APW Happy Hour!

Hey APW,

What a week for news, RIGHT? On Wednesday night, for the first time ever, the baby flat out refused to go to sleep at his normal bedtime. We finally brought him out to the living room (knowing when you’ve been beaten is a key part of my parenting philosophy), and it turned out the kid just wanted to watch the news. No joke. He stared intently at the screen, and occasionally turned to us and said, “Dat dat dat bbbbbbbb,” and then turned back to listen carefully to details of the VRA, DOMA, Prop 8, #StandWithWendy, and the Zimmerman trial.

As for me, I spent half of the week feeling like the kid was doing a better job articulating his feelings about the news than I was. On DOMA alone I vacillated between headspinningly overjoyed, and dealing with this totally unexpected near blinding rage that we didn’t have a Loving-esque decision. And that while Section 3 of DOMA was struck down, Section 2 of DOMA is still standing. Logical? Probably not. I know the timeline on a broader decision just shortened dramatically. But apparently that’s what happens when twenty years of your bottled up rage on an issue explodes at once. (Perhaps this is where I should recommend not slapping a happy face over your emotions for twenty years, even if you think it will help win hearts and minds?)

But mostly, this week was one for celebration, of heart stopping feminist moments, and of lots and lots to discuss. Plus, it was APW Pride week. Let’s get into it.

It’s your open thread, hop on it!


Highlights of APW Pride Week

Intern Elisabeth’s partner K on how it’s Elisabeth’s wedding, but her legally binding clambake.

Matthew & Mathew! Adorable gay male wedding in a clock tower, FTW!

Wedding style: Butch & Femme.

Open Thread: how we’re having good sex. Get it, girls.

Two ladies break down how they did it (with budget numbers) for their church social hall wedding. This is only the kind of wedding I’ve been talking about since… the dawn of time.

And finally, it may not technically be Pride related (though it is pretty Femme) our How-To on colorful oversized wedding bouquets is one of my favorite projects the APW staff has ever worked on.

Link Roundup

One of my favorite articles about the week and speaking out as women, comes from The Cut. Though the last word on Justice Alito rolling his eyes at Ginsberg comes from the ladies at Jezebel who said, “YOU LEAVE RUTH BADER GINSBURG ALONE, SAMUEL ALITO!” and “YOU DO NOT GET TO TALK TO MY PRETEND GRANDMA IN THIS WAY. I WILL KICK YOUR ASS, SIR. I MEAN IT.”

This article on “What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel” is required reading. Married to a litigator, I’ve seen my share of reluctant witnesses, but something about Rachel Jeantel’s spunk in an emotionally exhausting situation won my heart. Take that, Mr. Knock Knock Joke.

And speaking of race, dig into the gutting of the Voting Rights Act with this piece from Colorlines.

But let’s get down to DOMA and Prop 8. We know the Supreme Court did it for Bert & Ernie, so I’m probably going to save this New Yorker cover forever.

But then there was all the equality and love all over the internet. This mom’s touching open letter to her young son about Christianity and homosexuality sums up some of my theological arguments on why I think Christianity requires believers to be pro-gay. Fun fact! My parents published and taught on the theology of gay rights in the early ’90s, so catch me over coffee, any time you want to chat about that in detail.

Speaking of pride in my heritage, Snippets of Sarah shared this lesbian wedding. The venue is the Equality House right in front of Westboro Baptist Church. The Officiant, the executive director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, a.k.a. the church association of my childhood.

But enough about all that, this is the wedding we really want to attend. And we’re wondering if SCOTUS saw this awesome marriage equality ad out of Ireland and that’s what sealed the deal.

For those of you heading to San Francisco Pride this weekend, keep in mind this fabulous Columbus, OH Pride parade attendee’s response to an anti-gay protester.

We are the 15 Percent, a Tumblr created after the Cheerios fiasco, celebrates interracial families and makes you feel all warm inside. It helps take the edge off of reading this NPR article.

We’ll be re-watching the moment when Senator Van de Putte threw down the gauntlet at the Texas Senate late on Monday night whenever we need a reminder to fight for what we believe in. #StandWithWendy indeed.

And whatever, let’s end this light. Kanye or Lucille Bluth? All I’m saying is that Maddie only got one wrong. She knows her Lucille.

Inspired by the angry bakers debacle, reader Juels baked a yummy cake last weekend!

I’m hoping ESB keeps up her new Where Do The Cool Girls Shop? series forever, because it’s already solving my problems.

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  • I just got done officiating a wedding between two of my best friends! What a wonderful, wonderful day. So full of love and joy. I’m on an absolute high.

    Congrats to Elizabeth and Kyle!

    Being an Ordained Minister FTW!

  • Emily

    Oh! AND! National Donate Your Hair Day is a Facebook event now!

    Come join, guys. It’s weird being alone in there. haha

    • I joined! I wouldn’t want you to be lonely! I don’t think I’ll have enough good hair to donate this year, but I REALLY want to take pictures of someone who does!

      • Come to Atlanta! ;)

        • Emily

          OMG, it just occurred to me that I could totally come to Atlanta!

          • You should! And not just because I constantly want everyone to migrate to my ome city.

          • OMG I WANT to! (Although the schedule this year begs to differ on the logistics of that.)

          • meg

            We have a few Atlanta photographers.

            For the love of god, I’m SURE we can find you someone to photograph.


          • Paranoid Libra

            I’m in PA but I know how to get to new York easily.

    • I’m so hoping I will have enough hair by September but it’s slow growing!

  • Paranoid Libra

    I heard that PA has 2 senators ready to try again to legalize same sex marriage here but the gov. may veto it. I have all intentions on writing a very persuasive (hopefully) letter to my reps and to the governor to consider passing it. I am in the red sea of the middle of the state so I realize the impact if it is actually read it might have.

    I still wish we didn’t have to go state by state but at least for now I am going to go do my part for my state.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you’re there, taking care of my home state. Gov Corbett can suck it.

    • I’m in a somewhat purple part of the state, but I agree. It’s time to take this momentum and put some voter oomph behind it to remind them all who they’re supposed to be representing.

  • Laura C

    Speaking of #StandWithWendy, I want to recommend a great, great piece by a friend of mine on how we talk about pregnancy and the choices (and lack thereof) that go with it: Just Have the Baby? A New Mom Reveals Why There Is No ‘Just,’ and Not Necessarily Any Justice Either


    • This is fantastic, I’ve shared it on social media.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Yes!!!! That article there is so very true. On top of women becoming public property when pregnant there is much more going on there afterwards. Even if a child is given up for adoption, the mother might still lose her job or her home because of either no maternity leave which is still possible if you work at a small business or only considered part time for whatever bs reason or a freelancer rather than an employee, from just healing from birth.

      I don’t even have a child and it ticks me off to see people not realize a c-section is major surgery and close to 1/3 of deliveries in the US are c-sections. I imagine most of us here read about the complications Meg had after hers and I think she might have only given us the bones behind it as I understand she tries to be private in a very public business of blogging. (so much respect for that Meg)

      If we can’t have paid maternity leave and healthcare for everyone in the country don’t tell someone to just have the baby or put it up for adoption for just the physical side alone of what can happen. Even in this modern day and age of medicine there are still women who die due to birth complications or post-partum complications (and thankfully it’s much less what it used to be.

      • I actually have a friend who’s been going through a rougher pregnancy right now (she’s due any time now), and doesn’t really enjoy pregnancy despite wanting the baby, so this article really resonated. I hate the fact that everyone acts like pregnancy is sunshine and rainbows, and if you don’t feel that way THERE IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU AND YOU ARE BROKEN OR SOMETHING.

    • Love Love Love. Thank you so much for sharing. Tweeting that at once.

  • Question for Elisabeth, or anyone else who knows: where does one find a non-professional crew team (club?) in NYC?

    This is really important ’cause I went on a first date with a cute butch girl yesterday, who used to be on a crew team. I know very little about sports, but mentioned reading about “a woman on some blog” [did not want to mention WEDDING or MARRIAGE on first date! Yes, I’m almost a lesbian, but still] who does crew in the area. And she seemed very interested!

    So for our potential 2nd date, I would like to impress her with more details. Anyone?! Please and thank you.

    • I heartily approve of the effort you’re putting into one small detail to impress a date. Love it. Reminds me of my dating days– I used to save the crossword puzzle to do in class w/ my bf when we just met because he thought I was so smart for finishing them. He didn’t know the secret of Monday crossword ease. Le sigh.

      No helpful info here, sorry. Just straight-up girl solidarity :-) Have a great 2nd date!

    • KW

      If you fail in your quest to find out more info to impress her, maybe just ask her to tell you more about it? That learning she was on a team made you curious to learn more but you struck out. If she loved doing it, she probably would be happy to explain and it helps get the 2nd date conversation going.

      Regardless, good luck with date #2!

      • Thank you for your solidarity! <3

        • KEA1

          I admit I consulted Google, but not only does NYC appear to have a few clubs, apparently there’s a PrideSports club among them! GOOD LUCK, and hopefully you’ll find yourself on a riverbank cheering for your favorite rower soon! %)

          • Thank you again! You all are the bestest! <3

    • Elisabeth

      I’m late to the party. Still, I love everything about this comment, Danielle! Row New York (http://rownewyork.org/), the org that I row with, has learn to row sessions all summer….would be a perfect, perfect second date.

      There’s also the Harlem River Community Rowing group (http://harlemrivercommunityrowing.org/). They’re a good bunch — more casual than RNY. If someone asked me to row with them for a weekend and then go get wine at the new wine bar in Inwood afterwards, well, I’d kiss them on the lips.

  • Cleo

    Hi all! I wrote the long post in the open thread last week about how my boyfriend seemingly did a sudden 180 on wanting to get married and have kids.

    Many of you wisely told me to talk to him about it, so on Sunday afternoon, inbetween watching cheesy 1980s slasher films (because we’re cool like that), I asked him to clarify what he meant when he said he wasn’t going to be ready for getting married and kids for 10 years.

    This was a scary topic to bring up because I like to (as Rachel perfectly put it) MacGyver my thinking so I don’t have to confront anyone and can pretend everything is peachy keen. But I told myself (thanks to Amy March) to “Slow the panic horses” and just asked. I kept apologizing for being so awkward, and I just did it.

    And…it turns out it’s not as bleak as I had feared. My bf and I have similar thoughts on wanting to get our ducks in a row before we get married and have kids. He is currently stuck in a job he hates where he has little to no chance of upward mobility. That is on his mind. He doesn’t want to come home unhappy and not have a chance to fully unwind because there are kids. He is feeling pessimistic about when he will feel happy and relaxed enough in his professional life to have kids — so 10 years is his feeling that the light at the end of the tunnel is SO DAMN FAR out of reach.

    On a more down side, he doesn’t feel a need to get married until he’s ready for kids. I would prefer not to wait that long. It’s a discussion.

    There’s also the possibility that he might not ever feel ready. However, he prefers to live in the present, so all I can get from him now is “I don’t feel ready now.” He’s not one to want to speculate. But still, we’re talking.

    Also, the good news, since I breached this dam and told him exactly how I’m feeling, he’s come home and initiated a couple mini-discussions on the topic. So we’re talking.

    Thanks for all your encouragement, advice, and tough love! I couldn’t have made this positive step without you guys!

    • Awesome, Cleo — bringing up those tough topics the first time can be the hardest part. Now that you breached the dam, as you mentioned, you’ve opened the lines of communication . . . and been honest about what you want. Sounds like you handled it beautifully, and I’m sending you lots of good vibes!

      • Cleo

        Thank you! Good vibes received!

    • Woop woop! You go, girl!

      • Cleo

        ! Thanks! Love the woop woop!

    • Yes! The hard conversations are so damn hard, but in the end are the most intimate and rewarding. So many props to you for taking the steps to initiate the conversation that you needed to have!

      • Cleo

        Thanks, Kelly! It really did feel rewarding when we were done, and even now to know for certain where he stands (and that he knows where I stand)

    • I’m SO proud of you for having that tough convo and so happy to hear that the conversations are continuing with a bit more ease! That’s all very promising and I hope the answers to these big questions start to fall into place as you guys have more convos!

      • Cleo

        Thanks Rachel! It was really helpful to see you talking about your experiences with similar feelings that I have — made it seem like a less impossible feat

    • Amy March

      Total tear in my eye to hear that my “panic horses” were helpful. And tonight I’m trying to slow my own marriage horses down. Because it’s a 4th date. I shouldn’t be deciding where the rehersal dinner will be held (our families’ favorite pizza place obvi).

      • Cleo

        “Slow the panic horses” has quite sincerely become my new motto. I have a herd of them pastured in my head and sometimes they like to stampede. It helps me stop boarding the “end of the world” train.

        I hope your date went well! And no harm in speculating about the rehearsal dinner :)

    • Amazing! Way to go! And don’t worry everyone is awkward in serious convos

      • Cleo

        Thanks! That’s good to hear that everyone is awkward in these conversations because I felt like a giant dweeb when I started this one. lol.

    • S

      Aww….I’m happy for you! Was thinking about you all week! You are indeed a brave woman! Its not easy to discuss things with others that may make us uncomfortable especially when a result of that decision can tremendously effect our own lives. Its great that you guys are having these discussions – its important to see eye to eye. Somewhat of a bummer about the kids thing (and I get his point about living in the present) but maybe this warrants more discussion about what would make him feel ready…what are goals he wants to accomplish before kids? That sort of thing. However, keep that in the back of your mind and take his advice of enjoying the present for now….things will all work out! Xoxo :-)

      • Cleo

        Thanks S!

        The kids thing is a bummer, but considering I thought he meant something more negative on that front, it was a comfort to hear his answer.

        Good question re: goals for the future. I asked him about that a little, but he didn’t seem to have any concrete answers. I should definitely push him on that in a future conversation.

    • Engineering_my_wedding

      Also props to him for being open and honest in his response. He clearly loves you!

      • Cleo

        Aw :) thanks!

        He was very thoughtful and considered in his opinions, which I appreciate a lot because it shows he knows this topic is important to me (sometimes he’ll brush topics off because they don’t register as important or urgent in his mind).

    • Oh, thank you for coming back and giving us an update! So glad you guys are talking and sorting it out. Yay!!

      • Cleo

        You’re quite welcome! Thanks for the support! I felt like I had the whole of APW breathing down my neck last weekend, so I needed to get the discussion started.

