APW Happy Hour


Happy Halloween! Also: Newsletter and the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW!

First, the newsletter. In a sort of Oscar-Wilde-comedy-goes-new-media setup, we accidentally launched newsletter sign ups in last week’s Happy Hour. The behind the scenes story is that I set up and automated a whole bunch of features on Thursday night, and rushed out of the office without letting anyone know, because really, what could happen before I got in mid-morning the next day? HA. While I was gone, the always-enthusiastic APW staff created a signup form for the newsletter, started collecting emails, and my automated system went into full effect, sending emails left and right. If you got one, I hope you enjoyed it, because the British-comedy-of-manners joke was totally on us.

However! Now we’re actually ready to launch our newsletter, and our first weekly missive will be hitting subscribers’ inboxes next week. (If you want in, sign up in the sidebar on the right, or here.) Our first email will be a sum up of some of our favorite stories from the week, a tiny bit our favorite shopping (we window shop a lot for work), plus a little APW behind the scenes action. We’ve got a few pictures, and you’ll get a selected APW staff Slack conversation every week… in case you want to know what we really get up to. We’ve committed ourselves to experimenting with the email format through at least year’s end, so whatever you see this week is simply our first iteration of this experiment. Feel free to hit reply and let us know what your dream newsletter content is.

On a similar note, from now till year’s end, you may notice a small scaling back of the sheer volume of content we’re providing on APW (though it’ll be exactly the same level of quality). For example, you won’t get your full link roundup in Happy Hour for the next few weeks, though you will get your open thread. November and December is our slow season, and after a crazy year (and a small passel of staff and intern babies and pregnancies), we’re going to focus some on catching up from now till we go on our holiday break.

And finally, inspired by the excellent and robust conversation this week about people with and without kids being friends, our family made the executive decision to invite ALL our friends to our three year olds bounce house birthday party. We don’t expect a ton of our childless and childfree friends to come, but we’ll be thrilled to see all of them that make it. (And we may even splurge on fancy adult temporary tattoos for those folks.) So thanks for helping us stay inclusive, because we love all our people.

With that, I’m kicking it to the spooky, spooky weekend. I have a toddler and a baby to dress up. And yes, we’re taking them to a party with our childless friends, where there will be boozing, and too much attention paid to them. Happy Halloween, y’all!

XO
MEG

HIGHLIGHTS OF APW THIS WEEK

Would you ever let your MIL plan your whole wedding?

This 150 person $35,000 wedding was really gorgeous, but the pi-bar and wrinkly dogs really stole the show.

Adult friendships post children get a little complicated. Here are ten tips to make it easier.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition (that doesn’t revolve around…stuff)?

Fuck wedding t-shirts, subversive cross-stitch, and other goodies that you should steal from our Instagram.

Join the APW team for 2016! We’re hiring writing interns. Apply now!

“My son cheated on his fiancé. Should I boycott the wedding?”

LINK ROUNDUP

Drake’s goofy dancing in Hotline Bling broke the Internet and inspired the best memes ever.

China has a wife shortage, and one economist thinks women should just “double up” on husbands. Um, what?

#Feminismfail: When SXSW thought the best way to handle threats about the women and harassment panels harassment was by canceling the panels.

Dear couples costumes…

In defense of Khloe Kardashian (and her role in the Lamar Odom addiction scandal).

“Stone-hearted ice witch forgoes exclamation point.”

Let’s talk about who funds women-run websites (and why men own so much of women-focused media).

This Fox News panel on “dads” judging leggings is terrible, but this comment made us LOL.

We’re in love with what Nicki and Beyonce’s friendship, both backstage and on stage.

The Notorious RBG gives us #goals.

Meg Keene

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

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Rebekah

    You guys sure have earned a break, but I am definitely going to miss the link roundups at Happy Hour the rest of the year.

    • JDrives

      Maybe we could do our own link roundups in the comments, where the APW community can share links we found interesting and relevant and start conversations?

      • rg223

        I was thinking this too! I’m for it!

      • Lizzie

        Genius. Let’s do it.

      • Laura C

        Fourth this idea. I had the same thought, because I will def miss the links otherwise.

      • Emily

        I like this idea. Is there some way that when we click on a link from the comments it opens a new window instead of taking us away from APW?

        • Lisa

          In most browsers, you can right click a link, and it will give you the option to open as a new tab or window!

  • rg223

    So sort of related to APW changes, how come there aren’t monthly themes anymore? Was that ever addressed by the staff and I just missed it? Are themes still around and I’m just losing my mind? I sort of miss the themes because I appreciated the different viewpoints and the ongoing month-long discussions. On the other hand, I kind of like that there are a variety of posts on all different topics throughout the week. So I’m not heartbroken they’re gone, just curious why.

    • Lisa

      I’ve been wondering the same thing!

    • Emily

      I miss the themes too.

    • Eenie

      I emailed and asked and the themes did disappear. I personally think it added another layer of complexity to managing the content of the site even though I really enjoyed the themes as well.

    • Meg Keene

      We just cut them before maternity leave. It was causing a problem, not solving one, and that’s a management mistake.

      • CamperHill

        Can I make a plug for themed open-forums then? It is REALLY awesome to have a space to discuss specific wedding planning things with the smart, level headed people that frequent this site. I love it when you post things like “Guest list: what are struggling with now?” and people can have a free for all within that topic.

  • JDrives

    Professor Plum…with the wrench…in the office!

    • lady brett

      the best!

    • MC

      Ooooh love it! And this is such a good idea for couples/group costumes…

      • JDrives

        My friend is obsessed with the movie, and requested a Clue-themed pub crawl for her birthday this evening! We are all dressing up as costumes are not optional. I just made mine gender-swapped :) My friend already posted a photo of her Wadsworth outfit, and my husband will be going as Mr. Green. Another friend is going as Mr. Boddy!

        • lady brett

          ahh! this just got a hundred times more awesome.

          • JDrives

            It is a really fun and clever idea, I’m lucky to have silly and creative friends! And I really like it because there’s a great variety of characters to choose from – if friends want to go vampy as Miss Scarlet or the film version of Mrs. White, they can go for it! While I can do an office-appropriate but still fun version of the Professor.

        • Sara

          AH Clue is my favorite movie and a Wadsworth costume sounds amazing. I love it.

    • Kayla

      And here this whole time I’d been hoping you were actually Beyonce.

      • JDrives

        If only!!!

    • KPM

      Love it! brilliant idea for a costume!

  • Natalie

    As a childfree person, I LOVE getting invited to and attending the birthday parties of my friends’ kids. I get to pick out cute toys that I would otherwise have no excuse to buy, spoil my friends’ offspring, play with strangers’ kids all day without it being weird, and hang out with my parent friends who are often otherwise too busy for much adult socialization. Plus, there’s usually sugar. Lots of sugar.

    I wish more parents would embrace inviting their childfree friends to kids’ parties. It’s a great way to maintain friendships. Kudos to you, Meg!

    • JDrives

      I feel the same way! Invitations to child birthday parties confuse my husband (“But we don’t have kids…and also we are adults.”) but DELIGHT me!

    • Meg Keene

      I mean, we ALWAYS invite our friends without kids, always. But I should clarify. This is our first party basically at a Chuck E Cheese type establishment. We leaned hard into the dreams of three year olds this time, and normally we just have a party at our house. (It’s just so much work and I’m so tired…)

      But anyway. Deciding, “Should we invite our friends to Chuck E Cheese with the whole preschool class,” was a different conversation then should we invite them to the party with cake at our house (obvs yes). I’m not sure many people will WANT to go, but now it’s up to them.

      • Natalie

        I see! I would still totally attend, but I can see how many childfree adults would not. I go to my nephew’s birthday party each year, and loved watching him delight in jumping at the bounce house place when he was 3. When he turned 4, the party was at Chuck E Cheese, which was louder and more overwhelming for adults, but which had the benefit of serving beer and wine for adults.

      • Kristine

        I celebrated my 27th birthday (single, childfree) at Chuck E Cheese- games, not food- with a dear friend. Totally rocked the tiara i got with my tickets. 13 years later, I’m still CF and would do it again, even if I had to fight my husband for the prize wit our tickets.

  • tggsm

    I felt like this might get lost on the big open thread about holiday traditions at this point, but I found a possibly great picture book about celebrations this time of year. (I’m a children’s librarian at a public library, and I order books for young children for a living! Among other things.) The book is called Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure by Linda Ashman (http://www.amazon.com/Over-River-Through-Wood-Adventure/dp/1454910240/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446217695&sr=1-2&keywords=over+the+river+and+through+the+woods). Initially I thought it was a Thanksgiving book, but it actually never mentions any particular holiday. It’s a rhyming story about a grandma and grandpa who invite their children and grandchildren over to their house for “the holidays” and the various family units (racially diverse, one with a pair of dads) make their way there by car/train/plane/boat but all end up being rescued by a horse and sleigh. The big group arrives at Grandma and Grandpa’s for warmth, socializing, a big meal (no turkey that I could see), and lots of pie. There is snow on the ground and a string of white lights on the house, but otherwise there aren’t any markers of a specific holiday. Hope that helps someone!

    • Meg Keene

      Ooo! Copy paste that onto that thread!! We’re going to round up good ideas, and the staff will not find that here.

      • tggsm

        Done! I think! I’m on my phone so hopefully I did it right.

    • M.

      This is REALLY helpful! :) I have been hunting, hunting, hunting for secular holiday books for impending baby. Thank you!

      • tggsm

        Yay! You’re welcome! :)

  • MK

    Any other first trimester ladies out there? How are you doing? Week 9 has been the hardest for me so far. I’m really struggling to make it through the work day. I was able to take yesterday afternoon off, but I’m finding it hard overall to use my sick time if I need it. The exhaustion mostly is what’s bringing me down. Even leaving my house to come in to work seems unthinkable some mornings, I’m just SO TIRED.
    Anyways, just needed some encouragement and wanted to see how other APWers who are pregnant are doing!

    • NH

      I’m right there with you! I’m 9 weeks and a few days. I feel you on the exhaustion. It is so tough. I am currently unemployed, and pretty much the only upside is the option to take naps whenever I need to :) Could you work out an alternate/flexible schedule at work? My mom told me that when she was pregnant, she came in late and left early for most of her first trimester–and that’s before everyone had a computer at home. Maybe the option to work from home some days/half-days?

    • M.

      I’m closing in on my third trimester, but exhaustion is my main memory of the first tri. My doctor even said, “I bet you feel like you got hit by a truck, huh?” My yoga teacher was also encouraging, reminding me that creating an actual person takes a LOT of energy, that it’s plenty to do in a day if it’s all you can do, and to just *take it easy* and be nice to myself, don’t stress about chores falling through the cracks, etc. I know that doesn’t help with having to go to work. Hopefully you can find a compromise if you need it, as NH says below. But if not, know that while some fatigue remains the whole time, that for most people it gets a lot better soon (for me around 14 weeks). Nap every second you can, delegate household responsibilities if you can, get takeout if cooking’s too much, and remember your body is working HARD right now. Be nice to you :)

      And a little smile for you: https://xkcd.com/387/ Congrats!!!

      • Jenny

        We must be due around the same time, I just entered the third trimester (due mid jan). I second the nap all you can and delegate all other responsibilities.

    • Meg Keene

      IT IS JUST THE WORST. I’m so sorry. I mean, happy you’re pregnant and want to be, but it’s the worst. I was so unbelievably unwell last time, and writing a book, and and and. It’s just so tough. But then you do get a baby, so yay for that!

    • doublegus

      Growing a human is hard work! I’m 15 weeks now. It got decidedly better around 14. I still get TIRED, but I have enough energy now to actually walk around the block. And it’s so nice not walking around gagging all the time. Not vomiting, just gagging. Blech. Though, that’s still happening a bit at night. Get your partner to do as much of the housework and cooking and errands as they can. Or pay other people to do it. We’ve gone over-budget in the restaurant/take-out category for the past three months and it’s so worth it to not have to cook.

    • Jenny

      Uggggh! I’m so sorry. I’ll say that for me, while a lot of the other first trimester symptoms took their sweet ass time going away, the super mega exhaustion was “only” about 3 weeks. Then I was still tired, but felt at least like I was getting real sleep. Also, if you are experiencing vomitting/nausea/heartburn I highly recommend asking for a rx for Zofran or permission to use zantac. I really wish I’d spoken up sooner.

      • Jenny

        I’m a little hesitant to say this, for fear of being to Debbie downer, but I really didn’t start feeling like myself till about week 20. That was when I was able to contemplate “working out” aka doing any physical activity that wasn’t completely necessary. I was still feeling off my food game til about then too. I HOPE you will not have those for as long as me, but EVERYONE was like oh you’ll start feeling so much better in the second trimester, and I felt like crying every week of the first 6 weeks second trimester thinking, They are all a bunch of lying asshats, it NEVER GET’S BETTER. But it did.

    • Christina McPants

      I had insomnia and nausea the first tri, fatigue in the third. Rest when you can. Go to bed early. Nap under your desk on your lunch break. Drink lots of fluids. You’ll make it!

    • Rebecca

      Congrats!!! I had a baby this May, so I was in your position last year at this time. I finally felt better around 14 weeks. I found weeks 8-12 to be the toughest I think (sorry). The fatigue is killer, and combined with nausea and food aversions it can really make the first trimester rough!! I was pretty tired the whole pregnancy (I’m less tired now working and waking up during the night to nurse the baby), but the first trimester was such an all-encompassing fatigue. I basically didn’t do anything other than go to work and lay on my couch for several weeks. Be kind to yourself and hang in there, it does get better!

