APW Happy Hour


Rainbows and confetti and ice-cream, oh my!

by Najva Sol, Brand Director

HEY APW!

I’ve been in Oakland this month, stealing Meg’s (faux) fur to wear around the office and brainstorming over copious cold brew… but yesterday really took the cake. Why? Because Kate and I had invites to the sneak peek of Oh Happy Day’s Color Factory, and it was AMAZING. AWESOME. THE COOLEST.

It was a multi-room celebration of color and joy. A ball pit! Rainbow staircase! Yummy saffron rose soft-serve! Confetti! You can see some of the magic on the APW Instagram stories, and a bit more on the Compact Instagram stories. If you’re in the area, I 110 percent recommend buying a ticket and checking it out yourself, with a fully charged phone for extra documentation.

The way I see it, it’s been a rough week for a lot of us politically (on that note: trans folks are not a burden, not ever), so taking a timeout to just frolic in whimsy and enjoy being alive was very, very welcome.

Now, tell me about what was awesome in your week, because it’s your happy hour!

Cheers,

Najva

Najva Sol

Najva Sol is a queer Iranian-American writer, photographer, branding consultant, artist, and ex-poet.  She’s the token staff Slytherin and—while formally based in Brooklyn—tends to travel as much as possible. Storytelling is her life, but making chicken broth is a close second.

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  • Cassy

    So guess who got thoroughly surprised on her weekend getaway – that’s right, me!! Some of you may remember that last week I was bummed that I was told it wasn’t going to happen, but that was all a ruse to preserve the surprise. We had a lovely weekend (even got to go to Longwood Gardens!) to celebrate and process just the two of us, and told everyone when we got back. So so happy and have been excited to share with you all. :) Ring is a peach sapphire that is perfect for me – props to the fiancé (!!!) for that! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/176579b7f0813cd4f63fd5521703bf4fdc1aa4e0e97560296bcae0d2d1bd42b6.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af71e8ad329a77973b15c14aaa560b400a5890bc0bf01a051e06f2af96159dfe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/599fa596d12a9e3151a7f0c9fd1ea1fc60f861eef28f7ebb77af4c7e1ef11b74.jpg

    • theteenygirl

      GORGEOUS ring! My grandmother had one that is similar to yours, and I always admired it. Congratulations!

    • Sarah

      That’s a beautiful ring (I got a tanzanite stone so heart colored stones). Longwood is my neck, we went there night after we got married and for most recent anniversary. Hope you got to see the nighttime fountain show!

    • Alli

      That ring is so pretty, it looks like a sparkly flower! Congrats!

    • Jess

      Congratulations!

    • Aimee

      LOVE peach sapphires. Congrats!!

    • Rose

      Congrats! The ring is gorgeous! I love my own, but one of the few stones that can regularly make me jealous is peach sapphire. So pretty!

    • Capybara

      Gorgeous ring, and you two are so cute!!!

    • MC

      So cute and congrats!!! The ring is a beauty, too.

    • Kat

      Let me just send a pic of this ring over to my BF, reallllll subtly.
      Congrats! Glad your wait is over and now you get to enjoy being engaged!

    • The happiness in your faces! <3 <3 <3
      Congratulations!

  • theteenygirl

    I’m just so excited because:
    – FH only got his work permit 10 days ago and he already has a job offer, and two more interviews lined up!!!
    – My bridesmaids dresses shipped!!!
    – Our wedding bands will arrive either today or early next week!!
    – I went to Sephora to get my makeup done / lesson on how to do a simple wedding look and now I’m armed with a set of brushes and the confidence that I can look FLAWLESS while still looking like myself
    – I went to the doctor and got a prescription cream for my acne (the same one I was on at 14) PLUS she referred me to a dermatologist and wrote “UPCOMING WEDDING” on my referral so I get in faster
    – I sent out invitations for my birthday/bachelorette party and I made them myself and they’re pretty and PEOPLE ARE EXCITED!

    Phew. Happy Friday everyone I’m just going to float into the weekend now :)

    • Eenie

      I’m wishing you good dermatologist luck!

    • Jess

      :D !!!!!!!

      Re Sephora, I really love the “make-over”/lessons with them. They do a great job of listening to what you’re trying to accomplish and help you feel confident in your ability to achieve it, even if you want a no-make-up look and they’re rocking perfectly blended neon eyeshadow and black lipstick.

      Good luck with the dermatologist!

      • penguin

        Based on APW comments I’m going to go to a Sephora to get this done! Just have to make an appointment and go (maybe this weekend?).

        • Jess

          Do it! Then go out for date.

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you!! I just finally got over my fear of going into the store (anxiety man..) and worked my courage up to getting the makeover done. Wow, the woman who helped me was just so incredible. So chill. So supportive. Didn’t even try to up-sell me. I had to hold back from hugging her.

        • Jess

          That was 100% my experience. I was like, “They’re gonna judge me so hard” but every time I feel awesome!

          I had a wonderful guy show me to get my ideal natural-but-better eyebrows after all I did was ask for a product recommendation. I went in a few weeks ago to try out a shade of a new lipstick, and one of their artists told me she was so happy to see somebody come in and try a bolder color after watching people put on nude lips all day.

          They are super encouraging.

          • Kat

            I have a wonderful friend who does makeup at Sephora and she is a MAGICIAN. She was formerly a drag queen so her skills run the gamut and I’m always amazed at her ability to do a subtle look on other people when she’s got like a whole glitter situation going on. Apparently it’s a really rewarding job too, she’s always talking about crying at work from people telling her their personal stories. It’s all very sweet and girl-powery.

  • Sarah

    I’m 8 days out from our wedding and got news this morning that my grandparents were in a very serious car accident last night. My grandfather is in the hospital waiting for surgery and neither of them will be well enough to travel. I’m sad for them and worried about their health.

    But I’m wondering if you have advice for how to handle something like this at the wedding – is there a way I could recognize them? They were sitting with us at the head table – do I leave those seats open or move a set of my close friends into those seats?

    • norah_charles_ftw

      Oh I’m so sorry! That’s scary and sad and I just want to send hugs and best wishes to you and your grandparents.
      As for what to do for the wedding, I suppose if I were in your shoes I would feel best about recognizing their absence by doing a toast in their honor at the reception and asking everyone to toast to wishing them health and a speedy recovery.
      For the seats… I might fill them, or do something with photos on those chairs representing them, whatever feels right at the time

    • HarrietVane

      I’m so sorry! Best wishes for their quick recovery! I think a toast to their health would be great way to acknowledge their absence and send them good wishes.

      (I think you should do with the seats whatever seems right to you, but I’m afraid empty seats might suggest that they had passed away to me)

      • Sarah

        Oh good point. Thanks – a toast does sound like a good idea.

    • Alex K

      I’m so sorry! I hope your grandparents make a speedy recovery.

      My husband’s grandfather was too ill to attend our wedding. He is super tech savvy so we had a sibling FaceTime him into the ceremony (on mute) and then once we walked out she handed us the iPad and we said hi which was really nice.

      Other ideas might be add a nod to them in the ceremony (moment of silence, shout out to their awesome marriage, etc) or even a little sign somewhere?

      As for the table- I think it depends on how much you want to be reminded that they couldn’t make it and how that will make you feel. If you want to leave them open, I don’t think it’s going to be perceived as odd. Personally though, it would make me sad, and I’d ask for them to set them table for two less.

      • Sarah

        I think you’re right – having the empty seats will be strange. We’re doing the anniversary dance and they would have been the couple together the longest – I like your idea of recognizing them here. We could have them write their advice out in advance and read it on behalf of them.

        • Jess

          That would be the cutest!

    • penguin

      So sorry to hear about your grandparents, hopefully they heal up quickly.

      For the wedding – I don’t think you need to leave those seats open unless you want to. Could you call them that morning to have a quick talk with them, so they feel a bit more involved? Totally up to you, I know wedding days are hectic.

    • notquitecece

      I’m so sorry! Wishing them quick healing.

  • BSM

    I’m relieved that whatever combination of conscience, hearing from constituents, getting pressure from AZ’s Governor, narcissism/hero complex, political calculations, etc. led to McCain voting No on the healthcare bill last night, but the unbridled praise being heaped on him today enrages and disgusts me.

    There are literally MILLIONS of other people who deserve more credit and appreciation than he does, and yet every headline about the vote has a photo of him front and center.

    • Eenie

      Yes.

    • Alli

      Yep, my husband read aloud an article about McCain’s vote this morning, and finished it off with “wow, that’s some political theater..”

      • BSM

        YES.

        The man literally told reporters last night to “watch the show.” Like, fuck you, dude. This is not a game.

        • Gaby

          Those were literally my first thoughts this morning.

      • Emily

        Have you seen the Buzzfeed play-by-play? Like who does he think he is standing there with his arm raised? Happy about the outcome but wtf.

        • BSM

          And he voted for the BCRA on Tuesday, which would have led to 32 million more uninsured and had that absolute trash Cruz amendment in it!

    • Kalë

      Yuuuup. Way more proud of my iron-backboned Senator, who held strong against “any bill that hurts Alaskans” despite being a R. Sent a thank you note and cookies to her office today.

      • BSM

        YUP.

        Or every single Congressional Democrat.
        Or the activists with ADAPT.
        Or Obama and Pelosi who got the ACA passed.
        Or Hillary fucking Rodham Clinton who tried to get us all healthcare in the 90s.

        • Kalë

          Ugh, so true. Like, glad it’s squashed (for now), but why is he getting all the credit?

      • Emily

        So proud of Murkowski and Collins. Neither are my reps, but I sent thank you notes too!

        • Cha

          Me too! As well as (yet another) angry, disappointed note to the hateful Cruz and Cornyn who supposedly represent my state…

          • BSM

            Oh my god, I wanted to jump through my laptop and strangle Cornyn (not the first time) when he was talking before the vote. What a dickwad.

      • MC

        I love that. I’m also planning on sending Murkowski and Collins thank-you notes but I love the idea of sending cookies to my Dem senators who have been super proactive on this front.

        • Lexipedia

          Note – if you are sending anything more than letters consider sending them to the district vs. Capitol offices. I’ve seen many an unexpected constituent package not make it past Capitol Police at the door to the office buildings. When we take food ourselves we have to put it through a scanner and it’s a pain, and you wouldn’t want to send a thoughtful gift that never makes it to the Senator’s staff.

      • AB

        Send a thank you to her health care staffer too! Being a Congressional staffer is often a thankless role, and they are the ones doing the groundwork and feeding the Senator the information they need to make their case. And most of them probably haven’t slept in a couple days. :)

    • Jess

      Was very appreciative of Jezebel’s not being here for the McCain Hero Narrative. Am, however, very glad that the bill was shot down.

      • BSM

        Amen. That’s the most important thing.

      • Kat

        True. I woke up this morning, looked at my phone, and had the opposite of whatever rush of emotions I felt on November 9th (and every morning since?)….relief, like I could breathe momentarily.
        Glad McCain voted the way he did, but the real heroes of this story are all the constituents who called and wrote letters and attended town halls ceaselessly to make themselves heard.

    • Essssss

      Yes. And, SO RELIEVED that it didn’t pass. I may have called good ol’ McCain about 4 times yesterday.

    • Gaby

      That video of the crowd outside the Capitol bums me out so much. It’s great to see them all happy and relieved but we are celebrating that our government failed to take away the healthcare of millions! !!! :|

      • BSM

        I’m torn because it’s kind of amazing to witness passionate activism like the grassroots opposition we’ve seen to the GOP healthcare bills… but, yeah, I don’t really love living somewhere where people have to spend a ton of their time calling their representatives and asking them to please not doom them to sickness, death, and/or bankruptcy.

        • Gaby

          Yeah, I had happy tears at first but then reality bit me after a few seconds.

        • Kalë

          Yeah, huge bittersweet feelings. Amazing to see people so engaged, such a bummer that it’s… against our own government trying to essentially kill millions of us.

        • NolaJael

          THIS. I have a job. I feel like I shouldn’t have to also be babysitting my elected reps (who make way more than me) and reminding them on a daily basis not to be a-holes.

          • Kat

            Preach.

    • MC

      YEP. This is the guy who’s been voting with extreme conservatives for YEARS now, and just because he votes correctly one time does not make him a hero.

    • emilyg25

      I read a tweet saying that a man getting credit for participating at the last minute while the women have been working their asses off for months is basically every work meeting ever. McCain is a guy who does some good stuff sometimes but is often a raging asshole. I will never ever forgive him for Sarah Palin.

      • ART

        Yessss.

      • BSM

        I saw that, too. Just another Friday in America…

        McCain’s hero narrative is shockingly impenetrable. Sarah Palin, voting for all of Trump’s appointees save two, and voting AGAINST making MLK Day a national holiday, to name a few truly shitty things he’s done…

        • penguin

          What was the unforgivable Sarah Palin thing that he did? Totally believe that he did something, but I’m blanking on what it was. Tried googling and just got some generic results, sorry if this is obvious.

          • BSM

            He gave her a national platform to unleash her idiocy and bigotry on the country/world.

          • penguin

            Oh, duh ok thanks! I was reading it as he did something terrible TO Sarah Palin.

          • emilyg25

            Invited her to be VP.

    • CA

      I commented to FH this morning that McCain’s series of health care votes and speeches this week seemed set up to maximize dramatic media coverage of him. He pointed out that he’s a very successful politician so maybe that’s not surprising. Just disappointing, I guess.

    • Essssss

      I liked this article, in terms of specific things to thank other people besides McCain for doing: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/7/28/1684998/-Senate-Democrats-stepped-up-and-they-saved-Obamacare

  • Alli

    I did the marriage thing! It was honestly the most fun day of my life. I wanted people to dance so I got up and danced and everyone joined me and the party was insane! (Side note: as someone who sometimes finds social dancing to be awkward, it was surprisingly easy to dance in a wedding dress. It’s just so twirly and fun!)

    Here’s a picture I might take down in a little bit! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e057180cdbb0a8253fc46f50b0506c851752a005212d2b7540b15485b065be8.jpg

    • So beautiful! Congratulations!

    • Jess

      Your dress looks extra twirly! Congratulations!

      • Jessicardixon

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    • Emily

      Soooo pretty. Congrats!

    • I really love the back of your dress! And congrats!

  • Kate

    Checkin in with you lovelies from an earlier discussion about manifesting change in your marriage. I told fiancé we’re putting the breaks on wedding planning until we go to some kind of therapy or counseling and learn how to disagree with each other in a constructive way. This of course was not met with enthusiasm.

    Earlier in the week I stealth took a picture of a cute dog when out at lunch with several coworkers, and the picture included the tattooed arm of a male coworker sitting across the table from me. Fiancé became very upset and demanded to know why I had not told him I was eating lunch with a guy, asked his name, and had found him on Facebook before I could reply back that he was being ridiculous. That night when I got home he was giving me the silent treatment, so I told him it was counseling or no more wedding and went to bed. We haven’t really talked since then, but keep your fingers crossed for me.

    • Ashlah

      You’re doing the right thing. That reaction is ridiculous, and frankly scary. Very best of luck with counseling.

    • Jess

      Hello! Whoa on that silent treatment nonsense.

      I’m very proud of you for stepping up and demanding counseling! That is a really hard thing to bring up, and I hope it is very helpful for you!

    • Kalë

      Wow, that interaction makes me quite concerned and very glad you are campaigning for counseling! Obvi I am just an internet person and don’t know the details of your relationship, so enjoy a grain of salt with my comment, but that type of irrational jealousy and need to control who you’re with and when is a big red flag for abuse. I hope the counseling goes through and has a positive outcome, whatever that means for you. As someone who has been in a similar situation before (ex-bf deleted all male contacts from my phone…), I am rooting for you!

    • Rose

      That sounds really rough and I’m glad you’re taking the stand that you are. So sorry that you have to deal with this, though! I’m hoping that your fiance gets more reasonable about it, and that the counseling helps.

    • Oy Vey

      Good for you for committing to counseling.

      My ex would employ the silent treatment for similarly innocuous “transgressions.” It feels terrible to be on the receiving end. Lots of love and hugs to you and I hope whatever happens, you come out the other side healthier and happier.

    • sofar

      I think you handled that really well. No bargaining, no arguing, just “Counseling or no more wedding.”

      And what you wrote about in your previous thread about him being great 90% of the time is so, SO typical. I think a lot of people always qualify their feedback with, “Well I’m not saying he’s abusive, but…” Abusers don’t always do it deliberately. For whatever reason, they respond to lack of control with manipulation because THAT’S their coping mechanism.

    • CP2011

      It sounds like you are absolutely making the right choice to get your relationship on solid footing before taking the next step. Stay strong!

    • ART

      Very glad you are making that stand, thanks for sharing this update. <3

    • Jessica

      That reaction is similar to what my soon-to-be-ex-husband would do (accuse me of cheating on him) would have at almost any point of the last 10 months. He was cheating on me. Hold tight to that counseling rule.

    • MC

      Just echoing everyone else that you are doing the right thing, and way to go on setting boundaries. Hope that counseling helps <3

    • emiloup

      I just want to say I think it’s so great that you’re making use of this space as a community of support!

      I was in an emotionally abusive relationship in the past and felt like I couldn’t bear to talk about it with people in my real-life circles, and it was very isolating. I think because it I though talking about it would make it feel too serious/real/permanent and I knew I still wanted to make the relationship work. I worried about getting judgment and my family/friends would hate my partner, yada yada.

      Finding support – somewhere, anywhere – is so important, and I totally applaud you for making use of this one. So – thanks for keeping us updated, and thanks for letting us support you! And good on you for holding the line on counselling.

    • CMT

      Ooof. That kind of crazy, irrational jealousy is hard to move past.

    • Violet

      This is a good update. Good for you for putting your foot down!

    • ManderGimlet

      So sorry you are going through this, it sounds beyond frustrating and scary and sad. You were so right in your previous posts: THIS IS NOT NORMAL! I know it can be so crazy-making to be with someone who does not recognize (or refuses to take responsibility for) their hurtful, outrageous demands or accusations. You sound like an incredibly strong person who is forging ahead sanely in a awful situation. I hope everything works out for the best, whatever form that may take, and that you have people who can support and care for you while you make sense of all of this.

    • S

      I would never marry a man who did the silent treatment/sulking thing or any weird power plays, punishments, things that are designed to put you in your place… That’s what I grew up with, my Dad would just ignore me for months at a time (seriously) if I did something “wrong” and I saw him do the sulky silent thing with my mother or speak to her like she was scum enough times that it’s just absolutely a dealbreaker for me. Once my current partner spoke with a whiff of condescension to me in the early days when we were both very tired and I told him that if he ever spoke to me like that again it was over because I grew up with someone who fought badly and it was absolutely a deal-breaker for me. We’ve been together 4 more years since then and he’s never spoken to me like that again. (To be fair, it was out of character for him to begin with.) I do think that people can be taught to fight and react better though so hopefully counselling helps him work through this. And yeah, to echo everyone else…. the jealousy thing is scary. I’m so glad you’re putting the wedding on hold until this is sorted. Once my mother confided in me that she felt like she failed me by marrying my father, because she had a choice about living like this and being treated like this (honestly it doesn’t bother my mother, she lets it roll off her back and just rolls her eyes like he’s a child), but I didn’t have that choice.