  • Woo! What a week. Thank you all for your shoe suggestions in last week’s open thread — I had so much fun going through everyone’s kind ideas. Though I haven’t cracked and started ordering like crazy, I’ve bookmarked them all for future (like, every other day) pining.

    The wedding-related stuff on my brain this week mostly revolves around the dress fitting. I’ve lost 25 pounds since purchasing my gown in March, making it now two sizes too big. I’m sure tailors deal with all manner of dress issues, but I’m very stressed that I jumped the gun and ordered too early. Everyone (or just the WIC?) says, “Expect your dress to take at least three months to arrive!” and mine totally took . . . three weeks. So it’s been hanging up in my closet ever since.

    I’m afraid to put it on unless I’m back with a tailor because I know it won’t fit — and I’m going to panic unless he/she’s there to reassure me. When do brides usually go for their first dress fitting? I was told two months out, but what if it needs major alterations? Should I go earlier . . . like, next month? (I’m getting married in November.)

    My mother-in-law is visiting us in early August, so I was thinking about waiting to schedule the fitting until then so I could show her in person . . . is three months enough time for this sort of thing? I really . . . don’t know what to do.

    • Kate

      My wedding is 10/5 and I am having my first dress fitting next week– so 3 months out. I did not lose a significant amount of weight, per se, but I bought the dress in January when my body was all, “You know what I like to do in the cold month after the holiday snacking season? Lay around and drink hot chocolate ’til I burst.” Needless to say, the warmer weather, biking to work, and a healthier summer diet because, hello, fresh farmers market, has changed my body quite a bit.

      I wouldn’t panic- taking it in is easier than trying to find some fabric to let it out. I think you could happily go in August as you hoped. If you are reallyu concerned, you could call the tailor and just discuss it, but I am sure you are not in a situation that is new or surprising to them.

      • Thank you, Kate! Whenever I flip about something relatively small and wedding-related, I think, “Surely I’m not the first person to deal with this . . .” and then I mentally run through all the outcomes a bazillion brides surely have reached before. Makes me feel better.

    • KC

      No panic!

      It is so easy with most dresses to take them in. Seriously, nothing to panic about (okay, unless there’s a spiral of beading or something all the way around the dress, such that you can’t take in any fabric without also redoing allll the beading – but any symmetrical dress will be just fine). In a pinch, I took a size 18 bridesmaid dress with symmetrical beading down to a size 8 just by hand-stitching a couple inches in the side seams (total time, half an hour). A tailor/seamstress can totally take those bodice seams apart and make that dress fit you like a glove, better than it fit before, even if it’s currently more on the burlap-sack side. Seriously, not worth panic. If it makes you feel better, when you try it on if you try it on before going in to have it altered, pinch or safety-pin the side seams to snug it against your body, recognizing that it will look a whole lot better once it is properly taken apart and sewed together again.

      If the dress was purchased new and if it’s from somewhere with physical stores, then taking it in there for alterations might be a good plan. Otherwise, you can ask around to see where might be good to go if friends have had things altered (esp. wedding dresses, formal wear, or suits, in that order).

      Time-wise, contacting the place you want the alterations done at and asking them what their timeline/schedule is might be a good plan. If the dress has boning or intricate detail, it’ll take a bit longer to take in than if it’s, say, an unlined sheath (in which case, you can pin it to fit, re-pin inside out, check the lines are symmetrical, sew the lines, and bam, it’s fitted.). They’ll probably have two fittings. Three months before the wedding should be waaay more than enough time, but if that’s when you have anti-panic support around, that could be a good time to go in for an estimate (of time and price)?

      • As a girl whose mother worked as a seamstress for years, and as a girl who lost a chunk of weight between when she bough the dress and when she wore it, I agree with ALL of this. Get a good tailor, check with their timelines, take deep breaths. It’s going to be fine!

        • Thanks, Kelly! Deep breaths on the way. So glad for the advice.

      • Thank you so much, KC — you’ve made me feel tons better! No intricate beading or anything crazy on my dress (mostly tulle). I’m going to roll with my early August appointment with my MIL and mentally put this one away in a box. Phew!

        • KC


          And yes, tulle is so easy to modify (doesn’t even have to be hemmed!) and is particularly forgiving of alterations, so you’re golden.

          All will be well. :-)

    • Kara E

      Yes, 3 months is plenty of time with a good seamstress. In fact, I bought my dress at Christmas and had it significantly altered for my March wedding. It’ll be ok.

  • Ruby

    In honour of pride week – I thought I’d share this video. I’m from Ontario, Canada and our premier (equivalent of a governor) is the first openly gay leader we’ve had. Here’s her thoughts on this year’s pride events. It makes me so happy to live in a place where sexuality doesn’t matter.


  • I’m waiting on news from my realtor to see if we get to close on selling our house today. We were supposed to close yesterday but paperwork got slowed down, so I’m hanging onto hope that we’ll close today instead… At any rate though, any day now we should be done with *that* whole ball-and-chain. We’re thinking of throwing ourselves a little private “house cooling” party, wherein we celebrate the no-house-no-baby-left-that-dream-city-but-we’re-starting-over-fresh situation. Because we need some *damn* sushi after this whole mess of buying a house before we knew we were going to deal with infertility and far away job offers. Lesson learned, you know? At this point we’re just happy to be rid of that house where ~dreams went to die~ and can be more flexible with our choices and options from here.

    We’re happy about it. Giddy. Please, please realtor, email meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

    So yeah. Anyway, the point is, as far as marriage and settling down goes, sometimes it’s super awesome to be able to break the chains of home ownership!

    • Breck

      Fingers crossed for you! And a house cooling party sounds amazing! We’re thinking of throwing me a retirement party (from my first job out of college…) when we relocate in September :).

      • Life is too short and unexpected to not celebrate whatever good we can find, even if it takes a magnifying glass, I reckon.

        (Got an update from realtor….as she put it, it’s good old fashioned lender delays, and we should close on Monday!)

  • 83000ReasonsWhy

    Yay Friday! I wrote last week about not looking forward to telling my husbands toxic family about our baby due later this year. Unfortunately, it went much worse than expected. They were disrespectful to the point of some family members choosing to no longer speakto us and others shaming us about our joyful news down to becoming angry about the subject of the email we chose to tell them the news. Like I said, toxic. Husband and I have decided to no longer include them in our lives as they continue their pattern of joyless disrespect, and while this is a relief and the healthy thing to do, it still weighs heavy on our hearts. I need a hug.

    On a joyful note, husband and I have finally made a last name decision (1year post wedding) and will both be changing our names in court to a new last name! Any advice? Am I crazy to take thks on without any professional legal help? Were in CA, and Im having a hard time grasping just how complicated the process is.

    • Holy crap! Many, many hugs for you!

      Cutting toxic people out of your life can be difficult and painful, but you are protecting your baby family and that’s awesome.

    • *hug* I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that toxic situation. It’s really rough to deal with family members who not only don’t care, but who seem (from your comment) to actively work against caring. :(

    • i just wanted to say for encouragement – my mother cut a toxic family member out of her life when i was tiny, and (once i was old enough to even know about it, and then to understand it) i’ve always been super proud of her for doing that for us (her kids).

    • Hugs hugs hugs

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’ve seen non-lawyers change their names through the California courts just fine. Your local civil courthouse may have a packet of information for you that provides all the steps.

      This is a good place to start:

      Read all the links. It’s not the most intuitive web site design, but it’s got great info after you dig it up.

    • Hugs to you. But high fives for doing what’s right for you.

      Possibly hope:
      Both of my parents cut toxic family members out of their lives when I was young. As a result I never really knew my grandmother or many of my uncles. BUT, years pass and people change. Or as my mother says “old people get too tired to hold grudges from their youth.” It took almost 10 years but my mom has repaired her relationship with her mom and you should hear my grandma brag about her grandkids and great-grandkids.

      Basically, just because it’s awful now doesn’t necessarily mean it’s awful forever. Be thankful you had the strength to walk away from a bad situation to protect your family. You’re already an amazing mom and the kid isn’t even here yet. :)

    • Cutting the toxic relationships can be hard, but it can be really rewarding to move forward with life without having to wade through that baggage every time something happens in life that you want to share with your people. Even if sometimes it’s hard letting go of the idea of those relationships and what they should be.

  • Em

    Hello APWers!

    I’m getting married in a week! Yay!

    I want to express my gratitude to this amazing community. Wouldn’t have gotten through the pre-wedding process as smoothly without you. You have helped remind me that it’s about the marriage, not the wedding, and my almost husband and I are in a really good space right now. I’m so excited! (And ready for it to be here, happening, and to be MARRIED!)

    Now, I am attempting to find my wedding zen… and to let go and just enjoy the moments!

  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    Happy Friday ya’ll! Sigh, I know this topic had been discussed thoroughly but I still can’t help but feel bummed about RSVPs. And it’s not the people who declined, it’s the people who haven’t sent back a reply at all. The deadline is Sunday and it just makes me sad that people who I consider to be really good friends can’t be bothered with checking a box on a pre addressed, prestamped postcard with a reply, OR send me an email (which was an option we included in the RSVPs). I know with a couple of my friends weddings I felt bad declining so I waited a little so I’m hoping that this is the main reason for the delay

    In other news our puppy jumped up about 3 feet from the ground to steal a piece of chocolate from my fiance’s hand (honestly if I wasn’t so freaked out and scared I would have been impressed) and so we had to spend Wednesday night at the Vet getting him examined. He is fine though!

    • Kh

      I’m with you on this. I’m not planning a wedding but I am throwing my best friend a fabulous shower and bachelorette party and am having an impossible time with rsvps. I’m thinking people don’t understand the fancy French. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to try and plan a whole wedding when the head count is iffy. Good luck and may you soon be caught up in a swarm RSVPs!

    • KC

      RSVPs for parties (even “no, really, we need to know how many chairs to borrow” sit-down dinner parties) have gotten harder and harder to collect over the last 6 years. I’m not sure why. (and it’s frustrating – some people, upon being re-contacted, say “oh, I didn’t think I needed to respond, of course I’ll be there” and others say “oh, if I could have come, I would have responded”, so you can’t tell from the absence of a yes-response, either. Argh.)

      I do know that when wedding RSVP cards are sent out *way* in advance, if I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to attend when I get the card (which does not mean the wedding is “low priority”; I once had to miss an awesome friend’s wedding because my sister’s wedding was the same weekend and completely overlapped, and some people have to get vacation dates approved thus far in advance and no farther, or might be having a baby or cancer treatment around then, or whatever), the card sometimes gets buried and then I forget whether I’ve responded or not. Because I am a dork. (I’ve also experienced the “I can’t make it, but I’m sad to tell them I can’t make it, so I don’t want to” thing)

      I hope your responses roll in soon, and feel free to delegate friends/family to be a “collection agency” to call up or email the non-responders they know. :-)

    • I am sorry RSVPs suck, and I give you a hearty internet hug. It’s kind of like Meg says, your friends don’t stop being who they are for your wedding. If they were kind of on the flaky side, they probably will continue to be so through the wedding process. Also, maybe if they’re really close friends they made the faux pas of assuming you know they’re coming? Just hang in there and try to remember why you wanted to invite these people to share your wedding day in the first place. :)

    • Tess

      I feel you on the RSVPs! We had a big burst of them right away and now it’s trickled off considerably. What do people think about the early responders vs. the late responders? Do people that RSVP late (or not at all) tend to be much less likely to attend? I would guess yes but just curious (I definitely know some people are coming but still haven’t bothered to actually RSVP, so).

      • KC

        Personally, the closer I RSVP to the actual date for something, the more likely I am actually able to come (no flu! confirmed plane tickets! confirmed vacation! etc.). It also gets more likely that I will not mentally misplace the event on the wrong date or time (both my husband and I have done this, but fortunately in all cases other than one medical appointment, the other had remembered correctly and, due to the disagreement, we looked it up and ended up there at the right time/date), but I don’t know how representative I am. And it’s possible that, while it would optimize attendance for all alarmingly-forgetful people to RSVP as close to the event as possible, the early-RSVPs are in general less forgetful/confusable and hence more likely to make it?

        Beats me. I think “consistently showing up at other events after RSVP-ing yes” and “how important they generally consider weddings” might be better markers for RSVP-yes-ers showing up than the date they RSVP.

    • May I recommend delegating rounding up those late RSVPers to a friend or family member? It’s a lot better conversation when my sister sent a friendly FB message or nudge to people than me asking, because then it might seem like confrontation and they feel even worse for bothering me. I really enjoyed her helping with this and highly recommend!

      Also, for better or worse, an RSVP on the last day is just as legit as one on the first, so they do still have some time :)

    • Catherine McK

      Joining the chorus of “RSVPs suck” We ended up having a good chunk of people never respond. This included people like my best friend who did the flowers and was clearly a yes. The “definitely yes but can’t be bothered” people I just marked as yes and moved on.

      For the others, closer to the deadline I started counting people as “probable yeses” and “probable nos” on my spreadsheet. So, if I knew they had school age children in another state and hadn’t attended his brother’s wedding, “Probable No.” This allowed me to get a grasp on the numbers even if it wasn’t exact. There were a few surprises, but they balanced out.

      Good luck and we’ve (almost) all been there!

      • KC

        I apologize to all the weddings I was at a bridesmaid at and didn’t RSVP to. Oops. It seemed obvious to me at the time (clearly, they know I’m coming, we’re talking about dresses, etc.), but I didn’t think about counts/spreadsheets!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I think the mode cause for delayed RSVPs for our wedding was see-sawing about bringing kids. (We invited the minor children of all the adults we invited.) And some of that was wanting to know who else was bringing kids. We also invited a lot of immigrants who just weren’t aware of the customs involved.

    • Amber

      I’m sighing about RSVPs too–our deadline was just over a week ago, and we had a total of 38 out of 123 responses by the deadline. We’ve been chasing people down ever since (we don’t actually need the head count for the caterer until July 22 for our July 27th wedding, but had originally planned on being traveling for the next month and wanted everything done ahead of time), and we’re still missing responses from about 30 people. And we’ve gotten both the “Oh I’m not coming I didn’t think I needed to RSVP” response and the “of course I’ll be there I told you months ago I didn’t think I needed to RSVP.” Ugh. And the fact that we estimated about 100 of our invites to come, and in reality we only have about 60 people, after adding several extra people to the guest list in the past week that we hadn’t planned on inviting but we have to meet the minimum for our venue. I’m honestly pretty bummed about the low attendance, but trying really hard to not let it bother me because I know that all that really matters is that we’re getting married and the people meant to be there will be there. It still hurts a bit though.