    • TeaforTwo

      Week 7 here and completely exhausted. I’m having terrible insomnia, which has never been a problem for me, AND still getting used to life without coffee. It’s been rough getting through the workday, so I don’t do anything else. My husband shops and cooks, and our apartment is just messy in between cleaning lady visits. I get in bed by 8 most nights with a cup of tea.

      • MK

        My messy apartment is KILLING ME, but I have zero energy to clean it. My husband is insanely busy with with work too so we’re just going to deal with the mess, I suppose.
        I wake up every night at 3am on the dot too! My doctor said unisom is fine, and my other method is to listen to an audio book until I fall asleep. It sucks so hard to be tired all day and awake for half the night. I feel ya!

    • throwaway

      I hear ya,sister.

      I’m 11 weeks and the worst started around week 7. I refer to my health/diminished energy level as, alternatively “having fallen off a cliff” or “waking up every day with a cheap vodka hangover that not only doesn’t dissipate throughout the day, but rather intensifies as the day wears on.”

      The physical symptoms are bad enough (I’ve gone from 45 mins of intense cardio+weights 5 days a week to…nothing because I barely function), but my brain is sluggish too. I’m entirely off caffeine because even a single cup of weakly brewed tea was giving me insomnia.

      This too shall pass, right? I’m trying to hold it together until I can at least tell people why I’ve been a damn zombie for the last 2 months. All the best to you!

      • throwaway

        Oh and don’t get me started on the websites and books that are like “buck up little camper! just let those dust bunnies form! You need your rest.”

        Are you f’ing kidding? I’m not worried about dust bunnies. I’m worried about making sure the 10 people who work for me have my full support and attention.

  • Kayjayoh

    For the record, I am never having kids and I would *totally* come to a bounce-house birthday party for a 3 year old. Especially if I got to take a turn bouncing. :)

    • MC

      This is exactly what I was thinking – as an adult I get far too few opportunities to attend a party with a bounce house!

    • Kayla

      Seriously, bounce houses are the best. We take my step-kids to bounce houses as often as possible. And they are a workout too. I’m waiting for the bounce house fitness trend. I will be so into that shit.

      • MC

        OMG. I hope this is next after CrossFit and SoulCycle!

    • guest

      Yes, one of the things that most makes me want to have kids is watching all the fun things my parent friends do with their kids. Things that I as an adult would love to do, but either don’t prioritize or would feel weird doing without kids. Like petting zoos and train museums and of course bouncy houses.

    • Natalie

      A few years ago a friend of mine rented a bounce house for an adult-only party. It was excellent. Beer + adults + good music + bounce house = one of the best parties I’ve been to. I highly recommend this.

    • Meg Keene

      It’s not a party with a bounce house, it’s a bounce house…. establishment. Basically. With shitty pizza ;)

      I’m unclear as to if adults can jump. They have a height minimum, but not a maximum. Also, they only charge us for kids, adults are free. #Loophole

      • Eenie

        Best loophole ever!

      • Kayla

        Adults CAN jump! At least if this bounce house establishment is like the bounce house establishments I (and my step-kids) frequent.

        • C_Gold

          My city needs a bounce house establishment! I was always tall for my age, and when I outgrew being allowed in the bounce houses at fairs, I was so disappointed!

      • CII

        The idea of a “bounce house . . . establishment” makes me think of Amanda Peet on Togetherness with her bounce-house business. And that makes me happy.

    • RoseTyler

      Bouncing sounds awful, But I would SO BE THERE for my 3 year old friends! Someone needs to watch the food/gifts/table while everyone else bounces, right!?

      eta – also child free here!

  • lady brett

    so what are y’all being for halloween?!

    between ourselves and our friend, we have 5 kids and 3 adults, so the kids are 4 ninja turtles and a pizza delivery girl, i am going to be april o’neil, my honey is splinter and our buddy is shredder. i think it should work out well. (if only we knew someone with a little baby to wear as krang…)

    • JDrives

      This. Is. Awesome.

      I’m Prof. Plum today and tonight for a friend’s birthday pub crawl, and tomorrow I am going out as Daenerys Targaryen circa her wedding to Khal Drogo. I bought a lovely grey maxi dress from a regular shop online and got the proper wig and arm bands to go with it. Comfy and cute with a heaping dollop of nerdy, just the way I like it!

      • Natalie

        My best friend was Daenerys last year. She made paper mache dragons, wore a brown skirt and brown halter top with brown riding boots, and elaborately braided her gorgeously thick blond hair. It was great! Love nerd costumes. <3

        • JDrives

          That is awesome!!

        • Jessica

          A couple I know has toddler twins, and they went as Daenerys, Jorah and 2 dragons last year :) I love Game of Thrones costumes.

          • JDrives

            Soooo many GoT costume ideas for when we have kids!

    • Natalie

      I’m not very crafty, and I refuse to spend much money on Halloween costumes, so last year I bought $11 fairy wings (yay amazon.com!) and wore them over a green sparkly dress I’ve had for years. Style hair in top bun and voila! a Tinkerbell costume. I’m re-purposing it this year into a generic fairy with leaves in my hair, and my husband is going as a fairy prince with David Bowie-esque makeup. The one hiccup in my plan is that we just moved to Montana, where Halloween is significantly colder than what I’m used to (Florida). Not sure how to fit a coat over my fairy wings…

      • Jessica

        I have made it my mission to find cheap, creative costumes. Three years ago my husband, a friend and I dressed similarly and carried around a frame–we were an Awkward Family Photo. Two years ago I bought some Target tennis shoes, wore business attire and was Wendy Davis. Last year I bought a red polo shirt, put up my hair and used brown eyeliner to make a mustache to be Ron Swanson. I think the most expensive out of these was the Wendy Davis one ($25 for the shoes, but I still use those).

        This year I am wearing a loose buttondown, jeans and carrying around tupperware to be a person in an infomercial before their miracle product—so flailing around and make exasperated faces.

        • JDrives

          Applauding your creativity from this corner of the internet!! Weren’t you Ron Swanson the same year I was Leslie Knope…? :)

          • Jessica

            last year? yes! I met a lot of my husbands friends and they were weirded out by the mustache and pinned back hair. They are also pretty conservative.

          • JDrives

            Pretty sure that if I met a friend’s wife wearing a Ron Swanson costume, it would be an instant-friend situation.

          • Jessica

            Right?? They are different breeds than you and I, I guess.

        • Natalie

          LOVE these! I suck at coming up with these sorts of creative costumes, but I love seeing them.

        • Lisa

          This is what I’ve started to do, too. Last year I took a white button-up shirt, tights, black skirt, and a black cardigan and went as Wednesday Addams. People were obsessed, and it was all stuff that came out of my closet!

          • Rebekah

            I saw a funny picture on reddit this morning of someone dressed as Wednesday Addams but with a red and white baseball cap and carrying a Pikachu – they titled it Ash Wednesday.

        • Danielle

          Sister non-crafty cheapo here! My city does trick-or-treating before Halloween, and this year I put on a robe, messed up my hair, put lipstick all over my mouth, and carried a wire hanger outside while handing out candy with my hubs. And i would say, “NO WIRE HANGERS!” in a creepy voice, which confused the kids and made most parents laugh :)

      • Laura C

        One year I was a generic women’s halloween costume — basically threw on all of the costume accessories I had (wings, horns, bullwhip draped over my shoulders, bowtie) and a little black dress and said “good enough.” So that’s another way to repurpose wings for the future.

    • Christina McPants

      Circus family – wife is tattooed lady, I am a fortune teller, the baby is the bearded lady and we’re putting a dress on the dog to make her Lucy, the dog faced girl.

      I’m pretty sure that family themed costumes are one of the biggest perks of breeding for my wife.

      • lady brett

        family costumes make it all worthwhile ;)

      • Ashlah

        I’m so excited to celebrate Halloween when we have a kid. In our nearly 7 years together, we’ve never dressed up (we don’t go to parties or anything, so the effort doesn’t seem worth it), but I have a feeling I’m going to LOVE Halloween when there’s a kiddo involved. Your circus family sounds amazing.

      • Jess

        Family themed costumes are my only reason for wanting to learn to sew. That and finally putting up some curtains.

        • Christina McPants

          Hell, when we wanted to put curtains up, we just folded over the fabric and clipped it. They’re floor length so no one sees the unfinished edges at the bottom. Except my mother in law.

          • Jess

            YES!!!! Project now done.

          • Christina McPants

            Lazy crafting FTW!

      • Christina McPants

        And have a picture. We’d finished the cupcake smash, so most the beard was off by then. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37550ad61685db23939ea490b9f67b97b43dfcba159a090dc2e2e52e66d8d27d.jpg

    • CMT

      I’m a breakfast burrito! And I stopped to get one on my way to work this morning, so really I’m a cannibal.

      • JDrives

        This comment nearly made me spit out my tea.

    • Rachel

      I’m going as a witch, fiance is going to be the Heisenberg/Walter White.

    • Jenny

      I’m pregnant and I’m going as a wrecking ball (ala Miley). I have a tight grey tank top and then a black top that goes over it with a hole cut out for my bump (bump is the wrecking ball). I’m wearing a little semi large chain that has a naked barbie swinging on it. My husband is going as Ron Swanson. No, it’s not a couples costume, though I suppose if I lose the naked barbie it goes together well.

    • I’ll be wearing a tiny witches hat and knee high stripey socks with cats on them. We’re staying in for a weekend of halloween/spooky movies and soundtracks, drinking spooky juice and pumpkin margaritas, and eating Halloween Oreos – the best seasonal oreos of the year!

    • lady brett

      if i had been on my game, the dogs could be bebop and rocksteady. bit seeing as i’m building turtle shells at the moment i think the deadline won.

      • Natalie

        My pup is going to be a Gator football player (BIG rivalry game tomorrow). He’s got a Gator jersey and I’m painting black eye grease on the white fur under his eyes. I bought him a stuffed football to carry around.

    • C

      I’m planning to be Sadness from Inside Out (white sweater from my closet + blue eyeshadow or facepaint + swirly blue manicure, continuing my tradition of “oops, Halloween is in 2 days” costumes) and my husband is going to be the protagonist from Undertale.

      • lady brett

        i love inside out. that was the initial halloween family plan, but I got outvoted by the kids (stupid kids, whose holiday do they think this is anyway!).

      • Lisa

        If I had anywhere to go, I was thinking of going as Joy and using a dress from my closet. Alas, we have no Halloween plans this year and nowhere for me to wear a costume so I’ll have to keep it in the back of my head for next year.

    • eating words

      We’re going as honeymooning lesbians! Well, actually, we’re getting on a plane and going on our honeymoon dressed as ourselves. Maybe driving over to the Lahaina Halloween festival if we’re awake enough when we land.

    • april

      Awesome! TMNT was my *favorite* show when I was little. I used to tell other kids I was named after April O’Neil when I got sick of being asked if I was named after the month when I was born …

      The husband and I are going as Rick and Morty. Rick and Morty forever and ever. 100 years Rick and Morty.

    • Bsquillo

      An ewok- like, full on fur onesie and hood. My band is playing a Halloween gig tomorrow, and we’re all dressing up as Star Wars characters. The horn section is going to play the opening fanfare from the movie as we walk onstage.

      • lady brett

        !!! sweet.

    • BSM

      Donald Trump: orange face paint, teased and combed-over hair, and “Make America Great Again” hat.

    • C_Gold

      My sister and I and two of our friends are going as 4 of the clones from Orphan Black–I’m going to be Cosima. My husband is going to be Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2.

  • Cleoo

    Hey ladies and gents and non-gender-identifying peeps! I am starting an exciting new writing project — a play! I’ve written novels, songs, screenplays, poetry, and short stories, but never a stage play. Nothing against them…I just never had an idea that leant itself well to that format, but then I did and I found a local contest I could enter when I was done with it, so with an idea and a deadline, I’m starting on Monday (after I spend the weekend outlining).

    So, I was wondering, if there are any of you playwrights out there. Any tips? Anything I should know about writing a play?

    Thanks!

    • M.

      How cool! So I’m not a playwright, but my husband is a screenwriter and he recently recommended Lajos Egri’s book The Art of Dramatic Writing (http://www.amazon.com/The-Dramatic-Writing-Lajos-Egri/dp/1434495434) as I’ve been rolling around an idea for a novel and asked him which of his books would be the most helpful for me. He likes it because it really holds up the idea of character as being the driving force of fictional writing. Egri was a playwright and the book is specifically geared that way, though of course helpful for everyone and now used more often by screenwriters I imagine. Good luck!!!!

  • Danielle

    Any tips on how to be more assertive when it actually scares you to ask people for more, or say No, or disagree? I am a grown-ass woman in a productive and loving relationship with my husband, successful in my career, have great friendships — but I HATE conflict and avoid it even when it ends up hurting or inconveniencing me.

    In case anyone cares, I am going to therapy and addressing this and other issues with a trained counselor. What I’m looking for here is examples from real women of how you deal with being yourself and asking for what you want, disagreeing with others, etc, even when you are sensitive and perhaps TOO empathetic. Thanks <3

    • macrain

      Good for you for addressing these issues in therapy! I also have been working on this exact thing with a counselor (I am very, very sensitive as well), and here’s what I’ve learned.
      1) Be as clear and direct as possible. This feels scary but it’s necessary.
      2) Get used to feeling uncomfortable when you set boundaries. It won’t even feel like it’s worth it, but it is! It gets easier.
      3) Setting boundaries truly helps me be the best version of myself. It’s actually not about getting what I want, it’s about becoming who I want to be.

