APW Crashes Rent The Runway SF!


Win a gift bag worth $500 from our Rent the Runway event!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Maddie is wearing Exaggerated Floral Dress by MSGM, Meg is wearing the Bloom Midi Dress by Fuzzi, and Chelsea is wearing Plaid Wool Overalls by EVIDNT

Every Friday we gather round the virtual… campfire? Group chat line? Lunch table? Bar? What’s the appropriate metaphor here? And enjoy each other’s company and support in the form of APW Happy Hour. And in the APW offices—both our real-live one in East Oakland, and our virtual one on Slack—we try to fit in the same kind of girl time on the regular.

But in the past few years, we’ve missed getting to do that in person with readers. (For those of you who’ve been around long enough to remember my book tour for my first book, the crowds and companionship and discussion were truly legendary.) And we’ve been itching to get back into it. So this fall we dreamed up ways to get the very best of the APW slumber party vibe, live and in person, in San Francisco.

And last Saturday we did just that! In partnership with Rent the Runway in San Francisco, we took over their retail location for Primpin’ Ain’t Easy (you guys, I live for word play). We got to meet a few dozen of you in person, give you presents (we’re also giving away a gift bag filled with over $500 worth of goodies below, so keep scrolling), get our hair and makeup done by STYLEBEE, eat the world’s best donuts from Donut Savant, and… oh yeah, give you advice while you got styled up in the dressing rooms.

With a day like that, it’s really hard to lose, but the humans in the room—from the readers, to the RTR team, to my own amazing team at APW—made Saturday a total and complete joy. We’re hoping to plan more of these events to meet you guys in person, so if you have ideas about what we should do, drop us a line. In the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone who made the event possible: the stylists at Rent the Runway who ran around all morning pulling sequin-covered outfits for y’all (because, duh), STYLEBEE for making us look and feel awesome (they do on-demand hair and makeup, and yes that includes weddings), and then of course our gift bag participants, because we really wanted to fill our gift bags with things we actually like, including:

  • The Foreo Mini 2 face brush and Foreo ISSA Hybrid toothbrush. The fanciest exfoliator and the fanciest toothbrush you could ever ask for.
  • Plates and napkins from Harlow and Grey, who are redefining the word lux.
  • A mini party in a bag from our friends at Oh Happy Day Party Shop, my favorite place to have an accidental shopping spree.
  • The coolest bar of millennial pink soap you’ve ever seen from Embla, complete with our “Primpin’ Ain’t Easy” logo. Embla is a small business local to San Francisco, and they make custom, modern soaps and candles using 3D printing (including wedding centerpieces.)
  • 20% off your first month of Underclub, a subscription-based underwear service with really cute lingerie. (The founder baked underwear-clad cookies for the event, which is the first thing in my work life that’s thrown my husband in about five years. “Is this a cookie… with a thong?” Yes. Yes it is.)

So scroll down and enter to win all that goodness. As for me, I’m filling up my RTR Unlimited cart for my trip to New York next week, and riding high on lady vibes.

 

P.S. Speaking of the company of women, if you haven’t read Lindy West’s article on female rage in the New York Times this week, do that right now. Then come back and look at all these pretty pictures, of your fellow commenters looking hot as hell.

Colorblock Knit Dress by Cedric Charlier

Blanca Daffodil Dress by Erin Fetherson and Burgundy Krooger Dress by Jay Godfrey

Sequin Veronica Gown by Slate + Willow

Abstract Zoe Sheath Dress by Dress the Population

Calia Floral Sheath by Alexis

Blue Faux Fur Jacket by Unreal Fur

Black Floral Lace Dress by Hunter Bell

Beaumont Muse Dress by Free People

Gold Dara Gown by Badgley Mischka

Gold Harem Pant by Free People

Champagne Award Winner Gown by Badgley Mischka

Green Annalise Jacket by Marissa Webb

Avant Dress by ELLIAT

But we didn’t want to leave the rest of you out. Sadly, we cannot host an event for hundreds (of thousands?) of people, but we can give one of you a gift bag.

If you live within the United States, enter below to win a gift bag that’s killer.

(Sorry non-U.S. residents! International shipping is expensive.) Giveaway ends on Monday, November 13, 2017, at 11:59PM PST.

Click here to view this promotion.

Meg Keene

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

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  • penguin

    Maddie in that blue faux fur jacket, I’m SWOONING. I love all the pictures, everybody looked great!

  • Ashley Weckbacher

    My girlfriends and I have recently become addicted to RTR and we all wore rented dresses to my thirtieth birthday. It was so, SO fun to wear things that got comments and stares because once in a while it’s so fun to be the center of attention.

    Those photos are great! Everyone looks amazing!

  • Kaitlyn

    Ugh I’d kill for a RTR store in Boston. I use them all the time, but there’s a few dresses I’d want to try on before actually ordering them. I’m currently trying to decide how much cleavage is too much for my work holiday party haha and there’s a dress I’m obsessed with.

    Speaking of cleavage, what would you recommend for lingerie that’s a step up from Victoria’s Secret but many steps down from La Perla? haha I was looking at Rigby and Peller but that still seems pretty pricey so maybe a step down from them too?

    • Amy March

      Freya, Panache, B.Tempt’d. Bare Necessities and Nordstrom have a lot of mid-range options.

      • Sara

        Cosign on Freya – they make my favorite bra

        • Amy March

          Also really great swimsuits!

          • Sara

            Oh yes! I have a really cute bikini top that’s sized by bra size and ACTUALLY FITS. And is a pattern!

      • Zoya

        Panache brand loyalist over here. I went on Bare Necessities and bought a bunch of bras, all different styles and manufacturers. Then I tried them all on, figured out the style(s) that worked best for me, and returned all the others. That’s how I figured out that Freya’s cups are too shallow and wide for me, and that Panache fits me beautifully if I order a band size up (their bands run tight).

    • A single sarah

      A fitting a Nordstrom or your local bra-tique. Favorite brands vary by size and shape. But once you have a good one from Nordstrom, keep an eye on what comes to rack. (If you’re luck enough to be a size that’s findable.)

      PS in the south, you may have luck with Dillard’s. But Nordstrom is better.

    • Jenny

      Do you want functional lingerie (as in bras you can wear that also look nice/sexy)? Freya, Panache, Elomi all all great for that. If you know your size herroom.com is a good spot for midrange prices.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      In Cambridge, I would recommend Forty Winks. They are jncredibly knowledgeable, unbelievably helpful, and will make you feel like an adult. It was the first time I ever got a bra that fit and (not coincidentally) the first time bra shopping didn’t end with me weeping in shame

      • Anna

        Oh man I totally missed the reference to Boston in @knolan12:disqus’s first sentence there haha. Enthusiastically seconding Forty Winks. They’re incredibly nice, the selection is great, all my lacy lingerie is from there even having moved away from Boston going on two years ago – I replenish my stock when I visit friends there haha.

        • Ashley Weckbacher

          The first time I went in, they asked if now-husband, then-boyfriend wanted to go into the fitting room with me. Not in a creepy way, but in a helpful “he can snap you in and get other sizes if you need them” way. I also love their ability to spot the problem if it’s not fitting quite right (even if you think it is)

      • Anna

        I live in Boston. This may have to be a stop that I make. Thank you guys!!

        Also thanks to @knolan12:disqus for working in Boston and asking for suggestions. This makes my life so much easier!!!

    • Can you google the dress and find it in another store? I find a lot of RTR dresses at Nordstroms. You can see if they have any in-stock near you. Otherwise, you could always order it via Nordstroms to try it on and return it, although that might be shady. But its an option.

      • Jess

        This is a magic suggestion. Thank you!

    • ssha

      I’ve commented this before, but I love Soma. They have the most comfortable bras, and pajamas, and other lingerie that i’ve ever put on my body. I have always had wonderful shopping experiences there too.

  • So I have a question about how yall would handle this situation. The somewhat condensed version is some years ago when my husband was 20ish it came to light that someone in his friend group was sleeping with his 14 year old sister. Guy was charged, found guilty of a gross misdemeanor, discharged from military service, etc. so he paid some consequences for his actions. My husband was never close with this guy, but he was definitely part of the same group. Fast forward some years later, his friend group still often hangs out with this guy. My husband refuses to be in the same room as the guy. This means that we can’t/don’t attend a lot of group hangouts/events. His friend group has all been very upfront that if we want to go do something, they’ll tell the guy he can’t come till we leave etc. The problem is that as soon as my husband hears that this guy is going, we just plan on not going. Well, husband is out of town this weekend and we were invited to someone’s birthday outing. I told my husband I had been planning on going, but saw that the guy was going to be there so I was on the fence. My husband doesn’t have a problem with me going, but did ask that I don’t befriend the guy or anything, which obviously was not something I was interested in doing. So my question is, how do I handle him being there. I’ve seen pictures of him and seen him in person once, so I definitely know who to avoid. Is it weird for me to go and just straight up ignore him? If he introduces himself what do I do? I’m definitely on team “fuck politness” in this situation, but since it transpired before husband and I were dating in earnest, it feels weird for me to completely ice him out in a group setting.

    • penguin

      Considering that this dude assaulted a 14-year-old girl, I think icing him out is COMPLETELY warranted. You reap what you row. Up to you on whether or not to attend at all. If you do I’d freeze him out.

    • CMT

      Ooof, that’s hard. I think I personally wouldn’t go. I think icy silence and completely ignore him if you do go.

    • Amy March

      I think if you’re on team “fuck politeness” then don’t go. If your husband has made this his hill to die on, join him on the hill.

      • I know, it just makes me mad that this guy gets to have fun hang out times and we don’t.

        • Amy March

          Well yeah that sucks. Your husband’s core group of friends has some bad values.

        • Pannorama

          I know that I don’t know your husband’s friend group, but also….what kind of friends hear “that guy raped my sister” and then go “oh, well then we’ll only hang out with him without you”? To me that seems kind of like “we’re cool with him being a rapist but it is awkward that it was someone we know.”

      • Ashley Weckbacher

        Yes also, I would argue, maybe some real hard thinking about the friends is in order, too. This isn’t a consensual relationship gone south — this is literal crime that was committed against your sister in law. And yes, he did his time, legally he’s cleared. But that does not mean anyone needs to spend time with him like nothing happened…

    • Yael

      What I want to know is why any of these so-called friends are still hanging out with this guy. For that matter, why would you want to hang out with them?

      • I would also love to know why they are still hanging out with this guy. I think they feel…bad? for him? Or like he has paid the consequences for his actions? My husband has been friends with most of this crew since childhood, just never seeing his core group of friends ever is also not a great solution.

        • Yael

          I get that, but if your husband has known them since childhood, then presumably they’ve known his sister too? And they’re able to look either of them in the eye?

          • These are the questions.

          • penguin

            Oh was this mintcar’s husband’s sister? For some reason I read this as the douchey rapist’s own sister.

          • Yael

            Oh, I don’t know, I guess the pronouns are ambiguous. But either way!

          • penguin

            Yeah no I totally agree with you. Ostracize the fuck outta this dude.

          • Jess

            I did too, but then read it the other way. I’ve decided I don’t care who she was related to.

          • Alli

            Yeah, either way, this guy is awful. But it adds an extra layer of “fuck you” that these friends can look at her husband and think, well I know you probably want this guy dead because he raped your sister but he’s my buddy so I’ll keep him around.

          • penguin

            Yeah I would not hang out with these people. They suck.

          • rg223

            Yes, exactly.

          • To clarify, husband’s sister.

          • Amy March

            Wait this guy assaulted your sister-in-law? Never socialize with him, do not be friends with people who still consider him a friend.

          • Kat

            Yap, for me it’s more an about sister in law than husband…

          • rg223

            I can’t up-vote this enough!

          • penguin

            Absolutely on this.

          • rg223

            I read it that way too!

        • Ashley Weckbacher

          I get that losing a friendgroup is hard but these sound like terrible friends who are prioritizing group harmony over the mental wellbeing of your husband, for the sake of a statutory rapist.

        • Jess

          Captain Awkward references an idea called the “missing stair” about how people remain friends with terrible people from Pervocracy (this page is only possibly nsfw, but the site is definitely nsfw if you click around) http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/06/missing-stair.html

          Quote from the lede:

          “Have you ever been in a house that had something just egregiously wrong with it? Something massively unsafe and uncomfortable and against code, but everyone in the house had been there a long time and was used to it? “Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you, there’s a missing step on the unlit staircase with no railings. But it’s okay because we all just remember to jump over it.”

          Some people are like that missing stair.”

          That is basically how they keep doing this. It’s not ok.

    • Sara

      If you want to go, I’d say you’re well in your rights to be icy to him. But I wouldn’t go.

    • BSM

      Don’t go, and consider getting new friends. This man should be ostracized.

      Reminds me a bit of this CA: https://captainawkward.com/2017/05/11/960-our-friend-hits-women/

    • Jess

      I would not go. You know what you know, regardless of when it happened. I’m really bugged that the group still involves him, honestly.

      • Me too.

        • penguin

          Have you guys ever asked the friends why they still include this guy? Also, I’d get new friends.

          • Yeah, the responses have been mixed.There have been a lot of shrugged non answers. There have been many instances of “well he texted to see what we were doing on X night and I didn’t want to lie to him”. They’re all obviously bullshit. They’re my husband’s friend, so if he doesn’t want to see them anymore, that’s on him.

    • Reading all your responses, really made me do a gut check. When I first found out what happened my reaction was a strong “WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY STILL FRIENDS WITH THIS GUY” but as years have gone by my resolve has obviously weakened a bit. But you know what? Fuck this guy. I won’t be going and I won’t be hiding my reasons why. In fact, I’m resolving to make it real awkward next time someone brings it up.

      • Yael

        Good for you! It is beyond easy to normalize things that shouldn’t be, or to get worn down in the face of others’ acceptance, and sometimes it helps to get an external opinion. I use A for that sometimes with my family.

      • Zoya

        YES. Make it awkward. Make it alllll awkward.

      • Jess

        Omg, yes! FUCK THIS GUY.

        And you’re not making it awkward. He made it awkward by committing rape.

        • Zoya

          Captain Awkward (appropriately) calls this “returning the awkward to sender.”

          • Alli

            I love this

          • In the post linked to above, CA says something about how we as women are conditioned to absorb other people’s awkwardness to smooth things over socially. It’s totally true, and I’m glad to now be even more aware of it so I can try to not do it when it’s something that SHOULD be awkward.

    • Kat

      Please join your husband in this. Show that you are a team and that if he draws a clear reasonable boundary here, you are going to stick with it too. Because it’s your SIL we are talking about. Also, it’s put to the, if they want to hang out with him, but it’s not fair for you to rearrange your life whenever this guy is included. Host these events more often if you want (so the other guy is not invited). And please cultivate new friendships.

    • Yael

      Also, I’d like to point out that the guy wasn’t “sleeping with” the sister, he raped her. We should call this shit what it is.

      • Jess

        YES.

    • SparrowSally

      While reading, I couldn’t help but put myself in the victim’s shoes. How does this look to her, either present or future self? Having come from a family of men who sexually assault/harass their own family members, us victims were supposed to shrug it off because it made everyone else feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile, every family gathering made me feel gross and uncomfortable. Being around this guy, and people who don’t seem to mind his actions, tells her that what happened to her isn’t worth the effort of finding new friends. But that’s just where my mind goes.

    • SarahRose472

      I think it’s perfectly fair for you to completely ice him out (and honestly, I think the other friends deserve to feel kind of uncomfortable about it too, if that’s a side effect). On a more practical note though, this may not be how you would act, but if I’m imagining myself in such a situation I would be concerned about my ability to actually follow through on my intentions to be cold. I struggle not to be smiley and make everything comfortable and non-confrontational, even when I mean to. But if you can, then by all means do it.

      But not going at all is also still a valid way to make the point, as Amy March points out above.

  • Laura

    Since we’re on the topic, I need help from the fashion-forward APW hive mind. I’m going to a wedding in Minneapolis on December 29th. I need something to wear that is appropriate for: 1) the cold (obvi) 2) a family wedding, part of which takes place in a church, and 3) the Midwestern fashion sensibilities of said family that dictate that anything other than your most hole-y jeans counts as “dressing up” for a wedding. Hopefully <$100 and something I can wear again to other events.

    I really like the look of this but don't know if I should go for the red or black (red too bold?).

    https://www.lulus.com/products/girl-can-t-help-it-red-off-the-shoulder-midi-dress/520422.html

    Otherwise maybe sparkles a la this: https://www.lulus.com/products/shine-on-me-nude-and-gunmetal-sequin-bodycon-dress/580732.html

    I am decidedly *not* a shopper and tend not to be too much of a risk taker with clothes, but I wanna look fab. Styling tips for frigid winter weddings would be much appreciated!

    • Alli

      I’m boring, so my vote is the black dress. Dress it up with a baller necklace?

    • Amy March

      Off the shoulder red dress looks fabulous. Beige sequins strikes me as a bit naked looking and too short. Unless any part of this takes place outside (dear god rsvp no) throw on whatever cost you already own and call it a day.

    • Jenny

      Styling tips for the cold. Warm tights, faux (or real) fur shawls/accessories. Earmuffs for getting there an back without messing up your hair.

      Since winter clothes tend to be monochromatic/darker, I always thing that bright or jewel tone accessories are nice. Or you can go semi overboard on jewelry (lots of sparkle or dripping in (real or fake) pearls).

      • Sonnie

        My entire formal winter wardrobe is emerald/forest green, so if you’re looking for a winter color that isn’t black or navy you can usually find green dresses real easy around the holidays.

      • Anna

        I also like white/blush/pearl gray scarves with my dark-colored winter clothes. I had an excellent really pale blush infinity scarf from MM Lafleur that I wore all the time with various forest green/wine red/dark teal/dark purple tops and dresses that seems to have gone missing and I’m sad :-/

    • penguin

      The red one looks amazing! Definitely not too bold, and it’s Christmas-y in a subtle way (if you’re into that), and generally seasonal. I agree with Jenny on warm styling.

    • ssha

      The red definitely isn’t too bold! But tights and warm accessories are a must (this is your chance for a fur stole I guess), even though we do have skyways!

    • AGCourtney

      Minnesotan here: go for the red.

      • Laura

        Okay, red it is! I still have some older relatives (also maybe my mom? remains to be seen) who consider wearing red to a wedding labeling yourself (literally) a scarlet woman, but they can just side eye me allllll day long.

        • Jess

          That sounds… outdated. Like not wearing black because it’s saying you’re mourning the wedding.

        • Amy March

          Those people don’t approve of black either. Shrug.

    • Sarah E

      Sparkles sparkles sparkles all the way.

    • Engaged Chicago

      I was looking at the nude sparkles for my shower! I think the black or red off shoulder is perfect – I love both colors and would probably do red.