  • Breck

    Man, oh man, this week was crazy. I think I’m going to go on a little news fast over the weekend so I can take a breath and process everything.

    This week, the dude and I found out we’ll be going to Caracas, Venezuela for six months for his job. We are very, very excited about this opportunity (living abroad dream: achieved!), but it is also a little terrifying. I will be leaving my job and relying 100% on the dude for financial support (and in-person emotional support, since I won’t know anyone there). I’m not really worried, but not being worried kind of makes me worried? Does that make any sense?!

    Anyway, has anyone spent any time in Caracas or Venezuela? It seems like the scary capital of the world according to the dude’s company and the US State Department, but I’ve also heard it’s not as bad as they say? Any insider info would be greatly appreciated!

    • A.Non.

      OMG. Look, I usually get offended when people disparage whole communities, but seriously Caracas is super scary. Regular middle class people hire body gaurds to go out at night. And if you are thinking that you are safe, because you aren’t involved in gangs or other dangerous pursuits you can think again, because one of the biggest crimes in Caracas is kidnapping and as an American (I’m assuming you’re from the U.S.) you will have a target on your back.


      The state department has this to say about Caracas:
      “According to the Venezuelan National Counter Kidnapping Commission official statistics have shown alarming increases in reported kidnappings throughout the country since the commission’s founding in 2006. According to Venezuelan government statistics, 583 kidnappings were officially reported to officials. Police sources indicate that as many as 80% of kidnappings go unreported, meaning that the official figure of 583 kidnappings in 2012 is likely much lower than actual numbers.

      Armed robberies take place throughout Caracas and other cities, including in areas generally presumed safe and frequented by tourists. Well-armed criminal gangs operate widely, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Only a very small percentage of crimes results in trials and convictions. VVO estimates that less than 10% of homicides result in prosecutions. It names impunity as one of the major factors for the increase in crime.”
      You can find the full text here:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1059.html

      Is your fellow’s company supplying security?

      • Breck

        I think I’ve read those exact articles, and, yeah, they don’t paint a pretty picture.

        We’ll have a security guard/driver 24/7 and are required to use his services whenever we go anywhere. We’re going to be living in a secure high rise in one of the more upper-middle class neighborhoods (I think they commonly put people in San Roman?), and they’ve also strongly suggested we hire a housekeeper type person to run more of the household errands (grocery shopping, dry cleaning, etc.). The company also has us attend a day-long security briefing before we go, so we should get some more specific instructions then.

        Have you spent time in Caracas?

      • Peabody_bites

        I agree that it can seem scary, if you focus on the official warnings (although I note that the UK FCO though it advises caution and highlights risks, does make the point that 9,500 British nationals travel there every year and virtually always without incident) but US/UK Govt websites can blow the actual situation out of all proportion and actually just frighten people into staying away unnecessarily. If you know Caracas yourself, then obviously tell me I am wholly wrong, as I have never been.

        But I have travelled to several of the countries on the Do Not Ever Go There Because They Hate Us and BAD Things Will Happen (including Iran and to Pakistan) and every time the situation on the ground has borne little or no resemblance to State Dept. or FCO advice. And I am super conspicuous/foreign looking – red hair and freckles.

        Breck – TL;DR version of this is what an exciting adventure, why not ask your husband’s company if they can put you in touch with before you get there so that you can ask questions. Plus, APW is so far reaching these days, you never know what readers will come up with.

        Have a great time!

        • Breck

          I totally agree about the official warnings–they definitely veer into fear-mongering/worst case scenario territory. That being said, we are cautiously optimistic about the assignment. My boyf spoke with his soon-to-be boss earlier this week, who has lived in Caracas for quite a few years now with his wife and five (!!) kids, and he says they love it there. I’ve also talked with another woman who said it really wasn’t that bad; definitely not safe to wander around by yourself, but she didn’t have any issues with crime. So, it’s a mixed bag.

          Like I mentioned, I think we’ll be in good hands security-wise, but we’re both a little worried I’ll be trapped in our apartment a lot of the time. I will take your advice and see if I can maybe email a bit with the boss’s wife or another stay at home partner/mom to see what the daily routine is like for someone not working.

          • Kristen

            Hopefully this won’t be too long-winded.
            I have never been to Caracas myself, but my person (ex-fiance/still boyfriend/wtf are we doing person) is from there originally and it’s definitely a place to be concerned about. He has not visited in three years, and with the current political turmoil, the situation has the potential to get really bad, really fast. We were planning to go visit family there as part of our honeymoon, but with recent developments, were already concerned about going even before the engagement was called off. The reality is different for locals, but he was concerned about taking me there. Obviously your dude’s company is aware of these risks and seem to be preparing you well for it.
            Despite the crime, person thinks his city and country are a beautiful place and there are a lot of good things and people about it. My best advice is be on your guard and don’t talk about Chavez!

    • Marie

      My father is from Venezuela. He hasn’t been back in years and panics every time I talk about going for a visit (even though I have dual citizenship and a Venezuelan passport I can travel with). I’d make sure there was plenty of security around, especially if you’re easily identified as American.

  • Ashley

    My fiance has been on strike for two months and it’s been really tough. We JUST found out they have reached an agreement and it looks like he’ll be back to work next week. So unbelievably relieved and HAPPY!!

  • heh, i love that “sinead’s hand” ad; it’s utterly brilliant.

    also. our (foster) kiddos are going to their family for the weekend for the first time today. this is the start of the going home process – it’ll probably be about 6 weeks of this (weekends with family, weeks with us) before they go home for good. i’m excited, and i am surprisingly nervous (that is, i’m not nervous *about* it; i haven’t been worrying, but now that it’s happening i think the magnitude of the change is settling in and unsettling me).

    • meg

      So much love. That sounds… hard. I’m glad you’re excited about it, at least.

      • so far, i’m feeling a little bit guilty about how not torn up i am, actually. i’m worried about how my wife is going to fare (and open to the idea that my emotions are not something i can predict).

        but i think the big thing for me is that the kids are excited about it – and so i’m excited about it. as little as 2 months ago the youngest pretty much thought my wife was his mommy, and didn’t have a relationship with his mother. thinking about sending him home then was fairly heart-rending, because i knew it would be so hard for him (much in the way coming to us was for the older 2). but since then he has made a dramatic attachment and is the most enthusiastic “bye-bye mommy!” of the bunch when she drops them back off with us. it is incredibly heartening.

    • Amazing . I seriously think about fostering and people think I am nuts! So amazed by those who actually do it! Thanks for everything you do!

      • do it! no, i mean, no pressure obviously, but also – it’s awesome! (full disclosure, this is our first placement, so i’m kind of a noob, but) i love it so much. everyone keeps making weird comments that seem to come with the underlying assumption of “well, now that you’ve got that craziness out of your system, you’re ready to move on to something normal, right?” but really, i’m excited to do it again.

        • meg

          Please write about it. I know I’ve asked before, but immagonna keep asking.

          • Alison

            Yes, I would LOVE to read more about this. It is something I am considering doing but don’t know where to start wrapping my head around the possibility.

          • if it helps, i am, in fact, writing about it. i only have yet to finish writing about it…

          • meg

            Well, you have yet to finish experiencing it (this chapter at least). So that’s fair enough.

            I’m really glad you’re going to do this. I think a lot about fostering later, when our kid(s) are a little older (baby would CUT A KID that got between him and his mama right now). And I know we’re not the only ones who think about it.

          • Jenna

            I would also love to hear more about your experiences!!! Especially because you seem to be in favor of family reunification, which is awesome.

            I’d love to see some discussion about foster care here, where we’re getting into wedding graduate topics like Reclaiming Wife and motherhood. FH and I have talked about it, and I’ve talked a lot about it with others in the adoptee rights advocacy community (if a child is in a permanent foster placement with legal guardianship, even if he will never be back in his first family’s care, he retains all of his rights to his original information, including his birth certificate. In ~40 states, adopted people are denied access to their birth certificates…..going to put a lid on it now, because this is probably not the place for it, but suffice to say it is an important equality issue and I’m tired of adoptees being second-class citizens in the eyes of our government).

  • I haven’t really felt in the summer spirit lately (because it’s SO HOT in Houston we can’t do normal summer fun things…so I basically just treat it like winter and never leave the house) but I’m feeling motivated today and excited for our summery weekend plans and the long weekend next weekend! One of the things I’m going to do this weekend is make a little planter with succulents/cacti for my home office. I really want to have some green things to tend and I’m starting there!

    Oh and today is my and Eric’s three-year dating anniversary! <3

    • Emily

      You should go to the MFAH! That’s always my go-to Houston summer activity. It’s so cold in there. OR, go eat on the patio at Niko Niko’s. Greek food and mist fans. Heaven.

      • Rachel

        Yes!! I did that a few Fridays ago and it was delightful. The HMNS is my go-to, that was actually my first trip to MFAH and I loved it!

    • You could come to Galveston, the wind coming off the ocean is usually pretty nice here. Unfortunately half of Texas is probably also here, for that reason, and none of them can drive particularly well.

  • So, I turn 31 in two weeks. As I’ve mentioned in comments recently, I’m pregnant and having a rough time of it (although things seem to be getting somewhat less horrible as I move into the 2nd trimester). When my husband asked me how I wanted to celebrate, I told him that I wanted to get a swanky hotel room for the night, one with a large soaking bathtub and really fab room service and a king sized bed, and just bask in the air conditioning (which we don’t have at home. Woe) and sleep and soak and play cards and read books and watch movies and eat cheesecake (I always have cheesecake on my birthday; it’s a thing). Basically, I want to lie around all day and do nothing, but in the luxury of air conditioning. I expected him to laugh at me, but instead WE ARE TOTALLY DOING IT and I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything!

    • Laura C

      That sounds fantastic. Hooray for knowing what you want, asking for it, and getting it.

    • Class of 1980

      Kelly, you have the right idea. ;)

    • Jessica B

      OOOooohhh, that sounds wonderful! I know you live in the Twin Cities–might I suggest one of the higher up floors of the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul? Beautiful view of the Mississippi, excellent restaurants nearby, good staff.

    • meg

      That’s amazing. And one of the few things where I do feel like DO IT NOW. (Because you can totally travel, whatever with kids). But it’s going to be a long time still till we get a night away. He doesn’t sleep through the night (nor is he particularly close), and that plus developmentally appropriate separation anxiety and… yeah… we have to be here. Besides, I can’t sleep through the night right now anyway (nursing hormones).

      When he DOES sleep through the night though, I’m going to do whatever I can to get someone to come stay with him for the night so we can do this.

    • Awesome!

    • Al

      That sounds great! My other thought was…if you can afford a night at a swanky hotel with $18 dollar oatmeal for room service breakfast, maybe you could also indulge in a window AC unit so you have a one-room sanctuary in your own home, every sweltering day! I do not sleep well at all if I’m too warm, so our unit in the bedroom is a savior during heat waves.

      • We do have a window AC unit for the bedroom, but it is OLD and doesn’t work well at all. Luckily we’re moving on August first to an apartment with central air! *swoon* So I just need to ride it out for the short term!

    • Claire

      Fun! I can recommend the tubs at the Graves Hotel and Hotel Ivy.

  • I put up my first thing in my Etsy shop, and I sold my first print this week! To a friend, but still!!

    I also made myself a skirt yesterday. A skirt! Considering my sewing knowledge = about zero, this was a win. Now I need to repeat the feat with actual fabric, since it was a test run with muslin.

    I don’t know why my brain reacts with such disbelief when I figure out, hey, I’m decent at making things, but that’s just how it goes.

    • KC

      One kind of random note with muslins: if you go to fabric stores where there are clearance fabrics, sometimes you can use clearance fabric instead of Real Muslin for just as cheap or cheaper – and then, if the project works out, you get two skirts (or whatever) out of the bargain, one in a potentially slightly strange fabric (firefighting puppy dog flannel strapless dress?… ooookay? But sometimes you can get fabrics that you will wear un-ironically.). The second biggest benefit is that you can often get a fabric with a similar heft and drape to what your final fabric is going to be, and hence get a better sense of how you want to alter things. (and, obviously, if the clearance fabric is cheaper than muslin, then, hey, cheaper!)

      The downsides are that muslin is easier to sew and work with generally than many other fabrics (so even if the final product is going to be satin, you can get the fit more or less right with muslin and only have to wrangle satin *once*), and that it’s easier to mark up all over the place for fit and whatnot with blue marker or whatever. Also, if you’re making your own patterns, you can then trim and deconstruct the muslin and save it as the pattern without confusing yourself later quite so much. So there are advantages to the traditional way.

      But I kind of love having the same fancy item in a random un-loved fabric rescued from the back of the store, and sometimes those fabrics are awesome. :-)

      Anyway, congratulations on the Etsy store and first purchase and skirt! Hooray!

      • Oh absolutely. I am a clearance hound at all craft stores. I think anyone who holds an art degree has to be that way. It just happened that several of the muslins were 50% off that day (yay JoAnn and their cyclical markdowns).

        • KC

          Yay for clearance hounds! And yeah, muslin at half off often beats clearance fabric – good work. :-)

          (and yeah: cyclical sales mean you basically never have to buy anything craft/fabric full-price unless you need it Right Now. Especially patterns – like, seriously? If you wait long enough, they will be $1 or $2. And then the perpetual 40% off coupons… But if someone has more money than time/patience, that is also okay. I just like to share the tricks in case people want to make their money streeetch. :-) )

        • Craft store clearance options can be crazy. The big box craft store here gives us coupons on the receipts, too, so buying something on clearance means I can get another (possibly non sale item) at a huge discount the next week. Thus encouraging the purchase of splurge-y crafting supplies.

          • KC

            Oh, dear. Yes, those “come in again next week!” receipt coupons.

            Although I did get basically all the cake pans I needed for a friend’s wedding for half off by dropping by the craft store every week on the way to grocery shopping and using the previous week’s receipt coupon, so I probably shouldn’t complain. But it’s so tempting to buy things when they’re half off and craft supplies and there are so many things you could potentially do with them… and apartments only have a certain amount of storage space!

