct about wanting to make friends! We moved to our city a year and a half ago and we met our closest friends because we were sitting next to them at a restaurant and we looked their age and they asked us if we lived here and if we were having trouble making friends. The next day we got beers with them and have been friends ever since!

      • Emily Ardoin

        Loved that book! MWF Seeks BFF, FTW!

    • Nell

      You mention that you know a few people, but not a ton.

      I found that I had to really work to get on people’s social calendar in a new city. I ended up inviting people over for dinner a bunch – which led to getting invited out at their houses to larger parties. I’m not a naturally extroverted person, so it was a big leap for me – but totally worth it.

    • Nicole

      One thing that really helped when I moved to be closer to my now-husband was talking with him about it (in addition to a lot of making-my-own-friends stuff suggested by other commenters). We had talked a lot about the move and it was the right decision for us, but it was a lot harder on me than on him. Talking about that, recognizing it, and brainstorming together for ideas was really helpful. I am lucky too because he was really quick to acknowledge it was harder for me (faster than I was) and really supportive about elping me find my people.

      A lot of those people are people I met through him (yay! he already went through all the work of making friends and ALSO has excellent taste in people) and now have my own relationship with. Others I have met in a variety of ways, or have re-connected with (people I knew a long time ago but knew only vaguely before moving here). One is a friend who moved here after me, which is my favorite way to make friends in a new city :-p ;)

    • Ann

      I will put in another plug for meetup.com groups and add that in my experience, the “we’re new here” social meetups are A LOT less fun than the groups meeting about specific interests. The social meetups were full of creepy lurkers whereas my nerdy ocean ecology group was full of interesting people of all ages and backgrounds nerding out about coral and sharks and eelgrass.

      I had a difficult transition – moved to a new place with friends as my roommates who had a lot of friends in the area already. Became friends with those people. Two years later, my roomie friends move away and relationships I had been making with their circles all disintegrated with my roomies anchoring.

      SO then I had to challenge myself to make new relationships and meetup.com and my nerdy group got me started. I connected closely with two people in that group, they introduced me to their friends, and we now have a very awesome group.

      In summary, not to scare you, but after six years I finally have a lovely stable group of friends. Give it time and thought because it will absolutely happen for you!

      • Natalie

        Omg, ocean ecology meetup?! That sounds awesome.

    • Bethany

      For me it was volunteering at an animal shelter and joining a book club in my apartment complex. Having something about which I was expected to talk (“This kitten needs some more playtime. This dog was super energetic on his walk” or “I felt that the characters in this book didn’t reflect reality”) really helped since I suck at small talk and used to be fairly shy.

    • I’ve definitely been through this – and it can be really hard. My advice would be to think about the things you are interested in. Do you like theatre? Literature? Art? Sewing, music or the gym? Go to places where those things happen. In my part of England we have a growing arts scene, so I just went and turned up at as many free events as possible, and eventually someone talked to me. Somewhere with booze is also good, because it takes the edge off. See if there is a free events magazine for your area, or even a Twitter account (there often are ones) interact with them, and then you have a talking point when you turn up to events and they’re there.

      Also: volunteer. Often community events are desperate for helpers, and that way you get to be involved, and have something to do, rather than just stand there waiting for someone to talk to you. That’s what helped me the most. Then I also had things to talk about, i.e. “Were you at the such-and-scuh event? Oh yeah, I was there helping. I’m new to the area…”

      It’s rough as an adult – I felt SO self conscious! But it does get easier, and if you explain that you’ve just moved there, you’d be surprised how many people open up and try and include you. All the best!

    • When I moved I joined a volunteer committee (someone suggested it to me), but it was when I started working that I started making my own friends more. Joining a class on something you enjoy could be a good way too. But I think making friends after college/education years is so much harder…. Good luck!

    • Alice

      Man, this has been so hard for me. I moved to Scotland last year for vet school, and have struggled to meet anyone who isn’t a fellow student (not that they aren’t nice people, but vet students generally can be a pretty competetive, uptight bunch, and it’s nice to have other friend options, especially around exam time). I took an evening writing class to meet people, and really enjoyed it, but didn’t walk away with any new friends. It’s hard, if you’re an introvert, to walk up and ask someone out for coffee or a drink and get to know them. Worse than dating, really.

  • Cat

    50 days out- And while there is still a large chunk of yard work that needs doing (getting married at home FTW!) I mulched a section of the new garden last night and feel so, so much better! I’m happy and proud I didn’t throw the cards in and watch TV; I went out and sweated and got covered in dirt instead (while my beloved cleaned the kitchen, a fair deal!) Now on to the pathway!

    • Emily

      One of the things I did the most before my wedding was weed-eat! I never saw the bride-to-be using a weed-eater for hours before her wedding day in Disney movies!

  • Nell

    I have loved the outpouring of affection for Joan Rivers this week – and glad Meg gave her a place of honor today.

    On a planning note. . .

    We’re doing tastings soon! What do you wish you’d asked your caterer before you signed a contract?

    • Erin

      Our caterer had a minimum charge based on guest numbers, but they didn’t tell us this at the tasting/meeting. So if I told them we were inviting 100 guest, the would charge us for 100 guests even if only 80 came. I only realized this when I was going over the contract with a fine toothed comb. So make sure you know what all of your charges will be up front.

    • Marcela

      Ask them what they do with leftovers. We barely ate during the wedding and in my head I imagined us getting sent off with a hamper of food like my SIL did from her wedding a few years back and I was disappointed and hungry to find out that wasn’t the case.

    • Ragnhild

      If its possible to figure out their portion size? We had way too much food and could have saved some money by ordering for fewer people.

    • emmers

      Ask them how they charge for kids/babies, etc. How do they charge for both food and alcohol for them.

    • emmers

      Also, when is the drop-dead date for a final count? And what’s included (if anything), plate and linen-wise?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Leftovers, minimums, children’s meals, final count deadlines, linens – all this should be in the contract. Or, you ask about it, and then revise their standard form contract to include this.

      What I wish I’d asked was, “Can we put service details in writing?” We didn’t have a receiving line or visit tables. We expected to greet our guests by serving the cake ourselves, which we clearly communicated to the catering captains. Somehow this plan didn’t get communicated to the catering staff.

  • Kate

    Can anyone recommend a place online to buy condoms? We want to try female condoms, which, alas, are not sold at any pharmacies around here.

  • Caroline

    You guys, I got a great job offer for after I graduate in May!! At an amazing company with a great reputation. And I’m talking with one other company also. I’m so excited. It’s my first job offer for a real career.
    Also, please hit me with your negotiating tips, your first career/professional job tips, your transitioning mentally from being fairly poor to having money tips, etc.

    • Emily

      I don’t know you, but here are things I wish people had told me:
      –Instead of aiming to be friends, aim to be respected (at work).
      –When you walk in to negotiate, know your plan B so that you are willing to walk out without agreement if necessary. Be really clear on what items you won’t negotiate on and what items you are willing to negotiate on.

    • emilyg25

      I feel like I recommend it here all the time now, but you should definitely check out Ask a Manager. It’s a workplace advice column, written by a woman who has a voice not unlike APW’s. If you look down on the right side, her posts are organized by topic.

      Congrats, btw! You’re awesome!!

    • Jules

      Congrats!