    • I like the red too, and the black one is great too. There are tights that are fleece lined, if you end up on a really freezing day. You could also wear tall boots, which will help with warmth. I don’t like fleece lined tights or leggings because I get too hot inside with them. What I do when I have to wear dresses outside in very cold winter is wear legwarmers (very tall ones that cover my whole leg) in black. Then those can be removed once inside relatively easily for the dressy indoor look. A warm (cashmere possibly or some other dressy and warm scarf) could be great to have to wrap around you inside (or outside) and still look elegant. Dangly earrings are FREEZING when it is very cold out, so I’d suggest non-dangly ones.

  • SparrowSally

    Something wild happened this week – I recently did the AncestryDNA and it matched me with a first cousin that was unknown to me. Turns out she’s the daughter my aunt gave up for adoption at birth, 30-something years ago! Within 24 hours of me messaging her trying to figure out how we were cousins, she was able to meet her birth mom, sister, grandma, aunt. And since not many in our family knows about this right now, I’ve had to keep my mouth shut.

    • Amy March

      Oh that’s so disturbing to me!

      • Jess

        Same. Which… is why I’m not signing up for those things ever.

      • SparrowSally

        I’m not really sure what’s disturbing?

        • Jess

          For me, the idea that somebody could find you and expose your whole history (or the history of someone else) through a website is really… violating feeling. Privacy maybe?

          But, I suppose that’s why you have to sign up for it! Actively consenting to that sort of thing in advance.

          • penguin

            That’s how I felt about it too. Like, what if the aunt (who gave up a baby for adoption) didn’t want to reconnect?

          • SparrowSally

            I was trying to think on my cousin’s side. She deserved a family, so if her mom didn’t want contact, then that was fine. But I wasn’t going to deny her the rest of us.

          • Amy March

            She has a family. The one that adopted her.

          • SparrowSally

            If only life was actually that simple

          • penguin

            It’s great that it worked out in this case and everyone is happy. I’m just thinking about if it had gone a different way – if the aunt didn’t want to reconnect with the person she gave up for adoption, for example. I could see that being really stressful for her in that situation.

          • SparrowSally

            I tried to simplify what happened for sake of easy reading. It’s not like I contacted a stranger and told her everything. I made sure I was allowed to tell her what I knew before I ever contacted her the first time. If it had turned out my aunt wanted nothing to do with her, we would’ve handled it differently.

          • penguin

            Totally! Sounds like everything you did was above board. I was just saying why this kinda weirded me out in general (not your exact situation).

          • Capondoodle

            I feel very on the fence about these DNA tests. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle as they say. That being said, I found this article SO fascinating! https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/she-thought-she-was-irish-until-a-dna-test-opened-a-100-year-old-mystery/?utm_term=.cb445efb1ba7

          • SparrowSally

            You actually have a good bit of control over what you share with others. And she signed up for the purpose of finding family, she was searching. I signed up because I needed the proof that I was who I thought I was.

          • Jess

            Yup, definitely opt in so if you sign up for that sort of thing you are saying you’re cool with it.

            It just… freaks me out a bit is all. Kind of like the FB “People you may know” feature.

          • lamarsh
          • SparrowSally

            I actually read that article before I did the DNA testing, and I thought it was fascinating!

          • Jess

            Fascinating!

          • Wow, that’s quite a story!

        • Amy March

          The idea that a random stranger could blow up your whole life because of a DNA test posted online? That all of a sudden with no warning you’re forced to confront something you may not have wanted to deal with? That your decision to place a child for a closed adoption can be undone without your consent in an instant?

          I’m glad it all worked out great here but I find it really disturbing.

          • SparrowSally

            It’s not like the DNA test posted that she was this random lady’s daughter. I knew she was a probable cousin. I was able to figure it out because of what I already knew.

          • Anonforthis

            I’ve recently heard some amazing, happy stories from this sort of thing, but I also am wary of it. I’ve known for 20 years that my biological dad was a donor, with no information at all about him provided to my parents. The story has always been that they told my mom my brother and I had the same donor. Honestly, part of me is afraid that if we ever got tested, we’d find out that wasn’t true, which would make me really sad (not change my relationship with my brother, just bum me the fuck out). Also, the thought that I might find half-siblings is really interesting (they would probably be local, even), but what if they were donor babies and they didn’t know? What if they were the donor’s own kids and suddenly I’m like heyyyy, your dad is my dad too? I guess the kids would have signed up for some possibility of such connections being made, but maybe unwittingly, and the donor might not have wanted those connections made at all (and in the process he signed up for in the 80s, he thought that was what he was getting).

            Also there are other donor babies in my family and I don’t know if THEY all know that about themselves. One does, and has found half-siblings. They others…I don’t know. I would hope this wouldn’t be the way they found out I guess.

          • SarahRose472

            Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the reason she was able to find her cousin was because the cousin had also participated in AncestryDNA — if that’s the case then she was actively looking for family too.

            Although if you’re referring to the aunt, I definitely see the point there…the aunt would have had no say in this even if both SparrowSally and cousin opted in.

    • Anna

      Oh my. Were you aware beforehand that your aunt had given up a daughter for adoption at birth?

      • SparrowSally

        We all knew she had had two daughters early in life that she wasn’t prepared to care for. But there wasn’t much talk about it.

    • Emily

      Omg, my dad was adopted and I’ve always been so curious/nervous about those AncestryDNA type things. How are people processing this information now that you know, and the cousin does as well?

      • SparrowSally

        Evidently she’s been searching for her entire life for her birth family, but it was a closed adoption so she had almost no information to go on. I ran it across my grandma before telling her anything, and she said, ‘Yes, of course!!!’ and now everyone who knows is super happy and it’s good.

        • Ashley Weckbacher

          Having watched my friends search for their birth families — what a wonderful outcome. I’m so heartened to read good news like this!

          • SparrowSally

            Thank you! Everyone else seems to forget that there was a 30 year journey for this girl who was so close to giving up. This was very good news for everyone involved.

      • penguin

        My dad was adopted too! He’s never wanted to find his birth parents, so I haven’t pursued it. Besides, with the not-knowing I can tell myself anything I want about them and don’t have to find out that they were actually axe murderers or something.

    • penguin

      I gotta ask, did you talk to your aunt about this before contacting the cousin? Or how does your aunt feel about this whole thing?

      • SparrowSally

        I knew almost immediately she had been adopted, but I didn’t bring it up. She told me she was adopted and I called my grandma to ask if everything added up and if I was allowed to loop her in. There was a resounding yes, and I set up a three way call with her, grandma, and me and she asked questions and my mom contacted my aunt, who was thrilled. So I put them in touch.

    • Jess

      All in all, I’m really glad this was a happy outcome for your family and for your (newly found) cousin!

    • Rose

      A first cousin of my wife’s recently found her aunt (his birth-mother) and connected. It seems like it’s been a nice thing for their family–hope that once the secrecy is past it is for yours too!

    • Oh wow, that is wild! And potentially so cool?? (Though obviously valid if it’s not cool, family stuff is complicated). I have a friend who was matched with a close relative through an ancestry site, it’s definitely one of those “the internet is kind of mind-blowing” type things.

      • SparrowSally

        My husband also did the testing and found a great great aunt he never knew existed. Because of this he’s found out so much about a side of his family he’d had no contact with. It’s kind of beautiful to watch

        • That’s so rad… Congrats on finding these new connections!

    • Eenie

      The same thing happened to my dad recently! He has a half brother that he never knew about. Which also means his dad had an affair at some point. Both his parents are dead going on 30-40 years, so there’s no one alive who really know the back story.

      • AP

        Whoa.

        • Eenie

          Right? The half brother lives an hour from me which is just crazy weird. He called and told me all this and said “if you ever want to see some family you can!” Which is just so weird because I’ve never been close with anyone on his side of the family. The half brother was really glad to have some family history filled in by my Mormon uncle who keeps a super accurate family tree.

          Also, been listening to your podcast and I’ve really enjoyed it!

          • AP

            That is wild! Reading all these comments has made me pretty sure it’s not right for me, though. WAY too much complicated family history to even think about putting my DNA results out there.

            And yay!! So glad you like it!! We love making it! (And I’m always here for topic suggestions!)

  • CMT

    This week makes me want to rage. The Louis CK and Roy Moore stuff and also a similar thing happening on the local level where I live. I have (male) journalist friends covering the local story and they’ve been complaining to me about how hard it is to write about. I just want to yell at them that I DON’T GIVE A FUCK HOW HARD IT IS TO WRITE ABOUT, it’s a million times harder for the women who have to live through it. And I know that it’s hard for them because they care and they’re good dudes, but I just want them to find somebody else to bitch to. Same with all the other men who are shocked and dismayed about these kinds of things. I just personally do not care if they’re having a hard time processing it. Ugh.

    • Sara

      I’ve gotten to a place where when I see a new article about sexual assault, I think “great, burn them all down”. Its so disheartening that all of these things were open secrets (because I’ve definitely heard the Louie C.K rumors and the Kevin Spacey ones before this) but thank god they’re being dragged into the light by these brave survivors.

      • Amy March

        Deport all men now. #yesallmen #tothemoon

        • CMT

          “Ban men” is my motto. I say it (and tweet it) all the time.

          • Anna

            My college roommates and I have been fantasizing about getting back together to live in a man-less feminist collective together and it honestly sounds wonderful.

          • CMT

            Let me know when that happens, I am def joining!

        • flashphase

          Or just do what this woman did:
          https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/us/politics/fbi-stolen-gun-stolen-charlotte.html

          Men are so gullible and emotional! Are we sure we can trust them in important positions like the FBI?????

        • Zoya

          Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to trust even the good dudes now.

        • mjh

          I have friends that are men. They are great people — but they know we have a problem.

          We have no choice. We have no choice. We have no choice.

          The people are calling for a total and complete shutdown of men entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on

          Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Mysogynistic Patriarchy, and have no sense of reason or respect for female life.

          /s

          • mjh

            Sidenote- it’s crazy how few words need to be changed from the direct quotes. Literally, I only changed muslims to men twice, Donald J. Trump to the people, Jihad to Misogynistic Patriarchy (can’t edit my typo) and human life to female life.

            Uggghhhh

          • ART

            That gave me quite a chill.

      • Ashley Weckbacher

        I thought everyone knew about Harvey, Kevin, and Louie. I just have to wonder how long before we collectively move on. I know how jaded that sounds but I feel like these types of abuses are so woven into our expectations of normal, that it has been felt in so many areas of life, that at some point people in power are going to get exhausted. They’re going to think they can tell us what to pay attention to again. And for many many years they were right. I worry that they will be again

        • Jess

          I think it depends on how closely you follow media industries. I… didn’t know who Harvey was before this. I’d heard about Louie because of Jezebel, but probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

          But, like they’re saying, most of these are “open secrets” in the industry.

          There’s so many people who have to look the other way to keep enabling this behavior, but it happens *everywhere* and people look away.

          I honestly just really hope that so many powerful women and men who have had these things done to them coming forward (Aly fucking Raisman now, Eddie fucking Huang too) can help to ease the idea that victims are to blame, that they should have spoke up, that they could have fought back. Even if it only affects people who have been victimized come to terms with it inside themselves.

        • Amy March

          Nope. I keep hearing this, but I had absolutely no clue whatsoever about any of this.

          • ART

            Same, and I grew up in LA! I mean not like, in *the industry* but the industry is Big News there, all the time, because one way or another it affects MANY livelihoods there.

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            My friend and I were talking right when it all came out and he recalled talking to a friend of his when the Cosby stuff came out, expressing his utter horror. His friend was confused because he thought everyone knew about it. I think there are just all kinds of weird circles where everyone knows SOMEthing. The trick is figuring out what everyone knows versus what only certain circles know.

        • Sara

          I am very into hollywood gossip blogs/magazines/blind items (as Jim Gaffigan says, its my McDonald’s) so I’ve definitely heard these things before. But for a lay person who isn’t reading EW or People on their lunch break, I can see it being easy to miss since managers and publicists seemed determined to sweep it under the rug

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            I was in high school and off and on in college. I understand normal people not knowing, but sorry, Ben Affleck, sorry, Meryl Streep. You heard something or you turned your ears off. I admire Judd Appatow and Tom Hanks so much right now

          • Sara

            Oh man, if something bad ever comes out about Tom Hanks, I will freak out. I love him so much.

          • Alli

            That’s something that’s so scary (and anxiety inducing) right now. There’s SO many people being called out right now. It could be anyone!

            And it’s not like we don’t know this, it’s just like one of those scenes in a scary movie where they’re in a cave and realize they’re surrounded by the monsters at every angle.

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            His comments re: Swinestein were perfect.

          • rg223

            I mean, I’ve heard rumors about Ben Affleck too. We all know about Casey.

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            I guess I’m curious where the breakpoint is. Because I don’t think this will ruin Ben’s career and it didn’t ruin Casey’s. Do we stop watching Titanic because Kate Winslet likes Woody Allen? Johnny Depp working with Roman Polanski nearly soured me on him as teen, but it took what he did to Amber Heard to really create a firm boundary. And I know a lot of people who think that’s unconfirmed rumor despite the evidence… this is a thing I grapple with a lot and really try to make peace with, but there are no good guys here and what does that mean?

          • AP

            Re: your question about not watching Titanic because Kate Winslet likes Woody Allen. This is something I’m really grappling with right now, because no, I didn’t hear these rumors and feel really blindsided by the Spacey and Louis C.K. stuff. They were two of my favorite artists, and…that’s the end of their art for me. No more Cosby Show. Midnight on the Orient Express looks awesome, but Johnny Depp. And in thinking about that, and thinking about who else knew/knows, and who was/is complicit in covering it up, and who else is doing this shit that we don’t yet know about, and in my gut I know the scope of the problem is huge, and, and, and…I’m just feeling done. I feel sick, and betrayed, I guess? I feel like tossing my TV out the window.

          • Anna

            My husband asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted to watch House of Cards as our next TV show (we typically have one live-action English show and one subbed anime going at a time, and we were getting close to the end of Orphan Black). I hadn’t decided; we were just having the what-to-watch-next conversation again last night, and he said “And I assume you don’t want to watch House of Cards, now.” I was like, yeah, probably a safe assumption that watching Kevin Spacey in a paean to powerful men abusing their positions would be a fairly queasy experience right now, even beyond the issue of supporting his work.

            (Husband also pointed out that it feels like Spacey’s career was more efficiently dismantled than those of other recently identified abusers and speculated that it might be because he’s gay/victimized men rather than women. I acknowledged that this could be true and problematic, but the problem is with the foot-dragging in the other cases, not the efficiency in this one – which Husband did agree with.)

          • AP

            Yes to all of this. Also I LOVED Orphan Black and wish every show had more Tatiana Maslany.

          • Anna

            Orphan Black was so fucking good. I’d be pretty much okay with every character on every show being replaced with just all Tatiana Maslany, all the time. She’s so talented; it was easy to legitimately forget that all the clones were played by the same actress…

          • ART

            I guess I have to watch this – on Netflix? I’m almost done with Twin Peaks (which is the freaking weirdest show! hah!) and have stopped watching some of the ones that make me sob (Call the Midwife) for a while because hormones.

          • Mary Jo TC

            OMG I was crying on the elliptical this morning watching an episode of Call the Midwife where one woman lost a 6-month pregnancy the morning she was supposed to have a cerclage, and another woman gave up a baby to adoption and then took him back. Why do I do this to myself???!???

          • MC

            I’ve noticed that too with the dismantling of Kevin Spacey’s career – all it took was one man speaking up for him to lose a lot of career opportunities, whereas Bill Cosby has just barely started facing any consequences after assaulting 50-some women? I agree with you that the swift response to Kevin Spacey has been the correct one, but I’m not holding my breath to see that kind of action taken when women are the victims.

            It’s really complicated because male survivors are so stigmatized, and I really admire those who have spoken out against KS because it is really not easy. But also – male privilege. And I think there’s a sense of latent cultural homophobia that makes it so that a man sexually assaulting another man is *that* much worse – because it was so recently considered a depravity or a sin to be a man attracted to another man.

          • Jess

            That is a great point and makes me really fucking angry.

          • rg223

            I agree with you on all of this! But wanted to add, in regards to Kevin Spacey losing career opportunities, I read that Netflix was going to cancel House of Cards anyway, but when the Spacey stuff came out they were like, “Oooookay, guess we’re announcing this now!” Which I hate, because it’s all posturing on their part – they didn’t actually take a stand on anything.

          • Another Meg

            I saw this on Twitter and it made me feel better- now is a great time to focus on women who are doing wonderful work and find some new favorites!

          • AP

            YES!

          • Love it.

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            As a teen I asked my mom why anyone would work with Polanski and she said he hadn’t really been a pedophile. That he thought she was over 18 and anyway was sick with grief over his wife’s murder. I sort of accepted that (along with a lot of other things that make me cringe now) as a good enough reason to not only ignore the allegations but also to defend his mental state. It can also feel pointless when you’re a tiny drop in a very full bucket that no one will miss.

            I wonder how many people knew and told themselves they didn’t, convinced themselves it wasn’t real, Meryl, because it would have been untenable. And refusing to work with Woody or Harvey or Kevin was inconvenient for achieving your goals. I don’t know what I would have done or what I would do if my path to achieving my lifelong dreams was blocked by sexual abuse or a man who I had questions about.

            My boss wrote for Cognescenti about about her experiences in finance and the reasons she never spoke up. A lot of the response was “But then that’s not a job you want.” But that’s not true! That job changed her life and she was able to do so much because of it — so much for her family, for her daughters, for the women at the company she built, and for women in general… it’s an unbelievably complicated equation and I’m not sure there’s a good answer.

          • rg223

            Oh yeah, I totally feel you on all that! I was just trying to point out that Ben Affleck is probably not going to be calling anyone out about this.

        • I thought that everyone know about them too, but evidently almost no one in my social circles had really heard of any the “smoke” around these guys? I think I was definitely overestimating the extent to which this was common knowledge.

          I mean, obviously these were all open secrets in media-land, and I’m fully cynical that the media industry is going to change out of any type of “do the right thing” impulse. But I also think there’s a semi-decent chance that the public pressure/reaction to this prompts some positive changes.

        • Katharine Parker

          I respect Glenn Close so much for her statement acknowledging that she knew enough about Harvey that she should have known more. Anyone in Hollywood who didn’t know anything wasn’t listening.

      • Danielle

        “Burn it all down” is the main thing that’s been running through my head these past few weeks 🔥☄️💥

      • toomanybooks

        Yes, like I’m just so glad they’re suffering consequences now. I want all the men who’ve abused their power like this to be ruined by the end of the year. CANCEL THEM.

        • Sara

          Throw them all out, lets start fresh in 2018

      • JC

        If we burn them all down, *then* they can start talking about witch hunts. Only then.

        • Anna

          Have you seen Lindy West’s NYT op-ed “Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You.”? Very satisfying.

          • SarahRose472

            Going to read ASAP, I heart the title so much already.