    • mjh

      Sorry that you’re dealing with that and I’ve got my fingers crossed for you, but good on you for recognizing that it isn’t okay and taking the counseling or no wedding stance.

      Along with sending support your way, I’d like to throw in a gentle reminder that for counseling to do its job, he (like everyone) needs to do more than just attend. I’m sure you know this but I wanted to mention it because I’ve seen plenty of partners feel like going to counseling sessions and talking at all is the world’s biggest concession on their part and generally seem to miss the point of actually working to build skills and resolve issues, and then go on to give an “I even went to counseling for you!” guilt trip while sidestepping issues.

    • Laura

      this is obviously dialling it up alot – but i work as a prosecutor on a domestic violence team and the amount of police reports that start with an allegation of cheating/lying/being unfaithful and end with a violent assault is STAGGERING. i am continuously shocked at how controlling, insecure behaviour can spiral into abuse, manipulation and criminal harassment so quickly. this is NOT normal behaviour for a well adjusted adult person.

  • Eh

    Does anyone have experience with having genetic testing (for medical purposes)? If you are willing to share with me your experience, for example the things you considered before having it done (or not having it done) and the process in general, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Background: My uncle had colon cancer last year (he is doing well now), and was part of a research study looking at colon cancer and genetics (my grandmother also had colon cancer – she was adopted so we don’t have any more family history on her side). It turns out he has Lynch Syndrome (up to a 80% lifetime risk of getting colon cancer, increased risk of other cancers, and higher chance of having cancer under the age of 50 years old), so it is suspected that my grandmother (who died of colon cancer when she was about 40 years old) also had Lynch Syndrome. My mom died of glioblastoma (the same type of brain tumour Gord Downie and Senator John McCain have) when she was 44 years old, which also turns out to be related to Lynch Syndrome (a variant called Turcot Syndrome) so it is suspected that she also had it. Because of my uncle being diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, his family (including me and my siblings, since our mother can’t be tested) are being offered genetic counselling and genetic testing for Lynch Syndrome. I am going to talk to my family doctor and make an appointment to see the genetic counsellor before I make a decision about having the testing done. I’m just trying to prepare for these appointments and figure out what questions I should be asking and what I should be thinking about.

    This also concerns me because my husband and I want another child (we have a daughter who will be 2 next week), and were planning on trying to conceive in the next few months. If I have Lynch Syndrome, my children have a 50/50 chance of having it.

    • Ashlah

      I’ve never been tested for something specifically carried in my family before, but as part of pregnancy (not standard, it was offered as a deal with other testing, basically), I had genetic carrier screening. They looked at something like 200+ genetic markers to see if I was a carrier for various diseases. Turns out I’m a carrier for one thing that ranges from asymptomatic to quite serious (for our kid to have it, my husband would also have to be a carrier). I went for the testing because I am generally a “the more info the better” type of person. But I also know that it added some stress to my life that I otherwise would have avoided, and knowing doesn’t actually have any effect on my/our baby’s immediate treatment going forward, so I can also see how it may have benefited us to skip it altogether.

      If I were in your shoes, I probably would get the testing done. Knowing that there is already an increased chance that I had it, I personally would want to know for sure. I think it’s great that you’re meeting with a genetic counselor to discuss it beforehand, and obviously they would be there to discuss the results with you too. Asking about what our results actually meant for us going forward was crucial in our decisions regarding further testing (we chose not to get my husband tested). That’s what I would focus on with your genetic counselor. If your results say you have Lynch Syndrome, what does that mean for you as far as actionable consequences? Does it change your health care going forward? Do you have extra monitoring? Extra tests? If you get pregnant again, can you get additional genetic testing? (And if so, what kind of decisions are you looking at there?) Will your current child be tested? If there’s nothing else to be done, but to simply know that you might be more likely to get cancer, but there’s nothing you can do to reduce those odds or improve the treatment, then do you want to know? (You obviously don’t have to answer all of these questions for me! Just things I would think about if I were considering the same testing.)

      • Eh

        Thanks for the questions to think about. On one hand I’m worried about the extra stress knowing will cause, but I’m hoping that it will mean that if I have Lynch Syndrome that I will be monitored more closely (there is regular screening for pretty much all the types of cancer other than glioblastoma). I have always believed that my mom and my grandmother’s cancers were related genetically. They were both young to get the cancer they had, both had aggressive tumours, and both only lived for about 4 months after they were diagnosed. My family doctor understands my concerns but hasn’t seen the need to start screening at such an early age (I’m 33, screening for these cancers tend to start at 40 or later) since without a genetic link (which we seem to have now), it would appear that the cancers are unrelated.

        I do have some answers to those questions since I’ve been researching things since Tuesday night. If I have Lynch Syndrome my daughter will not be tested until she makes that decision as an adult because it is unlikely that she will have cancer related to Lynch Syndrome before then. I would like to know about genetic testing if I get pregnant again, but I’m thinking that it’s also not available where I live (I did read about preimplantation genetic diagnosis being available in the USA if you can afford IVF).

    • Alissa

      Long answer here! My OB recommended doing a full genetic scan of cancer-related genes given my family history. I went with a company called Counsyl. I called ahead to ask about how much it was likely to cost with my insurance, and how much the rate was if you did not submit it to insurance. (Having those numbers in writing, from their email, was crucial since insurance companies aren’t always very clear up front about the circumstances in which they’ll cover. My insurance ended up covering part of it, and I was able to use my earlier discussion with Counsyl’s billing department to get the rest of it waived). I was fortunate to get good news back on my test. But what impressed me was that they had a ‘genetic counselor’ talk with me on the phone for over an hour about my results and all of my questions. The counselor had great bedside manners, answered all of my questions in very plain english, wasn’t in a rush, following a script, or trying to sell me anything. She was also a good resource for where I could go for additional resources or services, etc. OK. So in contrast, I ended up doing a genetic scan with another private company, Natera, when I was pregnant. We scanned for 4 major genetic conditions–there were options for a much more comprehensive check. For some reason, I didn’t call ahead to Natera’s billing department to talk through insurance-related questions. Their billing department is proving to be completely incompetent and is now trying to stick me with an enormous bill because they couldn’t figure out how to even submit my claim to my insurance company. Sigh. So sorting that through. Lesson learned! I hope this helps in any way as you make your decisions?

      • Kara E

        I’ve been having similar issues with Natera – and they explicitly told me that my bill would be under 500 (and my insurance thus far has rejected their claim – making my take home charge over 5K). there’s still back and forth between the insurance and Natera, but I am, generally, pretty annoyed about them.

        • Alissa

          Ugh – apparently they have a bit of a reputation for this. I found this story online recently as I was raging about their billing (exact same scenario as you) and it sounds like their terrible, standard practice: https://www.fastcompany.com/3059072/why-patients-are-getting-hit-with-surprise-bills-after-genetic-testing. Wish I had shopped around before doing my prenatal genetic testing!

          • Kara E

            My doc said they’re actually better than the “other” company offering noninvasive prenatal testing, but I’m going to raise hell if they don’t figure it out and get reasonable real fast (particularly since I would have turned down the extra info (despite being AMA) had they NOT given assurance that my costs would be reasonable).

      • Eh

        I’m glad you had a good experience with the genetic counselling piece. I’m hoping I find one who is like that.

        Also, I’m glad that I do not have to go through my private insurance for this. I live in Canada and it’s paid for through my provincial health insurance.

    • Cdn icecube

      I know someone who had genetic testing and as a result is having surgery to remove her breast tissue as she has a very high risk of developing breast cancer. I would be more curious about what you would want to do with the information if you find out if you have/don’t have something. Some people feel better not knowing, others like to have all the facts. It’s all about which camp you fall into.

      • Eh

        Before having the testing I would want to know there is a plan that is actionable. My aunt mentioned colon cancer screening and hysterectomies are common preventative measures. I’m a numbers person and a planner so I am leaning towards having the screening. One of my biggest questions right now is about glioblastoma.

    • Kara E

      Heavy news for you to deal with. Good luck. Based on some recent conversations with genetic counselor friends, do make sure that your insurance won’t be affected if you have a positive test (see https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/testing/insurancecoverage and the link on discrimination if you’re in the us).

      • Eh

        I’m not in the US, I’m in Canada and that’s another question I have. A law was recently passed but it’s not clear if it’s constitutional.

    • CA

      I’ve never had any genetic testing done myself but I’m working on a PhD in genetics – just wanted to emphasize that it is great you are meeting with a genetic counselor first. That person should be really helpful (and if they are not find a different one) for working through the quantitative risks, options, and implications, for both your own health and if you decide to try to get pregnant again.

      • Eh

        I’m really hoping that the person is helpful (and if not I will look for another).

    • JSK

      Not exactly.

      My mom was dx with colon and breast cancer 6 months apart a few years ago. At the time my brother’s wife was expecting their first daughter, so my mom wanted to get tested for BRCA at the very least. Test was negative, thankfully, but I did quite a bit of thinking about what my action items would be if she and I were both positive (would I do preventative surgery, would I have bio kids, etc).

      Her oncologist at first recommended the test for Lynch, then decided it wasn’t necessary due to the type of cancers she had.

      • Eh

        Those are the types of things going through my head. I already have a biological daughter so I could have passed in the gene if I have it, but do we decided we are done or do we adopt instead.

    • R

      Hi there! My husband has familial adenomatous polyposis, which is a genetic colon cancer condition in the same category as Lynch Syndrome. He was diagnosed as a child, but we saw a genetic counselor a couple of years ago. I am not a doctor, but based on our experience with FAP, I would recommend getting tested. Genetic cancer conditions can certainly feel very scary, but knowing your risk allows you to set up a testing regimen so they can catch and treat the cancer early, should it develop. Getting tested will allow you to take action. The genetic counselor will explain everything very thoroughly; they’re a really good resource to have. They can probably also talk about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/IVF, if that’s something you are thinking about. I would also recommend finding a good specialist in Lynch syndrome/hereditary colon cancers, if you can–finding a doctor with the relevant experience can make a big difference in managing these conditions. I wish you the best! I know this can be overwhelming.

      • Eh

        Thanks for sharing your and your husband’s experience. If I have Lynch Syndrome I hope there is specialist near me. It not, there will be one in Toronto (which is about 4 hours away). I don’t think that PGD/IVF to screen for Lynch Syndrome is an option in Canada.

    • LP

      Late on this one, but make sure you have a good physician who can get it covered. My mom had breast cancer in her 30s, I’m on my 3rd breast lump (I’m 23), and my health insurance still will not cover the BRCA testing for anyone in my family. I wish you luck!!

      • Eh

        I live in Ontario, Canada, and because my uncle has been diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, all of his first degree relatives automatically qualify for genetic testing through our provincial health insurance. Me and my siblings also qualify because our mother can’t be tested (and is a suspected case). Other provinces have similar heriditary cancer screening programs. I will get a letter confirming my eligibility and the next steps I need to take.

        I think it’s harder to get the initial testing done to determine if a family unit has the genetic mutation. For example, me (and a couple other family members) have always believed that my grandmother’s and my mom’s cancers were related but because they weren’t the same type doctors have always been dismissive (even to the point of saying that I don’t need additional cancers screening than the standard screening). It took my uncle having colon cancer to link my grandmother’s and mom’s cancers.

  • OMG can we talk about this crazy story? – http://nypost.com/2017/07/26/bride-makes-her-friends-bid-on-a-spot-in-her-wedding-party/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow&sr_share=twitter

    “A woman has taken being a bridezilla to the next level by holding an “auction” for potential bridesmaids to bid for a place in her wedding.”

    What would you do if you got an email from your friend saying “come bid to be a bridesmaid in my wedding”?

    • wannabee

      Trick question, I just am not friends with people who would do that. Saves me a lot of hassle ;)

    • Essssss

      Wow. I hope she really, really, really knows her people?

      • NolaJael

        I thought that. If you run in circles where money no object and are used to auctions as fundraisers, you might think it’s kooky? zany? fun?

    • penguin

      Thank you for much for sharing this, WOW

    • Sara

      If my friend pulled that, I’d ask if she hit her head recently

    • Jess

      What would I do? Send an e-mail back, “Honey, I love you, but this is nonsense. I will pass. Best of luck.”

    • sofar

      Would ignore. And if she followed up asking if I was coming, I’d say, “Wait… you were serious?”

    • Kara E

      “Sure, I’ll bid! It’ll cost you $15 a text, $100 for phone calls (with an extra dollar for each minute over 30), and $500 for “dress consultation.” In person fees can be negotiated once we’re under contract. I also expect full dress payment, makeup, hair, shoes of my choice (between 75 and 500 – really, I’m not greedy), and an extra grand in “danger” pay if I need to sit next to your fiance’s weird brother at the reception.”

    • ManderGimlet

      I would feel absolutely relieved to know I would not have to figure out a plausible lie to get out of being a bridesmaid if she were to directly ask me. Seriously curious as to whether anyone bid anything? Imagine being someone who bids like $5 to be nice but then ends up winning and/or being the only person to bid AT ALL

  • Emily

    Successes:
    -I FINALLY, in writing, have gotten the promotion that has been like a year in the making.
    -Collins, Murkowski, and McCain voted with their consciences
    -Scaramucci provided some laughs (please read the New Yorker article if you haven’t already). I know this guy is just another cog in the evil empire but hilarious anyway
    -In the wake of Trumpster’s slam on the LGBTQ community so many of my right-leaning colleagues and fam have written messages of support on their social media. It’s not a lot, but it definitely makes me feel like we can unite the two sides of the aisle against a common buffoon.

    • Jess

      PROMOTION!!!!!!

    • AP

      That New Yorker article, though. WTF

      • BSM

        That was fucking bananas.

        My husband is in the middle of a big quarter close at work, so he was offline for most of the day yesterday and missed that breaking and the Graham/McCain healthcare presser. When he finally popped back on, I was like “omg, you’ve missed so much; I have lived a lifetime of news in the last 3 hours!!!”

      • CP2011

        I know! And I was shocked that NYT printed the f bombs and the phrase “suck my own cock”. Not that they shouldn’t have, but I don’t recall ever seeing language like that blatantly in an article.

      • emilyg25

        I’m a communications director (and a concerned citizen) so it was really just horrifying.

  • maybemum

    Hi everyone! Longtime lurker, first time poster here…Married one year, and seriously thinking about acting on my baby fever and going off birth control soon…Thought this might be a good forum to talk about the process (since-anonymous+ awesome women)…Anyone have words of encouragement for getting over the “This Is So Huge” anxiety and taking the next step?

    • Welcome and congratulations! It can be super scary to go from years of trying to avoid pregnancy to actively trying to conceive. Also I was worried that we weren’t ready, that we would have issues conceiving, etc. I’m a huge data person, so I find that information helps calm my anxiety. I started reading “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster before we got pregnant and it was a huge help to me both before we conceived and during my pregnancy.

      • maybemum

        Thank you!!! I had that on my reading list for later on, but good idea to check it out now!

        • The first couple of chapters are actually about best time to conceive, and I learned some new things!

          • AHM

            That book was also my bible for before and during pregnancy. I loved it!

      • @Jubilance:disqus wondering if you might have any recommendations on “Dad books”?

        • Liz

          Oh my goodness, “Dad books” can be so horrible! But my parents found “The New Father” by Armin Brott for my husband, and we think it’s pretty good. https://mrdad.com/store/

          Anyone have recommendations for feminist parenting blogs, magazines, or books? Our first baby just turned two months old!!! And yes, TTC, pregnancy, and getting my head around this new identity of mother have all just been SO COMPLETELY WEIRD. Really wonderful and exciting, but so weird, too.

        • I don’t, unfortunately :-/ But here’s hoping you can find something!

        • Leah

          For the actual pregnancy and birth part, my husband really liked The Birth Partner. https://www.amazon.com/Birth-Partner-Complete-Childbirth-Companions/dp/155832819X

    • Jess

      Congratulations! I was just talking about the difficulty of the mental transition to go from “No babies plz” to “Ok, let’s start!” to “OMG This is HAPPENING” with a friend.

      I’m in the prepping for making that transition stage, and I’ve been listening to the Longest Shortest Time Podcast and am planning on picking up the Expecting Better book Jubilance mentions when it’s time.

      • maybemum

        Thanks for the podcast recommendation! It really is a strange shift…it’s so nice to know it’s not just me :)

        • Jess

          Somebody, maybe in a HH, was talking about how intense this all is and I was like, “I’m 100% doing therapy the whole time I’m TTC/Pregnant/Dealing with Newborn” and it sounds like that’s actually super common or lots of people on APW wish they had done it.

          So, if you have the ability to, that’s something I’m planning on!

          • emilyg25

            I went to therapy while TTC! It does help.

          • Violet

            This is totally me. Almost done second tri, can’t wait till it’s over, and I’m all about therapy, support groups (starting one next week, wish me luck!), prenatal yoga, etc.

          • maybemum

            Great thought…I’m actually in ongoing therapy now and was thinking about stopping…but a new mom friend suggested that staying on through the process is a great idea. (Actually a therapist myself as well, and think major life transitions are an excellent time to start or renew therapy!)

    • AP

      We kind of made the decision in phases, which helped us wrap our minds around it. First I went off HBC, but we still loosely used barrier/timing methods for about six months and started reading some books and just getting more comfortable with the idea. When we finally felt ready to pull the trigger (so to speak) we were expecting it to take a while. We were a bit caught off guard when it happened so fast, and I was really glad we gave ourselves that buffer of time while we weren’t actively trying but knew it was a possibility. It gave us the space to talk through some hypotheticals and just get more comfortable with the idea. (Actually finding out you’re pregnant is a huge mind*ck though. Or it was for me anyway. Not sure how to help with that except it gets more normal every day that goes by, and I’m 10 weeks in now…)

      • maybemum

        Congratulations!!! I really like the idea of easing into this phase of life with some intentional mental preparation, and taking the time we need :)

      • JSK

        IME, pregnancy didn’t really stop being a mindF. I think I was in third trimester before I realized, holy shit, I get a kid at the end of this? And it lives at my house for how long?!

        • rg223

          Yes – it took me maybe 6 months post-BIRTH for it to sink in that yo, I had a baby.

          • Leah

            This was me!!! I had to get some lotion for my little guy’s eczema when he was like 2 months old, and I went to the store and was looking at options, and someone came over and I asked me if I need help, and I opened my mouth but honestly didn’t have the words to explain that my child needed eczema lotion, and what I said was “So, I have this baby, and…” The woman looked at me like I was maybe a little insane.

          • JR

            Ha, it took me months to comfortably say “my son” or “I’m his mother.”

    • Knonymous

      Before we started TTC, I had such baby fever and would have been thrilled with an “oops.” My husband insisted he wasn’t ready. As soon as he was, I went into panic mode, totally overwhelmed by the magnitude of it. How it could it be up to us to decide to CREATE A HUMAN BEING? Isn’t that decision a little above my pay grade?

      In the end, the only thing I could do was go for it. We jumped in and got pregnant right away. For #2, my fears were less philosophical and more “how can we take on anything else?” and “how will we manage with 2?” and “will I ever have any free time again?” Once again, for me at least, the only thing to do is just dive in. Personally, the more time I spent thinking about how huge it was, the less likely I was ever going to be to get past that anxiety.