    • Congrats and good luck for Etsy. It is both a wonderful and a scary place for sellers. (My own stores are in temporary hiatus while I figure out marketing.)

  • Peabody_bites

    This week I:
    – learnt about isocost and isoquant curves. Turns out my part time Masters has A LOT more economics in it than I anticipated. Still working on framing that as a fun challenge instead of a complete nightmare.
    – was delighted for a good friend’s baby birth
    – spoke on a panel at a conference in front of 200. Just before it started, I cursed Meg for inspiring me to make speaking in public in a professional conext one of my goals, from when she did it about 3 years ago. Now I’m kind of grateful because it felt awesome after (luckily, since I have to do it twice more this summer).
    – saw 2 excellent plays – for the APW London contingent, definitely see Disgraced (Bush Theatre) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Noel Coward theatre). And, incidentally, don’t see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Plus, I am making dinner tonight which I never do. Chicken, aubergine and salmorejo. If I pretend really hard, I am in Andalucia and not in damp N London.

    Happy weekends all.

    • Cleo

      That sounds like an awesome and busy week!

      Also, can I come over for dinner? :)

      • Peabody_bites

        It turns out that I can’t tell the difference between the grill symbol and the bake symbol on my oven. So you may not want to…..

  • Yay! Happy Hour. Man, I could use some happy right now. Rough morning. (Family drama.)

    Speaking of drama, so am I missing something with the angry bakers thing? All I ever saw was the one comment. Were there others that were deleted, or did the furor happen elsewhere on the net?

    • meg

      Oh, TONS had to be moderated down. And then yeah, they took the rage to their Facebook pages and made it viral.

      We put one of comment back up because it was the funniest one.

      We in general try to make sure you guys miss whatever drama is happening, but that round of drama was too entertaining not to mention.

      • OK. Good to know. I was worried that perhaps my drama-meter was broken. :)

        • I was a bit confused too. Though going back and reading through the comments on the last Happy Hour was pretty enlightening, and amusing.

      • Jessica B

        Seriously? Have they met this website?

        • Paranoid Libra

          Yea seriously have they met this website? Go back to the site that shall not be named.

          And hello rainbow sprinkles for maybe a rainbow themed wedding or maybe generic pride wedding cake?

          And loved the retort to it too.

  • Class of 1980

    OMG, the open letter from the Christian mom! My favorite paragraph:

    “I can only speak from my personal experience, but I’ve been married for ten years and barely any gay people have tried to break up my marriage. I say barely any because that Nate Berkus is a little shady. I am defenseless against his cuteness and eye for accessories. He is always convincing me to buy beautiful trinkets with our grocery money, and this drives your sweet father a bit nuts. So you might want to keep your eye on Berkus. But with the exception of him, I’m fairly certain that the only threats to your father’s and my marriage are our pride, insecurity, anger, and wanderlust. Do not be afraid of people who seem different from you, baby. Different always turns out to be an illusion. Look hard.”

    • Caitlin

      YES! This was my favorite link in the round-up this week. I was ugly crying by the end of it and wondering if there is a way to turn into mandated reading

      • Class of 1980

        Well, don’t send it to Nate Berkus. ;)

        (btw, is he gorgeous, or what?)

  • Kirstin

    I need some creative brainstorming/problem solving on this one and hoping you all can help me out…

    So yesterday we learned that the location we had selected for our combo ceremony/reception is not actually ideal for our ceremony at all. We can access the space at 6 pm, but apparently it’s fine for receptions but too noisy to do a ceremony until at least 7 pm. Seems a little too late to be getting the party started, and I’m thinking folks won’t be excited about not eating until 8 pm.

    My initial thought was…could we do dinner first, and then the ceremony? But we actually were hoping for a private ceremony, with only about 1/5 of the guests.

    We are willing to look at other locations, but were hoping not to have to pay buckets of money for a place we will be at for 20-30 minutes. We have also considered outdoor locations, but May in the Midwest is just a little too iffy, so we’d still need a back up location.

    So now our debate – do we change plans and include everyone? Move time? Move location? At one point we were thinking of doing the ceremony in our living room. Perhaps we revisit that?Any creative ideas or ways I could look at this differently? Other options we haven’t considered?

    I know that you don’t know my town or the locations available, but am open to any thoughts you’ve got. : )

    • Decide what matters to you most (having the small, private ceremony? Having ceremony and reception in the same location? Serving dinner at the reception?) and figure out how to best make that priority a reality.


      Keep your venue, have the late ceremony, and do passed apps and/or dessert and cocktails instead of dinner. Make this clear on the invites, so guests will eat beforehand.

      Have the small, private ceremony elsewhere. Maybe in the early afternoon or morning? Use your livingroom if the idea still interests you.

      You can always change venues entirely, too.

    • Have a guerilla wedding? You can choose the location (and change it, as necessary) without a deposit, and if your ceremony guest list is small, that may ease the logistics. APW How To has a bunch of guerilla wedding stuff. Good luck!

      • Amber

        This is exactly what we are doing! Well, guerilla ceremony with about 10 people in the afternoon (hello giant art sculptures in the park–woot woot!), then a more traditional reception/dinner/dancing with the full guest list in the evening. Our officiant is stoked for our ‘lets just all show up and have a wedding!’ plan, and I couldn’t be happier about where we plan on doing it. No fee, no decorating needed, low-key, perfection. It might rain, but with only a few of us we could totally do it under umbrellas, so I’m not worried about it.

    • You could do a cocktail and appetizer hour at 6 so people won’t have grumbling stomachs?

  • C

    Oh thank god, I’ve been waiting for this all week.

    Work has been HORRIBLE for me lately guys. Like it’s sucking my soul out of my ears. We’ve gone through a transition to a new director for our department, someone that used to take care of clerical duties around the office, who has NO qualifications for the job, and is now reigning hell on the department. She doesn’t seem to have a particular liking for me either, to make matters worse. I’m trying so hard to stay professional and keep telling myself “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, this isn’t forever”, and plan my wedding and focus on the amazing man i’m marrying in less than 4 months, and a planned move to a new locale, but the past few weeks have been so bad that I dread coming into work every day. I feel like this is starting to make me depressed and that I’m stuck… we don’t make enough money that I can just up and quit my job, and I keep asking myself if it’s worth it to look for something in the area for the time being to get out of this toxic environment, but don’t feel that would be fair either when we’re planning on moving soon after our wedding.

    So I’m not sure what to do.

    On a positive note, wedding planning has been going amazingly well! Tomorrow my honey and i are meeting with the FIL’s and going to go look at renting some decor and spend the day shopping for wedding things. :o)

    • Beth

      I just wanted to throw out a little fist bump of solidarity on being in a crappy work situation. Been there. Had to give myself a pep-talk every single day as I left the house. It’s soul-sucking and I’m sorry you are going through it.

      Is it possible for you to start looking for work in the area you are moving to? 4 months seems like a long time when you’re miserable, but when it comes to looking for jobs, it’s not that long (in my experience – obviously not the case for all). Start getting a feel for what’s out there, put out your feelers, start making connections in the new location! If nothing else, it will make it easier once you do move so you’re not starting from scratch going in.

      Also, one thing I found helpful for keeping my sanity (besides the occasional sneaky whiskey swig with my coworkers behind our desks) was to find one super frustrating thing and turn it into a game. How many times a day does my boss spout straight up incorrect information as if it’s fact? Place your bets!

    • ali s

      Solidarity over here too. I used to take public transportation to/from work, and after my fifth time having someone ask me if I was okay because I was crying on the bus, I left my job. I was moving in 8 months, and worked fun jobs until then. This may not be possible for you, but my quality of life increased so much it was almost visible.

  • Engineering_my_wedding

    Opinions needed please!!

    This past Sunday FI and I were scheduled to take our engagement photos. Exciting! Well, it did NOT happen. Let me give you the back story.

    FI has a friend who is a photographer. We’ll call friend ‘J’. The friend is not a hang out all the time friend. He and FI play basketball together and when we had a summer gathering at our place last summer, J was invited and came. J is a cool guy. So when I learned that J is a photographer, I talked to him about him possibly doing our engagement shoot and he sent me examples of his work. He has a website and a facebook page that I ‘like.’ So I think I’ve become pretty familiar with his work and, from what I had seen, liked his style. He’s good, he’s a friend (discount!)= win, win.

    So when FI and I were ready to take photos, I e-mailed J so that we can meet and talk about specifics (location, day/time, etc). Problem #1: I e-mailed him and I literally did not get a response until like 11 days later. During that time, I asked FI to get in contact with J to see whether he got my e-mail. I get the response, finally, and it turns out he is actually resending the original response that, according, to the time stamp was a day after my e-mail. I was confused. Don’t know how that could have possibly happened as I checked my spam folder too, but I’ll let it slide. We finally meet. Everything is great. We like his suggestions and we schedule the shoot.

    Problem #2: Three days before the shoot, I e-mailed him just to finalize and confirm everything and ask him suggestions about clothing colors and how we can best avoid the heat, especially since we planned on including the dog. He responds two days later. Granted, it was a thorough response and he apologized for his late reply. In normal circumstances, two days wouldn’t be a big deal, but since the shoot was around the corner I would have like a quicker response. Again, I let it slide. Wasn’t that big of a deal.

    Problem #3: The day of the shoot (it is scheduled for 6 pm), I spend most of the day getting ready: wash dog, print signs to use as props, do my and FI’s hair. Around 2 pm, I get nails done, pick up a couple of items from the store, and have a make-up appt at 3pm. At around 3:40, I check my phone and see a forwarded text message from J via FI that we have to postpone our shoot because his camera was stolen from a wedding that he shot the previous night. First reaction? Disappointment. What the heck am I going to do now with this make-up on. I go home, rest, and think about the situation a little more. Why are we just finding out about this 2 hr before the shoot? Why did he text FI (not call FI or me)? Where is the apology?

    I decided that I was pretty much done dealing with this guy. I told FI. To make an already long story short, FI and I got into a little argument about it. Mom, FMIL, sis, and friends think my reaction is totally normal. Basically, we had planned on using J as our wedding photographer (happening in another state). This situation could be foreshadowing. Would he wait til the last minute to give bad news on the wedding day?!

    So my question is this:
    I haven’t talked to J about the situation yet. Should I a) still allow him to do engagement photos and hire someone else for wedding or b) just drop him all together? or c) Am I taking this thing too seriously and just stick with the original plan?

    Sorry for the length but thanks in advance for your opinion. :-)

    • I would say let him do the engagement photos if he is able to do them in a timely fashion considering his camera was stolen – then this keeps the peace a bit between you and FI, but I would definitely not use him for the wedding.

    • Rachel

      I would definitely drop him as your wedding photographer. It’s way too important of a role and you don’t want to be wondering the week before your wedding if the photographer is going to show up or not…not to mention wondering if you’ll ever see your photos. It sounds like your gut is telling you this isn’t a good idea, and I tend to agree.

      As for the engagement photos, I think do whatever allows you to exit the situation more gracefully. If you feel like it would be easier to tell him you’re just going to go with a pro for everything, do that. But if you think he’d be less bothered if you have him do the e photos instead, then maybe proceed? Personally, I think it may be awkward to have him only do the engagement photos but that’s just me!

      • Engineering_my_wedding

        Yeah, this is a really sucky situation. Even more so because it was going to be a big item crossed of the never-ending checklist. :-(

        Since we’re getting married in my current hometown in Florida and we are currently in Texas, we were just going to fly him to Florida for the wedding. I’m sure I could get suggestions for photographers in Florida (in fact, the make-up artist gave me suggestions when she found out the e-shoot was cancelled), but I was really hoping not to have to go through all of the interviewing, etc. Besides, I just like the idea of going with people that we know.

        Anyway, I will definitely use someone else for the wedding. I do want to get the e-photos out of the way, so I may still consider using him.

        He hasn’t contacted me nor FI (as I am aware). It’s been 5 days. As I said, I follow him on FB and he recently posted a photo from a wedding he did. I’m not for sure, but I’m assuming this is from the wedding where camera was lost or stolen. While I am understanding that those photos and clients are of a higher priority, I would have still like have an update. So I guess, I will need to make the first contact. If I do decide to use him for e-photos, should I avoid asking him about the reason he didn’t notify us earlier about his equipment (as to avoid awkardness) or would it be okay to ask? I kinda really want to know.

      • Agreed, and wanted to add that I think engagement shoots are great as a “test run” prior to the wedding. In this case, the test run was useful because it gives you a clear idea of what to expect. Get a different photographer, do *that* engagement shoot as a test run, and hope for the best!

    • Kristen

      Feeling very proud of myself – finally had it out with my MIL after wedding planning and after caused her to lose her mind. I’ve been distant for months and got sick of her calling my hubby and giving him guilt trips about how I hate her.

      So I went to her house last weekend and told her why I’d been distant (called me bridezilla, said I was tearing family apart, called me a b*tch, said she wanted to slap me – all behind my back to hubs and sil) and that I wasn’t ok with her talking that way.

      She actually looked at me and said, “Well you were a bridezilla!”
      I held up my hand and told her that was a COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE way to talk to me and it needed to stop. We hashed through all her complaints about me, where I got to explain clearly how I needed her to act like an adult, treat me with respect, and generally shape up. I did it all as empathetically and kindly as I could and she took it very well. Still have no interest in being close to her but I will as always treat her with patience and love. And I can shut down my hubby’s guilt trips by proxy as I’ve clearly stated the kind of behavior I will and will not accept.

      Feel so proud I stood up for myself and was kind but honest about our relationship. Hope this eliminates the bad cycle of fights between hubs and I where he complains about his mom being a pain in the butt, I agree and then he yells at me for talking bad about her. After my meeting with her I made him sit down an acknowledge she is extremely difficult to deal with, that I am basically a saint for being so good with her and so earnest about having a good relationship and that basically I’m like the best wife ever. He agreed. :)

      • Engineering_my_wedding

        Good for you!!

    • KC

      It’s possible he may have delayed the “can’t do the shoot – camera stolen” call to confirm that the camera was, in fact, stolen, and not lost/misplaced/somehow stacked with the tablecloths – sometimes it can take a while to confirm with a location that nothing has been found, especially if they give you a bit of a runaround (oh, Jim would know that, but he’s not in today until 2pm… etc.), and he may have been hoping to get the camera back before the photo shoot. Emails do sometimes, albeit rarely, get lost in transit/silently bounced farther upstream than your spam folder.