    • ART

      I was just writing a similar comment! I’m so angry this week I’m not even sure I can read the Lindy West piece right now. Part of me is enjoying the going-down-in-flamesness of all the Weinstein fallout stuff. Louis C.K., who I grudgingly started liking based on his Parks and Rec role, can now go back to being dead to me. And I keep asking myself how much I care about the allegations/due process/let’s be careful thing, and I just…don’t. I don’t care. Every last one of these predators and even a couple of “that maybe wasn’t sooo bad” guys swept up in the fury can lose their careers, marriages, whatever. Look at the wake they’ve left, and then ask me if I care, nope.

      • Sarah E

        You should totally read the Lindy West piece then. It’s all about righteous anger. You will have another flame of vindication to add to your fire.

        • ART

          I did, because I can’t pry myself away, and it was good (she’s so good). I read Diana Nyad’s piece yesterday and basically was sick the entire rest of the day so I thought maybe today I’d take it easier and, you know, be productive at work…gahh!

          • CMT

            Oh man, Diana Nyad’s essay really hit me. It was very powerful.

          • ART

            Yeah, that part where she yells at herself when she drops the groceries or whatever broke my heart. Because I can relate to that feeling, even if it’s coming from a different place.

    • Laura C

      I give some credit to Louis CK on his apology/confession. At least he seems like he’s really grappling with what’s wrong with what he did.

      • Jess

        I mean… yes, but also he’s come out in the past and explicitly denied those allegations especially from Tig Notaro.

        • Laura C

          Oh, yeah, I mean, there’s no way he can get full credit at this point short of like a years-long redemption campaign of some extreme kind, but I was just impressed that at this late date he was showing an actual understanding of why what he did was harmful, not just a pro forma apology.

        • Ashley Weckbacher

          Louie always struck me as feminist in the same way that my brothers were. Look at me, supporting women! Going to marches! Producing female comics! So that when we start talking abuse, they can say “Would an abuser do xyz?” Which seems to have been how Tig felt about him, too. :/

      • flashphase

        Not sure if I agree – he owned it, but there’s not really an apology in his statement and he claims “admiration” not “me being able to ruin their career” as a reason that he had a position of power. I just read the Jezebel post and comments and I think there were a lot of good points on how he could have done better. Also, these rumors have been circulating for years, yet it takes 5 women and a thoroughly researched NYTimes story for him to say something?

        • Laura C

          He could have done better. But what he did was better than what basically every other man in his position has done in the wake of all the recent exposes, and I just think that’s worth acknowledging. It’s not enough, but it’s not nothing.

        • wannabee

          He also denied or avoided the rumors outright several times, making these women even more likely to be judged as lying, crazy, or having an axe to grind. I think his statement (it’s not an apology, it’s a statement) sucks and is trying to lay the groundwork for a Redemption Special. I am not here for any of it.

      • I don’t know, the cynic in me kind of feels like it’s easy enough to say the right thing in an apology that it doesn’t really mean that much? I guess I’m more interested to see if he pursues genuine restitution than I am with like, Kevan Spacey, but given that there’s been buzz around this issue with him forever the apology itself left me pretty cold.

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          It also feels like he’s continuing his brand of the blunt, honest, hapless every dude who really means well but just can’t get there…and that leaves me even colder. It almost reads as a marketing opportunity.

          • Laura C

            Interesting. Maybe if I knew his brand better that would be more apparent to me.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            I’ve seen most of his specials and followed all of his writings to his fans. There were red flags in his work a lot of the time that I kind of just chalked up to his “dark” humor and thought that because he proved himself in other ways, it didn’t matter. But yeah, this read to me like one of his usual pieces. It has a sheen on it that seems like it was written with the thought of a Redemption Comedy Special in mind.

            Then again, I also feel more betrayed (silly as that is) over this one than others and I’m smacking myself on the head for not being more wary of him. I texted my husband one of CK’s jokes that at the time I thought was ‘ironic’ but now makes my blood run cold: “You should never rape anyone. Unless you have a reason, like if you want to fuck somebody and they won’t let you.”

          • ART

            THAT was one of the first of his “jokes” I ever heard, and I was so stone-faced that my college bf (oh guess what kind of person he was) and his roommates were like, “chill out, feminazi!”

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Yeah, to be clear, I never liked that joke but I think I used to ignore it because he claimed to be a vigorous feminist, so OBVIOUSLY he was just trying to show how absurd and simplistic the mindset of a rapist is. Or some other apologist nonsense.

            Lots of mental gymnastics required just because I thought his anecdote about his daughter petting a pony was funny :-/ Dumb-dumb me.

          • ART

            Yeah – I totally get that, and agree because then I heard other jokes that I did think were cute/funny (and some are!) and kind of did the same write-off process. But I sure thought about that first joke a lot yesterday when I saw the news.

          • Eileen

            Personally I actually did like that joke because it did feel to me like he was mocking the rapist.

            But a lot of his humor is going to sour on me now.

          • wannabee

            Ha, I hadn’t even seen your comment when I wrote mine above. All I could think reading it is “he is laying the groundwork for a redemption/comeback.” So gross.

          • SarahRose472

            That’s an interesting point. Because in a way, finding out that he has tried to masturbate in front of women is kind of just in line with the disgusting, pathetic, insecure guy he has been branding himself as in all his comedy for years. I think it’s more likely it goes the other way though…he has tried making that his “brand” but making it comedic/ironic, when it turns out it was just completely, un-ironically true.

      • CMT

        I don’t give him credit. You don’t get to “grapple” with masturbating in front of un-consenting women. There’s no way you didn’t know that was wrong.

        • Sara

          Paul F Tompkins *my favorite comedian* summed it up with this tweet:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d19c8913d7ff075a36c763e062a3674e55d89df247700aaf6647c26d7794052e.png

          • Anna

            YES THIS SO HARD. Like it’s bitter-funny but it’s also ACTIONABLE. When this shit has financial consequences quickly and reliably (instead of sporadically and belatedly) it will happen less.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            DING DING DING. This is so good.

          • maybemum

            LOVE PFT, relieved to see this response.

          • Sara

            His social (sarcastic) commentary always makes me feel slightly better about the world.

        • SarahRose472

          I mean, I don’t give him credit in the sense that I don’t think this apology should grant him respect or forgiveness. Because as you said — there’s really no way he didn’t know that it was wrong. But on the scale of apologies for this kind of thing, for which we admittedly have a bar that is so low it might as well be underground, what he has said is better than most (and he focuses on saying that what he is “suffering” is nothing compared to what he has put these women through), so I see Laura C’s point in that sense.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        He’s a writer, so I’m not surprised that it’s disarmingly sympathetic. My cynical gut says that’s what guys like him are able to continue to coast by on. And I say that as someone who was a fan* until about 18ish hours ago. :-/

        *Caveat: I always hated his careless use of the n-word and it gave me unease about him. But I didn’t think he was a predator. Apparently everyone else knew that though.

      • Pickle

        I might agree, except he’s repeating this talking point that’s going around among his defenders that ‘he never did it without asking first’, which just isn’t true. The very first story is from two women who went to his hotel room and he just suddenly took his clothes off

    • Anna

      Right? RIGHT?!?! And it’s striking – albeit not at all surprising – to me that NONE of the men end up being accused by just one person. Like, as soon as it’s safe(r) to do so, there are always multiple people coming forward with their stories. Because it turns out that someone who takes what they want and then finds out there are no consequences will do it again, and again. I need to believe that we’re moving towards the consequences happening fast enough to stop that feedback loop, rather than finally happening years or decades later. But male journalists sucking it up and writing matter-of-factly about the pervasiveness of this bullshit is the fucking least they can do to get us there.

      • Sara

        Oooh a woman manager at my work said something about the multiple people coming out being ‘suspicious timing’ and a co-worker and I almost took her head off. She was surprised at our response, but to her credit, also seemed to take it to heart with a ‘well I never thought of it that way”

        • Anna

          Ugh yeah and in a similar vein, Roy Moore’s denial was basically “if this were true, it would’ve come up during one of my previous campaigns!” Except for the part where your previous campaigns weren’t during a cultural moment when it’s at least possible to see SOME women getting results in terms of damage to the careers of their abusers in response to speaking out about sexual assault; even in very recent history, accusing politicians of sexual violence hasn’t worked out so well for the people they’ve assaulted…

          • penguin

            That’s the worst excuse. “If I did that somebody would have caught me by now!”

        • penguin

          Ugh my FIL is the same way – “Don’t you think it’s suspicious that all these women accused Bill Cosby at the same time?”. No asshat, it makes sense in a lot of ways if you think about it for two goddamn seconds.

    • Zoya

      Vaguely related story: I’m currently trying to train our cat to come when called. This has had the inadvertent effect of priming him only to respond to female voices. We were testing this out the other night with another couple, and the cat would respond to me and our female friend, but not to my husband or our male friend. This led to my husband musing about the feeling of being unheard simply by virtue of his gender, and how STRANGE and UNFAIR that feels, and GEE I WONDER WHAT IT’D BE LIKE TO LIVE MY ENTIRE LIFE THAT WAY.

      It was funny, and we all laughed, but also ouch.

      • Jess

        I laughed… and then felt very sad.

      • Yael

        Something similar happened to A and I a while back. He wears a kippah, and most Germans have never seen an observant Jew (most European Jews keep their Judaism quiet, for obvious reasons). When he wears a hat, he blends in very well, but when he doesn’t, he gets a lot of stares. After a particularly long day of getting stared at (trip to IKEA on the tram), he was getting agitated and made a comment about how much he hates being stared at constantly and could I possibly understand how that feels? (I also do not present at “Jewish”). I looked at him and said, “Well, I’m a woman.” He had an immediate face palm.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        That reminds me of all the dudes bitching about OITNB having a season about all these interesting, complex women, and then there were 3 dudes and they were all terrible. GOSH THAT MUST NOT BE FUN TO WATCH FOR YOU.

      • Eenie

        I thought you were going to make a cat calling pun/joke.

        • Zoya

          Pussy grabs back?

    • Jess

      100% agreed. It is *not* worse to be stigmatized for being a rapist than to be raped. It just isn’t. These men deserve no sympathy for repercussions of the actions they chose to do.

      • penguin

        Yeah that reeks way too much of the “but what about his swimming career” and the “oh what about his chance at college” line of thinking. Your life SHOULD be ruined if you rape someone.

    • flashphase

      The Moore assaults are upsetting, and then doubly upsetting because I think voters won’t care.

      • CMT

        OMG and all of the Republicans going through all sorts of contortions to justify it yesterday. I almost just want to ignore it all. It’s so bad.

        • JIMINY FREAKING CRICKET have those justifications been a race to the bottom… Is there some kind of competition going on? Who can get the biggest venn-diagram overlap between brain-melting absurd and stomach-churning despicable?

          • ART

            “Mary was a teenager” is my (un)favorite so far. I’m like wait, wasn’t Mary also, like, a virgin? wat?

          • Like, it’s such a surreal thing to say it’s almost funny, but that evaporates when you combine it with the “but the age of consent in 1975 was” lines and the clear wedge of people who think the reason you shouldn’t assault kids is…. Social mores.

          • Ella

            The age of consent might vary through time and place, but there’s zero grey area if you have to offer to a child’s mother to babysit the teenage girl you then ask out on a date. (I mean seriously. WTF.)

          • ART

            Oooh that just made my skin crawl…that is such a good point.

        • AP

          It’s disgusting and amoral. I thought I couldn’t see my religion be corrupted any further, but I was wrong.

      • AP

        From where I sit in Mississippi, Alabama will completely vote for Moore the same way they voted for Trump. Unless the GOP forces his hand and gets him to drop out, he will win that election.

    • Jan

      I’ve been living in the local story for the last three days. It’s exhausting. Men are the worst.

      • CMT

        Men are definitely the worst.

    • Lexipedia

      Yep. I love FI, and he’s definitely “on the feminist team” but during the “Me Too” stuff I told him that should any of his friends be accused of something like this he better damn well be cutting ties with the guy. Not acceptable, ever, and men need to say so to each other.

  • LuckyLoveBug

    I just want to point out how severely I am reigning myself in on spamming you all with pictures of our Disney World vacation, because they are ALL so. Damn. Good. It was the perfect respite, and I say that as someone who doesn’t really understand the obsession some people have with making it to WDW at least once a year…except that now, after witnessing the magic through my daughter’s eyes, I do. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e878502ae443fc67462bee64379ef5dcc871a53b18625374e8b33312caf11644.jpg

    Also, my BFF and I spent DAYS handcrafting that Halloween costume, so I’m showing it off, dammit. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77244daa6f8e26e6460f4484a68d07052ecc822aa2640a4346ef1f57721d213e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75ab9c79a7e1d7f00aef34e8e1904e5cfa5991fa1487be0ac8a8bef289f175aa.jpg

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      I love her costume — it’s perfectly spooky.

      We did Disney every April for decades, thanks to Orlando-based family. Now I want to take my husband before we have kids but he has no interest. Oh, well! I’m glad you had fun with your daughter! She looks so rapturous in those pictures

      • LuckyLoveBug

        Rapturous is an excellent descriptor of her entire week. We got back on Monday and are all still flying high. My husband was in the same boat as yours. Even as we were boarding the plane, it was all, “I am really not anticipating enjoying this AT ALL” and then we walked into the Magic Kingdom and Love Bug met Mickey and he was DONE FOR. Which isn’t to say he’d ever let me drag him there WITHOUT her, but, you know. Baby steps ;)

      • Sara

        I’m going to Disney next week! And went two years ago with my best friend – its a totally different experience as an adult. Just drinking at Epcot feels weird lol We got beers and went to the Indiana Jones experience and it was amazing.

        • LuckyLoveBug

          YES. Especially in Disney Springs, where you can get a drink at a restaurant and then wander into a store with it! We were actually there during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which was amaaaaaazing.

          • Sara

            My friend just went back with her husband for it last week and I was so jealous of her pictures. And stories of food! We’re getting there in time for Christmas celebrations, which will be interesting.

          • LuckyLoveBug

            We went trick or treating there on Halloween, which was amazing. The last night of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party was the following evening, and then by opening the next day, ALL the fall decor had been pulled down and replaced with Christmas stuff. It felt BIZARRE! But beautiful :) Now of course, after months of planning and research, all the adds on my computer are geared towards WDW, and keep showing me all the holiday stuff coming up!

      • LuckyLoveBug

        Also – thank you! She said she wanted to be a mummy, after getting a mummy cakepop from Starbucks (what even, kid).

  • Yael

    GUYS VA Dems SWEPT the election!

    I realized when I woke up and learned that VA elected Northam and Fairfax and Roem and everyone else that I’ve been carrying this huge weight around since the events in Charlottesville. I grew up in a rural part of VA – not all that far from Charlottesville – and the Nazis showing up felt like an attack on my HOME. I’ve felt shocked and hurt and honestly, guilty for not attending the counter protest (even though I found out about the whole thing the day before) and finally things feel ok-ish again. Almost my entire family still lives in VA, and my sister uses the ACA, but it’s still super expensive for her because VA didn’t expand Medicaid. We’ll probably do that now. And I just can’t describe the relief that I feel.

    • Jenny

      It has been such a relief/bright spot/motivator.

    • Laura C

      It was my turn to put our son into bed that night, and while I was in holding him I could hear my husband cackling in the living room. I come out and I’m like “ugh, you finished the red wine? what should I open?” and he’s basically like “the nicest bottle we have!” And then later we decided that the Veuve we had gotten for another reason would just have to be opened that night.

      • Emily

        TOTALLY a champagne worthy event!

      • Yael

        I mean, Veuve is ALWAYS appropriate. I had to wait till the next morning to find out (6 hour time difference can be super inconvenient), but I rolled over and hugged A first thing while reading the news, and then cried.

        • Laura C

          It’s just that one of our superstitions is not to have champagne ready and waiting for electoral results. So it really had been bought for another occasion, but that’s ok…we can get more. :)

          • ART

            Oh so THAT’S what I did wrong last November, SORRY WORLD!

          • Emily

            If only it was as simple as we all bought champagne too early. Ugh.

          • EMily

            SAME I was already drinking champagne during the presidential election… mistakes were made

          • ART

            I was working the election that day and I came home at about 10:45pm and just took a giant slug of some liquor, I don’t even remember. I already had a migraine by then and knew I wasn’t going to work the next morning. My champagne bottle lingered in the fridge for a long time after that.

          • CMT

            Shit, I did the same thing.

          • MC

            We bought champagne last year on election day, but since we had no reason to celebrate afterward we did not drink it, and we decided we’ll save it until Trump is no longer president. Here’s hoping that’s soon!

    • lamarsh

      Yes! I went to UVA and had similar gut-wrenching feelings during the Charlottesville rallies. Now I live in DC and on Tuesday I left work early to phone bank for the VA Dems because I had to do something with my anxiety. Wednesday was the most glorious day!

    • Pannorama

      I also live in Virginia (though farther north) and man, it felt really good to be part of the Virginia electorate this week.

    • BSM

      It was amazing to wake up to that bit of good news this week.

      One small quibble: it sounds like your sister buys her health insurance on the marketplace that was set up as a result of ACA passing, but we all use many of the key provisions put in place (no lifetime caps, can’t be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions, etc.).

      • sofar

        Indeed! We all “use the ACA,” even if we have employer-sponsored plans. I’ve had family members that say, “I don’t use Obamacare, because *I* get my coverage from my JOB.” And I’m like, “Oh, did you use your free annual physical benefit? Get a prescription that was considered preventative, so you didn’t pay a copay? Better say THANKS Obama!”

        • Alli

          I should bring this up to my aunt. She’s in between jobs I think, and doesn’t have insurance. She told me “I mean I can get Obamacare but I don’t want to help Obama.” Which, you know, is mind boggling in itself, but at least I can see the look on her face when I tell her that all our insurance has been touched by Obama

          • Jess

            whaaaaaaattttttttt…. “I don’t want to help Obama” like signing up for insurance puts money in his pocket? I’m so confused.

          • Alli

            Right? As far as I’m aware he doesn’t get royalties but who knows she could be on to something

          • Capondoodle

            “Royalties” lol

          • Capondoodle

            Also, Obama isn’t president anymore? WTF

          • mjh

            Mind boggling, indeed.

        • BSM

          Yep! I mostly chat with people who are pro-ACA “in spite of not using Obamacare,” and I know the healthcare laws can be super confusing, so I feel like it’s important to take the time and correct people – we ALLLLL use the ACA.

          Thanks, Obama!

        • toomanybooks

          Oh my gosh I didn’t realize physicals were free and thought I was getting away with something when the receptionist didn’t ask for my card

        • Lindsey d.