      • anon for this

        Anyone start TTC around 35 and get pregnant quickly? I came round to the idea almost bang on my 34th birthday but had a whole elaborate 18month time frame for going off BC, bettering my health and working out some financial stuff (planner, yup) and now it’s feeling like I don’t have ENOUGH time, esp with destination weddings for close friends just announced at inconvenient times, and not wanting to TTC in winter in Oz because of how it affects me – I know I can’t control any of this but it’s starting to look like a v small window for trying early next year before I have to take a break for various reasons and I’m just wondering if the wham bam pregnancy is more a mid- late-20s thing?? Anecdotal evidence to the contrary welcome ;)

        • Antonia

          It took two tries first time at 35 and one try the second time at 36. So it can happen very quickly, even in your mid-30s! I had a copper IUD for about 1.5 years before TTC, though. When I got off hormonal BC and transitioned to the IUD, it took about 7 months before my cycles came back on their own. So if you’re on BC, you may want to consider coming off it sooner rather than later. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

          • anonforthis

            Yes coming off hormal BC for at least 6 months before trying was part of the plan. Thanks for sharing/keeping my hope alive! ;)

        • Yet another Meg

          32 and got pregnant the first month of trying, if that’s worth anything. I did however track with Glow (thanks APW ) which helped us figure out our window.

          • anon

            Not to be a downer, but just as a counter example, I am 32, have been tracking with Glow, and temping, and using OPKs, and it took me 10 months to get pregnant the first time (which ended at 10 weeks). That was almost a year ago and I’m still not pregnant again, despite my very careful timing and acute awareness of my cycle (and totally normal, healthy hormone levels, egg reserve and uterus, and “amazing sperm.” I also eat healthy, take vitamins, I’m average weight… I only say this to emphasize that there is no medical reason for me to not be getting pregnant faster. It’s just not something you can control. It’s totally possible to get pregnant right away, but it’s also totally possible not to. Just don’t want anyone to have any illusions that careful planning or outsmarting the cycle will guarantee you a baby exactly when you want one. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine when people suggest/imply (and yea, I might be a bit hyper-sensitive) that you just have to be smart enough to time it right to get a baby.

          • Yet another Meg

            I’m sorry if my comment implied that it was a foregone conclusion that someone would obviously get pregnant right away doing the same thing I did, it certainly wasn’t my intention. It’s always a shot in the dark. Tracking just happened to be something I did. I had fully expected it to take longer than it did.

            Not that it means much from an Internet stranger, but I hope things work out the way you want them to.
            .

        • Amy March

          I think at any age trying to conceive in a narrow time frame is not a realistic plan. Yes, it does happen. But I think if the priority is conceiving, you need to be open to a wider range and accept that it probably won’t be perfectly timed- like everything else in life.

        • JR

          Anecdote: First month, right around 34th birthday. :) 3 months with my first at 31. Overall, I believe you have a 20% chance of getting pregnant in any particular month, but that doesn’t take age into account.

        • Kara E

          Yup. 1 try at 35 for kid number one. And then…2.5 years (and 2 miscarriages) for kid number two. You never know until you try.

    • idkmybffjill

      Oh man. We kinda just effed up. We were planning to try later in the year and then I messed up on timing my cycle and boom I was pregnant my first cycle not protecting. The timing was PRETTY bad, I found out my company was closing within 24 hours of finding out I was pregnant. But if I’m honest with myself I think it might have taken forever to find the right time if I had planned it better. I’m not sure what the right path on that decision is. But I send you all the encouragement in the world in getting there!

    • It is a little wild that there can be such a huge range of experience with conception: Plenty of people experience infertility, plenty of people take months, and then there’s my friend who decided with her husband one day to just give it a shot w/out a condom and they were pregnant within a couple weeks. I have no children and don’t plan on them for a few years but it’s strange to think about deciding to go off birth control and then having no idea when/if you will actually conceive. That’s not helpful at all to you I’m sure… just a personal reflection. And I shall, I’m sure, share your uncertainty and fears when the time comes for us.

      • JR

        I really agree with the weirdness of not having control. I know that I’m someone who, in most of life, has a really strong degree of self efficacy. I research, I make a plan, I implement. So of course, for one of the most significant decisions I’ll ever make, I just want to double down on that formula. But as someone said above, planning really, really well doesn’t necessarily mean anything in this arena. It’s so weird that something so important isn’t really under our control.

    • JR

      We decided that we were going to start trying X months out (in our case, it was May and we picked after New Years just because it was a round number, the modified by a few weeks to make it after a trip, but I think a shorter timeframe could also work well). That way, when we decided, i didn’t feel like a huge decision because it was still a ways off. When that timeframe rolled around, it wasn’t a huge decision, we were just implementing what we’d already decided. I will say that I was still kind of freaked out a few months later when I got pregnant, and the same was true when I got pregnant with my second, even though that wasn’t as big of a transition. Even when you really want it, it’s still a big change! I felt kind of bad not having a giddy, excited reaction like in a movie, but it is what it is – I rarely have that kind of reaction to big changes, so why should this be any different, I guess!

      • maybemum

        Thanks for your input! I’m definitely hearing that giving some time for the idea to sink in is a good plan…while also remembering that it can still feel huge/surprising/surreal/scary when it’s go time/there’s a positive pregnancy test!

  • We paid for our engagement rings this week! I am so excited! They don’t arrive for 4-6 weeks, and from there its all a surprise, but it is in the works!

    One of the rings we were looking at was from Lolide, and I wasn’t sure about going sight unseen on that kind of purchase, but once I saw them here on APW as an advertiser/vendor, I was sold.

    Its hard to squee in many places about the excitement of just *buying* the rings, but I knew I could here! Fall 2018 here we come!

  • Eve

    Did anyone who sent out e-STDs have any problems doing so? We were planning on doing that and just sending out a few paper ones to people like FH’s grandmother, but I’m reconsidering after my mom’s recent experience. My mom just turned 60, threw a big party, and used e-invitations, and they went into a surprising number of people’s junk mail. When she reached out to make sure people received the invite/get RSVPs, people who seem really internet/computer savvy from what we see on Facebook told my mom that they don’t open stuff like that. Is this a valid concern? Should I just take the information from those few people who don’t open e-things and send them paper STDs, since we know now they won’t open an e one? For what it’s worth, we are sending out paper invites so it’s not like people are just going to totally miss it if they don’t open the email, but I’m also hoping to not have to do the work twice by then going through and emailing people to make sure they got the STD in the first place.

    • Rose

      We did just a simple email for the StDs, with a photo attached, that I think reached people just fine. It did mean sending a separate email for each household (although I suppose you could just send out one to everyone at once), and it wasn’t as fancy or similar to a paper one as a more formal e-invite could be, but it also is probably less likely to be filtered out as spam.

      • penguin

        I like this idea – you could do one email if you BCC’d all the guests, so they wouldn’t see everyone else’s email addresses.

        • Rose

          Yeah, you’d want to do that if you just send one. I liked sending individual ones because I could include the names in the salutation, and make it clear who was invited (which may or may not be relevant depending on the household, but in some cases I only had the email for one person but wanted to make it clear that both were invited, or whatever).

        • Violet

          I’d do this because I sent individual ones, not realizing Google has a limit on how much data you can send per day (ours was a photo attachment) and my email kept getting temporarily shut down.

    • a

      I did my STDs/invites as really beautiful PDFs then emailed them from my personal email so it didn’t show as coming from a 3rd party that could be flagged as spam. ANy option of doing it that way

    • BSM

      We did them (through Paperless Post) and didn’t have any issues. We sent a few paper ones to older relatives who are less technologically savvy, but I don’t remember any problems with the email ones.

    • Not Sarah

      It depends on the website you’re using, I assume. We used Riley & Grey for our wedding website. For some people, they got stuck in the “Promos” tab or the like, but we didn’t hear of any in the junk mail. We checked in with people to double check they got them and then refactored which of a household got the email for the real ones. It’s about knowing your crowd though. We didn’t use paper save the dates – we just told those people by word of mouth. We did do a small number of paper invites though.

    • Jessica

      Yeah, I know there are lots of online services that can streamline the process of sending save-the-dates for you, but I just sent them from my personal email to each person. It was less likely to go to spam, and I could address each person/couple/family directly to help clarify who was invited. It didn’t take that long since I copied and pasted the main text and then attached a pretty PDF with our photo and date.

    • CA

      We had this problem with a bunch of my relatives who all have email addresses hosted by the same small local Internet company that apparently has an overactive spam filter. We used Paperless Post, which tells you whether the person has opened the email, and when none of them had opened it after a week or two, my dad texted some of them to confirm they hadn’t seen it. PP has an option to send their personalized invite to your own email, so we did that and then forwarded it with a short “We just wanted to make sure you saw our announcement!” message on top.

      ETA In retrospect, it might have been worth it to send them all from a personal email to begin with. Paperless Post did organize everything really nicely though.

  • Aimee

    Does anyone have advice on non-seated dinner receptions? One of our favorite venues is a cafe during the day, so they have cafe-style tables and chairs seating about 65. The caterer for the space says it works best with an informal dinner with different food stations, people mingle and grab food and sit down where/when they want. In theory that sounds fun but I’ve never been to a wedding like that so it makes me nervous. Our current invite list is 90 people so my fear is that people would camp out at seats and some people would be left standing the whole time and it would be a disaster. Another option would be to rent our own tables and chairs but that’s more expensive and might not work as well give the layout of the space. Am I right to be worried or is this something that’s likely to work just fine? Any tips from people who have done or considered this style?

    • Alli

      Are you able to provide other seating along with the cafe style seats? My fear is that with 65 seats and 90 people, you may end up with 25+ people (because not everyone fits into nice groups of 4) who are cranky because they can’t find a seat.

      ETA: I’ve never been to a cocktail wedding before so that’s where my fear comes from. I’m sure in areas where it’s common people will be less clueless.

      • Aimee

        possibly! That’s a good idea. One problem is it’s hard to know how many people we will actually end up with since most are traveling from across the country. So it could be 65 chairs for 90 people (worst case), or 65 chairs for 70 people (probably would be workable)

        • jem

          Plan for your worst case.

          Signed,
          Someone who planned for 70 and ended up with 95

    • penguin

      If you look at APW articles on cocktail style receptions, those have some good advice. If the venue space really doesn’t have room to seat 90, I would not try to cram seating for 90 in there.

      Also, is this for sure your venue, or just an option?

      • penguin

        Also – have you invited 90 people? Or have 90 people RSVP’d yes? If your total invite list is 90, you could end up with way fewer people (which would fit better).

        • Aimee

          No! we haven’t invited anyone yet or even booked this venue. The list is currently at 90, most are traveling from across the country so I’m thinking attendance will likely be around 75 but it’s so hard to know!

          • penguin

            Ah ok, good luck! For our roughly 85 person guest list we’re expecting around 55, but it’s really hard to tell. Plan for the worst (most) people just in case!

          • Emily

            Yeah, you really never know. We invited 166 and we’re looking at 75 right now. Not complaining! It’s actually closer to the number we wanted in the beginning, before my mom invited her entire extended family. Plan for the most though.

    • Jess

      My very best friend had a wedding like that, with heavy hors d’ouvres. Although she definitely had enough seating for everybody, it ended up that most of the time people were rotating between different tables and the food, so there were plenty of open seats.

      It was an actual blast.

      ETA: If your total guest list is 90 people, keep in mind that you may have some not able to make it.

    • Emily

      We’re doing a cocktail style wedding, and this is my concern too. I think what we’re going to do is rent enough chairs for everyone to sit, but not put them all out at once. If people are looking like they’re all starting to eat at once, then we’ll put more out (and probably rent some extra 60 inch tables too). Not quite sure how it’s going to work, but fortunately my friends are flexible and easy going, so I feel like they won’t find not enough seating weird. I’ll report back in 30 days!

      • penguin

        Is there a reason all the chairs won’t be out at once? Is it to leave more room for dancing or something?

        • Emily

          Yep, dancing, and generally moving around. If we set out every chair at once, there’s just more to flip, and our wedding is in a backyard. Plus, we really don’t want people sitting all the time.

          • We wanted people to talk and mingle and dance and move around and that’s what they did (know your crowd). Mum was on watch to put out any more chairs if she vibed that they were needed. If the weather was warmer I don’t think as many people would have danced and hence we would have needed more chairs.

      • Amy March

        Put the chairs out. Do you really want to be trying to deal with this on the fly? People love sitting.

        • Violet

          To steal from Elf: “Sitting’s my favorite!”

    • emilyg25

      I don’t think this is the venue for you. Smaller weddings typically have higher response rates, so it’s likely you’ll have more than 65 guests. It’s hard to eat dinner when you can’t sit down.

      • penguin

        I didn’t even think to ask – is this heavy appetizer type food that you eat one-handed? Or are there going to be people trying to find a place to sit down and cut into a chicken breast or eat spaghetti?

        • Aimee

          haven’t set a menu so I think it’s flexible, I guess I was envisioning something in between? The caterer for the space says they do it all the time and it works great, but they also want me to hire them so I’m skeptical

    • Amy March

      I think to do this successfully you need more chairs than people, so they can actually mix and mingle and sit comfortably.

    • ManderGimlet

      Really depends on your group and your vibe. If it’s a younger crowd, appetizer/finger food menu, not super long, and mainly going to be a party vibe, you will probably be okay. But if you are envisioning more of a relaxed, 4-5 hour affair with cutting of the cake and first dances and mom/dad dances and toasts and etc etc etc you will definitely need to rent more chairs and tables and provide spaces for everyone to sit. If you are planning to serve food that requires any kind of utensils you should provide enough tables (even just hi-tops with no chairs) for people to place their plates and drinks while they eat.

    • If there’s dancing, that will keep some people out of chairs too. And just like at any party, some people will stand and talk just because they like too. Is there a way to could have extra folding chairs out of the way somewhere that could be used if necessary?

      • This! My mother was terrified there would not be enough seating at our cocktail style backyard wedding so I panic added 20 more seats to our hire order the day before. Guess what, those seats never got put out and the seats we did have were never full (64 seats for 80 people). The dance floor was packed all night…

  • Essssss

    Hive mind: I am throwing a baby shower for a friend. I’ve never really
    done this before. Ideas for fun, laid back activites for a mixed gender
    shower that don’t include games like tasting baby food blindfolded or
    diapering competitions?? (not that there’s anything wrong with those,
    just not what we’re going for). Maybe like a way to gather wishes/blessings for the baby and parents?
    Ideas so far- onesie decorating table,
    and maybe a photo booth. Also re: photo booth, has anyone ever rented a
    polaroid or other instant camera and have a good recommendation on
    where/how to do that?

    • Alli

      Pinata? Mad libs?

      • Essssss

        Oooh… mad libs could be hilarious!

      • AP

        I’m here for the piñata. Full of candy pacifiers (even ring pops) and those candy bottles?

      • CP2011

        Yesss piñata. I had a piñata at every birthday until I was 14 and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

    • I had two mixed gender baby showers and we played fun games! Shower 1 we played the Baby Song game, which is basically playing snippets of songs that have “baby” in the title, and people have to correctly name the song and the artist. At Shower 2, we played Baby Jeopardy and Baby Scattegories. For all 3 of these games, you can Google and get ideas on how to put these things together, so you aren’t reinventing the wheel.

      When I hosted a baby shower we did onesie decorating and we asked the guest of honor to pick her 3 faves, and those people got a small prize.

      • Essssss

        Awesome, thanks!

    • Eve

      Onesie decorating is great. The third method in this article is a really easy way to do silk screening, which will hold up and likely look better than drawing/painting/what have you. Alternatively, you can get craft foam or potatoes and do stamps, which can also be really fun. Just make sure you get screen printing ink for fabric and set it with an iron before you wash them.

      http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Silk-Screen-Stencils

    • Rose

      I’m always a fan of decorating cookies, if you need a fun party thing. Easy to customize to a theme, if you can find a cookie-cutter in a relevant shape (which is why I have a penis-shaped cookie cutter in three sizes, from a friend’s bachelorette). It gives people something to do while still being able to chat, which can make it a nice break from a more structured game.

      • penguin

        This made me think of How the Grinch Stole Christmas – “And then his (heart) grew three sizes”.

      • NolaJael

        Solid.

    • Jess

      Onesie/Diaper Decorating is always fun.

      I was at a shower where they had some baby related items – some packaged and some not packaged – in pillowcases numbered 1-X and we passed them around and had to guess what was in it. It was silly but fun.

    • AP

      I’m not big on shower games in general, but I do like activities that people can converse around. What about a big photo matte that everyone can sign/draw on for a future framed photo of baby? (Instead of the onesies, which in my experience don’t get used because the markers bleed, glued on stuff falls off, too small for the baby when it arrives…). Also date night ideas for the parents-to-be written on popsicle sticks that can go in a jar? Cookie decorating, as another commenter suggested, also sounds fun.

    • Knonymous

      What do your friends usually like to do? Try to add a baby theme to that. Trivia nerds? Have a baby-themed trivia contest! Big beer drinkers? Have tastings of (good) non-alcoholic beer and/or regular beers with baby-related names.

    • Kalë

      My fave shower idea that it sounds like you’re already onto is a tie dye shower! Everyone brings different sizes of white onesies/host provides them, and then each person tie dyes one or two!

      • AP

        Now this is a onesie idea I can get behind!

      • Ilora

        That sounds fantastic!

    • norah_charles_ftw

      Have you heard of the one where people write something on diapers for a funny/uplifting moment during middle of the night changings? It’s a good one especially for a mixed gender crowd and can swing to funny, sweet, or off the wall and it all works

      • Jessica

        This is what I’m doing for a shower soon.

    • Ashlah

      We’re planning to play Cads About Maternity (a pregnancy-themed version of Cards Against Humanity, from the same people who did Cads About Matrimony). My shower is this Sunday, though, so I can’t tell you if it’s any good yet!

    • Gaby

      This may not be right for your crowd, but for my cousin’s mixed shower we did a beer chugging contest with baby bottles. It takes a hilariously long amount of time to chug this way, even if you snip the nipple a tiny bit to make it easier.

    • Essssss

      APW, you’re amazing. You bring the party to any event. This is great.

    • photoperson?

      Don’t rent a polaroid for a photobooth – Instax minis are $99 CAD plus around a buck a photo – rental houses won’t rent those and honestly the expensive part is the film, not the camera.
      Caution: these are notoriously difficult to use well in low light if you want good results – they get noisy and the ISO isn’t ideal. Make sure there’s lots of natural light and be prepared for clueless camera users to be flashing the flash all over everyone as it’s not always intuitive or recommended to disable it.
      Extra info – Polaraoid went bankrupt and Fuji bought their technology, so unless you feel like sponsoring the “impossible project’ (manufactures film for discontinued polaroid cameras), just buy something from the Fuji Instax lineup (there’s quite the range of price and style) and you can keep it after :)
      Finding a friend who’s willing to “lend” her DSLR to the cause is way more cost and effort-effective – you’ll need a plain unpatterned background (don’t want to distract from the subjects), a tripod, the camera body and a lens appropriate for the situation (ask camera friend what she has or rent it) and a ring flash (these are perfect and awesome for these situations, rent it where you rent the lens), and a remote control that connects to the camera (should have come with the SLR). Bonus points if Camera Friend has Adobe Lightroom or you have this software and is willing to do basic post-work on the shots.
      Benefits for digital = can still print 4x6s in 1 hour for under $0.50/shot (Instant Film is $1+ each) at places like Walmart or Costco or London Drugs…… can delete and ignore the 60% of photos which are not flattering/worth keeping without throwing out money at the same time….. better results in lower light if you use Automatic setting or have someone supervising the camera…..
      source: family members work in photog, throw me more Qs about photo booths if you want.

