APW Happy Hour

For Valentine's Day, I got you a $125 gift card to Minted

Hey APW!

Is it embarrassing to admit that I’m kind of excited about Valentine’s Day this year? I normally avoid Hallmark holidays like the plague, on account of I like to put too much pressure on myself and then end up disappointed. But this year daycare is having parents’ night out on the 14th, and I’m feeling inclined to celebrate the fact that Michael and I have made it almost a whole year taking care of a tiny human and haven’t murdered each other yet. Go team.

Historically, Michael and I have sucked at gifting around holidays like Valentine’s Day (unless you count when we were teenagers, and didn’t understand that spending all your disposable income on your significant other is a good way to end up broke). But this year I feel like we finally cracked the code. Turns out, our gifting love language is around the personal and the practical. For example, for Christmas Michael got me a new set of baking pans and a fancy ergonomic mouse, and it was the most romantic gesture I could have asked for. As for me, I like to go personal with my gifts. A framed print. A piece of art. Which is why I do a lot of my shopping with Minted. Their fine art is on point and is my default thoughtful #lazygirl option for gifts (case in point: both my grandmother and my mother-in-law got a custom silhouette of baby Link for Christmas this year, and last year my sister and cousin both got silhouettes of their dogs).

Part of the reason Minted’s art is so on point is because they source all their designs from independent artists. So they’re constantly adding new pieces. Minted recently released a bunch of new stuff I’m really excited about about (this letter board–style print is definitely going up in my house somewhere once I figure out what I want it to say) and to celebrate, they are giving away $125 to one lucky APW reader. Use it toward a gift for your significant other, or if you’re me, buy a gift for yourself and tell your significant other they are off the hook. (Michael’s favorite present is the one he doesn’t have to buy.) Just click here or scroll down to enter. And if you need some help picking out what you’d use your winnings for, here’s the art I’d buy for myself for Valentine’s Day right now:

 

Minted Examples of Cards - 6 panels

(Fun fact: The “Keys Wallet Phone” print above sits across from my desk at work, and symbolizes my general life philosophy.) My favorite Minted art is their abstract stuff, like this or this, but I’m also a sucker for their more graphic pieces like this and this. And I’m pretty sure Meg just ordered this for her home.

So what are you guys doing for Valentine’s Day? Do you boycott? Or do you try to make it special? As for us, we’re on the road to San Diego right now to visit friends and either a) prove to ourselves that we can still road trip with a baby or b) test the limits of our sanity. Will report back on how that goes!

And with that, it’s your happy hour. Click here or scroll down to enter to win a $125 gift card to Minted! Giveaway ends on Valentine’s Day.

Cheers,

Maddie

Credits

Around the Web This Week with Jareesa

It’s tax season! Lifehacker has a quick roundup of the most commonly Googled tax questions.

The CEO of PepsiCo promised us all “Lady Doritos”…and then they walked it back :-( As cool as “Lady Doritos” could be, The Cut came up with a list of things women would like instead.

SELF magazine is featuring more content devoted to wellness and intersectionality (yay!), and this piece about yoga and cultural appropriation spoke to me.

Press-on nails are THING again, and I’m here for it!

“How People Die in America”: a somber follow-up to “How to Not Die in America.”

An actual Nazi is running for Congress in Illinois. How the hell did this happen?

In case you didn’t know, winter sports are for rich white people.

In delightful father-son moments: Will Smith, in a Total Dad Move, Re-creates Jaden Smith’s Music Video for “Icon.”

And if you missed the Super Bowl, here are all the movie trailers you missed, the absolutely terrible commercials, and I thought Kevin Hart was someone’s kid on the field after the game (whoops!).

Oh and Quincy Jones is “IDGAF” years old. This interview is B-A-N-A-N-A-S! 

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  • Zoya

    O hai, I had another essay published this week! This was a fun one–I interviewed my mom about keeping our names when we got married: http://theweek.com/articles/747312/kept-maiden-name-best-decisions-ive-ever-made

    Also, I’m going to a black-tie event tonight and wearing my wedding dress! First time I’ve gotten to wear it since the actual wedding, and I am inordinately excited. One of the perks of getting married in an evening gown, folks.

    • CeCe_R

      Wonderful essay! I also kept my last name and while so far I have had times where I kind of wish I changed it, ultimately I’m very happy with my decision. I have had little push back, and I’m totally fine when people call me Mrs.HisLast by accident. I’ve actually had random people call my husband Mr.MyLast and he always giggles at that. The few people who have questioned my decision I’ve been able to point to a couple cultures where women don’t change their last name.. for example in the province of Quebec here in Canada it’s actually not allowed by law for women to change their last names because of marriage.

      • Zoya

        My husband and I keep a running tally of how often he gets called Mr. Mylast versus me being called Mrs. Hislast. So far my last name is winning. :)

    • PAJane

      I feel this essay so hard. So hard.

      • Ayla K

        Same same same. This puts all my feelings about changing my name into some eloquent words. My e-mail address, Twitter handle, and portfolio URL are all under my full name. I’m published under my name. I’ve been introduced on podcasts under my name. I’ve lived my whole life under this name. Why would I want to be anyone else?

    • Nell

      Your mother’s advice on marriage is so lovely!!!!

      My wife and I hyphenated, which no one else in our circle has done. I think it might be going out of fashion?

    • AP

      Awesome article! I’m the only woman in both our families to keep her name after marriage, and it’s pretty lonely. So cool that you and your mom have this in common! Maybe I’ll blaze the path for the next generation in our families…

      • ssha

        I am too! I like to think that I’m helping to normalize it for the folks around me!

    • Katie

      I’m so curious what your dress looks like! I’m totally planning on wearing mine as well after the wedding.
      I wanna read the article but have to postpone it till I’m at home. Anyway, congrats!

      • Zoya

        Working on a Real Weddings submission as we speak! So the dress will show up on APW one of these days.

        • Katie

          yay! I wonder what’s their turnaround time on this.

      • Zoya

        Oh! I just remembered—our photographer sent in a photo of us for the “Favorite Weddings of 2017” post! I’m the brunette in the green dress: https://apracticalwedding.com/favorite-weddings-2017/

    • savannnah

      Love this essay. My mother keep her name and gave her children that name as a middle- even though its a male first name. By her model it was super easy to just say yeah I’m keeping my name. It’s all about norms in my opinion.

    • MC

      Love this essay – I’m the first woman on my husband’s side to keep her name and it has been an experience trying to get everyone to address me by my actual name. I also picture MyFirst HisLast as a totally different person, like someone in an alternate reality, ha. And it sounds like your mom is awesome <3

      • Anne

        That was my favorite line too! I’ve also pictured Myfirst Hislast as somebody else.

      • Sonnie

        I’m my case MyFirst HisLast is my sister in law!

    • Sarah Jane

      I love this article! my parents hyphenated, and I kept my last name when I got married. I also passed my last name on to my first born daughter. This baby (my husband’s first), will get a hyphenated combination of both of our last names.

    • anon42day

      Thanks for your piece- really beautiful! My parents have different last names, and at least when I was growing up, if people asked, they’d respond that my dad wasn’t interested in changing his last name. : ) That’s the tact my husband and I have taken as well, though people are often more confused because I have two last names (both of my parents’) and people assume that one must be my husband’s.
      I feel similarly about having spent so much of my life claiming my last name. My parents gave me both at birth (unhyphenated), but then when I was enrolled in school, they registered me with only my dad’s last name. Sometime in middle school I started getting really upset that people didn’t assume I was related to my mom, so going into high school I reclaimed her name (a headache at the school) and my sister followed. I sometimes think that because I had to fight a little to have both last names recognized as a child, I’m even more attached.

      • Ashlah

        Having given our son a hyphenated name (which we also both have), I love hearing stories about people who appreciated their combo last names! Sometimes I worry we burdened him with a pain in the ass, but I hope he views it as you did/do. In all likelihood, I’m expecting his feelings will go through phases.

    • Violet

      Wow, you rock! Thanks for sharing what you wrote!

    • Olive

      Thanks for sharing! I kept my last name…and my dad *knowingly* sends me mail to Olive HisLastName and that is also my name in his phone contacts. Eyeroll.

      BUT! My husband and I had a date last weekend wherein we decided to give our kids a combo of our last names (we combined them to make a hashtag and it works and we actually love it and go by socially)!

      So excited to do what feels right to us, but I am also concerned it will be an issue. Does anyone have experience with children having a different last name than both parents?

      • penguin

        Argh sorry your dad is being weird about it. For the kid’s last name, are you worried it’ll be a problem with official stuff like school, or with family? I think it’s starting to become more common and would be totally fine, although hard side-eye to your dad on this one.

        • Olive

          Mostly official things…school, medical, etc. Although I realize that you take your kid to register for school and fill out all the paperwork, and whatever. So in terms of the people who need to know knowing, it’s probably not going to be an issue?

          Ha, family too a bit. But I’m glad that husband wants to do this as much as I do, so we’ll be a united front against anyone who wants to criticize.

          And yea…almost 3 years in and you’d think Dad would stop with it. *shrugs*

          • penguin

            I think all the official stuff will be fine – like you said, your names will be on all the paperwork, and schools and docs should be used to adoptions/step-parents/kids from past marriages/other situations with a blend of last names. Good luck!! I hope people get on board, and I’m glad your husband is excited too.

          • rg223

            The only thing I heard it potentially being an issue is with traveling – you might have to bring additional documentation proving you are the parents if you want to take a kid on a plane. But with a little advance planning, I don’t think it would be a big deal at all!

      • Les

        I love the idea of a combo name! Family friends growing up where the RoseGolds- mom’s last name was Rosesomeing and dad’s name was Goldsomething and I always thought it was was the most beautiful name- and I loved that the G was still capitalized- like it was still acknowledging the duality. However, this will not work for me as my guy has an insane-o un-pronouncable italiano last name that does not take kindly to mashups…. oh well!

        • Olive

          awww the RoseGolds! *hearteyes*

      • Mer

        I have a different last name from my mom who was my primary caregiver until about 10th grade. She took us to doctors appointments, called schools, signed permission slips… all that stuff. I had 0 problems with it.

      • mskyle

        My old landlord did this – his kids’ last name was his last name plus the end of his wife’s name (it’s not “Youngenstein,” where his name is Young and hers is Rosenstein, but it’s a similar compound). It was also the name of the LLC that I wrote my rent checks to. It makes them VERY googleable, though!

        • Olive

          Yea! that’s the kind of portmanteau we have! We put it on our wedding favors, had our officiant announce us with it, and have tons of wedding gift art with it. Just a little obsessed.

      • Charley

        Argh my parents (it was mostly my Mom, actually) initially refused to get on board with me keeping my name. We had this conversation on my wedding day, with her saying “But officially today you’ll be Mrs. HisLast, no?”, and me explaining that, no, officially, socially, financially, IN ALL WAYS, I would still be Dr. MyLast. Her response was “well, you’ll still be Mrs HisLast to me”. ARGH. My husband’s family, on the other hand, had no issues and just accepted it from the start.

        For kids, I love the idea of a combo name. We can’t do this because ours would be an awful tongue twister but I think it’s a lovely idea.

    • ssha

      What a lovely essay!!

    • Essssss

      Great article! I kept my name and never have really had any comments about it, nor have we made any big announcements to inform the family, so I was really delighted when we received an invite to the wedding of a relative of my husband’s addressed to Mr. HisFirstLast and Ms MyfirstMylast. They’re distant and could easily have just assumed, but they didn’t!

    • name woes

      “The only area that presented any complexity, we agreed, is what names to give children. This is where the default of the man’s name offers an easy out. My in-laws took this route, and my parents slightly modified it by adding my mother’s last name as a middle name. I’ve known parents who chose portmanteau last names, others who hyphenated, and still others who gave their children two sequential last names. It’s an area where our culture offers precious little guidance, and an illustration of what happens when individual choices run up against an entrenched system.”

      This is soon to be my biggest relationship problem because husband and I are both open to something other than his name but his family is Not (he is only son) and our names don’t portmanteau or hyphenate etc well at ALL and just going with my name or just his name seems unfair to the other, and we consider whatever name becomes the middle name to be tantamount to erasure due to uncommon useage. Soooooo I’m really ready for there to become an accepted norm for childrens names that isn’t patriarchical please…..

      • E.

        Same! I’m already hyphenated so that won’t work and they reallly don’t go together. I’m quite set on them having my last name, he’s not thrilled about it, we mostly joke about it to avoid the conversation because we’re still a few years out from kids…

      • bananafanafofana

        My partner and I decided to flip a coin. First child gets the winners last name, and if we have more, second child gets the other person’s last name. I don’t think it will make any difference to our childrens sense of family.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I saw this shared on Facebook earlier! I love it. I am SO happy with my decision to keep my last name. This really resonated with me. Nice work!

    • mjh

      Congratulations on getting another essay published, and thanks for sharing it with us!

    • I really enjoyed your article last week! And how was wearing your wedding dress again? How fun that you can wear it when you have fancy events to go to!
      ETA: I haven’t read the new article yet, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it too! :)

      • Zoya

        It was super-fun! I danced a bunch and got lots of dress-compliments.

  • Ladybird

    Hi APW! Long time lurk-reader, first time commenter. I love the entire vibe of this website and it is SO much more supportive/non-judgey than the other places I lurk-read.

    So: I’m in a wedding planning low point and I could honestly use some cheering up. Every time I think about spending that kind of money—and by “that kind,” I mean, like, over $2,000—I get sick to my stomach. It feels so wasteful! Like we should be saving for a down payment, or a car without a broken seatbelt, or literally a second piece of furniture for our living room (we only have a couch) or a bed that wasn’t a two-time hand-me-down. And yet I want to throw a nice party for all my friends and loved ones…but I can’t at all find the joy in it. I hate the thought of accepting help when my parents have already done so much for me, and yet I also hate the thought of not doing something special because I’m nickel-and-diming. (It probably doesn’t help that one of my best friends is planning her wedding now, too, and she makes six figures to my modest five.)

    How does anyone swallow this and enjoy?! Is this actually fun for anyone? I cannot stop stressing about it. I want to think that celebrating our marriage is worth it…but I also can’t stop thinking about how much else that money could buy. I feel selfish and confused and basically on the verge of tears all the time.

    • Welcome!

      I get what you’re saying – there’s a lot of talk about what people SHOULD do their money, and there’s a lot of shaming around what’s considered “wasteful”. Here’s what helped me as I thought about my wedding:
      * The adage “stay in your lane” applies here – don’t think about your friend’s 6figure budget, don’t compare your wedding to those fancy ones on IG or in wedding magazines (and this was totes hard for me!). Your wedding is YOURS, focus on what will make you, your fiance, and your guests happy.
      * Instead of thinking that all of this is “just for one day”, think about what you’ll be gaining, like the memories of your friends and family celebrating. For me, it was the last time that all of my siblings got together and celebrated something happy. Its the last time I have photos of my grandmother, who passed last January. It was a chance for my hubby’s good friends to meet my good friends and everyone had a ball. And that to me was worth more than the $$$ we spent. Sure we could have bought something else with the money, but the memories and the photos are what I cherish, and I wouldn’t cherish a couch in the same way.

      • Ladybird

        That’s such a good point. I mean, yeah, I’d love a new couch, but I wouldn’t trade it for a photo of me with my grandparents on my wedding day EVER. Thank you for the perspective <3

      • sofar

        Yes on the memories. I don’t treasure my wedding photos because they’re Instagram- or magazine-perfect, but because they contain people I love who are now dead.

        I think there’s sort of a trend to think of weddings (especially big ones) as self-indulgent, but they are community celebrations and, as such, are hugely meaningful to everyone who attends.

    • SL

      I am also someone who struggles with “frivolous” spending, but I mean, weddings aren’t really “wasting money” right? I think try to prioritize what a “nice party” looks like for you and then don’t worry about the rest. Personally, I cheaped out on our wedding and I do sort of regret it now years later.

      • Ladybird

        That’s true. And I do want to look back and feel like I made the right call!

    • Jess

      There are a lot of emotions tied up in wedding planning and wedding spending. It’s ok to want a wedding, and to spend money to celebrate what is a huge life occassion.

      It’s ok to have beds that are hand-me-down-hand-me-downs. It’s ok to just have a couch. It’s ok to have those things and prioritize your spending on creating a memory.

      If you haven’t read Meg’s article on dollar value of weddings, I recommend it. https://apracticalwedding.com/wedding-costs/

      • Ladybird

        Thank you for reminding me of that one!

    • CeCe_R

      I’m a total saver by nature and I felt physically ill a few times making some of the large payments. For me, knowing that I was paying for it all without going into debt was incredibly important and reduced a lot of guilty feelings. Being thrifty in ways that you can (like, I DIY’d all my signage and decor and skipped out on paper invites) made me feel better about spending $2500 on my husband’s suit (which he was worn no less than a dozen times to client meetings already). I’m planning on selling my wedding dress to help offset the cost.

      • Ladybird

        Oh yes, I’m definitely in team “buy yourself a nice suit” for my husband-in-waiting! He really only has two nice ones to begin with…

    • MC

      Sending you alllll the virtual hugs – wedding planning is hard. My in-laws paid for most of our wedding, and I had a lot of guilt about how much it was costing even though they could afford it. They really wanted us to have the wedding that we wanted, but as a super frugal person, that felt so wasteful to me. Husband and I had a big fight because I was so stressed about my in-laws spending money on decorations, which felt so frivolous and not at all important to me.

      But even though I mostly hated wedding planning, I loved my wedding, and was really surprised that I loved it so much! Now more than 3 years later I feel like it was totally worth it to have so many of our loved ones in the same place celebrating our relationship. The joy and love I felt that day has really stayed with me and provided me with a lot of comfort in a way that I don’t get from my couch or my car.

      I have had a ton of fun as a wedding guest at weddings of ALL budget sizes, but feeding people and having a group of people all in the same space is going to cost some amount of money. It’s not a priority for everyone, which is why some people have small weddings or elope, but if that’s what you want for your wedding it is okay to want it and spend money on it.

    • Katharine Parker

      Oh, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way.

      Do you often have trouble spending money? You list a number of things, some big, some small, that could be “fixed” by spending money, so I wonder–why haven’t you bought a chair for your living room, or replaced your bed? Why haven’t you replaced that seatbelt (not trying to be overly concerned, but that one gave me pause)? You can do those things, and save for a down payment, and host a wedding. You might not have all the money to do everything–a 300-person wedding, a new bmw, a house furnished through DWR–but you can save money and spend money at the same time. How does your partner feel about this?

      Ultimately, you are allowed to want a nice home and a nice wedding, and spend money at different times on different things. You can value the joy and memories of a wedding and the comfort of a new bed, even if you can’t pay for both of those things at once. You can spend money on yourself, in ephemeral and material ways, in ways that other people don’t agree with or understand.

      • Ladybird

        Thank you <3 You know, I really do have a mental block about it (and trust me, my therapist and I talk about it all the time…or we will until my new insurance makes her out of network [cries]). We're both trying to build up a nest egg/emergency fund at the moment, and while we are both totally managing without any of the new stuff (including the seatbelt—one of us literally rides in the back seat so as not to use the busted one! And that's more of a "haven't had time to deal with" than "won't spend money on") it does feel like everything is springing a leak at once, so to speak.

        I think you're right that it's about becoming more comfortable with having multiple goals and the ephemeral spending. I want to sit down with him and really plan things out—not just the wedding, but how the rest of our life stuff will fit in around it.

    • Kelly

      Oh hi! You’re me from 6 months ago!
      I am the Practical half of my relationship, always the one reeling us in with savings and 401ks and the boring stuff. It was (and is) reaaaaaally hard for me to let go and just spend the money. (Within budget!)
      But what helped me the most was to stop thinking about it as wasteful, and to instead think of it as an investment.

      This is an investment in your marriage! Quality time together translates to a better marriage and planning time counts towards that, too.
      This is an investment in your family. Your loved ones who so rarely see one another, let alone for something so wonderful as celebrating love.
      This is an investment in your community. The money you spend will be helping someone make a living and support their family.

      My friend is currently going through the horribly painful process of losing her husband to cancer. She doesn’t look back and wish they’d gotten a more expensive couch. She thinks about how handsome he was on their wedding day. She brought out her wedding album to show me how full of life he once was. She thinks about how as much as she and her mother bickered about her veil, that in the end, her Mom cried when she saw her.

      Invest in your memories.

      • Ladybird

        Oh my goodness, that almost made me tear up. Thank you for this perspective, and much love to your friend and her husband.

        • Kelly

          Thank you! She can use all the good thoughts she can get. :-)

          And as someone currently trying to be okay with spending the money, I won’t say that The worry ever goes away, but it does get easier.

      • penguin

        And I’m tearing up at work. Thank you for sharing this.

    • sofar

      I, too, thought of the wedding as an expensive obligation most of the time. Money stopped being real after a while, because, at the end of the day, feeding 200+ people just costs a lot of money.

      Don’t feel bad if your parents offer help, because they can spend their money how they want and maybe the want to spend it on your wedding.

      I didn’t want a wedding, but my in-laws and my parents desperately did, so they paid for most of it.

      I think it’s pretty normal not to consider it “fun.” I didn’t find any of it fun. But if it’s important to you (whether because you want the wedding or your families do), don’t feel bad about spending (within your means, of course). And then, when it’s over, breathe a big sigh of relief and go on with your life.

      • Ladybird

        I’m glad that not finding it fun means I’m like, super broken or crazy! And you’re right—it’s their money, and if it means something to them, well, who am I to tell them otherwise? Me being sour and upset over it won’t give them what they want…which is a happy wedding for our family.

      • penguin

        Finally being married was SUCH a relief! No more wedding planning!

        • Zoya

          YUP.

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          It might be my favorite thing about being married, forreals.