          Interestingly, there are some employers who are exempt from some ACA requirements. It’s all based on size and whether you are self-funded or fully insured. Self-funded (which means they pay for their employees’ healthcare themselves) don’t have to provide the ten essential benefits. At least they are roped into no lifetime caps and no denying coverage based on pre-existing coverage). It’s been super confusing for people who wondered why their birth control wasn’t free or why they still had to pay for well visit. Turns out they were in a self-funded group.

      • Yael

        You’re right, I meant she buys insurance through the marketplace. The rest of the ACA provisions are also immensely important.

      • Ella

        This whole thread is pretty interesting to an outsider who doesn’t really understand how health insurance works in the US (or why). I’m only recently starting to understand why anyone would be against the ACA, and it seems like it’s not just a values (capitalism vs socialism) thing, but also just not being able to conceptualise how a medical safety net actually works. (I don’t mean that to sound condescending, I have an equally hard time understanding the American system.)
        [ETA: though of course values is part of it, and I’m a big socialist who would pay my taxes to medicare even if I was never going to get sick.]

  • Kat

    Remember the bride, a couple of months ago on APW, who was scared her wedding was going to be a copy of another wedding? Well, everything went well! We managed to merge our two different cultures in one beautiful sunny ceremony and reception. We were not a copy, we were us… authentic! We loved (almost) every single moment of it and we are happily married one month after. Lots of love to all of you! Thank you for your support back then

    • mjh

      So glad to hear it all went well. Congratulations <3

    • Jan

      What a fun update! So happy to hear it.

  • AGCourtney

    Everyone looks so awesome! Seeing those photos makes me feel happy all the way over here in MN. :)

    My daughter’s Hamilton birthday party went very well. The kids decorated stars and played Hamilton bingo and generally had fun running around playing with balloons. And I am QUITE proud of how the decor turned out:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ed4659fc16cefcb06d9c6952516cb21f7fdcd904577a17309ac71f55124cf59.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0288a977d2a9213ec88ef07efe83630f9fad85fdb7e40c5d8df3f0977fb1f2b4.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2e70f25f976909f377c38741c6eaa0a8f55b4b7ca16890ae5a1e361daaccf5e.jpg
    (cupcake toppers! <3)
    Our house looks like a whole new place with all the cleaning we've done. It's such a psychological relief, honestly. There's still organizing to do, of course, but it feels more manageable now.

    My husband and I went to a charity gala for a nonprofit I graduated from myself. We tithe but are between churches right now, so we had agreed to give to this program instead. It felt really good to give back. My husband has never been to this, but networking is his jam, so he had a blast.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/136fae9334201550592b7520372d6445104b4e20f0e450470e0159edf2494f09.jpg

    And yesterday, we had a personal consultation with a TIAA rep on campus. As I kinda suspected, I have my ducks in a row and my husband does NOT. (He wasn't even contributing to his company-matched 401k!!! But to be fair, at least he's been putting money into a Roth each month.) It was really helpful to get feedback and learn more about 529s – I started one for my daughter yesterday. Maybe it will pay for one single class by the time she's in college. :P Getting our retirement stuff sorted out was on the list of family goals this year – it's November, but it still counts!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      What is the difference between a 401K and a Roth (you comment above like you may know!) – I am currently contributing to both through my employer, but do you (or anyone!) know if it’s more beneficial just to throw it all one way or the other?

      • Alli

        I think 401k is pre-tax and gets taxed at a (presumably) lower rate when you do take it out later on. Roth is post tax?

        • Alli

          Question marks because I’m not sure. I just do 401k because I get company match, and it’s like I don’t even know I had the money in the first place.

        • ART

          Yep, correct – 401k is pre-tax now and what you take out is taxed based on your income when you withdraw, Roth is post-tax now and not taxed (including gains) when you take it out. So what to use depends on your (marginal) tax rate now compared to your (marginal) retirement tax rate…

          …which who the fuck knows what that will be because the GOP is nutzzz…

      • AGCourtney

        401k: contributions are pre-tax, but the money will be taxed when you take it out.
        Roth: contributions are post-tax, but the money (and the earnings!) will NOT be taxed when you take it out.

        • CP2011

          For some reason this finally clicked for me! I’ve been contributing 3 times the employee match to my 401k but only throwing $100 here and there in the Roth IRA. I’ve had it all backwards!! I’m changing my contribution structure now.

          • AGCourtney

            Yay! I’m glad it helped.

          • LindseyM

            Really, so long as you are saving, there is no wrong way to do it :)

          • Kara E

            EXCEPT (and this is a big “except”), keep an eye on fees. My 401k has such low fees that it’s almost always been worth throwing my retirement money there and not into a Roth (all of which have much higher fees).

      • LindseyM

        The general wisdom is contribute to your workplace 401k up to the match, then contribute to a Roth IRA (income permitting). If you can meet your limit to the Roth and can still contribute more, turn back to your 401K and go up to the limit. If you have access to an HSA then you contribute to that after the employer match on your 401K, before the Roth. The order is (1) free money, (2) triple tax advantage (HSA), (3) no tax on withdrawals (Roth), (4) back to 401K.

        • Anna

          Ugh I need to set up everything about this except the 401K up to my employer’s (generous) match; that’s already in place. But I keep meaning to set up a Roth IRA – my extremely financially savvy parents have been telling me to do this since college – and it’s just one of those tasks that perennially goes undone. I even have an email address for my person at Vanguard who would totally walk me through it and I just… haven’t sent that email.

          • Cha

            I had a surprisingly easy time setting up a Roth with Vanguard without even needing to interact with a person. I did it all online and just chose a Targeted Retirement Fund for the year I hope to retire, transfered an initial deposit amount, and set up a monthly auto-transfer from my bank account to the Vanguard fund. It truly took maybe a half hour and I haven’t touched it since. You can do it!

          • lamarsh

            Same! It was very simple, you don’t need to talk to a person (if that’s the part that overwhelming you).

          • Anna

            Nah, the emailing a person part would make it easier than the weird mental block I have against sorting through the (admittedly quite user-friendly) menus online; I also have a couple other mostly inherited investments and so it would be good to get some overall context on it all. It’s not overwhelming so much as just… never the highest priority. Which means I eventually need to move it up to the top of the list and just do it. But probably not until our various car problems are resolved >.<

          • Eenie

            DO IT! Do it. You may at some point surpass the income limits, or someone in the government may decide to fuck with retirement savings (this is seriously how they want to fund tax cuts for corporations?!?), and you’ll lose out on the opportunity.

    • Eenie

      This might be helpful re 529s. Written from the perspective of someone who is independently wealthy/wants to be independently wealthy/retire early.

      http://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/04/12/stocks-part-xxix-how-to-save-money-for-college-or-not/

  • A.

    Can we talk about a peripheral thing to Louis CK? He’s obvs a dirtbag, but…What are our expectations of the comedians we like who also have ties to him? Are people like Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswald, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Amy Schumer, etc., etc., etc., to name just a few, complicit and shouldering the blame from us as consumers unless they wholeheartedly disavow him? Or is there any room to say that they knew and liked Louis, are shocked and grappling with how to respond and what it means for their actual human relationship with this person? Do they all become “problematic faves” as they stay quiet? And if so, what’s our responsibility towards consuming *their* work now?

    I tend to be more on the “they need to condemn him” side of things, since I also think capitalism plays a big nasty role here, but curious how other thoughtful ladies feel.

    • Sarah E

      Feminist Frequency did a video this week about how tough it is to make calls like this, and explained different options people take. There’s not really one right, best answer to me.

      Personally, when it comes to other people disavowing or not, I lean towards making sure they disavow the behavior, if not the person, without making excuses, then allowing them to be human. If I found out something like this about a friend that I liked and hung out with a bunch, I would need time to sort it out, too. As far as their work. . .there’s a lot of gray area, but I’ll continue in my same media habits towards those folks.

    • This is a great question to which I do not have the answer. Today, #BlackTwitter is blowing up with a similar situation – last night women starting sharing how very popular men on Twitter have been inappropriate/sexually assaulted women over the years, and a lot of women who befriended this man have taken it hard. The guilt of “I befriended a creep and unwittingly made other women think he was ok” is hitting a lot of people.

    • Amy March

      I don’t think they are “complicit.” To me, that requires knowing and being part of the problem, not just failing to public ally denounce someone. And I’m not comfortable in particular insisting that women openly condem men who commit sexual assault or suffer the consequences because actually women have too much “responsibility” for the bad actions of men already.

      • MC

        Yep – the podcast Call Your Girlfriend talked about this a few weeks ago re: Harvey Weinstein. There’s a big difference between saying, “I heard rumors but never said/did anything” and being one of his female colleagues who had heard rumors and yet continued to schedule one-on-one meetings with him and young women. I also think there’s a difference between not speaking out because of cowardice/wanting to ignore the problem and not speaking out because you fear for your safety/career if you do. But overall I agree that women do not need to bear the responsibility for a man’s actions.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      I’m curious how they can be shocked if my response was “abot damn time”? It’s not like the Rob Lowe thing that happened decades ago. People had to have heard and ignored whispers

    • Sarah E

      Ooh, just found a nice article about this from The Mary Sue: https://www.themarysue.com/what-to-do-about-hollywood-creeps/

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Oh god, this is probably bad to admit but I would have a really hard time letting go of, say, Parks and Recreation. It brought and brings a lot of light and joy in my life (as much as a TV show can), and I think that’s worth it even if the cast and crew worked with Louis CK suspecting-to-knowing who he was and what he does. I know it’s probably selfish, but that’s where I’m at with that.

      Generally, though, I have been disheartened by male comedian Twitter’s silence. But maybe they’re afraid too because if anyone could stage a successful comeback, it’s Louis CK and he’s a pretty powerful dude. It’s still cowardly in that case, but at least it’s slightly more understandably cowardly than them wanting to stay loyal to their gross scumbag bro.

      • Les

        Don’t give dirtbags any more power by robbing you of something wonderful that a lot of wonderful people made!

    • Jan

      I don’t think so. People know about abuses and stay silent for a myriad of reasons, and it’s usually not because they think that what’s happening is okay. But, I’m also someone who bums hard whenever someone is labeled as (flashing neon sign) “problematic”. I just think human beings are way too complicated for that.

  • Welcome to Friday! Here are your links:

    *The Role Of Weinstein’s Female Assistant In His Sexual Assaults – https://theestablishment.co/did-anyone-notice-the-role-of-weinsteins-young-female-assistant-in-his-many-sexual-assaults-41ed53fb6ec9

    *This piece on Racked about the t-shirt company Threadless gave me feels, I loved Threadless tees for years – https://www.racked.com/2017/11/6/16551468/threadless-t-shirts-ecommerce

    *How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met – https://gizmodo.com/how-facebook-figures-out-everyone-youve-ever-met-1819822691

    *Dead Women Are More Than Just Warning Signs – https://splinternews.com/dead-women-are-more-than-just-warning-signs-1820175793

    *All about TRL – http://www.vulture.com/2017/11/mtv-total-request-live-history.html

    *Can You Appropriate Your Own Culture? – https://www.racked.com/2017/11/9/16613070/self-appropriation-multiple-cultures-mixed-race

    *TripAdvisor is now labeling hotels where sexual assaults have been reported – https://qz.com/1125053/tripadvisor-is-adding-sexual-assault-warning-badges-to-its-hotel-and-resort-listings/

    *Women Who Regret Motherhood Share Their Stories – http://bust.com/living/193761-regretting-motherhood.html

    • Jess

      I was really moved by that Can You Appropriate Your Own Culture essay. It’s something I’ve heard from a few second gen immigrant family friends over the years.

      • That is something I think about a lot. I’m 1/4 Indian, and always grew up thinking of myself as not just white–it’s a big deal to my mom’s side of the family, and most of my extended family that we know comes from my grandmother’s (large) Indian family. But outside of family things (which happen way less now that I live 2000 miles away) no one thinks (or believes!) I’m Indian and so that part of my life has really disappeared since going to college. There’s also just less there to hold onto it seems because my family grew up where they knew two other Indian families (one was related to them) and my grandmother didn’t learn how to cook until she came to the US, so she only knows how to cook American food (although my great-aunt and uncle do cook excellent meals for us) and my Indian family is Catholic, so many things that people expect Indian families to do they don’t do.

        When we were younger, we used to dress up in clothes that people had brought back from India all the time and it was great (they were also fun for Halloween when we were little which I am very sure was OK). But things that seem reasonable when I’m with my half-Indian mother seem way less obvious when it is just me and my very white and Midwestern family here. I’ve pretty much accepted that at this point it’s probably unlikely that my children (presumably with my very white husband) won’t really think of themselves as Indian, at least not any more than I mention that I’m Polish when doing family trees and don’t think about it at other times in life. Although they will know (and see) at least some of their extended Indian family, but maybe not if we don’t go back to California, because I’ve missed the last 3 or 4 families to visit.

        • AmandaBee

          I’ve had really similar experiences and struggles. I was raised by my paternal grandmother who is Latina, but I look very white. I’ve always struggled with both wanting to embrace this part of my background that I’m really proud of, but not wanting to feel like I’m stereotyping or appropriating a culture that I was never fully raised in. I think growing up in a geographic area with very few Latinx people made it more difficult. College was one of the first times I was really around Latinx people who weren’t my family members, and I didn’t feel as much of a sense of belonging around other Latinx students as I’d hoped. It’s challenging, and messy, and I found the article really helpful in terms of knowing that other people are struggling with this.

    • penguin

      The “Women Who Regret Motherhood” story hit me right in the gut. I don’t have any kids, but this is my biggest fear. I can’t decide if I want kids or not, I’m so afraid I’ll end up feeling this way. Thankfully my husband is understanding (we talked about this a LOT before we got married) and knows that he “generally” wants them, but it isn’t a dealbreaker for him either way.

      • Jess

        I have been avoiding clicking on it for the same reason.

      • Zoya

        Meeeee toooooo.

      • Pannorama

        Yeah, this is my nightmare too. I love kids, and I love my partner and know he’d be a great parent, and that he wouldn’t leave me in the lurch with all the parenting duties. But the language in the article around the feeling of being trapped made me tear up a little, because that’s exactly what I fear. I don’t want to lose myself. I don’t want to have such a huge part of my life be a regret, and I hate the idea of ever looking at a child and thinking “I wish you didn’t exist”

        • penguin

          Yes to all of this. And honestly, I’m pretty sure that is exactly how my mom felt/feels about her kids. But then I swing back to, what if I regret NOT having kids? Lots of back and forth for me on this issue, thank goodness for APW.

          • Pannorama

            Yeeeeah I do think that’s how at least my dad feels about having children. And it sucks. I think I would rather err on the side of eventually thinking that it would have been nice to have kids than to regret a whole person. I can be a wonderful aunt and have my life filled with amazing children that way.

            Though, of course, I say that also knowing that I probably will eventually have children. By the time we’re having serious discussions about if we pursue that route (which won’t be for at least a year and a half), I will definitely have spent a lot of time in therapy figuring it out.

          • LindseyM

            YES. Thanks goodness for APW.

          • RNLindsay

            Yeah I swing towards the “will I regret not having kids?” camp. Kids are not my favorite type of human being. I despised babysitting as a teenager. But I also think I will really regret not having adult children later in life, and those bonds that develop as kids get older seem like something I would regret missing out on. So I’m willing to suck it up for the little kid stage.

          • Jess

            Definitely try to make those bonds happen when they are little.

            My mom didn’t and it’s hard to deal with her forcing a relationship now. It’s not natural for me.

            It doesn’t help that she’d done a lot of hurtful stuff when I was a kid/teen/young adult that makes her a Not Safe emotional resource now (I’m sure you wouldn’t do a lot of that stuff, I’m just qualifying other reasons we can’t be as close as she wants).

            Trust has a long memory.

          • RNLindsay

            Oh yeah, I hear you and get that. I don’t mean to say that I wouldn’t bond with my young children but just that when times are tough and frustrating, I hope to be able to tell myself that this is a season to get through, and not end up resenting having children.

          • Jess

            Totally. It’s really something I wonder how I’ll cope with once I have a family. There’s so much to life and parenting that kind of sucks but we get through, and it really helps to have something to be like “It’ll all be worth it”

            I was actually returning to further let you know that I didn’t mean that you wouldn’t, and that it’s just a sore spot of my life. I kind of regretted saying it at all because I do have a lot of the same thoughts at times as it wasn’t sympathetic.

          • RNLindsay

            No worries!

          • penguin

            I’m with you on this 100%.

          • SarahRose472

            This may seem like a real weird comparison, but I’ve babysat a lot of kids and sometimes I liked them but to be honest, I often outright disliked them.

            (Get ready for the weird part and take this with some giant piles of salt, because I’m about to compare kids to dogs and a lot of people are not so cool about that, haha).

            I’ve also dogsat a lot of dogs, and I often find other people’s dogs really irritating. When I got my own dogs though, it’s a whole different thing. I like them a lot better, I think because they’re raised in/adapted to my and my partner’s family culture — it’s basically an ego/values thing. Whereas the kids/dogs of other people that I’ve taken care of reflected the cultures that their parents/owners raised them in, which I wasn’t necessarily on board with. So I kind of anticipate the same thing for kids.

          • AGCourtney

            Hahaha normally I don’t care for the dog-kids comparison, but this one makes total sense to me. I have found that to be very true in my experience.

          • I used to work with kids, and a LOT of parents I met were fairly meh about kids in general, but totally liked their own kids and enjoyed parenting. It really often is a pretty different dynamic than if you like kids in general, in my experience.

          • RNLindsay

            Haha I get that comparison! Even though I never really liked kids, I’m obsessed with my cousin’s 1 year old. We’re very close and I call him my “nephew” (because 1st cousin once removed just sounds crazy) but I think it’s a similar line of thinking because his mom and I are close/family. I’ve always thought that – that I will like my own kids more than I like others

        • Anna

          Yes, yes, and yes. I already periodically have moments of “No, I don’t want to confer with my husband about what to have for dinner; I don’t want to deal with the disruption to his plans if I decide at the last minute to stick around in the city for drinks with coworkers after work; I wish I could just live where I want and schedule my time the way I want.” I don’t regret getting married, but I already find myself occasionally at the limits of how much freedom I’m willing to give away in return for other advantages.

          I still plan on having children. And in general that seems like a good plan that I am enthusiastic about, for a variety of reasons. But I know for sure that there will be times when I resent their existence and the need for me to compromise for their sake, just like there are currently times when I resent my husband’s existence and the need for me to compromise for his sake. I still think of my marriage as a net good (with the exception of a few moments when I’m feeling particularly petulant), and I think children will occupy a similar niche of “sometimes just too frustrating, but fundamentally a relationship I will feel positively about”. But it’s very easy to see that balance going the other way for someone else, or maybe even for me by the time I actually get to the point of actively pursuing pregnancy.