      • Essssss

        Wow, THANK YOU

        • photoperson?

          FWIW the main reasons I dislike the “put little disposable/instant cameras around and let people take photos themselves as the event goes on!” type of ideas is because
          a) if you have a professional photog, those secondary flashes really screw with their attempts to properly light each shot (not a factor here if you haven’t hired someone to do additional shots, but keep in mind that there’ll be frequent flashes disrupting the event so if someone is light sensitive it can suck) and
          b) you pay for film/developing each photo whether or not it’s a select (‘select’ meaning an image worth selecting/showing to others). This means you spend more money than you really need to if the film or developing is expensive (Instax adds up SO FAST especially if you get the cute decorative borders on the film).
          Doing a photobooth on a tripod lets you optimize lighting, background, etc plus it keeps the amounts of visual flashes (and retina imprints hahaha) to one specific contained area… and it lets you only show the images worth showing. see what the local photography rental house can offer you and enlist someone with a basic background in photography setup (lighting choices and lens choices – the rental house may be willing to advise you on this if you really ingratiate yourself to them and they have time) and someone who knows how to do very basic corrective work for post-processing (like if the photos are too bright or too dark or need contrast adjusted – usually this is quick and you do the whole batch at once with a program like Lightroom – the longest part of the after-party post-processing is going from 600 images to 50-75 images (delete images out of focus or with unflattering poses). After that, it’s just changing the settings identically on the whole batch.
          :)

        • photoperson?

          pas de probleme :) it’s nice when stuff I osmosis-ed from loved ones ends up useful.

      • CA

        This is super helpful information! FH and I had recently been floating the idea of an Instax guestbook for our wedding but have only seen the idea online. This makes me concerned our families would not be good enough at following instructions to make it worthwhile haha.

        • photoperson?

          I would have it as a secondary thing but have CLEAR instructions in big writing saying “make sure it is on the [setting] setting, don’t stand closer than 1m (or whatever the limit is, it will say in your manual for the camera, any closer and it won’t be able to focus properly), and take your photo against this wall”….. but like use those cutesy chalkboards or whatever that are so trendy in weddings now haha.
          Honestly after being in a photographer family (and seeing, in that SAME FAMILY, a person decide they didn’t want to pay market rate for professional wedding photos because they would rather have better food so they lowered the photography budget in favour of better food, so they hired someone with a less established portfolio who doesn’t normally shoot weddings or events, and then proceeded to cry and feel so much regret after the photos are 6+ months late and very poorly done [unflattering poses, missed important moments, etc])….. even though I know a lot about photography theoretically, I am NOT a photographer (just related to them!) and I would always, always choose to pay market rate for a professional if I wanted photos of an event. If this is just a novelty secondary thing, instax sounds great. If you are invested in a high quality guestbook based in photographs and you WILL be crushed if it doesn’t result in a useable product…. don’t trust people who aren’t professionals.
          Doing a DSLR photobooth as a guestbook would have higher success rate IF you have someone monitoring it. Ask the person you’ve hired to shoot your wedding if, for an extra $500 (yes at least this much – time to setup and teardown charged hourly as they’d probably have to get a second shooter to do that so they’re not spending time away from the important stuff, plus cost of renting/using the equipment they would need like remote, camera, flash, tripod; plus cost of adding 300+ more photos to their lineup of photos that will need post-production editing after the wedding; plus cost of checking in on it during the event to ensure no one’s screwed with the buttons) they would do a photobooth for you…. this would be your best bet. Get a professional to at least oversee it at the beginning if you’re really emotionally invested in it as a keepsake.

          • photoperson?

            (Keep in mind that if you Instax your guestbook you’re paying minimum $100/camera and $1/shot (and you’re fooling yourself if you think before people will only take one shot each- I would estimate 1.5-2 shots per person) so if you math it out, suddenly a $500 photo booth with a professional adding a limited guarantee to the quality of work seems like a good deal)

          • CA

            Thanks! Definitely would be a secondary thing, just a hopefully more fun way to document having all of our favorite people there than having them sign a plain guestbook. But leaning towards not worth it, honestly. Our photographer has a photojournalism background and has an awesome portfolio of candid reception guest shots, so it probably wouldn’t add much from a keepsake point of view.

      • Angela

        We had an instax camera at our reception and it was great. We really enjoy seeing the fun our guests had with it and it gave them a mingling activity to break the ice. We only decided to get one a week before the wedding and I am so glad we did.

    • ellabynight

      If onesie decorating sounds like something that would work for your group, I’d suggest considering decorating bibs instead. At one of our showers our friends decorated both bibs and onesies, and while we used a few of the onesies, our daughter grew out of them quickly. That being said, she is over a year old and we are still using some of the bibs that were decorated at that shower.

      • Jessica

        Another option, in addition to or in lieu of onsie decorating, is writing notes on diapers (assuming the couple wants to use disposable diapers). Get a package of newborn diapers and one of size 1, set out what lies, and ask people to write a funny/encouraging note to the parents. People did this for me and it was so fun to read all the notes (funny ones like “loading…” or “guess what’s in here!” and supportive ones like “you got this!” and “give your baby a kiss from me”), plus it was nice to have a diaper stash from the start. :)

    • Alex K

      We went to a coed baby shower and they did an activity where they had a bunch of posters on the wall (numbered) with funny things about the future mom and dad’s childhood (I only snacked on carrots when I was 2) and everyone went around and guessed who it was. It was fun because it’s something to do but people could chat while they did it.

    • JSK

      Our shower was co-ed and at a brewery. I didn’t want to sit at the front of a room all bloated and open gifts, so I requested lots of games to take peoples attention. What we did: Name the baby for us, diaper decorating table, guess the due date and guess how many gummi bears the baby will weigh (with prizes for the winners). What we skipped: measuring my belly and guess the size competition and guess how much weight I’d gained (just, no).

      At a shower I went to years ago, we all got pages with letters of the alphabet to decorate with colored pencils. After the shower, the hosts bound them together into a book for the baby. It was actually really fun and I thought it would make a cute book for the kid to look back at.

      • JSK

        Oh, but we didn’t end up using the diapers because the markers bled and I freaked out that my newborn’s ass was blue one night.

        • Jess

          That is hilarious!!!!! (I would have probably also panicked, but it’s a great story)

      • Rebekah

        I am borrowing Name the Baby For Us and Alphabet Book for the future. Thank you.

      • Jenny

        Yes! We did the make your own alpahbet book at a shower and it was really fun!

    • emilyg25

      My co-ed baby shower had onesie decorating and a UTERUS PINATA. My BFF filled it with candy, nips of alcohol, outlet covers and sample packs of birth control and condoms. It was the best thing ever.

      • Jessica

        I need that.

      • Jess

        Do you think the men in my office would be upset if I hung up a uterus pinata at my cube? Now that I know it’s a thing… I really want to.

        • emiloup

          Fuck ’em.

    • Sarah

      my girlfriend did a game where the name of an “adult” animal was given (i.e. frog) and people would write-in the baby name (tadpole). kinda dorky, but better than sniffing chocolate in diapers…and ruining perfectly good diapers!

      • ART

        I recently went to a baby shower with that chocolate in diapers thing and it kind of put me off my lunch. I guess that’s a know your people thing and I was not People!

    • Rebekah

      I’ve found myself planning baby showers for a range of loved ones in the last couple years, and my personal favorite things have been onesie decorating and baby mad libs. I create a story for or about the baby, let people fill in the blanks and sign their names, and then the parents get to read them later. Onesies are easy if you have the table space to decorate and hang to dry. I choose a variety of sizes, get some letter and animal stencils, colored markers and paint suitable for clothing, and some small sponges.

    • Might not be much more to buy an instant camera… Then you could keep it after or resell it, etc. https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/351661/the-best-instant-cameras
      http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-instant-camera/
      But film is what is expensive…

  • ellabynight

    Hi all! A long distance friend of mine just had a (successful!) heart transplant, and I’d like to send her stuff to keep her spirits up. Any ideas on what would make a good, hospital friendly care package?

    • Rose

      Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but when my grandmother was in the hospital she really did seem to find it comforting to have something soft to hold. At first she kept absent-mindedly grabbing something (I think it was someone’s sweater or something, I don’t remember), and then we brought her a really soft stuffed animal from home, and she would hold that sometimes.

    • norah_charles_ftw

      I like to go classic: Books, something soft and huggable (pillow, stuffed animal,…), and something that smells good like lotion or flowers (hospital smell is not awesome)
      Add a card and a photo and you’re in business for some serious cheering up!

    • Emily

      My mom recently had heart surgery and really appreciate snuggly socks, puzzle and coloring books, and things with calming scents. She also got a lot of scar clearing products.

    • NolaJael

      This is a bit weird, but a fan? I knew a legit heart researcher who said that moving air aided recovery for many patients (don’t remembers why). You could a cute note about being back out in the breeze in no time?

    • Alex K

      A pretty robe? Even she already has one it will get dirty pretty quickly and it’s really nice to be able to wear something a little more unique than a hospital gown.

    • Jessica

      Flowers are a good, classic route. I would go excellent headphones if you can splurge (or find some good ones on Amazon). If she’s in the hospital for a while, perhaps a nice eye mask?

      • NolaJael

        This depends on where she is in the hospital. Some hospitals don’t allow flowers on ICU and some rooms/units due to pollen/allergy issues. Easy enough to check, though!

      • S

        Excellent headphones is such a good idea! What about a nostalgic, easy handheld video game if that’s something that would remotely appeal to her? (Like one of those simple handheld built-in Tetris games, I don’t mean go buy her an expensive video game system).

    • ManderGimlet

      Does she have a Kindle? Maybe you can load it up with some new books

    • Rebekah
    • S

      I had heart surgery in my 20s and thinking about what I would have appreciated at the time is hard because it was a very tough time for me and I couldn’t read very well (no concentration) and didn’t have much of an appetite and almost every gift I got felt like more effort because I was too tired and sore to even react or be grateful. It all just felt like one more thing to deal with. BUT I liked magazines (easy to pick up and put down), new fun PJ pants, reality TV shows that I didn’t have to pay close attention to, and I think just knowing that people cared.

  • AP

    Y’all. I approached my board president this morning and point-blank asked for 12 weeks of paid maternity leave next year and outlined my plan for coverage while I’m gone, and she didn’t bat an eye! We’re such a small org that we don’t have a formal leave policy, which means I’m basically setting the precedent now. Three cheers for non-profits practicing what they preach!

    • CP2011

      Congrats!

    • Ashlah

      Way to go! That’s fantastic!

    • Gaby

      Yes! congrats!

    • MC

      Yay yay yay!!! We’re a small org that just implemented 12 paid weeks of family leave, which one of my coworkers is on now and my boss will be taking this winter, and it’s been so touching to hear my coworker talk about how much it means to him to have paid time off with his baby. Definitely made me feel good about where I work.

      • AP

        That is so awesome! I was originally going to ask for 6 weeks fully out of the office and 6 weeks phasing back in, but then I prepped for the conversation with a colleague who convinced me not to sell myself short. I’m so glad I asked for the full 12 weeks, because my board pres probably would have agreed to whatever I’d asked for. This was my first real attempt at negotiating at work, and I’m so glad it worked out.

    • Sarah

      Congratulations and wow – asking for something like that is not easy, but will make it so much easier for everyone who comes after you.

    • Emily

      So so awesome!

    • BSM

      Woohoo!! That’s awesome for you and for future parents at your company!

      I also just requested some additional leave this week, and, as long as my bosses are cool with it, I think it’s approved! I’ll be taking a full 4 months off with the nugget, fully paid. I’m so excited and grateful*!

      *But also annoyed that I need to be grateful. Can’t forget that :)

      • AP

        Yeah, annoyed at being grateful for sure. Maybe one day we’ll actually be a country that supports women and families the way we claim to…

      • Ashlah

        Hell, I’m “grateful” to know I won’t be fired for taking 3 unpaid months off from a job that isn’t protected by FMLA because it’s a small business. One boss thinks he’s the fucking pope for continuing to cover my insurance premium while I’m out. And yeah, that’s great! But also, it’s shitty to expect praise for offering the bare minimum of not firing me and not giving me an extra bill to pay.

        Sorry, feeling ranty today! I’m glad you advocated for yourself and that your workplace is being accommodating, even though that shouldn’t even be something that requires celebration!

        • BSM

          Yeah, I totally know how lucky I am in the US to be getting this much time off with pay and benefits and job safety, but it still feels so short! He’ll still be such a little blob at that point! And finding and arranging infant childcare is such a nightmare, logistically and financially.

          Sorry :(

    • Jessica

      That’s amazing!!!

  • Gaby

    Today is my birthday! And millions of Americans will keep their healthcare today, yay! Question: In lieu of the new “donate your birthday” option on facebook, I was considering asking my friends to donate to our local LGBTQ Center. I think it’s a great cause, especially considering Trump’s tweets this week… but I also feel like I’m announcing to fb friends that I was originally expecting gifts and would prefer this instead. Any thoughts on this new feature? Is everyone going to have compassion fatigue by the time their 20th friend donates a birthday?

    • Rose

      Huh, I haven’t heard about that feature before. Personally, I think I’d avoid using it myself–a large majority of my FB friends aren’t folks who I’d ever expect to buy me something, and the ones who do would probably have already gotten something by the time it was actually my birthday. I can see the appeal, though, so it’s probably a know-your-crowd thing?

    • HarrietVane

      I think it’s a nice idea. If even one person is moved to donate it seems like it would be worth it!

    • BSM

      Maybe you could phrase it as you plan to donate to them today in lieu of treating yourself to something for your birthday and you encourage others to donate if/what they can, too?

      • MC

        Love this and this phrasing would definitely move me to donate a small amount, even if it wasn’t someone I’d normally buy a gift for. Plus, there are a lot of people in my life that I wouldn’t buy a gift for but I would buy them a beer for their bday, and a $5 donation somewhere is pretty comparable price-wise!

        • MC

          Oh, and happy birthday Gaby!!!

          • Gaby

            Thank you!

    • Amy March

      Yeah, I think it sounds like asking for gifts. Which most of your audience prob weren’t planning to give you. But by all means donate yourself and share that you’re doing it and why! You might inspire someone.

    • ManderGimlet

      Just use your words “I know I’m too old to be expecting gifts for my birthday, but if you are feeling generous and have a few extra dollars, it would make my day extra special if you donated to this charity”. I can’t imagine what kind of person would see a link to a charity and think “damn, grabby much?”

  • Kaitlyn

    When is the best time to book travel from the east coast to the other side of the world? haha We’re doing Bali for the honeymoon (AHHHH) and I can somehow see flight prices on Singapore Air even though we’re not traveling till April. Do I book it now? The fall? I’ve been eyeing a bunch of hotels and I’m not worried about those, it’s just the big ol’ expensive flight.

    • flyer

      Install Hopper app and let it tell you :)

      • Kaitlyn

        Man I love technology hahaha

        • flyer

          right?! whenever I travel now I just set an alert for those days’ worth of flights. You have to tolerate the annoying “here’s a nudge alert to say that the flight isn’t cheap enough so don’t buy it yet!” that they do BUTTT once they say “hey it’s within $5 of the cheapest price this flight has ever been, buy it now” all those nudges and pesterings with no useable information seem like less of a big deal haha.

    • Kalë

      Use Skyscanner to search and try signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights! I am also on the lookout for Bali flights, but not till early July :)

      • Kaitlyn

        I actually use Scott’s Cheap Flights! Do you pay for it? I just have a free version and not sure if it’s worth the premium subscription.

        • Kalë

          I have premium… I travel quite a bit but actually haven’t purchased a flight through Scott’s at this point. I used the free version for awhile, but the price is negligible to me (don’t even remember what it is???) for the amount of potential savings. Plus, it’s kind of silly, but I like getting the emails every day and daydreaming of where I could go.

      • Kat

        I LOVE Scott’s Cheap Flights!

    • CP2011

      I Iike tracking flights on Google Flights to get a sense for the pattern. Seems a bit early to book now…if it was me I’d wait a bit.

    • I use sites like FareDeal Alert and TheFlightDeal to keep an eye on travel deals, they also have social media accounts. Maybe check them out and see how often (if ever) Singapore Airlines and/or Bali comes up? Might be helpful especially if you’re travel dates are flexible. Also agree with the suggestion of using Google Flights to track it, and Google Flights will pick up if there’s an awesome deal as well.

    • Lisa

      No suggestions, but Bali is my dream honeymoon! As you plan, I would love to hear updates and recommendations (and if we end up going, I’ll share them with you too).

      • Kaitlyn

        Absolutely! Right now we’re thinking 3 days on the beach and not moving haha then three days up in Ubud, and then three days around Seminyak. I’ve been making lists of hotels and scouring websites on how to use those credit card points to bump us up a class :)

    • Kara E

      FWIW, since there aren’t that many flights that way, there probably isn’t a ton of price variation.

  • Rose

    So we’re moving halfway across the country in about a week and a half, so it’s packing time. First time we’ve moved in six years, first time either of us has moved a full apartment’s worth of stuff (we just moved out of dorms here, last time), so it’s super extra fun (we have 28 boxes of books packed already, I can’t believe it). But I’m also starting to get excited about moving to a new place, and the job there.

    It’s silly, but I’ve found out that I can rent my academic regalia for our Convocation, and I’m really excited about wearing the ridiculous doctoral robe. And the tam! Since I technically graduate in September, I won’t walk until this coming May, so I haven’t gotten to wear any of it yet, and it’s one of those silly things that I’ve been excited about eventually being able to do since I started grad school.

  • Random question – do any of you buy handmade items from small companies/artisans? How much would you pay for a handmade knitted item like a scarf, hat, mittens, etc? I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth my time to try to sell my giant stash of stuff that I’ve made.

    • Alli

      I’ve found I generally spend about $10-20 per item on handmade scarves/hats/mittens/etc. It depends on quality obviously, and because I buy a lot of scarves especially I’m less likely to splurge on a really really nice one. Where were you thinking of selling them? Online or at a craft festival or something?

      • “Where to sell” is the question. I think Etsy is out of the question cause it’s so saturated. I could add it to my Squarespace site pretty easily and share via social media. And I could do some craft events locally as well.

        • Alli

          I like the idea of putting it on your squarespace and putting it on social media! I think I mostly buy handcrafted stuff through friends anyway. I’m likely to spend more if I see a friend’s (or friend of a friend’s) instagram post than if I’m walking through a craft festival honestly – because I generally carry cash only at those things, and because I feel good supporting a friend or acquaintance.

          • Thanks for the feedback! That’s what I was thinking – friends or friends of friends would be more willing to even look and/or purchase.