    • Zoya

      This was a huge bone of contention between my husband and me during wedding planning. He was perfectly happy to throw money at every single problem, and I kept balking at how much things cost. In the end he won out, because there was so much other life stuff going on that we just didn’t have the time or energy for DIY/comparison-shopping. As a result, we spent much more money on our wedding than I had expected, and I was in sticker shock a lot of the time. Luckily we could afford it, so the fights weren’t about hardship, but it was tough and I still have Feelings about it sometimes. So, you know, solidarity?

      • Ladybird

        Totally. My fiancé and I come from very different financial backgrounds, and while we have no trouble being honest and open about money, our philosophies of “what to spend on” can sometimes tangle up when we realize our assumptions aren’t on the right page.

    • mskyle

      Honestly, wedding planning (especially the spending money part) was freaking miserable to me, and for my husband as well I think.

      I don’t feel too bad about it in retrospect, though, and I think it’s because we didn’t spend money on anything that wasn’t actually important to us. For us, that meant venue/food/drinks: worth spending money on; decorations/paper stuff/flowers: not important to us. In the weeks running up to the wedding I was really worried it would seem plain, but it totally didn’t! The stuff that was important was there, the rest of it didn’t matter.

      So my advice: don’t spend money on stuff that’s not important to you, but money you spend on stuff that *is* important to you you probably won’t regret.

      • Ladybird

        Yes to all of this!! Thank you.

    • a novel of money advice

      You’ve gotten good advice on how to get comfortable with the spending, but I’ll also encourage you to really picture and sit with what a small (like really small–maybe immediate family and a few close friends) would look like. You could go to the courthouse, you could go to a restaurant, you could have it at home. You could have something that feels really nice and personal without either spending a lot or feeling like you’re nickel-and-diming. This’ll probably out me, but my parents got married on a Saturday or Sunday morning in the living room of their apartment with their parents, their siblings/spouses, and maybe 4 friends (a total of 17 people in the end, I think). My mom made this really delicious cheese strata and probably fruit salad for brunch after the ceremony and, together, they all drank a case of champagne (turns out this is like 14 bottles, so consumption per person was high!) and had to go out to acquire additional beer because the party was so much fun. My dad wore a suit, my mom wore a (definitely not white or wedding) dress her own mother had sort of insisted on buying for her for the wedding; a minister friend did the ceremony. It was really, really lovely.

      That all said, the small thing may not be right for you–I offer it only as a thing to really try on, and in so much detail because I think the small wedding vision on here is often pretty arranged around being intensely private people (trending towards elopements) and still having some Wedding type elements (a wedding dress, most often), and I don’t think either of those things are really necessary for a small wedding to be a good choice. I’ll also say I didn’t have a small wedding, despite wanting one, due to a spouse who loves big inclusive parties and our mutual decision that the compromise position (family only, but including extended family, and some select friends–a total of about 100 invites) would feel unsatisfactory to both of us. We spent a lot of money, and I don’t regret it; it was a truly lovely day. So, if that’s the right choice, figure out what you really can afford, and just work to get comfortable with dedicating that to your wedding.

      I’ll also say, on taking money from parents, we generally paid for the wedding ourselves (we budgeted to cover everything but my folks insisted on paying the per-plate for friends of theirs they wanted to invite and also paid for the alcohol, the undrunk portion of which they kept afterwards) and I was really happy with that. I recognize that we were really lucky in a number of ways to be able to pay on our own without having to worry hugely about stuff like headcount, but paying ourselves was important enough to me that if we’d not been able to or wanted to afford it, I would have looked seriously at having a different kind of wedding rather than move intentionally into a joint-financing setup.

      My in-laws very generously paid for the rehearsal dinner–I’d assumed we’d pay, I learned via my now-husband that they wanted to, and I followed his lead in terms of whether their generosity was something we should accept. It was a really nice rehearsal dinner, but the planning part was hard for me. They had a clear vision of what they wanted, which wasn’t that consistent with what I wanted, and my husband’s vision was much closer to theirs. It was often hard for me to figure out how I fit into that planning process and how much I should be asserting my preferences. Ultimately, it was their party, and while they had some “What do you two think would be better?” questions, they knew what they wanted, and as I said–it was a really nice event in the end, just a different one than I would have planned.

      Both sets of parents were really respectful throughout the wedding planning process and pretty set on not butting in. I don’t think taking money for the wedding itself necessarily would have changed their feelings about the appropriate way to behave, but I do think it would have felt different to me in a way I really would not have liked and.

    • Rose

      I also felt some guilt about wedding spending. But one of the things that I thought about was that you sort of only have one chance to throw a wedding (obviously with some exceptions, people have later receptions and vow renewals and all that, but by and large). You’ll have a whole life to buy a couch. If you want to have a party for your people to celebrate your marriage, this is your best chance! And, like others have said, the memories last. Longer than a couch, even.

      • Ladybird

        Hahah, it’s true, couches do NOT last as long as memories! (In my experience they rarely outlast a lease.) Thank you.

    • I think a key in your case is focusing on the fact that you want to throw the people you love a fabulous party, and that’s going to cost money. Probably a lot more money than you’re used to wrapping your head around. But…you can think about what your people need in order to make this the celebration you want it to be.

      You don’t NEED all the Wedding Stuff – your people are not going to be disappointed if, say, you skip favors or flowers, or whatever.

      So maybe try thinking of it in terms of a large-scale party (instead of a full-blown wedding), figure out your expectations around that, and go from there?

      Also – I think in many cases parents do NOT consider paying for parts of the wedding as “help” – rather, as a gift (obviously YMMV). So make sure you’re keeping open lines of communication with them, too. They may feel very strongly about contributing to some aspect or another, or just contributing in general.

      And, FWIW, 90% of our furniture and dishware are hand-me-downs from friends and family, and we’ve been married for almost 5 years, with a 3.5 year old. All our bedroom furniture used to belong to my parents, the armchairs in our family room and our dining room buffet belonged to his parents, and most other big pieces are from IKEA. I have my issues with this – I’d much prefer handcrafted pieces that I do NOT have to assemble myself, for example, that aren’t completely cookie-cutter buuuuuuut at the same time, we’ve got what we got and I’d rather spend our money on other things right now, like experiences. Like those tickets to the Poconos Lantern Fest I just bought last night :D

    • Les

      I think almost everyone (except the bajillionaires?) feels this way at some point/the whole time. I personally am putting off mine for the exact reasons you’re listing- but in reality if I waited until I had all the things $ could buy me before getting married, I’d be…50? Dead? I’m in your boat 100%. Part of me wants to elope to avoid the cost. The other part wants to throw the greatest party my friends and family have ever seen and flood them with love. Solidarity! If you don’t have a date/venue yet, maybe wait for something to spark the joy for you. Maybe shoe shopping or a venue or the thought of dancing to a particular song will help ease you back in. And maybe you go cheaper than you think you ‘should.’ If you haven’t, read the article on the website from earlier this week about financing a wedding- maybe there are some ideas there you wouldn’t have considered? Also, go look at the less-than-10K weddings under ‘Real Weddings.’ I do that on occasion to sooth my budget-fearful heart. Good luck, and don’t worry, this forum’s got your back.

    • PAJane

      So, through our very different friends and family, we’ve attended weddings with all sorts of budgets, from fancy hotels to a rented out off season space on the county fairgrounds. I can tell you that spending more money is zero indication that people will have more fun, or that things will feel special. The important elements, I think, are the blend of people you bring together, some great music, and ideally keeping people fed. The people in your life who matter are going to be thrilled to be there celebrating with you, whether that’s a 5-course sit down, or pizza and beer. Joy isn’t measured in money spent.That said, I definitely feel you on the price tag sucking the joy out of things. We had a Big Talk about what kind of wedding we wanted to have, and what that might cost, and we definitely took some time to let the numbers marinate before we made any big decisions.

    • Sarah E

      Spending money on a wedding (or not) is an exaggerated way of spending money in any other capacity. What might help is making a list of your values (like, 5 or 6 MAX) in life, and frame your spending priorities that way. Like, “I/we really value connectedness, which is why we’re spending money on a wedding in line with that value.” Or some such. Maybe a wedding is totally not in line with your values and you can make a different choice. Knowing your why and writing it down, or however you can continually remind yourself of it, will help reframe those things.

      Also, being more specific in your guilt and tears. Take it one step further to the scary place of what you’re really afraid of. Something people will think of you? Something you’ll think about yourself? And talk to your partner or your BFF/family about those things for reassurance.

    • jem

      Something that helped me with this is what Meg talks about in the book— putting money towards things that will make your guests comfortable/enjoy themselves. When things would be cool but wouldn’t materially impact our guests’ experience, we skipped them. When we realized the day would be more enjoyable for our guests if we got more comfortable chairs/had more drink options/etc, we thought of it as a gift to people we loved and that made it easier to wrap our heads around.

      • Julie whom disqus hates

        I too like thinking of the wedding as “a gift for people we love.” Also, because I am a big sappy pinko, I think about how my money is going to support a craftsperson and/or workers, and how they deserve to be paid fairly. Obviously this doesn’t work for everything; sometimes things are just too much money (and, uh, it’s not easy to conjure up much solidarity with David the dress mogul). But when you’ve done the homework, and decided that you found what you want at a fair price, and you just need the courage to sign the check, it can help.

        The other piece of APW wisdom I come back to is the thought that anything times 150 is going to be expensive. If anything we wish we could invite more people, and we certainly wouldn’t want to have fewer of our friends there. So the cost of having that many people just is going to be… substantial.

    • Elizabeth

      I also try and think of it wherever possible that it’s a community investment. It’s a local florist or the local food truck company or the local start up photographer. You’re investing in all the businesses trying to come up around you.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Welcome!! I feel your pain. I am frugal, and it felt crazy to spend so much money on one day. The thing that kept calming me down was thinking that this is the one (probably!) time in my life where all my friends and family from all walks of my life would gather aside from my funeral, which I wouldn’t want to miss.
      We cut corners where we could and spent our money as frugally as we could, but we still spent a decent amount of our savings to throw this party. We figured out what was important to us, and what we could do without. The Olive Garden rule really helped me, too!

  • Essssss

    Anybody have fun weekend plans? I get to go to HAMILTON!! After a big bunch of attempts to buy tickets at a price that I could afford, all of which were thwarted in a comedy of errors, my friend’s friend had two extra tickets and I get one of them! I am looking forward to dressing up for the theater. What are you all excited about for this weekend?

    • yessss!!! <3 a co-worker friend saw Hamilton in Chicago last weekend and it was so fun to talk with her about it! GREAT JOB!

      • Essssss

        Thanksssss!!

    • Amy March

      The Olympics! I love all of it and can’t wait to spend the weekend watching with friends and baking cookies.

      • Essssss

        Ooh fun! I love the figure skating so very much. Do you know a way to watch if you don’t have TV or a TV subscription? I don’t even know what channel its on!

        • I regularly use a VPN for privacy/security, so I just set the VPN to the United Kingdom and watch the BBC livestreams. Requires some mild tech know-how, but works great.

          • Charley

            Ooh, what VPN service do you use? I miss having access to BBC iPlayer SO MUCH. I would legit pay the UK TV license fee if it would give me access to it from overseas, but alas no.

          • Mullvad– costs about 5 euros a month. The nice thing is that they don’t care who you are, it’s just tied to an account number.

        • lamarsh

          Have you used your free trial of Hulu Live yet? I’m pretty sure that would work on a laptop and they have all of the events on hulu live.

          • Essssss

            Awesome, thank you!

        • Eenie
          • Essssss

            Thanks!!

        • Charley

          We can get the regular NBC channel on over-the-air TV, without having cable. They’re showing coverage ever day from 8pm and then I think maybe some in the afternoons.

      • Lisa

        I watched the team skating events last night while my husband was at rehearsal. I love the Olympics!

      • Transnonymous

        Olympics for us as well! It’s looking like snow and wind all weekend here, so it’s the perfect excuse to stay in, order pizza, and watch winter sports.

    • MC

      Have so much fun!!!! We’re going to see Hamilton in Denver in 29 days and I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!

    • Jess

      Olympics! Galentine’s Brunch!

      • MC

        I’m also doing Galentine’s Brunch! It should be a national holiday :)

    • Ashlah

      Oh man, have fun!!!

    • Angela’s Back

      Three day weekend, happy birthday Abraham Lincoln!

    • CeCe_R

      I’m visiting my friend who lives about a 2 hour bus ride from me! She and her fiance bought a house and moved in in December so I’m going to bring them a housewarming gift and then do ALL the last minute wedding crafts with her because her wedding is in 3 weeks!

    • Lisa

      I’m so jealous!! I haven’t still been able to see Hamilton, but a friend offered me her second ticket to Waitress in a few months, which I’m looking forward to.

      Tonight husband is playing with the local symphony so at some point I’m going to pull myself out of my funk and get gussied up for the show! Also our favorite brewery is having their anniversary celebration this weekend so I think I might put some of my spending money towards treating us to a few drinks tomorrow.

      • Essssss

        Sounds lovely, have fun! I hope that the symphony is just what your funk needs.

      • AGCourtney

        Oh, Waitress was wonderful! I saw it while it was in MPLS.

        Hope you have a great weekend!

      • RNLindsay

        I saw Waitress while it was on trial in BOston fore getting picked up by Broadway. So good!

    • penguin

      We’re having a fondue dinner at my dad’s house for his birthday! We all love fondue and he bought the pot + forks for it a while back, and we finally decided to do a full fondue dinner! I’m hoping it goes well, but it should be fun no matter how the food turns out.

    • jem

      I have my first girl-date in what feels like forever and I cannot wait. All of “my” friends have moved away from our city over the last few years, which has left me super lonely. But! My husband’s friend’s wife invited me for lunch & manis and omg i have all kinds of first-date feels.

    • Cellistec

      I’m also going to Hamilton! You must be a fellow Seattleite, then. ;)

      • E.

        Me too!

  • SL

    I feel like I’m crushing life right now and I am happy. I had a baby 8 weeks ago and my biggest concern before, during and after this whole process was that everything people say about “loosing yourself” and how motherhood “changes everything” would be true. I’m finding that it’s not true, you just have to make it work. I am still able to play music. I am still able to foster dogs. I still have my life, it’s just with a little addition now. It’s more work and less sleep, but I am happy.

    • Jess

      Go you!! This is really reassuring to read, as somebody who has that same kind of concern.

      • penguin

        Yep anytime posts like this show up on APW I’m so happy to read them. I still have this image of motherhood as something horrible that permanently ruins your life, and it’s nice to see people with a different experience.

    • Violet

      Right around 6 weeks was where I felt like, “Yeah, this could be totally fine.” So glad you’re feeling it! I’m exactly the same person as before, just with an extra family member. Our partnership is still strong, I shower every day, it’s all good. I totally get that for some people it can be really hard, but I wish I hadn’t been scared so shitless over what turned out to be a very not-horrific experience.

      • SL

        Yes to the showering! I don’t want to down play other people’s experiences because maybe my kid is easy and kind enough to let me shower, but I feel like it’s not nearly as hard to get a shower in as people would have you believe.

        • Violet

          Right, I want to give credit where credit is due, and that’s to my kid for being unbelievably easy. And also that I didn’t get PPD (which, given how bad my pregnancy sucked, I was totally expecting). But I guess you only hear the really hard stories because no one wants to… brag? I’m not trying to brag. I just wish I hadn’t been worried needlessly is all, and hoping to pay it forward. Or else you only hear the complete other side where the woman is floating on a cloud of fairy dust. Which, totally good for her! Neither of those extremes are my experience.

          • SL

            I think this is a good point. It would be so helpful for people with just average experiences to share them! I also only heard about both extremes, and knowing I’m not a fairy dust cloud kind of gal, I was really worried I would hate it and be so miserable

          • rg223

            Sharing my “average” baby experience: I showered every day of my maternity leave, but they usually lasted 5 minutes and my baby (who was happy when I put him in his swing), would usually be screaming by the end of it. But I showered! I felt like a human! It was great!

        • Ashlah

          Priorities, yo. There were certainly days I didn’t shower, especially in the earliest weeks, but it’s because I decided that’s not what I wanted to do with my limited time, not because it was literally impossible.

          • Violet

            Well said.

        • SarahRose472

          I have an 8-week-old too. I get the sense it has a lot to do with how willing the baby is to be put down. I knew that newborn life was kind of nonstop, but I wasn’t totally prepared for that she would want to be held pretty much every second for the first six weeks and wake up and instantly freak out if I put her down. She’s not a hard baby, persay, she’s pretty happy but just wants a lot of attention and cuddles. Baby wearing makes most things possible, but still don’t really help with showers. ;) But I have a friend who told me she had tons of free time with her first because she would go down for multiple three hour naps per day…

          • Ashlah

            Parent of a 5.5 month old here. Things got way easier when he got to the stage where he could be put down, awake, and be content. Even if it was just for short periods of time. Everything blurs together and all babies are different, but for us that started somewhere between 3 and 4 months.

          • SarahRose472

            Good to know, always nice to hear encouragement from parents who have made it a little further along :) This might be sort of starting to happen, the last couple of days she has had 2-3 periods a day where she seems happy to lie on her back on her play mat and wiggle and chatter for around 10 minutes…which in fairness is enough to jump in the shower if I bring her in the bathroom!

        • bananafanafofana

          Having watched several friends recently have babies at the same time, the easiest difference (between otherwise similar cases) seems to be whether the baby is ok being set down (in like bouncy thing, or a carrier or a crib or whatever) without wailing uncontrollably. If so, then you can shower, get a glass of water, go to the toilet or do whatever takes 4 minutes. But if not, then otherwise if the baby and parent are otherwise fine, it seems just impossible. And different babies seem VERY different on this.

    • I went through the same thing…and then I wondered if there was something wrong with me and my baby because it wasn’t as hard as everyone said! We’re one year in now and I’m very happy that I’ve still been “me”, just me with a little person.

      • SL

        I’ve totally thought on more than one occasion that maybe I’m doing it wrong because it’s not really much like people say

    • AP

      I love hearing this. I’m due in 2 weeks and am currently feeling pretty dumbstruck about what’s coming up ahead…

  • Katie

    A little over two months till the wedding! I’m more excited than terrified, which is good.
    Also, my amazing photographer (one of APW sponsors) Diana Ascarrunz shared my bridal portraits a couple of weeks ago, and I am so over the moon happy with the way they turned out! Hopefully my husband won’t be lurking in this HH comments, but I might still delete them later :) I’m posting two that are not very revealing and some of my favorites!https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d6bb355cfe5f9485b2f5bc3248ffe6bec97bd6dc0f2638f315203ce85494833.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c14cd3c40a04f9cd44215aeb27896dc9d8713b1e628a60e889b8b686b9427ad7.jpg

    • These are stunning!

      • Katie

        thanks!

    • Zoya

      That second photo looks like it could be in a magazine!

      • Katie

        haha it’s all the photographer’s magic. She’s amazing and I can’t wait to see our wedding photos

    • Nell

      Is that dress from ghost? It’s gorgeous!!!!

      • Katie

        Yass! I got it cuz of my girl Lana Del Rey wearing it in one of the videos. PLus it’s a silhouette I’ve always imagined myself getting married in

        • Nell

          I wish I’d known about Ghost before my wedding!

          • Katie

            I can attest that their dresses are soooooo comfortable, they feel awesome and they’re MUCH more affordable than bridal gowns. Plus, you can choose different colors and wear the dress afterwards!

          • Engaged Chicago

            Link please? Never heard of this!

          • Katie

            ghost.co.uk
            It’s a British fancywear company :)

    • CeCe_R

      Gorgeous!! I’ve never heard of getting your bridal portraits done before your wedding day.

      • Amy March

        It feels like an extremely Southern thing to me but idk if that’s even true!

        • Katie

          we had an option of one more session – either engagement or bridal. It’s a thing here. We already had “engagement” pics snapped by my BIL so I decided to do bridals.

          • CeCe_R

            That’s really cool!

        • I know people that have done this in the South…

      • savannnah

        I didn’t know this was a thing!

      • penguin

        Me neither but I love it! Now I wish I had done this, it would have been a chance to test drive my wedding hair :) Although I wore a flower crown, so I might have needed a second one for photos… worth it!

        These photos are BEAUTIFUL btw

        • Katie

          starting to wonder if it’s a southern thing, cuz I know a lot of girls do it, although it’s not by any means necessary. Thank you! ;)

          • KatCardigans

            I’m in NC and know people who have done this–and sometimes see brides in the pretty locations around town having photos done sans groom/bridal party/etc. I know my photographer uncle offers bridal portraits as a separate thing. Maybe it is southern!

        • Engaged Chicago

          Same! To both. This is such a beautiful idea – your hair and make up look flawless and it’s so nice to have extra photos!

    • Jessica

      Instant crush!

      • Katie

        <3

    • PAJane

      Gorgeous.

      • Katie

        <3 muah!

    • Gorgeous pictures! That’s really cool you did those ahead of time, I’d never heard of that before.

      • Katie

        thank you! I think it’s a southern thing. I know many girls around here who did it

    • Jess

      These are so glam! I love the moodiness!

      • Katie

        Thank you! I’m going for a Hollywood glam style, rather than traditional bridal (whatever it means these days, cuz everybody is so unique and beautiful), so I’m especially happy to hear it :)

    • Angela’s Back

      whoah, that’s not the TX state capitol is it? These are really lovely regardless! Taking bridal portraits ahead of time seems really nice actually, like the best possible dry run for how you’re going to look and how long hair and makeup might take on the day plus zero stress from actual wedding happening.

      • Katie

        it is! Austin, TX :)
        And yes, that was a perfect occasion to do trials – I’m happy with how they both turned out!

        • Angela’s Back

          yessssss I knew it!

    • Sarah E

      Shee-it, those are gorgeous portraits.