      However, with this amount of possible foreshadowing, if anything went funky with the wedding, you would be kicking yourself (and would probably want to be kicking your then-husband). So I’d probably suggest either getting a backup photographer/second shooter for the wedding or getting a different photographer entirely. But it’s definitely something that you’ll need to work through, since there’s a friendship at play as well. (and there may be background there as well – is this guy normally a bit flaky? Is he normally a rock, but is there stuff going on in his life right now? Or is this the first mess ever?)

      • Engineering_my_wedding

        Thanks for the perspective, KC. FI is frequently gives people the ‘benefit of the doubt’ more than I do so he definitely brought up the fact that we don’t know what J was doing all Sunday when it comes to retrieving equipment. My argument was that even if he thought it was misplaced, a quick call about the possibility of postponing would have been great. Since he is a pro-photographer, I would imagine that he knows, for the most part, women take a while to get ready.

        I don’t know him all that well to comment on his reliability. But my optimist side wants to call this a fluke for a normally responsible and professional person. That being said, I do want to avoid as much risk as possible for the wedding.

        • KC

          Sorry – I’m another of those “benefit of the doubt”-ers. Coming up with plausible reasons is fantastic for remaining calm in a situation that you can’t alter, but I gotta turn it off sometimes when it comes to making Decisions.

          I would say that the thing to start with here is the friendship and how the way this shakes out will affect your relationship with your fiance; second, if you can get on the same page, whether it’s worth it to you to go through the interview process for a new photographer, or whether you’re at the wedding-planning-burnout stage. (and how important photos are to you, and whether you have friends and relatives willing to wield cameras in a flake-out situation)

          I would note that if you’re flying him out to Florida, his opportunities for screwing up will be seriously limited, unless he’s doing other things while in Florida (meeting up with friends the morning of the wedding or whatever). So, the things to do are: successfully show up to the wedding, take photos of the right moments/people (approximately – it’s hard/impossible for one person to get *everything*), and then get those photos to you. It sounds like he’s good at the last (since he’s posting photos of the wedding that he lost the camera at), good at the middle one (if the sets of photos look “complete” – are there parts obviously missing?), and if you have him trapped in a random place in Florida, it will be harder for him to go missing/get double booked/stuck in traffic/have a lunch that goes long.

          So… maybe talk with fiance about what you’re concerned about, see whether he’s open to swapping (if you’re open to hunting), and then move from there?

          • Engineering_my_wedding

            Such great advice, KC. I hadn’t thought of the fact that him coming to Florida would mean limited means to screw up. Hmm…


          • KC

            You’d want to be sure he made that flight, though! :-)

    • I’m going to agree with everyone else. Perhaps have a talk because if nothing else, it sounds like you’re not happy. And not being happy can make for bad pictures… Definitely try to figure things out with your partner. It’s hard when friends are in the mix, so try to make sure that he’s feeling heard, and you aren’t making this decision without him.

      • Engineering_my_wedding

        I haven’t brought it up to FI since Monday and, honestly, I’m a little apprehensive. He gave me the dismissive ‘whatever you want to do’ line so he may not be open to talk about it again. His attitude is much better now though so I will start the conversation again…I’ll give it 3 more days. :-)

        • Absolutely. Sometimes time to think is best, isn’t it? Good luck!

    • Beth

      I agree with Rachel. I’ve worked with a lot of wedding photographers (a lot) and I’ve found that the ones you want to work with aren’t the ones who make excuses. Some excuses are valid (eg: my dad died, or, there is a tornado warning), but having your camera stolen, while it sucks, is not an excuse to miss a shoot unless you live in the middle of absolutely nowhere. There is such a thing as camera rentals and a professional would have looked into that before cancelling a shoot (also, you don’t want someone shooting your wedding if they don’t have at least one backup camera). If he was doing it for free, that would be one thing, but it sounds like you were paying him, so he should be treating you like any other paying customer. At minimum, letting you know with more warning would have gone a long ways.

      As far as the engagement session goes, I guess it depends on your level of comfort with dropping him, but you may want to look into alternatives and pull the whole “we found someone who was able to work better with our schedules (and who still has a camera)” thing .

      • Engineering_my_wedding

        “There is such a thing as camera rentals…”
        Exactly what mom and FMIL said. Thank you!! Unfortunately, I didn’t think of this when I learned of the postponement. Otherwise, I certainly would have discussed this with J at the time. I was just focused on staying calm.

  • Cultural appropriation question.

    While I know there is no magical “but my Jewish friend/internet person said it was OK!” fairy to give me a single right answer, I still want to bring it to you, as a group of folks who are thoughtful and careful and who can give me some insight.

    It seems that my fiance’s Boston-area friends, many of whom are gentile, have a tradition of dancing to Hava Nagila, chairs and all, at all of their weddings. Doesn’t matter how non-Jewish the wedding it, that will be done at some point. So, it follows, fiance really wants to do this at ours.

    I, on the other hand, am deeply uncomfortable with this. Given that neither of us is Jewish in any way (regardless of family theories about my grandmother’s family back in Prussia) it smacks of cultural appropriation. Granted, probably not as much so as if we decided to borrow the chuppah, the ketubah, or smashin a glass. But still…

    I do know that the tradition goes back to about the 20’s, and that there are other traditions of the hora. I am still troubled by the “hey, let’s borrow this tradition, cuz it seems like fun!”

    However, fiance really wants to do it and I want to give full and fair consideration to the matter before I make up my mind one way or another. (There is also the fact that I am terrified of heights and people picking me up, but that is a different, more personal issue that is all on me to wrestle with.)

    Not laying the decision-making at your feet, but I respect and value your input on this matter. I welcome your thoughts.

    • Jew here. That sounds wierd to me. The thing about cultural appropriation is that there is deep historical meaning to certain traditions. To just do them “because they’re fun” or “it looks cool!” loses some of that. To me, it is disrespectful.

      That said, I would ask your fiance WHY he wants to dance the hora, etc, at your wedding. Maybe that’s a conversation that you need to have about what matters to him and why.

      It could also be an opportunity to parse out if there are other family/cultural traditions in either of your heritage(s) that could be used for a more meaningful celebration.

      • Exactly. Exactly.

        I don’t know when or how his friends started doing this at all their weddings. Possibly it started at an actual Jewish wedding, and then the next wedding, someone said, “Hey, let’s do that again!”

        What I’d like to do is carefully get down to why it is so important for him to do it. So far, the prevailing sentiment was, “It has been at all my friends’ weddings, and I was looking forward to it.” I don’t know if there is more to it, but I want to be careful with my asking, since he tends to get defensive about “why” questions. (Oh, maybe a pre-marital counselor question.)

        • Anonymous

          Tip from a psychologist on “why” questions: try to avoid using the word “why” altogether. It definitely can make people feel defensive or on the spot. I was taught in counseling classes to avoid it as much as possible. Say something like, “Tell me more about your friend’s weddings with the hora”. “What do you like about it? I want to better understand where you’re coming from.” and/or “What do you think you would like about having it at our wedding?”

          • Molly

            Another thought on how to discuss this with your husband–when culturally appropriated traditions are familiar to us, it can be hard to see that they are appropriated. The hora dancing may have just become part of weddings and so it seems fun and normal, albeit a little weird, rather than picking and choosing what seems neat about another culture without acknowledging its significance.
            If that’s the case, try giving him some hypotheticals–how would he feel if he was at a wedding of white people and they jumped a broom? What about a Jewish wedding where they had a mehndi ceremony the day before? Those traditions may be fun and pretty, but that isn’t the reason they are done in their original culture and it doesn’t mean it’s cool to grab and drop them in to a different culture.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My Jewish bona fides is questionable, but I’d suggest doing the motions to another song. A song with a different rhythm will be just as fun but not Jewish.

      That said, the Contemporary Jewish Museum had a great special exhibit on all sorts of recordings of Hava Nagilah – jazz, blues, rock, etc. – by gentiles. Apparently it’s a small part of the American music tradition. I think this is the link. If you called the museum, they might be helpful:

      My father is an evangelical convert from Judaism. My husband is a Catholic convert from Judaism. At our wedding, Dad selected “Harvey and Sheila, O the Day they Met,” and we danced the Horah.

    • Non-Jew weighing in, here, but if you’re uncomfortable with it, that’s reason enough not to include it. A. the fear of heights and discomfort in being picked up are alone enough reason to negate the tradition. B. further discomfort with cultural appropriation is again, enough in itself to negate the tradition.

      Frankly, if I were you, I’d emphasize point A, especially to your fiance. Whether you’d like to confront these personal issues or not, a wedding seems like a really tough time to also try to overcome deep-seated fears/discomforts. It doesn’t seem like a joyful celebration if one of the happy couple is white-knuckled, sweating, trying to avoid an anxiety meltdown in the middle of it.

      I mean, if there were something your fiance were deeply uncomfortable about, how would you handle it?

    • meg

      I agree with Danielle. It’s not religious enough to be like someone doing communion at a secular wedding “because it seems like fun.” BUT. It’s definitely on the line. Thinking about how David would react (my yardstick on these things), I think he’d be pretty weirded out and uneasy. I don’t think he’d be supper OFFENDED, but I also don’t think he’d be super pleased.

      In this case, since you’re already feeling uncomfortable, I’d say that’s a really good yardstick (and if you ask me, is probably the right yardstick). “Feeling uncomfortable” is probably about how I’d expect most Jews to feel about it. (Which… is way better than it could be with other cultural appropriation, but still.)

      Also, re-reading, and drawing a different line for you that you might not be considering. If you did the hora, I’d question your choices a little, but ok. If you did the chairs, I’d feel slightly offended. (Who knows why exactly. These lines in the sand are weird. But the chairs have to do with the religious tradition of making the bride and groom king and queen for a day, and that’s where I really start to feel… actually uncool. I think.)

    • meg

      Side note: I just wanted to say how impressed (and proud of) this thread I am. I’ve been so burned by how cultural appropriation conversations play out online that I won’t even host them on APW anymore.

      They usually turn into people shouting BUT I CAN HAVE WHATEVER OF YOUR STUFF I WANT at minority groups, and… it gets really hurtful really fast.

      So thanks guys!!!!

      • Molly

        I understand that instinct. It’s hard to keep diving into difficult conversations when you leave them feeling exhausted, misunderstood, and alone. But I think cultural appropriation is one of the biggest, biggest problems in the wedding industry and would love to think of a way to have that conversation in a safer space. Maybe that could involve pre-screening comments, or having a few articles expressing different viewpoints with closed comments, or an article that is itself a dialogue to give people something to react to. Obvs love and respect this staff and your decisions, but would be excited to see this community stretch itself and go there.

    • KC

      So, fear of heights by one member of the couple seems like a good enough reason to say no to that one specifically. So does the cultural-appropriation thing.

      However! There are all sorts of non-religious “everybody dance in circles” dances from almost everywhere, including the US (okay, so the colonies probably got it from England, who probably got it from somewhere else, but whatever), and maybe you could do a riff off one of those to some music that suits both of you instead of the specifically Jewish version. At weddings, I’ve seen circle dances to Turkish music and one that was probably of Greek extraction (?), and there are also ye old traditional American square/round dances; generally preceded by one or two people demonstrating the basic step/repeat and, if the circles are layered, instructions for how to link up. One I’ve kind of liked is where you have different layers, with couples in one big circle and single women in one big circle and single men in another big circle (and then, when you break up for the next dance, the couples dance coupled and the single women and men can more easily identify each other for matchmaking possibilities, bwahaha). And either you have the bride and groom dancing (and, in one case, making a small circle with whatever random children there are) in the middle of all the circles, *or* this is the first time that the bride and groom are in the “big couples’ circle”, the latter case representing the public acknowledgement of the marriage and that life-stage transition.

      I guess, this is one of those things where there is a specific version that is religious/only-one-culture, and there are somewhat similar things that lots of cultures do, and so maybe you could go with a version-lots-of-cultures-riff-on, kind of like flatbread? Or is that still cultural appropriation?

      • Well, fear of heights is my own thing, and something I am constantly pushing myself on. (I rock climb on a regular basis…having a rope makes it slightly better.) That on it’s own wouldn’t be enough for me to say no.

        Stepping on other people’s traditions…that is the big pause.

        • That’s fair. I’d still suggest that your deep discomfort with the appropriation, as you mentioned, is just as important as his excitement. Even before seeking Jewish counsel on it, if you are not comfortable- then that would signal a full stop to me, but even if it’s not an automatic full stop for you, even if every Jewish person in the world said “ok, it’s cool,” your discomfort is _still_ enough to veto the dance.

          I do understand that input from Jewish people about their feelings toward it is a way to address your discomfort, but personally, I don’t think you’re required to “come around” to this particular element of the reception. I’d put the question in reverse: if your fiance were “deeply uncomfortable” with an element of the wedding you were excited about, how would you react to it?

          KC does do a nice job of pointing out alternatives. Maybe there’s an awesome karaoke or dance song that group of friends always belts out/jams to at parties or in a bar? For my and my Penn State bffs, it’s standing in a circle, arms around each other, belting Don’t Stop Believing. So there could be ways to get the same upswell of celebratory emotion with a different particular song or dance.

        • KC

          See, I would be tempted to say “I don’t want to do the hora, because of all these reasons”, including the does-not-sound-like-it-would-be-fun-for-me-with-the-heights-and-all *and* the uncomfortable-with-swiping-specific-cultural-practices, to reduce the “I am judging all your friends and YOU as Cultural Thieving Possibly Racist Jerks for doing or wanting to do the hora at non-Jewish weddings” punch (I would kind of want to reduce that punch since it doesn’t sound like they’re mocking it or really aware that it might be offensive, but that it’s now an adopted local tradition among this circle of friends?). I mean, there are times to put the smack down, but I’m guessing this is probably one of those times where more actual-realization progress would be made by pushing gently. But you could probably accomplish the let’s-not-start-this-conversation-on-the-defensive goal via some other method than throwing your fear of heights in, if you wanted. I’d probably start with not-being-comfortable-with-the-hora-specifically, and ask him what aspects of that are most important to him (the “everyone’s in” part? the “focus is on the bride and groom” part? the energy in the room?) and see if there’s something else that would fulfill the “requirements” or not.