    • theteenygirl

      My sister knits beautiful things, most of which she gives as gifts, but she does “makers swaps” with other artisans and also will sell some items. The thing is that she doesn’t make any money on her items if she pays herself for her time. So colour knit mittens for example would be $75, a hat would be $40, a scarf depending on the complexity and size could be $50-100. She doesn’t find it worth it to make things to sell.

    • HarrietVane

      As a fashion designer who has her own business & someone who works with and buys from a lot of artisans myself, I will say it’s almost never worth it monetarily to sell handknitted items. Just the time for the labor and materials (which you likely bought retail) means that you could probably not make it back. Additionally, it’s hard to sell without some sort of marketing, at minimum social media, to let people know that it even exists. And people usually complain about prices any higher than what you would find at Target.

      That being said, do it if it will make you happy to sell things and you view the selling (not the knitting) as an enjoyable hobby. I love to knit, but personally find it much more fulfilling to donate the things I make or give them as gifts.

      • Thank you! I’ve debating whether I should just donate, because the work of selling (photographing, shipping, etc) isn’t super appealing to me. I wouldn’t expect to make back what I’ve spent in labor but it would be nice to have a pot of money to go to the next project.

  • CP2011

    What’s a good way to navigate supporting an overweighted partner who might be in a bit of denial about how the extra weight is affecting their health and relationship? My husband has yo-yo’d 40lbs in the last three years and is at his heaviest now and I think may be causing/worsening some other health issues. I’m a healthy weight and do almost all of the cooking, so we eat the same thing but he tends to eat A LOT and with more toppings. It’s to the point where I’m wishing he was thinner and getting frustrated that he doesnt seem to care, which I know I can’t say without hurting his self esteem. It’s his body, and there’s nothing I can do to force him to lose weight, but at the same time I can’t say I’m enthused about my partner being medically obese and not fitting well in his clothes, and what that means for his health and mobility later on. I finally brought up my concerns last night that I was concerned about him continuing to gain weight and how it would affect his health. He didn’t really respond other than to say he hates dieting but he’ll try to lose weight.
    How can I continue encouraging him without seeming shallow or controlling?

    • LindseyM

      Oh man. We are in the exact same situation, except for he hates that he has gained weight and I think it contributes to a shame spiral that makes him even less likely to try and lose it. I feel like we have tried everything—gym membership, me running with him, me trying to cook healthier meals (then he just snacks on crap). I don’t really know what to do because his self esteem is so tied up in his weight. I think going to see a therapist would probably be the best, but he never follows through on it.

      • CP2011

        Thanks for pointing that out –the shame spiral is real. I think that’s probably at the root of his denial or unwillingness to talk about it.
        In our case the issue isn’t activity level– he works out almost daily and goes on long bikes rides on trails where I have to walk my bike because it’s steep.
        He just eats way too much and I think he sneaks snacks and candy at work. He’s been heavy since childhood, so there’s that aspect too.

    • Jess

      Ergh. R is heavier than he would like to be (technically in the obese category). He talks about wanting to lose weight frequently, which is… iffy territory for me having struggles in EDs.

      One of the things I focus on is rerouting him to the goal of being able to do things, like hiking or playing certain sports or being able to walk up the big hill by our house, with ease instead of focusing on size/numbers on the scale.

      I also committed to assist with being active. Like, suggesting we go for a walk after dinner or letting him know when I’m going to run and asking if he wants to come with. I try to do things *with* him because then it’s a thing we’re doing together not something he’s being punished for.

      Recently he mentioned a few frequency goals, so I’ll say things like, “Is today a [running/push-up/crunches] day?” as a reminder if it seems like maaaaybe those goals have been sliding. Really enthusiastic encouragement is helping too (High fiving at mile markers on a run or “Hell yeah!” when he hits his 3x/week frequency or whatever).

      When it comes to food, I feel kind of iffy on offering advice because that’s where my struggles come in, but I’d maybe stock fewer toppings in the fridge/pantry and put leftovers/extra quantities in containers for lunch the next day immediately to prevent “Maaaaaybe I can have a little more” or “Well we ate so much, I’d hate to let the last few pieces go to waste” style seconds.

    • penguin

      Food is our struggle, although we’re both overweight. We do a few things. We eat on smaller plates, so it still looks full with a smaller portion. What helps me eat less is that we’ll serve out food, and then put the rest away (before eating). I tell myself that I can always get up and get more if I really want it. That helps me get out of the mindset of “if I don’t eat it now, I won’t have enough”. We try to encourage each other to wait 20-30 minutes before deciding if we want seconds, and drink water/seltzer in that time. A lot of time it turns out we weren’t really that hungry, so we don’t get up for more. Although then if I actually AM still hungry, I can go get more but know that I actually want it.

      I would also not really focus as much on the scale, but about how he feels/what he can do. I’ve stopped weighing myself as frequently because I’d get into a shame spiral about it, even if I was feeling better but the scale showed I was up two pounds or something. Good luck!

      • CP2011

        Thanks! We tried the waiting before seconds thing years ago but it didn’t stick — maybe we should try again.
        I’ve struggled with my weight since high school and it’s still a sensitive issue for me, so I know how hard it is and how much dieting sucks. But from the outside he has it pretty easy – he can drop lbs quick when he tries. But they always come back.

      • Yes, to the cutting back on seconds being super helpful.

        My husband eats a lot more than I do (because he is a larger human being than I am) and the first year I lived with him, I started to gain a little bit of weight because after eating dinner, he would go back to get seconds and then (very sweetly) ask me if I wanted seconds. (And also because I wanted to eat as much as he did because I was possessive of my food.) And because it often was delicious, I would usually say yes. So the last couple months I’ve been asking him not to ask me if I want seconds because if I’m hungry, I can get some more later (I always cook lots of leftovers for lunches and leftover days). And just that has helped a lot.
        Also, I eat a lot of things out of bowls instead of plates, which usually helps me with a smaller serving size.

        But also reminded myself that I made the dinner and I can make it again–it isn’t a once only treat that I need to eat all of before it goes away never to be seen again.

    • Emily

      Weight is always a tough one. How’s his activity level? Is he a social guy? Competitive? A gym membership, some classes, a club, or boot camp can really tap into something motivating. I actually was in my best shape ever when I joined a boot camp. Maybe shifting away from something confusing like food to something concrete like exercise would help. Is he unhappy? Maybe a trip to a therapist would be beneficial. On the other hand, if he’s happy and satisfied with where he is, then respecting that is important. Healthy and overweight don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

      • CP2011

        I agree with your last point for sure, and he did have labs done last year and his were all normal. But he has a very weak knee due to a poorly-treated injury as a kid, and the doctors always tell him that losing weight would significantly reduce the daily pain he has. I know he would feel more confident if he lost weight, and he exercises vigorously on the regular so I think the food issue might be the nut to crack.

    • BSM

      Wait, does he want to lose weight?

      • CP2011

        Yes

        • BSM

          Ah, OK. I couldn’t tell if he was just willing to work on it for you but didn’t actually want to himself (in which case, I’ve got nothing).

          This may be a terrible suggestion, but maybe you two could do something like the Whole30 to sort of jumpstart things? My husband and I did one last fall after getting back from two weeks in Europe just to kind of reset ourselves. While we didn’t really pay attention to our progress in terms of measurements or pounds lost, it was a good way to focus on what we were eating, get our diets back on track, try something new together, etc. I probably lost a few pounds, and my husband lost a few more than me, so that was a nice bonus, too.

    • Amy March

      Ask him. I feel like the only acceptable way to provide encouragement to someone trying to lose weight is to ask how, specifically, you can help, and then do only those things. I mean, maybe suggest some options but honestly there is no good way to do this unless he wants you to be involved.

      Just love him.

      • Jess

        Yes to this!

        I got to the ways I’m encouraging R because I said, “Ok, how do you want me to be involved in that?” and he said, “I would like to run with you sometimes.” Now he tells me when he has new goals so I can help remind him to do the thing and celebrate when he does it.

    • Kate

      My partner is somewhat overweight and shares a lot of your partner’s eating habits (piling cheese on food at home, snacking a lot). While his eating habits were sustainable when he was a little younger and playing volleyball for two hours a day, now he’s put on similar weight to your partner. I’m concerned about long term health consequences so we’ve been making small changes. I do the grocery shopping and don’t buy much junk food anyways, but I make an extra effort to avoid it. Instead I try to buy lots of his favorite healthy snacks- grape tomatoes, fresh fruit, baby carrots, and frozen berries. I personally looove ice cream, but he’ll eat 70% of a carton in one sitting so I’ve agreed not to buy it as much (this feels like a great personal sacrifice). He eats a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast every morning, but we’ve recently agreed that he needs to add something healthy to the bagel so lately it’s been bagel + cream cheese + fresh spinach. I’ve also been buying less pre-shredded cheese, more brick cheese so it’s harder for him to throw cheese on top of everything.

      • CP2011

        I feel you on the cheese and ice cream! But my husband has zero problem pulling out the cheese grater to pile it on! I have found buying pre-sliced cheese to be better though than the brick for portion control because it’s cut thinner than I would be able to do at home.

      • MTM

        Will he shell his bagel and replace it with veggies? Whipped cream cheese instead of regular? Sometimes little changes like that (like with the spinach) work, but others (like switching to bagel thins which are awful and taste nothing like bagels) fail. Eating a bagel is easy…gotta replace it with something equally as easy AND tasty

    • ellabynight

      I’m obese by BMI standards, and I would encourage you to frame your conversations around goals that are health related and not weight related. For me, thinking about numbers on a scale makes me feel like my weight loss goals are impossible. I find it easier to think about keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. low or to think about the benefits of being in shape (e.g., it’s a lot easier to chase my toddler around when I’m lighter). I also find it easier to think about exercise in terms of the type of life I want to lead and the example I want to set for my kid instead of as this horrible task I must do to achieve a socially acceptable body.

      I have responded the best to loved ones who are kind, but matter of fact about my weight and avoid associating weight with morality. Dancing around the weight issue just communicates that being overweight is something to be ashamed by. As a society, we have a lot of fucked up beliefs about fatness and tend to associate fatness with immorality. I shut down when people talk about being thinner as being “good” because it makes me feel like they think I’m a bad person because I’m overweight.

      I’m not sure from your comment above if you’ve asked him how he feels about the extra weight. I think you need to establish a.) if he cares and b.) if he does care, what he wants to do about it and how you can help. Without doing that, you can feel like you’re putting all this silent effort into helping him lose weight, but not getting anything in return. And he might feel like your silent attempts are really just passive aggressive prodding about his weight. So, in general, I recommend being as direct as possible to avoid unspoken resentment on both ends.

      I would also suggest making sure you examine it why it bothers you. From what you write above, you’re conflating some of the more superficial aspects of weight (e.g., the way his clothes fit) with potential health issues. It’s fine if one of the reasons you would like him to lose weight is that you will find him more attractive, but I would avoid conflating his health and goals with your desires when you talk to him about it. Hearing “you don’t look as good as you used to” can be really demoralizing and make it hard to maintain your resolve to lose weight. This basically goes back to my first point about approaching weight loss from a lifestyle/goal based perspective.

      Also, a word to the wise about having these conversations: try to be conscientious about when you’re having them. I say this because normally my husband and I tend to have most of our serious conversations at dinner, but I would try to avoid having a weight conversation when you’re eating, about to eat, or just ate. This might be an extreme example, but I had a friend take me to ice cream to give me a lecture about how concerned they were about my weight gain, and I wanted to throw the sundae we had ordered in his face. While I’m sure he was coming from a caring place, the fact that he unthinkingly took me to an ice cream parlor to do it triggered a lot of shame and rage, which made me shut down and feel like he was concern trolling me instead of actually trying to help.

      • CP2011

        Thanks for the input. My primary concern is absolutely the the medical, especially with relieving the chronic knee pain I mentioned in another comment. But it would be untrue to say that I don’t also wish he was slimmer for my own selfish reasons — sexual attractiveness, society’s judgements, etc. Which I don’t ever think I’d say to him because my love for him is not contingent on his appearance and I don’t want him to feel it is.
        It’s also hard because of the gendered emotions and expectations around weight. I think I tie my self worth and value to my weight due to a lifetime of cultural pressure to be a thin woman, whereas my straight male partner doesn’t.

    • Eenie

      Asking him is a great first step. I think involving professionals could help – therapist, nutritionist, personal trainer, etc. Encourage him by setting aside some money each month to use some professional expertise to help him achieve his goal (reducing his knee pain).

      My husband recently got chosen for a program through work for wellness. It focuses on making good quality food choices and recognizing the different emotions and physical feelings of hunger. It’s a virtual health coach. He’s overweight and hates dieting. He’s enjoyed this program for the most part because it doesn’t focus on counting calories but changing tiny habits. It is really hard to change those tiny habits on your own.

  • Emily

    We officially set a move date! Back to the pacific northwest we go. This year is going to be bonkers though – a wedding, a European honeymoon, and a cross country move all in a year! Our credit cards our cowering! On the same point, this cross country move seems to much different because we’re going home – home to family, friends, and our people.

    I hope everyone had a fabulous week! 29 days til our wedding (and who’s counting?)!

    • LazyMountain

      Welcome back girl!!

    • Rebekah

      If it’s something you’re comfortable doing, you might look into playing the credit card game, opening a new one or two to get the bonuses since you know you’ll be spending the money anyway.

      CONGRATS on everything!

    • If you are looking for less expensive ways to move I used ABF U-pack to move from the US to Canada in 2009 and was really pleased. It was the least expensive option I could find at the time and it went really well. Good luck with this big year of change! And the wedding!

  • AGCourtney

    Opening weekend for the show I’m in went really well! All three shows were sold out. My in-laws are going tonight, so that will be fun. I didn’t work this week, so it was a great chance to catch up on things that have been dropped during all this busyness, like discovering that there was a *floor* underneath all that stuff, haha. Homeschooling is going great – the kiddo loves math and is cruising through the book and she just finished the second Magic Tree House book. I’m exhausted and still feel behind but generally things are going well.

    • Rebekah

      So glad homeschooling is going well! I was homeschooled from K-7th grade, and we got together weekly with a group of 4-5 other homeschooling families to do larger themed curriculum. It was awesome. Your daughter might really like the Peter Puzzlemaker books, since we did.

      • AGCourtney

        Thanks! I’ll have to look into those.

  • Zoya

    First time posting a question in Happy Hour! We’re two weeks away from our wedding (eeep!), and I’m having second thoughts about the chuppah. We were going to rent one from a local synagogue, but it turns out it’s heavy and a pain to transport and kind of expensive. Is it a terrible idea to last-minute-DIY a chuppah? I’m thinking something like this APW post (https://apracticalwedding.com/how-to-build-a-chuppah/), but maybe buying cheap-ish umbrella stands rather than messing around with concrete.

    Good idea? Bad idea? I’ve had so many DIY wild hairs throughout this process, and have followed through on almost none of them. But I also don’t want to pay a bunch of money for a chuppah we’re not happy with. What to do?

    • penguin

      If you have fabric for the top (or can get it pretty quickly), then you could definitely throw a chuppah together this weekend. I saw a DIY one online where they used thick wooden dowels for the poles, and a similar system for the bucket part.

      I’d weigh the cost against how much time you have to dedicate to this. Are you stressed and busy, and it’s worth throwing money at the problem (renting the chuppah from the synagogue) to solve it? Or do you have the time and inclination, and you’d rather make one?

      I’d also weigh the costs of DIY – unless you already have all the things, that won’t be free, so you can compare costs. Good luck!

    • NolaJael

      Absolutely doable!

      • NolaJael

        If you have room for the people, go for a “held” one rather than a stand alone base. Much easier to pull together and transport last minute.

    • Yael

      The reason you use concrete is because chuppahs are surprisingly heavy, and the weight at the top needs to be counter-balanced by the weight at the bottom. I worry that umbrella stands might not hold the poles securely enough or be heavy enough themselves to keep it upright. NolaJael recommended a held chuppah, and that would definitely work – and then just put it aside when you’re done!

      The other thing to think about with a chuppah is that it is big enough for people to stand under. We’re going to use a tallit for ours, but it’s going to be a large men’s tallit in order for the rabbi, A, myself, and the ketubah/glasses/wine to fit under. You can definitely buy a nice piece of fabric to use, but think about your dimensions!

  • MC

    Wish me luck y’all, on Monday I am going to ask for a raise! I’ve been at my workplace for 4 years and so far I’ve been lucky enough to never have to ask because my boss has been a huge advocate for me and has always given me raises before I’ve had to ask. Now I’m going to ask, and I know I deserve one, but I’m still a little nervous!

    • AP

      Good luck!! Sending all the vibes.

    • Kalë

      Good luck & positive vibes!

    • Jess

      Go you! Get that raise!

    • Cellistec

      Good luck! You got this!!

    • mjh

      Best of luck!

  • A.

    Ok, I’m going anon for this, but there was something I was hoping a few people might have an insight into. Today a facebook friend of mine (someone I know and like, but not particularly well) posted about a situation where, essentially, her depression caused her to not do something important, and then hide that from her spouse, until it had gotten to the point of having a very, very large and currently irreversible impact on their lives. They seem to be making it work out for them, and I honestly have tons of sympathy, it’s not that I want to blame her or anything. But I am also married to someone with depression, and I’ve been anxious about this story all day. In the past, there have been a couple of important financial things that my partner didn’t tell me about because of anxiety about it (this was before we were married, though, so a little bit different because our finances were more separate). It’s never actually had a major impact on us, and it hasn’t happened for years, so it’s not terribly rational to be worried about this happening in my relationship, but even just thinking about ending up in a situation like this friend is in has puts me seriously on edge. Has anyone else (particularly anyone who has a partner with depression and/or anxiety) dealt with this kind of indirect worry? Any wisdom? I don’t want to bring this up with my spouse, because it’s not like they’ve actually done anything to make me worry that this could be us, but I’m just anxious. It’s not like I can ever know for certain that they’re not keeping a major secret from me, so how do I let it go? I want to trust my partner, and most of the time I really do.

    • Jess

      Hi! I am a person with depression that ended up not renewing my car insurance or registration… and then got into an accident I was at fault for, totaling my car. I felt so. much. shame. that it took me a while to explain the details to R. But… he was really supportive. And now he reminds me when it’s about time to renew my insurance (kindly) and we’re looking at ways to combine our policies.

      If you think you can do it in a loving way, this is actually an ok thing to talk to your spouse about!

      You could say, “Hey, I found out recently that a friend is struggling with depression and [forgot to pay X bill, or whatever minor detail you feel can share]. This doesn’t seem like something we’re struggling with right now, but I just want you to know that if you ever need help doing something or forget to do something major, I am here for you and we will work through it together. I love you.”

      You could also ask if there are any areas he’s found particularly hard/daunting lately and talk through strategies to make those easier. That could be automating many of your payments and accounts so that it’s not a task to be managed or scheduling certain days to mow the lawn or whatever.

      Personally, when I’m worrying about nebulous things, I find it best to just talk about them or do something about them.

      • A.