      Negotiating tips: look at what people get paid in your position; you should be able to find a range. I used data published by my school on the salaries of grads from my department in the past few years and Glassdoor. They came in at the low/middleish range, and I was able to negotiate an extra $5K by saying a competitive salary was $______. $3K was added to the sign on bonus and $2K was added to the salary. Long-term, I wish I’d just taken the extra $5K towards my base salary and left the bonus as it was.

    • Bethany

      Congratulations! Find out the expected clothing and then spend a day going to a few very large thrift stores (if you have a Goodwill in the rich part of town, those can be gold) so that you can assemble a good professional wardrobe without dropping all of your money.

      Also, don’t spend all your new money all at once. One of my coworkers in my first job was talked into a massive car loan for a crazy expensive brand new car by her grandmother who said “but you have a job now, you should spend the money!” and she’s still paying that sucker off years later and regretting that she didn’t just save her money and buy an older, less expensive but still reliable car.

  • Molly P. Kopuru

    It feels good to be taking risks for the sake of my career and my family’s future but it sure is scary to think I am leaving this job after such a short time. I am so excited to start afresh, and the training is going to be very intense, but I almost feel.. Bad? about leaving this job so soon.

    It’s definitely a nice feeling, though. Even if the new job is going to be a lot more stressful (I’m almost certain it will be) I know it’s going to be a good step for me and us. Training class starts in just 3 weeks!

  • emilyg25

    Who gets a promotion at six months pregnant? This girl! (Well, maybe. HR is still reviewing it. But it’s almost assured.) Lean in, bitches!

    Last night, my husband and I had a long discussion about his career and how he needs to take the initiative and drive it forward. “Babe, you gotta lean in!” I said. He was confused. Sheryl Sandberg who? I told him to look into it. “It was written for ladies, but I think you need to read it too.” I always say I’m a Viking wife, goading my husband into action. :)

    • StevenPortland

      Your “Viking wife” comment reminds me of an article I read yesterday. “A close examination of Norse remains has revealed that a good half of
      the invading party that tore through Eastern England in the 800’s and
      900 AD was female.” http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8855/20140903/more-thor-half-viking-warriors-female.htm

      • emilyg25

        Ooo, thanks for this! Whenever I need a little shove to get my ass in gear, I think of the woman in Njall’s Saga who refuses to give her husband a strand of her hair so he can restring his bow during a battle, to avenge an earlier spite. Stone cold bitch. /nerd out

    • Caroline

      That was my comment to my now-husband on reading it (and a lot of other book aimed towards women in their careers). A lot of the socialization that women get, poor people of all genders get ( the non-confrontational, don’t ask for what you need, don’t even thing about confronting authority (which might look like, say, negotiating salary or disagreeing with your boss in a meeting), submissiveness), so the tips for women in learning to overcome that socialization is valuable to him from a poor background as well.

      There was stuff in Lean-in I didn’t like, and aspects that were very useful.

      • emilyg25

        I should note that I didn’t actually read Lean In, and some of the hype around it and stuff Sandberg says bugs me. But it does make a handy little saying to get my normally complacent husband thinking about taking a bit more charge.

    • Nicole

      Yeah! We read lean-in originally because my now-husband had a co-worker recommend it after he suggested that he wasn’t looking for the next step because we were thinking about quitting our jobs and travelling. Right after we read it, he stumbled across an opportunity and we decided to lean in to it and go for it, even if it might mean changing those tentative plans! It can be great for guys. Unlike some of the press, I don’t think it’s automatically going to be the most life-changing, amazing book for everyone, but for people who relate to it, there’s some great advice there.

    • laurasmash

      Hooray! Congrats!!!

      • SChaLA

        HAY LAURA

  • MC

    I surprised Fiance this week with a Blurb photo book of the last year and a half since we lived together (thanks APW!!) and he LOVED it and was SO surprised! And he was super impressed with their quality.

    Also, some of my local girlfriends are throwing me and another friend (who is getting married a week after me) a bachelorette party this weekend! We rented a house in a nearby city for a night with a hot tub and a pool, and the rest of the plans are surprises! I’m really stoked. Both of my Ladies of Honor live out of state and I didn’t want them to have to spend more money traveling than they already are – but I love the idea of getting to celebrate with a great group of ladies. So I’m feeling super grateful!

    • Meg Keene

      Yay!!

    • Ally

      Ooh love it! I’m planning to give a 1 year recap book from Blurb as our 1st anniversary gift. Any tips on how to organize the pages?

      • MC

        Like with the layouts? I put the photos in chronological order so I just picked the layouts that worked best with the photos. I did feel like there weren’t as many different layouts as I wanted, but I think if you’re good at InDesign using their plugin would help with that. I also think, if I had to do it again, I would do more big pictures – but I had so many pictures that I wanted to use and I was worried the book would be too expensive. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t! SO affordable!)

        It was really fun putting it together, though, and looking through it with Fiance. Have fun and good luck!

  • up_at_Dawn

    Not on topic at all- but I’ve found since getting engaged (and announcing it) I feel waves of panic whenever I now pass by a bridal store or a wedding magazine. Even though I have a two year engagement and have no intention of getting a dress this early, the idea of going into one of those “wedding dress places” makes me feel queasy, and dizzy and altogether sort of ill- despite the fact I have no such reservations about getting married. People are already offering to go with me just to get a look but I’m fighting down feelings of massive tulle-panic.

    Can anyone on here relate?

    • Emily

      Do you want to wear that type of dress at your wedding? I loved my dress, but it was not sold as a dress connected to a wedding (it was from Athleta). You don’t ever have to go into one of those stores if you don’t want to.

      • up_at_Dawn

        I’m thinking that it’s very much a not-me thing. But then I have to deal with all that junk from well-meaning(ish) friends that I’m selling myself short :/ Ugh

        • M.

          I’d say better to do what makes YOU happy and find a good way to address rude/weird comments, than to kowtow to the pressure and feel like you weren’t true to yourself.

          I found that a lot of my favorite wedding decisions (which were often not traditional) were worth fighting for, and many of them we made without asking for input, and were like… “Oh we already decided/booked/etc XYZ, and we’re so excited!”

          • up_at_Dawn

            Even my fiance thinks I’m selling myself short by not walking into a place like that and covering myself in tulle/bling/ruffles (?) I’d love to say stuff like that- but we haven’t even started really planning anything so mostly I just say that I’m enjoying being engaged right now and I haven’t even thought about it yet. But awesome response!

          • M.

            You’ll get there :) Just enjoy, be honest with each other, and do what makes you happy. Good luck!

        • Emily

          Selling yourself short… meaning… not valuing yourself? There’s a phrase I Iike (I got it from Tara Sophia Mohr): it’s always scary when you leave the herd. But sometimes it the right thing for us. I’m inclined to say that you are selling yourself short if you don’t do what’s right for you, whatever that looks like in terms of wedding clothes. It’s YOUR wedding (and your partner’s). The two of you are the important voices.

        • jspe

          Also, if you have time, you don’t need to explain anything to anyone! I also realized that some of the offers to “help” come from a good place, so to the person who offered help finding a photographer, I just said “Thanks, I’ll let you know when I’m ready!” Which you can do ad infinitum. Instead of feeling like you need to explain yourself to anyone, just saying “thank you for offering your advice/to come dress shopping” makes them feel appreciated. And then you don’t owe them anything.

          Related: I totally relate to wanting to be married to your person, and even have a wedding, but finding a particular part of the wedding to be panic inducing. You’re not alone. People will eventually back off (I hope, for my sake, too).

