APW Happy Hour

Healthcare and government shutdowns, oh my!

Hey APW,

In this-week-is-crazy news, the baby decided to celebrate the launch of the health care exchanges with what we’re dubbing the $125 cold. The short story is: baby gets cold, cold goes to chest, baby’s breathing goes all wrong, baby gets driven to the ER, ER doctors and nurses are amazing and super nice, baby gets breathing treatment, baby feels better, baby’s breathing goes wrong AGAIN the next day, baby goes back to the doctor, all is finally well. Because I’ve been able to buy health care out of pocket (thanks Kaiser!) the cold cost us $125. If I hadn’t been able to get affordable health care, that cold would have cost us thousands and thousands of dollars, or left us sobbing over a baby who wasn’t breathing properly. The whole thing made me realize AGAIN, that I fundamentally morally oppose a system heath care where people are barred from even being able to purchase insurance, and I’m willing to pay whatever it costs in taxes to change things. It’s been a national disgrace, and I’m so glad we’re starting to fix it, government closures aside. Plus, I think the kiddo and I are actually going to start buying our insurance off the California health care exchange. The two of us buy out of pocket, and we can finally get a more affordable plan.

In closing: if you haven’t checked out the healthcare exchanges yet, do it! And an apology fist-bump to those of you on furlough.


Highlights of APW This Week

Greta & Ian’s Wordless Wedding made me dream of summer.

There is a lot of ink spilled over rehearsal dinners, but it’s really the actual wedding rehearsal that’s important. Consider having one, maybe. Consider putting someone else in charge (please).

We got Feminism Month started with a bunch of thoughts from me, and it’s clear from the 360 comments that there is a lot to say, and we better do this up right.

Speaking of having lots to say, I think we’re all waiting impatiently for the follow up to Maddie’s open sex thread.

Remember, just like it’s ok to hate wedding planning, it’s also okay to love wedding planning. Sometimes all in the same hour.

Link Roundup

In  our opening discussion of feminism this week, I found it interesting that some commenters posited that they didn’t need feminism, because women are now treated totally equally. I’ve decided that this month we need to put some clear focus on why that (sadly) isn’t so. Let’s start with this must-read article about the kind of online misogyny women in the public eye are routinely asked to ‘just live with.’ Equality? Being ready for humanism instead of feminism? I wish. Let’s try to get there, eh?

Just in time for Feminism Month, “Mama’s Feminism” is the most beautiful essay I’ve read on the subject in a long time. I too, learned my feminism at home, and it’s impolitic and irreverent and non-academic, which makes my relationship with it easy.

Sometimes, Thought Catalog just gets it right.

Changing your last name after marriage can sometimes mean changing your email address, and in this new age of online everything, that can be the decision maker.

When a drag king and a burlesque queen get married, it’s guaranteed to be awesome. (HOW DID THIS WEDDING NOT RUN ON APW?)

Designer Rick Owens brought in college step teams instead of models for his spring fashion show in Paris, and killed it. Our high school step team was way more awesome than our cheerleaders, and I always say, I’m not sending my babies to a school without one.

We love this article about Mr. Rosen, and 103 year old New Yorker whose nightly dinners out “are like [his] therapy.” If going to a nice dinner every night is the key to a long life, sign me up.

This post about how reality TV only wants wedding shows that feature crazy brides, reminds me that I’ve never told you about pitching a TV show while six months pregnant. The pictures alone are amazing.

Our sincerest apologies to those of you who’s venues just got shut down by the government. Maybe Steven Colbert will help? If not, we’ll do our best in the comments.

We’ll send you off with two doses of adorable today. First, these drawings where an illustrator lets her daughter draw the bodies. Then, what if all animals were round?

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  • elle

    So, guess who’s spent the past 18 months carefully considering with her partner what their family name would be, and recently (three weeks AFTER the wedding!) finally made the thoughtful, personal, and extremely emotional decision to keep her maiden name as her middle name (since she doesn’t actually have a middle name) and take her partner’s last name as their family name?

    This girl!

    Guess who was denied at the social security office bright and early Tuesday morning, because they can’t process new social security cards for name changes during the shutdown?

    This girl!

    Guess who is so angry at this whole situation she can’t even articulate the depths of her rage?

    Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

    • meg

      That’s a twist the media has not brought up yet! Don’t worry though, Fox news says the government “slimdown” isn’t affecting anyone.

      Especially not those lazy lazy babies, getting formula on WIC. They should get JOBS (not federal government ones though).

      Sorry. Possibly feeling a little grumpy. #understatement

      • Jessica B

        But how DARE they get jobs and potentially become the breadwinners?? Women should stay in the home and raise their children, and their husbands should be out getting those dangerous man jobs!

        Jon Stewart has been killing it this week on the Daily Show about the entire shut down.

        • MC

          Seriously. One of the only silver linings of this whole situation is seeing J-Stew so ON it. I love that man.

        • meg

          Well the BOY babies could get jobs. Lazy. Girl babies should have rich daddies.

          Jon Stewart HAS been killing it. Weirdly, someone who does not normally kill it, watching Piers Morgan is really interesting. He’s suddenly gone to this British place of, ‘What the HELL is wrong with you people? GIVE PEOPLE PAYCHECKS AND FORMULA AND HEALTH INSURANCE you total, total nut jobs.”

        • Sarah

          Actually, that’s the point that this author is making: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lydia-lovric/working-mothers-childcare_b_4024763.html

          This makes me so angry I want to … there are no words. Well, there are but they are all bad.

      • Breck

        Also, praytell, Fox News, is the “slimdown” a big deal or not? Y’all keep blaming it on Obama, but if no one’s affected (minus the lazy babies), why so adamantly accuse the President of being a stubborn jackass who refuses to compromise?



      • Oh yes…it’s not affecting anyone. Anyone in the research world can tell you that having all of the Census databases, USDA databases, NSF and NIH grant processing, and CDC data suddenly go down doesn’t affect research or people’s jobs in the slightest….

        • meg

          Funny story, last night David (of all knowledgable people) says after some GOPer complains about websites being down, “I actually don’t understand why static websites are down.” Me: ARE YOU AWARE OF HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO KEEP A WEBSITE ONLINE? Him: Ohhhhhh. Right.

          We used to depend on the Census databases at the investment bank, for gods sake.

        • As a librarian, loss of access to information is KILLING ME.

    • Abby Mae

      THIS! I took the time off work weeks and weeks in advance and cleared everything off my schedule to change my name on October 1st. I woke up as giddy as can be then lo and behold…the government shutdown!

      I feel ya Elle. I really really do. I send a virtual hug to you and drink with you in solidarity. =(

      • elle

        The EXACT same thing happened to me.

        I suppose some people may say this is a silly thing to get so riled up over, but it was significant to me. I feel like my life is on hold now, like I’m in a worse state of limbo than I was during the engagement.


        • Sarah NCtoPA

          Not silly to get riled up over. I had to go to the SS office twice as they messed up the first time. I’d be boiling mad if I took time off work to do this Oct 1. State gov’t issues were no walk in the park either.

        • Jen

          Trust me- the person at the SSA office would rather be helping you (or at least I’m pretty sure that’s the case). Due to some unfortunate timing, I am unemployed until the government restarts. I won’t be eligible for backpay either. Trying to stay positive that this will be resolved sooner rather than later but soooo tired of all this Washington rhetoric.

          Enough woe is me though. I have to say that though this week has been challenging, the support of my husband has been absolutely amazing. For the first time, I am experiencing the “for richer, for poorer” part of our vows.

        • Abby Mae

          I second you on the state of limbo feeling. Oh man, I thought I would be Abby M- by now…. not Abby R- still. A co-worker mentioned that it must be “the Universes way of telling you something”

          Uhh. No. It’s not the Universe telling me something. It’s the Government shutdown.

          Hoping the shutdown is over as soon as possible…for everyone it affects.

        • Copper

          Name change paperwork is something people get plenty stressed out over even without government shutdowns. Give yourself a break on this one.

          • So true.

            Go ahead and change everything you can, though. I changed my email address, my FB, stuff like that where I could change my name in a non-legal way.


      I hear ya. Mine is much more minor but still annoying… lots of family and friends coming in to AZ next weekend for our wedding and many had plans to see the grand canyon. Now… question mark?? Blerg.

      • meg

        Hey. At least you weren’t getting married at the grand canyon. Feeling very sad for the national park wedding people. Sad and angry and PHEW.

        • Copper

          My favorite venue was the Peter Strauss Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains (NPS!), and right now I’m soooo very glad I let Mr. Copperbeard have his way with the venue, because we’re now safely on private land just outside of a national forest. Weirdly enough, we met the guy who took our date for the venue I liked best, and he’s the first person I thought of in all this, glad we aren’t him and his fiancee right now.

      • Fellow AZ person here. I miss our parks too.

      • Rebekah

        Sorry to hear about that. State parks are still open though, so http://azstateparks.com/ might help rearrange plans?

        What a gorgeous time of year to get married in AZ. Congrats!

      • Helen

        I’m in a similar boat to you – we’re getting married in Northern Virginia in 8 days (eep!) and while I’m definitely less affected than those who planned to get married at the National Mall/Monuments, a lot of our guests had hoped to go to zoo, museums, etc while they’re in the DC area. We’d also planned to take our families on a tour of the monuments, which are now (stupidly) barricaded.

        • Amber P

          I’m headed to a museum conference in DC and all the museums are closed. Awesome. I feel your pain!

    • Fermi

      Umm, I work for SSA and let me tell you. We’d rather take your darn SS name change then send you away.

      Oh yeah, we’re working for free. Even though we are considered “essential” we do not know when or if we are going to get paid. Our payday is next Friday and we’re only getting paid up until 9/30.

      • Fermi

        I can’t edit for some reason, meant to write

        *We’d rather take your darn SS name change than send you away.

        My brain is fried after a long week.

      • meg

        Oh my god. I don’t even know how that is happening. That’s absurd.

    • I was wondering about this! I put off changing my name for a few weeks because of traveling. Now I’m ready to do it, but I’m not going to bother going to the office if I’m just going to get turned away :(

      I live in Maryland and every second person I know is on furlough.

  • margi

    Day #4 of the shutdown….ughhhh this is the worst.

    • Paranoid Libra

      I am getting very antsy staying around the house when I know there are things I should be doing. It feels so weird that it’s illegal for me to work right now? Like what, I am not allowed to work for any reason other than the toddlers in DC throwing temper-tantrums.

      ….and people wonder why we aren’t having kids yet. I have to keep dealing with this crap.

      Work for government they said, it’s great job security they said, great benefits they said. GRRRRRRRRR. I think it’s time I go write to another toddler…I mean Congressman.

      • Outside Bride

        I’m with ya! We work outside, in the lands that can’t be gated adjacent to the several national parks near our community. We’re being a little liberal with the “avoid visiting places you frequent for business purposes” order, just to not be shut in the house the whole time. It’s a pain, but I’ve been really encouraged by how nice most people have been. I’m freaked out because their overseas vacations plans have gone in the trash, and they just want to make sure I’m going to be able to pay my mortgage. People are amazing, and they deserve more.

    • The shutdown sucks. As a researcher, I’m lucky to still be able to go to work, but unfortunately all of the databases and servers I normally use are down. It’s been really fun to send reports off to clients with blanks spaces where we explain that the data will be filled in once Congress gets its act together. I don’t even want to think about the backlog of data processing that’s piling up right now.

  • RunMeghanRun

    After becoming engaged in May 2012, I quickly went from being ecstatic about marrying the love of my life to overwhelmed and stressed about planning a wedding. I was scared about the cost of putting on a wedding; I was scared about figuring out all the details; and I was scared that my anxiety would be overwhelming throughout wedding planning and prevent me from enjoying our actual wedding day. Luckily, a wonderful co-worker pointed me to this site and Meg’s book.

    It was a huge relief to find out that my feelings were normal. It was also a relief to find people talking about weddings in a real and meaningful way. It is not all poofy white dresses and flower bouquets. And, picking the right partner is way more important than picking the right cake. While wedding planning was still a very up and down experience for me, this community helped me a ton. And I am happy to say that I not only survived my wedding, but downright loved it. In the end – it was all about the feelings. And I have never felt so much love, joy, and gratitude before in my life.

    We are now thinking about starting to try and have a baby. And once again, I find my anxiety kicking into overdrive. I have looked for a great blog/online community that discusses these issues, but am not having a lot of luck. Just like the WIC, there seems to be a lot of craziness surrounding having babies. I am looking for a sane and healthy online community to get support throughout the process of thinking about becoming parents, trying to conceive, and pregnancy. Any recommendations? Thank you so much for your advice and awesome blog entries.

    • One More Sara

      I’ve heard (from another commenter here a while ago) that there is a pretty high quality subreddit on the subject, but I don’t remember the specific name of it

    • Shiri

      Oh man, I’m with you. My best friend says I should convince Meg to start A Practical Pregnancy, because there’s nowhere to have these discussions. I’ve been grateful for the Happy Hour thread, because I think a lot of women reading here are in this position, but haven’t found anything outside of it.

      • meg

        Curious what kind of topics that would contain. Not because I’m going to write it, just because I don’t even know.

        • Shiri

          Well, given that I’m only in the very beginning stages of this, I can’t outline the entire thing, but I’m guessing a lot of the same stuff that is talked about here and that you’ve talked about a bit in your discussions: how to keep yourself sane through the (TTC) process, coming up with what your own parenting values are instead of buying into what is pushed on you by family/society/media, feminism and motherhood, Remember the Lesbians TTC edition, discussions of gender roles in parenting, etc. Not all of this coming from your point of view expressly, especially because you have awesome boundaries about this stuff, but as a section.

          That said, my friend doesn’t read APW quite as religiously as I do, so she doesn’t realize how much of this falls under Reclaiming Wife. But, as RunMeghanRun said, it’s hard to find a sane conversation where these viewpoints are welcomed.

          • meg

            We’re trying to expand the RW conversation there (and to being childfree, please submit stuff on that, kaythankzbye). But I’m only willing to do it in the context of a larger conversation. If you get people together to talk about ONLY parenting, shit gets real crazy, real fast.

            Also, one of my biggest personal and political issues with parenting is that we’re locked off in our own little (privileged, but hellish) world. It’s this awful gilded prison. And I think it’s bad for everyone, not to mention boring as fuck. So. I’m all for integrating parenting conversations into other conversations.