          • Pannorama

            I feel you super hard on the “relationship testing the limits of the freedoms I’ll surrender” thing. Like, I love my partner and we are currently two months out from our mutual proposal. I’m in it to win it, as it were. But occasionally I have a mild internal freakout about if I’m giving over too much say in what my life looks like. Obviously I think the answer is ultimately no or I wouldn’t stay in the relationship, but that low-level stress is there. Sometimes I’m like “I know you value eating healthy food and going out into the world but I want to eat box mac n cheese and hide in my room so boooooo you”

          • Anna

            Yeah, I pretty much deal with this by periodically scheduling time with friends who like the types of restaurants my husband doesn’t (he’s more on the mac-n-cheese/hide-in-my-room end; sounds like I’m closer to where your partner is) and, if necessary, claiming that they suggested the plans xD He gets to pick some other dinner in return (since he doesn’t have the same need for alone/non-partnered time; he’d prefer to spend his free time with me), or if I’m gone for longer than a dinner (like a trip to visit friends in another city), I get him presents – gifts are high up in how he prefers to receive affection. So it is possible to navigate all this. But navigating all of it is still sometimes exhausting.

          • Pannorama

            I think I’m a bit of a mix of you and your husband. I love spending time with my friends and with my partner, but interacting with new people a lot can be emotionally draining and I also definitely need a small amount of alone-time. Funnily enough, it turns out that partner and I have been spending every evening together in part because we both thought the other person would be hurt if we did anything else. And now that we know it’s not the case, he can go off and go to a networking mixer and I can knit and watch leverage and everyone is happy :]

          • Anna

            Sounds like a great compromise :-) My case is complicated by the fact that at the end of a long day/week he wants to be with me and cuddle on the couch and watch TV, and I want to sit at a bar with an excellent cocktail and either brood silently, chat with the bartender about cocktails, or be with a bunch of friends. So we can’t have both at the same time because he wants me there as part of his preferred scenario haha. But sometimes he comes out to the bar and sometimes I make myself a cocktail at home and sit on the couch with him, so we make it work.

          • Mary Jo TC

            That’s how I sometimes feel about it, as a mom of 2. The benefits outweigh the costs. And the scales would tip even further that way if our society were truly “family-friendly” — paid maternity leave, free child care, more support for parents.

        • LindseyM

          Sometimes I think that kids would be a great adventure, and then other times I’m just like: I want to go to St. Petersburg in the winter and drink vodka and go to saunas. I know you *could* do that with a kid in tow, but it would be so much harder.

          • Pannorama

            Yeah, one of our favorite things to do together is to go to really nice cocktail bars… which are only open in the evening and not super kid-friendly. Yes, we could take a kid into a pub in England when we travel there (parter is British), but we would also have to give up spontaneous date nights and fancy cocktail bars.

          • Anna

            Yep. Kids also play into my husband’s desire to move out to the suburbs, and I’m like “But we both like really good food and really good cocktails – where are we going to get those in the suburbs?”* And then I realize there are other reasons why we might have reduced access to really good food and (especially) really good cocktails with kids :-/ Although, to be fair, my parents managed to teach me and my sister to be sufficiently well-behaved that they could take us to Michelin-starred restaurants by about age 4 without inconveniencing staff/other patrons (can you tell how we became foodies?). But four (or more, for multiple children, and we’re currently thinking we’ll likely have two kids) years of only eating in kid-friendly restaurants sounds like a long time. (Not to mention nine months of no cocktails at all, for that matter.)

            * Yes, I know there are good restaurants and cocktail bars in at least some suburbs, but definitely not with the concentration there are in the city where we live!

          • Pannorama

            Oh, this reminds me! I saw your post last week and was going to ask if you live in the Somerville, MA area. The way you described it lined up really perfectly (I’ve lived both there and in Waltham, MA — the burbs version of living in Boston).

          • Anna

            I lived in Cambridge and Somerville for several years and moved to the NYC metro area just under two years ago :-) So I’m very familiar with that area, but not currently there. Still have many friends around Boston and environs.

          • Amy March

            Or develop a good relationship with a couple babysitters.

          • Pannorama

            I have two really good friends who are moms for whom I would babysit on little-to-no-notice, and I think if we all still lived in the same area that would honestly make having children less frightening for me. Having that community of people who absolutely have your back no matter what, who share the same general values and will carry through on them with your kid, and who you can build a cycle of babysitting favors with sounds way more appealing.

          • Anna

            I was wistfully discussing with my college roommates the idea of having a giant communal multi-family home where we all shared childcare responsibilities and celebrations and so on… it’s not super feasible for a variety of reasons, but that would definitely be my preferred living situation, for real. Something between a family and the sort of community you describe. Sigh.

          • bananafanafofana

            That is exactly what I want– I’ve actually taken some steps to look into it (the problem is I don’t live in the same city as my fiancee and it isn’t clear we could manage it AND living in the same city as our friends.)

          • AGCourtney

            I attended a talk by Courtney Martin last month, and she spoke about
            the rise of these communal living arrangements. Maybe check out her
            book? The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream.

        • The not losing myself part was a huge fear for me, and a priority. I’m lucky to have a partner and a community that both emphasis “Jareesa the person” instead of making everything about my kid.

      • anonymom

        I do. I regret motherhood. For all of the reasons these women give. But here I am. And I keep going. Lots of therapy. I don’t generally “believe” in regret — choices made are already made and can’t be un-chosen — but I do strongly believe motherhood was not the right choice for me. I don’t begrudge my mini, personally, because it was my choice, but if I could go back, having never meet Mini, I can’t say I would make the same choice.

        • penguin

          Thank you for sharing your experience – this is the kind of stuff you don’t hear very often in person. I’m thinking therapy would be a good idea for me.

          • Jess

            Therapy does help with this feeling of fear around the decision.

            Also good: read LadyBrett’s APW essay Capitulation: Babies about having kids for your spouse.

        • Lisa

          Just sending some love your way.

        • Jess

          I hope your journey in therapy is helping you accept that feeling (It sounds like it is).

          I have a feeling that it’s a lot more common than people allow themselves to admit.

      • Not Sarah

        I am 29 and I have never wanted kids. I tell myself that if I feel this way at 32, I will instead declare myself “childfree” and at 35, one of us will have a surgery. I both know that I don’t want kids and that I refuse to have them past age 35, so that seems like a good timeline to me. My non-committal husband did not like the surgery idea! We’ve been together almost 5 years and he’s continued to be in the camp of “kids seem cool, but I have zero interest in having them right now”. My biggest fears in life are coming home without my keys and my husband waking up one day and needing children because I’m pretty sure as much as he would be a great parent, I would regret having children more than I would regret divorcing him so he could be free to have children.

      • ART

        Honestly, with 6-ish weeks to go in my first pregnancy, I still think about this a lot. Even though I always, always wanted kids…now that it’s more real, it’s terrifying to think of how much of myself I could lose, and I’m trying really hard not to feel guilty for having that feeling. Because I mean a lot to myself, you know? And I hope that since we’ve already committed to becoming parents, in some ways that makes me a better parent down the road, because maybe I won’t teach my kid(s?) that motherhood just means sacrifice, end of story. I don’t think I was ever in the camp that judged women for not wanting kids, but now I’m feeling even more actively supportive/defending of them, because this is hard shit.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I am struggling SO HARD with this right now. We have such a great life. I love our space and our routines and the thought of adding a demanding creature to that is scary.
        I’ve worked with kids all my life, and I’ve always felt the need to be a mother… until the moment we decided to try conceiving, and now each month, I’m a little relieved when it hasn’t happened yet. I’m trying to rationalize that I’m just scared of the unknown.

  • Jenny

    I’ve been feeling so much relieve since the election on Tuesday. I know there is still a lot of work, and much of it up hill, but it felt like all this energy I’ve (we’ve) been putting out there did make a difference.
    I mentioned this on the election day thread earlier in the week, but the link I provided had an issue, so I’ll mention it again. In January I started a little newsletter that went out to friends who expressed interest with some action items to call congress about. It has expanded both in reach(people forwarded the links to friends and friends of friends), and scope (it now has 1 main call to action, other actions- donations/volunteering options, news article round-ups, and political wins/good news). I send it out once a week, it’s not monetized or anything. If you are interested here is the link to sign up.

    https://tinyletter.com/Rise_Up

    • Lexipedia

      Signed up!

  • ssha

    These photos are SO FUN! Women supporting women 4ever

  • louise danger

    i have a super specific question that i’m hoping you can help with, hivemind!

    two of friends are getting married! (yay) i have offered to help, and they have accepted, and the first task is… kind of a doozy: they are getting married in a Catholic church (non-negotiable for him) and are having a traditional Chinese wedding banquet for the reception meal (non-negotiable for her).

    the church is most likely in Wilmington, DE. do any of you know any nearby (Philly Chinatown is not ‘nearby’ for this exercise) venues that either ARE Chinese banquet halls or would be open to outside caterers who could provide the food? ideal capacity is 50-100; they’re probably aiming at 80 guests.

    thanks in advance for any advice!

  • Anna

    Thank you to everyone who gave advice on my ongoing city-vs-suburb dispute with my husband last week. Once neither of us was morning-grumpy or defensive about being yelled at, we agreed to try to “treat symptoms” – we’ve ordered a white noise machine, I’m handling any further problems with our car (which I’m not sure whether I mentioned, but have been a major commute-related source of stress for Husband – our check engine light keeps coming on, the car is driveable and safe but evidently emitting like crazy, they’ve replaced a bunch of valves and stuff but it keeps coming back…), etc etc. And for the moment we’re taking the discussion of where we’ll eventually buy property off the table, because it’ll be a few years anyway.

    • Amy March

      Great update! Also yes, the car stress is so real and that’s a big relief for you to take on for him I’m sure.

      • Anna

        Yeah, he also asked me to remind him ~every other morning before he leaves for work that yes, the check engine light will be on when he starts the car, but it’s okay, I’m going to take care of it, everything’s going to be fine. So I’ve been doing that with lots of hugs and it seems to be lowering his car-related stress quite a bit.

      • Zoya

        Yeah, this. I loved my old beater beyond reason, but when I finally got rid of it and started driving my husband’s newer car, it was amazing not to constantly have to worry about what would go wrong or start making noises or fall apart mid-drive.

    • Jess

      Yay! I’m glad that you’ve tabled the big property discussion off the table in order to better focus on the things you can affect today.

      This is a good update :)

    • LuckyLoveBug

      I think more people in any relationship need to recognize that sometimes tabling a discussion IS the mature answer, particularly in situations where the solution won’t be relevant for years (as you two did here). Great update!

      • Anna

        Yeah, and it’s sometimes a thing my husband has trouble with during arguments, like if it’s late at night and I’m just super wrecked and I KNOW that I’m not being charitable because I’m exhausted and I ask if we can just go to sleep and talk about it in the morning – he’s always like “I can’t fall asleep while I’m mad at you! We need to resolve this now!” (except that usually at that point we’re moving AWAY from resolution). But this isn’t something that’s immediately relevant and so once we weren’t actively arguing it was easier to say, look, the next time this becomes even long-term-planning relevant is when our current lease is up, which isn’t for eight months, so let’s wait and see where we’re at then rather than pointlessly yelling at each other now.

      • Katharine Parker

        This is why I hate the ubiquity of the “don’t go to bed fighting” advice. Sometimes I need to go to sleep and wake up and be ready to table the discussion or let it go entirely or just revisit it calmly the next day or whenever.

        • AP

          SAME. Worst advice ever.

        • penguin

          I was a super firm believer in that advice until pretty recently – if we didn’t resolve stuff before going to bed I thought I’d feel sick and stay up half the night thinking about it. But I realized it’s way worse to be sitting there at 2am dragging an argument out when you both gotta get up for work in the morning, and you can barely remember what you’re fighting about but everybody’s upset.

        • Half of the arguments my husband and I have can be solved just by going to sleep because in the morning it turns out we don’t really care that much that I didn’t wash a dish correctly or that he put his pile of papers on one chair instead of the other. Also eating food solves probably another quarter of the remaining fights.

          • Anna

            Yep, we used to fight fairly regularly about how one or the other of us was going about preparing dinner (“NO, chop the peppers smaller!”) until we realized that, oh, actually we’re both just starving >.< Explicitly acknowledging that once or twice really helped defuse that recurring argument.

          • penguin

            Yep we started asking “are you actually upset or are you hungry?” And then having a snack while we were cooking. It’s helped us a lot.

  • Jess

    APW readers, if this event is any indication, are a gorgeous and vivacious group! (Which is what I’ve always believed)

  • Ashley Weckbacher

    So this is the first week I’ve really participated in any comment section. Used to work 12-10pm on Fridays and this is the toddler witching hour so we were all hands on deck. It’s fun participating and now just lurking after the fact!

    • Amy March

      Welcome!

  • Rose

    I know that this kind of discussion comes up a lot, so apologies if I’m repeating a recent topic. But I find myself in need of more professional-ish tops that are suited for chilly weather, and I’m not sure where to find them. Anyone have good recommendations? My aim is the casual side of business casual–mostly, I want to look more professional than the undergrads (that way I get mistaken for a student less often). My usual go-to is Ann Taylor, but there isn’t one anywhere near here, and besides almost all the tops they have online have ruffled cuffs or big sleeves this year and I don’t particularly care for them.

    • CMT

      Uniqlo’s merino and cashmere sweaters are pretty great.

      • Rose

        Oh, those sound lovely!

      • A single sarah

        Seconding uniqlo. (also love their leggings)

    • flashphase

      I’m looking at Everlane for the same thing right now.

    • Jess

      I have been really frustrated about the ruffle sleeve trend. I like the Portofino shirts from Express and basic crew neck sweaters paired with dress pants.

      Actually, if you want to be a little more on the cheap side, Target’s A New Day crew neck sweaters have a really nice thick weight and are really soft. I got a soft grey plaid one that I’ve gotten many compliments on at work!

      • LuckyLoveBug

        I am obsessed with the Portofino shirts.

        • Jess

          I have so many and I have to remind myself that I don’t technically need more.

          • Anna

            Me too. I think I have 6? But every so often I check and see if they’ve added any new fun colors. :)

      • Rose

        The Portofino look fairly similar (although probably nicer) than a lot of the tops I have already–which are very drapy, but while I mostly like the ones I have I’m finding that I’m always cold when I wear them, even with a sweater. How warm are the Porotfino?

        And I’m always happy to shop at Target, especially since we actually have one in town. I’ll look for those!

        • Jess

          I would say they’re probably pretty equivalent to what you have now. I’m comfortable most of the time, but sometimes need a scarf.

          Look for those sweaters – it’s like wearing a professional looking hoodie!

      • penguin

        Yep it’s hard for me to find work tops I like. Ruffle sleeves, cut-outs, cold shoulders, super wide scoop necks (I just want to wear a normal bra damnit), weird straps, open backs or backs with lace panels, all are out for me. I just want…plain shirts.

        • Jess

          I shop in the guys section a lot. It can be hit or miss, especially in the bio age areas, but as far as casual shirts go they tend to be more basic and better constructed.

      • Cdn icecube

        I have 5 of the portifino shirts from express. They are the bomb! Highly recommend!

      • I just googled to see what the Portofino shirts look like and everything instore online at Express is 40% off today!

    • emilyg25

      I mostly wear sweaters or shirt + cardigan or blazer in the winter. I like J. Crew Factory sweaters a lot.

      • Lisa

        Upvoting JCrew Factory. Their clothing is inexpensive (especially if you hit a sale) and has lasted me years.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I passed the Praxis test to teach a new subject, US History! Scored 193, and the state’s minimum requirement is 157 (TN does not have very high standards).
    I met with the district’s social studies curriculum guy yesterday, and was surprised to learn that high schoolers in my state do not learn ANYTHING about the Civil War. Supposedly, they cover that in 5th and 8th grade, and pick up with 1877 in high school. Am I weird to think that is a kind of erasure of history? Is this a Southern thing?

    • AGCourtney

      That…sounds weird to me. Admittedly, all I have is my own experience to draw on: we had a semester-long course on early American history (e.g., the Revolution and the constitution) in 9th grade, and then a year-long course on the rest of American history in 10th grade – the Civil War was definitely featured in that class. But still, that sounds odd to not mention it at all in high school.

      • WanderWhat

        I never had a world history class in high school and US history ended after WWII so I feel like my school-based learning was very lacking. We did cover the Civil War though.

        • My US history also ended shortly after WWII. And I only took World History in college. I can’t remember what we covered about the Civil War, but it’S been a long time, so…? (I grew up in the south.)

    • Jess

      That sounds weird to me but… a lot of times my courses stopped after WWII, excepting a brief overview of the Civil Rights movement, due to lack of time. So in a way it could be kind of valuable to focus on more modern eras?

      Something tells me they’re not doing a great job of leaning into the Reconstruction Era, which really influenced the way things are now.

      • Laura C

        That was my experience! Honestly we were lucky if we even got to WWII.

      • Mary Jo TC

        I remember the same thing in my high school history class too, running out of time for more recent history. I guess there are pros and cons for both, but I’d argue that in the South, teaching an accurate history of both the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement is more important than for example WWI or the Roaring 20’s.

        • AP

          I’d agree, especially now in this time of debate over the actual facts of the civil war.

          • Jess

            Was in Savannah last week, literally overheard at a historic site displaying various flags from start to end of the Civil War talking about the symbolism of each. “oh, you have the Stars and Bars! You know, it’s such a shame people misunderstand the war. It wasn’t about slavery at all! It was about state rights”

            R leaning into my ear: “To quote John Oliver: yeah, state’s right to own slaves…”

      • Lisa

        This. We repeatedly went over the colonial and civil war periods, and had basically no education on 20th century history until college. I had a lot of learning and unlearning to do. This was through public schools in Illinois.

        • Jess

          Also public IL school, which… yup.

    • Amy March

      Do they not offer AP US History anywhere? Idk how you pass that exam without even studying more than half the years covered in high school.

      • Mary Jo TC

        HA. My school does not offer AP. It’s an alternative school. Probably fewer than 20% of the students in the entire district take any AP or IB classes. If we’re depending on AP tests to make sure that the general population is culturally literate in history, that explains a lot about how ignorant most people are, and how even people like John Kelley make statements about the Civil War being caused by a lack of “compromise” etc.

        • Kara

          AP courses didn’t exist until the end of my HS “career”. Even then, we just had AP English.

        • Amy March

          Oh definitely not relying on AP tests, just wondering how that even works if no one teaches the material.

          • Mary Jo TC

            They would do all of US history at least back to colonization for an AP class. I’m just talking about the general education curriculum that I’d be teaching.

    • louise danger

      my K-12 history education in Maryland was: Colonial-type history (local history sticks out in particular for some reason in my memory, though that’s usually the same thing) and Westward Expansion, in elementary school; geography-related topics in middle school (Civil War came in through English and Reading class novels). We got World History in 9th grade/freshman year, Gov’t and Politics in 10th grade, US History in 11th grade, and electives after that ranging from AP selections in World/US History (sometimes surveys still, sometimes more focused – offerings depended on having a teacher with sufficient expertise and sufficient student enrollment), World Religions, etc.