        • Lawyerette510

          I went the route of order every dress I think is pretty from places like Nordstrom and Dillards and try on and send back and repeat. A friend said she was worried I was missing out on creating/ accepting fun time with friends to celebrate me getting married in the form of being with friends while looking for a dress (or in my case having a bridal shower), so I narrowed it down to 5 dresses, had friends over, had snacks and champagne and tried on all the dresses and picked my dress. It was one of my favorite parts of wedding prep while still being relaxing and a positive experience without any anxiety.

    • emilyg25

      Yes! I opted out of the wedding dress craziness. I knew what kind of silhouette I wanted, and I found a dress that matched well enough on ShopJoielle.com (an APW sponsor!). I ordered the sample, tried it on in my living room by my lonesome, and placed my order. It was an awesome experience.

      Sometimes it can be hard to realize when you’re new to the wedding game, but you don’t -have- to do any of the things. Or you can modify the things to suit you best. Or do them ironically, with a bottle of wine and a good friend.

    • enfp

      I never even considered entering a bridal shop, massive amounts of tulle are just not my thing. I got married in a blue silk sheath, which was made for me by a local up and coming fashion designer. The only place I had to enter to get it was her arty live work studio in a grubby part of town, complete with dingy hallways and pot smoke and loud hip hop emanating from the studio down the hall. Not exactly the typical bridal experience, but it was perfect for me and I loved my dress. I even brought my mom to a fitting so I still had that part of the experience. Do what makes you happy!

      • up_at_Dawn

        Love the blue silk sheath idea. Is enfp your Myers Briggs Type Indicator perchance?

        • enfp

          Oh ha, yes it is!

        • I didn’t notice enfp’s screen name, so I just spent a couple minutes trying to figure out how you guessed personality type from the blue sheath idea, ha!

    • Nell

      I know EXACTLY what you mean. I used to love looking at wedding dress pictures, but since getting engaged it has become a scary, scary slog.

      This has been my strategy:

      1) Take most ridiculous WIC-promoting wedding magazine possible and give all the “brides” in the magazine speech bubbles saying things like “oh crud, how am I going to pee in this dress?”

      2) Never again look in WIC-promoting wedding magazine.

      3) Secretly try on white dresses in a department store all alone, to avoid “holy crap this is a white dress!” freakout in front of friends.

      4) Tell friends about freakout that occurred anyway, and they understand.

      5) Take those friends dress shopping. Say “no” to friends who would make you wear tulle if you’re firmly against tulle.

      6) Start with J.Crew. If you hate the dresses, at least you might find a cute button down on your way out. :)

      • Emily

        I love this. My additions to #1:
        “This is the itchiest dress ever!”
        “But I wanted to do a cartwheel!”

    • Emily Ardoin

      THANK YOU! 2 year engagement, for the win. I’m having mini (ish) panic attacks at the moment, and I am nowhere close to starting to plan. Thank you, everyone, for the advice!

    • notquitecece

      I was freaking out about dresses a bit. I went pre-shopping with my most no-nonsense friend, and we only went places where salespeople wouldn’t bug us (Macy’s, Bloomingdales, etc.). It helped get me past the tulle-panic.

  • After the grown up task list this week I have finally buckled down and finished my paper flower bouquet. And now on to the playlist.

    • Erin

      All I can say is HOT DAMM!!! Please please please post pics of yourself carrying that down the aisle!

    • Emily Ardoin

      I love this! My cousin (bless her heart) is so pro floral, but I just can’t see myself spending so much money on things that die. I love this bouquet!

    • Natalie

      beautiful!

  • Amy March

    Comments disappearing? I’m noticing them dropping out of several threads. Perhaps disqus has been drinking?

    • Violet

      Yeah, on my browser they’re all out of order. Refreshing ain’t helping. Maybe Disqus is enjoying those mint mojitos?

      • Sarah McClelland

        It has been happening to me for a couple weeks… Le sigh. Glad it’s not just me I guess.

  • guestguestguest

    Joan Rivers was a lot of things (including a one-of-a-kind pioneer for sure), but she was no feminist. “Powerful, successful, trailblazing lady” does not automatically make one a feminist. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t. Joan was an unapologetic racist, transphobe, and a HUGE victim-blamer. I do not like speaking ill of the dead, but that was the legacy she chose to leave – and as a rape victim, the least I expect of anyone claiming the “feminist” label is to refrain from making fun of kidnapping/torture/rape victims, and then justifying it by saying they “got free rent” during their trauma. That is not a joke by any standards. Joan deserves basic human respect in her death just like everyone else, but she is absolutely not absolved of all the ways she hurt other women while she was alive.

  • K.

    Any ideas for a wedding gift for an amazing artist couple? They are two awesome ladies who met while working on a large-scale project together and they are having a low-key weeklong Joshua Tree wedding this winter. I’m super psyched to go, but I don’t have a clue what to get them. They don’t have a registry, they generally eschew anything overly “traditional” (for instance, I don’t think the ring box I got them was a big hit!), and they have mentioned in the past that they think cash is the worst gift because it’s too impersonal. So I’m thinking that I want to get them something very practical, but very out of the ordinary. And…that’s where my ideas stop! Any help would be super appreciated!

    • HannahESmith

      I’m always a fan of consumable gifts. A great bottle of wine or booze is always appreciated.

    • StevenPortland

      Two tickets to take a cooking class? I love the idea of gifts that are experiences instead of things.

    • Jenn

      Donation to a charity that speaks to their interests.

    • Lawyerette510

      I love the donation to charity idea and the booze idea. Other potential thoughts (which I don’t like as much, but just brain storming here): restaurant gift certificate for somewhere cool near where they live, gift certificate/ credit with anyone they regularly work with like if you know their favorite coffee shop or neighborhood cafe, the dry cleaner they use (because they’ll probably have dry cleaning after the wedding), someone who cleans their house every week/ month etc (if they have someone), someone who does their yard monthly etc (if they have a yard and someone who does it for them), or if they have a yard and usually do it themselves you could get them a gift cert for one yard maintenance session in order to free up some time for them to relax or do other things (also possible to get them a visit from a cleaning service, but some people aren’t comfortable having strangers in to clean their homes).

    • KC

      If their work is in a medium that art supply stores sell things for, an art supply store gift certificate with something like “because you’ll be better at creating a work of art to commemorate this occasion than I am, I’m delegating that part to you…”?

      But, yes, consumables are often good – favorite tea/coffee/munchies/alcohol/cleaning-supplies/essential-oils/stamps/?, or semi-consumables, like extra-lush socks/undies/towels.

      Or “suggested use” cash, with creative suggestions (“to fund a picnic dinner on an island you can reach by canoe”, with the canoe rental information and whatnot, or “to put towards a favorite work of art”, or “for matching fuzzy slippers” – they can always choose to use the cash in a different way if the suggestion doesn’t really float their boat).

      • Lawyerette510

        I think you make a great point too about the card/ note being key to elevating gifts, shows it’s thoughtful while also acknowledging that ultimately they know themselves and what they want and need a lot better than you do, but you’ve thought about it and this way, if your idea isn’t spot on, no need to hassle with a gift return or have the issue of a gift certificate that won’t be used.

      • Crayfish Kate

        Oooh oooh! Are there any cool art museums nearby? Buy them a yearlong membership! Museum/zoo/aquarium/professional society memberships are one of my most favorite gifts to give (and receive!).