        Thanks! Yeah, one of the previous things with my partner was a few insurance payments that were forgotten during a stressful time. We were just lucky that there were no health situations during those few months before enrollment opened again. And thanks for the suggestions for how to frame the conversation–in my head, a hypothetical conversation kept coming out as “Remember that thing that you did 3 years ago and haven’t done since? You can never do anything like that to me again!” which is obviously not a conversation that’s necessary or deserved or fair or helpful or good in any way (like, seriously, I know that I can’t say that, and the fact that that’s how I feel at the moment is pretty much my own thing to deal with, not actually about my partner). My spouse has also been putting in a lot of work in managing the depression (which is one of the reasons that my anxiety today isn’t very justified), so I may also frame it in the context of how grateful I am for that, and how much I appreciate that effort, and how it really does make me feel better to know that too.

        • Jess

          I love putting forward the gratitude too!

          Honestly if you frame it as being from someone else’s situation, being thankful that he’s doing so much work right now, and that you just want to remind him that if something were to happen, you’re a team, you’re golden.

          It sounds like a very reasonable and healthy conversation to have, and you can totally put it into a positive “Look at us, doing all this life stuff together” light!

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I mean, I don’t have any real advice, but I’m totally sending internet hugs and empathy! My husband suffers from bipolar disorder and severe ADHD, and even well managed, those things have a very real impact on our lives. Inconvenient but ultimately (relatively) minor things are just a fact of our day to day lives, and there’s ALWAYS that worry in the back of my mind that he’ll eventually screw up in some way that can’t be fixed.
      But…honestly, that’s life with anyone. I don’t have any massive mental health challenges, but I still screw up, too, and it’s totally possible that one day I could be the one who does some stupid thing that can’t be undone. Anyone could–mental health issues may increase the risk, but we’re all fallible, and part of having a spouse/SO is accepting the risk that one day they’ll do something that drastically impacts your life for the worse.
      Also, if it makes you feel any better, as a veteran of bad decision making, there are relatively few mistakes that are truly life ruining. Between my parents, my spouse, and myself, we could stamp just about every box in Bad Decision Bingo, and while some of those bad decisions have had lasting consequences, none of them have been particularly life ruining. (Month ruining? Yes. Year ruining? Yes. But life ruining? Nope.) Basically, unless you blow up the sun, morning will always come again.

      • A.

        Very true! Thanks for the reminders! It’s actually always been very easy to make me anxious with stories about difficult situations other people find themselves in (I can still remember the first time my parents explained to me how credit cards could lead to debt, using an unnamed friend of theirs as an example, and that idea really freaked me out at age 10 or so). But, just as these friends on facebook are making their situation work out, we could do that too.

        • A.

          And honestly this story would probably have made me mildly anxious even if I wasn’t married to someone with depression, which is a good reminder for me too that it’s not rational worry.

    • Jessica

      This is one of those situations where Meg’s advice of “Therapy is not just for the bad times” comes to mind. Having a space and a trained professional able to talk you through anxiety about your person’s stuff (whatever that stuff may be) can only be a good thing.

      • A.

        Definitely! I have been seeing a therapist about my anxiety for a few months now, and it’s definitely helping me.

    • emilyg25

      Also a person with mental illness that has led to huge, embarrassing mistakes and also think you should bring it up with your spouse in a kind, constructive way. Like what can we do to make sure we’re working together to take care of things because we’re a team and I’m here for you.

      • A.

        Thanks! It’s great to hear from some people who think that bringing it up a bit wouldn’t sound accusatory.

    • Kate

      Since your friend shared this in a pretty visible Facebook post, I would bring this up as “Wow I saw this story on SoandSo’s Facebook. That must’ve been so hard for them and it sounds like it got so much worse the longer she waited. Can we promise to tell each other right away if we do something like that? Like, we may not be happy with each other in the moment but how horrible to have something eating away at you like that.” Basically frame it as something that could happen to either one of you, because as NotMotherTheresa pointed out, people without mental health issues also fuck up.

    • Lisa

      You might also think about this not in terms of your husband’s previous mistake, but in terms of sharing your own fears and anxieties with your partner. The first time one of our friend-couples got divorced, we were both a bit shaken up and had a lot of heart-to-hearts about our their relationship, our own, etc. Mostly just giving each other love and reassurance while trying to support our friends. You might have a conversation about this friend and how it really shook you up, not because of your husband, but because it touched on some fears that you had buried. Framed in this way, as not having anything to do with your husband, he might be able to help, both in terms of the reassuring conversations you have but also in terms of some concrete steps that would prevent such a situation from happening.

      • A.

        Very true, that’s a good way to think about it.

    • ManderGimlet

      Honestly, my partner has no known/diagnosed mental illness and this still freaks me out! I think it’s a really smart idea for all couples to have regular (monthly/bi-monthly, whatever) financial meetings where everyone brings up their bank accounts and card statements and outstanding bills and you can assess together what your financial problem spots are, where you can budget better, and whether or not you are both on the same page or making assumptions about each others’ debt load (especially if you have separate accounts, credit cards, or loan debt). It can help BOTH of you have peace of mind about your financial goals, no one is in the hot seat, and has nothing to do with anyone’s depression or anything, it’s just a good habit to get into.

  • Kara E

    Discussion with my daughter this week that I HAD to share somewhere. Wedding attire (aka strapless dresses according to preschoolers):

    4 year old: Hey mom *giggle* Do you remember when [bride] didn’t have a shirt on? She only had a BRA on!
    But [groom] had on a suit. Like Daddy did. I like to dance.

    *Bride looked absolutely darling, but 4 year olds have opinions too!

  • Sad

    I’m struggling. In therapy but change is not happening quickly enough. I want to go more often but already going as much as schedule allows. Everything feels like a crisis all the time. Always a tense feeling in my chest. I’m safe and functional, but always distracted. Self care feels like a joke. What other options are there?

    • Amy March

      Meds. A conversation with your primary care doc. A pastor, if you’re religious.

    • Olive

      Hang in there, Sad, and maybe go check in with your doctor. Have you and your therapist talked about medication? It’s helped me so much and I’m very grateful to have a health team supporting me and my mental health.

      Best wishes!

      • Sad

        But meds take weeks to kick in, right? Don’t feel like I can wait that long

        • Olive

          they may, but there are also some that can work more quickly. I am on something I take daily but also something I take before meetings at work or when I’m especially anxious and nothing helps, which works in ~ 30 min.

          If you’ve been feeling like this for awhile, I wouldn’t let the thought that meds will take some time to kick in stop you from talking to your doctor and therapist about them.

        • Lisa

          Just chiming in that it definitely depends on the medication, and the timing/urgency is something to talk to your doctor or therapist about. And if it does take a bit of time, better to start now than decide weeks down the road and then still have to wait. I also wanted to chime in, because of the urgency you’re expressing, that checking yourself into a hospital is an option (and you can do this before it reaches emergency levels), so if you’re worried about self-harm and feel like you won’t last weeks without medication or outside help, you can be proactive about getting yourself the care you need. It’s a brave and good thing to take care of yourself, and the people that love you will be thankful.

        • Jess

          Exactly 12 weeks ago, I started taking Lexapro. For the 2-3 weeks immediately after I started, I got a little emotional boost that came from having done something, anything, to change how I was feeling, even if I didn’t hold much hope it would work.

          Over the last 4-6 weeks, I have gotten through multiple events that are extremely difficult for me with minimal distress. I still feel overwhelmed sometimes, but it’s for shorter periods and less intense and usually has a prompting event.

          I was extremely skeptical of meds, but right now I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to talk to my therapist and my primary care physician and they were both on board and ready to change if it wasn’t compatible with me.

          I will try to find my HH post where I asked for good experiences to encourage me to ask for them and link to it here.

    • Sara

      Really sorry that you’re going through this. I find physical activity and getting outside the best things for an immediate boost in mood. I know you might not be up to that right now. I hope things get better soon. Internet solidarity fist bump.

    • emilyg25

      Have you talked about this with your therapist? It may be time to see a psychiatrist or your PCP for meds.

    • Jess

      Hi Sad. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this right now.

      I was in that place up until very recently, and I know what it is to wonder if there’s a bottom you’re ever going to hit or if things are just going to keep getting worse.

      I posted a bit below about medication steps that I am taking, but I want you to know that you are not alone where you are. It is not your fault and it’s ok that you feel like this right now. I want you to know that things aren’t always going to stay here, and if you want I can post an e-mail address where you can reach out to me more.

      In the short term (meds & therapy are long term), is there any way you can get out of your immediate life? Take a short weekend away in a new place with someone who loves you? Is there something you used to enjoy doing that you haven’t done recently? Do you have someone who can sit with you this weekend, even if it’s just to watch netflix and eat popcorn and take out and maybe not say anything while you cry?

    • sage

      Just chiming in to say I have been there. It sucks so much and I’m sorry you’re going through this. Keep going to therapy. As others have said you might want to talk to a doctor about medication. It really helped me get out of a tough place that felt just like you are describing. It took a few weeks to kick in fully but was such a relief and help to get me through it and back to my normal self.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    So if your instinct upon seeing a picture of a newborn [biracial] baby for the first time isn’t to say something like, “How cute/sweet/etc!” but instead to raise your eyebrows and slowly remark, “Oh wow, she’s DARK,” maaaaaybe re-think all of your instincts, mmkay?

    Not even a month old and I can already make note of Baby’s First Microaggression. Christ.

    • emilyg25

      Whoa.

    • Jessica

      wtf???? That’s so shitty!

    • penguin

      Ugh that’s terrible. Literally the only response to seeing a new baby should be something along the lines of “Aw so cute”.

    • BSM

      UGH WHYYYYYYY

      (I know why.)

    • Kate

      Really hope your reply was “Oh wow, you’re RUDE.”

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        My husband was there and it was actually his co-worker (so no scorched earth response like I wanted), so he dealt with it. He just on a quick smile, pointed at the skin on his arm and said, “Yup.”

        As a brown man, it was not *his* first time at the rodeo, unfortunately. The woman was chastened but not nearly enough for my mama bear-ness.

        • Jessica

          WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

        • S

          The fact that it was HIS coworker makes this so much weirder! I thought you meant you took the baby somewhere by yourself. Like…his coworker forgot your husband wasn’t white? While he was there in front of her eyes? What?

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Ha, yeah, right? We both went to a real Happy Hour with his co-workers (baby was with my mom – yay social interaction!) and we showed a picture. I guess because I’m white and this lady is white, she really just defaults to…white? It was like it was the only thing she could think of to say. I don’t know, man.

            Either way, you’d be shocked at how often things like this happen to him; it’s absurd. It would almost be fascinating if it wasn’t so weird (and awful.) I mean, this is a guy who’s been jumped by neo-Nazis, so honestly, he mostly takes things like this in stride when it only impacts him. But now we’re obviously both more concerned with how to shield our daughter from it as much as possible. We thought we had a little more time!

          • S

            I’m so sorry, that sounds so rough.

    • MC

      UGH, I’m so sorry, that is awful.

    • Laura C

      I heard a story about the white grandmother of a half-Indian baby saying repeatedly “his balls are so brown!” to the point where the baby’s Indian father said “in case you’re wondering, my balls are brown, too.” (When I say I heard this story, I mean it. That is not my mother, baby, or husband.)

      • Alli

        If anyone in my family was so fixated on my baby’s genitals I’d be so freaked out omg

        • BSM

          We aren’t circumcising and are just waiting for that first diaper change from the grandparents/extended family. People are strangely concerned with babies’ genitals.

          • Ashlah

            We’re still deciding, but leaning towards not, and I am so dreading that conversation with my mother. She still talks about what a “mistake” it was for my aunt to not circumcise her son thirty years ago. Her opinion has no bearing on our decision, but I hate that it’s going to be our responsibility to educate her (and hope it works or shut down the topic altogether).

          • Jessica

            She’s talking about her adult nephew’s penis, still??? That’s not cool. I’m sure he’s fine.

          • CP2011

            I used to have a coworker who told me not one but TWO separate stories about her 36 year old son’s penis. It was very strange.

          • Jessica

            I’m so uncomfortable just hearing that she did that, not even hearing the stories.

          • CP2011

            Yeah…especially considering that she also once told me about how several of her family tree branches were “intertwined”…leading to her first cousins essentially having chronic health issues to due inbreeding.
            I mean, textbook oversharer in that regard.

          • Jessica
          • Ashlah

            I know! It’s beyond ridiculous!

          • BSM

            Do you need to educate her? We haven’t had anyone express any opinions about it one way or another, but, if/when it comes up, we plan on just shutting down the conversation. It’s none of their business and not up for discussion.

          • Ashlah

            I suppose it’s up to us how far into we want to get! I think we would be open to some attempt to educate her (e.g. it’s not inherently unhygienic), but if she isn’t receptive, then we’ll just tell her our decision has been made and it’s not up for discussion. For people further outside our circle, definitely a blanket shutdown is in the cards. She’s shown an ability to be open-minded about other topics, but can also be hard-headed at times, so I think it’s a wait and see approach.

          • Mary Jo TC

            Has your cousin weighed in on whether it was a “mistake” or not? His body

          • Ashlah

            Oh she’s never brought it up in front of him, thank god! Not that discussing his body behind his back is much better, of course. My mom has no rhyme or reason to feel any way about it on his behalf other than her pre-conceived opinions about circumcision.

          • emilyg25

            We didn’t either and my normally reasonable mom would not let it go. Ugh.

          • BSM

            Ughhh. I would like to think no one will care (no one has expressed any feelings about it either way), but I can just feel it coming. And, ya know, family.

          • Ilora

            I was 7 or 8 months pregnant at our most recent Christmas Staff Party and got to enjoy my inebriated boss declaring that it’s cruel etc to not circumcise boys…It really caught me off guard as we are Canadian and as far as I can tell circumcision is much less common here than in the US. I really didn’t feel like getting involved in that “conversation” since I was actively trying to leave asap, but we already knew we were having a boy and not planning on circumcision. Fortunately the chances are very slim, but I actually work in childcare so there is a real possibility that my boss will at some point discover that fact…

      • Jess

        omg, that response. I love it so much.

    • Jess

      Holy. Hell.

    • rg223

      YEP. Not the same race combination or comment, but microaggression at under a month old: check.

    • UGH. Horrifying… That’s so completely unacceptable, I’m sorry. Some people reeeeealllly need a freakin’ mute button (and we all urgently need to live in a world without institutionalized racial oppression. But also, mute button).

    • HarrietVane

      Yuck, that’s awful.

    • mjh

      Ridiculous.

      When my [Black] goddaughter was born, my friend posted some pics on fb and got the usual likes and sweet comments. When mom and baby were running errands, they ran into one of mom’s casual friends (friend is also Black) who saw her and said “She’s not nearly as dark skinned as she looks in the facebook pictures! She’s beautiful!”

      What.the.fuck.

      • Ilora

        WHAT!?!?!

    • Ilora

      WTF?!? Why are people so terrible? There’s a milestone you don’t see in the baby books. :/

  • Kate

    How do y’all work on your relationships with younger (teenaged) siblings and older siblings? I’ve been working on how to connect with several of my sisters better. We don’t live in the same state. I realize that I need to cave and get Snapchat to communicate with the younger ones (who knew texting was passé?). Older sibling is incredibly busy with career (we talk on the phone so rarely that she thinks it’s a family emergency when I do) and a very private person so I’ve tried sending catch-up emails but since the last one petered out I’m not sure that’s the best way. How do you keep in touch with siblings?

    • CA

      Commenting because I also have older and younger siblings that live in different cities and would like to hear answers to this. The younger ones (one in college, one in high school) both play and follow sports so I text them about that stuff a lot and that works pretty well. Occasional snaps but I am really terrible at it. Older brother and I have a complicated relationship and on top of that he is exceptionally awkward on the phone (easily distracted, one-word answers to everything), so we only manage infrequent calls. We also have a siblings WhatsApp group chat that we use in spurts. The upcoming wedding has also been a good motivator of increased sibling conversation since all three of them have significant roles in our ceremony.

      • Sibling WhatsApp is the best. Changing from individual sisters to texting both really helped now that I live long distance. I also group text them pictures of any fancy outfit I’m wearing bc the younger one likes clothes and stuff and can help out. But I find that a sibling chat helps feel like you are all keeping in contact without as much pressure for an individual to respond bc usually someone will respond. (We also have a family whatsapp and a cousin whatsapp which is pretty useful for feeling in contact with fam)

        • Anne

          Yes! It was a big moment when my dad created the “Family+” chat that includes FH and my older brother’s long-term SO – we use that one a lot and I think it has been really helpful for figuring out our “new family” dynamics.

          • Lexipedia

            Yep – I love the thread that is FI’s parents and brother, plus me, plus brother’s girlfriend. She and I are also just better texters so it means we all actually get to see pictures of their new apartment, or sports games, or pictures of us on vacation, and our kittens.

    • Mary Jo TC

      My siblings and I and our significant others have a facebook group and a group chat on facebook messenger that we use, mostly to share pictures of our kids. I probably need to join them on snapchat and instagram as well, but I can’t get past the idea of snapchat being designed to make sexting pics disappear, and I’m afraid instagram will exacerbate my body image issues. I always feel like the odd one out, because I’m the only one who doesn’t live in or near our hometown.

      • Eenie

        I forget that Snapchat was originally marketed for that. Almost all of the snaps I send are of my two cats to my husband.

    • bee

      Snapchat, hands down. Funny things you see, cute videos of your pet/child etc are a great way to open communication. It’s easier the more you use it and my family has a group we use. So fun!

    • Jenny

      My high school friends and I ahve started using voxer, which is basically a way to leave little short voice updates! Since we are on different coasts and have incompatible times we are all free, it’s nice. I can leave a short little hey happy monday, how as your weekend message, and it feels so much more personal because you can hear voices. And it’s nice to have it all in a group chat because someone is always picking up the slack if we’ve got a few days without a message, which then prompts everyone to do mini updates. I can do it when I’m walking or waiting. You can also send pics or texts.

  • Jessica

    Thanks again to Rage Squad! Update: I have filed, served and am prepping the house for hosting 3 undergrad math students in mid-August to help out a board member and to make some extra cash. The first thing I did though was my bedroom once I realized the gifted king-sized mattress could fit in there. See below for the transformation! I love that I did not have to double check with anyone or think about what anyone else would think of the color, and fought hard to get pink sheets from West Elm. A special shoutout to @BSM114:disqus for helping make this comfier!

    I had an excellent time in D.C., my friend really showed me an excellent time, fed me a lot of amazing food (including macarons!) and we went to the cat cafe, so life is good. This week I met up with a few different friends who were all happily surprised at how well I’m doing, and I’m glad that I don’t have to see concern on their faces anymore.

    As far as work goes, I have picked up a few extra hours of contract work for a new non-profit in my neighborhood, am thinking of getting a 2 bedroom apartment and just doing airbnb for the second bedroom instead of a room mate, and have a few other side gigs to bring up my cash flow. Soon-to-be-ex-husband has given me a lot of shit about paying for shared expenses–apparently I have “incurred cost upon him” by not letting him stay in the house or use the car. Boo fucking hoo, dude. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1982f0d879dc6d2a82a78f0992dd22044ccdb889e59db758b3f959054be06750.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44a7edbfa00126c1282e1f31aa6b644faf82eb8c505a14c8d1eff7813e36b905.jpg

    • penguin

      Boo fucking hoo indeed! Good for you, glad you’re doing well. Also your bedroom looks awesome and comfy.

    • Jess

      I agree – boo fucking hoo.