      • Danielle

        Yes, yes, I especially feel you on #2. It’s ok to feel uncomfortable, it certainly won’t kill me!

    • JDrives

      Oh hello, fellow sensitive soul! There are a few things things that have helped me overcome my aversion to speaking up. One is practicing scripts over and over again in my head or in front of a mirror. Seriously! It really helps me get comfortable so I can say it out loud when I need to. I also work on being more assertive in a positive way – complimenting a coworker’s outfit, telling someone their idea was really good, etc. And finally (this is the hardest one for me), I try embrace awkwardness. Speaking up for yourself, disagreeing with someone, saying “No” or “more please” can cause awkwardness and we are not taught how to deal with The Awkward. I’ve tried to break down some of my aversion to The Awkward and it’s helped me stick up for myself, like when I told my BIL to stop pawing me and my friend to stop sh*t-talking about our friends to me. Were those scenarios awkward? As hell! But did I survive them? YES.

      I know I probably sound like a shill for CaptainAwkward.com at this point, but her site is seriously so helpful for these “Using Your Words” kinds of things, and all of the strategies I mentioned above have come straight from there. Here’s one good post to start off with, but if you just search “Assertive” on the blog it will pull up a long list of relevant posts: http://captainawkward.com/2012/05/08/242-can-i-tell-guys-i-dont-want-to-date-them-before-they-ask-me-to-date-them/

      Good luck!

      • emmers

        I love Captain Awkward! I think I first learned about her from you on here.

        • JDrives

          Awesome!! It was a life-changing discovery for me, I’m a huge fan. And it’s a really good community as well, second only to APW of course!

      • Danielle

        Hello sister sensitive!

        Yes, I love your idea of scripts. Actually role-playing difficult situations that I’m anticipating has helped so much. It’s not always possible to find someone to practice with, but I <3 when that happens.

        I agree with your point about being awkward, feeling awkward, and just accepting it. Usually I try to smooth things over (in fact, that's probably part of the root of my non-assertiveness) but awkwardness is… ok.

        Captain Awkward is great, but almost TOO different from me on the spectrum of assertive behavior. I would like a "Baby Steps Awkward" or something like that ;)

    • Cleo

      This is me too!

      One thing that’s helped me is saying, “Can I get back to you on that?” to whoever is asking something from me. I tend to get panicky if I feel like I need to say no and then end up saying yes because of whatever pressure I feel. Even if they need an answer right away, unless someone is going to die, they can wait 5 minutes.

      Then, with that 5 minutes, I can parse out that I want to say no and why and also think about something I can do instead. (ex: Sorry, I can’t drive you to the airport on Monday, but last time I went to the airport, I used this awesome Uber driver. Here’s her information).

      As far as asking for more, I will write myself out a script. I will read it over and over, and then I will follow it (I even bring notecards with me if it’s something especially important). If I have a script, there’s less chance of me chickening out or neverminding.

      Good luck!!

      • JDrives

        Oooh yes! Giving yourself time to collect yourself and respond coolly, that’s brilliant.

      • Emily

        This is really good! Other ways I’ve applied this rule–I don’t answer the phone if I think it is someone (like work) asking something. I listen to the message, form my response, and then call back. Also, instead of “Can I get back to you on that” I suggest “Let me get back to you on that” or simply “I’ll have to get back to you.” :)

        • macrain

          YES. I totally forgot that one. Asking for time to think about it is an excellent tool.

    • Emily

      I think a lot about what compassion is in the long-run. For instance, my teen stepdaughter lost her phone. What response is the most compassionate in the long-run: my supplying a new one or making her buy the new one? I can handle short term conflict when I can see a bigger picture or I have a bigger goal (in this case, her self-reliance as an adult). I even tell her, “Look, I’m doing this to help you become an adult who can take care of yourself.”

      • Danielle

        That’s an excellent point. Logically I know that is correct. It’s just a matter of reminding myself that in the (fearful) moment.

        • Emily

          One technique that I’ve used to deal with fear is curiosity. It is hard to be curious and afraid at the same time. I wonder if there is a way that you could get curious about a potential conflict?

          • Danielle

            That’s a really good point. Using curiosity and intellect to deflect fear, anxiety and emotion. So you’re coming from a more neutral or detached perspective, like an observer rather than the person who is frozen in fear.

            I am making a list of all these ideas and want to refer back to them!

    • kate

      i sort of have the opposite problem (ha), so i may be of no help, but have you thought about what the _root_ of that avoidance is? you’re worried about someone’s opinion of you changing negatively? you don’t want to upset them? you feel like it’s “not your place”? something else entirely? and maybe it varies by context, but identifying what’s behind that anxiety/avoidance could be helpful in figuring out the most effective way to talk yourself up for it (what scripts to practice like JDrives said below!).

      for myself, i find that if i feel well-researched/knowledgeable about things it’s easier to feel confident in them and that in interpersonal conflicts, i just pick my battles. and i find it gets easier with practice too – you see that no one immediately shuns you forever and that it may be uncomfortable in the moment, but things quickly turn back to normal and it gets easier to see that you’re not upsetting the natural balance of things by setting a boundary or speaking up (and you may even sometimes be met by others who chime in to agree once you break the ice).

      • Danielle

        Yes, thinking about the root of the problem is part of my therapy :)

        I do cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is partly looking at your (fearful, anxious, etc) thoughts and finding more realistic responses based on fact and previous experience. It’s incredibly helpful.

        Glad to hear you’re so assertive!

    • Kayla

      I wonder if telling people that you’re working on being more assertive would help. If I had a friend/partner/coworker who told me that was a goal of hers, and she started being more vocal and standing up for herself more, I think I would be strongly inclined to be extra supportive, instead of feeling defensive.

      I’m not sure if that’s an option for you with everyone (if I told my coworkers I was going to be more assertive they might go on strike, but I’m already quite assertive). But I would hope friends and your husband in particular could work as your assertiveness cheerleaders.

      • Danielle

        That’s a good idea, with people like my husband and close friends.

        With others, I could see it really backfiring. Like people who I work with but don’t really trust…. they could potentially use it against me in a way that would ultimately mess up my efforts.

        • Kayla

          Definitely no need to announce to everyone! I think getting some practice and some positive feedback from just your closest people might help. You could widen the circle from there with or without telling people about operation assertive.

          Do you have one or two coworkers you could tell? If I know I’m going to say something unpopular in a meeting, for example, I round up a couple supporters beforehand in one-on-one conversations. It helps to know at least someone has my back.

          • Danielle

            I’m still pretty new at my job, learning about the culture and navigating who to trust and who not to. There are mega power differentials and… stuff I’m not going to talk about online :) But if you want to have a conversation offline, let me know.

            In general, there are a few colleagues I could ask about certain things one-on-one (and one-on-ones are definitely a way I want to use to build relationships and network within the organization), but not this sorta thing. Yet.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I am only conflict-averse in certain situations, but I’m married to a guy who hates to have any conflict with me, and it drives me crazy. After we have a discussion that he’s been avoiding, I make a point of asking him, was that as bad as you thought it would be? What did you think was going to happen? Usually we’re both relieved to have the issue dealt with. And I notice that I feel so much more intimate with him, and so much more a team after dealing with a disagreement rather than letting it fester underneath the surface, and he agrees. Maybe it would help to think of what a relief it would be to have this confrontation over with, no matter how it goes, and the payoff in improved relationships.

      • Granola

        That is such good advice. My husband is also really conflict averse with me and it makes me so angry/aggressive because I think he doesn’t care. Trying very much to find better communication options so we both get what we need.

    • april

      There was actually a really interesting story on NPR about this. A many from Canada made a game of trying to be rejected at least once every day as a way of getting over his fear of rejection. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/01/16/377239011/by-making-a-game-out-of-rejection-a-man-conquers-fear

      • Danielle

        That IS really interesting! I have actually tried something similar with a different issue: getting used to little rejections so as to inoculate myself over time. I guess starting with lower-stakes situations would be a good way to begin.

  • Elizabeth

    I dressed up in a TOS red women’s uniform for work today. It made me so happy to wear it to work, like I’m a real engineer now. :p And then at lunch there’s a group photo of people who dressed up, so I went with blue facepaint and a hat with antennae and white hair, so I was an Andorian redshirt. Fun aspect of working in engineering – anyone who didn’t recognize the costume felt like they should.

  • april

    I used to love dressing up on Halloween, but my husband has never really been into it. So for the past couple of years, I’ve either dressed up on my own, or we’ve skipped it entirely. But this year I finally came up with a couple’s costume idea that he is excited about — we’re going to be Rick and Morty! Now I just have to track down a lab coat and some blue hair spray for him before tomorrow …

    100 years Rick and Morty!

    • Alanna Cartier

      OMG. I need pictures!!
      My partner is the same, not excited about Halloween. Perhaps a GOOD couples costume is just what I need to get him excited.

      • april

        ha! I will absolutely post a photo next week (provided the costumes turn out ok).

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour - Healthy Fit Mom on The Go()

  • Mrrpaderp

    This will totally out me if anyone I know reads this but… FH has a knack for dirty puns. I call it dad humor in training. Last year we were two owls (pair of hooters). This year we’re a chicken and an egg.

    • Christina McPants

      So which came… you know what, never mind.

      • Jess

        I love this comment so much.

    • Lulu

      One of my favorite friends’ costumes was her as a Mounds candy bar and him as an Almond Joy.

      • joanna b.n.

        Sometimes you feel like a … ha ha ha ha!

  • MC

    I love all the RBG love and can’t wait to read that book! Just wanted to share this excerpt from the book that talks about her relationship with her husband, Marty, that is so beautiful and feminist: http://jezebel.com/marty-was-always-my-best-friend-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-l-1738733789

    In other exciting news, my SIL is pregnant! She’s only 7 or 8 weeks along at this point, so everyone is cautiously excited/optimistic, but she just had her first ultrasound and heard the heartbeat! She and her husband live a few states away from us, but I’m so excited to be the Cool/Weird Aunt and visit whenever we can. Any advice for having relationships with nieces and nephews who live far away?

    • Natalie

      Yay! Congrats, Auntie-to-be! I live far from my sister and her son. I recommend Skype for staying in touch. I also travel regularly, and make an effort to buy a picture book from most places I visit. I give them to my nephew the once or twice a year I get to see him, and he gets so excited and we bond while I read to him and tell him about my travel adventures.

    • Christina McPants

      Both sets of grandparents are several hours away by car or plane – facetime / google hangouts / skype are great. We usually do them around mealtime, so the baby is stationary. Breakfast or lunch is best because the kid is more awake.

    • Eenie

      I just skyped with my sil and 7 mo nephew. I’ve spent a couple weekends with him so he recognized me and my voice which was awesome. I think a big part of it is letting the parents know you want a part in his/her life. Technology these days is amazing. My sil will play iPad games one night a week with her nieces and nephews from a distance because they’re older. It’s a little treat for them and keeps them occupied so her sister can accomplish some stuff. Being an aunt is seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do in my life. I appreciate how much his parents share him with family and friends.

    • Ashlah

      Cry warning on that RBG book excerpt. So beautiful.

    • Teresa

      Don’t take it personally if they go through a phase where you are a TERRIFYING STRANGER! They will grow out of it and then they will LOVE IT when they see you and sometimes cry when you leave. Which is the sweetest and the saddest. My niece never did this, but I’ve had both of my nephews (who live about an hour or so away and I see once a month of so) go through that phase. Just don’t push it, don’t try to keep hugging or picking them up. Wait for them to come to you, smile and say hello and try to be there, in person and virtually, when you can. When they grow out of it, call and chat with them, ask them questions and pay attention to what they say. Give awesome gifts on birthdays and make it a point to do special stuff when you can get together (movie date, ice cream visit, ride bikes together, play their favorite game for like 2 hours straight when everyone else has given up). It’s so awesome being an aunt!

      • jspe

        yes! My cousin’s son, when we left after a fun weekend together, got so teary and said “But, but, why are you leaving me here?” He’s 3. heart melted.

    • Ravenclawed

      I teared up reading the RBG article, and also the comments about it. It’s easy to dislike Scalia a lot of the time, but the image of him weeping on the bench over RBG’s husband really got to me.

  • Christina McPants

    Our baby girl turned one on Tuesday and her Halloween themed birthday party tomorrow is having exactly one other kid attend (and two in utero, but still). I’m so excited and she’s going to have so much fun.

    On a related note, my baby girl is ONE? Do you guys remember when I was chronicling our fertility attempts in happy hours under an anonymous account three summers ago? BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY AND ALSO A LIFETIME AGO.

  • CMT

    Does anybody else ever have issues commenting? It very frequently won’t let me type in the little box. I always end up clicking all over the place and scrolling around and trying to type and then it will eventually let me. But if I click somewhere else, I’m back to the impenetrable comment box. I’m using Firefox on a PC.

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, Disqus regularly acts like I’ve clicked outside the box, so I can’t type in it. It seems totally random because I can’t replicate it. I’m using Chrome on a PC. It’s super annoying, but I imagine it’s not something APW has much control over, unfortunately.

    • R

      YES. Same problem. Firefox/PC.