      The US History required course was a survey that covered the Revolution, War of 1812, Westward Expansion/the Louisiana Purchase/Manifest Destiny, the Civil War (“it was fought not just because of slavery but also because of states’ rights, economics, etc etc,” the Lincoln Assassination), Reconstruction/carpetbaggers, Roaring 20s, WWI was pretty much glossed over except for “what started it” (some English classes read All Quiet on the Western Front), WWII gets a heavy mention (also has English curriculum tie-ins to Elie Wiesel and local Holocaust survivors coming in to give talks), followed by a race through Civil Rights Era, and culminating with a few pages at the end of the textbook about Watergate or Reaganomics or the Kennedy assassination.

      • Yael

        This is basically what my VA history education was as well. I do remember realizing in about the 4th grade that VA was on the wrong side of the civil war.

        • Lexipedia

          I live in DC and I always forget this, but then you cross the bridge and every cute B&B/winery/restaurant/etc. has (Confederate) Civil War memorabilia. Lee everything, occasional Confederate flags, the whole nine yards exist so close to the super-Liberal city.

    • In my (California) high school at the end of 2000s, we learned very briefly pre-European history of the US, then a more thorough covering of Revolutionary War to WWII, then skipped around a little, briefly focused on Civil Rights, and ended with Reagan-ish. Our textbooks went a little farther–I think they mentioned Sept 11, but we didn’t go over it in class. We did Western Civilizations in 9th grade and then this US History (I did APUSH) in 11th, with no history in 10th grade that I can remember, and 1 semester of Government and 1 semester of Econ in 12th.

      • WanderWhat

        It just blew my mind that Sept 11 was covered in your history class because I vividly remember sitting in my AP US History class on Sept 11.

        • Well, we didn’t discuss it but it was in the textbooks (it must have JUST made it in because those textbooks were falling apart–although maybe high school girls are just tougher on textbooks than I would expect). I was in 5th grade, so most people in our class remembered it.

          • WanderWhat

            Didn’t mean any offense – it was a reminder to me that I’m older than I sometimes think!

          • Oh no worries, I just wanted to make sure I was being clear, too.

        • ART

          Same! Which was incredibly weird, because it was the very beginning of the school year, and everything felt like it was changing so much in real time.

        • Yes, to the first part about my mind being blown, but I was working then when it happened.

    • Eileen

      I think that was the case in my Texas school district. 8th grade was US history up to 1865 ish, and 10th grade was after.

      But I did AP US History in 10th grade which meant we started all over from the beginning. So there was at least that option…

      To be fair though, even though the Civil War obviously merits discussion at a more mature age than 8th grade, there are other system that work chronologically—the French one for example. Which doesn’t make sense in terms of the students’ capacity to address certain subjects, but, it is done.

    • Les

      I don’t remember being taught about the Civil War in high school (Oregon) so I did a quick check of Oregon’s Social Science standards (History is lumped into this with Ethnic Studies, Civics & Gov etc., which makes sense because they all inform each other very well) and I didn’t see any real events prescribed (The Great Depression, any specific war, etc.). It was more concept-based (comparing government types, how does geography inform culture, there’s focus on regional native americans as well (native PNW, Alaskan and Hawaiin peoples). Makes me wonder if the teacher (most likely the text book) gets to decide what events to highlight to teach these concepts. I suppose if we want a real answer, someone will have to look at K-12 curriculum country-wide and make us a chart explaining who gets taught what, when ;). Nose-goes!

      P.S. I had to take the Praxis for my stint in TFA for Mississippi. Their minimum standards weren’t very high either :( I wonder if anyone’s are?

      • Alex K

        I was a teaching fellow in NYC and took their teaching exams…different test, but also pretty low standards. My feeling this is a nationwide thing.

        • Les

          I not-so-secretly think that the trick to getting the best teachers in schools is a) make it hard to become a teacher (tests, certifications, schooling and b) pay them $$$ so it’s a job people admire and want to compete for the jobs. Especially at the elementary level, it’s just too easy for unqualified people to enter the school, and the work is HARD so anyone doing even a half-good job is underpaid.

          • Mary Jo TC

            Absolutely, and I’d also add, trust teachers and treat them like professionals and don’t micro-manage them or dictate the curricula they have to follow or tie their job security to student test scores or blame them for the existence of poverty. .

          • E.

            I wish I could upvote this like 10x

          • Les

            Hell yes

      • suchbrightlights

        Well, for what it’s worth, I work in online education with K-12 curriculum offered nation wide. Those of our states that require a state history course as part of their social studies track usually teach it in 4th and 7th grades and it is typically a half year course. Most schools emphasize state history, geography, and state cultural contributions. Many of those states round it out with an age appropriate social studies, civics, or history course. Concurrently the fourth graders are often learning about the Constitution while the middle schoolers are doing whatever meets standards in their state, from an overview of the political geography of the eastern hemisphere to studying WWII. Most of our states have a particular instructional sequence to align with state standards.

        That might get halfway to answering your question!

    • Kara

      About an hour outside of Dallas, TX, we learned:
      6th grade – World History (focus on cultures)
      7th grade – Texas History (I’ve always wondered if every state taught their own history?)
      8th grade – US History (focus pre-Revolution though Civil War)
      9th grade – US History (focus end of Civil War though WWII)
      10th grade – more US History (nothing special coming to mind)
      11th grade – more US History (nothing special coming to mind)
      12th grade – Civics and Economics, but alas taught by a coach, so not very worth while

      I was a Senior in High School during 9/11, for what it’s worth.

      • RNLindsay

        Nope, can’t say from my experience CT history is a whole years worth of history lessons :)

        • Kara

          So very interesting! I (wrongly) assumed most states would teach their own history in a lengthy manner.

      • MC

        I grew up in Colorado and never took a Colorado history class. In 3rd grade we did a unit on my hometown’s history? But now I live in New Mexico and every 9th grade student takes a semester-long NM History class.

        • Kara

          Interesting. It’s just something that I’ve always wondered.

      • SarahRose472

        Illinois, we did state history too in 7th, culminating in visiting Springfield. But to be honest, the approach to state history of Illinois was mostly just like “Lincoln is the bomb!”

        • Jess

          I grew up outside Chicago, so it was like “Here’s some sweet stuff that happened here. Also Lincoln.”

        • Kara

          Texas history followed all of the countries we belonged to…Spain, France, Mexico, Texas Republic, Confederacy (whomp whomp), and the US–the 6 Flags Over Texas ;).

          We focused a vast majority of time on the events leading up to Texas’ Independence.

      • ART

        In California, state history seems to have been the focus of 4th grade. Which was one of only two years I didn’t live here, so I totally missed it!

        • Kara

          I wonder what it was like? :)

          • ART

            They made models of missions, apparently? It’s like a rite of passage all my peers have been through that I missed (which, nbd).

        • LikeaBell

          From a military brat who lucked out & got to live in Monterrey, CA for 4th grade: missions and the gold rush! I remember talking about “the king’s highway” of missions down the coast, and going on a field trip to one. I don’t think we did models though, so I guess I missed out, haha. For the gold rush, the class played a weeks-long game that my teacher made up that was some combo of trivia and the Oregon trail, where we were in “prospecting groups” and had to make our way around this giant map on one wall of our classroom and try to survive/find gold. Super fun! Well, all except learning about the the Donner party…THAT was kind of a bummer.

      • Mary Jo TC

        in KY we did state history in 4th grade, which seemed like just the right time. I remember the brown textbook and Daniel Boone and that’s about it.

        • Kara

          I imagine all of our states have very interesting histories. There’s always more to be shared.

      • AGCourtney

        I learned MN history in 6th grade!

        • Kara

          This is all fascinating! I’m a nerd :).

    • Eenie

      That is insane.

    • AP

      Yes, it’s a Southern thing. I was educated in Mississippi public schools, and while we did learn Civil War history in 8th and 11th grade, it was split so that students learned the lead-up to the Civil War in 8th grade, then came back to the actual war details and reconstruction in 11th. My 8th grade history teacher was a “state’s rights” revisionist, so we didn’t get much actual fact-based info. I was truly lucky in 11th grade to take history under a teacher who was (is) a strong believer in history shaping our present, as well as a liberal, unionized Democrat. (We’re still very good friends.) What we didn’t learn at all was Jim Crow-era history and Civil Rights, because at the time it was considered “too recent” for state standardized testing. I graduated HS over 15 years ago though, and in the meantime a law was passed requiring civil rights history in a human rights framework (due to the advocacy of some awesome non-profits working toward racial reconciliation.)

      So much depends on the teacher, so YAY YOU for switching to history!!! It’s so needed!! Congrats!

  • Jessica

    So I have been asking to work on a different type of project for about 10 months at work. Projects change quickly at my work. After a lot of asking nicely, being told yes, and then having that change to no, I finally just said – this is what I am doing starting on X date. Then I was told “you should have asked” and “your tone is demanding.” Um, I do not think a man would have been told this, amiright?

    • Jess

      Ugggghhhhh. “your tone is demanding”

      I am literally informing you of my plans and inviting you to comment because my previous attempts to ask have been met with waffling or reversals of decisions. I am moving forward on this thing I would like to do until you tell me to stop.

    • Les

      Being a cog blows. Good for you!
      – A fellow cog

    • Anna

      Good on you for cutting through all the indecision. “You should have asked” my ass; what did they think all the asking nicely WAS? Best of luck on your new project. Is there anyone supportive above you who you can at least flag the “your tone is demanding” gendered bullshit to?

  • Engaged Chicago

    My bridal shower is coming up next weekend and I’m looking for 1) gifts for hostesses (I have 8 and they range in age from 28 to 60) – I’d love to give them all the same gift bag or something for the home. Is a ~$30-$40 budget per person OK? and 2) an outfit! Hoping for something that is not a white, long sleeve, off the shoulder dress because I just wore that for my bachelorette party! I love RTR but nothing has popped out to me. Suggestions?

    Here’s some fav picks:
    https://www.lulus.com/products/jovial-occasion-gold-maxi-skirt/391032.html
    https://www.lulus.com/products/hathaway-blush-pink-velvet-pleated-midi-skirt/525132.html
    http://www.revolve.com/house-of-harlow-1960-x-revolve-jo-dress-in-alabaster/dp/HOOF-WD105/?d=Womens&sectionURL=%2Fr%2FDisplayProduct.jsp%3FaliasURL%3Dbey-lace-dress%2Fdp%2FBARD-WD177%26d%3DWomens%26currency%3DUSD%26countrycode%3DUS%26utm_source%3Dcriteo%26utm_medium%3Dretargeting%26utm_campaign%3Ddom_p_revolve_lowerfunnel%26product%3DBARD-WD177&fbreq=el
    http://www.revolve.com/x-revolve-shari-dress/dp/HOOF-WD104/?d=Womens&sectionURL=%2Fr%2FDisplayProduct.jsp%3FaliasURL%3Dbey-lace-dress%2Fdp%2FBARD-WD177%26d%3DWomens%26currency%3DUSD%26countrycode%3DUS%26utm_source%3Dcriteo%26utm_medium%3Dretargeting%26utm_campaign%3Ddom_p_revolve_lowerfunnel%26product%3DBARD-WD177&srcType=dp_recs&fbreq=el
    http://www.revolve.com/dont-be-jealous-velvet-maxi-dress/dp/LIOR-WD31/?d=Womens&srcType=dp_recs_viewed2&fbreq=el
    http://www.revolve.com/x-revolve-darcy-dress/dp/NBDR-WD840/?d=Womens&srcType=dp_recs_viewed2&fbreq=el
    https://www.lulus.com/products/beaming-belle-silver-sequin-bell-sleeve-dress/525302.html

  • savannnah

    Ahh just had an interview not interview with a woman who runs a kick ass department of women at a university in Portland. It went well even though l knew going in she didn’t have a job to offer me. It was nice in that we really connected but awk in that it was a not job interview interview. She says she wants to connect again when our move date is closer and she did ask for my resume so fingers crossed something comes from it.
    Now that’s done my husband and I are in Portland for the long weekend to find an apartment! Exciting and stressful is going to be my life motto for the next few months.

    • That’s exciting, and you never know what job opportunities could open up in the future! Good look with the apartment search!

  • flashphase

    Feeling inspired by Tuesday, I’ve decided to run for a neighborhood rep spot in our Democratic committee. The goal is better Dem candidates since I live in a blue state. Also we started TTC this month which so far has been exciting and fun (even if I’m a little nervous/anxious about being able to get pregnant). I stopped drinking and I feel healthier and overall awesome – just wish not drinking didn’t feel like wearing a “trying to get pregnant” neon arrow at social events.

    • Anon

      Just a PSA cause I have a real bee in my bonnet about this but there is no medical reason to stop drinking because you are trying to get pregnant. IF you just want to, go for it, but it’s not necessary at all.

      • flashphase

        Yeah, I caught that in Expecting Better :) It’s just the right choice for me right now.

    • Katharine Parker

      I sometimes take breaks from drinking, and a club soda in a rocks glass with a wedge of lime is indistinguishable from a vodka soda, if you’re in a position to keep your drink order quiet! Sometimes you don’t want to deal with questions or glances or whatever.

      • Lindsey d.

        Same. I’ve asked for diet coke in a rocks glass with a lime. Looks like a cocktail.

      • Zoya

        Or, if you like tonic water, I’m a fan of tonic and bitters with a squeeze of lime. Perfectly reasonable thing to order at a bar, even within earshot of other people. I’ve actually had some amazing T and Bs at fancy cocktail bars.

        • Ella

          Us Aussies might have to popularise LLBs (lemon lime and bitters) over there! It’s the standard non-alcoholic drink here (though its faded out of fashion a little.)

          • Fellow Aussie

            Co-signed.

    • BSM

      That’s awesome that you’re running! And yay TTC! What an exciting time.

    • MC

      Way to get involved in your Dem committee!! I have always been mildly tempted but also hella nervous about the idea of running for office, but being part of our local Dem party is a great way to get involved – might have to steal your idea! I also live in a blue state in a very blue city but tons of our local Dems are pretty corrupt sooooo

    • RNLindsay

      I posted above about TTC and I hear you on the not drinking! We thought we were pregnant for 6 days but then my period came on a Thursday. My positive lining was that we had 3 events that weekend so I was like “well at least I don’t have to fully pretend and/or break the news to people when we’re so early on!”

    • Jan

      Yasssss, more women running for all the things, always. I am very pro this.

  • RadNurse

    Hi all! I’ve been lurking for awhile but this is my first time posting! I’m a Nurse Practitioner in NYC working in adolescent medicine and my amazing partner and I have decided to get married! We’re planning a wedding in October of 2018 in PA which is super exciting for SO MANY reasons – particularly that PA allows for self uniting marriage licences. Neither of us come from faith traditions so being the ones to declare ourselves hitched is incredibly meaningful. However as we start to try and conceptualize the ceremony we’re feeling a little stuck – there are not a ton of resources for self-uniting weddings out there that we can find. I was hoping that if I came here someone might have had/been to/found a great resource for such things (with as much detail as possible!) they could pass my way. So looking forward to getting to know you all!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      We did this (also in PA)! I searched the shit out of APW and Google for good readings and ceremony templates, and pieced ours together accordingly :) I would definitely suggest getting a feel for the structure of a more traditional ceremony, even if you aren’t interested in the content (we certainly weren’t) as a good place to start.

      ETA: our case is a tad different, because we had a dear friend “leading” the ceremony, even though we declared each other husband and wife at the end ourselves.

      • RadNurse

        So cool! Thanks for the tips – if you don’t mind answering a couple of questions did you have one person there in an “officiant” or “MC” role or did you do it with several different people facilitating different sections? Any other unique tips of things that you found worked particularly well or not so well?

        • LuckyLoveBug

          He was in the “officiant” role; so like, he read the majority of the ceremony, and cued us when it was our turn to read stuff (we each did a reading, and we each did our own vows, as well as speaking the “i take you to be my partner/with this ring, i thee wed” bits unprompted – that’s an important caveat in the self-uniting ceremonies).

          Originally, my step-sisters – who are 13 and 18 years older than me – backed out of being bridesmaids, but offered to do readings instead, and then they backed out of that too. It just ended up being smoothest to streamline it all, with the friend in the MC/officiant role.

          However, plenty of couples of multiple people involved in their ceremonies without a hitch, so I think it boils down to being more about what you guys want to do, and how you want to involve (or not) your family and friends. Our goal was to keep everyone comfortable, and we knew that meant NOT putting most of our loved ones on the spot (for example, we did not have speeches/toasts by our MOH or Best Man).

    • Jess

      Yay! Congratulations!

      • RadNurse

        Thank you so much!!!

    • emilyg25

      We self-united in PA and had a Quaker ceremony. We walked now together, sat in silence till we felt moved to say our vows, then signed our wedding certificate, which my friend read aloud. Then we had about 30 minutes of silent worship during which guests could speak if they wanted. Then we shook hands and it was over! Our other plan was to adapt a ceremony from here and have a friend “MC.”

    • Anon in CA

      Hi! We didn’t do exactly this (we got married at City Hall beforehand), but we did organize a ceremony without an officiant or “leader.” Logistically, we took turns welcoming our guests and explaining our ring-warming ceremony, and then had a few friends read some things we’d chosen as the rings were passed. When we got them back, we took turns reciting our vows, kissed, and then basically told everyone to go eat! I was a little nervous about how well our guests would respond to not having someone “in charge” but everything went perfectly smoothly. :) Best of luck to you!

      • Anon in CA

        Oh and seconding the advice to take a look at more traditional ceremony structures when writing your own – we didn’t use a lot of what we found, but it was helpful for us to sort out how things are typically organized so we could think about what made sense for us, and decide who should say what. We used something like this to start creating a rough template: http://elrod.ca/mac/wedding/ceremony.htm

    • mjh

      Congratulations, and welcome!

      I love the idea of self officiated/self uniting weddings. If it were a legal option for us, we certainly would have taken it.

      There was a post on Offbeat Bride in which someone who had a self uniting ceremony wrote in some detail about creating their ceremony. You’ve probably seen it already, but in case you haven’t, here’s a link- http://offbeatbride.com/self-uniting-wedding-script/ I just saw that at the end of the post, there’s a link to their archive of self united weddings, but I haven’t looked through to see if they discuss details.

    • Fance

      Hi – congratulations! We’re getting married in January in Philly and are doing a self-uniting license. My brother-in-law is the “facilitator” but our ceremony is a little different from the traditional. We pulled form multiple online resources to craft our ceremony. If you’re looking for specifics on what a self-uniting license might look like, our is:
      – BIL does the intro after we walk down the aisle, describing the self uniting license and why marriage is so recognized in our culture
      – Reading from Justice Margaret Marshall in the marriage equality ruling in MA
      – Affirmation of the Community (us to support our families, friends, and community – them to support us in our marriage)
      – Reading – “To Love is Not To Possess” by James Cavanaugh
      – Exchange of Vows – for a self-uniting license, this is where we say “I take you as my husband/wife”
      – Reading -“The Blessing of the Hands”
      – Exchange of Rings
      – Signing of the self-uniting license, with our mothers as our two signing witnesses
      – Kissing and celebration!