        • MTM

          A Practical Family maybe? Need something to replace Offbeat Familes :(

          • meg

            Nope. Not ever happening, though you’ll keep seeing it in the mix. Not only do I not want to run a family only website, you’ll notice that the business model is shaky also. Ariel and crew didn’t want to close down OBF, and I’m not dumb.

    • I haven’t ever found a momma community online that didn’t ultimately upset me. People (can) be crazy wielding a keyboard and talking about how you ought’n raise your child. I did find lots and lots of people offline that were amazingly supportive. Not helpful. Sorry.

    • meg

      Ask Moxie is pretty good, for technical issues and sanity. And I live and die by my friend Rebecca’s more personal blog, Girls Gone Child. Other women I know who are parents and also a lot of other stuff and have sites reflecting that: our own Liz, who writes Happy Sighs, and my friend Cara, who writes Peonies and Polaroids. Offbeat Mama just shuttered, so that sucks, but there are archives.

      It really depends what you want. One of the reasons I don’t write a parenting blog (though I do occasionally knock out an essay about the intersection of personal and cultural issues in parenthood), is that I don’t read much parenting stuff. When I was pregnant I just wanted reassurances that it wasn’t going to ruin my life (Girls Gone Child, various friends). Now that I have a kid, I occasionally want to keep track of other people’s journeys, or look up a particular question (sleep regression), but it’s just part of my everyday life, and not a big part of my self identity. curious about other perspectives.

      • RunMeghanRun

        Since we are right at the beginning of the journey, I can’t say too much about what I will need once we are pregnant or parents. At this point, I would like accurate and sane advice about conception. And not just thinking about the logistics of fertility, but also the emotional aspects of deciding to try and then trying to have a baby. What I have seen so far seems to focus on how hard it is to get pregnant and women obsessing over getting pregnant. At some point, I could see talking with other women who are struggling with fertility as being helpful. But since we are not there yet, and have no idea if we will struggle or not, it is a bit like reading a ton about something you have not been diagnosed with. This just ramps up my anxiety more. And I am already plenty good at being anxious on my own.

        • meg

          Go talk to your doctor, chart your cycles, don’t read a damn thing. That’s my best advice. No reason to be anxious yet, just try not to think about it too much for awhile.

          • mira

            One thing that I think this community is generally really good at is talking about how to talk about stuff with the people we love.

            As my partner and I inch toward TTC, I’m finding it’s hard to know what conversations we should be having ahead of time. I have this sense that there are probably things we need to talk through (will we have a bris if it’s a boy?), but every time I try to come up with a list of what those things might be, much of what makes the list makes me feel hopelessly naive. (Should we discuss how we’ll handle logistics and how we’ll split nighttime feedings and what happens if we have a child with special needs? Or is it absurd to talk about that before we’ve even started TTC?)

            I think an open thread about feminist parenting would be amazing this month. How do the parents on this site live out their commitment to co-parenting? Looking back, what were the most important conversation(s) you had with your partner before becoming parents? What conversations did you wait to have until something came up?

            I also have all kinds of logistical and budgetary questions that can quickly lead me into the anxiety-producing world of the mommy blogs. How much do things like daycare and baby health insurance and labor and delivery actually cost (obviously there’s a big range here)? How long was your maternity leave? Did your spouse take parental leave?

            Honestly, I’m not so interested in reading “birth stories” or anything — but practical advice from those who’ve been there about navigating this stuff with my partner? Hell yeah.

          • meg

            Oh, I think we’d love to do an open thread about feminist parenting. Liz and I can get on that. Also, I’m sure between the two of us we can come up with a start on questions you should ask and things you should talk about before hand. Challenge accepted!

            (Though, um, I LOVE reading birth stories. That started during pregnancy, and I think it’s so awesome and feminist and demystifying that there are so many we can read these days.)

        • “At some point, I could see talking with other women who are struggling with fertility as being helpful. But since we are not there yet, and have no idea if we will struggle or not, it is a bit like reading a ton about something you have not been diagnosed with.”

          As someone who was in that anxious place, and then actually WAS dealing with infertility, my piece of advice is hold off, and cross that bridge when you come to it, because otherwise you’re going to cross it more times than necessary. Your chances are probably pretty good that it won’t be a bridge you have to cross, so don’t cross it until you think it’s going to need crossing. If you actually need to cross it, having some extra stores of sanity is nice. :)

          Also, Take Charge of Your Fertility it good, as is Jessica Valenti’s book “Why Have Kids”.

        • Alison O

          You might find this Purposeful Conception course taught by blogger (and someone I know through the education community), Sara Cotner, helpful: http://www.purposefulconception.com

          I have not taken it, but she is a very thoughtful and thorough person, so I’d imagine it could be good.

          I’m not sure when she’s leading the next course, as she had a second child three months ago and is preparing to open a new Montessori elementary school next year, but you should get in touch to ask.

          Contact info from her blog Feeding the Soil: You can reach me at saracotner {@} yahoo.com.

          • meg

            I’d get some personal reviews first. Always a good thing.

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        I’m in the camp of I learned more about parenting from hanging out on APW than makes sense to me but that’s awesome.

        Totally learned about sleep regression from comments. Met a baby in the middle of her 10-month sleep regression this week, but no one else knew the term and I’m the one who doesn’t know about babies. It was weird. And kinda cool.

    • Emmy

      I’ve also been searching for a place online, and in the wake of the closure of Offbeat Families, I found Mutha Magazine. It’s mostly kind of philosophical essays, like Reclaiming Wife for pregnancy/parenting.

      • meg

        I’ll have to check that out. Also, APW contributor Aly just started as editor of the Raising Boys section of the Good Men Project.

      • mira

        Just wanted to say thank you. That site is *exactly* what I’ve been looking for!

  • Laura C

    Celebrating the fact that I made it through a week that started fresh off a red-eye from a Sunday night wedding all the way across the country. And the fact that as gorgeous as that bride’s Jenny Packham gown was, I didn’t end up wanting to say damn the cost, send back the evening gown I’ve got in the closet, and get one myself. And that a new season of Top Chef started. And that with my fiance away for the weekend, we managed to get in a great date night last night and I have Indian leftovers for dinner tonight.

    Also, I celebrate the fact that I’m in a good enough mood to celebrate anything considering the shutdown situation, which … if you get me started talking about what I think is going to happen and then make a word cloud of what I say, I’m pretty sure the words that would pop out would be “grim” and “depressing.” It doesn’t hit me financially or anything, but the track this country is on is so distressing.

    • Breck

      Top Chef is back???

      *scurries off to Amazon to buy the season pass*

      Glad you’ve had a good week minus the shutdown (I, too, just… can’t talk about it without a raised voice), and I just wanted to say that I always appreciate your comments. Enjoy your Indian food (jealous!)!!

      • Laura C

        Thank you!

        So excited about Top Chef. One time last season Tom Colicchio responded to something I tweeted and it kind of made my week.

    • eao

      Not buying the Jenny Packham that looked INSANELY good on me (most especially in the areas I dislike most about my body) is the best decision.

      Doesn’t mean I don’t have serious jealousy pangs every time I see anyone wearing one…

  • Thanks to all for your kind words and encouragement in previous Happy Hours as I prepared to stage manage my sister’s wedding last Saturday! The day went beautifully, and having working spreadsheets — as well as comprehensive lists of who was bringing what, and when — really worked wonders. I was able to enjoy the day and make sure everything went smoothly, though I can’t take much credit. Her venue really stepped up to make sure everything was great, and her bridal party and friends were likewise fantastic.

    Soooo, in the last week, I’ve struggled mightily — emotionally — with the fact that my baby sister is hitched. I think I was so busy leading up to the big day with all the last-minute details that I didn’t process we would soon be separating, no longer a bedroom wall apart. I’m 28 and still living at home (until next week). My sister is 25 and lived at home until the morning of her wedding (last Saturday). I realize we’re a real rarity in this day and age, but that’s just how it shook out.

    And now I really miss her.

    Like, I feel like I’m grieving. Because she and her husband left on their honeymoon immediately, it was like this OKAY OMG I’m moving and now we’re getting married and where is this locket I need and what’s happening with so-and-so chaos that just . . . ended as soon as the reception was over. They’ve been somewhat off the grid (understandably so), but it just felt very abrupt. We went from nonstop togetherness and endless planning to . . . radio static.

    I guess I’m seeing what the post-wedding blues are all about. And that wasn’t even my wedding.

    Our wedding is in five weeks — Nov. 10 — and I’m trying to readjust, get myself together, get back to my spreadsheets and paying vendors and generally all the stuff I avoided “until after my sister’s wedding.” My fiance has been so patient. But now that that after is here, I’m having a hard time getting back into the game.

    I’m just kind of sad, really. This week was tough. I’m so happy for my sis, but it’s so much change at once. I guess I’m also mourning the end of sharing “this special time” together (which is ironic, considering how marginalized and very “second-wedding” I felt sometimes).

    Also, I’m moving next week. So there’s that insanity, too.

    • TeaforTwo

      Oh, a big hug to you. I do not deal well with change, and the idea that other people are moving on AND MAYBE AWAY FROM ME is something that I can recognize and deal with intellectually, but it still gets my in the gut every time.

    • jashshea

      I know you’re sad and so I wish I could fix that, but I just wanted to say that this post is such a wonderful testament to the relationship you and your sister must have. You both sound so lucky to have one another. Internet hugs.

      • Thank you both very much!

    • I’m just now catching up on this open thread, and wanted to give you a, idk, solidarity fist-bump? A reassuring smile?

      While my little sister and I lived apart during our college years, we spent a whole year living together after we were both out. She then moved to Boston and left me alllll alone* in Chicago.

      *Note: I am not alone. Our parents are here. I’m now married and shacked up with the husband. SHE was the one alone in Boston until last month when her boyfriend moved out there.

      But seriously–I miss her so friggin’ much. I was routinely shocked at how much I missed her when she first moved away. I think the fact that, before, we were just living “normal life”–work, family, cooking, outings, sleep, Gilmore Girls marathons etc…–made this particular move seem way more significant than the college years. College was different from “life”, it was college!, but now we’re not super involved in each others’ lives anymore and it’s hard.

      Anyway, we get by with as many visits as we can, making sure to carve out “sister time” that our respective boys know to honor, even if that just means making a pot of coffee and watching old episodes of The Office for a few hours.

      Good luck with all your own changes and upcoming marriage :) And remember–there’s no shame in making fantasy-plans to own a duplex with your sister and her husband so you guys can be adults doing grownup things but still kinda “live together”, ha.

    • Tuppet

      I just got married while living in my family home and on the morning of my wedding my brother was SOBBING because he’d got it in his head that after I was married I wouldn’t be his sister any more. Not just that I wouldn’t live with him any more, but that somehow I was completely leaving the family and he would never see me again.

      It is a massive change, but she’ll be back from her honeymoon soon, and you’ll be busy planning, and then you will have your whole lives to work out how to make your new lives work together without cohabitation – it doesn’t matter even if you stuff it up for a while, you’ll still be sisters.

  • Guys, I got married a week ago today! I still haven’t come down off my cloud but wanted to poke my head in and say a HUGE thank-you to Team Practical – my mostly-lurky self has gotten so much out of this site, both the articles and (maybe even especially) the comments, since I discovered it soon after getting engaged. Thank you, all of you, for modeling so many different kinds of “normal” so that I didn’t have to worry that my wedding was going to be all wrong. For having intelligent discussions about the hard stuff, in between so many pretty pictures that took my breath away. You guys are the greatest and I’m so happy to have found you!

    • Jessica B


  • InTheBurbs

    Celebrating my first happy hour since getting married 2 weeks ago! Thanks to APW for providing such a great community! The day itself was perfect – from an emotional homily from our priest and showing off our faith community to the tacos and cupcakes at the reception. I could use some life advice from the same gendered couples out there – do you carry a copy of your marriage license “just in case” you’re in a situation you need documentation? We’re not changing our names – and I have this fear that something will happen and our marriage won’t be accepted as such. We do live in MN….any wisdom is appreciated.

    • SarahG

      One of my close friends has a mini, laminated copy of her wedding certificate that she carries in her wallet. She and her wife have different last names, plus her wife was in the US on a green card and there’s immigration stress (although now I guess that will change, yay!). She has gotten grief from people when she uses her wife’s credit card, mostly. I think it’s super lame that she has to do this, but if I was in her shoes, I totally would carry it. I’m kind of an anxious basket case though.

      • Amber

        My wife and I just got married in July, and she didn’t change her name and I hyphenated mine, so while we’re now ‘similarish’, they still aren’t the same name. Carrying around a tiny copy though sounds like a really great idea actually, and I just might do that! I mean, I’m sure/I know there would still be situations where it would still be an issue (we currently live in the South, and I’ve tried to use our certificate to change my name on our car registration and they wouldn’t do it because they don’t recognize our same-sex marriage and I didn’t have any IDs reflecting my newly hyphenated name yet). I’m all for doing anything you can to make life easier though. We also recently (before we got married) went through the process of getting legal documentation for health care decision-stuff to make sure that we were recognized as a couple in emergencies and we have digital copies that we carry around with us. Since it’s a legal document recognized in our state, and notarized and witnessed I think it may be more likely to be recognized in some of the more conservative states than our marriage certificate. For more everyday stuff (insurance, credit cards, bank accounts, etc.) we’ve just made sure that both of our names are clearly listed on each as joint accounts/co-owners/beneficiaries/etc.

      • Just wanted to put it out there that one’s immigration status doesn’t change automatically when you get married. There’s a whole (long) application process..

  • jashshea

    The article about Mr. Rosen made me SOB. I want to be his mentee and his granddaughter. And his best friend.

    • CII

      times 100.

  • “Mama’s Feminism” – Amen.

    • meg

      RIGHT????? Right.

  • TeaforTwo

    I have been waiting all day for this thread, because I have a rant in me oooh boy.

    My mother died 9 years ago, and last summer my father re-married a woman he had been dating for about three years. My siblings and I have tried to be welcoming, but she can be a bit difficult to warm up to. Mostly I see her at the holidays and family functions, and we are warm and polite, and I would say we have a good but not a close relationship. She has three adult children, around the same ages as my siblings and I. I have met them four or five times, including at our parents’ wedding.

    Her oldest daughter is getting married this fall, and we are all invited to the wedding. When I got my invitation, I asked my father if I was expected to invite her children to my wedding, and he laughed and said absolutely not.

    Well. It seems that his wife did not get that message. She is throwing me a shower (against my wishes…she offered, I declined, she is doing it anyway) and I have just seen that her daughters and her son’s fiancee are all on the guest list. When I wrote to my dad to confirm that she knows her kids aren’t on the guest list for the wedding, he said that “this will be a difficult situation” and that he’s sorry but he forgot that we had that conversation, and he and I can talk about it next week.