    • Emily

      Yes, I’m on Safari and as soon as I click in the box the screen scrolls far away from the comment I’m trying to respond to. I’ve gotten decent about typing without being able to see what I’m typing, but there have been many comments that I’ve simply given up on because Disqus is so frustrating.

      • Eenie

        I can’t tell you how many comments have gotten lost to the backspace monster. Oh you mean you didn’t want to go back a page and lose the entire comment?

      • CMT

        Yup, I’ve given up on quite a few comments myself.

    • Rebekah

      I use Chrome on a PC and don’t have issues commenting, but APW has been crashing regularly for the past two weeks on articles with a large number of comments. Other sites haven’t given me trouble, and I haven’t frequented anywhere else with Disqus as the comments manager to test that.

    • Rachel

      Oh definitely. I use Chrome on PC. If I’m typing a comment and want to erase something, I have to triple check that I’m still in the box or it’ll go back to the previous page. Or I’ll start to type and end up halfway down the page. Or sometimes I’ll have to keep clicking until I can get the damn box. It’s frustrating.

    • Lisa

      YES. I just started using Firefox on my new work computer, and I’ve noticed the same issues.

    • Natalie

      YES! I’m using Firefox on a Mac. I’ve commented several times on another (smaller) site using Disqus without these issues.

      I don’t usually have a problem when I comment via my ipad. Not sure why.

    • Kayla

      Yes, all the time.

      If I’m commenting with more than a few words, I write the comment in a Word doc and paste it in. But about 20% of the time it won’t let me paste either.

    • Caitlin

      For some reason, when this happens to me, clicking the Tab button fixes it. Also, quick tip, if this does ever happen to you (even throws you back to the home page) Disqus (for me at least) doesn’t get rid of the text. So if I click on the reply button to the same comment I was writing to before, my text will still be there. YMMV, but I hope this helps!

      • What??? Just tried the tab thing, it totally worked! Thanks!

      • Lisa

        Tried the tab trick, and it worked for me, too!

    • Yes, I’m on firefox on a PC logged in with google link to Disqus. A google search seems to indicate that is cookies and I deleted mine just now it’s working much smoother. I can click out of this box and then back in a keep typing!

      • CMT

        I tried that this morning, too, but it only worked for one comment. Then it’s back to the same old problem :(

  • Rachel

    Yesterday was my birthday! We took it easy and went to dinner, then played video games the rest of the night and talked about house stuff, since we’re closing on Monday!! Yay!

    After a lovely evening…we woke up to torrential rainfall this morning. There is major flooding all over the area right now, with more rain expected later this afternoon/evening, and even more expected early tomorrow. The local news is showing videos and pictures and it’s scary, especially since some of these areas flooded back in May, and one area flooded Halloween 2013. On top of that, we’re under a tornado watch and we had two tornado warnings earlier today. I’m glad I took the day off from work (but I’m sad I missed the costume contest at work) because I’m terrified of driving in the rain, and the roads around the house are flooded. Hoping that everyone in the area stays safe.

    Hope everyone has a happy and safe halloween!! :)

    • AGCourtney

      Happy birthday and congrats on closing! Hope the weather calms down soon.

  • Just got back from spending the week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with my husband! It was such an amazing trip, and it was all thanks to the Great Etihad Glitch last Christmas (yay for super cheap airfare!). My husband loved it so much, he’s talked nonstop about us moving to Dubai. He has friends out there and he’s always wanted to be an expat so now he wants to make a move. I’m a bit more…cautious but it could be an awesome adventure.

    Anyway,he’s a pic of me with a falcon! The rest of my trips are on my Instagram: @Jubilance1922

    https://instagram.com/p/9YykyLCiTz/?taken-by=jubilance1922

    • Jessica

      Everything about this is awesome. Glad you had fun!

    • Meg Keene

      #SHIRT!

      • I got it from a company called Black & Abroad – they have an Etsy and they are on IG: @blackandabroad. I got compliments on it and so did my husband when he wore his!

        • VKD_Vee

          WANT!

    • macrain

      Awesome Jubilance! What an adventure!

    • This is so funny, because I just spent a week in Dubai and my thoughts were “I’m so happy that I don’t live here” since I’m currently an ‘expat’ (not in Dubai) and Dubai is a popular expat destination. I didn’t like it at all and found that it completely lacked character. To each his own…

      • I liked it, but it felt so “go go go” and IDK if I could live like that. I liked Abu Dhabi a lot more, it was slower and seemed more authentic. How’s your expat experience been? Where are you currently, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • I reckon that I would have liked Abu Dhabi more. I love the Middle East, but Dubai wasn’t for me.

          I’m currently an expat in Hong Kong. It’s been a great experience so far, especially because I love the job that I moved here for and I feel really valued. In terms of the expat experience, it’s been an adventure, because Hong Kong has sooo much to offer and discover. It’s been slow to make friends because my husband and I are both introverted. We go out a lot with different groups of people but we haven’t been able to build our own friends circle yet. So having my husband with me (he followed ME), and him having been able to get a job in his field rather quickly made a HUGE difference I think. Hong Kong is also great because they have universal health care, public sports facilities etc., whereas you’re unlikely to have that in the Middle East. Gender equality over here is also surprisingly advanced, and they have lots of programs for Maternal health, so we can have a child here if we wanted to.

          If you’re thinking about moving abroad, I recommend researching those types of things to find out what kind of support you’ll have in whatever aspects are important to you, and the costs of living vis-a-vis your needs and your means…

  • Keeks

    So my wedding was last weekend and it was fantastic. You guys, I might be biased, but… brunch weddings are where it’s AT. Espresso cart, mimosas, pumpkin beers, a jazz band. After our reception we went out into the woods with our photographers, had a fancy private dinner, then met up with our friends at a bar & played cornhole in my wedding dress (which I wore for 15 hours! I highly recommend it). It feels kind of nice to be on the other side, though, and I’m excited what’s next – my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my best friend is about to have twins!

    • JDrives

      Congratulations!! And how fun that you are rolling right along into other fun things! One thing I loved about getting married in November was having a big, fun celebration on the brink of “holiday season” which I love with my whole heart.

      • Keeks

        Thanks! I love the holiday season too – I always tell myself that it begins after my birthday. Which is next week, hehe.

    • That sounds amazing!! :D

    • KPM

      I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t love eggs so breakfast is no good, but BRUNCH I will love forever so that sounds amazing! Bet those pictures in the woods are hella dreamy too!

      • Keeks

        Oh yeah, I actually hate eggs too! We had chicken & waffles, quiche crepe cups, 2 French toasts, and potato casserole so it was easy to skip the egg dish & load up on everything else.

  • Californian

    My guy and I are thinking of moving to Boston. Any APWers there with advice about the area? Particularly how to find pet friendly housing?

    • A.

      Do you have a dog(s)? If so: http://fidoloves.com/boston/boston-dog-friendly-apartments/ This resource was a life saver for us!

      Cats are fairly easy in Boston, based on what friends have said. :)

    • EF

      I’m from Boston. It is the best place.

      And the vast majority of apartments will allow cats and small dogs — but not the newer places.

  • Emily

    I realize this will sound strange considering this is a wedding website, but I’d love the newsletter to be less wedding and more feminism, life struggles, career, business, … the stuff that I always want more of from APW.

    • Emily

      Crap. I did not mean to upvote my own comment!

    • Mary Jo TC

      Honestly, that’s how I feel about all of APW these days, with my wedding 5 years in the past. But I understand that it’s a wedding website and a significant portion of the audience (and sponsors) want wedding content. I just skip the stuff I don’t care about anymore and focus on the stuff that is more relevant to me. But if APW were ever to spin off in any way (to focus on parenting, feminism, career, etc) I’d be all over it.

      • Lisa

        As we begin moving into the next phase of our life, I find myself wishing for an APW spin-off as well – something like A Practical Life, completely full of everything you just mentioned!

        • I would read SO MUCH of a spin off.

        • eating words

          A Practical Life, yes!

        • Natalie

          A thousand times this!

        • Kayla

          I think I remember Meg saying years ago that she owns apracticalmarriage.com. I would not be surprised if she swooped up all kinds of apractical gems. You know, just in case…

        • KPM

          I would be ALL about that.

      • I feel this way too, but I also love that APW exists as it does for the
        engaged, preengaged, and married to find and learn from as we did those
        years ago!

        • Mary Jo TC

          Yes, I’m glad that APW continues to exist in its wedding-focused form and is constantly updated for the sake of current and future brides!

          • Yeah, I think weddings are a springboard for more feminist-life content, though. I wouldn’t have been here if I hadn’t been looking for a saner, feminist view of getting married. So wedding content attracts new APW’ers.

        • Lisa

          I think that weddings are a part of life and will always be a major part of this web-site! I’m curious if the team might not be making small steps to more generalized content in the future though. I noticed that the company name that came up when I signed up for the newsletter was “Practical Media” and not “A Practical Wedding.”

      • Emily

        I dream of APW spin-offs.

      • CamperHill

        YES, a spinoff would be great. Because honestly, I’m on the other end of the spectrum. This website is awesome, but I wish there was more…. wedding stuff. I AM planning my wedding and would LOVE a place to connect with others in the same boat, ask questions, hear the things other people are struggling with – and it feels like most of these happy hours and posts are … past all that. It would be really awesome if there was a place for people to “graduate” to, and those of us still in full wedding mode had a space to find others in the same place.

    • Whitney

      100% agree. I love all the non-wedding content as well. I think it’s because APW has an uber-engaged community that doesn’t shy away from discussing it all. I love the articles, but i can’t resist the thoughtful comments and discussion that prove we are all in this together. It’s wonderful.

      My sister just got engaged, so I made her read my APW book. I also send her APW links constantly. And I, obviously, keep coming back for more.
      The wedding content is a pretty solid gateway to all this good stuff.

    • Kate

      This x a million. My wedding days are done but I still love the sh!t outta APW. I want wife posts, feminist musings, all of it. BUT I totally get that APW is at its core a wedding site. Maybe later when it’s all set up we can have two types of newsletters?

  • On our trip I got to finish “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster. I’d wanted to read it since I first heard about it, and I finally got around to it now that we’re considering having a baby. I learned so much! I really like that Oster did research on everything from pre-conception to post-birth, and provided lots of analysis into the various pregnancy “rules” and any related studies. I feel like I’m armed with a ton of great information for when I do get pregnant, and that I can advocate for myself with my doctor or midwife. Anybody else read it? What did you think?

    • Lisa

      Oh, my gosh, I LOVED it!! I got it from the library after someone mentioned it in a previous thread, and my husband is so sick of hearing me talk about it. I’m a facts and numbers person, and having all of the information consolidated was so interesting and helpful. I told my doctor best friend about it afterwards, and she felt like everything checked out against what she knows, which made me feel even more confident after reading the book.

      The chapter on midwives vs. doctors gave me a bit of pause though because I’d been leaning towards a midwife for our far-off delivery and that was the only point on which I wasn’t sure I 100% agreed with Oster.

      • YES! That was totally me – I’m a scientist and it amazed me that doctors are relying on little to no data on a lot of these recommendations! After each chapter I’d tell my husband all the cool things I learned and we’d discuss it. Some things he’s not on board with, like having a home birth, but at least we have the data including citations if we want to explore more in-depth.

        • Lisa

          Yeah, I think my husband is still having difficulty realizing that 2-4 years isn’t as far away as he thinks it is so he politely listened but wasn’t incredibly interested. I’ll probably pull the book out again in a couple of years to actually start discussing what we want for our future kids.

        • Christina McPants

          I really loved having a home birth. If you want to stay intervention free (and it’s fine if you don’t), it’s a good way to go. If it helps, midwives won’t keep you for the home birth / birth center if you present any kind of risk. My midwives stats were that they had about 8% of their clients transfer to hospitals and only about 1% for medical reasons (rest were epidurals) if that helps.

          • That’s really great to know, thanks!

          • Christina McPants

            Good luck! Another good option is a midwifery group in a hospital, I know plenty of folk who went that way and were happy with their results. Just make sure you get a feel for the practice.

          • Several of my friends have gone that route, and have given me recommendations. My one worry is that by the time we have a baby, we will have relocated and I’ll have to hunt for midwives in Atlanta.

          • Christina McPants

            Oh, no fun. Good luck!

          • I’m in Atlanta and just had a baby with a midwife who delivers in a hospital! She might be retiring soon, but I have had a couple good midwife groups here recommended to me. Plus supposedly there is a birth center in the works. Let me know if you want any names or advice!

          • Mary Jo TC

            That’s what I did/am doing. It felt like the best compromise: midwife care + on-premises OR and NICU for emergencies + not having to prepare my own home for a delivery.

            One omission that bugged me in Expecting Better was that she didn’t talk about nitrous oxide at all. It’s understandable because at this point very few American women have the option to use nitrous oxide for pain relief during labor, but things will stay that way as long as no one advocates for it. Oster might have expanded her research to find that “laughing gas” is used widely in Europe during labor and has few, if any, side effects for either mother or baby. If she’d found out more about how amazing this drug is, she could have written about it and started a national conversation with this book. What a wasted opportunity. I was lucky enough to have my baby in one of two hospitals in the US that use nitrous oxide, and I loved it so much! You can still feel things and push, but you’re kind of high and don’t care. (If you’ve seen Call the Midwife, when they use the gas tanks, that’s nitrous oxide.)

          • Lisa

            I wondered about this as well. I feel like there was a discussion of the gas in a previous thread here, but it’s so rare in the US that I figured it was why she didn’t mention it. How would women even go about convincing a hospital to institute this as an option?