  • Anon this time

    Has anyone here ever used Natural Family Planning while breastfeeding? We felt like pros before we decided to try to get pregnant, but now everything is different and seems much more complicated! I feel like we’re constantly on the border of “it’s unlikely we’d conceive at this point, we don’t have to be too careful” and “it would be really hard to have another baby so soon, we’d better be extra careful” with nothing in between except very confusing observations. Any tips?

    • Lindsey d.

      Maybe couple NFP with temping and ovulation predictor kits so you have a better idea of when/if you are ovulating and can avoid that week?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      No tips, but I hear from NFP couples that the post-baby time is hardest. I’d start where you learned your method. Maybe you can get a refresher course is a consultation. If you learned alone and can’t find what you need in writing, maybe you can find a class or consultant. Around here, Catholic hospitals are the best resource for connecting with healthcare professionals who teach NFP.

    • Amy

      Are you familiar with the Marquette method? I’ve heard from multiple sources (which pretty much means blogs) that it’s the easiest method to use post-partum because it relies on a fertility monitor to check your hormone levels. Clear temperature data is hard to get when your sleep cycle is unpredictable, and cervical fluid observations during this time can vary widely, so particularly if this is your first it can be hard to get a read on what your body is trying to tell you. But with hormones, they are either there or not there, and the monitor will tell you which. Full disclosure- I use sympto-thermal and have never been pregnant, so I am suggesting this based purely on hearing other people’s experiences, but their testimonials have convinced me to the point that I’m planning to learn the Marquette method when I get to where you are! Otherwise, look up local classes or healthcare providers who know your current method. Good luck!

  • So I’m cautiously optimistic that things are coming together- I had been putting off planning the rehearsal dinner (for our wedding that is only 6 (!) weeks away) because after initial searches into finding a place that would be big enough to host our Texas Taco and Tamale house party for the amount people I want to invite, I was convinced that it wasn’t going to be do-able and was feeling sad and assuming we’d end up doing Pizza and beer or paying more more for a room at a restaurant. AS of this week though, we’ve rented the above ground gorgeous deck of a house within ten minutes of the wedding venue (so it should be relatively convenient) for a reasonable price. This will end up being more money than pizza and beer, and it’ll be more difficult- we’ll need to take care of rentals, set-up, catering, buying and serving alcohol, but I’m soooo excited (and still deeply concerned about what we’ll do if it rains). I’m basically picturing a magical Pintrest-y relaxed gathering with all of our closest friends and family, cafe lights, and pitchers of snazzy cocktails.

    I’ve bought my wedding ring (https://www.etsy.com/listing/168417477/ember-14kt-rose-gold-infinity-dna-twist) DNA! and I went in for a fitting of the wedding dress. There are pros to going the etsy dress from China route (came relatively quickly, got a dress inspired by Reem Acra for under $200), but on the other hand, while it was made to my measurements, the fit on the bodice is totally off. I need the dress to be both taken in and let out. Also, it’s a lot of dress- there’s more train than I’d like, and I’m worried about being crazy hot and that there’s just too much fabric to be truly flattering on a plus sized gal (there’s ruching on the bodice). However, i discovered today that Nordstrom’s is now selling a Jenny Yoo covertible dress in plus sizes (that I would have bought from BHLDN as wedding dress months ago if I thought it would fit). So, even though I initially thought reception dresses were silly before trying on wedding gowns (why not just get something you’re comfortable in to start with), I think I’m going to buy one of those dresses and sew sequins all over it to mimic one of my favorite no-longer-made and never made in my size wedding dresses (http://www.bhldn.com/product/isadora-gown). Is taking on a sewing project 6 weeks before the wedding crazy? Yes, but I think it might be worth it to get what I want, and I can poooootentially wear it again.

    • Megan

      Wedding buddies!!! I can’t believe it’s 6 weeks away.

    • Alison

      I’ve been stalking that same ring! I’d love to hear how you like it when it arrives.

    • Alison

      Also – I’d say it’s crazy if you have a lot of other wedding stuff left to do (especially DIY stuff), or if you don’t have experience in doing similar things, but otherwise it’s probably doable.

      • Sarah McClelland

        I’d echo this sentiment. Good luck!

  • Moe

    I’m old enough to remember Joan filling in for Johnny Carson on the tonight show when I was a kid. Back then I would take notice when I saw a ‘girl’ doing things only ‘boys’ did. I remember getting a hold of one of her books which was completely inappropriate for a grade school kid to read and I didn’t really understand half of her really offensive jokes, but I loved her!! RIP in Joan, thank you for making laugh.

  • Alyssa M

    Maybe it’s because I’m not usually paying attention to them, but is there anybody else shocked that there were TWO super awesome pro-woman posts from playboy in the last week?

  • Kaitlyn

    Long time reader, first time commenting. Three months today until I get married. It doesn’t quite seem real yet, but I am over the moon excited. Now to make sure I can finish uni semester and sew the dresses!

    • Natalie

      Yay!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Holy cow dress sewing. I am right there with you and excited for you!

  • Natalie

    Our wedding is ONE month away!!!

    I had a fight with my mother (who is paying for our wedding) about food, for about the 5th time. My FH and I are both vegetarian for environmental reasons primarily. We are both ecologists, and our conservation ethic is one of our most strongly held, important values. We are adamant about not serving meat at our wedding. To us, it is an important reflection on our values. We have given into my mother on all kinds of things she wants that we don’t but aren’t big deals. But for us, serving meat would make our wedding feel like it is not true to ourselves. Of course, we are serving a large, varied meal with lots of options, featuring delicious regional (New Mexican!) dishes. We don’t expect meat-and-potatoes guests to eat tempeh or tofu or flax seed or kale. They will like the food and leave full and satisfied.

    My mother says its rude to serve meat-eating guests a vegetarian meal. She says many people won’t feel like they had a full meal without the meat. She likens it to not accommodating people who are vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free. I liken it to serving New Mexican food when you know some people prefer Italian. Am I completely off-base? Is my mother right? If not, any tips on getting her to drop this argument? It had me so upset I was crying in my office Wednesday morning.

    • M.

      I am also vegetarian and unable at this moment to fully process and delve into how hard this is and all the myriad ways of dealing with it..but I feel for you. She is not right. These “meat-eaters” also eat non-meat things sometimes…Right??? (their breakfast cereal? a cheese plate? jalapeno poppers? scrambled eggs? carrots and dip? a side salad? an eggroll? pasta with marinara? margarita pizza? I mean…right?? ). It’s ONE (free!) meal out of a lifetime of meals. Those who are vegan or celiac or lactose intolerant have strong ethical and/or serious health concerns, where as omnivores are generally not coming from that angle. By definition, they eat all kinds of things. Only you know your crowd and mom truly, but this is SO important to you…I’m at a loss. I will keep thinking on it for you, but I hope you are able to find a way to get through to her. Hugs.

      ETA: I just re-read your comment. If they question is simply, is it rude, then NO it’s not! End of story. Is the food already settled? Because it may just be a case of letting it ride and saying, this is what we like and want to share with our guests, the end. And it is like…almost for sure going to be fine (or not mentioned, or people will rave about the unique food, etc.)

      • Natalie

        Thanks. Next time she brings it up, I may just direct her to these comments, and then stop arguing. Because you’re right. All the people coming regularly eat non-meat food items. They will be ok (even happy) with the food we serve. And if they’re not, we will let them eat cake!