    I’m losing it. We have invited 165 people to our wedding in a venue that has only 150 chairs. We have a B-list of a further 20 people, all of whom we love and care for deeply. (We have big families as it is, thank you, Catholicism.) There are just not enough seats for these people whom I hardly know.

    I told a coworker about it (this just came out this morning) who says that it’s my wedding, but I don’t always buy that – weddings are about family, not just the couple, and my father is paying for the wedding, and also RAISED ME so I can’t just brush him off. But I also don’t consider her family to be my family (in the same way that I’m not inviting my sister-in-law’s parents or siblings). He is out of town for the weekend, and I know that I just need to talk to him, but in the meantime, ARGGGGGGGGGGGGH.

    • Any chance you could move your father’s wife’s kids to the top of the B list? Almost everything I’ve read says you can usually count on 2/3 of people you invite coming (so probably around 110 out of your 165 person guest list). This probably leaves plenty of room for your B list and your father’s wife’s kids. Also, usually 10 percent of your guests will not show on the day-of even if they RSVP. This happened to me. A few people got sick the day-of. I hope this helps.

      • TeaforTwo

        Well, the thing about my big family in particular is that they do all come. My side is about 65 relatives, and at both of my older brothers’ weddings, and several other cousin weddings, family attendance has been 100%. We’re a close-knit bunch. There are only a small handful of out of town guests, and our people are quite fiercely our people.

        Moving her kids to the top of the B-list is where I become a brat. Her kids will displace 6 people whom we see and socialize with at least once a month. I didn’t find it very hard to leave them off the list initially because my mantra was “our wedding is basically family-only” – I have 5 friends on the current guest list, and all of them have travelled with me, seen me cry and seen me naked – and our families are so close that I couldn’t imagine trimming cousins off the list. But excluding them for the sake of the children I don’t know of a woman I don’t like brings out my ugly bratty defensive inner child who just wants to stamp my feet and yell “YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM.”

        • Aw, I see. That makes a lot of sense. Maybe you could tell your father’s wife that you would love to include them, but you’re already above capacity with just your immediate family. Maybe say something about how you will be sure to include them if someone can’t make it? (Your father’s wife doesn’t have to see a copy of the guest list, and she doesn’t have to know that they really are at the bottom of the b-list). Either way, this is going to be rough. *hugs*

    • So sorry you’re in this position. Winnowing down the guest list was one of the hardest parts about planning, especially because it put us in potentially-awkward territory with our families and I hate discord and confrontation of any kind!

      You’re absolutely right: your first line of defense is your dad. I’ve heard the “it’s your wedding, do what you want” line as well, but that is often easier said than done. Hoping everything gets sorted out soon!

      • Laura C

        And in this case, since you did discuss it with your father in advance, he really should step up to deal with it!

        • Alison O


          1) Your dad dropped the ball, and now he needs to pick it up again.

          2) Whoever relays the news, it is plainly a numbers issue. There is no more capacity. You regret not being able to include them (said with fingers crossed behind your back). (And should you be able ultimately to include some of your current B-listers, there’s no reason your father or his wife and her children would need to know about that.)

    • MC

      Oh man, I feel you on this. No real advice for you, just a solidarity fist-bump. My parents are divorced and my mom is now living with her boyfriend of nine years in another state. He has 2 kids, a couple years younger than my brother & I, and I can count the number of times I have seen them on my hands. I do feel obligated to invite them to our wedding, especially because his daughter has become pretty close with my mom…

      However, as you put it, “We have big families as it is, thank you, Catholicism.” My fiance’s mom and my mom are both the youngest kids in large families (youngest of 6 and 9 children, respectively). We haven’t written the invite list out yet, partially because we both know it is going to be a lot bigger than expected. And while I don’t think 2 extra people would be a huge strain, you gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

    • Jessica B

      I feel for you on this one. I really hurt my grandma’s late husband’s family (Grandma’s third husband, whose family we barely know at all) by not inviting them to the wedding. Since I don’t see them more than once a year I don’t have much of an issue with it, but now my Grandma has to deal with the fall out. Because she was her husband’s 2nd wife, the family warmed up to her much more than we warmed up to them (after divorce and family blending 2 times, my mom and uncles were over it).

      I will tell you that we invited 165 people, and 110 people showed up to our wedding. Unless you’re inviting mostly people from the town the wedding is in, I wouldn’t stress too much about over-inviting.

    • anonymouse

      I’m in a similar situation, in that my dad married someone when I was already an adult, and she has children who I’ve only met five or six times. I don’t have a very good relationship with my dad’s wife, and I don’t communicate with her or her kids independently of occasionally seeing them when I’m in town.

      I think you need to invite them. I know you don’t feel close to them, and I know you’re stressed out about the guest list (although have you checked out Lowe House Events’ post on decline rates? It may make you feel better). And I understand your point that her family isn’t your family. But she’s your family now, family in the ultimate sense of “I didn’t choose this person but they’re now part of my traditions and family story.” Assuming your dad and she stay together, if you have kids, she’s going to be family to your kids, and her kids are going to be family to your kids if there’s any sort of shared holidays.

      You can of course refuse to invite them, and take a stand on this, and I definitely did that for a while. What helped me finally feel okay with inviting them is that rather than feeling like they were forced upon me, I reframed the situation in my head as “I am choosing to invite them in the spirit of thinking about family in a broader way, and about thinking about the future.”

      My parents divorced over 20 years ago, so I’ve had a long time to adjust (and readjust) to many different permutations of family, and I still find this stuff hard. But when I make decisions based on a more-expansive acknowledgment of family, then I actually end up better off, because it makes for less awkwardness and hard feelings down the road.

      Good luck. I hope the talk with your dad goes well.

    • Rachel

      That really sucks, I’m so sorry you’re in this position!

      I think that while this is kind of on your dad for not relaying the message, if your dad is unwilling or super resistant to having this uncomfortable conversation with your stepmom, it’s OK for you to take it upon yourself and talk to her directly. Sometimes things can be worse with a middleman who imagines that all hell is going to break lose and tries to prevent the meltdown. It may not be any easier coming from you, but I think there’s something really respectable about having that kind of tough convo yourself. Obviously I don’t know her personality, but hearing it directly from you and being able to ask questions or bitch or whatever might actually make it an easier pill for her to swallow.

    • p.

      I think all you can really do is talk it out with your dad and spell out the problem: you’re already invited more people than you can fit at your venue and if the wife’s kids needed to be invited, he or she should have brought that up earlier. As someone else suggested, it seems like a fair compromise to move dad’s wife’s kids to the top of the B-list.

      Not to make your decision harder, but just to put it out there: we had slightly more people than had RSVP’d at our wedding. Everyone we invited showed up and one person brought an unexpected plus-one. That said, our wedding was quite small (65 people).

    • Claire

      Just a thought- does she have 6 children, or 3 (and 3 significant others)? If it’s 3, could you invite the children, and not their other halves? This might work out for you too, they may not want to attend without their significant others especially if they live any distance away.

    • Jessica

      I know I’m going against the general train of thought of these other comments, but I think you need to invite them. They are technically your step-siblings and will be your children’s aunts and uncles. I don’t have any step-siblings myself, but gosh, even if one of my cousins got married and didn’t invite me, I’d be pretty upset. I don’t know exactly what the family dynamics are in your situation, of course, and it seems like you’re not very close, but this seems like it would be slamming the door shut on any future improvements in the relationship.

  • Ellen

    So our wedding is in July, and I thought we were making really great progress on everything. I’m very Type A and have a ton of stuff nailed down- venue, dress, photographer, bridal party, attire for said bridal party, etc. Then I started pricing out tent rentals and food.


    I seriously had a heart attack. I now understand why people freak out about wedding planning. It has all been fun up to this point!

    Why in the world does wedding food cost three times as much as normal food?????? I plan events for my office- I should not be suffering from this kind of sticker shock. Wha the wha???

    On a related note- does anyone know any APW-worthy caterers in Vermont?

    • I don’t know anyone in Vermont, but seriously look into local restaurants that also provide catering. We used our favorite Mediterranean restaurant. I think it came out to about $20 a person, including 6 hours of support from three catering staff members, a $150 travel fee and paying $75 for ice. So much cheaper, and we got raves about how amazing the food was. They also did most of the breakdown and clean up at the venue too.

      • Ellen

        I am waiting to hear back from the catering division of one of my favorite restaurants! Fingers crossed that it will be a lot more feasible.

        • I definitely hope they can work within your budget. Don’t be afraid to shop around. Definitely type catering into Yelp and see who comes up. Traditional restaurants don’t always advertise their catering services.

          • Ellen

            I will make sure I do that- thanks!

            The one thing that is my saving grace through this whole experience is that in Vermont, there is no waiting period to get married and very few restrictions on who can marry you- so even if everything else falls to pieces, we will get married and that is that!

      • MM

        I second this. My sister had a local restaurant cater, and they did a fantastic job with awesome, made-to-order stuff during cocktail hour, and a buffet for dinner, and it was under $40/person.

    • Laura C

      What’s your venue situation with food? Are you allowed to have anyone you want (or at least any professional kitchen) cater it, or is there a list? Because if we’d gone with a venue that allowed that, I was thinking just, like, the local Indian restaurant or, if we didn’t have so many vegetarians, a barbecue restaurant. A place that identifies as a restaurant more than a caterer, or at least a regular caterer not a wedding caterer.

      • Ellen

        Our venue is my parents’ house, so we can have anyone under the sun cater for us! We are definitely thinking creative, but when the prices I were getting were absurd ($100/pp for a pig roast?!?!??!?!), I began to second guess this awesome plan.

        Worst case scenario we just get everything from Costco and convince somebody to set it up.

        • I know there was someone on last week’s happy hour wondering about the possibility of just hiring staff to help, not a full-service caterer. Maybe this is an option for you if you can’t find a reasonable caterer. It would make the whole Costco option a lot less stress for you.

          • Ellen

            Depending what else I am able to find re: full-service caterers, I am definitely going to be looking into hiring staff to help- nobody needs that kind of stress at a wedding!

          • We did this, sort of. We had the main meal taken care of (another vote for restaurants!), but we hired a friend of a friend to put out appetizers and keep the beverages stocked. We just put it up on facebook, and had her hired two hours later.

          • OH! The thing we did not think about was break-down. My wife and I ended up in our wedding clothes scraping plates with a few guests after everyone else had left, which sounds awful but was actually one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. Were I to do it again, though, I would definitely hire a second person to show up post-dinner and help with that.

        • When my mother got remarried two years ago they TOTALLY got everything from Costco the morning of (like, including the flowers, which were beautiful!) and it worked out perfectly. The whole extended family was there and the setup and serving was basically part of the party, the way it usually is for our get-togethers. If this is the kind of vibe you want, know that your worst-case scenario is totally doable and will turn out just fine!

          • Ellen

            That helps so so much. I could actually see that working pretty well with my family! And, I mean, it’ll be July, so we won’t be anxious to have food that needs to be kept super hot in any instance.

            Plus we are already planning on Costco All-American Chocolate Cake for our wedding cake, using the amazing tutorials on here to glam it up!

        • Copper

          A lot of places I checked with offer something they call “drop” catering. They cook it, bring it over, leave it with you, then someone on your end plates, serves, etc. Most of the cost of catering is in the service and serve ware from what I can tell.

    • Emmy

      I don’t have any Vermont-specific recommendations either, but we went with a pig roast BBQ buffet, and it came out to about $20/person. I found the company by putting our wedding location in Google maps and searching nearby for “pig roast.”

      • Ellen

        Yeah… I tried doing that- for a pig roast, actually!- and they came back at $100/person. I am not even kidding. These people are on crack.

    • I’m not sure where in Vermont you are but we actually used St. Johnsbury Academy (St. Johnsbury VT). I know they had a reorg recently and the two guys we worked with are not there anymore – so I don’t know if they still do outside events. I also had sticker shock when looking for a caterer but found them to be reasonably priced and high quality.

      Cafe Sweet Basil in lyndonville was our runner up.

      • Ellen

        We are in the Burlington area- so anything in the Northeast Kingdom is probably not going to be the best option. Thanks though!

    • My husband and I had Tropical Smoothie cater our wedding. When they asked what the catering was for and we said wedding, they were like OMG HERE HAVE SOME FREE STUFF THROWN IN THAT’S AWESOME.

      And everyone was happy. Because SMOOTHIES.

      • Ellen

        That’s awesome!!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    After 9 months of seriously looking, I got a job offer. However, even though it’s 40% more than I make currently, the additional salary would be entirely eaten up by the higher costs of living associated with the position. It’s also an extremely low-ball offer for the region. I go back Monday to negotiate for more.

    • Good luck! Women don’t negotiate enough, and you definitely should.

    • Shiri

      A friend reminded me the other day that the salary offer is (almost) always assumed by those offering to be a starting point, and they expect negotiation! Good luck, go for it!

    • I found this post and the advice in the comments very helpful!


      Good luck!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thanks for the link. That is helpful. In my 9 months of interviewing, most have been asking me to state salary expectations up-front, so I’m surprised to be in this position. Theoretically, the side that makes the first offer is in the worse position, so I guess I’m in a better position than had I provided a range at my initial interview.

        Does anyone have any tips for negotiating based on industry norms, not my own qualifications? This is a tiny business that could just be clueless. I have “comps” from private industry (a head-hunter published a study) and government jobs.

        • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

          A friend and I were talking about negotiations this week. The advice she’d been given is to work out the cost of living the life that you want to have alongside that position. (Ie. as a grad students she’s to renting on the cheap. After graduation, what sort of house is she wanting to buy and what will monthly payments on that be? Etc. etc.) Have that figure in mind as you enter in the conversation.

    • Woo hoo, negotiate away! My wife did this with her last position, even though it was super intimidating for her since she’d never really done it before. I was so proud of her a) in general and b) for doing her homework and coming up with concrete reasons she deserved more. She kicked ass and got more money, and I know you will too!

    • Anon this time

      Please negotiate for more! Think of their first offer as the “floor” and its your job to work them up from that starting point. If you have comps for that industry and especially for that region, definitely use them!

      I’ve personally hired ten people in the last two years. One man and nine women, all reasonably equally qualified and experienced. Would you believe that the man is the ONLY one who even tried to negotiate for a higher starting salary?