      Your bedroom looks so comfy and happy! I love the floating shelving and sheets! And I’m glad the DC trip was a blast and you got to get out of your space for a while.

    • Yay for the bedroom!

    • Violet

      He can cry me a river. Glad to hear you’re having a good week!

    • Rose

      Your comment about enjoying not having to check with anyone made me think about this song about some of joys of being divorced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrK0l3B08v8.

      • Jessica

        The title track on that album is one of my favorite songs! So good.

        • Rose

          Me too! I narrowly missed seeing Rhiannon Giddens live this spring, and I’m still sad about it.

    • Kate

      I hope you starfish really hard on that new king bed every night.

      • Jessica

        There’s a lot of jumping/falling onto it, because the frame is lower than the previous bed. It’s sooo comfy!

    • BSM

      Pink sheets! And I love your bed frame!!

      You’re awesome.

    • sofar

      “Incurred cost upon him” lol. Sometimes badguys have problems admitting they’re the badguys.

      If I EVER became the kind of person to cheat on my husband, I think the guilt alone would make me say, “Take everything, I don’t deserve to have money anymore.”

      • Jessica

        He did, after asking if I was divorcing him (duh, dude), say that I could have most of the money, the car, the pets, but he wanted the house.

        Due in part to the work I do, the home value has been raised significantly and we can both walk away with a tidy sum if we sell. He is not just taking the house.

        I am just taking the pets.

        • ART

          Yeah…that is what good lawyers can help with! He doesn’t “just” get to decide aaanything right now!

        • Amy March

          “You take the pets, I’ll just casually hang onto our greatest asset.” Um. No.

      • toomanybooks

        Yeah, he incurred that cost upon himself.

    • EllieS

      If you live in a university town/urbana area by a medical school, I highly recommend the site rotatingroom.com for temporary tenants. If you aren’t affiliated with a university, you pay a super reasonable fee and get medical students on rotation. They’re always working and generally dedicated, which makes them easy roommates, and they only stay for 6 weeks. It beats the hassle of always having transitory folks and I always got more requests than I could handle. Good luck!

      • Jessica

        Thank you so much!

    • toomanybooks

      Yesssss team Pink Sheets! I’m upgrading to a king (have been heavily researching for a plush memory foam mattress – what kind do you have?) and in preparation I went shopping for sheets at BB&B. Found a 1000 thread count king pink sheet set on clearance!! I’m so excited. (I may already have a collection of memory foam pillows with pink silk cases, because I am an extremely difficult sleeper.)

      • Mjh

        In case you happen to be reading this a couple days later, I’ll throw in a shout out for memory foam mattresses from Costco. I have a novaform king mattress from Costco and I *love* it. They’re super reasonably priced for what they are (~$500 for a king) and usually come on sale once or twice a year for a few bucks off, they’re sold vacuum packed into a box so you can get one without needing a truck/van/to time it on the roof of your car, and at least mine is so comfortable.

        As a con, I’d say to keep in mind that it will likely smell weird for the first day or few days as it expands and off gasses. I’ve heard that from other memory foam mattress brands, too. Having heard that before buying mine, when I got mine, I opened the windows and planned on sleeping in another room for a few days. Mine was done in one day.

        The other thing is that I’ve seen discussion online about health issues from memory foam mattresses. Neither I nor my spouse have had any issues with that, and I certainly hope it isn’t a concern. It seemed like a good thing for my health as it helps my back. Just felt like I should mention that concern in case you haven’t heard it before.

    • Your bedroom looks great! And that’s super about the ways you’ve picked up (and plan to pick up) some extra income!

    • mjh

      Bedroom looks great!

      And let me pile on to that boo fucking hoo. Seriously.

  • Sara

    I’m putting together a first trimester care package for a pregnant friend and looking for suggestions. I’ve been trying to think of things that will be helpful/comforting without being upsetting if the package arrives after a miscarriage (hopefully that won’t happen but just in case).

    • emilyg25

      Lemon hard candies and water crackers. If you do anything scented, lemon, ginger and mint are the nicest for nausea.

      • Sara

        Thank you!

    • ellabynight

      This would make it a bit heavier to pack, but maybe a bottle or two of some fancy non-alcoholic beverages?

      • Sara

        Yes! Thank you!

      • ART

        Great idea – I have been treating myself to fancier drink options because a) no cocktails and b) having to drink so much water has turned me into one of those people that gets sick of regular water.

    • ART

      I liked gummy bears – pretty innocent, flavor- and meaning-wise. Actually any gummies (TJ’s mango mango, cinnamon bears, sour patch kids) have been kind of good at keeping me a little stable (although I wound up taking pills recommended by my NP for nausea and those were the real helpers). I really love Burt’s Bees Mama Bee body oil (strong lemon scent), but I understand if it’s not the kind of thing you want to send just in case. Maybe a nice lotion and those fluffy spa socks?

      • Sara

        Thanks so much!

    • notquitecece

      this is super sweet of you!

    • Yet another Meg

      Peppermints or other hard candy. I found them super helpful with first trimester nausea.

  • CMT

    Anybody have any specific Pittsburgh recommendations? Things to do and places to eat? I’ll be there for a week starting tomorrow.

    • louise danger

      national aviary, if you like birds :) they have many, and an indoor free-flight show. i did a behind-the-scenes day there which was AWESOME.

    • rg223

      I’ll be in Pittsburgh this weekend! I grew up there! I feel like I might have recommended things to you before, but I like the Warhol Museum and the Matress Factory (both modern art), the Natural History Museum (great dinosaur exhibits, better than NYC where I live now), Primanti Brothers (classic Pittsburgh sandwich topped with French fries and coleslaw, if you’re into that). Take a ride on the incline too!

      • CMT

        Thanks! I think I did mention it before here and I should have saved all the answers then.

  • louise danger

    the invitations are all addressed and going in the mail tomorrow! yay! please think good thoughts for us – tomorrow is the anniversary of a catastrophic flood sweeping through the town/neighborhood where our reception is scheduled to be held, and there’s a flood watch again this year. here’s hoping our venue doesn’t wash away again. :( we started making pompoms though and that was fun and silly. 10/10 would recommend yarn pompoms as a simple and adorable DIY project for centerpieces (or garlands, or whatever).

    we got our first wedding gift, with strict “do not open this” instructions – but it came in a branded box so we peeked at the registry and tl;dr we have something new for the kitchen :3 we haven’t opened it yet so i don’t know which of two things it might be. exciting! really excited.

    i have an alfred angelo dress and was not in danger of not being able to get it from a store, but was left adrift in terms of alterations. put out a call on facebook and my theater/performing arts people pulled through – $40 and less than a week later, my dress is altered and life is good!

    in less-good news, we told the deacon that we’d like to have the retired priest from our parish officiate (with the deacon co-celebrating) and although we’ve sent two emails over a week and a half (coming up on three weeks), he is… kind of ghosting us? which feels UGH. we called the parish office but were told “he doesn’t work out of the rectory much, email is the best way to reach him.” /deep and abiding sigh

    • CA

      Is “do not open until the wedding” a thing for gifts? We are getting a lot of gifts shipped to us (because we live across the country from where our wedding is taking place), so we have just been opening and sending thank-you notes promptly as we receive them. I hope our guests aren’t annoyed that I didn’t even consider waiting 5 weeks to try our new InstantPot…not to mention being able to do the thank-yous a few at a time has been really mentally helpful for us.

      • anon for this

        We opened gifts as we received them and apparently some people thought it was terribly tacky but umm it’s pretty impossible not too. A lot of those gifts came in Amazon boxes so it’s not like we could have told them a part from anything else we bought on Amazon.

        • HarrietVane

          It would just be unfeasible not to open promptly, what with engagement + wedding gifts piling up, 1 little plate per box.

      • louise danger

        no idea, haha. this box is from his parents and they were like “NO PEEKING” so i have been forbidden from looking inside. which is… frustrating (THOSE ARE USEFUL, NEEDFUL THINGS dangit) but also sweet i guess.

      • AGCourtney

        I don’t think so. My understanding is that people like to know it arrived safely!

      • Jess

        R seemed to think it was, so it may be a regional/cultural thing?

      • CP2011

        I don’t think so. People want you to enjoy the gift I’d think! If they really cared about it being opened after the wedding i think they’d bring it to the wedding, not ship it 5 weeks before.

        • CA

          Well, it is a little more complicated because we have a very carefully worded website note requesting that guests not bring physical gifts to the wedding (because we live a plane ride away). Some are definitely going to do it anyway but we wanted to try to minimize. Regardless, if they are sending something this far out I feel like opening has to be somewhat expected.

      • jem

        We’re doing the same thing as you (opening & thanking). MIL was over for dinner and told us it was unlucky and we just shrugged and passed her the (new!) charcuterie board.

      • KPM

        Usually I hear “don’t use until after the wedding,” which is always “in case you have to return to the sender because the wedding didn’t happen” I was brazen and did use a few items (hehe!) because I wasn’t keeping boxes everywhere but was glad I didn’t break into everything because I ended up post-wedding returning a few things to the store for exchanges (swapped sheet colors, etc.)

        I wasn’t as on top of my thank you as I meant to be but it’s totally fine to send those as soon as the gift arrives. I think the very first few gifts got them ahead, but most arrived within a month of the wedding and I didn’t send out thank yous for all those until we had pictures back and could include.

      • Ella

        I would have said yes, so probably a cultural thing. I wouldn’t open any present before the thing it was for (birthday, Christmas, wedding…)

    • Yay for theatre people! :) And I hope it works out with the priest!

  • NotMotherTheresa

    One of my good friends just got back from a surprise birthday trip to Nantucket with her family. It looked delightful, and I’m thrilled for her, because she’s a great person, and I love for her life to be great.
    But…it’s hard not to feel envious.
    The most touching birthday I ever had was one year in college, when a couple of my friends surprised me with a cake from Wal-Mart.
    I have a nice life. My friends are lovely. My spouse is wonderfully devoted. My parents…well, they have good intentions. I live in a comfortable house, and I get to drive a nice car, and I never truly have to want for anything. Trust me, I get that I’m extremely fortunate!
    Still, it always stings a bit when I see how often other people get to have ~special~ days, because that is one thing I’ve never really had in my life! Every year, this friend’s parents go all out for making her birthday fantastic. Her graduation party was comparable to my wedding. I know her family has their own issues, but for goodness sakes, my own loved ones can’t be bothered to buy me a cake for my birthday unless I specifically tell them to (and even then, it’s hit or miss–I’ve had a cake raincheck for the last two years)!
    There is no point to this post, but I just had to get those feelings out. I casually broached the subject with my husband, but he just blew it off and inadvertently made me feel selfish for even thinking about something so frivolous. So, randomly shouting into the internet it is;)

    • penguin

      If it’s important to you, it’s worth talking to your husband about it again. It’s not unreasonable to want a cake on your birthday, and maybe something else special.

      • Jessica

        Agreed! Wasn’t there recently an article from Meg or Maddie about asking for things you want? It’s a process, but you need to express your desire in order for it to be fulfilled if it depends on other’s actions.

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry. I make a big fucking deal out of my birthday, so you don’t sound unreasonable to me at all. I do think you should try broaching it with your husband again. Sounds like he could do something pretty easy (cake and dinner) and you’d feel special.

    • (Because I love my birthday), I always make sure people know it is coming by reminding them frequently. But, my mom said a lot that if you want people to remember your birthday, you have to remind them, so I mention it A LOT before my birthday comes up. (She is maybe not good at remembering birthdays and wanted a double-check to make sure she didn’t forget her children’s birthdays?)

      I did have to tell my husband (multiple times) that I want cake and candles and singing on my birthday (I didn’t the first year because I thought it would be silly if it was just the two of us and it felt sad). But I also remind people a lot when my birthday is coming up and say what kind of cake I want (because on your birthday, you get to DECIDE what kind of cake you want (my family is big into desserts and I always wanted a type of pie that we never got the rest of the time because only I like it).

    • Capybara

      I feel you so hard on this one. I have a great life, but little things, like going to my fiance’s cousin’s graduation party, or seeing all the pictures of my cousin (my age) on my aunt and uncle’s walls, or even hearing that “when you get engaged, people are going to want to throw you a party!” (what?) just sting more than I’d like to admit. I tell my fiance but there’s not really anything she can do except make soothing noises in my direction, and I don’t tell anyone else because I’m afraid they’ll judge me as “small.” So I feel you, I really, really do.

      • Jess

        Those are real hurts, though. They don’t sound “small” to complain about.

        If your friends don’t know that your family isn’t pulling through, can you tell them? Would they come through for you in their place?

        I know it’s not specifically about the party, but if I knew a friend was feeling let down by not having her family throw her a party, I would throw her a damn good engagement party.

        • Capybara

          I’ve been thinking about your comment for a while now, and I’m… not sure? My 3 closest friends (my groom party) all live in different cities and don’t know each other. And they all have a laundry list of ways in which their own parents were unsupportive of their wedding/marriage. So when I tell them how I’m feeling, they’re great at empathizing, but it also makes me wonder if having parents who are excited for you getting married is the exception, not the rule. I also have a Friend Group I’ve started to get close to locally. They like me, I like them, and they think me and the fiance are stinkin’ cute together. I’ve mentioned my parents being difficult before, but I don’t think it would occur to any of them to throw a party. Maybe I can ask for their help hosting something? Actually, that’s starting to sound like a good idea. Thanks for helping me think out loud. <3

    • theteenygirl

      I do not really celebrate my birthday. I don’t really look forward to it, I don’t really care about it, I don’t make a big deal about it. But that’s because my parents never did either. My mum’s birthday is Christmas eve and so they never celebrated her birthday growing up. My dad came from a not well off family and they genuinely forgot what day his birthday was, so they never celebrated him either. So that kind of got passed on to me. Even as someone who doesn’t care about their birthday, it still kind of stings when I see people have big parties and lots of friends to celebrate. Not because I want it for myself, but because it’s hard to see someone have such an outward display of love and friendship when you don’t celebrate anything that’s comparable. Hard to explain, but that’s how I feel.

      Having said that, many of my friends LOVE their birthday so you better believe I’m right there with them baking cakes and finding the perfect present and showing up to sing/scream happy birthday at them in restaurants. But that is because they told me that’s what they wanted, so maybe try being more straightforward?

    • MC

      I am also a person who makes a big deal out of my birthday, because I love it. I’ve learned over the years that everything goes much more smoothly if I take the lead in building up the excitement for it. I remind people constantly and plan whatever party or celebration I want and mention it far in advance of officially inviting people. I don’t love surprises (they stress me out) and I feel better knowing that I’ve planned something I’ll love; however, I do ask my husband to surprise me with small things, like gifts or the flavor of cake he picks out, which sound small but help me feel like he was thinking of me.

      All this to say, don’t feel embarrassed or shamed for wanting to celebrate your birthday! You can recognize your privilege and be grateful for all that you have and still want to have a fun celebration every once in awhile. But especially if it’s something you’ve never expressed to folks before, you might have to start acting excited so that people follow suit.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        I’m actually loving the idea of planning it myself but leaving ~something~ for my husband to surprise me with!
        That’s always one of my challenges–on some level, I’m a control freak, so I don’t love BIG surprises, but at the same time, it never feels as special when I have to do/plan every. single. little. thing. Designating a small area where I want to be surprised sounds like a great compromise!

        • MC

          Haha yep this is me. Our first year living together I asked my husband to just plan everything for my bday weekend, thinking it would take the planning stress off my plate, but then I was just stressing about what he was planning, whether or not I would like it, etc. Turns out surprises are not my thing!

    • CMT

      I feel you. I normally don’t make a big deal about my birthday, but this year I was feeling pretty down about life in general and decided that yes, actually I did want it to be a BFD. So I invited A BUNCH of people over (like, way more than I would normally do) and I talked about my birthday A LOT in the week leading up to it. That’s also something I never usually do. It felt pretty weird to me, but it worked! My birthday party had great turn out, people seemed really happy to be celebrating me (I also usually hate being the center of attention), and I had an awesome time. But I did do all that myself, and my family is the same as yours. They do not make a big deal of holidays or birthdays or special occasions, either.

    • Rose

      If it’s important to you, it’s important. Seriously. You don’t have to have logical reasoning for why you want something, it’s ok to just want it. And if it’s important enough for you to bring it up, it’s important enough for your husband to listen. And I don’t think you’re selfish at all! I think your feelings are totally understandable! I would totally feel the same way myself.

      If your real desire is for someone else to take on the planning/expense, then your only option may be to tell your partner that you’d really like him to do something (which is totally reasonable). But if what you really want is a trip, or a party, or cake, you also shouldn’t feel bad about making it happen yourself. I generally plan my own birthday celebrations and bake my own cake, because my partner really never would get around to doing much of anything about it if left to her own devices, and I don’t mind doing it myself. So that’s definitely also an option!

    • Gaby

      I think my friends and I have gotten more and more enthusiastic about each others’ birthdays throughout the years and it’s really nice. It’s kind of expected now that we will be doing some activity/ies of choice the weekend closest to each person’s birthday. We’ve done bingo, bowling, dinners, drag brunches etc. I think you can become the trendsetter for your social circle and make it happen! I used to also feel like this stuff was frivolous, but it really is nice to feel special and loved for one day, regardless of how fortunate your life may be.

    • Jess

      Broach the subject less casually. This is bothering you, and your comment sounds sad.

      Having a cake and a dinner reservation [or gift or card or whatever] for your birthday is a specific, reasonable thing that you would like to have happen. It is not frivolous if it would make you feel loved. Ask for it, with gumption.

    • Cellistec

      We do special occasions big in my family, and yet I still completely understand how hard it is to ask for something you want.

      That said, if you were to send me your address I would 100% seriously send you a birthday cake. I am not even kidding. No pressure…just wanted to throw that out there. :)

      • NotMotherTheresa

        I would never ask you to do that, but there are no words for how much it means that you’re offering! I think you just made my day:)

    • Kate

      One of my favorite things to do for my birthday, particularly when I’ve been in short supply of local friends is that I go elementary-school style and bring my coworkers or classmates donuts or cupcakes. It’s like a reverse surprise party, I show up in the morning and say “GUESS WHAT IT IS MY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE GETS DONUTS!” Sometimes it turns out all your community college classmates are weekend warriors who won’t eat donut holes and then you just hand them out to appreciative strangers all day.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Hahaha, I actually always did this back in high school! I may have to bring the tradition back:)
        Also, what kind of monster turns down donut holes?!?!?! I will NEVER value fitness that much!!!!!

        • Kate

          Riiiiight? This last Valentine’s Day I gave out Fun Dip candy, sparkly temporary tattoos and those capsules that turn into foam animals when you put them in water (with explicit instructions not to eat). Even if you’re surrounded by party poopers you get to take the rest home/hand it out on public transportation.

      • I love this! This could help “train” people around you to see your birthday as more of a big deal too ;)

      • Laura

        this is totally the rule in my office and my husbands (separate) office. that way nobody gets forgotten, bday person gets what they like, and it’s all good :)

    • Kat

      I think this is also possibly a Love Languages thing? I am really into gestures. I love picking out meaningful gifts and baking birthday cakes and planning dinners to celebrate other people, but the thing about my friend group is that I really fill that “mom” roll and no one else shows their love that way so I sometimes accidentally set myself up for disappointment. It”s something I need to work on personally, but IN THEORY we should be able to have an open and honest conversation about our expectations and what we need to feel appreciated and loved. I’ll get back to you if I ever manage to actually have those conversations without feeling petty.