      • Lexipedia

        I love the Cavanaugh wedding reading!

  • Capondoodle

    Guys, I was ALL SET to join HH, but I got distracted rewriting a paragraph of my cover letter about my publication record. I’m actually kind of proud of it, but then I forgot about HH and am joining late. Gotta take the few bright spots in what is otherwise the misery of finding oneself on the job market again.

    • Anna

      What sorts of publications? Scientific papers? Books? Just curious – being published in any capacity is definitely something to be thoroughly proud of :D

      • Capondoodle

        Primarily peer-reviewed journal articles. Don’t know if I’ll ever get that dissertation turned into a book.

  • Marlene Yarosh

    I’ve never posted on the APW Happy Hour, but seeing this post made me super happy for TWO Reasons!
    1. We’re getting donuts from Donut Savant for our wedding…
    2. that is in EIGHT days!

    Yay!!!

    • Jess

      Donut wedding!!! Congratulations!

    • Sarah Porter

      I Will ALWAYS support a wedding that includes good doughnuts.

  • BSM

    Have kept my tiny human alive for two weeks! We are tired but happy.

    After a couple quite large spit up events, we discovered that we were overfeeding him a bit. I felt pretty awful about it, but everyone makes you so anxious about feeding/pooping/gaining weight and tells you different things about breastfeeding (how often, how long, just one boob, no – both boobs, etc.) that I turned into kind of a milk pusher.

    My husband goes back to work on Monday. I love the kiddo and know I’ll manage (plus he’s going to be home two afternoons/week, and we have some part-time hired help coming, too), but I’m going to miss him so much. These two weeks together have been so special.

    Aside from being incredibly sad that he won’t be home with us all the time, we also are thinking about how we should split up the nights. Essentially all I’ve done these two weeks is breastfeed (I’ve seriously changed two diapers so far), but I feel like I should take on a little more of the baby-related workload now that hubs will need to do some more cognitive heavy-lifting during the day and my recovery is going well. My first thought was to take the 1st and 3rd wake-ups entirely and have hubs do the 2nd with me, so that he could get a decent block of sleep. Thoughts?

    • Les

      ‘Milk Pusher’ new band name, called it!

      • BSM

        Kid gained a pound in a week but was starting to literally overflow with milk. Sorry buddy!

    • Eileen

      You know, you can always try and then change your mind. We took it hour by hour. Personally I tried not to wake up the hubby when I could, but a lot of the time I just needed some moral support.

      I feel you on the end of the paternity leave though. Dads should get more time.

      • BSM

        That’s a good point, and a lesson we keep re-learning with a baby – you have to try a lot of things before finding what works and then again after what originally worked doesn’t anymore.

    • emilyg25

      When my son was a newborn, he needed a diaper change every time he ate. I’d wake up and nurse him and my husband would change his diaper and put him back to bed. Once the baby moved to his own room around four months, husband would go get him and bring him to me for nursing. I need a lot of sleep and it’s hard for me to fall back asleep after I wake up, so this is what worked for us.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Lol Milk pusher. Well, i think there is more danger in underfeeding than in overfeeding, especially in the first few weeks, so I say you’re going fine. Maybe you can start pumping and freezing the excess, or tolerating that feeling of engorgement to regulate your supply back down?

      My plan, which worked well for 2 babies, was that husband would do all the baths, and all the diapers when he was home. I did everything while at home with them. I usually did the wakeups by myself, even when i was back to work, but mostly because it seemed pointless to make us both wake up, and I had to nurse. Sometimes I’d have him bring me the baby and we’d nurse in bed and stay there. I mostly asked for his help when i was feeling really terrible with exhaustion or when i had trouble getting the baby back to sleep again after feeding. The sooner you can night wean, the better. Ask your pediatrician about that at every appointment, starting at maybe 6 weeks. It sounds like you have a lot of help and support! Good job mom!

    • My good friend and her husband ended up settling into a routine where she would go to bed very early (around 8 or so) and try to sleep until about 2 am. Her husband would stay up then and then go to bed and she would take over for the 2 to morning shift. But they were bottle feeding, so that changes things and creates different possibilities… With this approach they both got a stretch of uninterrupted sleep.
      ETA: And this was while he was working and she was staying home with the baby.

    • Jenny

      We shifted how we alternated sleep. For the first little while we did it in 2 ish hour shifts. I would feed him and hold rock him for 90 min, feed again, then get my husband, who would hold him and occasionally offer a bottle if he couldn’t make it 2 hours. Once he stopped needing to be held to sleep and we supplemented/bottle fed (maybe 2 weeks/a month), we extended it to 4 hours. Then maybe around 3 months we shifted to 6p-midnight, and midnight-6am shifts where the person on duty would sleep with on the couch with the baby in the rock n play, and the off duty person would sleep in the bedroom with whitenoise. It was a constant adjustment of making sure we were both getting enough sleep, and not having too much time of frustration when he wouldn’t sleep.

  • JC

    Saturday’s event was completely delightful, even though I didn’t find anything to wear (yet). Thank you thank you APW for all the fun! As a few of us were chatting at the end, a rep from StyleBee (who was very nice) said to us, “I bet you didn’t think you’d come here to meet new friends!” Umm yes, yes we did. Shout out to the ladies who traveled back toward home with me!

  • lex

    We signed our catering contract today!!! After literal months of agonizing over ~*the perfect brunch menu*~, we finally just made a damn decision. The wedding is in less than 5 months and I gotta say it feels gooooood to be at the fuck it, nail it part of planning.

    Also, very excited for thick-cut french toast, mimosas, and brisket hash at our wedding!!

    • Pannorama

      That all sounds super delicious!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      The best brisket I’ve ever had was wedding food. May yours be just as tasty!

    • Jess

      Ummm this sounds like ~*the perfect brunch menu*~ to me!!

    • mjh

      Wedding french toast <3

  • SarahRose472

    The Lindy West piece has me thinking frustratedly, and not for the first time, about how to convince my husband of the importance of identifying as a feminist — that the word in itself matters. We’ve had the argument before but I haven’t gotten very far in convincing him.

    In his work he has been a manager with hiring responsibility for years now, including in another country that is more sexist and discriminatory than most of the U.S. and western Europe. He frequently works in his actions and reactions to others, including the policies he puts in place and the language he uses, to promote women and make the workplace a supportive place. And those things matter and I value them.

    But the word matters a lot, too. It rankles me because I feel like people’s reluctance (including his) is exactly from this vague distaste for people who care just a little *too* much, who are just a little *too* angry — it’s tidier to just say that you believe in equality without all of this rage mucking things up. (I particularly resonated with the line in the NYTimes piece: “Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.”)

    But to believe in equality as a principle without recognizing — and being outraged by — the persistence of *inequality* seems completely half-assed to me. And that’s a huge part of the difference in how I see what it means to say I’m a feminist, versus that I believe in equality for men and women.

    He has power, as a white man, not to mention a boss, to actually influence how people think about what feminism is, by lending his own image to it too.

    Anyone else dealt with this in their partnership/with people in their lives who are squicky about the F word?

    • RNLindsay

      “But to believe in equality as a principle without recognizing — and being outraged by — the persistence of *inequality* seems completely half-assed to me. And that’s a huge part of the difference in how I see what it means to say I’m a feminist, versus that I believe in equality for men and women.”
      How you phrase this really resonates with me! I’ve written on here before that my husband also shows some reluctance sometimes to acknowledge his privilege, despite beliefs in equality etc. I have no answers except that I keep pushing because I think it’s a long slow battle but worth the fight

    • Anna

      My husband has progressed from “equality is great but feminists are a bit much” to “equality is important” to “feminism is important” to “feminism is important and I support it explicitly” over the time I’ve known him (to be fair, we were 18 when we first met; I had my own cool-girl “I’m for equality, not feminism” phase in high school…).

      I think he would still hesitate to say “I am a feminist”, for a variety of good and not-so-good reasons. On the good side: he’s wary of performative activism and doesn’t want to give the impression that he’s just looking for an ally cookie; on the not so great side, I think he still shies away from it as an identity rather than a position (or set of related positions). Like, he has the luxury of not having to live it. He’s outraged by the persistence of inequality, but that rage is not present for him every moment of every day.

      He’s gotten better at advocating for social justice of all kinds sometimes so slowly that I don’t even notice until I hear him say something to another friend, or call out his dad for a vaguely sexist comment, or point out that I assumed the bright student he was talking about was male… He still will say things like “I don’t like to talk about politics” and it’s been an uphill battle trying to convince him to e.g. vote in local elections (I was unsuccessful this year), but the set of things he classifies as “political” rather than “a matter of life and death for many people, who may not look like me” has gotten smaller over time.

      I haven’t been explicitly trying to effect this change in him; I think it might’ve worked less well if I had (based on how I would’ve been likely to go about it, not saying you shouldn’t try to change your partner’s mind). I’ve just talked about what I believe in, talked about my experiences and those of other people I know, had conversations with mutual female friends about the shit we deal with regularly in front of him… I’ve also been helped along by his ed school classes (he’s a teacher), many of which had a pretty strong social-justice bent. He now sees promoting equality and reckoning with sexism and racism as part of his job and career, which helps make some parts of it more personal (like, adds the vehemence with which teachers approach “this curriculum is TERRIBLE, I must fix it” to things like “girls don’t feel comfortable speaking as often as boys at the outset of my class, I must fix it”).

      • SarahRose472

        I appreciate hearing the perspective of that you haven’t been trying to explicitly argue him into changing his views and yet that they do evolve over time…I think sometimes I feel guilty if I don’t try harder, like I’m complicit. But it’s true that if I think about the ways that my husband has evolved over the years, it probably has made a difference just to be my partner and exposed to hearing what I care about and think.

        • Anna

          Yes, especially if you have a community of people who share your views who are mutual friends or can become mutual friends over time. Passively-exerted peer pressure can be a great force for good in the right circumstances haha.

      • Jess

        I really like the aspect of avoiding performative activism you bring up. I think that’s important to consider (though it sounds like both you and SarahRose have husbands actively pushing for feminist stuff, so)

    • Zoya

      Ooh, yeah, I’m in a similar position. My husband is incredibly feminist in word and deed, but does not embrace the label for himself personally. In his case, the reluctance comes from not being sure what the role of men is in feminist spaces—he feels like it’s not his label to claim. (I think he’s also uncomfortable with some feminist rhetoric and feeling tarred with the #yesallmen brush. Which, honestly, I think he should suck it up and sit with that discomfort, but whatever.)

      Honestly, I’ve decided to hold off on picking the battle for now. If we have kids, I’ll reopen the discussion. My father is the first person I ever heard call himself a feminist, and that had a profound impact on me. That’s a hill I might be willing to die on.

      • Anna

        In a similar vein, my father’s consistent use of “spouse” rather than “husband” to refer to my future partner had a huge impact on me in terms of taking my own bisexuality totally in stride (the assumption that I would definitely be partnered – and specifically married – were less good, albeit accurate, but it was still a really important language choice that informed a lot of how I thought about myself and the world). Words matter, especially from parents. This is also a hill I will die on – if Husband doesn’t want to raise our children Jewish because he’s uncomfortable with organized religion (for example), we will find some legitimate compromise, but there is no compromise on the fact that our children will know that we are both feminists and feminism is something critical and worth fighting for, even if he’s currently uncomfortable with taking on the identity “feminist”.

        • Jess

          This story of your father is adorable!!

        • bananafanafofana

          That’s so great of your father! And yeah– I think being reluctant to use the word feminism is kind of being…..reluctant about actual feminism.

      • SarahRose472

        The kids part is in fact probably part of what makes the stakes feel higher than it has in a while for me– we’re expecting our first child within a month or so. The last time this came up was when I came home crying and infuriated from a work function where someone made a humiliating and sexist joke about me (related to me being pregnant). While I was crying and my husband was trying to comfort me, I angrily said something like “Well at least if we have a boy we’re going to teach him how to be a feminist unlike that asshole”. And my husband responded with some kind of “whoa now” remark — not like, outright opposed, but again with this reluctance/discomfort in being ANGRY.

        But your point about the impact your father had just underscores it. I get the idea of maybe not wanting to “performatively” be feminist in public/social spaces, but it definitely would not be performative for him to tell our children that he is a feminist.

        • Anna

          Yeah, I can totally see my husband responding the same way. But this will literally be a condition of us having children, so he will have to work through why that anger and the explicit language of “we ARE feminists” rather than just “we advocate for feminism” are important despite being uncomfortable for him.

      • My fiance is similar. His mum was raised with second wave feminism and I think that’s been passed down in terms of not wanting to appropriate the word or impose on female spaces (and in being very pro female spaces and positive discrimination and language use). Initially, I didn’t really understand his reluctance (my upbringing was very third wave) but then I started to notice a pattern with men who claimed the word enthusiastically and used it to justify dominating discussions and talking over women, and as a tool to manipulate women into sleeping with them. I appreciate fiance wants women to lead the discussions and not cater to him, and to not tar himself with the same brush as faux feminists, but at the same time I am concerned he’s leaving the term open to abuse by other men. I do think it’s something we’ll revisit when we have kids, and hopefully instill feminist values into them before they encounter appropriative arseholes.

    • Jess

      Words matter. I hope you continue your good fight for him.

  • RNLindsay

    Just some TTC commiseration… We definitely thought I was pregnant a few weeks ago because my period is always on time every month and this time it didn’t come for 6 whole days! What else could it be?? Home tests were negative but I read that some women don’t produce enough hcg right away for the home tests to pick up on. But then the period came (with terrible cramps while at a conference) on day 6. Thanks for the mind game! Maybe it was an early miscarriage? I don’t know why else it would randomly be 6 days late.
    My ovulation app is all messed up now because it increased the length of my cycle but I think I’m going to do my own calculations and assume I’ll just go back to my usual 28 days…. oh the joys of TTC!

    • Eh

      Ugh I hate the mind games! This is our first month of trying for number 2. The mind games are one of those things I am not looking forward to. My cycle has been very regular and then two months ago I was randomly 10 days late and since we weren’t trying yet I was confuse.

      What app are you using?

      • RNLindsay

        Ovia. Can’t say I did much research on fertility apps other than my cousin and a friend using it and liking it.

        • Eh

          I tried Glow and was frustrated that it never predicted my period correctly. Now I have Flo and it seems better.

        • I like Ovia! I used Glow before, and then got frustrated and researched and downloaded several and liked Ovia best. I am not TTC, but I still like it best.
          ETAL I also think Ovia takes changes into account, at least some. Glow seemed to not adjust at all, which is why I stopped using it.

          • RNLindsay

            Yeah I like it too! Haven’t tried others but it does seem to take changes into account. It’s just confused now because it thinks my cycle is like 34 days long when it had always been 28

    • Jess

      I’m sorry. That kind of thing would drive me bonkers.

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry for your disappointment, and though we aren’t TTC I can commiserate on the frustration of cycles getting messed up. I removed a long term birth control just slightly over a month ago and haven’t had my period yet, and it is driving me up the wall. I just want to be able to calculate and know what my body is doing, and going online some women report having a period immediately and others take months. *le sigh*

      • RNLindsay

        Yes! Periods are not the friend of Tyoe A planner-type personalities :)

    • anon for TTC talk

      I found out when I was TTC that I was not as regular as I thought I was. I mean, I am usually within 26-28 days, but of course when I wasn’t TTC, it didn’t stand out when I went a few extra days before getting my period. Once I started TTC, those months felt like cruel jokes. I wouldn’t consider it an early miscarriage if a home test never showed as pregnant, just a weirdly late period. It does suck though! I always treated myself to a tasty (alcoholic) drink on the first day of my cycle!

      • RNLindsay

        Definitely had some drinks that weekend! I was nervous about having to fake it at a couple events we had, but instead viewed indulging as the silver lining!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Hey, I have a super basic question for y’all. How do I book a block of hotel rooms? How far out do I do this? Do I make it for 2 nights, before and after the wedding? How do I figure out how many we might need? I keep wanting to make this phone call, I know it can’t be all that complicated, but I have no idea what I’m doing.

    • Zoya

      We booked room blocks about 6 months out. All our blocks were for two nights, the night before and night after the wedding.

      If you can, go for “courtesy” blocks rather than “contract” blocks. You don’t want to be on the hook to pay for unused rooms!

      • sofar

        Ah yes, I KNEW there were official names for the different types of blocks.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        So you blocked with multiple places? Why would anybody go with the contract ones, given the option?

        • Amy March

          A better rate, sometimes.

        • Zoya

          They’ll usually offer you more rooms and a longer booking deadline.

          • lamarsh

            Yep! We had to go with a contract block because 90% of our guests were out of town and the hotel would only offer us 10 rooms otherwise (we ended up needing around 40).

    • sofar

      Here’s how it worked for me:

      1) Call or email the hotel and ask for who you talk to about room blocks.

      2) You will be probably given two options: The ability to book 10-15 rooms for no financial obligation from you (if not all the rooms get booked, they just go back into public circulation 30 days before the wedding). OR the ability to reserve a greater number of rooms with your credit card (if they don’t get booked, you will get charged). I chose option #1 and blocked rooms at 3 hotels for 35 rooms total. We had about 200 guests, half of which were from out of town.

      3) You’ll need to sign some contracts, agreeing to the room rate. Then they’ll give you the link to your block that you can slap up on your wedding website.

      4) I made my blocks for two nights (night before wedding and wedding night).

      5) Do it as soon as you can. No such thing as too early. If for whatever reason a big conference (or the Pope) schedules something in your city before you ink those contracts, you are screwed. Some hotels won’t do it too far out, but it doesn’t hurt to get started or find out exactly when you can block off the rooms.

      • Katharine Parker

        This is all correct. I’ll add that in my experience, some places will do either a courtesy block (no financial obligation) or a guaranteed block (you’re paying for them) but not both. You’ll sign a contract either way.

        If you plan on staying at one of the hotels, they’ll probably have some perks on offer based on how much rooms your guests book–a free shuttle, a discount on your room, whatever. You can also try to negotiate with them about things like a fee for handing out welcome bags (if you do those).

        Also, good luck. I found getting people to call me back and give me solid info was surprisingly frustrating (I got some return phone calls ten weeks later, some I never received).

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I wonder if emails are any more successful.

          • Katharine Parker

            Not in my experience! I called and emailed everyone, when possible. This was something I expected to be a breeze–I’ve done it when planning a conference and it was no problem. For my wedding, no dice. Hopefully your experience is smoother!