      • Katie

        thanks! it’s all thanks to Diana – I don’t look half as good in real life, unfortunately haha

  • YALL, I had an ORDEAL this week that proved to me that changing your name is bullshit – I mean, I knew it was bulllshit but this week proved it.

    I discovered I have an old 401k from a job from 5yrs ago that I never did anything with. I’m a real adult now, so I figured I’d finally do something with it. Except I can’t because the account is under my maiden name which is no longer my legal name. So I need to get it changed…which means I have to contact the Benefits center for my old company from 5yrs ago and get them to change it.

    In order to do that, I either need to sit on the phone for 30+mins or I can try to recover my login details for the online system. I manage to recover my sign-in ID (yay!), but then I struggle a bit trying to reset my password. Manage to finally get that done and login…and then discover that I can only change address/email/phone online – to change my name I have to call.

    So I hop BACK on the phone and wait the 30+mins and get a very nice young man, who tells me they have to MAIL me a form to fill out. Luckily I can email it back to them with proof of my name change and then they will change it and then finally it will change with Fidelity.

    If I had kept my damn name this wouldn’t have been an issue. It was my choice to change my name, and I do like it, but I don’t like the extra hassles that changing my name has caused, especially for stuff that I had completely forgotten about.

    Anyway, how was everyone’s week???

    • Zoya

      Augh, that is so obnoxious! I feel like there’s a follow-up to the essay I linked below, about how all the hassle and gaslighting of name-changing falls disproportionately on women.

      • Yup! I totally thgouth about your piece and I want to write my own. I love my choice but I do not love all the work and hassle that it has created.

        • Zoya

          PLEASE write this.

    • PAJane

      Next time anybody needs to sit on hold, let me do it for you. My company is ridiculous with hold times calling from department to department (which is suuuuuper awkward when a customer is sitting at your desk and you’re making weird small talk until Service picks up), and as a result I’ve developed an ability to sit patiently on hold for a small eternity. I think a lot about the people who write that terrible music.

    • Eenie

      I got my visa for China this week and didn’t have to list any other names on my application. It’s the boring bureaucratic stuff like that where keeping your name really comes in handy.

    • jem

      Oh it is so frustrating and I’m right there with you. A few days ago, I found a list I’d made right after my wedding four months ago and realized there are still a bunch of places where I haven’t updated my name but… it’s so exhausting

    • Lily

      Name changing is such BS. I did it five years ago, and now wish I hadn’t – I let my husband’s feelings matter more than my own, and now that I’ve grown into my values more, it bugs me. SO! Last night we were sitting on the couch and having a casual discussion about baby names for the one I’m currently growing. As I tossed around suggestions, my husband casually ‘joked’ that I sure do like names from my side of the family (yes I do, thankyouverymuch). I pointed out that he made a big deal about ALL of our future children having his last name before we were married, so it’s only fair, right? Come on husband, you’re better than this…

      • Ashlah

        It really burns me when men discussing baby names don’t seem to grasp that giving them Dad’s last name counts, if you know what I mean? Like they still get equal (or greater…) naming rights for first and middle, as though they didn’t already get to claim one of the three. Because it’s the default, it doesn’t actually count.

        • Lily

          Exactly! Sometimes I even want to pull the “I’m growing the baby” card, on top of the his-last-name card. But that seems unfair, so I refrain. The naming rights are tricky, though.

        • Sonnie

          The deal we made was that future kids get my husband’s last name but I have 100% authority over first and middle. And you’re gd right that the names I’m choosing are from my side of the family tree.

        • bananafanafofana

          This is exactly why my partner and I decided that when we have children we toss a coin for the last name of the first and if we have a second then it gets the others’ last name. We both wanted future children to have our last name. Equal chances seemed the most fair. (Although I sort of still maintain that generations of default the other way mean that a tie should go in my favor!)

      • Antonia

        Same. Changed mine 7 years ago, wish I hadn’t.

        • Lily

          Out of curiosity, have you considered changing yours back? I know it’s a hassle, logistically and probably emotionally. I’ve considered it, but my child’s first name is my maiden name, so I feel like that would be weird. Especially if I then insisted on hyphenation. Bummer to realize these things later on.

          • Antonia

            I’ve considered it, but I’m super lazy. Plus we have a 2 year old who shares our “family” name, so I’m kinda like, meh, that ship has sailed.

      • sage

        When discussing names for after the wedding, we decided we both wanted to keep our last names, but husband really wanted any kids to have his last name. He told me (and I will hold him to this when the time comes) that I get my first choice of first AND middle names for kid(s) to even it out :)

      • Engaged Chicago

        I’m loving and appreciating everyone’s thoughts on changing their name. At work everyone keeps asking me what my “new name” is and getting really offended/ confused when I tell them my name is remaining the same. I want to keep my OG name professionally even if I eventually legally change it. I know i’ll be Mrs. New Name socially. I’m honestly interested in learning what the benefits ARE if you legally change it.

        • jem

          Post name-change, I would say there are no benefits, except that people can pronounce my married name…

        • mjh

          Will you be getting married in the Chi/Cook County? I ask because one of the reasons I’ve heard people list for legally changing last names at marriage is that having the same last name proves a spousal relationship for things like hospital visitation rights and other legal concerns. Cook county vital records has a wallet size of certified marriage certificates which you could easily keep on hand to pull out if you have concerns about needing to prove your legal marriage to anyone. Personally, I don’t get why sharing a last name would ever prove marriage…

          As for us personally, I kept my last name and my husband changed his to mine (dropped his birth middle, took his old last name as his new middle and took my last as his last). I’m firmly in the do whatever you want with your names camp and I don’t see sharing a last name as an inherent part of marriage AT ALL. For anyone who wants to do it, I will say that seeing my husband go through the legal name change process, I’ve learned that jumping through the legal hoops is not nearly as complicated as I would have thought.

          • Engaged Chicago

            That’s good to know! We just got married in cook county and I need to get a copy of our marriage certificate for health insurance so I may request a wallet size too

    • lamarsh

      *makes mental note to rollover old 401K before chaning name*

      But ugh, that is terrible, I’m so sorry.

    • Ashlah

      I work in finance and assist clients in transferring accounts on a regular basis. Mismatched names are a pain in the butt!I Occasionally a company will accept a marriage license and a same-as letter, but often it’s like what you experienced where the old account has to be completely updated first. The worst.

      • For a brief moment I wondered if I could do that, because I didn’t drop my maiden name, I just added his last name to mine. It’s clear that Jareesa Tucker McClure and Jareesa Tucker are the same person, but I didn’t want to take the risk of wasting time and finding out they couldn’t do it.

    • macrain

      OMG. I have been married for 3 years and only JUST changed my name on my retirement. They were like- mail in this PAPER form and send in your marriage certificate with it. (Information I obtained shortly after the wedding and then conveniently forgot about.) Seriously- why have we not figured out an easier way, retirement companies?! Mailing in paper forms, really?!
      Also, we are now trying to roll over my old 401k to the one my new employer is offering, and it is painful. At some point my husband just took it over bc I was like NO I CANNOT. Just around and around- new employer, old employer, TIA and Fidelity.

      • Fidelity is on my shit list right now. Old company and current company both manage their 401ks through Fidelity, so when I login, I can see both accounts – one with maiden name and one with married name. So how is it that they figured out I’m the same person but I have to jump through 8million hoops? Grrr…

        • InTheBurbs

          Oh that’s just bad.

      • Sarah E

        I don’t get it either. I understand identity documents are important and security is key with that info. But if my only options are to snail mail or fax them, what the everloving FUCK. Then my old employer was like “hey, have you done this yet?” and I nicely asked if they had a fax machine in the office and all the office bros were like lolololNO it’s not 1990. And considering my reluctance to snail mail identity info, I’m like whelp, it’s not done then. Fuck everyone.

      • AGCourtney

        I still haven’t changed my name for retirement yet. After two years, I finally got around to printing out and sending the form….and it came back as a bad address. WTF TIAA. It’s been sitting on a little table in the living room ever since.

    • Lawyerette510

      Geeze that sounds like a headache! My week was good. Got home from 11 days of business travel very late Wednesday night. It’s been so great to be home, even though I’ve only seen my husband for a few hours (awake). Just falling asleep next to him and the cat, starting the day with walking the dog two mornings in a row has been awesome. So looking forward to being home for the weekend.

    • topscallop

      Ugh, tell me about it. I’m still in the middle of the process of changing my name on all my accounts, passport, etc. I’m rolling over my old 401(k) too, so I really hope it’s not an issue. Simultaneously I’m trying to switch banks, because I’m so over Bank of America. So much hassle! Sometimes I just list out all the stuff I have to deal with to my husband so he’ll appreciate what a pain in the ass this is. Thankfully it hasn’t been too expensive.

    • Transnonymous

      I’m struggling with the opposite problem – I still have six months to go before I can start the name change process and daily exhaustion that comes with having to deal with my legal name on far too many documents is real. A two year residency requirement to get it done is absolute bullshit. This is a great reminder for me to add this to the list of things I’ll need to update once my name is legally changed, though.

      • That is such a bummer, that you have to wait so long :-(

  • savannnah

    Making this cross country move has been a dream so far with professional movers. I am NEVER going back. They packed up yesterday and made the move to the truck today and my husband flew back in Wednesday to supervise and clean. When I ran him through what he had to do he said “oh yeah now that I’m looking at it, it’s a lot of work” and I almost stabbed him with a fork. He said the same thing with wedding planning (day after) and with the honeymoon and he just says he need something in his face to really get it. I don’t have magical premonition powers though- I understand and anticipate what needs to be done and plan for it. I can take a look at point A to B and understand what steps there are between- or at least know that I don’t know what steps there are but there are steps. I was taught this at some point along the way and I’m over women saying ‘well I just enjoy this more’ or I’m just a more natural planner’ but I also don’t know how you intentionally teach your kids these type of skills.

    In less harpy-feeling news, my sister and her wife have raised half of their donation 4 procreation fund to make some 2 mama babies. My SIL is charting this week and stating IUI next month. My mom called me to complain my father woke her up at 2AM because he’s worried about the baby- which just melted my heart. Being Jewish the act of worrying for my dad means this baby is practically a real person for him right now and I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else but it’s all very exciting. I know the stats for IUI’s are only 13%-20% successful each time but that’s for all attempts, they don’t separate out queer folks and single parents from all of the straight couples who are dealing with infertility so we are optimistically hopeful it will happen soon and not cost a fortune.

    • Jess

      The story about your dad is so cute. So. So. Cute. I’m optimistically hopeful for your sister and her wife too!

      Also… Hooray for professional movers. I’m also on Team Never Going Back.

      My family used to have family meetings (thanks Stephen Covey era) and in those meetings we created task lists for everybody. We went through all the steps we had to do for anything and wrote them down. Like a lot of things my parents did, it kind of sucked, but it did teach us useful things, too. Like how much planning goes into a vacation. You have not lived until you’ve seen my mom’s photocopied travel pages highlighted with walking routes to see every sight in the shortest amount of time possible.

      You don’t have to do that exactly. I think just vocalizing the thought process, making it tangible through a list, or involving kids/people in creating and structuring the whole process makes a big difference in how to teach planning.

    • Angela’s Back

      Two dear friends who are also two married ladies just went through this process and were able to conceive on the first try–fingers crossed for your sister and her wife! <3

    • penguin

      “When I ran him through what he had to do he said “oh yeah now that I’m looking at it, it’s a lot of work” and I almost stabbed him with a fork.”

      YES. My husband can be like this too (he was during wedding planning) and it’s SO frustrating. He definitely means well, but he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and at least for wedding planning he didn’t seem to have that initiative to figure it out on his own. We’re working on it.

      • savannnah

        I’ve absolutely been forced to quote Donald Rumsfeld in a fight before. NOT a good feeling. Unknown unknowns everyone- its real.

  • Eenie

    Who else is on team boycott Valentine’s day? I remind my husband every year to please not get me a gift, and no this isn’t me saying don’t get me a gift, but I actually want you to get me a gift. Our first valentine’e day he didn’t believe me and mailed me over 100 ferrero rocher candies. My roommates were very happy with him that year. It took several years but he takes me at my word now.

    • Jessica

      I feel like I would try to point him in a “if you must, get me this” and it could be anything from something you always need (toilet paper, groceries, whatever) but he can put a bow on it, direction.

    • Zoya

      I’m actually pretty pro-Valentine’s Day (for celebrating anyone you love, not just romantic partners), but the cultural thing of “If I say don’t get me a gift, I actually mean get me a gift” is sooooo poisonous. I feel like it’s just a lower-key version of not respecting a woman’s no in general.

      • Jess

        I have that EXACT interpretation of the cultural “I mean get me a gift, and it better be good” situation.

    • Katie

      we don’t do presents either (neither for our marriage anniversary, which is the next day after V), but we always watch an old romance movie and cook something yummy!

    • MC

      For a few years Husband and I got each other VDay gifts under $5, so it would usually be a nice chocolate bar or something else small and cute. Could be an option if your husband just really wants to get you something but you don’t want a huge thing! Now that we have two anniversaries (dating and wedding) we don’t bother with Valentine’s, though.

    • Eve

      To be honest, working foodservice on Valentine’s Day for the last three years (and one memorably horrible dishwashing shift in high school) has really soured me to doing anything ever again on the day of. I think we might see a movie the day before because its $5 Tuesday, but that’ll be the extent of our festivities as far as I’m concerned.

    • Kate

      If gifting is his love language, then ask for a donation to your favorite charity? That weird myth of “women don’t say what they mean” is the worst but it might not be the only thing at play here.

      • Eenie

        Gifting is not his love language. He hates getting gifts for people. He only puts the effort in because he loves me a whole lot <3 He is 100% on board with the no gifts thing.

    • Jess

      I’m not super into it, but our first one together R did A THING (and I fled immediately to HH to panic and got wonderful advice, and relaxed and just enjoyed it).

      It was very hard to get him to believe that I didn’t need/want anything, but it turned out that mostly he just likes giving. So now I let him give me things, and he lets me not give him things. It works out great.

      • We do this in the opposite way. I’m one of those people who loves giving gifts, but I actually don’t feel to strongly about receiving them. So I always end up giving a gift, but now I try to find something we can both enjoy together (this year, a fancy port-barrel-aged coffee with fancy truffles specially made to pair well with the coffee).

        • Jess

          That sounds like a delicious gift!

    • Katharine Parker

      I enjoy Valentine’s day, largely because February is a depressing month full of slush and ice. I’m happy for something positive in the middle of it all.

      Excessive expectations for Valentine’s day are silly, though.

    • Ashlah

      We don’t boycott it, but it’s never been a huge deal for us. Our dating anniversary is later this month, and that’s more important. I might grab him flowers at Trader Joe’s and he might cook a nicer-than-usual dinner.

      • Angela’s Back

        My birthday is right after Valentines and I feel the same way, I’d rather have a big night for us on that day. Especially because it won’t be crowded if we go out!

    • Valentine’s Day falls on our monthly date night – we do date night on the 14th of the month cause we got married on the 14th. Anyway, this year our celebration will be us seeing Black Panther at 7pm on 2/15 o/

      • Sarah Jane

        We are also going to see Black Panther for valentine’s day, and I’m so excited!

      • Kara

        I can’t wait to see Black Panther! I’m waiting though until my husband will be back in town. So excited though!!!

    • Angela’s Back

      I like celebrating it as Galentine’s now, so the last couple years I’ve gotten boxes of those ridiculous elementary school valentines with bad puns and preferably glitter tattoos and I send those all my girlfriends. It’s kind of silly but I really enjoy it!

      • PAJane

        I associate Valentine’s with my Mom gifting us Girl Scout Cookies and something fun, like festive socks. I like that little bit of non-romantic love, and am alllll about Galentines Day becoming a thing.

    • sofar

      I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day, for the reason that it’s pretty much acknowledged as a holiday by most people and everyone assumes coupled people will have plans. With each other. Alone.

      And THAT means fewer people bother us.

      We usually dress up super nice, eat take-out or at a cheap diner and then watch movies. I am grateful I do not work in the restaurant industry, because I am sure I would HATE Valentine’s Day.

    • Rose

      Usually we do something smallish–my family always exchanges valentines with each other, so of course I also make one for my wife, and one or both of us will get the other flowers, maybe chocolates. This year she’s out of town helping her mom recover from surgery, with no solid return date yet, although I think it’ll be after Valentines. So I’m not really feeling it much this year, although I have made family valentines and mailed them off.

  • Thanks everyone for the tips last week about choosing a therapist. I checked Psychology Today, used the topic selection, and called someone who caught my eye. My appointment is this Monday at 7:30pm. It seemed sudden, but I’m going for it. Why wait? So thanks again!

    • Jess

      Yay!! Congratulations on making that move. I hope it goes well, and you’re able to put together a goal and start working toward it with them!

    • MC

      Congrats!!! I think for most people (myself included) making the first phone call and appointment is the hardest part. Hope it goes well! I always like to treat myself a bit after hard therapy appointments, and first appointments can be emotional in general, so my advice is to plan something nice and relaxing afterward if possible.

      • quiet000001

        I shamelessly ask people for help getting the first appointment. (Family, my SO.)

        • Jess

          I once made my BFF dial the numbers and hold the phone to my face on speaker (I’m only a little embarrassed). She’s a hero.

    • Ayla K

      Congratulations! I hope the appointment goes well. And keep in mind, if after a few sessions, you’re getting the wrong vibe or you’re not comfortable or you’re not getting what you want out of it all, it is totally okay to try someone else. This is all about YOUR feelings and what works for YOU. I worked with one therapist for far too long even though I left every session feeling miserable and exhausted because I had already told him so much, but when I switched to my current person, it was a total a-ha moment. Good luck!

    • Transnonymous

      Congrats! Good luck and I hope it all works out well for you.

  • Anon

    Anybody have resources to share with a spouse who is not “feeling ready” to be a parent? My partner and I have always been on the same page about wanting kids some day, but it turns out my idea of someday is closer than his. He hasn’t been able to pin point anything that needs to happen in order for him to feel ready. I’ve been around kids my whole life and think the timing is right. He’s worried about the freedom and flexibility he might loose, and has spent less time around kids. We don’t have a lot of friends with kids, though the ones that do have encouraged him to just go for it. I have been reading mommy blogs forever, but I have no dad-friendly books or blogs or podcasts to suggest that might help him get more information and nuanced perspective on parenting experiences. He seems really open to getting more information and hearing from others about life after kids, but we don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?

    • Everyday Girl Dad and Life of Dad are very good people to follow on Facebook. Also, IMHO freedom and flexibility are what you make it. Obviously this changes with kids, but we go on adventures all the time – it’s just now we haul a kid around with us. Sure, we’re more tired, and there’s less (way, way, WAY less – virtually nonexistent!) time for lazing around playing video games or just reading, but we still MAKE time for that stuff, too, even if it’s just one evening a week, instead of every night.

      It’s all about balance.

    • anon

      A wonderful resource (that helped me and my partner a lot!) is this book:

      The Baby Decision: How to Make the Most Important Choice of Your Life

      The author also has a blog.

      • Well…I just ordered this book based on your recommendation. My boyfriend and I had some conversations about this subject on our vacation this past week. Hopefully the book will help us figure this out!

    • savannnah

      So your comment about reading mommy blogs forever reminds me of a phenomenon that happens in my relationship. I like to plan, I like to research and I like to know things. So for instance in college I was researching grad schools, in grad school I was researching jobs, partnered I was researching weddings and engaged I was researching pregnancy and reading mommy blog etc. By researching I mean in my spare time every other day or so my husband is unwinding by playing video games and I’m unwinding by really the comments on ovulation tracker app reviews even though we were not planning for kids for a few years. By the time my husband proposed I had already been researching and reaching about wedding so much (many years) that he had no chance to catch up- I would always be more prepared because I would always know more and it set us up for some really frustrating dynamics where I was exasperated at him for not being ready to make choices about wedding things or now with planning for a family while he was just grasping what the next step looked and felt like and he felt rushed, emotionally and mentally. Now that’s probably an extreme of what you might be experiencing but it could be a helpful framework to understand why you feel mismatched on this issue.

      • Ashlah

        I feel this 3000%. Also applies to our discussions about feminism and mental health and finances and chores that I discuss with people on the internet all the time, haha.

        • Sarah E

          Oh yeah, totally. I often spend downtime here, talking about feminism and relationships, or otherwise reading up on/about life things. My male partner does not do the same. He’s a super chill person, and an educated feminist, so we don’t have arguments about it much, but it’s insidious the way productivity is threaded into women’s leisure time.

          • savannnah

            Exactly- and at some points, especially stressed out, I can be like “what are you even dooooing in your free time” but I really try to keep those tenancies at bay.

        • penguin

          Yep I’ve noticed that in my relationship too, especially for wedding planning. I don’t play computer games much, even though there are some I like, because I feel guilty that I’m not doing ANYTHING even vaguely productive. At least when I’m on here or Ask a Manager or whatever, I can feel like it counts for something haha.

          Side note, now I’m thinking that I should play the Sims this weekend…

  • Nell

    You guys. APW advice is for LIFE!

    I just had a teensy bit of friend drama over a baby shower, and as I was sorting through what I needed to say to make things better, I had all of this good advice from Liz and Amy March about how to deal with bachelorettes and bridal showers in the back of my brain.

    AND IT WORKED! I made my feelings known, my friends made their feelings known, and everyone had a giant grown-up win. Three cheers for APW!

    • sofar

      Awesome. Those situations can be SO SO hard to navigate.

    • Amy March

      Yayayyaya. This makes me so happy.

      • Eenie

        @amymarch:disqus – last week after your column posted I had a dream in which you answered a letter writer’s question solely through your (fictional?) cat’s expressions embedded as gifs. It was an amazing dream.

        • Amy March

          Oh man #goals.