          • Oh wow, I’d never even heard about this!

          • annie

            This is exactly what my hippy ob-gyn friends recommend (yes, that combo exists!) — their basic point is that things don’t go wrong frequently, but when they do, they often go wrong fast and unpredictably, and they’ve all had experiences in which the hospital cafeteria was too far. So they tell us, their friends, that midwives are awesome and midwives in hospitals gets you the best of both worlds — midwife care and access to all the things and people you might need in a fast-moving worst-case scenario. What I’ve learned from many of these discussions is that doctors are often giving advice based on the worst they’ve seen, which may not be common at all, but they don’t want to let that situation happen if they can prevent it.

          • Lulu

            I go to a midwife for routine gyn care (with an eye toward eventual childbirth, I hope), and she mentioned that so much of doctors’ training is around disease and diagnosing and treating disease, and it can be hard to flip that switch and not think of pregnancy as a disease to be treated.

          • raccooncity

            Way off topic, but this is the subject of a book I read recently about aging/palliative care. The diseased-focused model is bad in a number of arenas of medicine.

          • Granola

            I inherently really liked this option and we considered it (but eventually had a home birth for other reasons). But do make sure you do your homework b/c some midwife practices are bound by the same regulations as the normal labor and delivery wards in the hospital, so you may not always have as many options as it seems like you do. This happens a lot in one of the birth centers here in NYC, where it seems as if very few people actually get to deliver there in the end. So it just depends a lot on your practice.

          • doublegus

            I’m lucky that our hospital has an alternative birthing center right next door to the regular delivery unit. It’s staffed by midwives and has minimal intervention during labor for low risk pregnancies. If I’m low risk by the time I deliver, it will definitely be there.

          • Ashlah

            Yes! I’ve yet to be pregnant, but I so wish that nitrous oxide were an option here. It seems like such a perfect balance between absolutely no pain relief and an epidural. And it goes away so quickly if you don’t like it/have to much.

          • Jenny

            Yes! NO should be so much more popular here. I’m lucky to be giving birth at a hospital who has it (yay!). But it would be great on ambulences as well ( patient in pain, don’t know if they are allergic to meds, great, worried they are a drug seeker, give them NO, patient has a bad reaction to it, no problem it’s gone in like a minute). UK ambulances have them too, cuts down on narcotic abuse.

          • Danielle

            Wow, that’s really interesting! I’m not pregnant yet, but had NO for my wisdom teeth extraction several years ago, and it helped so much with anxiety and (probably) pain management.

          • BSM

            I am totally going the nitrous oxide route, if I have a choice. If you have any literature on it, that would be awesome, as my husband definitely still thinks I’m joking about this (even though, like you said, it’s extremely common in Europe).

        • Laura C

          I feel like a lot of doctors, not just OB/GYNs, actively refuse to engage with statistics. (Looking at you in particular, oncologists.) It’s so frustrating.

        • emilyg25

          Certified nurse midwives are the bomb! I planned a birth center birth and ultimately had to transfer to the hospital for an epidural, and they were calm and cautious the whole time and made me feel included, respected and informed. It was awesome.

      • Laura C

        I only remember a home birth vs. hospital birth chapter, not midwives vs. doctors in a hospital setting — is that what you’re thinking of or should I go back and look again? In any case I’m very clear I’m doing midwife in hospital, which is how I was born and how my husband was born for that matter. And at my closest hospital, the midwife practice does around 1/3 of births, so I’m in good shape.

        • Lisa

          It’s very possible that I’m remembering incorrectly, but I know there was at least a section about the distinctions between the different types of midwives. It was lumped in near the section about home births, and maybe I transposed the negative tone from that onto the midwife section. It’s been a month or two since I read the book so my memory might not be clear, but I remember coming away feeling like there was done negativity directed towards midwifery.

          • Jenny

            To be fair, depending on the state you are in Midwives need to be certified medical professionals (our midwives are all Certified Nurse Midwives and Masters in Nursing). But you can be called a midwife in other states without nursing education. So it would be hard to look at lots of national data and draw conclusions because I imagine so much of that would be confounded by certifications. But I don’t remember this chapter particularly well.

    • Jenny

      I liked it, but sometimes felt like she was bending her conclusion towards things she wanted. I also found it super ironic that right after the mini rant she did on age, she treated weight with exactly the same level of non scrutiny that doctors treat age (lumping ages into groups, cut offs that include wide ranges). Overall, I thought I was better armed with information about the decisions, but I felt like she pushed the decisions she made as a result of the data a bit more conclusively than I would have liked.

      • Lulu

        Also with the epidural, by my reading of it. But in those instances I tried to remember the overarching frame: good data can empower you to do your own analysis and weigh the risks with your own lens.

        • Jenny

          Yeah, I didn’t actually end up finishing it because it started to feel a little too…. something (also I had to return it to the library and I had read the parts that were directly relevant to me in the short term). I may pick it up again to read now that the third trimester is here.

          • Lulu

            I was/am a big fan of the book, but, reading it in one sitting, the obsession with data did start to feel a little manic. Even when you have the best possible information, some things are still completely out of your control. That can a very hard thing for an economist to process!

          • Jenny

            Yeah, I’m a PhD student who has been doing research for a job for 10 years, and I just felt like there was a little bit of the emotional that was missing. I mean I love data, LOVE data, seriously get giddy when we have new data in to analyze, but I felt like some of her conclusions were a little too detached. I did really appreciate her chapter on the doctors weighing her because it’s made me a little less sensitive to it. Like look people I’m coming in at different times of day, with different amounts of food/drink/clothing, it’s fine if you realize that, but seriously lets not get all crazy about needing a growth scan because I “gained” four pounds this week. I’m wearing shoes, a hoodie and you haven’t asked for my urine sample yet. Let’s take it down a notch. I think it gave me the confidence to advocate for myself and ask questions, which is always a good thing to come away with.

      • I can see that. I did appreciate that she provided other opinions on things like epidurals. But what i most appreciate is the citations. I’ve started digging into the studies she referenced myself, to draw my own conclusions. For me, it was a good place to start, sort of like a giant review article.

    • NH

      I just finished it as well! I loved it. I’m in my first trimester, and have been feeling a little overwhelmed and frustrated by blanket restrictions with little/no explanation–no hot yoga, no “new” exercise, less caffeine, no soft cheese, etc. Her analysis helped me parse through some of the reasons and evidence or lack thereof to inform my own decisions. It has helped take some of the fear out of pregnancy for me, which is huge.

      • Jenny

        Yes! And my understanding is that you can have soft cheese! It just needs to be pasteurized, and I’ve found is actually hard to find non pasteurized cheeses (at least in the US in my state)

        • NH

          Yes! Unpasteurized cheese is tough to find in the US. But then, my very kind, sweet nurse practitioner still says to avoid soft cheese. “even if it’s pasteurized?” i asked–and she STILL said, well that’s better, but probably best to avoid even so. WHY???

          • Jenny

            Huh, yeah my docs, who are Super rigid (not a single drop of alcohol, no cold meats) just said un pasteurized, because the worry is listeria and that’s not a concern in soft cheeses that are pasteurized.

        • Laura C

          I wish it was hard to find unpasteurized cheese where I live in the US! I had to switch my parmesan and will have to warn my mom before the next time I go home, last night at a restaurant I had to have my salad without cheese, etc.

          • Jenny

            One benefit to living in a conservative state (raw milk sales are illegal here- because freedom I mean I’m actually fine with that because I think pasteurization is a good thing, but I do find it funny.).

        • emilyg25

          I spent the first three months of my pregnancy rigorously avoiding all listeria risks. And then there was a recall for Wegmans peaches, which I’d eaten every day for a month, for listeria. At that point, I threw up my hands and said Fuck it!

          • Mary Jo TC

            I had the same fuck-it feeling about listeria risks. It’s pretty rare to begin with, so I didn’t care to give up my deli turkey.

      • Eh

        I always find these bans interesting since my doctor did not ban anything.

      • TeaforTwo

        I asked a nurse last week about the two post-transfer restrictions that have been killing me (no caffeine, no sex). I was happy to do them after we put our (very expensive, very hard-won) embryo back in, but asked how long they applied for (first tri? whole pregnancy?).

        She said they still applied because “we wouldn’t want you to feel guilty if anything happened, even though it probably wouldn’t be your fault.”

        I was infuriated. THAT IS NOT A MEDICAL REASON. I can manage my own emotions: what I’m asking the nurse for is whether or not there’s a documented risk that I need to take into account while I am making my own decisions.

        • Amy March

          No sex for nine months? Please tell me you’re getting a second opinion.

          • TeaforTwo

            Ha! Well, I am only under the care of the fertility clinic for the first 10 weeks, so that was all that she was referring to. But that also feels like a very long time, so I talked to the doctor and got some better advice (a yes, with a heavy helping of “if it doesn’t feel good, stop” which…obviously.)

    • Laura C

      It’s the only pregnancy book I haven’t hated a significant chunk of the time I’ve spent reading it. Not to say I agree with all of her conclusions and I’m clear that she and I are VERY different people, but I didn’t feel talked down to, which is so important to me.

      Lately I’ve found that when I want a little more info on something but in a more Expecting Better style, I get the best results with British and Australian sites. So much more clarity and less fearmongering than most American ones.

      • Jenny

        Yeah I liked the your pregnancy week by week by Rogan (there is an american version, but I liked it WAY less). It felt informative, but yes the tone was not you are a delicate little idiot pregnant flower.

      • TeaforTwo

        This thread inspired me to put a hold on it at the library. I had to put away “What to Expect” after I read a whole paragraph warning not to use hot water bottles/heating pads to relieve pregnancy aches and pains that ended with “if you have already done any of these things, don’t worry: there is no evidence that they pose a risk.”

        WTF?!

        • Ashlah

          Wow. Wow!

          This seems to be yet another scenario where our culture kind of forces women to be anxious about our behaviors, and then shames us for being “crazy” for worrying about our behavior. It’s no wonder when this is the shit they’re telling us!

        • Jenny

          Those books were the worst, so fear mongery.

        • Laura C

          Holy mother of a turtle! I’d heard that book was terrible so I hadn’t looked at it, but I had no idea it could be that bad.

    • Granola

      Yea I really liked it too, for a lot of the same reasons. Made me feel like I could decide which rules to follow based on their underlying rationale, instead of just blindly.

    • emilyg25

      I didn’t read that, but my favorite pregnancy author is Penny Simkin (The Birth Partner and Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn). I did use excerpts from Expecting Better to determine whether to drink alcohol in moderation during pregnancy. A good website if you have a baby is The Science of Mom and she just released a book too. Also, Evidence Based Birth is great.

  • eating words

    We’re leaving on our honeymoon tomorrow (Hawaii!). I’ve been so incredibly excited about it. But (warning: venting ahead) today is just crazy at work, and my boss just told me that he thinks I need to check email throughout the trip. Frankly, I was planning to turn off my work email, look at my phone as little as possible, and enjoy every minute of this vacation. Maybe I will anyway; I don’t think the consequences would be anything I can’t handle. Anyone else here have a similar situation?

    • Lisa

      Maybe tell him that you’ll be out of cell range for most of the trip and are unsure of when you’ll be available. You could try to check in once or twice if you think it’s important, but the can of worms is that, if you do check, they might want you to do work while out of office.

      • eating words

        That’s a good idea. He did say I shouldn’t respond, but that I should check to see if anything is urgent to pass on to someone else… which, of course, would let people know that I’m checking email. I’m not bringing a laptop, and given my line of work, I can’t imagine what could be so desperately urgent.

        • Ashlah

          Can you have your email forwarded to a co-worker? Or could someone be designated to check your email once a day while you’re out? I know some industries have regulations that would preclude that, but maybe it would work for you.

        • Amy March

          Tell him that you will set up an auto out-of-office alert directing anyone with an urgent need to contact him directly.

          • Emily

            PERFECT!

          • EF

            This is in fact what I do when I’m on holiday. You’re entitled to leave. Unless you’re getting paid extra to check your email, don’t check it.

    • kate

      i repeated, probably too many times, ahead of my two weeks off for the wedding/honeymoon that i would NOT be available other than in an extreme emergency, in which case i could be reached by cell *IF i was in service*. my work is notoriously not good at respecting those type of boundaries, but it worked like a charm.

      so i’d use lisa’s line now that you’re already there – “gosh, the place we’re staying is pretty remote, i just don’t know how good of service i will be getting…”
      and, UGH to this. SO ridiculous and horrible in so many ways that offices have this expectation and maybe i’m young and naive and bullheaded, but my stance so far is just to f-ing NOT do it, protect that boundary at all costs. once you start, it’s even harder to backpedal. and like lisa mentioned, once you “check in”, not only do you get that invading your headspace, but there’s suddenly a further expectation that you can just forward that email on, make that call, make that update….and that you’ll keep checking. IMHO, any time away that’s planned well in advance has given your manager ample opportunity to make alternate arrangements to ensure things don’t blow up while you’re gone and you should be able to turn off without an issue or expectation of having to check in unless there’s something really huge. /rant> :)

    • Carolyn S

      Oof. It’s so hard to give sound advice on this because, of course, only you really know the dynamic you have with your boss/workplace. It is my general option, however, that generally things that seem urgent on a Friday afternoon feel a lot less important on a Saturday morning, and probably WAY less important on a Sunday morning in Hawaii… I feel that, unless it’s going to cost you your job, this is a good place to set up a boundary for your family, that vacation is vacation. If you can, just tell your boss it’s unlikely you will be able to help much while away, you have a busy schedule and you just can’t commit to being available. When we went away for our wedding/honeymoon, I was diligent about assigning emergency management for every project to the right person for the issue and then didn’t open my email for 2 weeks, and it was glorious. Nothing burned down.