      In my large company, salary ranges are set by corporate HR and the recruiter will recommend the salary and make the offer to the candidate. If they accept the initial salary offer, it’s a done deal. If they ask for more money, I get to evaluate and tell HR to pay them more. As much as I’d like to pay everyone equally, the one guy on my team is making significantly more just because he negotiated for it. He made a strong case for why he was worth the extra money, I could sell it to HR, and I didn’t want to go back to recruiting from scratch. All the women accepted the first salary offer. And left money on the table.


  • moonitfractal

    I would like to thank APW for posting the ‘what if animals were round’ link. It’s been a crummy week and watching the video helped brighten my day. I want to be friends with the round leopard.

    • You’re welcome! I don’t even know how I got to that link, but it was late at night and I woke up half the house with my laughing. :P

      I think the alligator/crocodile is my favorite.

    • M.

      I want to nap with him on the tree. This day has been OMG THIS DAY, but that got me to smile :) Thanks from me too!

  • Breck

    Possibly stupid question:

    How do you y’all take your make up off? I mean the foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer stuff you put on your face. Do you just… wash your face with your normal face wash? Or use wipes or something? I really like my cleanser, but I sort of feel like it might be leaving some make up residue when I put a full face on.

    Am I doing it wrong?

    • Breck,
      I do the oil cleansing method and it melts away all the makeup, BB cream and dirt. I use a wash cloth with my process. I personally love it.

      • Breck

        I’ve been reading a lot about the OCM and definitely want to try it when I have access to some quality products and/or Amazon (currently in Venezuela where these things… don’t exist). Any specific oil? I’ve heard you have to do some experimenting before figuring out a combo that works well for your skin.

        • I started with coconut oil and sweet almond oil as a mix. But recently moved on to castor oil/ apricot kernel oil/ jojoba oil / hazelnut oil. Still tinkering with the exact mix.
          One other thought to try may be good old fashion witch hazel oil after washing. Or apple cider vinegar mixed with oil as a toner.

          • I’ve had great results with just high quality olive oil. I’ve also occasionally used coconut oil, although I’ve heard that it can have a comedogenic effect for some people (especially refined coconut oil).

          • Breck

            I’ve heard great things about using ACV as a toner, and I think I’ve seen it in the grocery store, so I’m gonna give that a whirl!

        • AMS

          Coconut oil for me! It’s amazing how well it works at getting makeup off, and my skin feels so soft after! I also made up a mix of coconut oil with tea tree, lavender and chamomile essential oils for bad face weeks although I’m careful not to get it near my eyes. I spent too many years fighting with my skin, and I love the difference that using simple things like coconut oil and a hot face cloth has made.

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            I love the many ways APW comments uses coconut oil. Makeup remover, lube, fajitas…. That stuff is magic.

          • Right! The coconut is too heavy for my pores, so that’s why I’m mixing it up (pun!). But I use it for a deep hair conditioner and to shave. Mixed with the sweet almond oil it smells so heavenly.

            I also rubbed it on a rash my son had, and the rash was gone within hours. Love that stuff!

          • Just a lurker

            Where do y’all buy your coconut oil? I’ve been getting the big jars from Trader joes, but I’d love to find something a little less pricy.

          • Teafortwo

            Just a Lurker, I can’t reply to your comment, but COSTCO. I think it’s $17 for a 3 kilo tub – about one-third of what I was paying at the health food store.

            UGH. That does not make me feel like the ethical shopper I often try to be. Sorry, local health food store. At least Costco employees get benefits, I guess.

    • InTheBurbs

      I use a wipe; followed by cleanser and moisturizer…

    • Jessica B

      I use MakeUp Forever’s Senseyes for make up removal. I was assured by the ladies at Sephora that it is the best, and used by synchronized swimmers to get their waterproof makeup off. It still leaves a residue around my eyes because my eyelashes trap some of the makeup throughout the day, but for the most part it does the job.

    • Rachel

      I use a makeup remover wipe for my eye makeup (and maybe swipe over my face once) and then wash with Cetaphil!

      • meg

        I just wash my face like normal, but I do use an eye makeup remover wipe (from trader joes) if I have a lot of eye makeup.

    • I just use my normal face wash, but with one of those clairisonic brushes. Now, believe I always thought those things were BS, but I was given one for xmas and it’s amaaaaazing. My skin is so much better. Conversely, my grandmama used plain ol cold cream and her skin was also fabulous, so ymmv.

      • Breck

        Ok, I also use one of the Clarisonic brushes (well, the knock off Olay one), but I feel a little gross putting the brush directly on my yucky, make up-covered skin. Like, am I embedding all those make up particles into the brush, making it forever unclean? Am I the only lunatic that thinks of it this way? (Probably).

        • LOL. Not at all. But distilled white vinegar is badass from cleaning brushes. I clean all my makeup brushes with it. And my towels/wash cloths.

          • Breck

            Thank you for your reassurance that I’m not insane and the white vinegar tip!

    • Alison O

      I always saw my mom take off eye make-up with Vaseline, so that’s what I do, with a soft piece of tissue or TP. I use my normal face-wash or scrub to get the rest off. I also use witch hazel as a toner, which can help to remove any remaining residue.

      And Tyra approves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKxBoPgujNk

    • I use jojoba oil from Trader Joe’s. It works perfectly to get all eye makeup off, including mascara. (I don’t wear foundation, but I imagine it would take that off easily as well.) It leaves my skin feeling really soft too.

    • Breck, I’ve been using coconut oil too. (Since the beginning of May.) I tried olive oil before and that was too heavy for me, but coconut oil works great for me. I buy mine from well.ca.

  • I read one of the smartest things in a while today: http://blogs.westword.com/showandtell/2013/10/chip_walton_curious_theatre_co.php?page=2

    In it he says:
    [Interviewer asks]’What could be done to improve the scene?’

    [Brian answers] “Creative failure spaces. Spaces where work can fail while artists work out their shit. Real financial support. Livable wage kind of support. Support that allows makers of performance the ability to, well, make performance. Financial support that pushes innovation rather than organization. Expanded arts coverage and promotion. Put the coverage back in the hands of the community. Reviews are not enough, blogs are not enough. The community needs a real campaign to encourage people to take risks with their time.”

    It excites me on so many levels. Yes, failure is acceptable and even necessary. And yes, a community! A community must support artists for innovation to happen. Not a handout, but true support. He’s talking about his experimental theater company, but I feel such a strong connection to this as a writer and marketer. Creative failure spaces. What courage it takes to fail in front of everyone expecting something different.

  • Kate

    OK, something I am randomly upset about that kind of has to do with feminism. I kind of want to start trying to have a baby. My husband is ready, and so am I. It feels like someone flipped a switch and now I am ready.

    I am an attorney. I switched firms in May. At my new firm, I am not eligible for maternity benefits (12 paid weeks actually, which is pretty good) until after I have been here two full years (24 months). So, I need to wait at least 15 months from last May to start trying.

    I knew that this would be the case when I chose to take a new job. The job has been a growth experience for me, so I am glad I did not stay put at my last job just to have a baby with benefits. I thought I had made peace with waiting until next summer.

    And then, a new attorney joined our firm in July. Turns out, his wife was pregnant and had a baby this week. He’s out for the next two weeks on paternity.

    I do not begrudge him leave. I am just so blindingly frustrated that he got to switch jobs with reckless abandon – no thought into how long he’d have to wait for things to line up in his personal life for him to have children. I feel like I am constantly negotiating the timing of this – when will it work best for my career? When will the benefits I need be available? What works for my husband? And I don’t see the male attorneys at my firm having to navigate these issues.

    • S.h.i.r.i

      Are you in the US? Can you take FMLA instead? You have to be there 12 months for FMLA, assuming your firm size makes it applicable.

      I’m going through a version of this and am having a really hard time with the TTC and job hunting part of it (hellooo semi anonymous version of my name!). It feels like the right time for us, but given how bad the market is in my field, how long can I hold off on switching jobs? Or how long can I hold off on TTC in order to try to be available for a job that might not exist? It’s a lot of stress, I totally understand.

      • Kate

        Yup! Eligible for FMLA, but it’s unpaid. I am the main “breadwinner” in our house (I make approximately 80% of the monthly income) and with my student debt level, just cannot afford to take unpaid leave at this time. It’s unfortunate.

        Also, I feel you on the hesitancy to switch! I was particularly interested in the part of “Lean In” that discussed how women sometimes hold off switching jobs when they anticipate getting pregnant. In her example (if I remember correctly) she encouraged someone she was interviewing to go for a job even though she was considering trying to get pregnant. Was super interesting.

    • S.h.i.r.i

      And because I can’t edit my comment, I also want to say: this is the first time in my life where I’m worried I’ll make the wrong decision in a way that will effect the rest of my life. That I’m at a crossroads and really don’t know how to make the right choice here. I mean, the market may be telling me it isn’t a choice, but I just found out I’m underpaid by industry standards to the tune of at least 40% for my geographical area, and so that factors in, as well.

      So, I feel it. And yes, men don’t have to worry about these things and it’s excruciating.

    • Emmy

      Ugh, that’s so frustrating! In our case, my husband is actually the one more likely to have to negotiate stuff at his office. I work in a very family-friendly office, but he doesn’t. The whole thing is such a ridiculous mess. I also feel strongly that until men and women are treated the same in reproductive/parenting issues (with some allowance for biological differences, of course), and take more equal responsibility at home, we’ll never get true equality or more reasonable work/life balances.

    • I think this is a major way that companies are so behind. While I’m not planning a baby for a couple years, my small company does not have an official maternity leave policy. They have told me they will work something out when the time comes, but it does worry me. About a year ago, I started seriously looking for a job that would have a better policy, but nothing came of that. Things got way better, and now I’m super happy, but I still worry about my options when the time comes.

    • meg

      It just makes you frustrated? Reading that makes me violently angry.

      • Alison O

        Yeah. Why risk a sex discrimination lawsuit when you can simply deter the people you don’t want to hire with legal policies?

        Same bs is used for voter suppression.

    • Would you have two weeks off if you had a baby now? If you would, then I don’t see how this is discriminatory. He wasn’t offered 12 weeks right?

      • If it is the policy of the firm to give men 2 weeks right off the bat and women 12 weeks after two years, you may have an argument. The better argument would be why the men only get two and the women get 12 – they should be the same.

      • Kate

        Well no, if I had a baby right now I would not get 2 paid weeks. I’d be able to take FMLA leave, which is unpaid. My job would be here when I came back and that’s it.

        But I wasn’t talking about it from the legal standpoint of discrimination. I was talking about it from the emotional standpoint of someone who wants to have a child, but finds the structure of the modern workplace (in the US, at least) stacked against her. That’s it.

        • I can see that, and how it is frustrating and maddening. The firm should apply its standards uniformly – no parental leave until 24 months, period. I wonder if he negotiated for it before accepting?

          I would also say, from the firm’s standpoint, there is a big difference between two weeks and twelve. I can see how they would want a return on their investment (you) before have you take off a quarter of the year (paid, plus benefits?). Not that it still doesn’t suck for a planning perspective, but our parental leave policy as a nation sucks (since there isn’t any except fmla).

          Fingers crossed for you that it turns out the 15 month wait will be for a reason. I have baby fever (waiting for my husband to be ready) and I sometimes wonder about the kid I would have now vs the kid I will have then. Different egg/sperm, different kid right? It kind of blows my mind sometimes.

          • If I can speak for Kate, it seems her frustration isn’t specifically with the firm and their policies, but the reality that being a working woman who wants to have a baby is complicated in a different way than being a working many who wants to have a baby.

            She has to wait, because she’s relatively new to her job and after birthing a baby will need/wants the extended time off. Her male coworker was new to his job, but having a child doesn’t come with the biological implications, so he can return to work after two weeks, while presumably his wife can stay home and heal and be with the baby for the first few months. As a result, there’s freedom with regards to family and career planning for him than there is for her.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      We’ll be in a similar boat soon.

      Double-check the policies regarding student loans. I’m pretty sure a second deferral is pretty easy to get with federal loans. (The first deferral is usually the 6 months after graduation.) My husband’s student loans are from Illinois, and he’s been able to defer them for years due to unemployment due to disability, and he hasn’t qualified for Social Security disability payments.

    • Jessica

      Wow. Yes. This is an interesting point. That is definitely unfair that you would have to wait, if you want to get the paid leave benefit. And the male attorneys don’t. I hope things like this change… If not for us, for our daughters.

  • “…reminds me that I’ve never told you about pitching a TV show while six months pregnant. The pictures alone are amazing.”

    You can’t just dangle that and leave us all hanging. Spill! Please!

    • Jessica B


    • meg

      Just threw that in there to see if anyone was reading. Apparently only you two were!

      I did. It was awesome. It got interest, and then didn’t get picked up (which was sort of fine by me, I really wanted to do the pitching part, but I have my hands more than full over here, and was a few months away from a baby). And all I’ll say beyond that is that a sort of rip-off show later got picked up, so it clearly wasn’t a terrible idea in the slightest.

      Getting to pitch TV shows hugely pregnant is really fun. though a TOTAL sartorial challenge, holy shit.

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        So. What did you wear? Now I’m even more curious.

      • Now you’re dangling the sartorial challenge though! SO MUCH TEASING!

        • meg

          I clearly need to have an excuse to post pictures, which I OBVIOUSLY took. I need some female entrepreneurship post, or something. All I can say is thank god for Pea in the Pod. They take a lot of shit for being expensive (though my issue isn’t price, it’s that I wish things were better made). But they are the ONLY place that sold clothes for women in a variety of roles: corporate professionals, urban professional creatives, etc.

          I was not the kind of small pregnant woman that could make non-pregnancy clothes somehow work, and I could not look like I was about to pick a kid up from a suburban soccer game, and it’s absurd that finding clothes that fit the bill was that damn hard.

          • meg

            Oh! Though ASOS is also good.

          • I LOVE ASOS. I’m not pregnant, but I can vouch for having gotten some great inexpensive cardigans that were reasonably well-made. With free shipping. Lots of win there.

            Maybe some sort of female entrepreneurial fashion post? MEG’S FAVORITE THIIIIINGS?

      • I’m pitching to a TV network next month (and also just crossed into the territory of “hugely pregnant”). I’ve been so swept up just with the fact that I’ll be pitching as this isn’t a common occurrence for me, and sometimes I forget that other people can tell (er, understatement) that I’m gestating a human, so I hadn’t even thought about all the extra implications. Was it an elephant-in-the-room type situation, or did you acknowledge upfront the whole yes-that-is-my-belly-you-saw-enter-the-room-even-before-I-did phenomenon?