  • This week was kinda awesome for me. I saw Phoebe Bridgers at a little venue here in town on her first head-liner show, and it was amazing. She is so good live. And my team went to the capitol! We shared our research with a bunch of legislators, and it actually went over really well. On the one hand, it sucks to have to focus so heavily on ‘jobs’ and ‘welfare dependency’ (<—which is a bullshit) to get people in our very-conservative state to actually take child care subsidies seriously. On the other hand…it kinda worked? We actually got invited back to present to the House Commerce committee in a few weeks. So something might actually come out of this (fingers crossed).

    • Jess

      I’m so glad you followed up and the research sharing went well and may be helpful!

    • Jessica

      That’s cool you were asked back! A lot of lobbying time is actually just “I need to have you seen coming in here” and not a lot of listening.

      • It’s been super interesting so far (lobbying is not my world). This particular work is supported through our local women’s foundation because they are currently planning to pilot a program for two-generation approaches (no-cost/low-cost high quality child care plus targeted job training for single, low-income mothers with young children). They have a lobbying firm representing their interests at the capitol, so it’s been a very insightful look into how things happen at the state legislature.

    • AP

      Just want to say YAY for going to the capitol! I’m part of a women’s economic security initiative here in my state that is trying to increase childcare subsidies as well (or at minimum get the state to actually use what Federal money they get instead of keeping families on waitlists and sending the money back to the Fed, UGH) and I feel you on having to making it about “the economy” and “jobs/welfare dependency” to get our super conservative legislators to even listen. Such bullshit. Because providing lifelines out of poverty for women (and thus their children) isn’t worth it on its own merit…

  • Things are coming together for our October wedding. The best news yet!! When inquiring about our transportation (a trolley tour of DC) – I copied a dear friend of my realtor/friend at the corporate office to see if there was any chance for better pricing, and they gave us 50% off!! Way more than I ever expected, and not it looks like we can add in something we didn’t think we’d be able to afford! I am over the moon excited and it gave me the boost I needed to start queries for wedding blocks. Which I was dreading.

    • penguin

      Wow wedding magic! That’s awesome.

  • JC

    Tomorrow is our second annual Mardi Gras party! I tried this last year and it was a complete failure. (I did it on actual Mardi Gras, which is a Tuesday, after work, and no one came and I was really upset and hurt.) But this is an important holiday to me and I want to make it a thing, so I have to make it a thing! We’ve also been wanting to host trivia night at our house because we haven’t found a trivia bar that we like, so tomorrow will also be trivia night! Pancakes, King’s Cake, and trivia. The trifecta.

    • Jess

      I’m really bummed that nobody came, I would also be upset and hurt!

      Good for you to make an event in a way that it will work out! Trivia, Pancakes, and King’s Cake sounds delicious to me!

      • JC

        Thank you! I had to scale way back on my expectations, so I’m hopeful that this year is more satisfying. We invited tons more people so that it’s no big deal if folks can’t make it. We’ll have lots of food and games, plus trivia of course, and I no longer expect that anyone understands why there are pancakes. (This apparently was a big sticking point last year? My bf wanted to nix the pancakes but it’s not Shrove Tuesday (the Protestant version– also no one knows what this is) without pancakes, so I will eat my pancakes and everyone else can eat whatever they want haha).

        • lamarsh

          I’ve never heard the phrase Shrove Tuesday, but thank you for explaining Pancake Day to me — when I studied abroad in London, I was just like, I guess they eat pancakes for Mardi Gras?? I had no idea it was a Protestant thing.

        • AP

          Lol, Gulf Coast native here and I was wondering about the pancakes:) Protestant, too, so I’d love to know the backstory! We do red beans or jambalaya for Mardi Gras. And crawfish if it’s in season, but this year it’s way too early! There are parades here all weekend but it’s supposed to rain…also I’m 38 weeks pregnant, so the only way I’ll be celebrating is with food!!

          • Charley

            In the UK Shrove Tuesday is known as Pancake Day and it’s a huge thing (at least in my experience). My understanding is that you have pancakes because people would be giving up sugar, milk, and eggs for Lent. It’s always the thinner crepe-style pancakes that people have and not the thicker traditional US style ones, and we always ate ours with lemon juice and sugar (and OJ instead of lemon for the kids).

          • CP2011

            Gulf coast native as well, but I grew up attending Episcopal church and we always observed “Shrove Tuesday” at churchwith pancakes, king cake and a Dixieland band. Sounds like it might be the British influence with the episcopal church.

        • Jess

          We always had pancake dinner for Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes are a requirement.

        • JC

          By popular request (lol just really because I like this story) the pancake story! Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, is the start of the season of Lent– 40 days (plus Sundays) of fasting and spiritual disciplines. Traditionally, you don’t eat meat, fat, or sugar during Lent. So what’s the best way to use up all your extra butter, eggs, and sugar, that will go bad in the next 40+ days before you can eat them again? Pancakes :)

          • AP

            Ha, I get it now. My family just always totally over-indulged on Tuesday in preparation for Lent…in every way possible:)

          • Sarah Jane

            This is an irish thing as well – my husband was extremely confused as to why I was making pancakes for dinner last year, but it’s just what I grew up with! My mom would typically put lemon juice and sugar on the pancakes instead of syrup, and it is the best thing ever!

          • PAJane

            Pancake Day: What happens when you don’t have Fastnachts.

          • JC

            I do not know what that is but I want to know more!

          • PAJane

            A little bit of fried, donutty heaven: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastnacht_(Pennsylvania_Dutch)

        • Katharine Parker

          I’m Irish and Catholic but we say Shrove Tuesday, too! And eat our Delia Smith-recipe pancakes with lemon and sugar.

    • Zoya

      Um can I come? Pancakes, cake, and trivia seems like a perfect Saturday night.

      • quiet000001

        I know, right?

    • CeCe_R

      I’ve hosted multiple events at my place where no one came. Or one person came, which is almost worse. It is the absolute soul crushingly worst so I feel you there. I hope you have an AWESOME party tomorrow!

      • JC

        Thank you!

    • NolaJael

      We are having our first Mardi Gras party in Portland this weekend and I am trying to set my expectations *very low* for just these reasons. But this is my first time not celebrating Carnival in New Orleans a decade and I have shed real tears. It gets in your blood.

    • ssha

      Omg pancakes! I’ve wanted to have a pancake party for several years for Shrove Tuesday but I’m scared of hosting and our apartment is too small for a party. Maybe a small one! Good for you!

    • bananafanafofana

      I’m so sorry nobody came last year. That always scares me so much when I host. Thanks for being brave and doing it again- you inspire me!

  • em

    Hi brilliant APWers! I am hoping you will be able to give me a dose or two of your wise advice about talking to white family members who are not actively bigoted but who have some definite blind spots when it comes to race.

    So… I am a white woman. My wife is Asian, and is the sole person of colour (married in or not) in my family. Recently, she’s been having a huge personal awakening about her relationship to race.. she’s really allowing herself to go places she’s never gone to before, and is sorting through a whole bunch of bullshit having to do with being a racialized person in this white supremacist world we live in. She’s also feeling more uncomfortable being “The Only One” in my family, and I feel like it’s my job to make my family aware of the fact that we need to be educated, thoughtful, and working hard on this stuff for the sake of my wife and her wellbeing in our family.

    My parents very much “get it” (my mother especially works very hard to be a good ally). It’s my brother that I most feel needs to be educated on this stuff. He’s a very loving, loyal person with a big heart, and I know he considers my wife one of the most important people in his life along with the rest of his immediate family. That said, he’s also SUPER blind when it comes to race. He can see the “big stuff,” but that’s about it. He sees things in a very superficial way and I think he’s often of the opinion that people get “bent out of shape too easily” about a wide variety of things, including race (obviously bc he’s privileged enough not to have to get “bent out of shape” about things).

    Do any of you have good advice for me for talking to him in a way that I might actually get through to him?

    • em

      preemptively ETA… I don’t know if it’s clear from my original post whether I was doing this with my wife’s consent or just diving in on my own. The answer is I’m definitely doing this with her consent and input! She has told me to talk about her experience specifically and freely (i.e. telling him about the micro (and macro) aggressions she faces and what her experience of society/life/ppl is). Just wanted to make that clear!

    • Amy March

      I think it’s often much easier for people to understand one specific thing than a big picture change in world view. is it possible to point things out in the moment with him? Or make a request that he say less and listen more because he is upsetting your wife?

      • em

        Mmm true. I have pointed things out to him in the moment before (also in the context of the patriarchy… his blind spots aren’t restricted to race, that’s for sure!), but I find that without a greater contextual understanding, it’s easy for him to minimize things? Also, in general he has quite the lawyerly sense of debate, and often likes to argue points. He would NEVER do that if I were to bring something up that was specifically about my wife (as opposed to some discussion about something “outside the family”), but still, I think his takeaway would be that my wife has a weird sore spot in that area, rather than that there’s something larger going on that he should look at… if that makes sense.

    • Jessica

      I’m white and married to a POC, who is also “the only one” in my family. I’m curious what makes your wife uncomfortable? Is it that she’s being put on the spot to represent POC, either directly (“So, what do Asian people think of this”) or indirectly (conversations about race going differently than they would if there were more POC around)? Or is it just the stress of being in an all-white space?
      I think if there are things your family is doing to make her uncomfortable, those would be good openings to talk about with your brother. But if it is more general discomfort, maybe the two of you could address it differently (like giving her more opportunities to skip family gatherings, or having special moments of self-care before or after, etc). At least, that’s my gut instinct. :)

      • em

        I think it’s mostly just being in an all-white space, though I know she also feels pressure to be the representative for all POC for sure (things don’t come up all that often, but I know it’s there for her). That’s a really good point about focusing on her own self-care & helping make space for her to opt out of family gatherings… I think it’s something we’re doing, but that we could definitely be doing more deliberately.

        But I don’t know, I guess I just see it as my job (being white, and the one whose family it is) to try to shift some perspectives in my family in the longer term, try to instigate some evolutions and try to make my family a more comfortable place for her to be. She has definitely expressed the sentiment that knowing people are her allies, that she can count on them to always have her back, is huge, and does a lot to mitigate the “only one” stress. And so, as much as I can, I want to try to influence my family culture to make it more and more a place like that for her.

  • GCDC

    I have a minor issue (more of a quibble) with the linked “winter sports are for rich white people article.” It’s certainly true that the US’s winter Olympic teams are vastly less diverse than the summer Olympic teams and less diverse than they should be. But where’s the data showing that more rich people play winter sports than summer sports? And where’s the data showing that winter Olympians are richer than summer Olympians?

    I grew up in the upper Midwest. While the community I grew up in was largely white, it was not rich. Winter sports were what we did because otherwise we would be required to stay indoors for 5-8 months of the year. We played pickup ice hockey and had skating races because what else was there to do? We cross country skied (okay, I didn’t, but I know people who did) instead of jogging or hiking when the trails were covered with snow. A season pass for the downhill ski hill in my area was extremely reasonably priced, and as a result, it was frequented mostly by middle class locals.

    Anyway, I’m off my soap box now. I got worked up about this the other day when a colleague was complaining about hockey being a sport for rich kids. Most of the kids I knew growing up who played organized hockey were not rich. I think where I live now (East Coast), and probably throughout the country, sports have turned into a big money business and, as a result, poorer kids are getting squeezed out of participating in organized sports. But they still play.

    • Katharine Parker

      It’s always complex to tease out the intricacy of class in America, but saying that a season lift ticket was accessible for middle class people doesn’t exactly mean poor kids were able to ski–the lift ticket is only one part of skis, boots, poles, snowboard, helmet, gear, etc. I’m also from the upper midwest, and I see people play pickup hockey at public parks regularly. My husband grew up playing competitive hockey (which, at the minimum, involved a level of travel that I think had to make it inaccessible for lots of kids), and we’re season ticket holders for a local college team. That team is almost entirely white. Various team members come from families of other college hockey players or NHL players. The winter Olympics is almost entirely white, every time. Not everyone playing pickup hockey is necessarily rich but I don’t think it’s wrong to categorize elite winter sports as a space for rich white people, and looking at how the Olympics perpetuates discrimination, as with how Surya Bonaly was treated, is valuable.

      • GCDC

        Oh definitely. The Olympics perpetuate discrimination. But I don’t think that’s limited to the winter Olympics. That’s my bone to pick with the article. It’s not elite level winter sports that perpetuate racism, it’s all elite sports. For example: soccer. The elite teams in the US are almost entirely white yet lots of kids who aren’t white grow up in the US playing soccer. And yes, race and class definitely go hand in hand when it comes to exposure to elite sports in the US.

        • Katharine Parker

          There are many more people of color in the summer Olympics, though. The difference there between the summer and winter Olympics is notable.

          • Violet

            As in, within the US team there are more people of color in the summer games than winter?

          • Katharine Parker

            Yes. From the article: “While athletes of color have long played a significant role, particularly in American success, at the Summer Games, Olympic historian Bill Mallon points to a mere 22 African-American Winter Olympians, from 1976 through 2018.”

        • InTheBurbs

          I agree completely – it’s elite sports – and I would contend elite arts as well. Participating in dance/music at an elite level is expensive.

        • Katharine Parker

          I think, though, soccer is sort of an outlier in terms of the amount of intensive training from a young age that is required to reach an elite level, like more winter sports–hockey, figure skating, skiing (some summer sports are like that–gymnastics comes to mind). Other sports–football, track and field, basketball, swimming–seem to involve less of a highly expensive travel schedule and reaching college, Olympic, or professional levels can be done through going to a high school with a good program.

        • Jessica

          But the US Men’s soccer team is over half POC right now? (I’m just confused why you picked that as your example.)

          • GCDC

            Ha, sorry! That’s totally me being ignorant. I was basing my conclusion on an interview with Julie Foudy that was on NPR yesterday about how the US Soccer Federation is electing a new president. She mentioned that US Soccer needs to do better about reaching out to Hispanic populations. https://www.npr.org/2018/02/07/583910296/u-s-soccer-federation-to-elect-new-president

          • Katharine Parker

            I think this might be because of players with dual eligibility who have decided to play for their other option than US soccer, like Jonathan González playing for Mexico, which is a bit of a different issue.

      • MC

        There is such a good Radiolab episode about Surya Bonaly that I recommend to everyone, especially after seeing I,Tonya: http://www.radiolab.org/story/edge/

        • I learned last year that I lives near us in the Twin Cities and I secretly hope that I’ll run into her at Trader Joe’s or something.

    • Just my perspective because I can’t speak for the writer of that piece – the “rich” part comes in when you look at who can afford to make it to the highest levels. I hear anecdotes from coworkers about the time and $$$ they spend on their kids hockey/softball/baseball/wrestling/etc. It’s not just play with your neighborhood friends; it’s fancy equipment, all year leagues, travel for games/meets, working with private coaches, etc. That’s stuff that most kids don’t have access to, regardless of race.

      Yes any kid can play hockey on the neighborhood outdoor rink, but that’s not the same as flying across the country for games, playing in various leagues, paying for expensive hockey camps and coaches, etc.

      • Violet

        Mmmm yeah, but isn’t all that true for the summer games sports, too? Which I think was GCDC’s question: “And where’s the data showing that winter Olympians are richer than summer Olympians?”

        • There’s a lot of overlap between college sports and summer Olympic sports, like track & field. Are there NCAA D -1 level competitive skiiing like there is for football or basketball. I know there is for hockey but that’s the only one coming to mind.

          • GCDC

            Yes, there are. They are very limited, though, partially because it’s hard to have a ski team when you aren’t near a mountain, and partially because (I’m guessing) they cost a lot and don’t bring in a ton of revenue.

          • Jess

            This matters. As does the ability for school programs to fund the sport at a relatively competitive level. Equipment and play space and coaching all cost money, but a softball field and an ice rink have much different costs.

        • Angela’s Back

          It seems like you’d need a lot more equipment for winter sports, all the stuff to keep you afloat on snow and ice plus the specialized winter wear for competing in the cold. Obviously you still need a chunk of change to compete at the elite level in the summer sports, but if you’re doing track, you can get by with shoes and a tshirt and shorts, for swimming, swimsuit and a public pool or the ocean. I’ve never been that into the winter games and I think it’s part growing up in Australia where there aren’t winter sports and part this feeling that it’s this weird vestige of white people getting together to celebrate things they’re good at and where they have an unfair advantage (i.e., Europeans live where there is snow so of course they dominate).

          • GCDC

            True, but why are sports like cross country almost exclusively white in the US?

            I think this has been helpful to clarify why I’m upset about dismissing hockey or the winter Olympics are sports for rich white people. Doing so seems to blame the sports and not the reason why these sports (and I’d argue most sports) are not as diverse as they should be. I fully admit that my love for hockey and other winter sports may be causing a biased response, but I read the article and my colleague’s comment about hockey as dismissing or minimizing winter sports and their fans. I also realize I do this with a lot of East Coast sports that are unfamiliar to me. I totally dismiss lacrosse out of hand as a silly sport played only by rich white kids.

          • Amy March

            I mean, you’re not wrong about lacrosse. But I do think it is inescapable that the winter olympics trend particularly white and rich for a whole variety of reasons. Like, the NHL makes money. If they cared about having black players, they would. The league could invest in training and out reach. Track and field is racially diverse – there is no reason why speed skating and cross country skiing couldn’t be. I don’t think it’s about dismissing the sports- winter sports are amazing! But also not perfect.

          • Violet

            Actually, how *did* that happen to lacrosse? It was originally played by Native Americans, and it requires literally sticks and a ball. (I know they wear helmets and such now, but I mean, you know.) I think I’m going to go find out why it became a sport for rich kids.

          • GCDC

            Share what you find! I honestly did not know lacrosse was a real sport (I think it was like quidditch) until I was well into adulthood.

          • Angela’s Back

            That’s a really good point about cross country and I have no idea why that is! Go figure. And I definitely share the same bias about lacrosse. But then lacrosse is interesting because of the Native American origins so then it becomes this whole other thing.

      • anoniseasier

        This is really true. We wanted to send our 12yo to our local university (major school) basketball camp, but the hours were from 9-4 (which is impossible with our work schedules) and (for us-and I consider us middle class, although probably lower middle class) it was crazy expensive for four days. I think sports in general is a little talent based and a LOT opportunity based and who gets those opportunities is not an equal thing.

        *Side note: at our public school the only sport offered right now is wrestling, so they have to open it up to girls and boys (and they don’t separate them). My daughter won both of her matches yesterday! it turns out wrestling is awesome (I had no idea – it was not a possibility for me. I strongly suggest it for your daughters!)

    • AGCourtney

      I grew up poor in MN and I have ALWAYS thought of winter sports as being for rich people. Hockey, skating, skiing – all of those things seemed impossibly expensive to my family. But then, my family’s definition of “rich” probably corresponded to most people’s ideas of middle class.

    • I think that was a bit of a headline/content mismatch — I really appreciated how the article examined the exclusionary aspect of the Winter Olympics. And like, for most competitive sports it helps if you are rich, and the Winter Olympics are particularly white so I get what they were going for.

      I do think it can be a fine line between acknowledging the enmeshment of social forces (money, race, athletic career opportunities) and conflating these things in a way that actually flattens/erases experiences — Like even saying that figure skating is “all white people” potentially erases POC who are in that field? (Which to be clear, is not what I saw that article doing, but is the kind of thing I catch myself/other white ppl I know saying). But also, I think capturing the complexity of how these things intersect is really hard with the short and punchy communication style that is most organic on the internet.

      • Jess

        The point about erasure of the POC in the field is a good one.

        I wonder too if demographics play into sports popularity – a lot of the upper midwest, for example, is white-dominant.

        There’s a lot of room in that article to do better reporting, but I do think it raises an interesting point.

        • MC

          Most areas of the world where winter sports are practiced are white-dominant, I would imagine.

          • Jess

            I agree!

            I think there’s a lot of content to be explored with respect to representation, race, class, and opportunity when it comes to winter sports. I’d love to see more and better investigations into that.

    • Anecdotes

      Haven’t read the article, but I don’t think we can dismiss wealth inequality in the US. Maybe *you* were a middle class white person who could afford to play hockey. A black kid at the equivalent scale of wealth? Likely not.

  • PAJane

    We maaaaaaay get photos done this weekend for our Save the Dates (and also to get some practice being photographed, and to have nice portraits), but it’ll probably rain on Sunday. I had my hairs did on my lunch break today in prep, it’s all full of these lovely waves that I will never in my life be able to replicate. I also got to talk to my stylist a little about wedding hair, in a very general sense, which was fun.Tonight I’m attending a little party to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies! Yay, something positive and global and fun!

    • Amy March

      Is it my party? Are we secret friends with each other? :)

      • PAJane

        God, I hope so.

  • Sarah Jane

    This has been the most exhausting week, and I’m so completely excited it’s the weekend because I am doing NOTHING. Literally, NOTHING. All weekend. I’m going to live in sweatpants and my last remaining baggy sweater that fits me, give my husband the list of stuff that needs to be done before the baby gets here, and then play the sims, or possibly snuggle with the cats and take a nap. TGIF!!

    • Violet

      I love those kinds of weekends. Enjoy!

    • AGCourtney

      Sims!

    • penguin

      Oh man I haven’t played the Sims in forever, now I want to. And by play I mean spend 75% of my time building epic houses.

      • Olive

        yessssssss. I’ve been playing the Chip & Joanna House Flip game on my iPhone and it’s not as great as building houses on Sims, but it isn’t bad.

  • Eve

    We’re starting to get RSVPs back, which is so exciting! And people are buying things off the registry. I was really surprised that the stand mixer was the second gift to go, and now we have a mixer on our counter and I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. Fiancé said jokingly, “welp, I guess we’re married now” when we opened it.