          Do either of you have any cultural heritage anywhere that you would be comfortable hauling in a round dance from? Doesn’t have to be wedding-specific to a culture for it to be fun, easy to learn steps, and everybody-grabs-hands-y and everyone-is-in-ish, and a whole lot of countries have this sort of celebratory/festive dance (as I said, including old farming families the US).

          Of course, there’s also the Electric Slide and/or the Macarena and/or the Hokey Pokey with more recent US heritage (or Thriller, if people know the choreography…). ;-) But they have a rather different feel to them. I don’t know.

    • Alison

      As a gentile with close Jewish friends, I think this would make me uncomfortable, or at least confused (“Wait, is [fiance-I-don’t-know-as-well] Jewish?”).

      When you look at the +/-s….
      – If you do it, you risk you feeling uncomfortable at your own wedding (both for the cultural and physical reasons) and offending other guests (Jewish and gentile alike).
      – If you don’t do it, you risk…making your fiance and some of his friends miss a few minutes of potential special dancing? (Maybe I’m not understanding how important this “tradition” is to them…but it seems like they may not even notice.)

    • Thanks for all the input on this, folks. I appreciate it.

  • You guys: I’m getting married exactly one month from toodaaaaaay!

    • Yay!!!

    • Amber

      Yay!!! We’re getting married one month from yesterday–it’s getting so close!

  • Anon

    I got married last Saturday and had the most AWESOME luck with weather. We got married by the ocean in the North Bay and there was ABSOLUTELY NO FOG. As in, completely clear skies when we drove across the Golden Gate at 8:15am, no fog. We got sunny, 70 degree weather on the coast! The next day was foggy and there was even a bit of drizzle.
    Many of my friends had never been to the area, and I was so happy to show them one of my favorite places on earth on such a beautiful day. I couldn’t feel more lucky.

    • That’s sounds so incredibly perfect. Congrats!

    • Paranoid Libra


  • I finally got that tat done (I ended up having to reschedule it for the next week)! It’s gorgeous and the artist did a fantastic job. It has just started to peel, which is simultaneously fascinating, gross and slightly itchy.

    Also, I turned 26 today. I’ll be going out for dinner with the husband tonight and doing a cocktail party tomorrow. Super excited.

    I’m also hoping to submit my dissertation proposal next week, assuming everything goes to plan and ninja experiments are kept to a minimum.

    • Yaaay, tattoos are the best! Get lots. Oh, and slap it if it itches, don’t scratch. I am the worst at this.

      • I’ve been able to resist the urge thus far. Helps that it’s hard to reach and under clothes.

  • Sarah

    Went to a wedding this weekend. It was at a farm. This was mentioned in the invite along with the advice to not wear heels. Doesn’t someone’s date show up in a neon yellow maxi dress and 5 inch stilettos. Now apparently she was the +1 and her boyfriend failed to tell her where the wedding was but still: is it ever appropriate to wear a neon yellow maxi dress to someone’s wedding? Am I way out of line for thinking this is way out of line? OR are there just some understood rules about what to wear to a wedding? Like, don’t wear white or ivory. What gives, APWers?

    • I don’t see anything wrong with the dress- neon is just a trend these days, so I see people wearing neon colors often. Without more description is sounds like a sundress, just a long one. (Obv, I assume she would have picked different shoes if she knew she was headed to an outdoor event)

      Did you think it was the color itself that was inappropriate for being so bright?

      • Agreed. I think APW is a great place for discussions, but I would hope it doesn’t turn into people judging others’ fashion sense. Maybe she loves yellow and thought an outdoor wedding would be a fun, funky place to express herself. I don’t think there are rules about what to wear and “out of line” for me would need to be wildly offensive or something vulgar. But that’s just me.

        • Probs just a legit etiquette question. Fashion changes so much, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s a new “normal” (especially if it’s not your taste) or if it’s just that one particular person who is flouting the rules.

    • We had an outdoor wedding last summer at an apple orchard, and also advised guests to consider their footwear., more for their comfort than because we cared. Plenty of women wore bright colored dresses, and several men wore bright shirts (neon green and bright sherbert-y orange, respectively). This didn’t bother me at all.

      When I go to weddings I try to consider the location, time, etc to get a sense of the formalities. Black cocktail dresses are awesome, and appropriate for a lot of weddings. But if it’s an outdoor summery wedding, I’m probably going to rock a loud sundress unless a note about attire requests otherwise.

    • meg

      I think I would be excited if someone wore something that cool to my wedding.

      But it mostly depends on the type of wedding, I think. I mean. Neon yellow maxi dress to a black tie wedding, uh, probably no. At a farm? I don’t see why not.

      • Sarah

        She looked stunning, just really stood out against the vintage rustic look of the wedding. I was wondering what the etiquette was or was I being old fashioned like thinking you can only wear black to a funeral.

        • Rachel

          If she looked great but stood out at that venue, I’d give her the benefit of the doubt, as it sounds like her date was pretty unclear on the venue (given her shoe choice).

          I think it’s just hard for +1s to know what to wear when they don’t know the couple much or at all. I’m always worried about looking like a bridesmaid so in that sense…neon yellow seems safe. :)

          • Also adding, there’s really no way she could have known what the colors/aesthetic of the wedding would be in advance unless she was really good friends with the couple and they had talked about it. I don’t think it’s fair to evaluate guests’ attire based on whether or not it went with the wedding decorations.

        • Etiquette comes into play with the formality of attire (like Meg said, sundress to black tie vs. sundress to farm), but this is simply a question of style. The event’s style/theme was vintage rustic, but her personal style isn’t.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I think asking/expecting guests to dress to match a wedding beyond the season, time of day, and formality is asking too much. “It’s not a photo shoot.”

          This particular guest needs to be left completely off the hook because it sounds like she wasn’t told anything about the wedding other than the date. Her date should have given her more information.

          [I insist on reviewing the invitation myself for events I’m invited to through my husband so I can pick up on the “girl clues” about formality and style. But this assumes my husband’s held onto the paper invitation. I also think that guests shouldn’t be expected to pick up on style clues from the invitation. I’ve been to lots of weddings and planned my own and still can’t always get the style vibe from the invitation. Sometimes, the style isn’t even set when invitations go out. Of course, if the invitation gave specific, reasonable instructions, I would follow those.]

    • I don’t see anything wrong with her outfit choice… obviously the shoes were inappropriate for the venue, but it sounds like that was because of a miscommunication. I don’t see anything wrong with a brightly-colored, long sundress, especially for a summer wedding on a farm. In fact, I wish more people would wear fun, brightly-colored things to weddings. It’s a party!

      • Sarah

        Fair point! Maybe the only reason she stood out so much is because of the rest of us boring muted people! And to be clear, I’m the only one who seemed to have a problem with it which is why I brought it to you people and you’ve convinced me to broaden my fashion horizons. Thanks!

  • Y’all, I have SO MANY FEELS about this week. 1. For once my country didn’t disappoint me (I’m still not used to the sensation) and I am now federally married to my wife. With like, rights and stuff. 2. Super seekrit thing that is super seekrit but life-changing started today, and I am veering between bouncing off the walls excitement and terror. What if I break my cozy life? 3. I’m just about done remodeling my kitchen, so I’m about to embark on the bathroom. Learning plumbing stuff is simultaneously fascinating and worrying. What if I break my house? 4. Just had a fun meeting with a friend-of-friend and am going to be doing some alterations for her store! Super excited, but what if I break the clothes? My brain always thinks I will RUIN ALL THE THINGS. So, in conclusion: excitement/terror. Just how I like it.

    • M.E.

      Solidarity fist bumps for the feeling that I will RUIN/BREAK ALL THE THINGS. I struggle with this every day and it’s not easy (as you know).

      But, VALIDATION! Your piece today was rad and you are rad and hooray for learning and trying new things, fear be darned!

  • Kerry

    Fiance and I just booked our wedding venue: an old, restored yellow inn/farmhouse with a surrounding garden that will be ours for the weekend of our wedding!

    It was more money than we had planned on spending for the venue, but we shifted the numbers around in our budget (spending less money in other areas) to make up the difference.

    I couldn’t be more excited- it is just so perfectly US! Now if only September 2014 didn’t seem so far away….

    • Casey

      Not to be creepy but this sounds like my venue!! Are you in California by chance?

      • Kerry

        oh my goodness, YES! San Luis Obispo?

        • Casey

          Yes!!!! Is it amazing or what?!? We’re getting married in just under 2 months and went back to visit it last weekend and I just got super excited all over again. Such an amazing place! If you need recommendations for any other vendors down there just let me know!

          • Kerry

            Casey, wow! just wow. What are the chances??

            Also, not to be creepy, but I just got a flash daydream about us becoming friends, bonded by a love for APW and the Flying Caballos, haha.

            yes, it is a fantastic venue! My fiance and I are from SLO, and couldn’t be happier about getting married locally.

            Actually, I would like to pick your brain about a couple of things…how to get in touch?

            Also, congratulations to YOU on your in-under-two-months wedding!

        • Casey

          For some reason I can’t reply to the latest comment, but yes! This is awesome!! Feel free to email me at caseybogden@gmail (and if it works out in enough time I’ll try to delete this so my email address isn’t floating around).

          • Kerry

            I’ve got your email saved, so feel free to delete now! Thank you!!

        • Kate

          Oh my god San Luis Obispo APWers :D

  • So… Had a minor freak out earlier this week when David’s Bridal sent us an email reminding us that our “tentative” date is 9 months away. I’m so excited, and kind of terrified. We haven’t booked the venue yet, and our friend who was going to take engagement pictures fell through. We’re trying to get the venue nailed down this week (we narrowed it down to 2!) and then I think it will be better. It just seems like it’s coming so fast… and yet, somehow not fast enough… :)

  • Paranoid Libra

    Oh and why can’t Wendy Davis or Senator Van de Putte or Tammy Duckworth be my senators. Holy awesomesauce. For why Duckworth is awesome: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/tammy-duckworth-strong-castle_n_3504531.html&sa=U&ei=jtzNUaeoKpDs9AS_6IDoCw&ved=0CCAQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNGl3l2-Fp65TP4SF9HkleaxTuy09A
    and she is a veteran double amputee and the first female from the Iraq war to have a double amputation.

    I want a kick ass lady senator! Or at least we need more EVERYwhere.

    • I just started dreaming of a Hilary/Wendy presidential ticket. I hate presidential speculation before the election year, and I know it’s a pipe dream. . .

      . . .but a girl can dream, right?

      • I think Texas needs Wendy more! Based on some interviews, it sounds like she’s going to run for Gov!!! See ya, Rick Perry!

    • Senator Van de Putte is my friend’s mom!

      It was very exciting for this (newly) ex-Texan.

  • Samantha

    I’m looking for general advice/experiences about dress alterations and fittings. I have no idea what I’m doing in this regard!

    I bought a dress that I love on Etsy. It’s beautiful, but fits just OK; it will definitely need to be hemmed, and the bodice could probably be a bit more fitted. I think the alterations will be fairly basic though, so my questions are: (1) is this going to cost a lot? (Someone please say less than like $200) (2) how much time should I budget prior to the wedding to have this completed? Is it a “thing” to have alterations done and then go back later for a “fitting”? (What does that even mean? Do I HAVE to do a fitting? I don’t get it… it either fits or it doesn’t, right? Why is this so hard??) ;)

    Thanks, APW readers!

    • KC

      If it fits (and you can jump around and move and walk and stuff and it stays where it ought to), and keeps fitting according to your definition, you don’t have to go in for more fittings. Yay!

      But usually there’s at least the first fitting, where they say “okay, this dress needs to be taken in here, and here” and then the second/last fitting, where they confirm that their first set of measurements worked and your dress now fits… or, alternately, where they say “hm, okay, needs more adjustment”. For super-complicated stuff, you might have more fittings wherein they baste (temporarily, loosely stitch) things together for the second fitting and then more-durably stitch things before the next round. If you add alterations of beading to that, then the beading would potentially be done after the fabric parts are more definitely fitted-to-you. So the number of fittings *can* get up there, but isn’t likely to if your dress isn’t complicated

      The price is totally dependent on the dress and what needs to happen to it. Hemming a dress that’s one yard around and a single layer (skinny sheath-y dress) is cheap. Hemming a dress that has multiple layers of chiffon and satin and is yards and yards and floofy yards around is obviously going to take longer and be more of a pain and be more expensive. Ditto for upper-dress adjustments; the fabric and cut and lining and boning (or not) and where the tweaks need to be made (and, if there’s beading/sequins/whatever, whether it’ll have to be painstakingly re-sewn) will alter the difficulty. So… maybe get a few recommendations for places from friends or trusted wedding vendors, and then request quotes and timelines from them? (if the places have email, a photo of the dress and a “it needs to be hemmed and the bodice needs to be taken in slightly” should be helpful for initial estimates)

      Unfortunately, price will also depend on location, in addition to the dress complexity. It could be way less than $200, or not. :-(

      Good luck! :-)

  • Kirsten

    It’s been a rough week in all aspects of life, but last weekend the significant other and I gave our first professional presentation together (2 1/2 hours!) AND he spent four hours of the car ride learning to play the ukulele. If that doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings about our relationship, I don’t know what does. The thought of it has totally cheered me up all week. :)

  • CII

    Does anyone have suggestions for how to begin a wedding if you are not having a processional / walk down the aisle, and if both members of the couple are present when guests start to arrive (rather than having the “bride” make an entrance?) We’re thinking of doing a pre-ceremony cocktail / snack time, then a brief ceremony (no attendants), then more food, and neither one of us really wants to miss the pre-ceremony gathering. Any suggestions of something like this that worked well or didn’t work well?

    (This seemed sort of related to the thread earlier today with the discussion of non-traditional processionals….)

    • An obvious change in music helps get people’s attention, plus I’d say employ two or three friends/family members to herd people into order when they get the appropriate “it’s time to start” cue (a purposeful head nod, a complicated baseball signal, w/e). If you’re indoors, consider borrowing the whole dimming the lights process from theater. Or a bell or a small gong to get people’s attention.

      I think crowd leaders will definitely help, to set an example for people who may not know what you’d like them to do. Then, while guests order themselves for the ceremony, you and your partner can just slip up to the ceremony spot and be in place by the time guests are settled and ready to go.

      I’m sure there are plenty of ways to accomplish it, though, no worries!