        • Christa

          The way I have decided to think about this problem, from both a temporarily pregnant perspective, and having a a permanent visually obvious disability, is to assume that you and I have both noticed, but that it isn’t relevant to the conversation at hand. When it is, I will bring it up. Until then, you keep your questions about my body to yourself unless it’s relevant to the current topic of conversation. Neither pregnancy nor disability are an elephant in the room- they are facts of life. But I don’t bring up when I have to pee in a business meeting either, I just excuse myself when necessary.

        • meg

          In general, I didn’t talk a lot about being pregnant while I was, and I really didn’t bring it up much in professional situations, since I saw it as personal, and really none of their business.

          I don’t think it came up in the meetings, though I remember saying something about having a kid to one of the agents, and him saying, “I just felt like I couldn’t say anything till you did,” which was pretty wise of him. And then after the last meeting I talked c-sections with two producers, when we were shooting the shit in the hall. But in the professional context? Not so much. Though I suppose I might have made a joke about it, since I tend to make jokes on the regular.

          I did talk about kids a fair amount with the production team who was pitching me, just because they both had them, and were very nice.

  • Lindsay Rae

    Our wedding is one year from right this moment! We will be exiting the church one year from RIGHT NOW!

    Our “long engagement” (2 years) is really not feeling that long.. totally flying by!!

    So crazy… and so very thankful I’ve found the APW community! xox

    • Eeeee, wedding day twins!! Mine’s a year from today too!!

      Our engagement is kind of long, too — 20 months! Hang in there, we will be married before we know it!

  • Also, we haven’t even mailed our save the dates yet, but I am having a blast designing our invitations (for June). I figured that I already have all the info we need and I have a Groupon for Vistaprint, so why not! I heart InDesign.

    Also, I was whining a little bit about tablecloth rentals to a friend, and she offered to get me a bunch of 8′ rectangular tablecloths! I’ll still need a bunch of rounds, but she is saving us a lot. It’s really true, friends want to help if you given them an opportunity.

    • I designed my own save the dates, and I came up with the concept for the invitations that I had a more skilled friend execute. Quick piece of advice, I really recommend Papersource for the envelopes. They are really good quality, and I felt they made my DIY invitations look a little fancier. They weren’t really that expensive either. Also be sure you think about envelopes before you have your invitations printed, so you can make sure the dimensions of your invites work with standard envelopes. I’ve noticed Vistaprint dimensions aren’t always standard. Good luck!

      • Well, I decided to make the invitations using the oversize postcards and the RSVPs on regular postcards. They should fit in 5-3/4″ x 8-3/4″ greeting card envelopes.

      • Also, if you are buying enough that it becomes “bulk,” Paper Sources has a reduction. I bought a few extra to get the reduction, and then (still) have the leftover envelopes and cards, for years later. Maybe I should figure out something to do with them…?

        But I did really like the quality. :)

    • Remy

      We did our announcements, invitations, and programs w/ Vistaprint (also with a Groupon — it cost very very little, AND when we had a venue snafu and had to reprint the invitations, that didn’t cost much more!) I would say, though, that the standard envelopes Vistaprint includes are quite flimsy and maybe not exactly what you’ll want to use, so standard sizing is a good thing. Smart you!

      • Yeah, I know we don’t even get envelopes with what we are ordering, but know I can get them super cheap through our employee ordering contract at work.

  • CII

    Cardigan/sweater brides: Did you keep your layer on for the ceremony and if so, recommend or regret? I am planning on wearing a cardigan that I love, which I purchased mainly to cover up my arms because I am self-conscious about how they photograph. I was thinking of leaving it off for the ceremony because it covers up details on my dress, but wearing it for pre-ceremony photos and the reception. The wedding is indoors, but the weather outside will be chilly enough that either on or off would look appropriate. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    • Other Beth

      Hi there – I got married at the end of May and it was quite a chilly day, and we got married outside, but I chose to not wear the cardigan during the ceremony and instead put it on after the first dance. My husband also changed outfits after the first dance. We went into the house (our reception was in a tent) while everyone was eating dinner and quickly changed. He got out of his suit and opted for nice jeans and cowboy boots for the remainder of the evening, I just added the cardigan. It was also another nice moment to slip away from the crowd and giggle about the fact that we were married! :) BTW – I, too, am self-conscious about my arms, but I’m glad I made the decision I did. If you give me your email address I’ll send you a link to some photos of our day so you can see how it all looked. Good Luck!

    • Jess

      I was a cardigan bride…but had not in any way planned to be. Quite simply, it was a lot colder than anyone had expected. I was grateful to have something in my suitcase that played nicely with the color of my flowers & the details of my dress.

      So, I was dress only for the ceremony and the first half of the pictures. My favorite pictures are all ones that have me wearing the cardigan, but the sweater & no-sweater pictures all look great together. I think what you talk about makes perfect sense and will look lovely.

    • Jen

      I had seen one picture of a bride in a cardigan and, being the lover of cardigans that I am, I decided that I MUST have a wedding cardigan!! I didn’t wear it for the outdoor ceremony, or for family/wedding party photos…but I did wear it for the fun photos at the Ben & Jerry’s factory and at the lunch after our ceremony. I love the pictures in the cardigan…but I also love the pictures without the cardigan where you can see more details of the dress!! I think whatever you decide will be perfect :)

  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    Ok so the feminism post earlier this week was totally awesome but everyone kept talking about loving to wear dresses and I am sitting here thinking “where do you find comfortable dresses!???” I would love to wear dresses all the time but they either fit me very weirdly ( I believe my body type is defined as a Dime : cute face, little waist with a big behind and also a very muscular back) or make me look like an Oompa Loompa. Suggestions?

    • Jessica B

      e-shakti.com! They cut to your measurements. They aren’t always perfect, but you get a dress that will fit you for under $100.

    • Have you looked at eshakti.com? They make custom dresses to your measurements. Maybe if a dress was made for you it would be more flattering?

      • Laura C

        One warning I’d give about eShakti is to pay close attention to length. The way they show the dresses it can be really hard to tell, and I got a dress where the description they gave of the length was…not how I’d have described the dress that arrived. Like, it said below the knee, which to me means a couple inches below the knee. And it was mid-calf on me, and I’m 5’11”.

    • Another vote for eShakti. Also, big BIG thumbs up for the dresses from Title Nine Sports.

    • Most of my dresses come from the clearance rack at Banana Republic and also Ann Taylor. I’m a big fan of structured dresses with a pencil skirt style bottom, as I think they are pretty universally flattering. Maybe invest in some cute belts to accentuate your waist line?

      • Alison O

        And depending on your height the petites section might work…

    • I find e-shakti to size a little small when you do custom, so add an inch if you do custom.

      Once someone explained baby powder / chafing gel when wearing skirts without pantyhose as a bigger woman, it was like a whole new world opened up to me (complete with Aladdin music). I was 25 before I learned this, which is why I mention it here.

      • AnonCat

        I have never really gotten chaffing gel or baby powder to work, but I LOVE bike shorts under skirts. (Besides preventing chafing, I like that a long full skirt and bike shorts lets me not worry about how I sit. I don’t want to worry I’m flashing someone when I sit like a guy, or curl up on a comfy chair.)

    • Addie

      I am a huge fan of Modcloth (www.modcloth.com). The cuts of the dresses are a little vintage (read: smaller waists and forgiving in the hips) and are super cute and interesting. Best, in the reviews people put their measurements so you can get an idea of what people your size and shape thought of a particular garment. I’m short so if everyone who complains about length is over 5’8″, I know I’ll probably by fine. That helps make the online dress buying process easier. And there’s free shipping if you buy a certain amount and free returns.

    • moonitfractal

      I’ve had great luck buying knit dresses that either don’t have belts or at least have belts that aren’t attached to the garment. I belt them wherever is smallest on that particular day (sometimes the natural waist, sometimes not). Very comfy, very easy. I wear dresses almost exclusively.

    • Jess

      This. This is my EXACT issue! So glad there is someone else out there who does not fit the industry standard shape!

  • Abby Mae

    My husband and I are going on a roadtrip to So.Cal from Utah next Thursday to a family outing to Mickeys’ Halloween Party. It’s around a 10 hour trip.

    I’m creating a soundtrack for our trip. I’m trying to go for fun, carefree music that’ll really set the mood for our first adventure as a married couple.

    Does anyone have any music suggestions for the trip over?

    • On one trip to So.Cal I made a mix of all songs about California (there are a lot). My personal favorite was California by Phantom Planet (yes that is the OC theme song).

    • David Grisman (Dawg’s Groove)
      Kaki King
      Iron & Wine
      Little bit o’ Beatles & Beach Boys
      Alexi Murdoch

      • CII

        Three cheers for roadtrip theme playlists. Some things I would put on for this trip include:
        – Tom Petty – Runnin’ Down a Dream, American Girl, or Free Fallin’
        – Kris Kristofferson – Me and Bobby McGee
        – The Killers – A Dustland Fairytale

    • Abby Mae

      Wow! Thanks ladies! I’m excited to check these out and put them onto my Roadtrippin’ Playlist!

      I’d love to hear more suggestions if anyone else has something great to add. I would def. appreciate it!

    • Rebekah

      My amazing friend loves Halloween and gave me a Halloween mix that included
      Michael Jackson – Thriller
      The Monster Mash
      This is Halloween from Nightmare before Christmas
      One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
      ELO – Evil Woman
      Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper
      AC/DC – Highway to Hell
      Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
      and of course Ghostbusters

      Have fun/be safe!

    • Kirsten

      Ford Econoline, by Nanci Griffith- as long as you don’t mind it being about a deadbeat husband. But I think the fact that it’s super peppy and catchy (and about a woman driving from SLC to California) makes up for it. :)

    • We did a road trip through Utah for our honeymoon, and we found that anything by Johnny Cash just seemed to totally fit with the landscape and the ambiance of the region. We also had some Elvis and Trampled by Turtles.

    • KEA1

      I am a huge fan of Bruce Hornsby and so a LOT of his stuff makes it onto my playlists, especially for roadtrips. His bluegrass album with Ricky Skaggs would, I think, be particularly good…even if for no other reason than the bluegrass version of “Superfreak.” A lot of his live recording stuff (with and without the Noisemakers) has a really fun, laid-back feel to it; you can really tell that everyone on stage is just having a great time being able to perform.

      Also, if this is Mickey as in Disney, peppy soundtrack stuff (I’m thinking “Friend Like Me,” maybe?). And I’m partial to bad ’80s/’90s hair metal, but maybe that’s just me… ;)

  • Jenni

    One year until marriage!!! (Whoa.)

    I’ve been in Switzerland this week for work, which I’ve sneakily been able to do despite the shutdown. I hope this gets resolved this weekend and we can all go back to work on Monday …

  • Jessica B

    Rant time!

    My husband leaves for a 11 month training/deployment in 6 days. I’m trying to keep it together as much as possible–we just got married 3 weeks ago–and it’s really hard for both of us.

    Last night he went out with a friend, and ended up having a few too many. I called him at midnight, he said he was drinking water and sobering up and would be home in about an hour-ish. I left a light on and went to bed. I woke up at 4am, light still on, he’s not home. I call him, no answer. Then I toss and turn the rest of the night, until 7am when he calls me. I immediately pick up and ask “are you ok??” to which he says he just fell asleep on the couch, and that he’s sorry and on his way home.

    Listen. I get wanting to go out with friends he isn’t going to see for a year. I completely get it and support it, but I’m really hurt that he spent the whole night out when we have so much limited time together. That he couldn’t text me or call me that he was too tired to drive home. It just really hurts all around. There’s nothing I can do about this situation (the one last night or the whole deployment thing), but it helps to talk about it, even to strangers on the internet.

    • Rachel

      Oh girl…I would have lost my shit over that. Going out drinking and not getting home when you say you will and not being reachable is like my #1 angry-making thing. I totally understand why you’re upset. :(

    • Laura C

      Yeah, I’d be pissed. Epically pissed. And then I’d be even more pissed, because it isn’t just the one night he was gone, it’s all the time wasted being mad about it. Not that you shouldn’t be mad because it’s a waste of time — it’s not the kind of thing you want to let fester.

      This is why every time I hear someone say “it’s better to apologize than ask permission,” I kind of want to punch them. Most of the time, NO IT’S NOT.

      • Jessica B

        Yeah, I’m pissed, but also don’t want to waste our time together being pissed.

        Seriously, the last time he had too many to drink he texted and said he would probably be spending the night at his buddy’s house, which was fine. I’d rather he crash there than crash his car. This is not typical of him.

        I think he knows how badly he fucked up, which is important. I just can’t talk about this with our friends, because they’re his friends too, and everyone is getting emotional because he’s leaving. It’s not fair to make him the bad guy to our community.

    • KC

      I get that this is really, really frustrating, but… if he fell asleep while sitting on a couch trying to sober up enough to drive home (which: I have seen many inebriated people fall asleep accidentally despite best intentions, and often their buddies either don’t realize that sleep was not in the plan or are too out of it themselves to wake them up), and called you as soon as he woke up, then… I mean, yes, ideally, he would not have drunk enough to need to sober up and/or enough to cause him to zonk out on the sofa, but neither the staying-over-all-night nor the not-contacting-you was deliberate? And better than driving drunk? But still, the situation had a negative effect on you, which should be acknowledged, maybe? But it might really not be mostly his fault?

      That said, it’s a messy, complicated thing to be facing down a deployment and trying to fit in every last iota of time you can and yet trying to make sure he has space for friends, too, etc. Augh.

      Best wishes to you!

      • Jessica B

        The rational, emotionless part of my brain does tell me this. The emotional part of my brain is a bit like the Tea Party–a very vocal minority that takes over when it doesn’t need to.

        Thanks for the wishes!

    • jashshea

      Similar situations have happened to me as well (not out ALL night, but out later than expected) and I explained my position thusly:

      1) When you text and say “heading home after this one” I take you at your word.
      2) When you aren’t home w/in an hour after that I’m in full on panic mode (planning out steps to call hospitals, jails, your parents).
      3a) #2 is how I am and how I will always be.
      3b) If I know generally where you are, I’m not at all crazy and not at all angry that you’re out late.
      4) Therefore, please only tell me you’re coming home when you are getting into a taxi and the taxi is moving in the direction of our house.

      I’m generally easy going and we both work long hours, so weeknight time isn’t always “us” time.

      Your situation is obviously different with the deployment looming. Good luck with everything and stay strong.