      • eating words

        things that seem urgent on a Friday afternoon feel a lot less important on a Saturday morning, and probably WAY less important on a Sunday morning in Hawaii

        Yes.

    • Ashlah

      Don’t do it! I fully support you not checking your email regardless of what your boss said. They have had time to prepare for your absence, and too fucking bad for them if they can’t operate without you. But really, they absolutely can. I always look at it like this: Would your workplace go on if you suddenly died tomorrow? Yes. So they can survive without you checking your email on your honeymoon.

      Of course this advice depends on the likelihood of you losing your job and what that would mean, but it sounds like you aren’t too concerned about that. My husband’s previous, terrible boss told him that the only time it was acceptable for him not to answer the phone was if his mom had died. He even clarified that Dad’s death didn’t count. That place was terrible. Now he’s at a better place, but he still has to set boundaries and be firm about being unavailable when he’s on vacation. Thankfully, they’re pretty good about respecting that.

      • eating words

        Oy. Your husband’s old sounds terrible. Mine is usually awesome, which is why I’m so thrown and discouraged by this. I’m hoping he was just having a moment of temporary insanity.

    • Lawyerette510

      I haven’t experienced it, but I see bosses do this to people a lot in my life in HR, and in addition to being a crappy thing for your boss to say, if you have an away-responder on that directs the receiver as to where to go for assistance, then there is no need for you to pass things on to other people. If it’s urgent and the sender doesn’t head the email, that’s on the sender, not on you. Clearly state in your away responder that you will not be checking the account during the window. Then as far as your boss goes, let him know you expect to not be using internet regularly and the steps you’ve taken. You earned your vacation time (and in some states it’s actually considered an accrued wage and if you’re working during it then you should get paid more or get time back).

    • TeaforTwo

      You are a better worker than I am for even considering it. My response would be “On my honeymoon? [laughs] I don’t think that will work.” All very light and jokey and “what a hilarious thing you just said.”

      • eating words

        I should have.

  • Tonight is the night! PUMPKIN MARGARITA night! The great recipe from Rachel (previous APW intern and as of today of Today show fame!) http://www.rachelwilkerson.com/2010/10/26/pumpkin-margarita-recipe/

    We’ll probably have leftovers for tomorrow too, but basically I thank these drinks for helping my shy self and husband say I love you for the first time and I won’t go a year without drinking one now!

    • EF

      YES! this is an amazing recipe. :-D

  • AGCourtney

    My daughter is 4! Her Peter Pan birthday party went SO well. (I was getting ready for it last week – we shoved some boxes in the basement and the master bedroom, but hey, no one will ever know.) They made their own personal treasure map pizzas and decorated little wooden treasure chests I found that we filled with necklaces and chocolate coins. The whole thing just flowed so smoothly and everyone had a blast, which is in large part thanks to the people we invited, I think. Is it just me, or does party planning seem different after you’ve had a wedding? The wedding was the first real party I’d thrown, though, so perhaps it is just me.
    We’re going trick-or-treating tomorrow at the Mall of America, as we always do. My husband has a wonderful Captain Hook costume (thanks, ren fest!) and I’ll either stick with a Victorian-ish dress I own or put on a leather bodice-thing I have like I ended up doing at the party and become a pirate. xD I love Halloween!

    • JDrives

      That photo of the three of you is heaps and heaps of cute. I love all of your costumes, and also your daughter’s sweet little smile!

  • Emily

    I’d love this community’s thoughts on this: in my town, the high school mascot is the “animals” and the female teams are the “lady animals.” This bugs me for same reason female firefighter or female screenwriter does… why is it not simply “animals?” It’s bothered me for long enough that I’m considering attempting to figure out how to work to change it. A part of me wonders if this is really something I want to take on… I’m ambivalent. Any thoughts? I wonder if I could simply suggest it to the schools?

    • sarah

      I think this is a pretty common practice in high school athletics, if that makes any difference…

      • Emily

        This, meaning the “lady” part? I know that is how it was in my high school (20 years ago and in a totally geographic area) but still, it seems so outdated. Female high-school athletes deserve better. See, it bothers me.

        • sarah

          I mean, knock yourself out if you want to contact the school about it. I’m just pointing out that “lady mascot” was always a point of pride for my friends during school so it might be an uphill battle trying to change it. I do agree with you about the inherent sexism though.

          • Emily

            Could you say more about it being a point of pride? I want to see them all be the “animals.” Or the “animals” and the “gentlemen animals.”

          • Sarah

            Sure, I’d love to see the term “woman artist” and “woman comedian” and “lady mayor” disappear too. I’m totally with you. I just think that tradition is a powerful thing (especially in school systems). The girls I knew in school were involved with athletics, and for as long as anybody knew they were called “lady wildcats” so that’s how they identified themselves – I don’t think anyone really questioned it. So I guess my answer to your original question is – yeah I think it’s sexist and dumb and you should stand up for what you believe in, but at the same time I don’t think anything will really come of it as far as the school is concerned.

          • Emily

            This is pretty much my thought… it is hard to change
            culture. However, then another part of me points out that culture won’t change
            unless we stand up and do it. I may simply keep it in the back of my head right
            now and watch for some kind of opportunity.

        • Sara

          Yeah at my high school it was the same. But I think the girls kinda owned it, like it was a borderline sorority of female athletes. We had some pretty spectacular women athletes at my school – a few featured on ESPN. I never really saw an issue with it honestly.

      • raccooncity

        It’s not very common, AFAIK, in Canada.

    • Eh

      When I was in high school one of the schools changed their mascot from the Lords to the Lightning since the female teams were called the Ladies. Another school still had their mascot as the Rams and another school’s was the Redmen and neither changed their names. My high school was the Bears and the female teams were not referred to as the Lady Bears. I would suggest it to the school.

      • raccooncity

        OMG ARE YOU FROM LISTOWEL

        • Emily

          No. (Where’s that?) I’m in Colorado.

          • raccooncity

            OH, i meant that for ‘eh’ – it’s a town in Ontario, Canada, where they did the same thing with the team names.

        • Eh

          I grew up near there.

          • raccooncity

            So did I (and my entire extended family, as is the way.)
            Smallest world ever.

          • Eh

            my family lives near seaforth

          • raccooncity

            Ah, my mom actually is from Listowel, but I grew up in the opposite direction in Hanover. Nice little area though. We weren’t in the same school board so I missed the whole “ladies to lightning” conversion. I just remember my mom saying they were lords and ladies when she was a kid and rolling her eyes about it.

          • Eh

            Being in that school board when it happened was interesting since the Rams and Redmen did not change their names. And there was pressure to change another school’s mascot from the Blue Devil (it’s still the Blue Devil but they have removed it from many places in the school and now I think it’s only in the gym).

      • KPM

        Personally Rams doesn’t bother me that much compared to be Lords/Ladies. But they definitely needed to change Redmen!

    • april

      Unless you are an employee of the high school or you have a child at the high school, I’d vote for staying out of it. I agree it’s sort of weird, but I the students might resent it if someone from outside the community started lobbying to rename their sports teams …

      • Emily

        Oh, I have multiple children in this school system (all with the same mascot). I doubt I would be paying attention to it if that wasn’t the case. Good point!

        • april

          In that case, is it a cause you could get your children interested in? Maybe they could write an editorial for the school paper (or some other local publication) – something along the lines of “lady animals are animals too!”

          • Emily

            You know, I have three daughters, and they don’t understand why it bothers me. I think it is a case of insidious sexism that is hard to see when we are too close to it.

          • april

            Meh. Then I would lean towards letting it go. You know your kids best, but I would have been pretty embarassed/upset if my parents had gotten into a battle with my school’s administration over something I didn’t really care about.

          • Louise

            I understand not wanting to embarrass your kids (as is suggested in another comment), but it makes me a little sad that that could stop you from teaching them a valuable lesson about sexism. If you have teenagers, you’re going to embarrass them at some point– might as well do something meaningful. As a teacher, I encourage you to use this an opportunity to set a model for your girls!

    • Sandy

      Drives me nuts as well.

    • I work a side gig at a collegiate athletics program and the Sports Info Director has always made sure that women’s teams are NEVER referred to as the “lady redhawks” whether it’s by the PA or an article written about them. He’s always established that every athlete is a “redhawk” full stop. It might be worth suggesting it to the athletic director?

    • Natalie

      This would drive me crazy. It’s the kind of casual sexism that tells girls that they’re not quite as good or valued as the boys. It’s not something either my high school or my college did, but many competitor schools used “Lady X” vs “X” for team mascots. So sexist. My university had some stellar women’s sports (softball and gymnastics both won national championships last year!), and there was a long history of dedication to lifting up women’s sports teams. They never received the attention of men’s football, but neither were they talked down to/about. Something tells me those things were related. Where women’s sports are valued and invested in, they aren’t demeaned by their names.

      • Emily

        “It’s the kind of casual sexism that tells girls that they’re not quite as good or valued as the boys.” This is exactly how I feel about it, and I’m aware how invisible it is. I was a “Lady X” and it has taken me years and years to realize how insidiously I’ve absorbed sexist thoughts–for example, that men’s sports are more “real” than women’s. There’s no doubt in my mind that “Lady X” is a problem… it’s the how to go about changing it that I’m wondering about.

    • Violet

      I think it’s not simply “animals” because we as a society have decided that males should be given the preference of being unmarked while females are relegated to marked status. Aka, you’re bothered by it for a reason. https://faculty.georgetown.edu/tannend/nyt062093.htm

    • C_Gold

      An extra-absurd example of this: My friend went to a Catholic high school, and their mascot was the Popes. The women’s teams were the Lady Popes.

      Also, my step-daughter’s school is the Hillmen and the Lady Hillmen.

      It’s so stupid…

      • Emily

        The lady popes? I don’t even know how to respond.. so many problems there.

  • raccooncity

    Woah, guys. This past weekend I was fiddling with my engagement ring more than usual, and on Monday I realized that it was because the diamond felt loose. I was like “well, I’ll look into that eventually” but my gut was like, give it a close look now. One of the claws was completely gone. I could almost take the diamond right out of there. Yeeeeesh. It was an antique, and I never got it looked at for sturdiness.

    Anyway, 4 new claws and one near miss later it’s all better. Diamonds should not feel like loose teeth, y’all.

    • My diamond is itty bitty, moved from my grandma’s wedding ring, and I’m always worried that it will fall out and I won’t notice! But it’s there… whew!

    • emilyg25

      I go get my ring cleaned and inspected by a jeweler every 6-12 months. It’s free! And it makes it soooo shiny.

    • KPM

      That totally happened to me. It took me forever to connivence myself I was right and the diamond was moving but then my husband immediately agreed. Now I periodically check, though I’ve gotten less paranoid than I used to be.

  • I’ve been in a super feminist rage lately due to some reading I’ve been doing about women in the workplace and the fact that it’s pretty normal for them to get burdened with lower level administrative work even in positions where that isn’t their job. THEN following that up with reading about the repercussions that a lot of women face when they aren’t “nice” about the fact that they don’t want to be picking up coworkers’ slack. THEN I read an article about women bearing the brunt of the majority of unpaid emotional labour in the workplace (prompted by my anger at being repeatedly told to smile over the course of a couple of weeks).

    And now we can’t even have public discussions about women being harassed without getting harassed out of the panel entirely… which essentially says that the status quo is totally fine and that the voices of harassers matter more than the voices of people that want to calmly discuss why harassment is a problem.

    I’m angry a lot lately and I feel like 90% of what I post on these Open Threads is feminist raging. OH WELL.

    Anyone else just angry and tired and want to commiserate?

    • raccooncity

      PFFFFFFF. Yes.

    • MK

      Yes, absolutely. Now that I’m 9 weeks pregnant and starting to negotiate maternity leave (which I don’t even have- I have to use all my vacation and sick days if I want to be paid), it makes me enraged on behalf of any woman who has ever been pregnant and had a job. I know we’ve talked a lot on here about the importance of having both parents work, but now that I’m in it I totally get why some women say- this isn’t worth it. They probably think that it’s better for both them and their employer if they just don’t work, because they don’t have to worry about taking care of their kid and making their boss unhappy, and the employer deserves someone who is more available/does not have children. I don’t even work in a competitive field, and it’s a total minefield already. It makes me sad for women. It should not be this way. The system and our culture is completely messed up. How can women win?

      • Lulu

        Kind of a tangent, but this new database of maternity leave policies might arm you with information as you advocate. Good luck! http://fortune.com/2015/10/19/maternity-leave-database/

      • It really shouldn’t. Good luck with your negotiations!

        I’ll never understand how maternity leave is still considered a “women’s issue” when it affects every member of a new family. :/

        • emilyg25

          I think this is the biggest thing keeping reproductive rights and family leave back: they’re viewed as women’s issues when they’re really human issues.

      • emmers

        This makes me rage-y, too.

    • Kayla

      “Anyone else just angry and tired and want to commiserate?”

      Ugh. Yes. I feel like I post about this at least once a week, but it is a constant struggle for me to not be dragged onto our party planning committee. It feels like I live in a real-life The Office episode.