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      My parents said that when they got married (33 years ago), pre-ceremony food/mingling, then ceremony, then celebration was customary (at least in their area). They started theirs with the ceremony, so they had to make a point of telling people that they really did need to come on time. Herding people to a specific area/different room could help to demarcate the different parts. I second Sarah E’s idea of crowd leaders, too.

    • Anon

      I’m a bit late to the game here, but my fiance and I did something similar. We chatted with people as they arrived/hung out with guests until we were 100% sure everyone was there (some folks hit really bad traffic that they couldn’t foresee and we didn’t want anyone on our small list to miss the ceremony). We went off to another area of the park (with our photographer) ~5-10 minutes before the ceremony. That gave people the cue that we were going to get the show on the road. When the photographer left us to give us a few minutes alone, that was the final cue to everyone else. Parents knew where to stand and a few friends with loud voices were told to herd people (everyone was standing for the ceremony). Once we felt ready, we reappeared from our hiding place and walked over to where everyone else was (we were close, but behind some bushes/trees/etc).

      I *really* liked having the few minutes to ourselves right before the ceremony. It was very calming and we got to talk to each other in private. Even though it ended up with us having to walk up to everyone else, I wouldn’t change a thing.

      (Also, we went over the plan with the officiant, photographer, parents, and two helpful friends ~15 minutes before we disappeared. So on the fly plans work, too).

  • I just rocked my interview for my dream job. Here’s to hoping I get good news next week!

  • M.E.

    Apropos of nothing (or everything), I was just listening to the Rilo Kiley song “More Adventurous,” and this line made me cry at work.

    “I felt the wind on my cheek coming down from the east
    and thought about how we are all as numerous as leaves on trees
    and maybe ours is the cause of all mankind:
    get loved, make more, try to stay alive.”

    Have a great weekend, lovies. Get loved, make more.

  • CeeBeeUK

    I have a venue appointment tomorrow (less than 10 hours, I really should go to sleep). We’re familiar with the venue and it’s a pretty comprehensive package deal but what should I ask? I’m an American based in the UK so I’m hoping for a sense of how weddings actually run (the SO is no help, he told me that the only wedding colors are white, yellow, and blue, because…all the weddings he has been to had white, yellow, or blue…)

    • Peabody_Bites

      What would you like to know about hoow weddings run here? I am dual US/UK living in London and got married here, and there are lots of us about. Between us we should be able to give you a reasonably good overview of the UK wedding quirks.

      As to what you should ask your venue, if it is more or less included, perhaps ask them what is excluded – that often brings some surprising responses. Also:
      – what time can you get in to do set up on the day ( if you have any to do) and do you have to break everything down that same night
      – what time their license requires you to finish that night
      – what are actual marriage arrangements (church on site, registrar comes to venue etc)
      – do you have to use recommended vendors for any excluded services (eg photography)
      – what insurance do they have

      • Peabody_Bites

        Cant edit from my phone but wanted to add good luck for tomorrow!

      • CeeBeeUk

        Awesome, that’s very helpful!

        I think I have the basics but am not sure if there are quirks I’m missing out on, especially etiquette wise? I get to invite extended friends to a post dinner shindig? And that’s not rude? Are save the dates completely unheard of?

        I’m not having bridesmaids and am thinking about a humanist ceremony (yay Scotland where that is okay!)

        • Brenda

          Save the dates are less common here than in the US, but they’re becoming more used now. I’d only do a save the date if you really need it, if you have lots of people who need to travel or are having your wedding during a time when it’s likely lots of guests will have other holiday plans (bank holiday weekends, for example). We have a fairly small (75) guest list, so we sent email save the dates about 5 months out (we only started planning 6 months out) because it’s summer and we have lots of travellers so we wanted everyone to know as soon as possible, and mail invitations 2 months out.

          Scotland is a lot more lenient than England – you can have your ceremony outside, after 6 pm, and it can be humanist.

          Make sure you find out what’s included in their package and what you’ll have to provide.

          Also, since I’m here, seriously, can there be a London APW meetup? I’m an American in London too!

          • Peabody_Bites

            Sorry – got totally distracted over the weekend (the UK got its first sun this year, and I had to go out and bask in it).

            Save the Dates – super normal to just send a STD email. Pretty unusual to send actual physical STDs (as in, I’ve been to maybe 45 weddings in the last 5 years and never received one). I sent out an email to my core group of friends as soon as I had the date finalised (probably about six months) but we also sent physical invitations very early (about three months out) because we were inviting a lot of South Asians who (a) like to recieve a physical invitation even if they aren’t coming; and (b) had a way to travel if they wanted to join us.

            The inviting of a second round of friends post dinner – so usually just for cake and dancing (and sometimes speeches) is a personal thing. It isn’t that uncommon – I have maybe been to 3/4 weddings at which it happened, and I think if you are getting married in or very near to the town where you and the majority of your friends live then it is quite common. It is more uncommon where people would have to travel to attend.

            As with so many things, I don’t think it is rude if you communicate clearly to people what they are invited to.

            Other things that aren’t so common in the UK – rehearsal dinners, anything to do with garters – tossing, removal etc. etc. and also feeding each other cake.

    • Amy March

      Um WHAT? You’re engaged? Going to sound so creep-ster, but I “know’ you from Corporette too and remember all those first date posts. So excited for you!!!!

      • CeeBeeUK

        Haha! Total creepster. Not engaged yet but we want to do it next year so we’re looking at venues which I think is a bit back to front but whatevs :)

        It’s insanely fast but we’re both really practical, think it through people and this just took us a bit less time.

  • So, late last week, I got myself into a bit of FB drama. I shared a NYT op-ed written by a woman telling about her heart-wrenching decision to abort one of the twins she was carrying at 23 weeks, due to medical complications. I loved the piece, because the focus was sharing her personal experience, with a few sentences at the end that noted why this experience informed her beliefs regarding abortion rights and restrictions. So well written, and personally, I believe very strongly in sharing personal stories, so that we can find solidarity with others like us and build compassion for those not like us. (Hey, APW mission)

    My aunt, a beloved member of my conservative, Catholic side of the family, responded to the post, heartbroken over this woman’s lost baby, how I could support it, abortion in general, etc. After a few exchanges with her, I think I handled the situation fairly well. I didn’t apologize for my opinion or back down from it, but explained my belief in parents, not legislators, making this very intimate, personal choice in the kindest way I could. I plan to also send a letter to my aunt, to apologize for any hurt caused, and explain some of my muddled thoughts about sharing, such as:

    I very much respect that certain behaviors are expected at certain times. I would not behave in a staff meeting the same way I would at happy hour with my bffs (only because I don’t work at APW). While I would not regale my grandma with tales of booze-fueled college exploits, I also would not go along with an opinion or belief she expressed if I didn’t agree. Facebook muddles this because I’m “friends” with people on FB with whom I have a wide range of relationships in real life- professional acquaintances, very best friends, aunts, cousins, people I used to work with, etc. When this situation came up, I thought right away about the discussion we had the other week about how FB is used differently by different generations. I consider it a space where I express myself- not that I’ll share drunk pictures, or spout pointless or inappropriate status updates, but where I share what I think are relevant articles, messages that I’d like all my friends to know, or things I think should have a broad audience. My brother told me I should update my privacy settings, stat, but that lead me to more pondering (and more muddle):

    I feel like changing my privacy settings to exclude certain people from certain posts is kind of like censuring myself. If I’m not comfortable sharing stuff with them, I probably shouldn’t be FB friends with them in the first place. (and in this particular case, what damage there may be is already done) Furthermore, I’d prefer my aunt (and everyone) to love and respect me for who I am, rather than for the picture of me they have in their heads.

    This situation is handled, but I share the story because I’ve been thinking hard about how I use FB (not in an addictive sense, but seriously- who do I communicate with, what messages am I sending, are they worthwhile, is it appropriate), how I govern my behavior online, when I could be reaching any number/type of people (I wouldn’t bring up politics with family members in person, but should that limit what I share online, when I feel the article/story is important?), and how to express myself authentically in the mix of all that. Good food for thought, and probably something I will be pondering for quite some time.

    • Super interesting how this happens! I definitely post things that pertain to my beliefs about things, but I tend to refrain from anything that I suspect will legitimately put some people up in arms for exactly this reason. Most of my friends and younger family members are anywhere from moderate to uber-liberal, while a lot of my older family members are more conservative. In particular, my husband’s family is REALLY conservative about some things… to the point that I’ve had to hold myself back from debating with them when they post things.

      I do exclude some people from posts. I have a list for younger folks (family members under 18) if I want to post something that might be inappropriate for kids. I have a “professional” list that can’t see any of my photos or most of my status updates. And I have family lists in case I need to block certain family from seeing things. I definitely use them. I don’t necessarily think of it as “censoring” myself… no more than I think that not talking about potentially inflammatory topics with them face-to-face is censoring myself. More like keeping the peace. :-)

      • Your approach absolutely makes sense to me, I’m just having difficulty sorting out those feelings in my head. Sometimes it just takes a while for things to fall into slots where I can go “Oh! Right, like that.”

        You’re right- I absolutely would not bring up these topics or debate about them face-to-face. The article I posted wasn’t really a position piece, and I rarely share pro-choice sentiments on FB, but I value sharing stories SO highly, and this woman wrote about a really vulnerable topic that I had to share.

        I also know that my cousin on that side of the family loves to see the articles I post. he actually pulled me aside at my uncle’s funeral this spring to say so, including “I thought *I* was the only liberal in this family!” And I know a few of my other cousins appreciate it, too.

        Like you say, a split in privacy settings may be helpful, but even that gets caught up in my brain. I really think we rob society of its richness, its compassion, and its appreciation for diversity if we only engage with people who agree with us. Given that I wasn’t yelling about my political position, openly telling people they’re wrong, or being obnoxious in any way, I can’t justify to myself further editing. Again, I just wanted to share this woman’s story, because it’s important to understand real people are affected in real ways, no matter what the policy decision is. Sharing personal experiences helps everyone to think critically and compassionately about societal issues.

        • Copper

          I don’t like the idea of only engaging with people who agree with us either, but I’m firm about my FB privacy settings because I came to realize that there are parts of my life that I don’t share with some people. Vacation photos, status updates from the bar? Don’t want people I know in a more professional capacity to see those (I know, they should only be on linkedin, but I haven’t found a polite way to make that happen yet). I avoid talking politics & religion with Mr. Copperbeard’s family in person, so why put that burden on our relationship because of facebook? So I don’t censor on an individual level, but I do sort into groups and use them, because some things aren’t for some kinds of relationships.

          • Smart practices. Still mulling. Wondering how much of my current dilemma is laziness re: privacy settings.

    • Marta

      I have also sort of put a filter on what I post online for a couple reasons. 1. I am a teacher 2. I am friends with family on there and my family is extremely religious, tight laced, conservative, etc. I tend to stay out of the political fights online anyway, but I am very mindful of what I post (ie I wouldn’t post pictures of myself drinking or in club wear) just because that’s not necessarily a public image I want portrayed.

    • meg

      I just like this comment a lot.

      I sort people into circles on FB. I use it rarely, and mostly for pictures of my kid/ big news, but I really only share with a very small circle of people there. That’s my two cents on a Five Dollar question.

  • MissStumptown

    We are getting married on Sunday and I’m excited/scared/nervous/impatient/just wanna be done with work already so I can get to enjoying all my family and friends that are in town for it!!!

  • ART

    What a crazy, emotional week! Exciting stuff, but also serious bummer/work-to-be-done stuff. My dude and I are getting married approximately a year from now, and I’m pushing for it to be a year from today because, Tau Day! Also, that would make today our -1 year anniversary, woohoo!

    Anyway, happy Tau Day everyone, go eat 2x pie :)

  • Marta

    Is it weird that I feel guilty for having a semi-shotgun, informal wedding (reception only, we eloped) and my out of town family came?

    Thinking back on it now, I feel really bad for not giving them more notice. I also feel like people didn’t much enjoy it, and that makes me feel even worse.

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      Remember that your family members are adults (or children who come with adults). They decided to rally the troops and come — on whatever notice you gave them — because they thought it was important to be there for/with you. Not because they were expecting a certain level of formality and food. Your wedding is not an imposition!

      What does your partner think? Or your parents/family members? Hearing feedback that doesn’t start inside your own head might help. What were your highlights of the day?

      • Marta

        Haha my partner also thinks it was a very awkward wedding, so hearing that affirmation doesn’t really help. I will just remember, as you said, they are adults and they wouldn’t have come if they didn’t want to (or didn’t like me enough to feel obligated to haha).

        • Hypothetical Sarah

          Upside: you’re married! You have an awesome partner! And you don’t need to plan another wedding :)

          Back when I was wedding planning and agonizing over details, my partner wisely said “The wedding does not define us as a couple either now or in the future. It’s an event that deserves some attention but not too much.” Which is to say, weddings can be important personal and/or public signifiers (if you want them to be)… but it’s just a day. It’s the marriage that really counts.

  • Magical Unicorn Mama to Be (we hope)

    So, seriously, y’all, I started ovulating immediately after my piece ran. First IUI today, second tomorrow, cross your fingers for a good result!

    • meg

      Wheeee! Just remember babies come when they come. And thank god, or you’d get the wrong baby.*

      *This does not apply to the pain of infertility.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Fingers crossed that it goes well.

    • Yay! Good luck! Fingers crossed that your magical unicorn baby gets the memo. :-)

  • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

    A week ago, the ceiling over my shower fell in. Tomorrow I’m moving. (That was not the plan a week ago.)

    It’s been a whirlwind-stressball of a week.

    BUT I just go the keys to my new apartment and changed my address with most of the important people (Post office, electric, gas, parents…). So it’s action time.

    Also, proud of myself for (eventually) being explicit about what I needed from my boyfriend in terms of support. Because he does not process stress the same way I do. And isn’t living with it the same way I am. And isn’t a mind-reader. (Also, heck if I know what all will set me off right now. See whirlwind-stressball. But I’m trying to tell him as I figure it out.)

    • M.E.

      Re: being explicit with your partner.

      Hells to the YES! I think one of the most life-changing things I have learned living with my guy is that he is NOT a mind reader and nor should he be. And it is 100% okay for me to ask for what I need, explicitly and specifically. I get what I need emotionally, and he doesn’t feel baffled when I react to something he didn’t even know was a problem. And, he can learn what I need in specific situations, both serious (anxiety & OCD issues) and not so serious (a bad day, help with chores, etc.). I wish I had learned this lesson a looooooong time ago. A few weeks ago I had a hell of a day and texted him, “Can you please bring me flowers? I had a really bad day and that would make me so happy.” And I got flowers! And it wasn’t any less happy-making or meaningful because it wasn’t a surprise. It was exactly what I needed and he was so glad to be able to give me that.