          • Jess

            Not very, I my experience, unless the specific hotel has a “Fill out this request and we’ll contact you” thing on their website specifically for booking hotel blocks. Tragically, because I hate phones.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            SAME.

        • Anna

          My MIL handled all the room block stuff and it was a GODSEND. I sent one round of emails before she volunteered to do it and never heard a word back ever.

      • Jan

        Agreed.

        Also, know your crowd and your situation. We booked blocks at two separate hotels. Half our guests were coming from out of town and our wedding was in a suburb on the opposite side of town from the cooler, trendier area. So, we reserved one block close to the wedding and one close to the nightlife. After all that planning, I think only a handful of people used the blocks at all. But, we live in a place with lots of hotel and Airbnb options, so that’s probably why.

    • suchbrightlights

      We used the web service Skipper to contact hotels on our behalf and arrange a block. You probably want a “courtesy block” wherein you are not out any money if your guests do not use rooms.

      To figure out how many you need, look at your guest breakdown, and book as many rooms as you have out of town units-of-people-who-share-rooms (1 couple = 1 room, 1 family = 1 room, you know these two best friends are probably going to share a room to cut costs = 2 rooms so you have enough.)

      We made ours for 3 nights- day before, day of, and day after- with no penalty to anyone if they stayed for less time.

      And after all that, no one used it, because by the time our wedding rolled around the room rate at the hotel was $60 less than the block rate and in any case everyone decided to go for different locations that were closer to family/with family/on a friend’s couch/”I don’t know where I’m staying, Daddy booked it for me”/I don’t know because it wasn’t my problem, but we gave them an option in case it was needed so we did our job there.

      Let people be adults here- you don’t need to stress. :)

    • kayceeee

      Also, if folks are traveling in from out of town keep in mind when the majority are arriving. I only booked a block for the day before/day of/day after, however, most of our wedding party showed up two days before the wedding because of how the flights worked so those that did stay where the block was set up at had to pay a higher rate for that additional night. It’s not necessarily something you think of in the moment, but it makes a difference.

  • sofar

    I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding, and I’m about to strangle the very well-meaning bride — a family friend.

    I feel like, when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, you either have to be like “Wear this dress,” or “Wear whatever you want, as long as it’s green.”

    This bride is trying to coordinate a “group look” with various separates from two different stores using a very complicated Google sheet, aiming for even distribution of her wedding colors amongst the 7 bridesmaids. We get emails about her thoughts and links to what she likes (and doesn’t like), and requests for our feedback, and I figure I’ll just remain silent until she picks something for me.

    • Les

      Hopefully she’ll get distracted by the million other things to do soon!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ahhhhhh, the worst of both worlds! What a delicate balance to strike.

    • Jan

      “These are lovely! I am super swamped right now– why don’t you tell me what you prefer I wear? My budget is X.” If she wants to make it complicated, she can carry the burden of doing the work. Just because a bride is trying to be all group-decision-y doesn’t mean you can’t push back.

  • Courtney

    I’m feeling really self conscious about how young I appear, especially since my husband is a high school teacher but also because I’m trying to find full time work. I’m nearing 30 and the night before my wedding the hostess asked if I needed a children’s menu. Not really sure how I get mistaken for a 12 year old. I do get mistaken for high school a lot even when I go shopping directly after work. Slightly more understandable since at least high schoolers are going through puberty.
    I noticed that I’m getting carded less since I have ring on my finger but I can’t rely on that. Lots of people at my current job still think I’m an intern even though I’ve been there over 5 years and I started after I got my Master’s degree. I wear similar clothes to everyone else and I have my hair in a tight bun everyday. I’ve been there a while so I’m really experienced with what I work with and have decent instincts. Everyone except my manager treats me like an intern and doesn’t listen to me. Instead they listen to the guy who just started and looks like he’s close to 40 even though he’s younger than me and can’t even use a pipette correctly. My manager on the other hand trusts me and I’m given a lot more autonomy than other contractors. As a result it seems that when I do get interviews, they don’t believe me when I tell them everything that I’ve done.

    • Amy March

      It really sucks that people are so focused on appearance and age. Like, why? Do you walk around saying “oh I figured you knew this because you look so extremely old!” Nope. Because that is rude.

    • I look young too, though maybe not as young as you? But I am routinely mistaken for being about 13 years younger than I am. I wonder sometimes if my career would be at a different place if I looked my age. My arts work is one overseeing groups of people, and I wonder if (1) being a woman, period, and (2) looking much younger than my age have hindered my career. I guess there are other advantages, though. My boyfriend is the age I often am mistaken for, so that works out well because unless people know, they think we are the same age. But….my experience and where I am in my (male-dominated) arts field, to not necessarily align in the way I would have expected. Plus, I am a foreigner too, where I am living, so y accent and otherness, combined with the rest, creates a lot of factors to wonder about. I have been trying to use my otherness as a plus and have been thinking about how it makes me unique and stand out in a good way….but when I get career rehection stuff, I do get discouraged.

      I don’t have any tips. But I have been upgrading my wardrobe (especially the accessories, shoes, coats that get tons of wear and visibility) as a way to try to look more pulled together overall. Not that it should be this way at all in the world, but I get better service when I am a little dressed up and more pulled together… Sigh. But yeah, sometimes I get down about when I can tell people disregard me or my opinion because they think I am much younger/less experienced than I am.

  • Eh

    This week has been rough. I got some not so great medical news on Tuesday. And I had a job interview on Wednesday which I wasn’t in the right headspace for, and then found out Thursday I didn’t get the job.

    But some silver linings… Tuesday was would have been my mom’s 60th birthday but she passed away 15 years ago. My daughter always says it’s her birthday and then we talk about when her birthday is and upcoming birthdays. So Tuesday we sang happy birthday to grandma, blew out a candle and had cupcakes.

    The hiring manager gave me some good feedback about my interview and told me that she has been impressed (since our paths first crossed almost 10 years ago) with my ability connect policies and data. She said it is a skill set that I am not getting the chance to use in my current job and she said that my manager does not recognize that I have this skill set. She suggested that I find a different job (within the organization). This has given me the confidence boost I needed in this skill set. For years I have been pigeon holed and told that I should find a job managing a database by a couple managers which made me question if I had this skill set.

    • rg223

      Sorry you had a rough week, especially the medical news. But I’m glad you got the good feedback from the manager!

    • Jess

      I love the idea of celebrating grandma’s birthday with your daughter.

      I’m sorry it’s been such a week.

      • Eh

        Both my grandmothers passed away before I was born and my grandfathers both remarried. My parents didn’t talk about their moms very much. We didn’t have pictures of their moms in our house until I was a teenager (when my mom started looking into her family history). When my mom was sick many stories came up about my grandmothers (who both died of cancer at young ages – just like my mom). I want my daughter to know my mom. We talk about her and have pictures of her. I hope that singing happy birthday to grandma becomes a tradition.

  • Em

    So! Wedding planning seems to be speeding up as I get closer to finishing some pretty terrible professional exams (ugh!) and we start to talk to vendors, etc. This week, I BOUGHT A WEDDING DRESS. Trust me when I say this was not on my to do list for the week. My thinking had been that I would try on some dresses when back in Australia over Christmas (accompanied by mum / bridesmaids etc) and then come back and try to order that dress here in Hong Kong when I got back (so that the dress and I were in the same place for pre-wedding alterations etc), or I would order a dress from Etsy that was similar to something I’d tried on and liked in store….and then on Tuesday I went to a sample sale here in HK of a young female designer (who was the person running the sample sale and was super lovely)….and I bought a dress.

    I’m not normally a very spontaneous person, so actually buying the dress still feels kind of weird to me. The dress itself is *a lot* of dress – it’s very ball-gown-y, and consists of a strapless sleeveless ballgown dress with a beautiful lace topper that goes on over the top (with the most beautiful lace back with lots of real buttons). The designer said that they’d do all the alterations I wanted for a flat fee of what works out to be $65 USD – that includes chopping off a lot of the train, adding cap sleeves, letting out the seams around the bust, and even altering it to tea length if I want. Anyway…I really like the dress, and the price + alterations deal was pretty great (especially given that my other options for buying a dress for cheaper would have involved taking a lot of risk on something I couldn’t return or was super expensive to return), and I’m glad I, you know, have a dress. I was also delighted to avoid having to go to stores where they didn’t have samples in my size to try on (there aren’t any plus size wedding dress stores in my part of Australia from what I can tell). But I didn’t have that “OMG dream dress” feeling, and I’m hoping that my decision to buy the dress anyway isn’t something I regret. I think the unlimited alterations thing is what really sold me, and I’m hoping that when the alterations I want are made then I’ll really *love* the dress. But otherwise, I’m still glad to be able to tick “dress” off the list!

    Here’s a wedding dress related question for those of you who had outdoor / garden / bush / rural weddings – how’d you go with having a train for the ceremony? Did you have one? How did you handle it? And do you think a big tulle skirt will look weird without a train?

    • SS Express

      So exciting about your dress!! I also got mine at a sample sale when I really wasn’t expecting to buy something – and to be honest I didn’t really have the “dream dress” feeling either, and I think part of the reason for that is the shopping experience (without the excitement and anticipation, even the most amazing dress in the world is going to feel more “oh wow, what a find, I’ll take it” than truly transformative). When I finally tried it on a few weeks before the wedding, post-alterations, with all the accessories and my hair and makeup done, it felt soooo different. It still probably wasn’t the Say Yes To The Dress moment but that’s okay with me. I’m still just as married as those brides! And frankly still looked just as bangin too.

      PS I talked to my sister’s friend, the one who helped me with my wedding, but unfortunately she works weekends now so she can’t take on any more weddings :( if you have any super capable friends-of-friends I would definitely recommending sounding them out!

      • Em

        This is SUPER comforting to hear, thank you! And thank you for checking with your sister’s friend!

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations on your purchase! Do you have pics to share?

      You really like the dress, you got a good deal, and it sounds like you were supporting a small woman-owned business- I think you won this one.

      I wore a big tulle skirt with no train. Regardless, it acquired every leaf, twig, and scrap of corn cob I passed over, and between layers of tulle I collected one (1) praying mantis and one (1) ladybug, both of which were freed with great effort, much amusement for all parties, but no harm to either. It sounds like you have more skirt than I did, but I don’t think a big skirt looks odd without a train at all. A ball gown, as in a gown worn for a ball, as in for dancing, typically doesn’t have a train.

    • I think it’s particularly fun you bought it right from the female designer and that you liked her a lot! I think that personal aspect is pretty special and will add to the warm feelings you have for the dress. And I don’t think you need a train for a full ballgown, but if you want one, even if it’s a garden/outdoor wedding, why not?

      • Em

        True! I don’t see myself ever having an opportunity to have a train ever again…yours looks beautiful! It’s probably a little bit shorter than the length of the train on mine, but not too dissimilar. It’s nice to see pictures of this style of dress at an outdoor wedding – a lot of the brides who have recently got married at my venue have favoured more boho style dresses, so it’s hard to visualise what a more ballgown style dress would look like in this context!

    • Jane

      I had a giant dress with a train at my outdoor wedding and loved it. Basically. I had the train down for the first look, family and wedding party pictures, and the ceremony. Then my sister bustled it up for the rest of the night. My dress was filthy by the end but I loved the silhouette – especially for the ceremony – so it was worth it.

    • Jane

      I had a giant dress with a train at my outdoor wedding and loved it. Basically. I had the train down for the first look, family and wedding party pictures, and the ceremony. Then my sister bustled it up for the rest of the night. My dress was filthy by the end but I loved the silhouette – especially for the ceremony – so it was worth it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edb1a2b58c67090d0bb602ed173d53e07a83b8ea7445047464292b77e40c75f4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65d0437904bdc849af2b91dfddb371e766545c6bc78b38c7d781c212f34ecb41.jpg

    • mjh

      Late to seeing this, but it’s amazing that you’re able to work with the designer herself and get those unlimited alterations. I think your dress will look lovely with or without a train.

      My wedding was outdoors and I wore a dress with a [chapel length, I believe] train. My dress and I went over all kinds of ground- dusty red earth, a ton of pine needles, popping into the woods a couple times, walking in the street and a grassy backyard reception.

      My dress was a mermaid cut and the bottom had a bunch of layers of floaty tulle (satin lining inside the dress) and it was totally fine. I left the train down for the ceremony and off and on had it down for some of the time after. Instead of a bustle, I had a wrist loop added and I am so glad I did that. I didn’t need someone else to be messing with my dress or dealing with it for me, I was able to have the train up and out of the way whenever I felt like it, and I could pop it back down if I felt like having it out for a picture or when I was sitting for a while. It wasn’t heavy or annoying, and I really liked the way it looked, too.

  • So my dad just texted and said he is on the way to the ER with my mom. My mom had a fever last night and over night, and my dad was monitoring it all night, and took her to a doctor this morning. The doctor said if her fever went up to 102 or if she had pain to go to the ER. So she is having pain, and they are going now. It feels weird not to be there helping, after the hospital saga and ER visits a few weeks ago. The problem is her gall bladder now, and she’s been having tests to see if (when?) surgery is necessary. Was supposed to have a cat scan next Thursday, but maybe this pain and ER visit is going to change that timeline… I feel bad not being there to help…

    • rg223

      I’m sorry your mom is going through this – sending strength to all of you!

    • LikeaBell

      Also sorry your mom/you/your dad are dealing w. this! Just wanted to say my dad had emergency gall bladder surgery under similar circumstances 2 yrs ago, and the recovery was was easier/quicker than I would have thought (like in a week it was like it never happened). Hoping things go well for your mom, and if she has to have the surgery, she has a similar easy recovery. Sending good vibes her way!

      • Wow, that’s wonderful your dad’s surgery and recovery went so well! I hope the same for my mom. Thanks for the good vibes,

    • A single sarah

      Bah. I’m so sorry. Being distant during health emergencies sucks.

      I hope surgery goes smoothly and your mom has a speedy recovery.

    • Jess

      That sucks! I hope everything turns out ok and she can move through her various tests with good medical care!

    • Well, I’m replying to myself to update. They will keep my mom in the hospital to monitor her because she has an infection. (And, of course, they don’t want it to worsen to septic shock like a few weeks ago…). At least she is being treated by her doctors that speak English and they have their community there to help support them. And we’ll actually take the car down in the not too distant future, so we can check on her then.

      • suchbrightlights

        This isn’t the update I was hoping for, but in a sense it is a good one- it seems that the cause of her pain is understood, and that all concerned are being proactive about her care. Being in the hospital again sucks, but it sounds like her team has a handle on what’s going on.

        You have been with her every step of the way so far, and you are there with her in thought and over the phone- you are not abrogating your moral duties as a daughter to not be with her in person today.

        • Thank you, suchbrightlights… Where I come from in the south, people don’t tend to move too far from home. I’m a bit of an outlier with that, and these are some of the times when that’s most hard. I hope everything goes smoothly.

          • suchbrightlights

            I understand the “family stays close” dynamic. But, if you’re getting echoes of that dynamic from other people, you are proving that it doesn’t have to be that way, and that you can be a loving and invested daughter without being in close physical proximity.

            I hope that you are doing the things you mentioned a few weeks ago to take care of yourself in amongst all this, and reminding yourself of how much you ARE doing for your mother despite the difficulty of distance. Caregiving and worrying from long distance can feel harder than doing it up close.

          • I went to ballet this morning,even though I starting to tear up and cry when talking with two friends there when they asked how I was. And I am going to make muffins this afternoon (because I said I’d bring them to an even I am coordinating tomorrow), but I figure it’s as good as an activity as any. I like baking. I actually need to bake some bread too. And I have a phone meeting today. I’m keeping myself occupied is what I guess I am saying. And eating comfort snacks.

          • suchbrightlights

            I always find baking bread to be very therapeutic- do you find the same? I’m glad to hear that you’re making time to take care of yourself.

          • I do find it therapeutic. I think rising bread is what hope smells like…

          • mjh

            That’s got to be so hard. Thinking of your mom and you and sending vibes in both directions. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself.

  • Lexipedia

    Late update for all of you helpful people – the insurance debacle came to a surprising end when I got a call from a random guy asking where he should the check for the full amount of our policy! I hadn’t heard from anyone for over two weeks, or seen any of he info we submitted documented on the portal, and I had escalated my communications two levels above our adjustor. So yay! Thank you to everyone who provided support and advice. xo

  • suchbrightlights

    I’m the one who decided that if breaking glass AT the wedding is symbolic, that falling through a plate glass table and needing emergency surgery the week before your wedding is EXTRA symbolic.

    I have since been reliably informed that this is not the correct procedure, so take note, everybody.

    I am 4 weeks post-injury and I am making a point of making a big deal to myself about how amazing of a machine the human body is, with its plasticity and resilience and ability to heal from a pretty nasty muscle injury, so that when I inevitably plateau I’ll be able to stay appreciative instead of frustrated. I have been off of crutches and out of bandages for 2 weeks, and I can walk at the human average walking speed continuously for a mile and a half; do most of my regular household chores; and ride my horse well enough to attend to his physical needs and keep him fit. I cannot walk at my own average walking speed, carry the hamper downstairs, or ride my horse actually well, but it will come. I’m very aware that I’m ahead of the curve and feeling fortunate to have stacked the deck by being young, physically fit, healthy, and extremely driven- and it has made me really sit back and pause to think about what the last month would have been like if one or more of those factors hadn’t been in play, and how it would have been for someone who is not as lucky as I in those respects. I say “lucky” because I only have true control over one of them.

    Anyway, October people- when do your photos come in? Ours should be getting close, and I’m super excited to see them!

    • penguin

      We’re excited for our photos too! I hope they come in soon.

      • suchbrightlights

        You had that incredible entrance into fairyland aka a winery (oh what’s the diff)! If you feel comfortable sharing, I’d love to see more. :)

        Our photographer emailed me literally an hour after this post and told me that the low-res photos are up and ready to order, and the high-res photos are in the mail.

        THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Waiting to share until next week so I have the high-res versions. No wonder my face hurt at the end of the day- I was smiling all day and have the photos to prove it!- and my favorite part was seeing what everyone else was doing while I wasn’t watching. Some great candids of family and friends.

    • I’m so glad to hear this update and that you are doing so well, even if not back at your normal level.

    • kayceeee

      We received another small low-res preview last week and it’s making me really excited to receive all of the images at high-res!! I’m hoping they’re in soon since I’d like to send out cards with wedding pics on them and get some photo books done for gifts for the parents.

      • suchbrightlights

        I’m doing the “where on earth am I getting my photo albums” dance now. Do you have an ETA on your pics? I think I may have missed when you shared yours, if you did, but the profile picture you have in the meadow is gorgeous.

        • kayceeee

          I’m supposed to have them all 5-7 weeks after the wedding so not quite yet. I shared a few shots in the HH the week after the wedding, I think.. either way they were posted during a HH : )

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  • mui

    can you guys have an event in Los Angeles????!!! I would so love to meet you guys <3