    • hmmmm

      You’re totally not off-base! We had a similar argument with my in-laws – we eventually served sustainably caught fish as a compromise – but I totally think you should hold your ground.

      I’m sure there may be a few guests (like we had) who made “joking” grumbly comments about no meat but they will be pleasantly surprised by how delicious your food is. Also, not serving meat to meat-eating guests is absolutely not the same as accommodating allergies or dietary needs. Are they morally opposed to eating vegetables? Are they unable to digest vegetables? Are they going to pass out on the dance floor from the lack of meat? If not, you’re golden!

      • Natalie

        “Morally opposed to eating vegetables” hahahahaha. Thank you for making me laugh.

    • Claire

      Nope, not completely off-base at all! But, are looking for a way to talk her down, assuming it might be less about the non-meat, and more about the fancy food? Is it possible to ask your mother what she wants? If she is recommending the steak/ mashed potatoes/ mixed vegetable type dinner, it’s easy to serve two out of three of those things, and then their “third” thing can be tofu or kale! Best of both worlds maybe? I think like so many other things, it’s a lot about knowing your crowd. If she’s worried about a small handful of relatives, then no big deal. But if it’s half your guests, then maybe it’s worth thinking about making a small compromise for her to convention?

      • Natalie

        I thought it was about that at first, but no, she wants me to serve chicken or beef enchiladas along with vegetarian enchiladas. Which I don’t understand, because you don’t really taste the meat much in a good enchilada. It’s all about the corn tortillas, chile, cheese, and sauce, and not about the “filling”.

        I agree with you entirely about the crowd thing. The majority of our guests are our generation friends who are used to eating vegetarian meals on occasion, even if they are diehard meat lovers. A small handful of guests are meat lovers of our parents’ generation who might be caught off guard by a wedding without steak and fancy food. But they’re all lovely people who like good food, and I can’t imagine that they will be unhappy about unique local cuisine.

    • emilyg25

      Your mom is wrong. Vegans -can’t- eat animal products; gluten-free folks -can’t- eat gluten. Omnivores don’t -have- to eat meat. It’s not equivalent. Serve something delicious that fits your values and stop talking to your mom about your wedding food.

      • Natalie

        She keeps bringing it up. Like, we’ll be talking about her job and the next thing I know, she’s telling me about her new student helper who is a vegetarian but is serving meat at HER wedding and why don’t I care about my guests’ happiness too? I just don’t know how to disengage, because she’s not normally like this.

        • emilyg25

          “Mom, we’ve discussed this already. [Fiance] and I have made a decision that we’re comfortable with, and I’m not going to talk about it any more.” And then change the subject. If she persists, you might have to end the conversation (hang up the phone, leave the room, whatever). It sucks, but since she’s normally more reasonable, she’ll hopefully figure it out pretty quickly.

          • Natalie

            Thanks. I need to just do that. I will do that next time. I’m 30 years old. Why is being firm with my mother so hard?

          • Amanda

            Probably because you’re used to your mom being semi-rational, and it’s confusing as hell when she starts throwing hissy fits about your wedding. (Says the one whose mother threw many “but you can’t make the food for your own wedding” hissy fits).

          • Natalie

            yes. It’s disconcerting and confusing to watch my mother throw hissy fits.

            I’m sorry you had to deal with similar fits about your wedding. I hope it all turned out great.

      • Violet

        Yeah, this is like an LSAT question. As in, no, the logic of why a vegetarian CANNOT eat meat is not equivalent to saying a meat eater MUST eat meat.
        Natalie, maybe show your mom Rachel’s post: https://apracticalwedding.com/2013/05/wedding-guest-expectations/ This is a great reminder that your guests are not random people. They are specific human beings, who know and love you, who will not throw a hissy fit and be offended by not eating meat at one meal.

        • Natalie

          thanks! somehow I hadn’t seen this post yet. It’s great.

    • jashshea

      No, your mom is being a little unreasonable. Yes, you want your guests to feel happy and welcomed, but that doesn’t extend to giving them exactly what they want. I’ve been to veggie weddings before (Indian) and been absolutely stuffed.

    • KC

      It is not rude to serve meat-eating guests a vegetarian meal. I think it’s considerate, if you have non-adventurous eaters, to have some identifiable/familiar foods, but that can be done in a vegetarian manner – and you may not have super-non-adventurous eaters amongst your clan, anyway.

      Knowing nothing about New Mexican food, I will note that if you don’t include protein in some form it might be a problem for some general omnivores (because hi, blood sugar!), but otherwise, go for it. There are so many incidentally vegetarian meals (or vegetarian-able – I mean, yes, many versions of refried beans use meat products, and many pasta sauces use little bits of meat of some kind as a seasoning, but you don’t have to) out there in so many cuisines that unless you have “none of the foods may be touching, and there must be no seasoning, and I don’t eat anything green” people, it should be fine. (and even if you do have people with super-picky preferences, there’s usually *something* they can eat, even if it’s just rolls or tortilla chips)

      • Natalie

        We will have plain quesadillas and plain bean burritos for those extra picky eaters and picky children. :-)

        • KC

          That sounds Completely Covered, then. :-) Hope it goes well! (and it sounds delicious!)

    • Pbeth

      It is in no way rude to serve vegetarian food.

      We served a vegetarian meal at our wedding, and we heard nothing but stellar comments about the food! Even my father, who was very skeptical, was very complimentary afterwards. In general, I find staying away from meat substitutes is a good option. For some folks tofu, tempeh, etc seem to serve as a reminder that they aren’t eating meat.

      • KC

        There have been many, many meals where I’ve only noticed the whole thing was vegetarian afterwards (and then only because I have enough friends with dietary restrictions that if I have a really good meal, I sort of catalogue it for future menu ideas). I agree that avoiding obvious meat substitutes is probably a good way to go for not arousing the suspicions of meat aficionados. :-)

        • Natalie

          Yeah, we’re serving mushroom and spinach enchiladas with a creamy green chile sauce as the main dish (with dairy-free and vegetable-free options). I fully expect most people will not notice until they’ve eaten more than half of their meal that there’s no meat.

          • Bethany

            Holy lord, that sounds delicious.

          • Natalie

            right?! It’s seriously the most amazing food.

          • Valerie Day

            vegetarian enchilada wedding in May was a huge success. We’ve even had meat-eaters request our recipes.

          • Natalie

            yay! Did you make them yourselves? The fact that people wanted your recipes implies that you did.

      • Natalie

        Yeah, no way would I serve tofu or other “suspicious” meat substitutes to a crowd of mostly omnivores. I love it, but I know many people hate it.

    • MC

      Um, I live in New Mexico, and the food is DELICIOUS. It’s like, one of the main reasons we moved here :) And we eat delicious vegetarian New Mexican meals alllll the time, and when people visit, they are never disappointed. So no, definitely not rude. Your guests will feel lucky just to be eating the best cuisine in the US :)

      Not sure how to handle your mom – maybe get an omnivore aunt or one of her friends that is attending to vouch for you and say they’re happy to eat a vegetarian meal? Maybe just remind her that there’s no way you can possibly accommodate everyone’s eating preferences with one meal? I mean, if your adult guests are really pissed about not eating meat, they can figure out where to get a hamburger afterward.

      • Natalie

        Yeah, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love New Mexican food. Oh so good. So full of cheese and beans and corns and chile and yummy….

        Thanks for the suggestion. I might call my aunt, who is close with her and likely to have useful input. If nothing else she knows how to tell my mom to drop a subject like no one but a sister can.