      I’ve sat my boss down and specifically told him I have no interest in the party planning committee, and I will under no circumstances be joining the committee, and he really ought to be telling our client (we’re consultants) that party planning is not my job. It doesn’t matter. They keep inviting me to the party planning committee meetings, and being shocked/appalled when I don’t show up.

      It seems worth noting that my team is about 80% men. The party planning committee is all women.

      • D: That must be so exhausting.

        It takes so much energy to be constantly saying no and that’s pretty skewed to have an all women party planning committee and 80% men in the workplace.

        • Kayla

          The thing that I think even well-meaning male feminists don’t understand is how much energy it takes just wondering whether you’re being treated badly because you’re a woman. Every single time someone at work is upset with me, I have to ponder whether it’s because of someone I actually did wrong, or because I did something that is “wrong” for a woman to do. It’s so exhausting.

          I’m sure this is exhausting squared for women of color too.

          • YES. omgomg. My SO is amazing and 100% feminist BUT every now and again I’ll complain about things and he’ll struggle a bit with not understanding why I’m so upset because it doesn’t seem like a clear cut sexism situation. “you don’t KNOW that they are being sexist” And for me that’s the exhausting part, it’s sort of like constantly wondering if you’re being gas-lighted because you have all of these FEELINGS that you aren’t being treated fairly, or that you are being being treated differently and you can see how it’s different but you can’t articulate exactly how or why you feel that way and it *might* be related to gender but maybe not. And THEN when you think about reacting it’s like “okay, how do I stand up for myself in a way that minimizes negative consequences that I might not anticipate because someone else is a sexist the most” and “is it worth the energy for this”.

      • Emily

        That is the kind of complete BS that I hate. Hang in there and stick to your guns.

        • Kayla

          For better or worse, I appear to be super-glued to my guns. ;)

          • Emily

            Good for you!

      • CMT

        Can I get in on this commiserating? It’s been a long, hard month for me and I’m tired and every little thing this week has been making me angry. I’m going to sleep and cuddle with my cat all weekend and hopefully I’ll be a normal human being by Monday.

        • Kayla

          Welcome to the Commiseration Station! We should have matching jackets made.

          Someones I wonder how much more I would get done at work and in life if I didn’t spend so much energy just fighting off sexist bullshit. And it’s so depressing to even think about that I just go home and have wine for dinner and harass my dog and/or husband into snuggling me.

    • I’m currently in a birth-control-insurance-company fight that is inducing all the rage. Not to mention that our ONLY Planned Parenthood for our city of half a million people is only open 4 hours per week on Mondays during work hours. It’s maddening.

      However, the upside has been my grad program where I’ve gotten to hang and hash theory with a bunch of badass feminist geographers who are huge voices for women in academia. Hearing about all of their efforts fighting the patriarchy makes me SO thankful for those who have gone before (but also just shows how far we still have to go).

      • That’s awesome about your grad program! I’m on a team where I’m the only woman and there is only one other woman in office (different team). I would love to have another feminist around to talk patriarchy with!

    • Lawyerette510

      I have so much feminist rage and so little time!!!! I feel you, majorly.

    • eating words

      After a promotion within my organization a while back, it took a couple of YEARS before my previous boss stopped giving me clerical assignments that had nothing to do with my job. Infuriating. I still get mad whenever I think about it all these years later. Plus everything else you said, grar.

      • I totally feel you. I had a promotion from a clerical role into a more technical one and am struggling with a similar problem. I don’t know if it’s natural transition that has nothing to do with being a lady or not, but boooooo anyways.

        • eating words

          In my case, it was easy to point out some cases where women were asked to take on menial tasks that weren’t being given to men at the same level. It caused a bit of a kerfuffle, but it got more people to notice it and start paying attention. Ultimately they instituted some changes that made things more equitable.

          • eating words

            Come to think of it, this even happens in IMAGINARY places. At an improv rehearsal recently, my scene partner and I were told we would be two doctors. Within four lines, he had downgraded me to an assisting nurse.

          • Kayla

            The improv thing. Holy fuck. :(

          • WTF. :|

            And it’s awesome that you are making a fuss and making some changes! I try to push back in a lot of ways, like I speak up in meetings and I say no to people…. but it’s exhausting. I feel like I’m fighting a battle on all fronts a lot of days.

          • Lisa

            Nooooooo. And you can’t even go back and negate it at that point. Did you point it out to him afterwards?

    • Natalie

      Yes.

      I recently received an email from someone within academia to both myself and my postdoc advisor (we both have PhDs) that was addressed “Dear Dr. [him] and Ms. [me],” I don’t expect people to know or use my title, but if you’re working within academia, you know that anyone with a PhD is “Dr.” You can call us both by our first names, both “Mr.” and “Ms.”, or use our titles for both of us. But don’t call him “Dr.” and me “Ms.” Gah. It’s a tiny thing, but it feels like just one more sign that my gender doesn’t belong in this science club.

      • Kayla

        UGHHHHH. I am outraged on your behalf.

      • ACK. I want to set so many tiny fires on your behalf right now. :(

        And it totally is the little things a lot of the time. They add up so quickly and one at a time its all “oh, they didn’t mean anything by it”

      • guest

        That is nuts. In academia, the default should be Dr. I got so many emails addressing me as Dr. when I was still a grad student (for conferences and paper submissions etc).

      • KPM

        UGH! That email is one that I would be responding to with a Sincerely, Dr. Me.

        I’m not a science person nor a phd but so many of my good friends are. A big hug and thank you for pushing through.

      • Emily

        Your gender belongs… the other gender needs to catch up already!

      • Lisa

        ARRRGH. This makes me so angry!!

  • Lulu

    Moms and pregnant ladies: what’s the latest into your pregnancy or earliest into your mom-hood that your partner traveled? I know every pregnancy, baby, postpartum experience, partnership dynamic, and support network is different and just want to get a sense for the range of where comfort ends and crazy begins.

    Also this is long-range planning to such a degree that I fully expect gods to have a hearty laugh and render it all moot, yet I can’t not try to plan!

    • Sandy

      I’m due on 12/10. My husband is a second year PhD candidate and needs to start presenting on some of his research. He was invited to two conferences this year, both in January, and is only attending one. We reviewed which of the conferences would be better for his career and when they were happening. He’s going to Portland, OR on 1/3 for 3 days (we live in Illinois).

      If the weather is good (ie. cold) he will also be going to Wisconsin (a 6 hr drive) for 5-6 days the following week to conduct a study on ice fishing.

      I was reluctant for both, to be honest. I’m scared of having him leave so soon after baby is born. But his education is an investment in all of our futures and these two trips are necessary for that.

      • Lulu

        I’m in Illinois too, and I wish I could bring you a casserole or seven. I hope that baby makes a timely entrance into the world and it is all smooth sailing for you by January!

        These are the sorts of things we’re weighing whether we need to plan around, so I really appreciate your perspective, thank you.

        • Sandy

          That would be so sweet! Unfortunately, my freezer is tiny. :( I’m cleaning it out next week and I’ve got projects to put some dinners in there over the next few weeks. Benefits of Type A parenting, I guess.

    • MC

      Not pregnant or a parent, but one of my friends came to our wedding about six weeks before their due date, but I know she had a very low-risk pregnancy and her doctor approved it. I was still impressed!

      • MC

        Oh, oops, just realized I mis-read the original post – nevermind!

        • Lulu

          It’s all still helpful! For some reason, I’m much more comfortable with my own hypotheticals, whereas the thought of being left alone should I be too ginormous to tie my own shoes fills me with fear.

    • MK

      Also keep in mind that you might not feel like traveling in early pregnancy. I’m 9 weeks and can barely ride the subway without feeling barfey.

      • Eh

        Along this note: don’t expect to feel better at 12 weeks. I needed a seat on the bus early in my pregnancy because I was so nauseous. I was also sick until 23 weeks.

      • doublegus

        We moved a trip back for this very reason. Walking around a new city and meeting new people when I got tired just showering was not an option.

    • Eh

      I went on a road trip (8 hours) at 33 weeks. And we took the same road trip when our daughter was 2 weeks old. Both trips required stopping every two hours or so. My daughter had a tongue tie and had trouble feeding so we almost had to cancel the trip after she was born. Also, my daughter was born on her due date – she could have been just before our trip was planned so everyone knew we might cancel depending on when she was born and how I was feeling.

      I was asked to travel for work around 35 weeks but my manager vetoed it because she thought the trip was unnecessary and another coworker had just had a baby at 35 weeks (my dr was fine with me travelling).

    • M.

      I’m due just before Valentine’s Day, and my husband has the opportunity to travel abroad for work coming up. Generally he goes on every trip available (it’s pretty fance) and I have gone with before, but this is obviously changing for now. We talked about it, and I said I’d be OK with him going if it was only a few days through mid-January. He doesn’t feel comfortable going at all in the new year.

      Part of why I want him to be able to is just for him/us sort of in a non-baby non-pregnancy context, it’s such a great opportunity for him at work and in life, plus we get BONKERS airline miles and get to travel more. He is only thinking of me, what works for us as a couple (almost always together), and the baby, so he doesn’t want to go. Truth told, I think if it did get really close (w/in a month or so) to the end and he was gone, it would be harder than it usually is and I might regret it. I need a little more emotional support than normal, and help with my normal chores (this of course will increase the bigger I get!), and just even thinking about, what if I go into labor? It is stressful when I think about it. So, we’ll see.

      On the flip side, if he was able to go on a trip about a month post-partum (when he’s done staying home with us), I’d send him in a heartbeat, and try to join him as soon as the pediatrician said the baby was OK to go abroad. (For context, we have only a sibling and cousin nearby, all other family hundred/thousands of miles away. It’s basically just us.)

      • Lulu

        Part of me thinks that if it’s all going to be a hormonal, sleep-deprived mess anyway, maybe I’d do just as well with my mom by my side while my husband escapes. But then I also worry that’s delusional. Thanks for the perspective from the trenches!

    • Mary Jo TC

      What’s your concern? Scheduling a trip around the unpredictable birth? Or making sure your partner is there to support you and bond with the baby? How long would the trip be and what other supports do you have around? How important is the trip and can it be done at a different time? If you can answer these questions, then you’re halfway to planning when a trip is advisable and when it’s not.

      • Lulu

        Yep! Trip is a week in a very remote locale, so I’m just trying to block off the appropriate “no-fly zone,” so to speak (and as absurd as that sounds/is). We have a good friend support network; family isn’t geographically close but could still be part of a plan. I’m thinking about things like the friend who delivered at 35 weeks, the ones who couldn’t drive post- c-section, the ones who had intense PPD… but also want to balance that with not totally making life conform to worst-case-scenario thinking, you know?

    • emilyg25

      Are you talking about getting left alone while your partner travels or going with? The last trip we took was to visit my parents for Thanksgiving when I was about 35 weeks pregnant (4 hour drive) and I was pretty miserable. I would have been comfortable with him going anywhere with cell reception and like 5 hours away max up until about 38 weeks. After the baby, I wasn’t going anywhere and neither was he for good two months, but I’m weird like that.

  • joanna b.n.

    OOh! Slack! Just went down that little wormhole and oh, the possibilities!! Just another APW-makes-life-better hack… thanks!!

    Also, as a childfree friend of people who are parents, it never occurred to me that we might not get invited to their kids’ parties… which means I may have misinterpreted a recent omission from the guest list to a new friend’s son’s birthday party as a referendum on the friendship. Le sigh, always learning about these things.

    Today I’m celebrating being FINALLY over a nasty-ass cold/flu/plague that ravaged my house in October, totally killed my productivity, and just basically made me miserable at life. But now! I can think! I can breathe without coughing! I don’t need a nap every day to survive! Life has returned.

    And last but certainly not least, get a tissue (or eight) and watch this woman come out as transgender to her mother (repeatedly): http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/a-transgender-woman-comes-out-to-her-mom-with-alzheimers-eve

  • EF

    I was sorta secretly hoping to see this in the link roundup this week. I wrote a thing! In defense of millennials, texting, selfies, and weddings: http://qz.com/533401/i-was-caught-texting-at-my-wedding-and-it-doesnt-bother-me-at-all/

    • MC

      Love this! Congrats!!

      • EF

        aww, thanks you guys!

    • JDrives

      I really liked it! Congrats on writing a thing and being published!

    • Angela

      I thought it was awesome! So many good points!

    • It’s so good!

    • C_Gold

      This is great! And yeah, one of my favorite pics from our reception is the photo of me and my husband standing next to each other, each on our phones, changing our Facebook statuses to “married.” :-)

  • I was reading the holidays open thread this week and wondering what kind of traditions our baby family would have once we stopped travelling for Christmas…and then my husband and I had a realistic conversation about the logistical/financial difficulties of going to my parents’ house this year. His parents live outside the US and flights are ridiculously expensive around the holidays, and his sister happens to live about 25 minutes away from my family, so it hasn’t been an issue before. Staying on the East Coast (where we live) means not only missing my immediate family celebration, but also our yearly family reunion with 70+ family members.
    I completely understand the logical reasons for staying home this year, but…I’m pregnant. The thought of not getting to show off my bump or have one last baby-free hangout time w friends bums me out too, but the biggest issue is that pregnancy hormones make me cry at the drop of a hat (almost literally…today I tripped and stumbled on the sidewalk and starting tearing up at the thought that I *might have* fallen face-first). I realize that my husband has spent his holidays in a foreign country without his parents for many years, so I don’t want to emotionally blackmail him into a particular type of celebration but…the tears, they just come.
    So: Any suggestions for making the first holiday away from home more tolerable? Distinguishing it from normal life? The nearest family is 2.5 and 4 hours away, and I can’t decide if it would help or hurt to try to jump into their celebrations.
    And: pregnancy tears. Tips for how to deal?