    I spent my week helping my sister report some workplace sexual harassment. I’m so very proud of her; it’s a really shitty situation and unless the union takes it super seriously (which, thus far, they’re not), she’ll probably have to work with the guy who targeted her again. But I’m still beyond proud that she decided to report in the first place.

    • Zoya

      Kudos to you for backing your sister. I hope the union gets their act together!

      • Eve

        Me too! It’s really a double edged sword. Her superiors could deal with it at a lower level which, in theory, means that this dude could continue to get hired in her city, just not by the people who know about it. If it goes to the union, my sister is concerned they won’t take her complaint seriously because she’s not union (he is), but if it goes union, I could see this guy getting severely punished.

        I honestly don’t know how they can possibly not do anything since she’s in the film industry (aka dealing with the Director’s Guild in the wake of Harvey Weinstein), but also her city’s small pond film industry might be too small to attract higher-up union attention.

        • GCDC

          Kudos for you and your sister. I work with unions, and it seems like my clients are taking sexual harassment more seriously now than they ever have in the past. Fingers crossed your sister’s union take it seriously, even if they’re more motivated by fear of bad publicity or a duty of fair representation claim than by any desire to do the right thing.

          • Eve

            That’s really heartening to hear, thanks.

    • Les

      Mixer = married, for sure.

      • lurker2209

        One of my good friends on hearing I had a Mixer (which another friend just gave away when moving out of state!): “Oh, cool, you don’t have to get married now!”

        This was about two years before my Fiance and I even started dating

        • AGCourtney

          lmao I love this

  • Violet

    We don’t really have a “stance” on Valentine’s Day. If we wanna do something, we do. If not, we don’t. This will be our… twelfth? no thirteenth… one together, so we just go with the flow. This year my mom’s coming to stay in our apartment and watch the babe while we get a room at a nearby hotel and do whatever we want for 36 hours in a row. Woohoo!

    • Jess

      That’s such a great Valentine’s gift from your mom. Enjoy those 36 hours!

      • Violet

        Thanks! I love her so much.

  • CeCe_R

    I’m not sure how it happened but I have turned into the office cheerleader / sole member of ‘social committee’ and it feel is giving me flashbacks from wedding planning – “will everyone like it?” “what if someone thinks [insert thing] is stupid” “what if no one shows up?”
    So I’m giving myself some wedding pep talk back and I’m just going to run events with my $0 budget and if people show up, they show up. if they have fun – great! If not, oh well. Maybe they’ll like the next one.
    I have a bunch of Olympic themed things going on over the next couple weeks. Anyone have any good potluck recipes that can be served cold/room temp? Maybe something Olympic themed..?

    • Jessica

      I’m always in favor of a fritatta, perhaps one with the olympic rings made out of fruits on top?

    • PAJane

      Not Olympic themed, but I’ve done some things in the past that could work.Bbq pork (or chicken) all good and saucy, mix in some cream cheese until it gets good and creamy. Once it’s cold it’s good on crackers.Cheese balls. Very impressive for the amount of work involved. I usually make one that is rolled in crushed doritos, and it’s generally a hit..Sometimes for dinner I’ll make this stuff to serve hot over rice, but I’ve also served it cool at picnics and people just accepted it as a dip-kinda thing: Sauté onion and garlic, throw in some drained chickpeas until nice and cooked. Thaw a box of chopped frozen spinach (with the extra water squished out), and when that’s all cooked happily together, stir in ricotta cheese, leave on the heat until it bubbles. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

    • Anne

      I realize this is not your question, but I have Many Thoughts on how people (almost always women…) get defaulted into office-housewife social roles. If you’re excited about planning office social events, great! Do your thing and don’t worry about whether or not people show up and enjoy themselves. But if there’s no budget, nobody else wants to do it, and you are feeling a lot of trepidation, you can also just…not do it. And if someone objects they can do it themselves.

      • CeCe_R

        I totally get your comment! It kind of started when we got a new VP for our branch and she was like, this office is boring! Let’s do something fun! So I got a couple of the newer hires and myself together and we did a few things and then all of a sudden it was “why isn’t social committee doing more events”. The reason? I was planning my wedding in 6 months and didn’t have time to plan office events too! I do enjoy planning events and seeing coworkers have fun brings me joy, but I’m going to cut down on it for sure..

        • Anne

          That makes sense! I’m just sensitive about this topic. I am the only woman in my area at work, and a woman who left at about the same time as I started had always planned coworker social events. It was very clear that everybody expected me to take over that role and I have tried very deliberately to NOT do so. I like getting people together but I find event planning really draining (wedding planning was an experience), and I know it would be detrimental to my work to become that default planning person! So we as a group maybe do fewer social events than in the past, but that’s just as much the fault of my co-workers as it is mine.

          • CeCe_R

            That totally is. My office (and industry) has a higher female to male ratio so I don’t see that as much in my day to day. I think the guys might roll their eyes at my valentines photo booth but.. that’s what they get for not helping me plan events!

  • Jessica

    I’m so glad this month is going by faster than the full calendar year that was January! I went to LA with the boyfriend last weekend in order to get some sunshine and avoid the cluster that was downtown Minneapolis during the Superbowl. It was such a good decision! We did yoga at the cat cafe, went to The Getty, caught a show at The Comedy Store, fulfilled a year+ longing of mine to visit The Ripped Bodice, and generally enjoyed the warm weather. The week before I had a kickass birthday party hosted by a friend, and now have a case of wine in my storage unit (most of it champagne!) because my friends are amazing.

    This weekend I have my grandmother’s memorial service, which was scheduled the same day as a giant conference I helped organize. I’ll be able to attend the morning plenary, but am missing the round table discussion/listening session with the Mayor and City Council Members–which was my idea to do. I also need to go see Black Panther this weekend!

    **If you’re in Minneapolis and want to learn more about how to implement change in government and connect with neighbors, check out the Community Connections Conference! It’s free, with free lunch from businesses owned by POC.**

    • MC

      Ah I want to go to the Ripped Bodice! AND you did cat yoga?? Sounds like a perfect weekend!

    • Jess

      You went to The Ripped Bodice?! So jealous.

      Hooray for having Champagne on hand!! It’s a life changing experience.

      That conference sounds really awesome, thank you for the work organizing it! Not the first time I wish I was in the Minneapolis area…

      • Jessica

        They are so nice and that store is so cool!

        Also, move to MPLS. We’re ok.

        • I mean, you aight but I’m fabulous :-)

          Just kidding I heart Jessica

          • Jessica

            You’re also not in Minneapolis–without you we are just ok.

            <3

        • Jess

          You have no idea how many times I’ve tried to be casual, like, “Oh, what about applying for jobs in the Twin Cities?”

          (I am not a casual person)

    • InTheBurbs

      Ok – totally just looked at the program booklet for the conference – looks amazing! I am excited for the new city council. We live in a first ring St. Paul burb – but work in the heart of downtown so I followed the races closely.

      • Jessica

        It’s open to anyone! I’d love for Saint Paul to have something similar in the summer.

    • Lisa

      That sounds like a lovely weekend! I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday party, too, and am jealous of your freshly stocked wine cellar. There are so many life occasions that can be celebrated with a bottle of champagne…new relationships, work successes, Tuesday nights… it’s such a versatile beverage!

  • MC

    SKINCARE QUESTION: Did anyone else’s skin just like, change completely in their late twenties?? I turned 28 in December and since about three weeks before my bday I have been breaking out at a way higher frequency. I suspect it’s hormonal even though I’m not on new birth control, not pregnant, nothing else that I’ve done would have changed my hormones aside from just aging.

    Second question is how do I figure out what products to use without spending a million dollars?? Mild internet research tells me I should use a retinoid product but I’m nervous about just walking into Sephora with a budget.

    • Antonia

      Paula’s Choice products are AWESOME and fairly reasonably priced. Her 2% BHA has been a game-changer for my oily, prone-to-clogged-pores skin. Her 1% retinol is good too, but the 2% BHA is my Holy Grail.

      • Jess

        I am really getting good results with the 2% BHA for acne. Like, waaay smaller breakouts that heal a lot quicker.

    • Anna

      My skin changed a lot in my late twenties. It became way more sensitive and I had to be more careful about what I was putting on it. I don’t think you need to spend a fortune and I avoid skin care advice from Sephora. I follow the advice of Dr Sam Bunting, a London derm and sometimes Caroline Hirons. Sam Bunting is great because a lot of her recommendations are inexpensive (CeraVe, La Roche Posay, Avene etc). I use La Roche Posay Redermic R as a retinol and it’s great and not too expensive. Start slowly though – at night a few times a week – as it’s potent and skin can take time to adjust. I also found acids made a huge difference to my skin (glycolic AM, salicylic PM).

    • PAJane

      Yes. Yes it did. I bought a long-handle brush to wash my back, and an OTC anti-acne face soap, like a teenager.

    • kayceeee

      If you’re looking for good skincare serums/acids on a budge I would look into The Ordinary. They’re a company based out of Canada that’s very reasonable. I’ve been using various products from them for over a year now and love them. They have retinoids and lactic acid among other things.

      • Zoya

        I have a friend who swears by the Ordinary! She developed horrible hormonal acne after switching BC methods, and says it’s the only product that’s worked for her.

    • Les

      Get lost on beautyeditor.ca and then get thee to The Ordinary or whatever else beauty editor recommends. The Ordinary is cheap cheap cheap but do some research with beauty editor first.

      • RMC

        I know people on APW love the beautyeditor but I would take what she says with a large pinch of salt – she includes a lot of medical advice (esp all her stuff about thyroid dysfunction) that is NOT evidence-based and demonstrates a real lack of understanding about general principles of endocrinology (writing this as a fourth year medical student with a healthy skepticism of the pharmaceutical industries, etc…). She relies almost exclusively on Ray Peat who makes radical assertions that are pseudoscience at best.

        • Les

          Le sigh! Why can’t anything be easy? Thanks for the reality check.

    • Eenie

      Curology is one of the most cost effective retinoids. It’s $20/month, but it’s sooooo worth it. If only because if it doesn’t work you’re not left with a huge tube of stuff.

    • Jess

      Yup! My skin has been breaking out a lot more in the last couple years, although it’s never been great, and I finally just went “Forget it, I’m spending $$”

      I use the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA and the 8% AHA (2 separate products) which are helping a lot. You can get 1oz trial sizes for $10 each – I’m still working through mine that I bought in September, since I only use them twice a week. You could do the same with her retinoid products.

      Plus I’ve focused way more on keeping my skin moisturized – using a low-pH cleanser, using ceramide and hyularonic acid moisturizers, snail mucin… which is helping a lot too.

      Hit the drug store brands first – I like La Roche Posay’s Gentle Toleriane cleanser a lot, and tons of people rave about CeraVe’s moisturizers.

    • AmandaBee

      Also 28 here, and yes. In my case, I went from oily-combo acne-prone skin to super sensitive, dry-combo, still acne-prone skin.

      So…all the problems I had before except now I’m also red and irritated all the time, which is really super.

      There are lots of inexpensive skin care items out there that work as well as anything you might drop $$$ on at Sephora. I use Cera Ve’s foaming face wash and regular face lotion, which handle the dryness without breaking me out. I also use mandelic acid from Stratia (online only) for exfoliation, but glycolic acid is the bomb if you aren’t sensitive skinned like me. It’s in lots of anti-aging and anti-acne stuff. I’ve heard good stuff about The Ordinary, but haven’t tried it yet. La Roche Posay makes a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment that I don’t hate. Or you can get the cheaper, hardcore BP treatments by Neutrogena that are also effective in a pinch.

      Sunscreen is SUPER IMPORTANT and the one thing I spend money on. I know it sounds like a PITA to wear sunscreen if you’re breaking out, but retinoids and acids cause your skin to get photosensitive, so you need it if you do those. I like EltaMD’s Clear sunscreen. It’s light and not greasy.

    • If you ask, Sephora will make you samples! I think they cap it at like 3 or 4, but they will do it! And if you do buy something and don’t like it, you can always return it.

      Also check out the SkinAddiction subreddit – tons of good suggestions in there, especially for drugstore products that won’t break the bank!

      • penguin

        Yep Sephora is really good about the free samples.

    • RNLindsay

      Mine changed in reverse! Acne my entire life but around 29 it magically cleared up for the first time ever. But at 31 I went off the pill and it all came raging back (which is weird cause I was on the pill for a decade and it never made a difference then!)
      I recommend skincare addicts on reddit. They helped me realize I was actually over washing/treating my acne and drying out your skin can just cause more!
      I also recommend the book the “clear skin diet” it helped me realize dairy causes cyst like acne for me. It’s hard to stay away just for acnes sake but I went dairy free for 2 months before my wedding and it helped a ton.
      It’s such a hard cycle. Good luck!

  • Rose

    Any suggestions on how to chill while waiting to hear back from a job? Exactly 14 days ago they told me the decision would be made “hopefully in a couple of weeks”, so *totally logically* I have decided that if they don’t call today I will never have a real academic job ever. This is deeply unhelpful for a number of reasons, but I’m having trouble letting it go enough to actually focus on actual work, and now I’m facing a whole weekend home alone (my wife’s out of town) to obsess. Anyone have any advice on letting it go, at least for a few days?

    Also, I don’t even really realize most of the time, but I am so much more even-keeled when my wife’s around. In a lot of ways I can enjoy having the house to myself for a bit when she’s out of town, but my emotions also get a lot more volatile. Does that happen to anyone else?

    • If it makes you feel any better, Alison of Ask A Manager would probably say that “a couple of weeks” will realistically look like at least a month, if not longer.

      Are there any books/shows/podcasts you can get into, or is anything fun happening locally that you can go to?

      • MC

        Yeah, as someone who was part of a hiring process recently, I think we said folks would hear back in a couple weeks and it probably took 3.5 weeks, just because we had to find time to call references in our busy schedules, wait for references to hear back, there were holidays, etc. Nothing to do with the actual applicants!

      • Rose

        That is very true. Professors are not generally all that known for keeping to strict timelines. And even once the search committee decides, the dean (most likely) has to get around to calling. And academic hiring is deeply disfunctional just generally, so there’s that too.

        I’ve been watching/rewatching a lot of West Wing, and if I can figure out how to watch the olympics I can also do that while I grade this weekend, which would be fun!

    • Ashlah

      Maybe this is a weird example, but I get far more irritated with (and sometimes yell at) our cats when I’m home alone. I’ve always been kind of baffled by it. I’m a pretty even-keeled person in general, but for some reason things that are mildly annoying when my husband is at home drive me up the wall when I’m alone.

      • Rose

        Oh my god I am so fed up with the cats. They are driving me insane. I can’t turn my back on food on the counter for literally a minute or they’re into it. They keep jumping up into the sink to lick at dirty dishes? Anyway, no, I don’t think it’s a weird example.

    • Sarah E

      Omg, the waiting. Currently I’m waiting on the results of a professional exam I took two weeks ago. It takes about six weeks for results to come in (everything is long hand, all fill-in-the-blank and essay), so in the meantime I’m . . . .making lists of everything else I put off doing while I studied.

      My go-to is always to stay busy (no chill zone, here), maybe make a list of all the dumb little tasks you keep putting off to tackle this weekend? Fixing that zipper, washing a finicky clothing item, trying a recipe, updating a website, re-organizing your photos, whatever. Then if you’re chill, you can chill b/c obv these things are not important. But if you’re not chill, you can check eleventy small tasks off your list.

      And yes to the emotions a million times. My partner is the chillest of the chill, and can bring me back to equanimity. When I’m prepared and taking care of myself, this is when I schedule long catch-up phone calls with friends, put a new yoga class on my calendar and stick to it, make sure I have food readily accessible even if I don’t feel like cooking, whatever my other calming/stabilizing activities are. Fist-bump of solidarity, you’re totally not alone on this front.

      • Rose

        Thanks! I shouldn’t have a real dearth of things to do this weekend, I’ve had so much work recently that literally everything else is behind. But lists would be a good plan.

        Good luck with your own waiting!

    • NolaJael

      Confession: When I was a new manager I once interviewed a bunch of people in early December and didn’t get back to them until mid-January. It was only in hindsight that I realized having that unknown looming over the holidays was probably worse than getting a straight “no.” I cringe at that memory every time I read a story like yours.

      • Rose

        That doesn’t actually sound all that unusual to me? I mean, that’s on the long side, but I had a phone interview in early December that I still haven’t heard back from. I’m assuming they don’t want to invite me for a campus visit. I’ve gotten rejections that came several months after the position actually started, which was about 8 months after the applications went in. Besides, it sounds like you wouldn’t do that now, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about it in retrospect. I’m not holding my utter lack of logical response or sense of proportion against the search committee.

    • AmandaBee

      I feel like it goes without saying that “maybe in a couple weeks” is academic speak for “at least a month”. But you already know that ;)

      It’s weird but the only thing that has ever worked for me is to just move on assuming that I don’t have the job. I just pretend it never happened and go on my merry way. Then if I do get a call with an offer, it’s a pleasant surprise! (This is really a personal quirk so YMMV).

  • mskyle

    We’ve just passed the delivery date (three months) in our wedding photo contract and haven’t heard anything from the photographer since a week or two after the wedding (haven’t even gotten teaser/highlights photos) and judging by her instagram she is WAY BEHIND and still processing photos from the summer and I’m just really bummed out about it.

    • PAJane

      Maybe she can at least send you a handful of teaser images?

    • Amy March

      That’s so annoying. Have you reached out? If not it’s time for a “What’s the status of our wedding photos” email, and if you don’t get a satisfactory response “As you know, our contract provides for our wedding photos to be provided by xyz date. Please let me know when they will be ready as they are already overdue.”

      You paid, I assume, a lot of money for this!

      • mskyle

        We reached out today, so hopefully we will get some response or at least an updated timeline soon. Just very annoying – I want those photos!

        • Les

          Regardless of their reply, squeaky wheel gets the grease so bug her constantlyyyy

          • mskyle

            It’s tough because I want to have positive feelings about the photos, not, like, “I had to nag a relative stranger to get these” feelings, but I guess it is what it is.

          • AGCourtney

            Ouch. Solidarity – our photographer was awful and we had to deal with a lot of that.

    • CeCe_R

      Oh man.. I’d be so upset!! Definitely reach out again, and if you haven’t already reviewed her then note this in your reviews (submitted AFTER you get all the photos, that is).

      • mskyle

        It’s just such a bummer to have to be negative about it! But… yeah, this is going to get mentioned in our review unless she cleans up her act dramatically.

  • quiet000001

    I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day this year. Last year I got kind of bummed because it wasn’t much of a thing, and I do generally like the idea of holidays to remind you to take time for each other and do those nice things it’s easy to forget about day to day. This year my dad died suddenly not too long ago and I’m feeling very ‘meh’ about life in general. But I’ll probably be bummed after the fact if we don’t do anything. But then I dunno what I’d want to do.

    (To give credit, my SO did learn from last year – he just asked yesterday what plans we should be making. So I’m feeling slightly warm fuzzy that he remembered to ask with all the stuff we’ve had going on in our lives recently.)

    • Jess

      Sometimes I most need something cheesy and celebratory when I’m feeling “meh” about life and have too many not-happy things going on.

      I hope you do take some time to celebrate in whatever way feels right.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m sorry about your dad.

      I often struggle with feeling “meh” on life but then regretting not doing something. Is there something low key you and your SO like to do together? Like a casual spot to eat, or cooking a meal together at home, or a particular game or activity at home? Sometimes the best way to overcome the meh is to do something easily achievable but make it a little special, like buying flowers or if you’re cooking buying better ingredients than normally would if cooking, etc.

  • AGCourtney

    Hi, everyone! It’s officially busy season at the CPA firm I work at seasonally, so here I am. We more or less solved our childcare problems – a theater colleague is watching her on Tuesdays and my dad the other days. It’s not ideal (not thrilled with her spending that much time with my dad) but it works. I enjoy the work I do here and it’s nice to be back. It’s not so nice to be getting up 3 hours earlier than I usually do, though.
    Homeschooling is going so, so well. For example, last night, my daughter and I had an in-depth conversation yesterday about slavery and its continuing legacy, and I was stunned by how deep the discussion was – she’s only 6 and would have been in kindergarten this year if we’d sent her to public school. (If you have kids in your life, *strongly* recommend the book Little Leaders – it has awesome profiles of women of color.) And she got her first library card last Friday! She even filled out the application herself. I felt so proud. <3 I also tallied it up and we have over 350 library books in our home, haha. 215 of them are from the college library I work at, but at least 300 of them are homeschooling or picture books for her.
    Also, a shout-out to my husband. We started talking about my anxiety more after Manya's essay a couple weeks ago – I didn't know he didn't know what anxiety was like – and he's made a point of being more aware of when I feel overwhelmed about things and checking in. He's also just been awesome with doing things around the house and cooking meals – without being asked, which is key. It feels great to have someone on my team.

    • Jess

      I’m really glad that you and your husband were able to talk about anxiety! It’s such a big deal to be heard and have your needs me.

      High five to your kid! She seems to be on an awesome track, and I love libraries.

      Good luck with tax season!

    • CeCe_R

      Re: anxiety.. my husband and I talk about this a lot because he genuinely doesn’t understand what my anxiety feels like and it really upsets him. He says that if he knew what it felt like then maybe he would know how to handle it better when I’m anxious or having an attack. Similarly though, he has bad bad asthma and I don’t. When he’s having trouble breathing or having an asthma attack I don’t know what’s happening so I don’t know how best to help. When we realized that these things were “same but different” we have been much more communicative about what we each need when we need help.

  • Kate

    Team Valentine’s Day here because 1) excuse to send people mail and 2) excuse to hand out candy/small toys to grad school classmates grade-school style. My partner and I usually mark the occasion by making a heart shaped pizza and drinking wine. I DID HAVE A LIGHTBULB MOMENT I AM RIDICULOUSLY PROUD OF: This year instead of giving gifts to each other we’re giving gifts to our pets because they’re our real Valentines anyways.