        Now I need to find me some green chile. So glad it’s that time of year. :-)

        • Amy March

          Hi me !!!! Beans, corn, chilies, and too much cheese taste amazing and make me really ill. Which is not to suggest at all that your serving them is rude (an evening of rice, cake, wine and dancing sounds pretty fantastic to me), but I mention it on the chance that part of your moms concern is something on the blander side being available.

          • Natalie

            That’s a good point, and that’s the sort of thing that people might not put on the “please let us know about your dietary restrictions” line in the rsvp. We will have fresh veggie & fruit & crackers appetizers, too, plus rice and calabacitas (squash & zucchini) and chips and guacamole with dinner, so hopefully anyone who doesn’t get along with beans and cheese will still be well fed.

    • lady brett

      may i add (to all the other great and true things that have been said) a manners argument? if politeness is a concern, the polite thing to do when being served a meal as a guest is to be appreciative of the meal you are served, not to expect or demand the meal you would prefer!

      even if you would like to liken it to not accommodating the vegetarians in the crowd…um, that happens *all the time* and in my experience, one can easily make do with the bits they like/choose and enjoy the company. you can always pick up a snack afterwards if it didn’t hit the spot. i simply cannot abide this argument, because it’s not like every single person will love your meal if you serve meat either: some people probably don’t like enchiladas at all. and that is a-okay. but it’s no reason to be an ass about it. especially as a guest, and doubly at a wedding, which you are presumably at because you love the folks involved: so enjoy that part if the food fails you.

    • Bethany

      For what it’s worth, my brother and I have had this discussion. My brother is a huge meat eater and I’m pescetarian (but super picky about sustainable fish) and my boyfriend is for the most part as well (he’s given up pork/bacon/ham, and doesn’t bring the other stuff into our home or eat it around me voluntarialy, I never asked it of him though I v appreciate it). He was upset that one of his friends was having a vegetarian wedding. My dad was there for the discussion and mentioned “you know, you can always eat meat beforehand if it’s that big a deal to you.”

      I don’t plan to serve food that doesn’t accomodate my own values at my own wedding (whenever that happens). I’m okay if people want to grab meat before or after, that’s their choice. However,no omnivore needs meat at every meal, and many omnivores choose to not eat meat at every meal all on their own.

      Stick to your guns! And yes, agreeing with Lady Brett on the manners argument as well as vegetarians often not being accomodated. I now always have a granola bar in my purse after one wedding where the groom promised there would be veg food (I was old friends with the groom) but the bride had a thing about vegetarians (she later accused me of trying to ruin farmers), so we literally ate salad without dressing and rolls without butter because the dressing and butter both had bacon in them, the vegetables had bacon in them, and the entrees were all meat. The alcohol was vegetarian though…

      • Violet

        I’ve actually read in many reputable sources that a gal not eating bacon at a wedding she once attended is the sole reason for declining agriculture in the United States.

        NOT!

      • Natalie

        wow. That is really bad.

        Also, re: ruining farmers: wtf? That is a level of crazy I haven’t encountered with vegetarian-haters.

      • EXACTLY. like, really? you need meat sooo bad you better make sure you down some burger to get you through the wedding – i mean, it’s ridiculous!!

    • SChaLA

      I’m sorry that you’re fighting with your mom about this. You know this already, but:

      *§*§*§*YoUr MoM iS wRoNg!*§*§*§*

      We live in SoCal, and we’re omnis, but many of our friends are vegetarian, vegan, GF, etc. You can’t please everyone, but we figured vegetarians are some of the easiest people to accommodate, so we are having a mushroom pasta and salmon as our two entree options, as well as many vegetarian sides. I’m assuming you guys aren’t pescatarians, but even excluding the fish–Mushroom. Pasta.

      My point is, there are so many full-bodied options for vegetarian food. Your guests (presumably sane adults) know this, and chances are your mom does too. Stay strong. If it’s possible, I’d recommend occupying her with other details that you agree on, then be calm and firm on your stance when it’s time to submit the final menu. I imagine that she won’t refuse when it’s crunch time. She may throw a hissy fit, but she’ll get over it. This shouldn’t be necessary, but maybe as a compromise you can also include a note on the wedding website (or whatever media you’re using for your information) informing guests that you’ll be serving a delicious, vegetarian meal. That way they can get a goddamn hot dog beforehand, if they want to.

      P.S. New Mexican food is delicious A++.

    • Alice

      We went to a New Mexican restaurant after our very small wedding, and people were thrilled! Obviously the vegetarian thing wasn’t an issue then, but hubby and I only eat meats that have been sustainably and humanely-raised (I used to be a vegetarian, but changed my ideas after working on a sustainable farm). We were happy to find a restaurant that catered to those values. So, I’m totally not suggesting that you need to compromise on serving a vegetarian meal, which will be fine and totally delicious, but if you DO, maybe consider using “happy” meats? Or, get an estimate for how much adding high-end meats from a local farm would cost and use it to scare off your mother? Since they’re usually quite expensive, and it would make you look like you were compromising?

      • Natalie

        Yes. I have an inkling how much more expensive serving ethically- and environmentally- raised meat would cost (for our 130-person guestlist), but I don’t think Mom has any idea that this would likely DOUBLE our food budget (or worse).

    • hell no your mother is NOT right. it’s your wedding- and furthermore, it irks me so much when people say (usually a mother type) that it’s “rude” to make other people eat vegetables??? But it’s not rude to force a couple to go against their ethics and have MEAT at their wedding?? Any guest that feels that way….that’s their own shit to work through, I’m sorry. THAT’s what’s rude. And everyone can eat vegetarian food. Not everyone can eat meat. It’s not “depriving” them of any thing. Oh, gee, I’m soooo sorry you have to go to this beautiful, special wedding where people are providing entertainment and love for you (and, it’s not about YOU anyway) and then forcing you to survive with out animal bodies! SORRY, but this topic gets me so worked up! Get a grip people.

      • Natalie

        Thanks. My initial emotional reaction is basically exactly what you said, but I’ve been trying to see things from my mother’s point of view. But… I just can’t.

  • Megan

    My wedding is 6 weeks from tomorrow! I can’t believe that after being engaged since a year ago in June that it is finally almost here. I feel mostly in control and not too freaked out. My bachelorette party was last weekend and I had a great time–while I didn’t expect for that to be any kind of “a-ha” moment, I feel like the weekend was the turning point for things actually starting to feel real because until now, it has always felt so far away. We went to Nashville and now I can’t stop listening to country music…

    Fiance and I have had a couple of little arguments in the last week about various things…last night was that he actually has no clue what’s still left to do. He was starting to over-plan this weekend with social activities and I just had a moment of putting the brakes on saying–wait–when are we tackling some of our to-do list? He has no clue what goes into planning an event, which means I need to communicate better, but I also wish he was a little more proactive and interested. He wants us to just tackle “everything in one weekend so it won’t be a burden anymore” and it was hard not to laugh in his face because of how impossible that is!

    Anyways, first dress fitting tomorrow and a meeting with my DOC who I found through APW! And tonight my boss is hosting our department at his house for a dinner party to celebrate the beginning of our work season / shower celebration for my fiance and I.