    • joanna b.n.

      SKYPE DATES?? So everyone can ooh and ahh over your belly from afar??

      • emmers

        And I’m also envisioning some adorable bump pics with Christmas ornaments that you could text to friends. Merry Christmas from the three of us, etc!

    • emmers

      Get some special food! Like stuff to make special hot chocolate with mint drizzle or hot cider with whipped cream, or whatever strikes your fancy. And if there’s a fuzzy holiday movie that you like (like Elf!), watch that. Maybe you could buy a special ornament to commemorate your first Christmas at home/last Christmas just the two of you. Ooh, and if there are special holiday pajamas or some fuzzy slippers you’ve been craving, get those too! Maybe try to think of it as less something you’re missing, but more something new you’re trying.
      Since you guys are doing Christmas away, and it’s the last Christmas before baby, could you view it as kind of a romantic, special stay-cation? Like if there are romantic things that you guys might enjoy together, like special candles or something, do that. And I hear you about the tears. If I ever get pregnant, I will imagine that will be me. Hang in there, lady, you’re doing a great job.

    • Feel the feelings. It totally sucks to be away from family when you live overseas. I’ve had to come to terms with realistically spending most of my Christmases with my husband’s family. Which is great, because I love them and they love me, but it’s just not the same as being with my own people. Can you make the time/afford to go for a couple of days before Christmas? Even if it’s just you? In the past that has really helped me, and definitely, definitely making the time to Skype lots over the actual days. xx Solidarity.

    • emilyg25

      I only have advice for the tears. I just said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t control my crying right now because of hormones. It’s not as bad as it looks. I just need a moment to cry.” I found talking about it clearly and as calmly as possible (sometimes after the fact) helped my husband immensely.

  • TeaforTwo

    You guys…I’m pregnant! It took a wayyyy longer than we thought it would, and cost more than our wedding, but after a scare two weeks ago, we got to see the heartbeat on Tuesday and…there’s a tiny shrimp-shaped thing inside me that has a BEATING HEART.

    • JDrives

      !!! Congratulations!!

      • Rita Sanchez

        ‎‎‎

        .…my companion’s relative makes $97 working on a PC onIine……..A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $83, p/h..Learn More right Here….
        ps…..
        ➤➤
        ➤➤➤ http://GlobalEmploymentReportsTopStarJobsFinders/Get/$97hourly… ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦

    • Lawyerette510

      YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • M.

      Woooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ashlah

      Hooray!!!!

    • FIST PUMP! Congratulations :)

    • Congratulations!!! :D

    • emilyg25

      Tea for two, indeed! All the best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and baby!!

      • Heather Miller

        ‎‎

        .❝my neighbor’s friend is making $98 HOURLY on the lap-top❞….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
        2xsa……..
        ➤➤
        ➤➤➤ http://GlobalWorldEmploymentsVacanciesReportSite/GetPaid/$97hourly… ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦</blockquote

    • Hooray! So happy for you! Waiting until the beta on Wednesday to find out if our first IVF transfer took… longest eleven days EVER.

      • TeaforTwo

        Oh good luck! I’m very impressed you have the patience to wait for your beta. Rooting for you!

    • macaroni

      Congratulations!! Here’s to a healthy and relatively easy pregnancy and (eventual) delivery!!

    • Christina McPants

      OH MY GOODNESS CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Ravenclawed

    I’ve read the RBG article no fewer than five times and tears still spring up each time.

    It got me thinking, though: how many wives have played the role that Marty did? And how much less admiration would their stories get?

    On the one hand, I love that RBG was loved and cared for so deeply (and so publicly) by her husband. On the other, I think of all the practically invisible women who have loved and cared for their husbands, putting his career first and foremost, and as a society we don’t hold them up as role models. It’s frustrating, because everyone deserves to be deeply loved like that, yet, half of the people doing just exactly that won’t be appreciated quite as much.

    • Bsquillo

      Man, I think about this stuff ALL THE TIME with regards to successful people and their invisible support systems; for me, it’s more than just a feminist issue (although it certainly is a huge one, and often it’s wives who are playing these roles). How many famous artists had a spouse who was silently raising their family and/or holding down a more steady job while the artist waited for their break? How many successful startup CEOs had a generous loan from their parents? How many people who seemingly live this wild, risky lifestyle while they wait for success secretly had a much more stable support system backing them up? I feel like we don’t talk about these things much, because our society likes the romantic notion that success is due to one person’s singular efforts, but that is most often not the case.

      • EF

        it’s a ‘you didn’t build that!’ conundrum.

        There was an article in the atlantic (i think) not too long ago about how a huge percentage of millennials who own homes had help with the downpayment from their parents — and, one assumes, if parents had a chunk of change for that, meant that there wasn’t going to be massive student loan debt, either.

        It’s really, really frustrating to watch peers succeed in various ways and and try really hard to be happy for them and not just jealous that they have support systems that I have never had, and never will. The friend with the $20mil startup? Grew up with a trust fund of a couple million waiting for him. The friend who just paid off her house after 2 years? Inherited a bunch of money from a relative she didn’t even know. The friend working in a public prosecution office, who I always though of as not so privileged — his parents are both medical doctors, and specialists, and he has no law school debt.

        I actually think we should talk about this a LOT more. In my peer group, I’m far behind on earnings, on living standard, on career. That’s not a complaint, just factual. But our starting places were *not* the same, and a degree or two doesn’t change that. And it remains why class at birth is hands down the best marker in guessing where a child will end up.

    • MC

      This is a good point, and I do think that everyone deserves recognition for being a supportive spouse/partner, because it’s hard work and we should all be so lucky. But our relationships don’t exist in a cultural vacuum, and unfortunately, the cultural norm of a (hetero) relationship where the woman puts her husband’s career ahead of hers plays into sexism and gender stereotypes and all that, which leads to fewer women in professional leadership roles, which is a vicious cycle, etc. So in RBG’s case, not only was he being a supportive partner, but he was also a huge ally fo someone with less privilege. So I think he (and other feminist husbands) get held up as role models because, frankly, we need to see examples of men stepping up and using their privilege to advocate for others if we’re ever going to get to gender equality. And, actually, I feel like many women in the public eye do get held up as role models for supporting their husband’s career, and women are often punished professionally for doing the opposite.

  • Lawyerette510

    Ok, so collective brilliance of the APW hive-mind, does anyone have suggestions on ways to better plan/ communicate when you don’t see your spouse much? Over the past month we’ve had a big shift and now are only together one or so night during the workweek, and weekends except that we have lots of standing obligations/ trips/ plans on the weekend that existed before the big change in my husband’s work. It’s ok, but what I’m struggling with is how to stay ontop of the things we need to discuss when we see each other but aren’t fun so we don’t think about unless I force the issue, such as budgeting, pet care, household stuff, logistics, etc. Thoughts?

    • Bsquillo

      On the logistics/scheduling end, a shared calendar can help a lot of things. This could be in the form of a google calendar you both have access to on your phones, or a low-fi calendar you hang in the kitchen at home and fill with all your events. That at least helps minimize a lot of the “did you forget? I have that work thing tonight” conversations.

      I suppose along those same lines, you could schedule “budget meetings” or “chore time” or whatever on the calendar, so you don’t feel like you’re having to force it in the moment. A lot of times I’ll mention to my husband during a busy week “Hey, we need to sit down and figure out holiday travel plans this weekend.” That way we both know it’s coming, and we’re sort of saving some mental energy for it so it doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise.

      • Kayla

        Second this. We use Google Calendar (and Google Docs too) for everything.

      • StevenPortland

        We rely heavily on our family Google calendar. And we’ve learned how to have those semi-serious discussions in quicker more focused formats. Just this morning we had about 8 minutes away from the kids to make decisions on how to trim the guest list for a holiday party we’re planning. Not enough time to come to a resolution and so now we’ll have another short talk about it whenever we find an open space. In a way it helps to force discussions to come to quick decisions instead of lots of talking.

    • Kate

      I can’t speak to your precise situation, but I run a business where a lot of the work is evenings, and I’m constantly on the go on weekends. My husband is a lawyer with very little time of his own. What works for us is having a night each week that is purely ours, and it’s scheduled in the calendar. Sometimes we have things on, but we renegotiate that time. We have a standing agreement that around midday on a Saturday (between my stuff) we talk about things like finances and groceries and the boring stuff. THEN because he doesn’t delve into deep stuff as immediately as I do, I’ve found that if I give him fair warning (8 hours or so!) or write information down for him, we can then book a time to talk about really big stuff (babies, big purchases, weddings…). He can ask me any time, but I know he needs so time to process first. It’s not perfect, and we’re constantly changing and evolving, but over 8 years that seems to work fairly well for us. Hopefully you work out some fun time of your own!

    • Lulu

      We have a shared Evernote notebook with big categories (errands, bills, home improvements) where we can both add anything that comes to mind, then we bold items that feel pressing or that need to be discussed. That discussion usually happens in the context of planning the weekend, just because we’re both pretty terrible at being productive on weekday evenings. Trello is a good tool too, if thinking about it in terms of joint project management with a mostly remote “team” works for you.

  • Angela

    So first wedding planning hiccup has occurred. Or 2nd if you count the engagement ring being delayed by 2 months due to the original jeweller not having started the ring when it was due to be delivered (we changed jewellers, yes we did). For the engagement party, we found this great park, pretty, lots of shade, playground for the kiddiewinks, a hall in case of rain (NZ in November) and BBQ’s. We booked the hall, sent out FB invites to around 40 ppl for a BBQ evening, friends/family booked flights. And then the council called to say “oops, we double booked you and you need to find a new venue or date and we will hold several halls for you for 24 hours so make a decision!”.

    On top of that, we have been understaffed and frantic at work since April and I am exhausted.

    After much googling, and talking to ppl with flights, we decided to go with a BBQ brunch the next day at our original venue. We called the council and had this underway when we were called to say the other event had changed dates when talking to the other staff member yesterday and everything was fine to proceed as originally planned. Which, yay! but also, seriously council, WTF!

    Does this mean that the rest of the planning should now go smoothly? Fingers crossed!

  • C_Gold

    Hey everyone. A bit late to the party here. I’m… not pregnant. I had an insane week. I took a pregnancy test on Wednesday night and it was positive. Cue freaking out. (Both the good and bad kind… I have anxiety issues and actually becoming a parent is scary, even though we’ve been trying for a few months).

    But then Thursday morning I took a second test, and it was negative. And I was spotting.

    From what I’ve read, and from talking to my sister, it seems this was most likely a “chemical pregnancy” or extremely early miscarriage. Has anyone else ever had this happen? Any thoughts?

    • Jenny

      I’m really sorry for your loss. I think it does sound like a chemical pregnancy from what I’ve read of them. Though this probably isn’t comforting, I think they are fairly common, 20%-40% of pregnancies end in them, depending on your source and definition. The good news also from what I’ve read is that they rarely have impact on your future ability to get or stay pregnant.

      • C_Gold

        Thanks. That’s good to know. And I don’t feel like I had a miscarriage–emotionally, I mean. I just feel emotionally discombobulated. And like I said above, it’s made me more aware of stuff my husband and I ought to talk about.

        • Jenny

          I’ve had several friends go through miscarriage and I think it effects everyone differently, especially early ones, so obviously take the time to process and recombobulate. Wishing you all the best.

    • rg223

      I don’t have experience with this, but just want to say sorry you’re going through this.

      • C_Gold

        Thanks. In a way it’s good, I think, because it’s made me realize I have a lot of fears that my husband and I could benefit from talking about before I’m actually pregnant.

    • VKD_Vee

      That was going to be my guess too, since I’ve heard ‘false positives’ are extremely rare with pregnancy tests.

      How you doing, CG? (Sending love)

  • Anna

    We got engaged!! I don’t have photos because the friend who was going to come over and take adorable pictures of us by the river got sick, but this is my ring: https://www.etsy.com/listing/129131584/brilliant-purple-trillion-tanzanite and this is his: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177154357/bentwood-ring-ebony-with-lapis-lazuli (we both gave each other rings and both did semi-elaborate proposals and it was super fun).

    • CamperHill

      Gorgeous rings!!! So excited for you! :) Congrats!!

    • JDrives

      Yay congratulations!! Those rings are gorgeous, and I love that you both proposed and gave rings.

  • KPM

    Tonight I’m submitting a grant for a project I love with all my heart and wish could make my job. If this grant comes through, I might! (The grant would not pay me anything at all but would get the ball rolling on making this real.) Fingers crossed!

  • Rita Sanchez

    ‎‎‎

    .…my companion’s relative makes $97 working on a PC onIine……..A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $83, p/h..Learn More right Here….
    ps……..
    ➤➤
    ➤➤➤ http://GlobalEmploymentReportsTopStarJobsFinders/Get/$97hourly… ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦

  • Heather Miller

    ‎‎

    .❝my neighbor’s friend is making $98 HOURLY on the lap-top❞….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
    2xsa…….
    ➤➤
    ➤➤➤ http://GlobalWorldEmploymentsVacanciesReportSite/GetPaid/$97hourly… ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦</blockquote