    • Sarah Jane

      That’s an AMAZING idea. I might have to start doing that this year – we have two cats, and they already have their own Christmas stockings, so it makes perfect sense to include them in this holiday as well

    • Cellistec

      Giving valentines to your pets is adorable. Well done, you.

    • ssha

      Heart shaped pizza!!

    • Zoya

      Heart-shaped pizza!! I love that.

  • Engaged Chicago

    Wedding photo WEIGH IN PLEASE!

    Our photographer gave us our wedding photos and it was fewer than I was expecting. Our contract didn’t specify an amount. We had a professional photographer, a second shooter, 11 hours of event coverage and got 630 photos, edited and filtered. How many did you get? Were you happy with the amount? Appreciate all shout outs!

    • CeCe_R

      Hmm. Do you have any duplicate photos? Like 3 or 4 versions of essentially the same picture? If so, that’s strange because I think I got about 500 for 7 hours of coverage and one photographer, BUT we got lots of duplicates of photos (for example the photo in colour, and also in B&W), and 2-3 of essentially the same photo.

      • Engaged Chicago

        We don’t have too many duplicates of photos. It might sound silly but I wouldn’t mind them even if they’re not too different or too different in quality because they’re our proof of the day.

    • PAJane

      Are there any important moments missing, or is the whole day accounted for?

      • Engaged Chicago

        The whole day is accounted for but I noticed there’s no photos of me dancing, when there’s a bunch of my husband and his gang dancing. I didn’t rank dancing very high on our shot list but I thought she would account for other things (people at the bar, tables etc) during that time. We have about 20 photos from the 9:15 – 11 p.m. range which seems small for such a long period of time.

        • MC

          Your photog might have other photos that didn’t turn out as well/professionally that she might be willing to share with you – the bloopers if you will. Worth e-mailing and asking!

        • PAJane

          That makes me wonder if she had some equipment issue during that time block or something.

        • Zoya

          That does sound like the back portion of a batch didn’t upload, for some reason. Definitely worth pointing that out to the photographer!

        • If it was in a dark venue, it would have been difficult shooting conditions, which could be problematic for less experienced photographers or photographers without the right gear…

    • Not Sarah

      We had about 6 hours of coverage and ended up with ~450 photos with just the one photographer, which is in line with our photographer contract that says we will get approximately 75 images per hour. It looks like you got 57 photos per hour. Other photographers in my research estimate 50-75 images per hour, so what you got doesn’t seem completely out of line.

    • We had 2 shooters and 6hrs of coverage and we got 695 edited photos back.

    • Zoya

      If you’re unsure, ask! We originally ended up with 650 photos from 8 hours of coverage, which seemed like plenty. But then it turned out there’d been a glitch and the photographer had an additional 150 photos that didn’t get uploaded.

      • CeCe_R

        We also had this happen to us. The day after we got the photos I realized that there weren’t any photos of the speeches, cake cutting, etc. and I was so hurt because I remembered them being taken? Turns out the software limited the number she could upload in one batch and like 100 photos were missing from the reception.

        • Engaged Chicago

          Wow that’s crazy! I don’t think she missed anything and I want to reach out but I’m not sure what to say.

          • Eenie

            “Hey Photographer,
            We love the photos you sent us. However, I did want to provide some feedback on the final photos. We expected to see a lot more photos from the reception. I understand that the number of photos isn’t everything, but I remember discussing the ballpark number of 800 photos during the planning stages. Are there any additional shots you could edit and provide us? Or is there another reason the wedding photos differed from what we discussed during planning?
            Thanks,
            Engaged Chicago”

          • Engaged Chicago

            Thank you for this! I like it. My drafts have been coming out a lot more long winded and emotional. I have a lot of respect and love for my photographer and don’t want to come off as bridezilla or ungrateful, but need to realize 1) at the end of the day we did pay significantly for a service so we’re allowed to ask for clarification 2) it doesn’t hurt to ask even if there is no more 3) I assume she’d rather us tell her than spread things behind her back.

          • Eenie

            You can also call her if that seems better for you.

          • Amy March

            Hey do you have any more photos of the day? In particular of the dancing time?

    • Violet

      I guess I’m wondering about the focus on the number. Were there particular shots you were really hoping or expecting to get and didn’t?

      • Engaged Chicago

        I think it’s coming from 1) comparison to friends who had 9-10 hours of coverage and had 800-1000 photos 2) paying a pretty significant price. she offered us a complimentary upgrade and we took an extra hour of event coverage hoping to further capture the day we invested so much into 3) the photos she got are amazing, she didn’t miss anything but the party feels very rushed over. Theres maybe 20 photos in the time span of 2 hours, which seems light to me.

        ETA: I also remember her saying we’d get around 800 during our engagement shots but that was months ago and not in writing

        • Violet

          Oh interesting. I don’t know how many shots my friends got, so this wouldn’t occur to me, nor would thinking that quantity necessarily meant quality, in terms of price for photography. Maybe bring up the reception coverage and see if anything happened to more shots?

    • Ashlah

      We had one photographer and got 1100 photos, but I think that is way outside the norm. She was pretty new then, and I’d be surprised if she still provides that many to current clients. And honestly, it’s too much. Obviously, once you have them, you can’t imagine not having a single one, but I still haven’t printed any for an album (3.5 years later) because when you have that many photos to cull, decision fatigue is a real Thing.

      • Engaged Chicago

        I’ve heard that about decision fatigue. I think I’m wresting with the opposite which is a desire to see more of the wedding – even just repeats – because the day feels like such a blur, I want something to hold on to.

        • Ashlah

          I totally understand that. I think it’d be reasonable to reach out and see if they have additional photos they could provide. Particularly if there’s something you feel is missing, even if that’s just shots of guests dancing or mingling.

    • penguin

      We had 7 hours and got about 700 photos I think? Not totally sure. Although keep in mind this included a bunch of similar photos, and a bunch where one of us is making a dumb face.

      Did your photographer miss any big moments, or was it just that the overall number felt low? With two shooters and 11 hours I’d expect more photos, but I’m not a photographer.

      • Engaged Chicago

        I felt like the overall number is just low; even if it’s duplicates, and wasn’t sure if that was in my head. It’s hard not having more of a day we invested so much time and money and energy into.

        • penguin

          I would definitely ask them about it!

    • Les

      There are more, the photographer probably just edited down to the ‘best’ ones. Ask them to send you everything. Highlight areas of lighter coverage if you don’t want everything.

      • Some photographers might not want to share the weaker images (or ones they might consider “bad” or technical reasons), though, because it reflects on their work…

    • Eenie

      I personally don’t want 200 portraits of me and my husband. I would focus less on the number and ask if there are additional photos from the reception she could edit and provide? Or ask if there are circumstances that resulted in less photos than you expected?

  • penguin

    Anyone else get irrationally cranky at their spouse for no reason this week? I realized that I probably need more time by myself when I hit Bitch Eating Crackers with my husband last night. Poor guy has been sick for over a week, and has a bad cough. We’ve been dealing with it and I’ve tried to help him feel better, but it’s been hard because he just hasn’t felt well at all. I was kind of in a lousy mood last night, felt good after the gym but then had to drag him to the pharmacy to get a prescription, which took forever because his doctor sent it to the wrong place.

    Later we’re laying in bed, and I’m trying to sleep, and for once he falls asleep immediately. And he’s snoring SO LOUD, and rolling around, and making all kinds of weird breathing noises and I was just laying there fuming. I almost went and slept on the couch but ended up falling asleep and everything was fine. I know this is ridiculous, and I love him and promise that I’m not normally a monster. I made plans to get out of the house tomorrow and hang out with my family, and I think that’ll help.

    • Violet

      Not this week, no. ; ) But why not (next time this happens) crash on the couch?

      • Jess

        We have an extra bedroom for this reason. Among others.

        • Violet

          No way can we afford a 2-bedroom in our region on our salaries, but good thing I love a good couch-sleep from time to time!

          • Jess

            The perk of being in a small-rural-city! That and traffic.

        • kayceeee

          We have a two bedroom currently until the end of May, but dang that has come in super handy when one of us is sick/snoring/etc. I’m going to miss it when we downsize.

      • penguin

        Yep I thought about it. If I hadn’t fallen asleep within like, 15 minutes I probably would have done that. We actually do have a spare bedroom but the bed is currently covered in stuff…

    • sofar

      Oooohhhh, I’ve been there.

      Night-coughing/snoring tests the love for sure lol

      My husband has been sick and I slept a few nights in the guest room, but now that he’s getting better (but still coughs and breathes loudly when sleeping), me sleeping in the guest room makes him sad, so I’ve got the white-noise machine, earplugs (which are NOT comfy) and muttering through gritted teeth, “In sickness and in health … in sickness and in health.”

      • penguin

        Haha I may or may not have been doing some muttering of my own. I can normally sleep through anything, but apparently the trick is that I have to fall asleep before he does! Hopefully he feels better soon. I also reminded myself that I was really sick a few weeks ago and he put up with me, and took time off work to take care of me.

        • Angela’s Back

          ahh same here!! It’s fine as long as I go to bed and fall asleep first, but woe betide me if I wake up to pee and hubby is snoring when I get back into bed… to be fair he’s gotten a lot better now that he has actual prescription allergy meds but every so often I really do want to tear my hair out and sleep on the couch.

      • Rose

        You’re nicer than I am. I’m a really light sleeper, though, and we’ve mostly decided that as nice as sleeping together can sometimes be, it’s more romantic if we’re not mad at each other all night and then cranky and tired the next day, so we sleep separately pretty often. It’s sweet that he wants you there, though! And it really is nice of you.

    • Rose

      Oh, that would also drive me bonkers. I always feel bad, but I get really easily annoyed by weird breathing things, even when I’m not trying to sleep.

    • Amy March

      That’s not irrational or for no reason at all. Colds suck. People with colds are miserable and miserable to be around.

      • Jess

        Have a bad cold, can confirm.

    • CeCe_R

      Actually I did. Wednesday night I had to work late (I’d known for weeks because we were conducting interviews that went til 9pm) but my husband unexpectedly ended up working til 11 and getting home after I was already in bed. I was so, so mad that he didn’t leave work when I did. Which is ridiculous, but in that moment I was just really mad he wasn’t there with me.

    • PAJane

      It makes me super cranky when PADude is snoring and I can’t sleep. Perfectly understandable breaking point.

    • kayceeee

      My husband snores like crazy so I definitely feel your pain and there have been times I’ve been laying in bed seething with anger when I can hear him THROUGH the earplugs I wear every night. [An aside, I’m pretty sure he needs a CPAP, but getting the dude to go to a doctor is pretty much impossible] Usually though I end up on the couch just because a) I need sleep and b) it’s the easier thing to do.

    • Anne

      Yep I am there! We have somehow both stayed pretty healthy this winter, but I had a busy work week and was really feeling the winter/SAD/PNW darkness. I think I was home late every night and just not a very nice person to be around. Going to try to do better and have some time together this weekend…

    • Les

      Feeling you very very much. Last night manmate had class, so I made myself a bowl of guacamole for dinner and Bitch Ate Chips and drank half a bottle of Cava while doing fuckall. TWAS AMAZING.

      • penguin

        Manmate!! New favorite, this is great.

    • Ashlah

      I get SO MAD when my husband is snoring. In the morning, I feel bad that I poke and prod and ask him to roll over and I feel bad if it’s a cold that’s making him snore and I feel bad that my snoring doesn’t bother him, but in the moment? Pure rage. I’ve cried.

  • MoreCheesePlease

    Anyone have some concrete/practical tips for making friends in a large metropolitan area for people who aren’t naturally out going?

    I’ve joined a book club that meets 1x/month and I’ve started going to some gym classes at the same location whenever I have time (which is not consistent) but I’m wondering if there are specific types of meetups or other groups that tend to create actual friendships. I’m much more of a “sure, come on over and we’ll hang out” kind of person than a “I like to fill my week with x organized events/week” person but I’m willing to commit to taking part in organized things for a chunk of time if it’s the best way to find some friends.

    I work about an hour from where I live and don’t have a lot of time/energy to do much during the week which seems to make things even more difficult.

    • Les

      I live in NYC and have a 50 min. commute, and here are my tips to tricking people into being your friends:
      1) Your couch + a bottle of wine: Two girls I was friends with from high school were in NY when I moved here (6 years after high school) so I lured them to my apartment 1x a week with free wine and hummus and it worked like GANGBUSTERS.
      2) Your couch + terrible movies: My friends host an occasional ‘terrible movie’ night where they order a pizza and put on a truly terrible film (MST3K is the easy-out here) and invite people to BYOB and jeer.
      3) A bar near work: bf and I went to college together and we set up a every-other-week happy hour at a bar near where a lot of our friends/friendly acquaintances from college worked and that was mildly successful until we let it drop off. We still hang out with the people we connected with, and released the others back into the city.
      4) Low-key dorkdom: My other idea is checking out gaming shops around you. You do not have to get into the intense stuff (Magic etc etc) but sometimes they do nights where they premiere board games. I figure if you meet people who like board games, they might be the kind of people who will want to come over and hang out :)
      5) Find a peppy friend who can effectively peer pressure you into doing stuff: Self explanatory. You know she’s out there, waiting for you to return her text…

    • Jenny

      1. Invite groups of 2-3 people to do an activity that can involve some talking. Ideas for this are summer free concerts, art/craft fairs, trivia night, watching an Olympic event (at a bar or your house). It find inviting 2-3 coworkers/potential friends is great at the beginning because it prevents some awkwardness, it gives you a chance to get to know more people with the same time. An activity cuts down on weird pauses, and gives you ready made topics.
      2. Be open with people that you’ve just moved. Ask if they want to hang out and then get their number, or email. Example. I just moved and I’m hoping to check out x museum/exhibt/bar/thing, do you want to join me?

      • MoreCheesePlease

        Thanks! I really do need to be better about just saying “I just moved here” and just inviting people to do stuff. Darn social anxiety. I am accepting more invitations from people I work with to hang out, but they are far away and I don’t want to drive that much on the weekends.

    • MC

      I’m literally listening to an episode of Call Your Girlfriend about this right now! http://www.callyourgirlfriend.com/episodes#/you-new-in-town/

      • Jess

        I was literally taking notes while listening to this episode. I’m facing a potential move depending on where R finds a job, and facing the New Friend Finding prospect is scary.

      • AP

        I was just about to suggest this! The tips on getting a museum membership and asking friends for set-ups were genius.

    • Amy March

      I just found it took so much longer than I wanted. I kept at things like book club, followed up with people to suggest fun things (which required effort and figuring out fun things that were going on) went to college alumni events, followed up with people from there, looked up any old classmates or coworkers and stalked them, joined a church and went consistently, volunteered for a super local political campaign, hosted parties for literally any excuse even when not a ton of people came. I’d say honestly between the Month All My Friends Moved Away and The Next Time I Felt Like I Had Tons of Friends could have been a year? A year and a half?

      • A single Sarah

        My rule of thumb is it takes two years before I feel like I have a solid support network. And 3-6 months in doesn’t feel great because you’ve been at it long enough that you have inklings of friends/community but nothing as concrete as you want yet. Be active. But be patient.

        (I just hit six months. Was looking at a journal from same time last move. It’s hard.)

    • PAJane

      This could be a big project to take on, but a friend of a friend who lives in NYC hosts Pasta Night every Friday. They just make a whole bunch of noodles and sauce, and anybody who wants to stop by can come, and bring a drink or other foodstuff to share. Everybody knows that it’s happening on any given Friday.

      • Zoya

        I do something much more ad hoc, where every once in a while I’ll email a bunch of folks and be like, “I feel like making mac and cheese/lasagna/chili/some other large-batch comfort food tonight! Come by at TIME if you’re free.” I should steal your friend’s idea and make a standing date of it.

    • Jessica

      This is not a very practical suggestion but…if you just moved, you might also take some time to make mental space for new friends. Social media/the internet makes it so easy for us to keep in touch with so many people, but sometimes those virtual connections can make it harder for us to get motivated for real-life interactions, which we still need. Supposedly research has found that humans can only care about 150 people at a time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number
      (For me, this means unfollowing a lot of people on facebook — still staying friends with them, but not having all the details of their lives/thoughts present in my life all the time.)

      • Amy March

        Ohhh this is such an interesting thought!

    • Zoya

      My husband’s trick: meet someone cool at a group activity—usually social dancing—and then invite them to a party at our house (we throw a lot of parties). Once they have attended a party or two, start inviting them over for dinner individually.

      IME, you really only need to find one or two people who are extroverted and have awesome friends, and let their connections snowball. For us, social dancing has been pretty fruitful for this. The folks in that scene tend to be more social than your average bear, so they introduce you to more friends, who introduce you to more friends, and so on.

    • I’ve met friends through my ballet classes, but it took some time for the relationships to go from acquaintances to friendships, and only one is a close friend. But a couple others I’ve invited to parties, and then there’s a few more that I just enjoy chatting with before/after class.

  • NolaJael

    I co-officiated my sister’s wedding last weekend and it was an amazing experience. The ceremony was both fun and serious, and the bride and groom were charming and sincere. Many thanks to APW for helping me envision what my role was supposed to be and how to get it done!

  • Ayla K

    Boyfriend got a job offer this week! And accepted it! We’re about to leave the country for a week, so he starts right after we get back and we’re both THRILLED for him to start working full time again. 2018 is really our year for Making Shit Happen.

    We’re still settling into the new apartment post-move (we have just one more box to unpack and… how long do y’all typically wait to hang things on the walls? We have a pile of art stacked behind the dining table) but we discovered a pile of ants living in our dishwasher. Not great. We’re going to contact maintenance and see what they can do, but we also got ant traps all over the kitchen. Ick ick ick.

    Overall though, a good week! And I won’t be in the HH next week since I will be sunning myself on a beach in Mexico. Our plan for the 14th, since it’ll be my birthday, is to find some really good local fish and cook dinner together at our rental house.

    • Jess

      Congratulations on the job offer for the boyfriend! Such good news!

      I still have art that I have not hung up… it’s been… years? Like, most of it is up. Just not this one wall.

      • Ayla K

        Thank you! It is really wonderful news, since he’s been searching since… August? Things really picked up in January; he had like 4 interviews per week during the move, so this timing is wonderful.

        And yeah we have that one wall (and that other one wall… hmm) that may be blank for a while because we’re indecisive. Also, a lot of the art is mine and I want things to be more ‘balanced’… but maybe I need to let that go?

        • Jess

          I feel you, we’re going on month 2 of R’s unemployment and I keep being like, “Be patient”

          I think you gotta let being balanced go when one person has more stuff to hang up. It’s a communal wall now. It may as well get covered!

          • Ayla K

            Patience was hard to come by, especially after my landlords booted us after Christmas – felt like nothing was on our side. But yeah, I kept reminding him that things would come around eventually, and my brother in law was instrumental in revamping his resume and making introductions. Having support helped.

            That’s a good philosophy. We have things to go on a wall, and we have a blank wall. Why overcomplicate it?

    • Les

      You can’t put anything under my bed because of all the art hiding under there that never got hung up. We’ve been in our apartment for 1.5 years…

      • Ayla K

        Glad to know I’m not alone! We have our housewarming mid-March, so hopefully I can get some things on the walls by then. Or at least move the art to the bedroom floor, instead o the dining room.

    • Ashlah

      We bought our house 4.5 years ago and hardly have anything on the walls. Soooo definitely don’t feel bad.

      • Ayla K

        We just have… so much art… and I’m indecisive about what goes where. I feel like I’m gonna be indecisive forever. But I’m not gonna feel too bad about it, because apparently I’m not alone!

        • Jessica

          I have all my art (from a 3 BR home) currently piled in my room mate’s room and in my parent’s basement. The liklihood that more than 3 pieces are going up on my new walls is slim.

    • Transnonymous

      Congratulations to your boyfriend. Very jealous of the trip to Mexico – I could stand to get away from winter for a bit. Enjoy yourselves!

    • mjh

      Congratulations to boyfriend and early happy birthday! Sounds like a stellar plan you guys have, enjoy.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Iceland was awesome!! Totally recommend it for folks who enjoy outdoorsy trips and also European cities. It was cold, but also majestic all covered in snow and ice.

    This week I had a doctor’s appointment and finally made a plan with my doctor to deal with my (increasingly common) migraines. I used to not get them very often so I’d just take some pain killers and deal, but now that they’re more frequent it’s started to feel like they’re taking over my life. I love my doctor and she was basically like, ‘let’s get those fuckers.’ Also she’s recommending I adjust my birth control intake so I have quarterly periods since I always get a migraine during period week and I am SO happy about this! A little concerned about my insurance not wanting to give me extra packs of birth control because they’ve been a butt about this previously when I went abroad for a few months and wanted several packs at once. But we’ll figure it out. I’m just so happy to finally take action.

    • CeCe_R

      Hmmm.. I also get migraines during my period week (and more frequently too). I had an MRI done which showed nothing. I thought maybe I was getting them because I’m low on iron and then during my period even lower… so I started taking iron supplements and they do help. Maybe another trip to the doctor is in order for me.

    • Jess

      I actually moved to taking continuous active pills because of migranes. They were kicking my butt, to the point that I actually got nausea, every placebo week.

      As long as the prescription details the dosage, you shouldn’t have an issue with insurance. It’s when they don’t see the notes in there that they struggle (they’ll still only want to give you one pack at a time. You’ll get to know your pharmacist!)

    • MC

      YMMV, but I have found monthly acupuncture appointments to be a LIFESAVER for my migraines, in case you want to try something else in the meantime. I’m so glad you have an awesome doctor!