      Proud of you for asking for what you need!!!

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        :) Me too.

        It’s amazing how much better today was when I told him “I need you to check on me frequently today, and I need you to make a way to come help me this weekend. (Find a way.)” Versus yesterday when I kept picking fights with him in my head. My mental version of him isn’t nearly as good at calming me down. Nor is it as good at cleaning.

        • M.E.

          “Versus yesterday when I kept picking fights with him in my head. My mental version of him isn’t nearly as good at calming me down. Nor is it as good at cleaning.”


  • Meg linked to my blog! *flails*

    I mean, hey, that’s totally cool and I’m so chill and relaxed about it.

    *runs into other room and flails some more*

    Happy Friday everyone! (Unless you work shifts in which case, just save that happy thought for when your Friday is.)

    I’m spending my long weekend (go Canada!) relaxing at my parent’s, catching up with my best friends who I haven’t seen in a while and doing some math homework. Also, day drinking on a patio tomorrow. Very excited for this all to happen.

    • KC

      Re: your cake: cake that looks like it’s tasty is the *best looking* cake. :-) Yum.

    • Day drinking and Patio drinking all in one go? Lucky woman.

      (Also, totally know the flails feeling!)

  • So I showed my partner the thread re: sex from this week and here’s my partner’s response:

    “Please communicate. And yes, lingerie. Please tell every woman that she’s infinitely sexier in lingerie. And not necessarily the scary stuff. A little lace goes a long way.”

    So yeah. Sex threads are good things.

    • Absolutely. Had some fun conversations, decisions to buy some things, and generally came home from work (two days in a row, cuz I checked back in on the thread) feeling frisky. ;-)

    • Sarah

      Hah, my partner’s take on lingerie is always “it’s nice… but I’m just going to take it off you…”

      • Caroline

        Yeah, my partner couldn’t care less about lingerie, he’d rather just take it off. Boots or a corset on the other hand…..

  • Late to the party from the other side of the world…

    I got my PhD stuff okayed this week, which means I’m a proper PhD student, no longer in limbo :D. It also means that we are facing a period of long distance because of the nature of my study, which I’m busy feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about.

    • CeeBeeUk

      Congrats! That’s huge! I’m off on two stints of fieldwork this autumn and its a tough one but hopefully worth it! Possible to sneak in a visit? My other half is meeting me in France between two obligations.

      • Thankyou :) we’ll be able to do visits, so that will help. Good luck with your fieldwork! Mine will involve some slogging through swamps, I fear.

        • CeeBeeUK

          Oh no, swamps! Mine just involves archives and politicians :)

          • KC

            Hm. I read your comment, and was briefly confused, since I’d be more on a “oh no, politicians!” side than a “oh no, swamps!” side. Unless I entirely lacked mosquito repellent, I’d much rather interact with real mud than metaphorical mud. :-)

            But then I remembered that if everyone was interested in only one kind of research, that wouldn’t work terribly well, so hooray for different fields of research!

            (note: of course, archives are awesome in any event. :-) )

  • Remy

    It’s gonna be a crazy Pride Weekend in San Francisco. Next week we’re going to the courthouse to pick up a marriage license. And on 7/7 — the first anniversary of our Registered Domestic Partnership — we’re gonna upgrade to first-class citizenship. Half of me is like, “So? We’ve been married for months.” and the other half is like “HUGE STEP WHOA.”

    • CeeBeeUk

      Ahh, fumble fingers on the iPad and reported rather than starred. Congrats!! So thrilled to hear the news from home, my San Francisco friends Facebook feed has been filled with so much joy and enthusiasm.

  • Samantha

    Life has been so rough lately. It would take too much energy to articulate everything the fiance’ and I are dealing with so I won’t. I feel like we have been constantly facing trial after trial and we are so exhausted that there is no energy left to plan the wedding. It’s six months away and we have nothing done, basically. I don’t even think I care. We are on survival mode lately. Please things get better. That is all. Thanks for listening.

    • Brenda

      Oh dear. Hang in there.

      And don’t worry about the wedding if you have other things going on. You can plan a wedding in six months, or you can postpone it if you need to.

      Internet hugs xx

    • I’m so sorry things are rough right now. Weddings can wait. And if they can’t? Well that why courthouses and living rooms exist. You just focus on your little family. Draw strength from each other. Ask for hugs as often as you need them (hugs are wildly underrated).

      Also, try not to beat yourself up re: being in survival mode. If putting one foot in front of the other is the best you can do right now, then that’s enough.

      • Sarah

        “That’s why courthouses and living rooms exist” – Agreed! If what you really want is to get married, then it can happen with very little planning. If what you really want is a big wedding with all the bells and whistles then it can wait until seas are calmer. Whatever happens, don’t feel bad if life gets in the way of the wedding. We don’t choose when things turns to sh&t. Sometimes the path doesn’t magically clear for us to cake taste and dress shop to our hearts’ content, but that’s your reality. And if you do choose a pared down wedding that leaves you wanting there’s nothing stopping you from having a huge party and filling in the gaps a little ways down the road. Hang in there and good luck!

    • Paranoid Libra

      I know the feeling 110%.

      Just try to take things 1 step at a time and try to muster up even 15 mins to focus on maybe 1 wedding item and then relax. If you set a timer of just 15 mins or heck even just 5 it might be just enough to get a little ticked off the to-do list.

      Or rally in a few friends to help and just say we are going through a lot please help me figure out something for this along this theme or find me a list of insert vendor here that is under this amount of money.

      Good Luck and I hope it all calms down soon.

  • Ahhh, I am always so late to Happy Hour!

    Oh well–a few cool details of my life that have happened over the past week:

    1) We just got back from shooting the most amazingly intimate wedding in Lake Tahoe for a childhood friend. It was rad–the shaman who married them just did a great job having everyone involved in the ceremony. And the bride walked down the aisle to an Empire of the Sun song, which was equally awesome.

    2) My husband and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary on July 13 and we are having a big party on this tiny piece of land we own in Northern Michigan (Northern Michigan APW readers–you are TOTALLY welcome to come–seriously….send me an email, I’ll get you the details), so I have started to think about how that will all look and work. We’re going to do a short vow renewal, but more importantly we are just looking forward to a shindig with our family and friends in the beauty that is Michigan in the summer.

    3) This was my first official week of FULL TIME photography–my last day of teaching high school was June 18. I am still reconciling what that means and how I will be processing full time photography life, but I am keeping mega busy and having a good time, so more on that soon once the thrill settles in. :)

    4) DOMA and PROP 8–AHHH!!! So frickin great! I also shot a proposal for a guy and his boyfriend about a week ago and it completely made me cry. Then the Supreme Court got their act together on Friday and it just made it all so much better. HURRAHHH!!!

    5) I am going to Michigan for the next 2 weeks and plan to clear coat the Airstream. I’ve never done that…but it should be fine….right? Errrr…anyone have any experiencing self-clear coating an Airstream? Let me know!

    Happy Saturday all and xoxoxo!!

  • So I just returned to Germany after three weeks and nine cities in the states. Also five rebookings on flights. Exhausting. Also thanks to some awesome comments here I revamped the site on spiritual journeys I run… http://www.sophiaspockets.wordpress.com and we are running a bunch of reactions to the insane political week in the states. It has been interesting and also exhausting.

    On the bad end of things, despite feeling like I have five jobs, including doing most of the housework and cooking here in Germany for my boyfriend, (which he totally sees as work which rocks my feminist socks) I am as of this week, completely broke. I mean broke. I know I am fortunate that my bf is able to pick up some of the financial slack ( ok all of it…including my future transit to school) but I feel like this is a conversation no one is having… At least around me. I mean what the hell do you do when you are flat broke as a grown-up (I am 27 which is at least kind of grownup) ? I know that unemployment ( I’ve been looking for a year now) and immigration issues affect more than just me but somehow I feel like I have never heard an adult say…there is no more money and I don’t know when there will be but I am going to do …(insert magic answer that I am desperately searching for here)”. How are do other people handle this? Why aren’t we talking about this? What are the gendered differences our cultures put on these conversations? Ok that’s enough blabbing from me for now!

    Happy Pride!

    Ps. Just a note that I used broke instead of poor, because I am recognizing my own set of privileges that allow me to not be homeless and starve to death due to my personal lack of any money. Poverty, the systemic problem, is a whole other discussion, in my opinion. Xoxoxo

    • The blog looks so good! Seriously, amazing. And so easy to navigate now.

    • Ha. I wish I knew the magic answer. I’ve been unemployed for three months now. We’re living on my savings and the fiance’s $9/hr part time job with fluctuating hours and his music income. All I can say is just keep looking and figure out cheap meals (I have no idea what food prices are like in Germany or I’d be more specific). Thankfully, I have two interviews scheduled on Monday (feast or famine I guess), but nothing is guaranteed.

      I do think it’s more socially accepted now though with this arrangement than when I was in my crappy job and bringing in quite a bit more than he was. Which is dumb. I’ve been out of college longer and his passion is music, it makes sense that I’d be the primary breadwinner. But society still likes the man to take that role, even though the reverse is becoming more and more true. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html?_r=0

  • Caroline

    Late to the party but this has been a crazy week. I started my internship as the sole software dev at a little tech start. Holy crap talk about a steep learning curve and a big challenge. The code is in Ruby on Rails. I hadn’t coded ruby until three weeks ago, and first met rails at orientation on Sunday. That said, I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve managed to get done my first week. More than I or my boss expected. It’s been an exhausting weeks, with a 5 hour orientation on Sunday, then full days all week with 2.5 hours of daily commute.

    We also decided to self-cater our wedding. I’m so psyched. It’s what we wanted originally, but I let myself get carried away by my mom telling me how much easier a caterer would be. In my long time alone with my thoughts on my commute I realized that I really wanted to cater the wedding. Now I’m all psyched again for planning. We’re meeting with the rabbi for our first meeting on Wednesday.

    Also, the best news all week, our friends got remarried again today, for legal this time!!!! Last night, 20 min before Shabbat when I turn off the computer, I saw SF was issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses. Some very close friends who are married were likely to jump on te chance to get their marriage recognized by the government, so I broke my Facebook hiatus to see if they were making plans. First post at the top of the feed was one of ten asking for someone to marry them the next day ( this morning.) I texted her and said if they want people there we would LOVE to come. This afternoon, we had the immense privilege of joining them at the courthouse, to watch them get legally married, recognized by state and federal governments, and cheer them and sing siman tov u mazel tov dancing the hora around them after they stomped a plastic water bottle in the rotunda of city hall. It was amazing, the most moving wedding I’ve ever been to, because finally. this amazing couple who love eachother so dearly will have their marriage recognized by the state!! Also, city hall was an amazing place to be today, with judges marrying people everywhere (our friends found a rabbi willing to marry them on Shabbat since they wanted to get married right away), and every time a couple got married, everyone in city hall cheered.
    It makes a lot of the stuff for our wedding seem so unnecessary: what you really need is your spouse, your loved ones, and the right for it to be legal. I don’t think we’re eloping any time soon, but it sure made me want to.

    • manuscriptgeek

      That story makes me so happy. Thank you for posting.

      -Andrea (and Lee)

      • Caroline

        Glad to share it with you. I was so glad to be there. Miss you both.

  • catherine

    ugh, i know im late to the party and just needed to vent for a second.

    so i didn’t have anything huge going on this week other than NOW BEING ABLE TO LEGALLY MARRY MY FIANCE. my parents haven’t mentioned one word to me about it. haven’t even brought up the topic. everywhere else in the world this is huge, it’s huge and exciting, within my group of friends, Facebook in general, the news, the people in LA where I live….

    but not a word from my parents. it just kind of bums me out. they don’t understand what that’s like. an issue that i have with my dad (who is usually great ) is that he is not good at talking about stuff like that…he kind of isn’t aware when you want him to be, but he has always supported me and told me he is proud of me. my mom’s failure to bring up the topic comes from a totally different place – as you can imagine. it’s just weird when something huge like that happens- my girlfriend and i can walk to the courthosue today and get married if we want – and timing has been perfect for us because we got engaged in May, and my parents don’t even acknowledge it. My dad didn’t call until yesterday, to talk about random stuff like our usual talks, and my mom called tonight – to talk about random stuff…as if nothing huge just happened in our country :( something huge that affects her daughter- with a ring on her finger, who just got engaged, hello!!!

    im used to it by now, im not that upset, its almost my time of the month so im extra depressed feeling and irritable but i hate the fact that i feel so awkward talking to my own parents. that i feel like if i mention our engagement im walking on eggshells. that i have to churn up so much just to mention it and it just falls flat. my mom was like “well, you sound tired so ill let you go” and i sounded tired and wasn’t saying much because of all i was feeling and didn’t know how to NOT talk about what happened this week that hugely impacts my life! so i was just silent. i just dont understand how you don’t acknowledge that with your daughter.

    i want to be able to play the cheesy bride role- where i get to play that role for once in my life, get excited about silly girly things, and have it be celebrated and feel special. im not trying to have a pity party- we get tons of love and support from our friends and her family – but it just sucks that i feel like that part of me is nonexistent when it comes to my parents- my mom especially. im sorry, but how could you not mention “holy shit i heard the great news im so happy for you!! ” etc etc… it already feels so awesome to feel totally normal and like i can go and get married in the same exact way everyone else can and its totally normal and accepted and established -even in the eyes of the supreme court- but i cant feel that way with my parents. i just…how do you not even mention it to your kid???? its not like they didnt hear- its all over the news and everywhere!

    ok, sorry to vent. just pissed and hurt want a normal wedding and normal experience … ugh!

  • Del678

    I know this is totally late comment (silly time difference plus long weekend) BUT I just have to share I make my first flower girl dress on the weekend and took it to her to try on. I don’t know if a 4-year-old can have WIC but she advised me that:
    “A flower girl dress is SUPPOSED to be white” (hers is baby pink with a lilac bow). I was a little taken aback and had slight panic (oh no, is there a tantrum ahead?) but instead she said,
    “That’s okay, I like pink better!” Crisis averted.