  • Karen

    We sent out our email save the dates this week with http://www.glosite.com! I think people are having a hard time grasping the concept. Many people still haven’t opened the email. Are people just afraid to open anything that looks weird? I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to send them another message saying “Hey! Open the email already!” Yeah, I’m kind of antsy like that. Oh well. The wedding isn’t until April but I wanted to make sure people put it on their calendars in advance.

    • I’m not familiar with the Glo system, but is there any chance the email went into a few spam folders?

      • Karen

        If an email bounces you get a notice that they bounced. Otherwise they’re pending. Then there are the people who viewed the email but didn’t go to the website. I’m going to give it some time and decide if I need to do something further in about a week or so. But those who’ve actually opened the emails and gone to the site like it, so there’s that.

        • M.

          Note that the “bounce” notice is only if it doesn’t go through at all (like, full inbox, wrong email addy)…they could be in spam and from the glo side you wouldn’t know.

    • M.

      We sent out Glo Save the Dates for our April wedding a few weeks ago. Our situation: First, with about 90 invitees, 50+ of which are family, almost everyone knew already and knew when it was. We also had contacted many people to get their preferred email addresses & mailing info, so they knew *something* was coming. We waited about a week to give people time to open , and then personally emailed some who hadn’t (I think there were maybe 6-8 total so out of 90 invitees) and said, hey just a heads up we sent these out and it’s possible you missed it, so here is your personal link. A couple we resent because we suspected they had seen them and just forgotten to go back and click. I had to badger my own dad!

      I know some went to spam, some were glossed over, and (worst part), some gmail ones went to the new Promotions tab (gurg!).

      Overall, with a little nudging, everyone has looked now except my one cousin, but it’s expected for him. I think it’s a combination of know your people, be patient, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who may not have seen it.

      (We have had less than half look at the actual site, and plan to send out a general email saying, hey our site is finished! a few months before the real invites go out).

      • Karen

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate hearing from another glo user. I’ll continue to be patient and then later send reminders. I guess I was hoping for a little more fanfare. But, in reality, that’s my stuff and I can deal with it.

        • M.

          Haha yeah the “fanfare” I wanted seems to have been just from me and my fiance! We were so jazzed! Others were excited about the wedding but not the invite necessarily. I think I got two comments from people re the site that were fanfare-y, and a couple more from people who didn’t know about the wedding yet.

          I think in a way too the “knowing” with Glo, like who got it, who saw it, who clicked, can trick you into thinking there’ll be more Save the Date fanfare than normal? Like, when I get them on paper I’m excited, but then I stick them on the fridge, and that’s that. I don’t necessarily call or text the person, esp if I knew it was coming. So you know, the recipients can see the email, be happy, click now or wait til later…. meanwhile you and I are refreshing the glovite status page like madwomen. :)

          There’s no beating the convenience and savings and the streamlining though! With our priorities surrounding the wedding, it’s been a lifesaver.

    • Sam

      I’m using Glo, too! We sent out our Save-the-Dates last week So far it has worked well for me. There were a few stragglers whom we contacted to double-check that we were using their correct email address (turns out we weren’t!). It took about a week, but just about everyone has opened theirs. There are also a number of people on my side of the family who don’t really use email, so I sent them a paper version.

  • MM

    Where has this year gone, people? Our wedding is 2 weeks from tomorrow! I go from feeling like I have everything under control, to minor freakouts about how nothing is all the way done. Which would be fine if these swings didn’t occur multiple times per day! I think I think I need to set my “F-it day” soon… I’m thinking that if it’s not done by the Wednesday before, it’s fine and it didn’t need to happen anyway.

    • I can really relate. This is exactly how I felt 2 weeks before my wedding. The f-it day is definitely important. A co-worker gave me the advice that you will no longer be able to get stuff done once out of town friends and family show up. While this was definitely true, the good news is I suddenly had help. I did my last few errands the morning of Wednesday before the wedding (my fiance’s parents got to town that afternoon). I was able to give my now in-laws the last few of my remaining errands, which really helped me be able to relax and enjoy the time. Usually people want to help, especially when it gets to be crunch time, and I recommend letting them.

  • So, speaking of government shutdowns, add me to the list of massive-freakouts from earlier this week! On Monday night I got an email from the national passport office telling me WHILE I WAS RELOADING NPR READING ABOUT THE IMMINENT SHUTDOWN that they didn’t like the passport picture I’d had taken *at a passport office* and to please re-send them one. This, for a passport renewal that I could have gotten done way easier had I know that, upon changing your name, you have a year to do it with an official name-change form instead of going through the traditional renewal process. TIP, PEOPLE: CHANGE THAT PASSPORT NAME WITHIN A YEAR.

    Anyway, cue a huge freakout Monday night that they weren’t going to ever send me my new passport because they’d get shut down (there were conflicting reports), and we’d have to cancel our IVF trip abroad and basically the ENTIRE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T WANT US TO EVER HAVE A BABY WAAAAAH.

    Things are looking better now, but take this piece of advice and change your passport name before the year is up and you’re not attempting it in a mad dash on a pending government shutdown!

    Cross your fingers that they get this passport to me, y’all. And UPDATE THOSE PASSPORTS. You know, if you change your name. (I took 6 months to officially decide after getting married to actually change mine.)

    • Jessica B

      They don’t like your picture? What the fuck?

      This sounds like undue stress and burdensome and I’m so sorry this is happening!

      • The passport office photo guy didn’t measure it correctly. When I took it back he was like, you’re the first one in like four years I messed up, I’m so sorry! I was nice about it, and he gave me two new photos at no charge (as he should). But inside I was like….’you had one job.’

        • Jessica B

          I accidentally just reported your comment instead of ‘exactlying’ I’m so sorry!

        • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

          1) That’s awful.
          2) You did remind me of this short film. Sharing it hopes that it brings a smile.

  • Charis

    I’ve been thinking about healthcare quite a bit this week, I have an account on myfitnesspal.com and often see US people in the forums who have no health insurance and are trying to get DIY remedies for their injuries and ailments because they can’t afford to go to the doctor.

    A few weeks ago I had an infection in my toe which very quickly spread to my foot, and I went straight to hospital where they dressed it and gave me antibiotics. I’ve been going to a nurse a few times a week for dressings and it’s cost me £7.85 altogether (a standard prescription price).

    As someone in the UK where healthcare is taken straight from tax payers but is available to everyone, it breaks my heart to see people on myfitnesspal suffering, because I never have to think about not being able to afford care.

    I know the NHS is far from perfect, and I do pay quite a high proportion of my wages in National Insurance which pays for NHS budget, but I feel happy to fund healthcare for everyone. I really don’t want to sound like smug British person lol, but I kind of don’t understand why your system is like it is (I understand the taxes etc.)? If anyone could enlighten me I would be really genuinely grateful!

    • meg

      Because our country is actually pretty conservative (particularly compared to the UK). I don’t think single payer healthcare is going to happen in my lifetime over here.

    • This video by John Green is pretty good:


    • Don’t Hassle the Haf


      I would also listen to this because Ira Glass is my sprint guide (just kidding but really) and also because I think it gives a very fair overview of the current health system

      • Ira and Terry FO LYFE

        • Alison O

          Ugh didn’t mean to report, sorry

      • Don’t Hassle the Haf

        **Spirit Guide

  • Natalie

    You GUYS!!!
    This is literally the best thing I’ve seen all week. A guy planned his proposal for over a year so that he could propose to and marry his girlfriend in the same day!! (her dream)

    So cute.


    • Catherine McK

      Wow. Well that helped my Friday afternoon go faster..

    • That is astounding.

    • Copper

      what if she’d said “no”?

    • Kelly

      I told by now-husband that this would be the worst thing he could do for/to me. Definitely a know-your-audience kind of thing

    • AnonCat

      I am so glad they mentioned that she dreamed of being proposed to and getting married on the same day. A few years ago there was this video going roun of this guy go set up this elaborate proposal that for some reason involved having an actor pretend to accuse him of cheating, and choirs, and dancers and led straight to this giant wedding where they literally put a wedding dress on her behind a screen, in like 2minutes. She looked so scared and overwhelmed and like she had no idea what was happening and no time to process. Just watching the video was traumatic to me.

      So I’m gla it sounds like this was eat this bride wanted.

  • Tania

    I’m getting married tomorrow. I just wanted to say that.

  • As someone who is A. planning a wedding *and* B. a photographer (though not a professional one…yet), I found myself shaking my head at the bride in the craigslist ad and nodding at the photographer’s response.


    • I’ve remember reading that one — people really are crazy. I was second shooter at a wedding once and never again. The stress alone nearly killed me!

    • I feel like that is true with so many professions – people expect it to be next to free. My husband is a veterinarian and constantly has to explain to people why he charges what he charges (to pay his staff a living wage and attract good people, to pay his student loans, to invest in equipment, to keep the lights on, to go to continuing eduction, etc etc etc).

      It makes me much more likely to pay people (happily) what they (reasonably) charge.

    • A friend asked me why our wedding photographer cost so much money. I started doing a very rough calculation version of that blog post, got to the end and was like “WAIT. Why isn’t my photographer charging MORE??”

    • I had a friend who was a professional wedding photographer for three years. She was really talented, and was also highly skilled at marketing herself, including getting published on wedding blogs quite regularly. She ended up quitting because she was tired of making very little money. I think the most startling thing about that photographer’s post is the very first item: Self employment taxes. They are so much higher than what an average person working a job pays. I think it makes being self employed so much harder than it already is.

    • Jessica B

      I was a little dubious about $3500 for the photography team we hired (husband and wife), but after the wedding and seeing the photos they are worth so much more! They were chameleons at the wedding, I have no idea how they got the amazing shots they did, and they provide high quality printing services for the photos we want to give as gifts.

  • Susanna

    The husband, the dog, and I want to get out of the city for a bit tomorrow, maybe do some light hiking. Any good recommendations for downstate NY trails? Bonus points for ones with waterfalls!

    • Ariel

      Kaaterskill falls in the Catskills

  • Yetantheranon

    Fourth day of being furloughed and I’m starting to really freak out about being able to pay any of my bills this month. I’m a contractor, not a federal employee so there is ZERO chance that I’ll be backpaid after this mess is all over. My fiancé is a federal employee, so he at least might get back paid but for now rent is due tomorrow and it looks like we’re going to be SOL.

    And all of the typically free things to do in DC are closed because of the shutdown so I feel like I have nothing to do beside sit around at home all day and freak the f*ck out. Those assholes could have at least left the panda cam on.

    • :(

      I’m so sorry. I hope this mess gets sorted out soon, too many innocent bystanders are fucking suffering.

    • Jessica B

      I feel like there are going to be a lot of people in your situation in DC. I wonder if there is going to be an leniency among the landlords.

    • Jen

      Me!! I’m in your situation. I was supposed to start a new job at a new consulting company that I’m super pumped about but nope, not until the government restarts. I left my job at my old firm on Friday so my two days of funemployment (I had planned to start Wed) just turned into super sucky unemployment. So yeah, I feel you on the worry, the gnawing anxiety that is beginning to grow, the annoyance at Congress (both parties), the media, even the “deals” that I’m not eligible for because I turned in my federal badge on Friday. GAH.

      On the upside I’ve been working out a lot. Are you a member of Golds? Cause I could be your furlough workout buddy. I’m trying like every kind of class just to fill up my days. Also I (clearly) have cabin fever:)

    • I’ve actually been wondering about this the whole time during the shutdown. DC is one of the country’s most expensive cities, how are average government employees paying their bills? So sorry that you are suffering because of this ridiculousness. This whole thing is absurd and awful.

      • Mel

        Can’t speak for everyone, but my husband and I (both Feds) are using the downpayment we’d been saving to buy a bigger place before #2 comes. In February.

        He’s essential and so will be paid back…in the 90s that took six months. So I guess, depending on how long this lasts, we’re not moving before #2 comes.

      • Amy March

        I keep reading this and thinking, their savings? Just like anyone else who loses their job? Like thousands and thousands of private sector employees do every month?

        Sure, it sucks and it’s stupid and a national shame. But it’s also not at all a surprise.

    • ART

      I’m so sorry. A lot of my clients are federal employees (so probably will get back pay) and I feel bad enough for them – and then we don’t even HEAR about people in your situation. It’s so wrong.

  • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

    The step teams replacing models is awesome. I haven’t been at a school with a step team since middle school. But that school also had a clogging team and a modern dance class. Best parts of middle school? Yes.

  • Laura

    Guys, Facebook sucks. I was just moseying around, content with life, when BOOM, picture(s) pop up in news feed that punch me straight in the gut. I know, I know, filters, blocking, get off FB etc. Yes to all of the above. It still SUCKS. That is all.

    Happy Friday though!

  • Stephanie

    My best friend just got a positive pregnancy test!!!!!! I’m going to be an auntie!!!! (not legally but still)

    • KC

      Illegal aunties are the best kind of aunties. ;-)

  • Thanks to everyone who chimed in 2 weeks ago and shared their colposcopy experiences with me. I went in Wednesday to have mine done, and was definitely a lot calmer/more prepared after reading your replies than I would have been otherwise. It was very unpleasant/uncomfortable, but not terrible. Doctor said it looks like just mild dysplasia, I just have to wait a week or two for the official results from the biopsy.

    So thanks again ladies. APW happy hour is such a great gift. It’s a safe place to say whatever’s on your mind, and an incredible resource of experience and advice.

    On a totally unrelated topic, last month my husband and I finally (mostly) completed our merging of the finances. I’m very much a type A, planner/spreadsheet maker, and he’s… well he’s not. 3 months into our marriage, the thing i’m struggling with most is how to keep our household running smoothly without turning into the President & CEO of our marriage.

    I started to write more, but it was like 5 paragraphs long… So long story short, anyone have thoughts on how to function more as a team and less as one person calling the shots and the other following along? Especially in situations where one person is a planner (this girl) and the other is a dreamer (this girl’s husband)? Is this even the right goal?

    I feel like if anyone has got this figured out in their own marriage, it would make a fabulous reclaiming wife post. If I magically figure it out myself, I’ll have to write one.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Though we both love spreadsheets, my husband has ADD, so planning isn’t his thing. I take the attitude that we’re contributing equally, just very differently. For example, recognizing that the bathtub needs scrubbing is a valuable household skill, and so is scrubbing the bathtub.

      Also, what’s emotionally valuable to you may not be valuable to him. When I set up our finances, I worked hard to budget for him to have money to spend without consulting me. It turns out that kind of financial independence isn’t important to him.

      Is the household functional? Are you both happy? Do you both feel like you’re both doing your fair share? I don’t think anything else matters.