    • Essssss

      I’m sure there are many different situations, but just a heads up that when I had migraines and was on hormonal BC, my doctor yanked me off of it, saying that that intensity of migraines (visual aura present) indicated an increased risk of stroke on that type of hormonal BC. She switched me to a progesterone only pill, which she said was safer, and my migraines disappeared. I hadn’t put together that the pill could actually be a cause of the migraines, since it was happening on the placebo week, but just in case its useful information. Good luck!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thanks! I had heard that before too, but I’ve been having migraines since before the pill and they only started getting more frequent years after I’d been on it, so there doesn’t seem to be a connection. I will keep this in mind though. Also I don’t get the aura – I’ve heard it can be super disorienting, glad to hear yours have stopped!

    • Rebecca

      My doctor said it was estrogen withdrawal and prescribed estrogen patches for period week – I ended up changing to a copper IUD instead but that might be an option.

  • Eh

    We do not do much for Valentine’s Day. We actually do so little that in previous years we have babysat so other couples could go out. This year we will be maintaining our tradition of not doing much as a couple. We will be using the opportunity to announce our pregnancy (finally – I’ll only be 15 weeks by then) to our family by sending them a Valentine.

    • Ayla K

      What a cute idea! Congratulations

    • mjh

      That’s adorable. Congratulations!

  • kayceeee

    I tell my husband every time he leaves for work when I’m at home – “phone, keys, wallet” so I’m feeling like I might really need that art.

    Also, valentine’s isn’t really something we celebrate, but you can be sure I did request a Lindt chocolate heart this year. haha.

  • It’s super snowy in Chicago and supposed to snow all weekend!

    Overall, this is my 9th winter in the Midwest and I’ve just been generally disappointed in the amount of snow (from expectations, not experience—I grew up in southern california), so I’m really excited about this storm this weekend! It’s just supposed to keep snowing.

    I missed my first bus this morning though and got so mad I just gave up and went home for a hald snowday (I just got in to work and the first thing I’ve done is go on Happy Hour, but I do have an event I have to be at later today). If I had actually needed to drive in, I would have just cancelled, because there is no way that I could drive safely in this much snow but I live 1 mile from work and usually bike or bus in, and the buses were running, so here I am.

    • Rose

      We’re just enough south of Chicago that we’re getting 3-6 inches, which I gather is less than you have predicted! Enjoy your snow! I’m not sure how my drive home will go. . .

    • Lisa

      Enjoy the beautiful snow! Chicago is gorgeous in wintertime. And be safe out there!

    • mjh

      Hope you get to enjoy the snow!

      I love when we get snow like this. Fam plans this weekend include taking bins out to the park and using them as brick molds for building an igloo, and going over to the lake.

  • BallerinaInWonderland

    Hey APW. I usually lurk but I’m finally around on a Friday to share a couple photos from my wedding back in September! APW was indispensable when we were planning. We had a really fantastic day.

    So, in September, I graduated from nursing school, got married, and moved halfway across the country for my husband’s job. I still don’t have work here and it took a long time to get my professional licensure sorted out (but I’m finally writing the NCLEX on Valentine’s Day so wish me luck?). It’s been a pretty lonely time and terrible for my self esteem, but I’ve gained a lot of insight about life transitions from the community here, so thank you <3 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2cfcbc15897e357ba750d32ef06c9553a8b50cd294891e37675d371384ce7a5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77b6894d72254dd0f52c769c12cffd2dee1a6011c1a1f5bc1fd89462ba9b6a09.jpg

    • penguin

      Congrats, love your photos! Also I thought your username was “Baller In A Wonderland” for a bit haha. Welcome to APW!

      • BallerinaInWonderland

        hahaha ballerinainwonderland was the screen name of my youth. I never noticed it could be read that way. I like it though. And thank you!

    • Cellistec

      Good luck on the NCLEX! I have a study guide even though I’m not even in nursing school yet…can’t hurt to get a jump start, I bet. Fingers crossed for you!

      • BallerinaInWonderland

        Thank you so much and good luck with school :)

  • Lisa

    Guys, I’m feeling pretty down today. That ~45% raise I thought I’d negotiated for myself with my new position? I got the official offer yesterday, and it was a good amount less than even the lowest number I’d discussed with my boss. I’m trying to decide whether it’s even worth it trying to negotiate for a higher salary because he told me that his boss already went back to HR once and was told that this second number (first they gave me) was the highest they would go.

    I’ll end up accepting whatever the final offer is, but I’m angry at them and at myself. I’m angry for letting myself get strung along for nearly six months on a temporary assignment, waiting in good faith for the number we’d already agreed on. For letting myself get screwed over again after having a similar experience at ToxicJob nearly three years ago. I thought I was on the right track, but it feels like I wasn’t.

    Now I’m going to be job hunting sooner rather than later, which is throwing all of the plans we’d put together over the past couple of weeks completely out of whack. Husband and I were even talking about buying a property because we were anticipating another 1-2 years here and had done the numbers that showed we could make decent money on a rental. We’re supposed to be taking out my IUD a week from Monday. Everything is reeling, and I’m upset and trying to figure out what comes next and how I’m going to justify this job change if I go interviewing anytime soon. And do I want to do that pregnant?

    Ugh. Life is difficult sometimes.

    • Jessica

      That sucks so hard. I’m so sorry.

      Are you letting your boss know you will be job searching due to this?

      • Lisa

        I intend to. I told him yesterday that I left ToxicJob in a similar manner over salary issues, and he said he’d support whatever I ended up deciding to do. He’s been really displeased with management’s general treatment of me and has been the one pushing the process along as best as he can.

    • Angela’s Back

      That’s fucked up and hopefully they know how fucked up that is… I’m so sorry, what a shitty situation :(

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear this Lisa.

    • Jess

      Uggggh. That’s really frustrating.

    • Eenie

      I’m so mad at your company on your behalf! That majorly sucks.

    • Zoya

      Internet hugs, if you want them.

      • Lisa

        Thank you. I will always take internet hugs!

    • Amy March

      I guess I don’t see any downside to going back to your boss and saying just that- we discussed xyz number 6 months ago, that is what you promised me, that is why I took this job, what is the explanation for why this offer is dramatically lower?

      Also don’t give up on all your plans too quickly! It’s a set back, but it doesn’t necessarily mean buying a property is a bad idea, or that taking your IUD out is something that shouldn’t happen. It will look different but it doesn’t have to look awful.

      • penguin

        Definitely go back to your boss! Also do you have the previous number in writing anywhere?

        • Lisa

          I don’t, and I’m mad at myself about that, too. I asked for it before I started and was told I would get it, but it didn’t materialize, and I had no choice in when I started so it fell by the wayside. I was too trusting of the process and was operating in good faith.

      • Lisa

        I think I am going to ask for more, the question is whether to do it through my boss/middleman or finally take control of this myself and talk to the grandboss. I’m inclined to lean towards the latter, but my manager, who has worked with this guy for many years keeps offering to intercede on my behalf so I don’t seem too “aggressive.” I’m trying to decide whether that’s a warning about how the grandboss will react or if my manager is just being overly cautious and trying to shield me from any potential fallout.

        We will probably go ahead with the IUD removal because who knows how long finding a new job or trying to get pregnant could take? It just sucks to think about potentially job searching while pregnant and the affects that could have on my employment.

        The condo purchase plans are on hold. We were actually going to try and put an offer in today, but as soon as I got the text from my boss that it was an almost-certain final number, we called the lender to ask him not to run the forms and the realtor to cancel our appointment. I don’t want to have our money tied up in a Badtown property now that we might be leaving sooner; I’d rather have the 20% downpayment available if we move somewhere we’d actually want to stay.

        • Sarah E

          Maybe you and manager could double team the grandboss?

          • Lisa

            The plan we had come up with yesterday was that he wanted to be the one to send him an e-mail, but I was given approval over its contents. After talking more with grandboss abstractly, he came back to say he wasn’t sure how much it would do and put it back in my court.

            I guess we could go in to a meeting together? I don’t know what that would end up looking like.

          • AmandaBee

            I like Amy March’s idea of just asking for an explanation. Something like “I took this job because I was explicitly promised that I would make $X. Now I’m hearing that the most I could possibly offered is $Y, which is much less. I’m just trying to understand what has changed in the last six month. Can you please explain?”

            It puts the ball in their court to justify why they promised you one salary and are not sticking by their promise. It also makes it clear that you’re all aware of the promises that were made and not kept, which might inspire them to do better. If nothing else, it could make them squirm, and there’s some psychological value in that.

            I’ve always found that I feel better when I’ve expressed a problem, even if the solution I want doesn’t materialize. Granted, this depends on how much you are relying on the goodwill of your employer. If you’re worried about potentially losing your job offer, maybe it’s not a good move.

    • Les

      I am so sorry. Going through something slightly similar and it just feels like the pits. I say push back back back. That boss should go back (even if the outcome is the same). Try not to feel bad about asking them to. They made you a promise and they should at least feel the pain of banging their head against HR for failing to deliver. So sorry :( :( :(

    • Anon Preggo

      I’m sorry you’re having these challenges. You may actually find it easier to be pregnant at a job you’re meh about. Sincerely, first trimester afternoon nap aficionado

      • Lisa

        Thank you for the laugh!

    • anoniseasier

      Please go back and talk with your boss. Do you have anything in writing about what the agreement was? (I’m sure you’ve already thought of that). Amy March gives really good phrasing below. Why negotiate if they don’t have to hold to it? I’m mad on your behalf!

    • Sarah E

      That super sucks and none of it is your fault. You made the best decisions you could with the information you had at the time. Don’t get mad at Past Lisa for shit only Present Lisa could know. Get mad at the HR fuckers fucking you around.

      And if you go interviewing, you justify the job change with neutral honesty. “I took my most recent position with the promise that once it was made permanent, my salary would increase to $1mil. Despite my direct supervisor advocating for me, HR would only approve $1/2mil.
      I had already been through a similar run-around at ToxicJob, and it would be completely unreasonable to repeat the experience.” (Says me, who made sure to tell people Old Job fired me because X. It was obvious to everyone X was bullshit, so I could state the facts and let other people come to the bullshit conclusions independently.)

      • Discus fail

        Unfortunately, tons of people have the experience of accepting a contract job under the condition it will become permanent with XY&Z benefits/conditions, and it not coming through. No future employer will knock you for this. I agree with Sarah and I think you could say something like “I took this contract with the expectation of it becoming a full-time position with a promotion and a raise, advocated for by my manager. That failed to materialize and I felt that I should look for a more appropriate position at your company, which I’m really excited about.”

        • suchbrightlights

          This is an excellent script.

      • AmandaBee

        ITA with “Don’t get mad at Past Lisa for shit only Present Lisa could know.”

        You were acting totally reasonably. They are being asshats. It obviously doesn’t make it better to know that, but try not to blame yourself.

    • Violet

      Oh no, I am incredibly frustrated on your behalf. To get yanked around on that after all this time. I’m with Amy March not to necessarily put all your plans on hold over it. Life is difficult, indeed.

    • Transnonymous

      This is ridiculously unfair and I’m so sorry you’ve been dragged through the mud like this.

    • rg223

      Just seconding all who said this really sucks! Don’t be too hard on your past self, and definitely push back!

    • mjh

      Ugh, I’m so sorry. I think you already know all the logistical advice, so I’ll just send some sympathy and good vibes your way. Best of luck.

    • AGCourtney

      Oh no, that’s so frustrating!!! I’m so sorry, Lisa.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this! And I like AmandaBee’s approach a lot. Please keep us posted and we’re rooting for you!

  • Alli

    Valentines day question! Does anyone know of any websites I could order a heart shaped candy box filled with an assortment of sour candies instead of chocolates? I was really hoping this would be a thing that was all over the internet already but my initial search has revealed nothing. If I can’t find anything I’ll just trek over to a candy shop and buy a variety and get a box at, idk, a craft shop, but I’m lazy and don’t really feel like doing that this weekend if I don’t have to.

    • PAJane

      Could you get a box of chocolates and dump them out/eat them/give them to your coworkers, and reuse the box and little paper cups?

      • Alli

        I like your style

        • Not going to lie – I totally did something similar a couple years ago because I needed a heart-shaped box in which to put a video game! Except we ate the chocolates afterwards :D

      • AmandaBee

        This sounds like a win all around.

    • lamarsh
    • Zandra

      Squish Candies (https://www.squishcandies.com/en_ca) has an offer where you get a free heart tin when you spend $40. Their sour candy is incredible and you can often buy it pre-portioned into individual servings.

  • califoregoniyorker

    Hi APW! Delurking because, as with many delurkers, my partner and I got engaged two weeks ago :) I’ve been trying to just enjoy and not stress about the upcoming year. It’s been hard not to let the anxiety creep in though. My fiancé (!) and I had an unexpected heart to heart last night after lights-out (my personal favorite time for a chat) about how even though we don’t feel differently about each other, or about our relationship, it does feel different to be engaged. Neither of us are particularly declamatory so it feels a little vulnerable, like we’ve let out the secret to the whole world that THIS IS MY PERSON.

    Thus far, the best planning advice we’ve gotten is, “There is a lot to think about but nothing to worry about.” I might put it on the fridge.

    • Jess

      “There is a lot to think about but nothing to worry about.” is beautiful advice for a lot of things.

      • PAJane

        I might tattoo it on my face.

      • Zoya

        Troof.

    • Pannorama

      Congratulations! (and I also personally love after lights out snuggle chats)

      • califoregoniyorker

        Thank you! They are the best.

    • Transnonymous

      Congratulations to you and your fiance!

      • califoregoniyorker

        Thank you!

    • KatCardigans

      “Neither of us are particularly declamatory so it feels a little vulnerable, like we’ve let out the secret to the whole world that THIS IS MY PERSON.”

      I got engaged a month ago and feel this so hard! People have had lovely reactions, but it has felt a little weird to tell them–vulnerable is just the right word.

      Also, I’m going to have to copy that planning advice into my journal. The most succinct wedding-related advice I’ve gotten so far is, “Don’t get distracted by how sparkly your engagement ring is when you’re driving in the sun,” from an older friend. I thought it was very silly until I found myself COMPLETELY and embarrassingly distracted in that exact scenario, lol.

      • califoregoniyorker

        Haha I love that. I sit by the window at work and I have definitely found myself distracted at work by the new sparkly accessory…totally embarrassing.

    • Mari

      Congratulations on your engagement! Your comment made me think about how for me, getting engaged felt like it made our relationship public. We enjoyed 7 years of a “private” relationship that was basically closed to questions and expectations. That ended when we got engaged and we entered a year-and-a-half of feeling “public” and a bit exposed, if you will. (Our wedding, while wonderful, was quite exposing and overwhelming for me.) Now married, it’s not back to feeling like the same kind of private as pre-engagement (in that we each have families by law, have to advocate for our baby family, etc) but it feels like that window of feeling a bit vulnerable, as you put it, has closed. I enjoy being married much more than being engaged :) This was only my experience so I’m not suggesting it’ll be the same for you at all. Best of luck to you!

      • Zoya

        This is an excellent way of describing the weirdness of being engaged.

    • Julie whom disqus hates

      +1 for feeling vulnerable! Since getting engaged I have realized that I feel vulnerable being publicly very happy. I had several encounters like:

      My friend, introducing me to someone: “And Julie just got ENGAGED to this AMAZING guy, and their wedding is going to be INCREDIBLE!”
      Me: “Yeah! It’s good, he’s pretty great.”
      New person: “Wow, you’re, like, more chill about it than she is.”
      *everyone laughs, I feel dysfunctional*

      Some of it is that I have some very effusive friends (I swear, anyone would seem subdued in comparison), but I had not realized before the extent to which my natural reaction to someone asking me about something I’m excited about is to clamp it down and not let anyone see that I care. Not… ideal…

  • Pannorama

    We’ve selected a wedding venue! We’re going to get married at a nature sanctuary with 40 acres of land and a beautiful manor house from the 1920s. Plus, it’s the headquarters for the local naturalist society. It feels really good to both get the ball rolling and to make sure that our money is going back into the community for a cause we believe in. Some of my coworkers are surprised and impressed with how quickly we’ve made a move on things (we’re 14 months out from our date and have been engaged for a month). But big decisions are really easy for both of us — it’s when we get down to the small, aesthetic choices that I know I’m going to dither and stress like a motherforker.

    • Essssss

      That sounds amazing! Congrats!

    • suchbrightlights

      That sounds like a fantastic place to get married!

    • Zoya

      I feel like “motherforker” is the perfect term for an event that involves lots of family drama and also a plated meal.

  • penguin

    I’ve been trying to move away from being the Keeper of the Lists in our house. I’ve been the one who remembers stuff, and reminds my husband, and it drives me fucking bananas that he doesn’t remember stuff on his own. So I told myself this year, I’m only reminding him one time about his mother’s birthday. I reminded him like a week before, he went “oh shit, thanks honey”, and then forgot. The day rolled around, and I knew he hadn’t done anything for it. I decided to wait until that night, and asked if he’d called. Nope, he totally forgot. He called and she was happy to hear from him (and he also sounded like crap, which is good because now they know he’s sick and they won’t try to make us visit haha). After the call, he thanked me for reminding him. I said, why don’t you just set up calendar reminders on your phone for this stuff? He said that was a good idea, and went back to what he was doing. At this point, I snapped, and told him to add the damned calendar reminder NOW so that we don’t do this next year.

    So we’re working on it. I’m trying to get more of the lists out of my head (we’re starting Wunderlist this week) and get out of the habit of reminding him. Part of the problem is that I’m not really willing to just let the balls drop (ew) and let him forget stuff. Anyone else dealing with this?

    • Jessica

      yepppppppp. I hear you. I have shared in your frustration.

      What bothered me is that if my ex didn’t send cards or make calls, I felt that made me look bad in his family’s eyes since they are much more into the idea of women taking on the emotional labor.

      • penguin

        Yep that’s part of it for me too. Our relationship with his parents is already weird, and I know if he didn’t call for her birthday it would turn into A Thing. And she’d somehow turn it into my fault more than likely.

      • Booknerd

        That’s how I feel too, like no matter how much it’s his responsibility it somehow reflects on the wife for his lack of action. It shouldn’t, but I also care about my husbands family and don’t want them to feel bad to teach my husband a lesson. Also if he forgets occasions till the last minute he ends up scrambling to get a gift in a panic and spending way more of our money than he needs to

      • Jess

        The social things falling on wives bothers me so much.

      • Eh

        My MIL thinks that it’s the wife’s job. I have made it clear to her that it’s not. I know she thinks bad of me for making her son do things that she thinks I should do but it’s our relationship and not hers. I don’t have the emotional energy to take it all on (and I have a history of depression so emotional energy is a regular struggle).

        Last year my husband went to visit his mother on mother’s day (me and our daughter were away for the weekend). There was a whole FB post about how my husband came to visit his mother because it was apparently a miracle that a grown adult can read a calendar and know that he should do something because it’s a special day.

      • suchbrightlights

        My mother in law told me a while ago, after she had reminded my husband about some birthday or other, “Now it will be Lights’ job to remind you.”

        I smiled because it was that or bite someone and said “I think he is smart enough to remember.”

        My husband is an absent-minded professor who once forgot his own birthday, so this has nothing to do with intellect, but ewwwww that it’s the responsibility of women to be a goddamn grown up for men. And ewwwww to perpetually infantilizing men who are perfectly capable.

        • Eh

          My MIL is very proud that she raised men who don’t know how to do basic things like communicate, make plans, communicate, read a calendar, clean. She even did their taxes. When her sons got married she made a comment that it was now their wives jobs to do those things for them and chuckled at her sons lack of skills. She wanted them to be dependent on her but their wives expect that they be equal partners so they have had to learn to do these things.

          • suchbrightlights

            My MIL thrives on feeling needed and has set up some dynamics in her life to ensure that she can feel that way. This dynamic exists between her and my husband’s youngest brother. There are some reasons that he benefits by having her support, but it’s also really uncomfortable to hear her insist, in front of other people, that in fact her adult son cannot possibly wash his own clothing himself, and telling him not to try. While the son is right there discussing the particular product required to wash this specialty fabric.

          • Eh

            UGH! My MIL liked being needed in her role as a mother (cook, cleaner, calendar keeper, and tax person for her sons) but she does not like what her grown married sons with children of their own need from her now.

      • BD

        I will never understand that mindset – it’s so infantilizing – and I come from a pretty conservative area in regards to gender roles, where you’d think that expectation would be common. And maybe it is but it just never… rubbed off on me, I guess? Like, I don’t even know my MIL’s birthday. Or my FIL’s, or my SIL’s. The most emotional labor I’ve done for my husband’s family was help him decide what kind of gift his mom would like for Xmas, though he actually did the shopping. Oh, and for some reason whenever his mom wants to ask both of us a question or send info, she always, always texts me. Which almost kinda hurts my husband’s feelings, maybe because he isn’t an infant and can easily field a text from his mom.

    • Amy March

      I mean, if you don’t want to be in change of all of the balls you have to let him forget stuff. Otherwise how will he learn? He will survive. Especially for stuff like his mom’s birthday, she raised him, she’s met him, why not let him flail a little with that?

      • PAJane

        I forgot to call my mom on her birthday once. The same year my brother did. It will never happen again.

      • penguin

        Definitely a good point, and it’s the part I’m trying to work on. I guess part of the problem is that it feels shitty to just stand by and go “well I could help you but I WON’T” and watch him fail. I know it’s not that big a deal but it feels gross. I’m working on getting him to have his own reminder systems like calendar alerts, so I’m not the reminder.

        And this time last year I might have mailed a card, but we have kind of a weird relationship now and I’m letting everything go through my husband.

        • PAJane

          Did he remember to call his mom before you were around?

          • penguin

            We started dating in college so I’m not sure – he didn’t really have that much time out of the house before we got together.