  • Christina

    I had an odd moment at work today. First, I read “How to be Polite” above on my afternoon tea break. About an hour later, from the other side of a bathroom stall, a woman from my branch who is organizationally a peer of my boss’s asked me when my “big day” is going to be. IT WAS IN JULY. I told her that, and she said that she thought it was going to be in October and that she and the other boss women would have planned a work shower for me. And then she explained how they’d thrown her a shower, and her parents and in-laws had been there, and Ricky even baked a cake, and it was a whole big thing.

    So, I never wanted a whole big thing. I requested and had no showers in my personal life before the wedding. But I walked away from that conversation wanting to cry, feeling like I REALLY need to speak up and get noticed at work. I have excuses: I’m an introvert. I’m generally quiet. I’m young and a Fellow rather than a full employee. I do a good job. BUT if I was really owning my place there and really killing it, I’d be building relationships with people and they’d have noticed that I took 3 days off work and got married. I wasn’t a huge fan of the “How to be Polite” article, but damn. Reality check. I’ve got to work on that shit.

    • Stacey H.

      Please don’t be too hard on yourself. Speaking up as an introvert can be tough, and being a conversationalist is a practiced skill. It will take time and practice to learn how to hold solid conversations, just like it will take time and practice to learn the people around you well enough to build those relationships.

      As a side note, I think it was slightly rude of her to continue rambling about a shower that’s not going to happen (even if you didn’t want it).

      • Christina

        Thanks, Stacey. You’re right. Nothing to it but to work on it now.

        Side note: Yeah! In the moment, it was confusing that she kept talking about it. It felt like, “Oh, sorry I deprived everyone of the fun party.” Oh well, it’s the weekend!

        • StevenPortland

          If she’s a good manager then she’ll pull something together and throw you some type of belated shower. If she does that then you know you work with really good people.

          • Stacey H.

            My thoughts exactly. I would feel terrible if I didn’t realize someone took vacation to get married.

          • Amy March

            I wouldn’t feel bad. It sounds like she didn’t tell people! I’m not a mind reader and I try not to pry, especially at work. 3 days out- could be for a medical procedure, could be a death, could be a private religious observance.

            It’s not about doing a better job building relationships so people notice you. It’s about making them notice because you’ve told them. “Hey any summer plans? Surfing? Awesome. I’m getting married and I’m super super excited.”

  • Stacey H.

    Ok ladies, as promised, here’s an update on my dress. It was delivered last night to my parents house at a stunning two weeks late. I have a fitting tomorrow where I will bring shoes of different heights to offset my fear of my dress being too short. I ordered the renttherunway dress from yesterday’s post for my reception/travel dress and I am STOKED.

    https://apracticalwedding.com/2014/09/consider-flash-tattoos/

    Also, Men’s Wearhouse called me today and the conversation went like this:

    Them: “Hi, this is Men’s Wearhouse and we were just calling to make sure everything is in order.”
    Me: “Hi! You know, while I’d love to help, my fiance has been the one coordinating all of this. Do you think it would be ok if I gave you his number so you can check with him? I’m not confident I’d be able to help you”
    Them: “Of course! It’s so unusual for us to talk to the groom that normally I just call the bride. It’s nice to hear that he’s helping”

    It made me feel proud of us for working as a team.

    Happy Friday!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      For people not as far along in planning: You can just give 1 phone number. There were several vendors we did this with. Most of the time, we never pointed it out and they never raised it. Sometimes we provided some explanation (usually that I can’t take personal calls during business hours).

    • Brooke

      It is baffling to me that grooms don’t usually handle their own attire.

      • Violet

        Is it too outrageous for me to say that if my husband had expected me to dress him I would’ve called the whole thing off? ; )

        • ElisabethJoanne

          My husband just had a huge mental block about selecting his clothes. We could talk about it, look at pictures – but choosing a rental place, and choosing the clothes…I don’t know what it was. But he still filled out all the paperwork himself. (I had some instructions about how to make things easiest for the groomsmen.)

          But he followed up with the dress store to make sure my dress was still coming, and he handled all sorts of last-minute things I couldn’t, and and he generally did everything that required phone calls or going somewhere between 9-5 M-F. Still does.

          But if it were laziness or lack of responsibility, yeah, those are red flags.

          • Violet

            I was being a tad facetious. But to clarify, in our case, marriage means partnership. So of course we help each other out with things when the other asks for assistance. I just object to this WIC-contrived *expectation* that men can’t dress themselves. If I had ever found myself with a dude who just expected me to handle things for him, that relationship would never last. Asking for help is good and a sign of maturity. Expecting to be taken care of, not cool for me.

    • Sarah McClelland

      Oh yay! FH will definitely be handling suits, but he did ask me to weigh in on color and cut. So we are gonna be doing that this afternoon, but I will definitely not be giving Jos. A Banks my phone number to check up with.

  • emmers

    Thanks to all who commented on a semi-anon comment I left hear last week about moving in with my fiance, and telling my religious parents. I told my mom in person, and it was fine. She said something to the effect of how she couldn’t beleive we’d waited until now to do that.

    But given how nervous I was about telling them, I have soooo much respect for others who just can be easily honest with people who they think may judge (such as people coming out to religious families, people who tell families they’ll be living together, etc, etc). So much respect! Because it can be scary!

    • Bethany

      Yay! Not to sound weird, but I’d been wondering how that would go for you. I’m so glad that she was good with it. It’s always nice when parents pleasantly surprise us!

      • emmers

        Thanks, Bethany! I was really surprised. Now I have to actually adjust to living together, but I’m realllly glad there’s no family drama.

        • Bethany

          Yay for not weird. If you want any advice on adjusting to living together — for my bf and me, the biggest thing was communicating a lot, like more than we thought we’d need to. We’re both people who really value alone time and it was hard for us to communicate “Hey, is there any chance you’re going to be gone from this apartment without me in the next 24 hours? I need time by myself.” as well as things like differences in how we keep house. I think it took us about a year to fully settle into a cleaning routine and we still have to remind the other that it’s okay to ask for alone time (but we’re both a lot better about it than we used to be).

          Also, for all my bravado, the first time my dad saw the apartment where we were living, I was really nervous and so grateful when my dad just complimented how great it looked and how he loved the combination of our interests in the decor. Parental comfort will always mean something even if it’s hard to figure out.

          • emmers

            Thanks for the living together tips!

            As a sidenote, apparently my family is not as drama free about this as I had hoped. I told her in person a few days ago, and she seemed fine, but apparently she and my dad have been stewing on it over the weekend, and just sent me a loaded email.
            My guy and I just crafted a sweet, but direct response, basically saying that we’ve made this decision together, and while they may not agree, it’s the right one for us.
            So we’ll see what’s next! We’ll be seeing them in about a week for a birthday, but for tonight I’m going to have some wine and try to not think about this.

      • emmers

        PS, I don’t think it’s weird to wonder. It’s actually kind of touching!

  • lady brett

    whelp. $2500 out. crummy old (low mileage) minivan, carseat, toddler bed in. we’re all set up for 4 kids.

    whatever we’ve got, i’m sure it’s diagnosable, but somehow the only part of this that worries me is “people will think we’re crazy.”

    • Caroline

      Not crazy at all. That’s awesome. Are they 4 siblings, or unrelated? Are some of them with you guys yet, or arriving soon? (And if you’d rather not share, that’s okay too. Just excited for you).

      • lady brett

        thanks! we currently have 3 kids – 1 solo and 2 related, who also have a sibling elsewhere. 4th kiddo (sibling) is actually visiting for the weekend, and we’re planning on him moving here soonish, but not sure when (we aren’t licensed for 4 kids, so we’re emptying out the office/den and have to wait for an official visit to approve it as a 2nd bedroom before we can do more than the occasional sleepover).