    • Rebecca

      Way late to the game, but on the finances side, we set it up so that I do long term planning and he does short term execution. So I: make him discuss a budget once a year or so (which is super uncomfortable for him), manage our investments, find accountants, make sure we’re on track spending wise, that sort of thing. He: pays the bills, makes those super annoying life phone calls, deals with the cable company, etc.

      We claim that I’m the decider and he’s in charge of execution. I am good at decision making- I find it enjoyable, I can do it quickly, it’s not stressful for me. He needs a week to evaluate every option even when booking hotel rooms and is super stressed at the end of it, but doesn’t mind calling to yell at the cable company when something’s broken (again). And I don’t feel like I’m actively managing him- once we split financial chores I’ve never needed to wonder whether rent or the credit card was paid, because he was on that, and he knows that I’ll make sure we nail down travel plans when we need to.

      On the day to day money side of things, we set up personal discretionary spending as an independent monthly allowance and do household spending jointly, so there’s not as much that needs to be actively managed on the day-to-day budget.

  • In our life news.

    Husband has left the company he built from the ground up for the last three years. He was the Vice President of Engineering, built their entire product from scratch, hired their front and back end engineering teams, and was still being told he wasn’t a ‘founder.’ So he got frustrated and finally gave his notice. The CEO is refusing to let him buy his shares, when he’d worked solely for shares that first year of his ’employment.’ We are really frustrated by this and trying to decide what we can/want to do about it.

    Last week our house was broken into and all our small electronics were stolen. (iPads, Macs, stereos, and such.) We finally have the equipment to start making this house feel safer again as of today. The sad part is that our alarm did absolutely no good and we have to install cameras and bars on the windows.

    There’s got to be silver linings to all of this, but I am having trouble finding it today.

    In spite of that, I hope everyone else has good things to dwell on.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your double whammy.

    • That sounds awful. I am so sorry!

    • Catherine

      Wow, hugs to you! I’m so sorry about the hubby’s job situation.

      And doesn’t stealing make you feel SO violated? Two weeks ago my car was broken into – here is what they took : my giant, sacred case of ALL my CDs (special mixes in there, my heart and soul basically) and, and, AND a handmade scrapbook my grandmother had made for me (she died last year) with her writings all about her life, raising my mother, and then her memories of me. what the hell? who takes that??? ok, you can tell im not done grieving but just wanted to say i can totally relate to the stealing part, if not the hubby part! As far as a silver lining, a HUGE one is that you are YOU and not the asshole who is racking up some shitty karma. And …. well….that’s all the silver lining I’ve got for now! But am so sorry, at least you are healthy & safe :)

      • Precisely what our friends and family (and the hubby) said about the break in. At least no people or pets (THANK GOD THEY DIDN’T HURT OUR PETS) were hurt. Our dogs were in their crates in the room that got ransacked and I am SO grateful they were fine.

        I am sorry about everything that was stolen from your car! What jerk steals a scrapbook!?! it’s not like it even benefits anyone other than you.

    • Obviously, I don’t know the nitty gritty of your husband’s situation with his company, but I do want to encourage you guys to seek out if there are legal options (if you aren’t already).

      My FIL was co-owner(?)/founder/major investor in a company he started with his brothers, and when things went all pear-shaped with the company, he was the only one who didn’t pursue a lawsuit of some sort. He’s not a litigious guy, didn’t want the headache, didn’t feel it was ethical, etc… What resulted was everyone who DID pursue legal action ended up with a really great settlement, no one got “hurt” (financially or otherwise), and FIL felt like he’d been screwed over for being a nice guy. He had his pride and dignity, but not the millions of dollars that, really, were owed him. He still stands firmly by his choice to listen to his heart, but I do think he’s often extremely wistful of how his brothers’ families aren’t struggling financially right now, and his is, even though they were all dealt the exact same hand.

  • Newlywed

    I’ve been lurking on APW since I got engaged in May this year, and we got married just under two weeks ago. The posts and comments have helped keep me sane and calm through a very short period of planning. Thank you!

    Our wedding day was wonderful, everything I dreamed of (will be submitting a wedding graduate post as soon as I get my professional photos!).

    There was just one issue, which has left me feeling really sad. I’m in the UK and we had a very small wedding party – just my best friend and her 4yr old daughter. I love my friend to pieces, she is kind and generous and was the best bridesmaid right up until the evening of the wedding, after the ceremony.

    While I danced until my feet hurt, surrounded by friends, family and my new husband, my bridesmaid sat at a table with her husband (they had sent their daughter home with her grandparents as soon as dinner was finished), looking miserable, and refused to join me on the dancefloor. Even when the song I had chosen especially for her came on, she still said ‘maybe later’. When I asked her to come to the photobooth with me, she asked his permission and then said ‘later, when there’s no queue’ (thankfully we did get in there later, when it was quieter).

    Several people on the night asked me about her. I was feeling quite hurt and angry then, but now I’m mostly sad, especially when I look at photos my other friends took on the dancefloor, and she’s not there. Or worse still she’s in the background, sat at that table with the controlling husband who doesn’t like me because he knows I’d look after her if she ever had the courage to leave.

    When she left the wedding she didn’t even take her bouquet. I took it home with me, and when I told her I had it she said she was glad I had it because she was too embarrassed to tell me she’d thought her husband had put it in the car, but he hadn’t. She wants to dry it so she can keep it, which made me feel a bit happier.

    She’s been busy since we got back from our short honeymoon, and I’m not going to see her until next Friday when we finally both have a night free. It hasn’t come up in the short conversations we’ve had since the wedding, but face-to-face I think I’ll want to talk to her about what happened. I just don’t know what to say, or how to handle it… I’m not only hurt and angry, I’m also really worried for her :(

    Apologies for the long post!

    • Copper

      I think I’d stick to the hurt and worried parts, and try to put aside (at least some of) the anger if you possibly can. It sounds like she’s in a really tough place, and yeah I know it sucked to have her not be awesomely engaged in the fun the whole time, but I also want to encourage you to question your anger a bit. She was with this man when you asked her to be your MOH, correct? She had a child with him, had whatever the issues are with him already, right? And you had issues with him already then, right? So then, you still asked her to be your MOH. You didn’t ask some idealized perfect version of her who magically ditches the husband or whips him into shape somehow. You asked the real her, and she was who she really is right now—someone who sounds super supportive when the hubs isn’t present, but deeply conflicted when he is. That’s true to who she is and where she is in her life right now, and that’s the person you asked to be your MOH. So getting angry at her for a situation that you knew her to be in (and probably exacerbated by asking her to be your wedding party), just puts more bad feelings and blame onto her and it sounds like she’s got enough of those to go around frankly.

      I get why you’re angry and you obviously have every right to feel how you feel, I’d just caution you against putting those feelings onto her. Sorry if this was too tough-love-y.

      • Newlywed

        No need to apologise – I agree being angry with her does nobody any good.

        I’m not really angry with her though, just angry… with the situation I guess. She doesn’t tell me much about their relationship, I try not to judge but just to let her know she can talk to me if she wants to. It’s been pretty bad in the past, but she wants to make it work and I respect her for that, and lately it’s seemed things have been better. But I’ve never seen them in quite that situation before. I felt like I didn’t know her.

        I just don’t know whether to raise my concern.

        • Copper

          well that’s tough then—is you raising your concern (which it sounds like you’ve done in the past already maybe?) what keeps her from telling you about their relationship? Or is it something she needs to help her open up? Maybe if it’s gentle enough, like, I can see that you’re different around him and I don’t understand it and would appreciate it if you helped me understand what’s going on.

          • Newlywed

            I’ve never initiated a conversation with her on this topic, only listened and responded when she’s wanted to talk. Always felt that she had other friends offering opinions without being asked for them and it wasn’t helpful to have another one. I think she’s always appreciated that, although I’m sure she knows how I feel really.

            I think seeing who she became at our wedding party has pushed me to try and get her to open up though, and I think that’s a great idea to gently mention she seems different around him and that I don’t understand.


  • Lizzy

    So – I got married last weekend (YEY!) and I’m supremely sad. Not that I made a mistake (my husband is amazing and I love him so so much) but I was SO stressed the whole day and feel like I didn’t enjoy anything…and then got tipsy at the reception and forgot to try and take it all in. I have so many regrets about the day and I just keep wanting to cry when anyone asks me about it…but they aren’t happy tears (even though I say they are). Team Practical – I need some help moving on from this.

    I though we had done everything right – I communicated to everyone “the plan” and had a DOC and thought I gave all the information to everyone. It all went off kilter right in the beginning with my hair/makeup taking more than 1 hr longer than scheduled. Despite that, I got dressed in record time and we could have stayed on schedule – but my parents (ie: mom – whose makeup wasn’t yet done) would have had to take the later shuttle which would still get them to the wedding on time. But they didn’t (or it wasn’t communicated to them that was an option) so we waited for 20 minutes for my mom’s makeup to be done. Then I rushed to my first look, started to cry on the way from all the stress I was feeling, and had a wonderful 1/2 hour with my (then) fiance. I distinctly remember being so full of joy as we were lining up to walk down the aisle. Then my father starts to tell me all the things that were going wrong (such as the DJ not having the father daughter dance song…even though he was in the process of downloading it). Can someone say NOT THE TIME?!! So, as we are walking down the aisle, I’m saying (accidentally loudly) “just be quiet!” to my dad (and yes – people heard).

    Then we missed cocktail hour to do all our photos (which should have been done before the ceremony but we were running so late) and I just remember racing through the crowd trying to say “hi” to everyone (because we cut the receiving line so we could do photos). I distinctly remember being really worried about the time but also jumping up and down saying “I’m married” so – clearly, there was joy.

    Then the reception was a cluster-f. Despite having communicated to the DJ several times some specific sound issues for our venue, he seemed unaware (and I had forgotten to tell this to our DOC…then when they came to me with it, I was so brain dead that I couldn’t help so my husband had to figure it out). Then the DJ screwed up the bridal party entrance so badly it was laughable (and we did laugh at it!). Then our first dance was just wonderful…even though I couldn’t stop shaking (I think from happiness? I don’t know!). From then on it was mostly ok – until the last dance when the DJ did not play the song we specifically requested (for very sentimental reasons) and completely forgot to announce it was the last dance so my husband missed it!

    I feel like I sound so WIC-like to focus on all of this bad stuff. It’s so unlike me – especially because I remember that I was happy – I danced the whole time and I absolutely remember every second of our ceremony and distinctly remember feeling so happy and surrounded by love. But, despite that, I can’t shake these bad memories and the fact that they seem to overshadow the joy I do remember feeling.

    I need some help here Team Practical – how do I move on? How do I love my wedding day? (which, my husband absolutely loved every second of…)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Having my photos has been helpful to me, because I and everyone are obviously happy in them. People have different views on whether your memories should be “yours” or “the photographer’s,” but you have the choice as to which perspective works for you.

      I also think it’s always helpful to think about how you can make new, happy memories. Your parents annoyed you with scheduling snafus that day? Plan to see them in a really relaxed environment where you can just enjoy the moment. You didn’t get to talk to everyone? Make a list, and make plans to meet up. They live far away? Make reasonable dreams about visiting them in a reasonable time frame.

    • Can I just say? We had some bad stuff happen at our wedding, those kind of last minute snafus that are just crappy and left a bad taste in our mouths for the first few weeks or months. It’s been two years. When I think of our wedding, that is not what I remember. You’ll let go of the things that went wrong and hold onto the joy.

      I can’t tell you how to get from there to here in the interim. Maybe every time you think of the things that went wrong, bring up a better memory to remember?

      • lizzy

        Thank you for this! I’m consciously trying to focus on the good and hopefully that will help. I just feel sort of like Debbie downer right now…but then I see my husband and all is happy again :-)

        Oh emotions how you annoy me!

    • moonitfractal

      I didn’t really enjoy my wedding day. I was very focused on everyone’s needs but mine, was in varying degrees of pain all day, and lots of things went wrong. The comment to look at your photos is probably great for most people, but for me (especially since it took more a year and a half to get our album) looking at the photos just bring back all the stress and unhappiness of the day. What works best for me is reminding myself that my wedding may not have gone the way I hoped, but I’m married to an amazing man and things are going pretty well. I’m glad that everyone enjoyed the wedding, but it wasn’t the happiest or most important moment of my life, and that’s ok. I won’t let it define me.

    • Teafortwo

      Because they are so detail-focussed, I understand how these are awful when you are so close to the memory of how much work you put into the details, but they sound (to me) like the kind of thing that will fade with time. In a few years you will be able to remember how joyful the ceremony was, and how surrounded with love you were, and then at one holiday dinner, everyone will have had too much wine, and your mouthy aunt will plunk her glass down on the table and blurt out, “Remember Lizzy’s processional? WILL YOU JUST BE QUIET?!”

      And then you’ll all laugh until you’re wiping away tears, and you’ll go to bed and kiss your husband and sigh with relief that you don’t ever have to plan a wedding again.

      • Lizzy

        Thank you for this! You know – just writing my initial comment helped to put some of the things behind me (and reminded me to laugh at the rest of the things!). I can also see the yell down the aisle being a very good laugh (in the future…not so much yet…).

        Thank you all …your comments were super helpful (not that I’m surprised by this…part of the reason why I love APW)!

    • Apples

      One short-term option that could help just a little is to write another post just like this one, but w/ a list of all the things that went well. Every single one of them. I always remember better something that I take the time to write down, so it could help between now and future photos from the photographer or family dinners years from now.

      • Lizzy

        Um. This is a great idea. I am so doing this tonight.

  • Went to Providence for a conference and was charmed by the shops, food and college students in impossibly hip outfits. Definitely recommend for a quick trip if you’re in the area – I even found mugs with gay wedding couples! (Yes, I bought the one with the lesbians on it)

    But because of my travel, I have barely looked at the internet or watched TV. I kind of… didn’t miss it. Mostly because I have a mountain of schoolwork and no time to do it (a curse on professors who assign 300 pages of reading that cannot be skimmed). Speaking of, I need to do my assignment for a team meeting (the same class has teams! TEAMS! THIS IS CRUEL) in an hour. But also, I am finding this strange.

    Also, there was a huge meltdown on a Mark Reads on Lady Knight on Monday, which I caught up on yesterday, which I find fascinating. Because one guy was a trolling jerk and it went like this:
    Trolling Jerk: Awful things, references a comic with rape & pregnancy from rape without trigger, HUGE no’s in Mark Reads land.
    Everyone Else: Hey, that’s not cool. Please don’t act like a trolling jerk. You really should have put a trigger warning on that.
    Trolling Jerk: Whatever, jerks. Reference to Lolita and not in a good way.
    Everyone Else: BEYOND THE PALE, GOOD SIR.
    Mark and Mods: Trolling Jerk, you’ve been with us for a long time, but you’ve steadily been getting more and more trolling, despite warnings to the contrary, and we’ve let it slide. Too far, sir. You’re banned.