          • PAJane

            Ah. We had the benefit (in this sense) of time on our own before we met. He’s terrible about doing things that I do for my people, but I figure, his people already know he’s terrible at X, I hope they didn’t expect me to change him.

        • Lagaviota

          I wonder if reframing from “well I could help you but I WON’T” to “well I could help you and I HAVE” would help at all? In the case of the birthday scenario, at least, it sounds like you *did* do the helpful thing, it just wasn’t taken up, which actually couldn’t ever really be your responsibility, because you can’t be in his brain, you know?

          • penguin

            I like this, thank you!

        • AP

          One of the best things I learned in my years of dating/marriage to a person struggling with addiction, was that letting someone face the consequences of their own actions is not at all selfish, but in fact the kind, loving, “helping” thing to do. I’m not equating your husband’s forgetfulness about birthdays with addiction, but I found that even after I left that relationship, the tools I learned during that time about setting (and actually enforcing) boundaries about what I will/will not do or accept for/from others have been life-changing in all my relationships.

          I’ve had to do a LOT of reframing from “I could help you but I won’t,” to “I am helping you/me/our marriage in the long run by allowing you to learn and grow from your own mistakes.”

          This stuff is hard! Especially with in-law weirdness, I totally get it. Solidarity!

        • anoniseasier

          Here’s the way I think about it (this applies to my children also). Am I helping him more by reminding him… or by forcing him to stand on his own or deal with the consequences. It’s hard to choose to let your children fail (my husband does well on his own now) but I think it’s better it happens now then when they’re older (they’re tweens and teens now).

      • anoniseasier

        YES!

      • RNLindsay

        Yep! Just mailed off my MILs bday card signed by me! Don’t care what my husband is doing, I sent my wishes.

    • AmandaBee

      I feel you, like, a lot on this. I mentioned in the household management post that I set up our online chore list (task management software ftw) because I got so tired of reminding husband to do the same chores every week. But that doesn’t take care of everything.

      The best I can suggest is just to keep at it. Keep having the conversations, pointing out the inequity, and insisting that he make a concrete plan to do better. I do a lot of asking “How do you plan to not forget next time?” That’s its own form of labor, but hopefully one with some future payoff.

      FWIW: My SO has attention deficit disorder and we paid for him to take a series of classes on how to manage it himself. Even though half of the advice was stuff I could’ve told him, he took the message seriously when it was coming from someone else and when he felt like he was choosing the strategies on his own rather than being nagged into it by his wife. IDK if this applies to your husban, but if there is some similar option for you all, I highly recommend it. It was the best $250 I’ve ever spent.

      • penguin

        Thank you! This is helpful. I don’t think my husband has attention deficit, but I like the script of “How do you plan to not forget next time?”

        • AmandaBee

          Glad to help! The struggle is real.

      • ssha

        Ithink I need this class…

        • AmandaBee

          Totally recommend seeing if you can find something like it! My husband has a therapist who suggested it to him and it was offered through a medical center near us. It made a really big difference for him, I think both in realizing that he wasn’t the only person struggling and in figuring out some strategies to make his life easier.

    • I definitely am the one who keeps track of all the things, makes plans, organizes time, etc. and how it’s worked for us in the past is that my husband does way more chores/domestic labor. We’ve been trying to shift that dynamic since it’s lead to us both having pretty major gaps in our adulting skills but it isn’t easy. I think you do sometimes have to let balls drop — But it’s fine to baby-step that ish? Like, if you can’t let him forget his mom’s birthday that’s fine, but try to find the thing you can let him forget and build from there.

      Also, I know that people rightly point out that it’s BS that women are expected to do this but if you are good at something, showing your partner the process step by step can be really helpful. Like, while it’s definitely not my husband’s job to teach me how to make dinner, him being willing to go through individual steps is usually the difference between me cooking a meal myself and me trying to subside off of like, chia water and oranges.

      • penguin

        Totally agree – I’m good at this stuff, and I want him to be good at it too!

    • Eh

      We use Wunderlist. We also have a shared google calendar.

      It is a constant work in progress at our house. I do not remind my husband about birthdays or other important days for his family. They are in the calendar (I also put them on a whiteboard calendar by our front door) and if they are important to him he will see them. I am coming to peace that he will let balls drop but I don’t have the emotional energy to remind him about things all the time. Even though my MIL expects her sons to see her on her birthday (which isn’t always practical since we live an hour away – so sometimes she has to live with a call on the day and a visit another day), she did not give her sons the skills to do this on their own. My MIL expects that the wife is social convener, which I have made clear is not my role (and I redirect her to my husband). His mother is really bad about communicating and planning so things fall through all the time (especially since we need two weeks notice to make plans because of my husband’s work schedule).

      My husband needs to look at the shared calendar more than he does. A few weeks ago he thought I booked an ultrasound appointment at the same time as his dentist appointment (which I didn’t since I looked at the calendar – they were a week apart) so he rescheduled his dentist appointment but didn’t change it in the calendar. Then he booked the car to go in for an oil change at the same time as his rescheduled dentist appointment. He eventually realized that he doubled booked himself and rescheduled his dentist appointment again.

    • Charley

      Oh yes. I have no solutions, just solidarity. I work with my husband and for some reason he’s great at listing/remembering work tasks but not home ones. If you can remember conference registration deadlines then you can write down your Dad’s birthday!

      • Eh

        My husband does most of the cleaning at home. He runs a restaurant so cleaning is part of his job. When we were struggling with standards and things being forgotten I asked him how it works at his restaurant. Be said that they have checklists, so we created a checklist and things improved.

      • Amy March

        If he cared, he would.

        • anoniseasier

          Yup.

    • anoniseasier

      Gotta let those balls drop… you don’t have to be the one to keep them in the air.

      • I agree. Let the balls drop. Especially with birthdays. His family is presumably adults (certainly his parents are) and if he forgets their birthdays, nothing really bad should happen if they are reasonable people. It might hurt their feelings, but by the time you are an adult, I feel like you have dealt with someone important to you forgetting your birthday at least once. Of balls to drop, birthdays seem like a pretty safe one (no risks to health/safety/livelihood).

  • Booknerd

    So I’ve been sick with first the flu and now a cold and the amount of people who ask me if I’m pregnant is infuriating!!! Like even if I was do these people think I’m gonna say “oh now that you’ve guessed let me tell you this very personal and intimate private information!” I’m pretty good at deflecting but my husband isn’t and now that we actually am (only 6 week) I don’t want him to spill the beans to acquaintances by mistake!

    • penguin

      Aw that sucks, good luck! People are SO NOSY about pregnancy, omg.

      • Booknerd

        So nosy!! And I don’t like lying but it’s what I need to do for now. Unfortunately (or not) my husband is a shitty liar

    • Eh

      It annoys me so much! My husband’s family is always asking me if am pregnant or when we will have another. I am pregnant (14 weeks now) and flat out lied to them at Christmas.

      One year at Christmas my husband’s aunt announced that her DIL (one of my bests friends) was pregnant. My husband’s cousin and his wife weren’t at the Christmas party because they live 5 hours away. My friend was only 6 weeks pregnant at the time so she wasn’t ready for the world to know yet. My MIL’s response was that ‘she knew’ my friend was pregnant because she had the ‘stomach bug’ over a month earlier. I pointed out that she was only 6 weeks pregnant so the fact her whole house had a stomach bug in November had nothing to do with her being pregnant. (We didn’t post on FB or mention to my inlaws that we all had the stomach bug last month since clearly they would have concluded I was pregnant).

      • Booknerd

        People are crazy. We told our families at 4 weeks and my MIL was upset as we stopped her from telling her sister and didn’t understand why we wouldn’t want that just yet.

        • Eh

          My MIL can’t keep a secret so that’s why I am 14 weeks and they still don’t know.

        • AP

          I was 8 weeks pregnant last summer at my grandparent’s 60th anniversary party, and my mom kept coming up to ask me if it was ok for her to tell “just this person” and then “just this other person.” I kept reminding her that we were telling close family only, and at one point she got pissy and said “well so-and-so is LIKE FAMILY to ME” and told them anyway. So by the end of the party all these random extended relatives and like, my mom’s church friends all knew I was pregnant. I was EXTREMELY annoyed.

          • Booknerd

            That’s terrible!! We laid down the law- nobody else knows unless we tell them or put it on Facebook. How soon parents forget something that they I’m sure dealt with years ago

    • I had a stomach thing over Thanksgiving, and I literally forced down alcohol I didn’t want and was bad for my stomach because I was THAT not into getting that effing question.

      • Booknerd

        Ugh yes I can’t count the number of times I drank just to avoid those knowing looks people give when they see club soda in my hand. Like I’m a freaking marathoner and am more often than not training for a race get off my back!

      • Eh

        Yep clearly the only reason you aren’t drinking is because you are pregnant. I am surprised that no one called me out about that over Christmas.

  • em

    Disqus ate my comment?? After it was posted, and after people had responded to it. Am I missing something??

    (it was about asking for advice talking to my white family members about race)

    • Amy March

      I still see it- sometimes things get a bit lost in Happy Hour but it’s still there.

      • em

        Haha thanks! I’ve refreshed like 2974382 times and still can’t find it, but I’m reassured that it will reappear at some point :)

  • K.K.

    Our first actual venue visit is this weekend and I’m sure we’ll forget to ask some important question and I don’t really know what to expect but I am excited. It feels like this thing is finally making the transition from ideas and plans to actual action!

    • Amy March

      Oh fun! My tip is to write stuff down. All the stuff. You think you will remember it and you absolutely will not. Particularly dates available and pricing.

  • Transnonymous

    Kind of a bummer week over here – it’s looking like my husband will not have accrued enough PTO by the end of April to go on a week-long road trip we had been planning, and the company policy doesn’t allow him to go into PTO debt. There’s a chance that he’ll get bumped to a different position and earn enough PTO to go, but we aren’t counting on it at this point.

    We talked through it and decided that, regardless, I should still go on the trip since we’ve booked a lot of our accommodations and I could really use a vacation. While I know that I should go for my mental health, I’m feeling pretty guilty that he’ll miss out on what would be our first real vacation since our honeymoon and it’s getting me down.

    • Jess

      That is a big bummer. I really look forward to vacations as a way to reconnect, especially when things have been stressful/intense like they have been for you both lately.

    • Zoya

      Aw, that sucks. Internet hugs if you’d like.

    • PAJane

      Can he go for part? Or take unpaid time off?

      • Transnonymous

        His office got hit with some problems from management about too many people being out last review period, and they’re short-staffed right now, so no unpaid time off. We tried to figure out a way he could go for part of it, but we live two hours from the nearest major airport and when we tried to figure out a way to shorten it, it was no longer a vacation – just a rushed but pretty drive. I wish, though! We’re still holding out hope his PTO earning rate gets bumped.

        • PAJane

          Rats.

    • suchbrightlights

      Bummer! Fingers crossed that he gets the other position and PTO bump.

  • Les

    Happy Happy Hour! My sister is on-a-whim coming to NYC from Oregon to take her mind off hearing back from her Dream Job about her interview. We are distracting ourselves with a First Aid Kit concert, Anastasia on Broadway (100 lols, but we had to. Man I hope Bartok is in it, I’ll just die, I love me an albino bat that sings and dances), and tea shops and coffee shops and french bars and me showing her my grungy-trendy neighborhood and window shopping and giggle-fits… And she’ll be here for Valentine’s which means I’ll have my two most loved people with me to spoil. Sister visits really are DA BEST!

    My favorite line from the Quincy Jones interview: “Elon Musk keeps trying to get me to go to Burning Man. No thank you.” The mix of relatability and casual name-dropping is just too much.

    • Olive

      Have so much fun! Sister visits are amazing.

      The last time mine came to visit (in the summer) we went to a craft fair, bought numerous baskets, full-sized brooms (handmade!), and 3 smaller hearth brooms with handles made from 1) antlers, 2) a deer hoof, and 3) I don’t remember. Then we bar-crawled home because my husband was working on our car. BEST. EVER.

      • Les

        SO annoyed it’s winter, because now I want to buy 100 brooms with my sister too

        • Olive

          She also took the 4 hour Amtrak ride home and carried her full size broom on her public transit ride home in Chicago. She’s the best.

        • Olive

          Also, the man that makes them is in his 80’s, learned the craft from his grandfather when he was a boy, grows the straw from seed, and collects different cool things to use as handles (guitar handles, cool branches, etc.). I now believe that mid-craft show drinking can only help you have more fun.

  • Olive

    This week my department held a meeting for the grad students and post-docs to address some issues/changes at our university (fallout of the Nassar case…I go to Michigan State). I was one of four female grad students in attendance WHICH DROVE ME CRAZY. Our department is not directly related to anything with the case, and honestly we’re not feeling a lot of the administrative changes quite yet (practically, at least. emotionally I think some are feeling more than others), which is probably why no one else came.

    I used the vague email invitation as an opportunity to bring to light some concerns that have been prominent themes among me and friends in our half decade here. I also emailed the chair as a follow up to make sure he knows I’m serious, and we’re having a meeting next week.

    I’m really proud of myself for doing this, I’m not really an activist, and up until a year ago I would not have had the confidence to speak up like that. So cheers to change, even if it’s not the worst department at the university, it can (and maybe one day will) be better!

    • Jess

      Congratulations on speaking up and changing things! That’s a big deal!

    • Anne

      Good for you!!! You should definitely be proud.

      And solidarity on the fact that grad students can be kind of useless at organizing/thinking about social issues/showing up for non-research-related stuff. I think the typical academic culture often just doesn’t lend itself well to being engaged. I’m a representative for the graduate student union at my university, and last time we had a meeting in our department about the contract and bargaining process, literally no one showed up. It was frustrating to say the least.

  • Jessica

    Finance question: has anyone used Wealthfront or Acorn? I’m interested in something that 1. manages investments to get me started on investing in general and 2. something that automates savings for me. Curious if anyone has feedback.

    • rebecca

      I use Betterment, honestly for no other reason than I used to work w/the wife of one of their early engineers and thought she was really impressive so I figured I’d trust them with my money. My sister uses Wealthfront, we both like both products. To be honest, from using Betterment I’ve probably learned that I could do most of the things I use them for myself w/a Vanguard account and save money on fees, but it’s totally been worth it to me to just have the kickstart to get myself going. And their charts are so much prettier! Either Wealthfront or Betterment is a great tool for automating a rebalancing investments.

      I’m familiar w/Acorns but I actually *like* deliberately feeling like I’m investing so I haven’t used it. I’ve heard good things though.

    • JC

      I use Acorns. The automated part is great. I’ve been doing round-ups, to take the change from every purchase I make. I’ve found that this doesn’t actually help me in a tangible way, because I keep very close track of my budget, so I don’t let those cents “slip through the cracks” anyway. I’d probably be better off just doing a $5 a week automated deposit, but I kinda like the variable amounts that get invested. Some of the investments in my portfolio are apparently connected to real estate, which means I won’t get the tax forms for the account until March, which is really delaying my doing my taxes.

      Summary: I love having a tiny investment portfolio. I don’t know that Acorns is any better or worse than another option that also has automated deposits.

    • Eenie

      I’ve been really happy with betterment with an auto deposit. Very low fees. You don’t have to do any rebalancing, you just set percentages, and it uses your next deposit to rebalance based on market conditions.

      I finally found the article that I read that made me meh about acorn.
      https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/personal-finance-apps-automated-adulthood?utm_term=.ppne4QLNdV#.cblDbLzPRv

  • lurker2209

    We have a Photographer! And a Hot Dog cart! I am just so psyched that we will be able to feed everyone hot dogs and chips and a drink for about $13 per head! And they have great veggie dogs and gluten free options!

    After a few weeks of going back and forth and having our top photographers book up (one was really good about communicating that she’d been contacted about other people for our date, the other one was…not) and waiting for people to get back to us (turns out the Superbowl is a busy season for hot dog sales!), everything really came together this week. We are paying deposits and signing contracts; it’s exciting.

    Plus, I have a BHLDN appointment Monday! And my mom called me and told me she has money she wants to give me and wants to pay for my dress! I knew she wanted to help financially with the wedding, but she has a lot on her plate right now, financially. I was expected that she might be able to give us money closer to the date, or that she might not be able to give what she said she wanted to, which would have been fine. It’s nice to have the money, but it’s really just heartening to know that my Dad’s insurance is paying his medical bills and she’s not being put in a place of having to pay for all that.

    And on a completely ridiculous note, I just bought 25 wooden hangars for $10 at a department store closing sale. I’m going to have a fabulous-looking closet and make some of those cute bridesmaid hangars I dismissed as ridiculously expensive at the craft store yesterday!

    • ssha

      Yay all these things! Also hot dog cart wedding made me think of Gilmore Girls.

  • Cellistec

    I’m going to Hamilton tonight! This is the best night of all the nights! Everything is superlative!

    • ssha

      OMG have the BEST time!!!

      • Cellistec

        Thank you! I will!

    • JC

      At the Paramount?? I keep seeing pictures and I just want to die from envy!!!

      • Cellistec

        Yes! I can’t stop doing a little chair dance because I’m so excited!

  • ssha

    Hi everyone! I have not fallen off the face of the earth- I got a job that does not place me near a computer at all and my laptop died and my husband’s computer blocks Disqus. Ive missed APW!
    In queries for the week, I’ve been going to therapy (yay!) But it’s sometimes a scheduling headache. How do those of you with 9-5 type jobs fit therapy in, and what do you tell your boss or workplace?

    • Jess

      I told one boss that I have a recurring appointment for a health issue, and would work through lunch the days I had to go to trade off the hour I took.

      In another job, I told the boss that I was going to be leaving for therapy, because I have depression which was impacting my ability to do my job. He was very understanding about it and basically said, “I’m glad you’re doing what you need to do. Don’t worry about making up that time.”

      Basically, do what feels right for your workplace.

      I’m glad to hear that you are well and taking care of yourself!

    • MC

      For the first 4-6 weeks with my new therapist, I just put it in my calendar as a doctor’s appointment. Once I knew I liked my therapist enough for it to be long-term, I told my boss, and she was predictably very kind about it. If I had a less-than-awesome boss, I probably would have just kept it vague, but I figured my boss would probably guess that my regular weekly appointments were with therapists and I didn’t feel like I needed to keep it secret since I’m pretty open about it in my personal life. I’ll work through lunch or come in early a couple days a week to make up for the time.

    • Cellistec

      I’ve just called it an appointment, or even a medical appointment (mental health is a medical issue, so it totally counts). If people seem concerned that you have a lot of appointments, you can just say “it’s nothing serious, but I do need to go on a regular basis” or something vague like that. Basically they shouldn’t pry anyway, and if you do, “That’s kind of a personal question” plus side eye works well too.

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  • rg223

    I’m posting today from LAX! Thanks everyone for the recommendations last week! Most of you said “go to the beach,” so I did, and oh goodness, it was gorgeous! That was definitely the first time in the trip when I was like, “Oh yeah. I’m understanding why people never leave here.” I also went to the Tar Pits which I found fascinating!

    My meetings went well and it’s pretty great to hear “we LOVE this pitch” in person. I feel like I held my own among more experienced people, though I wish I had spoken up a little more with different ideas (something I have to work on). Thanks again all! Have a great weekend!

  • Charley

    Has anyone been to an REI garage sale before and have tips to share? I’m hoping to go to my first one tomorrow if the weather’s alright and I’d like to know what to expect.

    • Alli

      Definitely bring a blanket and something to sit on. My first one I froze because I underestimated how cold I would be while waiting.

    • Seconding the recommendation for warmth. It’s also better with friends and a warm beverage. If you can turn waiting-in-line-time into a social event, it’s much more fun. The first hour can be kinda crazy and people tend to snatch up a lot of stuff, but don’t panic. At least at the one’s I’ve been to, patience is key. People tend to grab a bunch of stuff, then sort through and pick out what they actually want. If you wait, you can often get things even if at first they all seem to be “gone.” Know your sizes beforehand if possible. And be patient with checkout– it will take a while, but people usually have a good attitude about it.

  • Fushigidane

    I procrastinated a lot on getting out pictures printed. I’ve been adding pictures to the list slowly over the months and I’ve noticed that I’m now adding pictures of my parents that I originally didn’t want to get printed. I think I’m slowly getting over feelings incurred during the wedding process.

    • rebecca

      Oh this is nice to hear. I still can’t look at our pics because of shenanigans my in laws pulled that day, but I hope eventually to get where you are.

    • Sarah E

      We’ve printed nothing except a handful of family photos to give to parents for gifts. I’m really hoping my feelings soften, too. A lot of the feelings are about the photography itself, though, so. . .

  • mjh

    My husband loves all things frilly, heart shaped and love themed, so the time around Valentine’s is his holiday season. I’ve never been a Valentine’s person, but his enthusiasm is adorable and I’ve come to enjoy the traditions he’s built around it. He kicked it off today with a heart shaped pizza from Giordano’s (Chicago style stuffed).

  • suchbrightlights

    Start of last week: I came off of a respiratory infection, kept a horrible cough from my over-sensitized throat, got another infection, got bronchitis. Husband had the flu. Work announced (planned) layoffs incoming this year and offered voluntary severance to everybody at manager level or above. Spent week debating whether or not I should take it.

    Midweek: my grandboss stopped by unprompted, asked how I felt about the layoff situation, and told me that he hoped I planned to stay as I am the type of talent the company needs to retain.

    Then mostly-recovered husband and I went on a badly-needed weekend trip away, and I’m still exhausted from the ride that was last week, but on the bright side, there’s figure skating. And chocolate going on sale on Thursday. And then more figure skating. I know the Olympics are problematic as hell, but I love watching good sport.

    • Zoya

      Oh wow, what a week! I hope you’re feeling better and that the path forward seems clearer at work. (How cool that your grandboss you to stay! That’s gotta feel at least a little bit good.)