    • Sarah McClelland

      It’s so so awesome! I can’t help but think of how different life would be without people willing to change their lives and rock a minivan for the sake of siblings.

  • Bethany

    Is anyone else bothered by the college grad piece from NPR and that it seems to ignore the economic downturn we’ve sufffered? I worked my arse off in college, got great grades, and feel like I’m going nowhere while jobless because two jobs that I’ve had ended because of economic reasons (thank you, corporate acquisitions/mergers). While most of my friends are politically active, those who aren’t are that way because from their point of view big business is far more powerful in politics than they will ever be due to rulings like Citizen’s United.

    The comments on that article reminded me of how glad I am for APW’s comments section!

  • Sparkles

    A little late to the discussion, but I love the Mindy Kaling article. Mindy Kaling is my fave right now. I’m super impressed by her and what she’s doing with her television show.

    I wasn’t really sure what to think about that fuck you motherhood article, though. I just finished reading “Bringing Up Bebe” on the advice of Meg and someone else on here a few weeks ago, and I can’t help but think that mother is playing the martyr. That scene just seems so familiar from my childhood. I remember my mom was usually so calm until she’d just be fed up and tired and snap. But the expectations and consequences weren’t there every day. She let them slide, and then felt used because she was sacrificing for our happiness and we didn’t seem grateful. I just think it’s a tricky situation this motherhood thing, and she’s presenting a perfect example of why it’s tricky. I was especially struck by the last paragraph where her daughter forgot her lunch and so she dropped it off for her. That’s exactly what I mean about consequences. I’d be interested to hear what others thought of it.

    • lady brett

      tricky is a fact. but the letting consequences slide thing is what jumped out at me – that makes for a jumpy parent who feels unheard/disrespected, and a baffled kid who feels jumped on/disrespected. i think respect is so important for any relationship, and that doesn’t have a lower age limit (but i can be *hard* given the power dynamics that are inherent in parenting).

      as for the lunch…well, that’s one of the things that’s so tricky about parenting. some things are your obligation no matter what life lesson they’re teaching – even if it’s counterproductive, kid has to eat (and, learning that you give enough shits about them to bring them lunch when they screwed up and forgot it *even though you lost your shit at them 30 minutes earlier*…isn’t actually a bad life lesson either =).

    • Bethany

      Yeah, the lack of consequences prior to “mom loses her shit” jumped out at me. If my mom chased me into my room while screaming at me? You bet I’d have locked the door on her! Also, if the kid is constantly changing television channels, then why is she still allowed to watch tv? It makes no sense.

      Also, when I forgot lunch I had to buy lunch (we were allowed to buy on credit and pay back within a month) and then pay out of my allowance, although if I ordered hot lunch in advance my parents would pay for it. I’m pretty sure they lied about the cost of hot lunch when I was really little and made it just equal to my fairly small allowance (yes, sure, a meal cost 25cents) but it still taught me consequences (I’d have rather used that 25cents for ice cream!).

  • Caitlin_DD

    Late to Happy Hour, but I just finished week one of dream job… and it was AMAZING. I am at peace. And tomorrow we reserve our venue!

    • Natalie

      yay! congrats on both awesome things :-)

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    Joan Rivers a feminist ICON? A woman who threw recently threw a black woman under the bus by engaging in anti-blackness and misogynoir for a joke?? Feminist icon, I think not. She was many things. Feminist icon was NOT one of them. Let’s not be ahistorical here.

  • Caroline

    You guys, our wedding photos just came! They are so great! And remind me how much fun the wedding was. Fully 1/2 of the photos, I am not just grinning but absolutely laughing. Worth every expensive cent.

  • SChaLA

    We sent our invitations on Tuesday, and received our first RSVP today. YAY!

    We’re doing a buffet, so instead of having people pick an entree we did the thing where people can put a song request. A lot of my fiance’s friends (cynics, cynics all) have pointed out that we’re just going to get a bunch of purposefully weird requests.

    Do you guys think that’ll happen? Or have people who’ve done this generally find that it works out well?

    • Amanda

      We did that, except we put space for two song requests so that we could choose one. We also only sent out about 50-60 invitations. For the most part, it worked out. There were a few wildcards – not our taste and also not popular taste. There were more slow songs than we counted on as well. But since we made our own music playlist, we could always fade out on a song.

    • Amy March

      Does it matter? Just don’t include the weird ones. Last time I saw this they asked for your wedding song and the song you wanted to hear at their wedding. I went with Single Ladies and Teenage Dream (they waited). Was not in the slightest bit insulted neither was played.

      • SChaLA

        I mean, we are obviously planning on veto power when necessary (it hasn’t been needed yet, though we’ve only gotten 2 cards back so far, for a total of 4 songs). And both of the songs you picked are great–we’ve already gotten “Single Ladies” :D

        It’s not so much a logistical problem. I’m not worried about people being insulted that their joke requests weren’t played. I just really like any crowdsourcing stuff for weddings, because I’d like to have our whole support network represented in some way, and music is really meaningful to both of us. It just kind of always makes me sad when people are loudly cynical about wedding stuff.

        • Claire

          Maybe call it a song “suggestion” rather than “request?” Or phrase it like “help the DJ build the playlist and suggest a song” and then you always blame said DJ (assuming you are not doing your own music?).

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  • Sarah McClelland

    Can I have Saturday morning happy hour, er… coffee hour?

    In an effort to flee the city to actually get to spend the weekend with my fiancé, I forgot my engagement ring and had to go back, and then, once out of town, broke down. Cheap, easy-if-you-know-what-to-look-for fix, and I am, after this experience, filled with way more hope for humanity than I was before because a complete stranger fixed my car and then wouldn’t let me give him anything. But it was no less scary. So I got in at 12:40am instead of 9:30p, still pretty jacked up on adrenaline. But it was so nice to wake up with my guy and our dog. So nice.

    This weekend we are gonna tackle suits and finish invitation embossing/assembly… And I’m gonna do some selfish sewing and wedding dress sewing. After I go get a dress for church tomorrow… Because I forgot my hanging up clothes. Oof.

    Happy weekend!

    • emmers

      I love embossing! It’s so fun! Hooray for your embossed invitations!

      • Sarah McClelland

        Didn’t get ’em done over the weekend but they’re so great! Sometimes I feel like the heat tool is a magic wand!

    • Bethany

      I’m so glad for that stranger. I know how to change my tires and that’s about it. Good luck with everything and enjoy the selfish sewing. I was frantically trying to finish a baby blanket last night for my sister’s baby shower that’s today (I’ve been a beginning level sewer for 3 years now) and managed to sew 3/4 of it before realizing that the problems with my machine were due to somehow not having the presser foot attached!

      I suggest a Mexican Coffee with a 1/2 shot of tequila, 1/2 shot of Tia Maria, cream, and cinnamon, or coffee with creme de cacoa.

  • Emma Klues

    NAILED it. Joan, link roundup, everything.

  • Rose

    A little bit late, but I went dress shopping for the first time today! And it was so much fun! More specifically, APW favorite A&Be in Denver was so much fun (the second place we went was less so, but that was ok). I found two really wonderful dresses there–totally different looks, which makes it so hard to think about choosing. If they were similar, they’d be so much easier to compare, but as it is they’re both just so wonderful in totally different ways. How do you make that kind of decision?