    And, I just… how did… but it was so civil! I love when these kinds of intellectual discussions happen.

  • I didn’t think I had anything to share, but I just had a great phone conversation with my mom about expanding her business. She’s a kick-ass, down-to-earth personal trainer, and she’s been self-employed for about 7 years, and is finally ready to really work her business. I’m really excited for her, since she has trouble tooting her own horn (and is sometimes overlooked because she doesn’t do any gimicky fitness trends or pretentious crap). I’m going to help her build a basic website, and she’s tapping into her strong professional network to create a series of youtube videos. I’m really excited for myself to have a legit go at content management, editing, and writing. And I’m definitely using entrepreneurship advice learned here to give her resources, direction, and ideas.

    So thanks to Meg, once again, for sharing her experience with starting her own business and managing a web-based business in general, and thanks to all the other kick-ass ladies out there who are sharing their experiences writing online and making dolla dolla bills. xoxo

  • Em

    I’m getting married next summer! Which is amazing and exciting (and terrifying because we are extremely broke). We are planning to get married in our backyard, which is quite large, but still likely going to be cramped with 130 people what with the large garden, etc.

    I’m just not sure if we can fit 130 chairs in my backyard. Has anyone had a ceremony where your guests all stand? Is it cruel? We’ll be having a short-ish ceremony, secular and simple. I don’t really have any idea how long, but I imagine it’ll be about 15-20 minutes? I kind of like the idea of everyone we love gathered around us like that, and also we are going to have everyone sing “Down in the river to pray” a cappella, so it might actually be nice if they were all standing… but on the other hand I don’t want to be torturing my guests. We would have a few chairs for elderly/less able guests, but still.. is this something that’s done? Do guests hate it?

    I have been looking around on other wedding boards but it all seems like those commenters are just there to criticize & throw words like “tacky” and “cheap” and “selfish” around, so I have a hard time sorting through what’s legitimately not cool (like making people wait & wait for food) and what’s just WIC propaganda (you should probably buy a pony all your out-of-town guests to make up for the fact that they were forced to travel to your wedding).

    I just don’t know. If we can fit benches (and can scrounge up enough stumps & planks to make them), that’s what we’ll do. If we did chairs, it would be a BYO-lawn chair type thing (it’s gonna be an informal wedding. I don’t think I’ll even be wearing shoes) but I am REALLY sure we don’t have the room for that. I was also thinking about blankets for people to pile onto, but I don’t know if they would hate it or if it would end up saving much space after all (if people don’t want to get cozy next to eachother).

    Help a girl out, team practical! I get so turned around and full of self-doubt whenever I look at other wedding message boards… hopefully you smart women will be able to let me know what’s really up!

    • Em

      Our ceremony will likely be way shorter than 20 minutes now that I think about it. 10-15 max.

    • Ellen

      I went to a wedding a few weeks ago where there were chairs for everyone, but the officiant forgot to ask everyone to “please be seated”. We all stood through the whole thing- about 20 minutes- and everyone was fine, even my 84 year old grandmother. Afterward, some people didn’t even realize that they had been standing through the whole thing.

      It will work out!!

    • I think it would be totally fine to have a standing ceremony, especially if you’re providing a few chairs for elderly guests. Maybe put a small note in your invitation about standing ceremony. I wouldn’t mind going to a standing ceremony, but I’d love to know beforehand so I can choose appropriate shoes.

      I also thought about doing the whole blanket thing because we only had enough chairs for both the ceremony and the reception. However, my venue paved the grassy ceremony site before my wedding. We put a note in the program asking people who were able to to help carry their chair upstairs. Apparently, it wasn’t a problem at all and everyone really pitched in.

      Anyways, I think the standing ceremony is totally fine, with some extra chairs for those who physically can’t stand. I also think the bring your own chair/bring a blanket could be supper helpful for the reception seating.

    • Catherine

      i think standing ceremonies are awesome. theres something beautiful and unique about having your loved ones literally stand up for your union – seems very meaningful to me :) we talked about doing that, but with our venue it doesn’t really work. in a backyard? that sounds great!

    • Laura C

      I’ve been to a standing ceremony with just a few chairs for immediate family and seniors and it was fine.

    • mel

      We had a mixture of chairs, blankets and some people standing at our outdoor ceremony. People sat or stood where they felt comfortable. It was awesome! Really gave the ceremony an informal, relaxed feel. Whatever you do will be great xo

    • Em

      Oh man, thanks so much for all the input, ladies, we’re gonna go for it! Probably some benches for those who need to sit, and everyone else crowded around. I am so excited, I think it’s going to be really meaningful. Thank god for sane voices in wedding planning land :)

  • Ariel

    I’m running in the Diva Dash tomorrow and I’m so excited! Has anyone done the Diva Dash before? It’s a girly obstacle course 5k.

  • If you live near Nashville, TN, join our facebook group APW – Nashville. We’re getting together in a week for coffee and ice cream!

  • Copper

    I’m gettin married in 8 days!!!!!!!!! So much to do this weekend, but it includes a trip to the Korean Spa to enjoy all kinds of relaxing girly stuff, so looking forward to that.

    • Enjoy this time! It will probably be a crazy whirlwind, but it will be amazing. I recommend re-reading some of the later chapters in the APW book to help mentally prepare.

  • Catherine

    hi everyone-

    so i just have a question, would like some advice/ reassurance. im about to start my period and for the past week at least my boobs have been sore. this is normal for me- they always are before my cycle. the only thing is, this time my left one is the one mainly hurting and swollen. noticeably bigger than my right one. and noticeably more painful than the right one. the right one is hanging by the pool and the left one is ready for war. they usually hurt equally, and i intentionally didnt google cause i know it would make me panic, and then saw on Fb someone post something about warning signs for breast cancer, and i got scared. and now im kinda scared. i don’t want to call my doctor right now because two weeks ago i went to see her during a panic attack so im sure she is sick of me and it will seem like im a hypochondriac. im wondering- has anyone else ever had all the pain and soreness in just one boob? or at least a lot more in one than the other? ??

    • Kelly

      I’m not sure about the soreness but I would encourage you to see your doctor with your concerns. If you’re really worried the doctor is sick of you she might not be the best fit for you. Maybe call the nurse’s line if you’re uncomfortable?

      • Catherine

        thank you Kelly!

        Unfortunately, the office is closed at this time, and now it’s the weekend…And I really do love my doctor a lot – I just feel bad because two weeks ago I was having panic attack/chest pains freaking out that I was having a heart attack and went in there sobbing, got two heart tests and everything was fine and they said it was anxiety/panic. About a month before that I was in the shower and had a red sore spot on my breast and freaked out and called them crying…the spot turned out to be a bug bite or something. So I just feel bad for being the “annoying panicking girl”. I swear I’m not making it up though! I’m just hoping it’s related to my period…or I wish I had a friend who was in the medical field who I could talk to, but I don’t : /

        • KC

          Disclaimer: not a medical professional. But, we’ve had a *lot* of breast cancer in the family, and even breast cancer isn’t going to be doing much over the weekend (like, yes, go in on Monday, but… two days is not going to make much of a difference. It’s usually a slow mover.).

          Also, from irritating personal experience, differential soreness and swelling can be caused by everything from sleeping position to having an underwire bra that got slightly warped while washing (yes, that one took a long and really annoying time to figure out). They’re particularly prone to getting sore while they’re hormonally inflated, so if there’s *anything* irritating one side and not the other, that can do it. And once a breast is angry, sometimes it stays angry for a couple of days. :-(

          There might also be a slight chance of infection (although not likely when not breastfeeding), so if you get additional infection symptoms (fever, red streaking, feeling generically horrible like you have an infection), or pain that’s in the Totally Unacceptable level, then head in to the ER and ask them, with the assumption that this will be okay, but they will figure out what the best thing is to do. If your lymph nodes are swollen on one side and not on the other, than odds are better that it’s not just a sleep position/posture/underwire problem, and I’d also head into the ER in that case just to find out what the best thing to do is. (lymph nodes: really weird things. Yes, they’re supposed to feel like tiny dried peas, approximately? But you should be able to find the location of your lymph nodes on Wikipedia [not following any outward links!] and compare them symmetrically on your body without descending into the Internet turning every symptom into cancer thing.)(why does the internet decide every symptom means cancer? I do not know. It’s pretty annoying, though.)

          Also: apparently, panic attack symptoms often mimic heart attack symptoms, so I don’t think you should feel badly at all about being confused. Much better to go in when you’re not actually having a heart attack than to *not* go in when you *are*. (the bug bite is pretty funny. But it was also last month, and sometimes rashes are important. They’re really probably not thinking you’re a hypochondriac.)

          Again, not a medical professional at all, but that’s what I would do; let it be unless it gets worse over the weekend, then call on Monday.

          • Catherine

            wow, thanks so much for the reply. ugh, though unfortunately i got scared reading all the lymph node stuff because i dont know how to do that, and looking it up would mean believing i have it (sorry, not meaning to be dramatic, i just get really scared and panic easily…) – i’ve been told several times that breast cancer doesn’t cause pain so im trying to use that as comfort?

            ahhh sorry guys i am just so sick of freaking out over these things. i just want to get my period and have it go away and be able to be like “see it was just my period!”

          • KC

            Sorry to freak you out – totally unintended. Everyone has lymph nodes, and they are tiny and weird, but they’re one of those sometimes-can-diagnose-from-home indicators. (if you’ve ever had a doctor rub the sides of your neck sort of between under your chin and under your ears, they’re checking those lymph nodes!)

            Seriously, don’t worry about it, and just call the doctor on Monday unless you’re feeling really horrible before then (in which case: would not be breast cancer, yay!). It will totally be okay.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      If it is breast cancer, the weekend delay really won’t make that much of a difference in diagnosis and treatment, and you probably can’t get the necessary tests over the weekend anyway. So call your doctor Monday morning and say you just want to leave a message describing your symptoms, and let the doctor decide whether you need to be seen. If you can provide a number where you’re always available or a secure message can be left, you’re taking just a few minutes of the doctor’s time to tell you that it’s nothing, and if for some crazy reason it’s not, you can be seen on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

      My story: I have no formal medical training, but I worked for a gynecologist for 7 years, and this is definitely the kind of thing that can be handled with phone messages first. Also, a couple months ago, I was in a similar situation with symptoms appearing on a Friday. I spent an agonizing weekend and made an appointment on Monday. In retrospect, I totally could have just left a message describing my symptoms, and the doctor would have recognized them as nothing, and saving me the afternoon off work, co-pay, etc.

      • Catherine

        thank you! i was able to talk to the doctor on call (not my reg one) and he didnt seem too concerned…he said those aren’t usual symptoms for breast cancer and if it would make me feel better i could call my regular doctor on monday morning..so hopefully it’s all good. thank you all for your advice and help – i was in a bit of a freak out!

        • Sarah

          I am coming to this thread a bit late, but thought I would add that it may be useful to keep in mind that certain movements can make your breasts sore. Awhile ago I worked as a volunteer teacher for a few months and also had a breast cancer freak out when my right breast became really sore. I went to the doctor who confirmed I was okay, and sometime later I realised that the soreness was caused by stretching my arm to write on the white board! Apparently many female teachers have this problem, and I’m sure there are other things that will make them sore as well. Glad to see everything seems okay though :)

    • Alison O

      If you have insurance they might have a 24hr nurse hotline you could call. Or you might be able to find an urgent care clinic if you’re really concerned but the e.r. feels too serious?

  • Heather

    Any words of advice on hotel block reservations? I want to get things taken care of as soon as we can, about a year out, but I also want to get folks a good a deal as possible. there’s a couple hotels that are walking distance from the venue, but seem like they might have room our charge more than most people would probably want to pay

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I think the consensus last time this came up was to skip it.

      Con: I know my experience as a wedding guest was that the block rate was only $2 less than the AAA rate. I hadn’t planned on spending the night, but I ended up needing a room last minute. By that time (day before the wedding), the block rate had expired, but I could still book on the hotel’s website and/or through AAA.

      Pro: Most brides said they wouldn’t owe the hotel anything if they didn’t meet a minimum number of booked rooms, so there’s little downside in arranging for a block. Also, for at least one bride, the hotel would only distribute welcome bags to those reserving a room as part of the block.

    • Emmy

      We did a block solely because we wanted to have an after party in the hotel bar and it was easier if everyone was in one place. We just stopped by the hotel one day and asked them to reserve some rooms. It turned out there was a big lacrosse tournament that week, so I’m glad we did. We didn’t owe the hotel anything for the rooms, and if 10 rooms were booked, our room was free.

      Call your local hotels and see what their terms are. I wouldn’t do it if you were financially obligated for rooms.

  • Mel

    As a furloughed Fed, can I just speak for most of us when I say YAY that you can get affordable healthcare?

    I think all of us know anyone who’s telling us it’s healthcare’s fault we’re out of work is LYING.

  • Michelle

    I’ve been talking with my boyfriend quite extensively over the past few months about moving down south with him instead of him moving back north to our home state. We’ve come up with many reasons why it makes more sense and why we think it’s best for our future. I’m at the point where I’m starting to apply for jobs because his probation period at work ends soon and I want to be down there sooner than later.

    My family does not yet know. Every time I mention that his job wants him to stay and I don’t want to commute the way I do now when we have a family, they tell me “oh he’ll be home soon and you figure it out then.” Or my favorite “well, you could move to (nearby neighboring state) but that wouldn’t be good for me.” (I haven’t lived at home in over two years, but I an mom’s only child.)

    So now I’ve got intense anxiety and decided i can’t deal with this anymore. I’m planning to tell my mom our decision tomorrow. I’m completely freaked out and can’t wait until this is over. Being a grown up sucks sometimes.

    • Catherine

      Just think : the worst part is right now, once the cat is out of the bag, he’s free!

      You can do it! And yayyyy South! I’m from NC but live in CA now :)

  • Sarah

    Thank-you for posting the ‘Mama’s Feminism’ essay! What a wonderful piece! I am going through a difficult period in my life at the moment (pre-engagement anxiety, my desire to focus on my career vs start a family, financial issues, etc) and discovering APW with its discussions around feminism are really helping me to get through and feel more empowered. Big love :)