      • bee

        I was going to say this (until I read the edit). My family is more the quality time and doing things for each other variety. I know I always have a ride to the airport, but birthdays aren’t a huge deal, if that makes sense.

    • KPM

      I agree with everyone about the importance of making your needs known, and I think another conversation with your husband is definitely smart. Tell him you want to celebrate your birthday.

      But unlike the ‘I need you to notice when dishes are piled up’ or ‘I need you to say “that must suck” when I vent not just suggest things I should change” this is one where it will be FUN for you to just take the reins. Decide what is something that would make you feel celebrated and plan for it. Buy a cake to bring to your office. Call a friend and ask to meet up for birthday drinks. Book dinner with your husband. Start celebrations you like as a model and even if he doesn’t “get” the reason for celebrating, he can come celebrate with you.

      And next birthday, get on APW HH and say ITS MY BIRTHDAY! And we’ll send you gifs of cute cats or Ellen dancing or whatever you want.

    • G.

      I hear you. My birthday was this week and the combination of being single + moving a lot really hit this year. The only way anything was going to happen was if I planned it, and then only a couple of colleagues could make it. Not that numbers are everything, but I’d really love a birthday celebration that I didn’t have to to plan/coordinate/make happen. Doesn’t have to be a big deal — dinner or a cake would suffice — but that still requires people who know you to be available to do it (e.g., my family and closest friends are not local to me, so asking them isn’t really a viable option). No tips, just commiseration and empathy.

      • Happy belated birthday to you! I hope this is a good year for you. (And birthdays can be hard and disappointing….and I think moving a lot can make it hard in a lot of ways too because loved ones are spread out in so many places…)

        • G.

          Thank you! Yeah, it’s really the moving so much (for work) that has made it harder as I get older. I have awesome friends, they’re just not nearby and thus hard to corral for something like a birthday…

    • penguin

      In response to the edit – couples therapy could help you guys (both) work on asking for/talking about what you want. Best of luck!!

  • ART

    Update on my upcoming anatomy ultrasound – so it turns out that in addition to my mom deciding to come, my brother decided to come, unbeknownst to me (also at no time did either of them ASK if they could come…) so I got really annoyed when he just casually mentioned this week that he’d be there. Even though I’d already gotten the green light from a midwife to bring family members, I told them both they’d have to wait until the very end (after, you know, the medical exam part of it where they are carefully measuring a grainy blob to make sure everything looks OK) and could come in and get a look then if the tech is willing to show them cute stuff for a minute. If my mom wasn’t flying into town for the occasion I would have put the brakes on the whole thing.

    Also I got a fun new symptom yesterday, knee and elbow hives/eczema/something causing itchy red spots. It calmed down after a few hours, an oatmeal bath, and finally a benadryl. I hate itching so much!

    • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

      Family is the best, isn’t it? I’m 6 weeks, and just told my mom yesterday, and her first comment was “Oh, I’m so excited to be in the delivery room with you!” umm, what now? scuse me? she insisted that i’ll want her in there when the time comes. I will for SURE be having a conversation with the hospital staff about who gets in that room, lol.

      • ART

        What?! Calm down, mom! Yeah I feel like we will have to deal with some of that, too…starting to plan for it. Congratulations!

        • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

          Right? Crazyness. Congrats to you too!!

      • bee

        Hahaha my mom knows better 😜

      • Yet another Meg

        So my mom was the same way, and I was adamant that I didn’t want her there…but in the end I did let her in the delivery room, and was really glad she was there. All of which is to say, I hear you on the being exasperated by the assumption, but depending on your relationship with her, it might surprise you/be a good thing in the end. I should point out that I was well into it before I said yes to letting her in however.

        • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

          That’s a good point, and I hear you about being glad to have her in there. We have a good relationship, and I might actually want her there in the end, I was just exasperated that that was literally the first thing out of her mouth, lol. Eventually, she moved on, but it was just funny.

      • Jenny

        I was glad my mom was there for labor (it gave my husband a chance to go get some food- I couldn’t eat and didn’t want people eating in front of me, and also didn’t want to be alone). But she ended up suggesting that she was going to step out during the pushing/when it got close so that we could have that time together as a new family. Originally we’d planned to have it be just us for an hour or so and I thought it would just be this nice time for husband and I to hold the baby and absorb the holy shit we are parents now moment, but it was so hectic with a million people coming in to weigh and measure and give us information on ???? (hopefully not important stuff because I don’t remember). So I basically was like, husband, can you go get my mom, she might as well join the crazy! Definitely worth thinking about and talking over with your spouse though, and no matter what you decide let your people know that you may change your mind or need something different once everything gets started.

    • BSM

      Oy, well, kudos to you for being so flexible. I don’t think I’d be comfortable having anyone come to the anatomy scan with us, in case we got difficult news (which we kinda did, although it’s cleared up now, thankfully).

      • ART

        I think I’ll have to have a talk with them tomorrow about like…what is the point of this scan and how do we ask ART about baby stuff before making assumptions…as if that part will not need to be repeated many times! Glad your difficult stuff was cleared up. I think I’ve blocked any sense of anxiety over this so far just as a survival thing, but now that it’s a few days away I’m starting to feel a little more.

        • Violet

          I’m with BSM- we also got weird news at the 20 week scan that was then basically cleared up later, and having extra people there would have been really rough/unnecessary.

    • rg223

      This would frustrate me SO MUCH. I hope the scam goes well though!

  • Katharine Parker

    I’m married and back from my honeymoon! My wedding was amazing–really fun, beautiful, surprisingly emotional. I think 80% of our guests cried during the vows when I teared up, which I didn’t expect to do. The band killed, food was good, the photo booth was worth the last minute expense. Truly everything I could have wanted. And then my honeymoon was awesome. Being able to have two weeks of no obligations was so necessary after wedding planning, and spending that time with my husband was so precious.

    • Jessica

      love it! Yay!

  • Not Sarah

    This week’s wedding drama: my mom thinks it’s really important to invite my dad’s sibling’s late spouse’s brother and his wife to our wedding, more important than any other of their friends. My partner finally said that it’s fine to invite them as my parents’ friends but not as family because my parents don’t have a relationship with the other siblings. My dad didn’t understand how his friends got wedding invites, logistically or something? I was really confused.

    • Ilora

      No kidding…parents get so weird about invites!

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fd3ed462d391f8020895464797f8b25488711f8f973b86283489a8604fa8289.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73931a7ec4b83785c4f95fd3f38e116224be11d15efda2b98ae11c7bcdb54b31.jpg

    We’re back from our month-long PNW mountain biking/camping road trip honeymoon! I didn’t post much while planning, but I used the crap out of APW as a resource. We got a couple of sneak peak photos from our photographer (Melissa from Marble Rye – found on APW!) while we were on the road, and I have to share them.

  • BSM

    Ugh, guys. My husband and FIL have been going back and forth about this McCain thing on Facebook for days now (my FIL is a pretty liberal Democrat, so I don’t get his “Maverick” obsession anyways), and he just emailed my husband AND ME to make his case/bitch at us.

    I wasn’t even involved in the conversation before! He’s making very little sense (ranting about how terrible Barbara Boxer is) and is also obviously confused about at least my political stances because he brought up “[our] hero Bernie Sanders.” I hate Bernie and have for the last year.

    Helpppppppppp

    • Jessica

      Reply with gifs of corgis and no explanation.

      • Cellistec

        I was thinking pugs with very dour expressions. Preferably wearing human clothes. To scale, I mean, not just like engulfed in a giant tropical shirt. Like a pug-sized tropical shirt. And looking severe.

        • BSM

          But maybe the pug is disgruntled because he’s stuck with a giant, human-sized tropical shirt??

          • Cellistec

            But that takes away from its politics-induced disgruntledness. It’s very important that the pug’s expression be a result of the McCain/Sanders discussions. Disapproving, even. Oh man, a disapproving pug face cuts to the quick.

          • Alli

            I get that. Like you want it to be clear that the pug is smart enough to buy a well-fitting tropical shirt. And is pissed off at the conversation.

          • JC

            I’m in favor of the wordless email, but I’d also support a picture with the caption, “I want it to be clear that this pug is smart enough to buy a well-fitting tropical shirt.”

          • Cellistec

            Exactly. As if the pug is thinking, “I got dressed for THIS?”

          • BSM

            You’re right; I’m a fool.

      • Jess
      • suchbrightlights
        • Ilora

          Definitely this one!

    • emilyg25

      Just delete it!

      • BSM

        I did! And then he sent another!

        • Ashlah

          Uggggh

          • BSM

            And, in semi-technologically illiterate fashion, in a completely new thread of course.

        • penguin

          Filter to send future emails straight to garbage?

          • BSM

            I think I’m gonna have to.

    • ART

      I like this one https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/28/16055132/murkowski-collins-mccain

      I have a personal/professional beef with Ryan Zinke and it only got worse this morning when I read that he threatened THE STATE OF ALASKA over this, what the actual fuck.

    • MC

      I feel like the McCain thing is that some people have a hard time realizing that people can make both good and bad decisions in their lives and don’t always fall neatly into the categories of Good and Bad People. Yes, McCain lived demonstrated a hell of a lot of bravery as a POW and that should be recognized/honored, but that doesn’t give him a free pass to be a terrible politician with no consequences, and it doesn’t mean we have to respect every decision he makes. But some people really like binary categories…

      • BSM

        100%. This is what my husband has been repeating over and over.

    • idkmybffjill

      Send sono pics. And bump photos.

  • Kat

    Did anyone else see this totally BANANAS reddit thread today? (The original post on the thread is gone, so here’s a R29 recap that isn’t nearly as satisfying but gets the point across) http://www.refinery29.com/2017/07/165531/bride-auction-bridesmaids-bid-wedding-party

    TLDR: A bride asking her friends and loved ones (including her sister) to bid on the title of bridesmaid and maid of honor for her wedding instead of just….picking them? Not for money?

    • penguin

      Jubilance linked to this!! Absolutely crazy, bidding to be a bridesmaid.

      • Kat

        My jaw literally dropped when I read it. I swear I will never get tired of hearing the new crazy nonsense people come up with for weddings.

        • penguin

          It’s a soothing balm to my wedding planning woes haha, I love it.

  • nosio

    I’m in Chicago for my bachelorette party and I have no idea what the weekend will bring but I am so excited! The fun starts tomorrow, so right now I’m just hanging at my parents’ house, eating cold pizza and lazily scrolling through HH, which is incidentally a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

    Also, I just looked out into the backyard, and it seems that there’s a very nice wedding arch out there? I told my parents not to worry about getting an arch for the ceremony, but it looks lovely and is kind of hilarious (it’s just…there), so whatever!

    • Jess

      I really love your parents just… putting an arch in.

      • MC

        ME TOO. Like, are they trying to just casually have it there and not make a big deal out of it? Such a cute parent thing to do!

    • somanypseudonyms

      welcome to town! enjoy our uncharacteristically nice weather!

      maybe your parents just… wanted a trellis? o.O

  • Capybara

    I had a nightmare last night that we had the wedding and it was All Wrong. It wasn’t in the restaurant we chose but in kind of a Marriage DMV. Our friends weren’t there. My fiance’s dress was a mauve color that the real her would hate, and every bride in the room was also in a similar mauve dress. I was told that if I wanted to reschedule the wedding (because my whole being was like, Wait! This is wrong!) the earliest I could get an appointment was April!

    • ART

      :) I had a lot of wedding going wrong dreams! In one, our caterer served rotten food (I specifically remember olives), and my mom tasted one and yelled “SICK BAY!” (I guess I was watching a lot of star trek)

    • Jane

      I have had so many wedding stress dreams. Ironically, usually when I’m more stressed about other things. Maybe because my mind is worried I’ll forget about all the wedding shit I still have to do?

      • LadyJanee

        I am still having stress dreams about my wedding and it was 8 months ago :|

  • Rebekah

    We had this good news come late last Thursday, and I wasn’t able to share it last HH, but, my husband got an offer for medical fellowship, so we’re moving to San Diego in 2 years (yes, he really does apply that far in advance for his specialty)!!! We spent the whole week arbitrarily breaking out into dance chants of “Taco taco taco!” to celebrate. I’m really excited, but not telling anyone at work yet because it seems horrendously premature. YAY!
    SD was his top choice, too, so it’s really validating to have them recognize his skills and potential.
    My sister was in town last week with my 13-m/o nephew, so between those two things I’ve spent this week floating on a happy cloud.

    • ja_lee

      Congratulations! Just chiming in to ask if it’s a match-based fellowship, like the kind following residency? That’s my fiancee’s situation, he just started year two of his two-year fellowship. It’s such a stressful situation and I am excited to perhaps find someone who might understand and be able to commiserate!

      • Rebekah

        Hi and thanks!
        His particular specialty isn’t match-based…yet. Rumor has it they’re trying to move that way in the near future. He has coresidents who are doing a match-based fellowship, and they have just started working on their applications. Congrats to you and your fiancee for surviving it! Ours will just be one year, but I’m happy to commiserate all you need :)

  • penguin

    Disqus why do you do the thing… There always hits a point during Happy Hour that any time I try to upvote a comment, it navigates to some Disqus page to show me just that comment, so I lose my place in the thread and it won’t tell me when new comments come in. AND then I have to keep clicking the “Load More Comments” button until I can see everything. /endrant

    • AGCourtney

      thissss.

    • Ashlah

      Haaaaate. It makes me so furious.

    • bee

      Yes and losing your place is the worst.

  • LazyMountain

    Thanks friends for the advice and positive words about the impending hair and makeup trial and dress fitting last week! It was super useful, made me feel far more comfortable, and everything turned out pretty dang well if I do say so myself (except holy hell are alterations expensive!). My artist turned out to be great company- having long conversations about making ice creams and our respective cats definitely made the hours fly by. Which is important when you can’t look up for several minutes because your eyelash glue is drying! Only having a few adjustments made to my face- mainly asked that we just try to hide how little sleep I get on the day of. I might also keep an eye out for the perfect lipstick… anyone have a matte coral-y pink/nude that they love??

    • Jane

      So glad it all worked out! My alterations are turning out to be more expensive than I’d hoped but I feel like I’m in good hands – sounds like you feel it’s all balancing out too! Hooray!

    • Ilora

      Wow, sounds like it went pretty great! My alterations were more expensive than my husbands entire wedding attire! Though to be fair we found his suit at a going out of business sale, so it was pretty cheap.

      No advice on the lipstick front, report back if you find one because I have yet to find a colour that I both like and stays on, and not even in a wedding specific way, just in general.

      • I use Maybelline’s Super Stay 24h color in a rosy brown color. It lasts a few hours for me and, unlike colors that are more different from my lip tone (red, etc.), it fades discreetly when it starts to fade… It lasted great through a tooth cleaning a t the dentist and even the hygenist commented, ha! (Or maybe that day I was wearing Cover Girl outlast, which also works well for me?) For both, there’s a color part and a clear gloss, and they aren’t sticky. Using these has actually made me pretty intolerant of all other lipsticks!

        • penguin

          Another vote for Maybelline’s Super Stay 24h color! It stays on for me super well, even through drinking/eating/kissing. You can reapply the balm as needed to (the clear part).

  • anon for this

    I got married last weekend. Everything was beautiful. Our ceremony was gorgeous, the food was wonderful. It felt exactly like us. Everyone had a great time except from me and my husband.

    My mother in law is “difficult”. This is pretty well known. Neither of our parents make very much money but my family is thrifty savers and his family is more “you can’t take it with you”. My parents are extremely traditional and saved up enough to cover our food and (beer and wine) bar. All throughout planning, my MIL kept demanding fancier things (she even lied to people we couldn’t afford to invite and told them they were invited). Once about three months before the wedding, my mom heard my MIL yelling at my husband about having a “cheap” wedding. This was devastating to my mom, I will never forget the look on her face when she asked me if she should “find some more money”. When we asked my MIL for help with the welcome dinner (which she asked for) she laughed in our face. I didn’t tell my mom that but I did tell her we wouldn’t be having one bc there wasn’t budget for it. She took this as her failing to provide me with a nice enough wedding to be accepted by my “new family”. Which is kind of crazy, but still sucked.

    Tl;dr, I let our parents host their own tables at the wedding and I will be punished for this for all of eternity.

    a week before the wedding we asked our people to do their toasts. My MIL informs my husband, “that’s not how it works at weddings, anybody can say anything they want.” I’m not really a wedding person, I very much wanted to elope. We made almost all of our wedding decisions just trying to please my husband’s family and stay within budget. I know it sounds silly, but the *only* thing that I cared about was my dad’s toast (he’s extremely well spoken and doesn’t express affection often). My MIL told my husband that his brothers both wanted to say something (one of them gave a really bad toast at our engagement party, this was part of what we were trying to avoid) I weirdly started crying (this was over the phone so she wasn’t in the room), I don’t know why, I wish I hadn’t, but this was really important to me on like an instinctual level. My husband firmly and politely told his mother “They can speak at the dinner the night before.It’s really important that R’s father goes last and we want to keep things moving along at a nice pace, so only 3 people can go before him.

    We had our toasts, they were beautiful, and before my dad can sit down, MIL grabs the mic and spouts some nonsense toast. I just felt abject terror at a gut level, this woman has been nothing but cruel to me and has constantly tried to take away any choices her son and I make. She started her toast “I wasn’t asked to speak, but I’m going to anyawy”. It’s such a stupid thing to be mad about but it was really just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I thought I was fine at first, but when my fiance started whispering to me that that was an awful thing and I had every right to be mad, I felt my eyes start to well up. I barely made it to the bathroom before I started all out crying. My fiance joined me and we just kind of bawled for about five minutes.

    I apparently hired an amazing makeup artist because that shit stayed on and nobody who wasn’t at the table noticed.

    Right when I get back to my table, my husband’s aunt who has been yelling at me all weekend (5min after the ceremony she told me her blessing over the rings was that I “don’t cut off her side of the family”) she asks if she can visit me when she comes to my city, I say “sure” and try to eat my food, she keeps pressing it, I keep telling her she’s welcome, but I’m having trouble hiding my irritation and she yells, “ALL IM ASKING FOR IS A LITTLE KINDNESS” before someone takes her away. She yelled at me at least 3 more times during the reception including once when she told me how lucky I was that her son in law came to my wedding instead of a concert he wanted to go to and at the end of the night when the lights were up and my best friend basically had to drag her off me.

    My husband wasn’t having a much better night. His mother came up to him and noticed he was upset and asked why and he said “We’ll talk about it later” but she forced the issue and then she ended up crying in the bathroom. Then his father asked him if he was ever going to speak to his mother again because if he didn’t he was never going to speak to him either. Again, my husband said “We’ll talk about it later”, his dad said “there’s nothing to talk about”

    We cried the whole cab ride back to the hotel, but everybody keeps saying it was a great party hahaha

    • Emily

      OH.MY.GOD. I am so sorry, I really hope this is a “there’s two sides to every story” kind of thing because I can’t imagine people being so horrendous at your wedding! Please, please, please, have a wonderful weekend away from that BS!!!!

      • anon for this

        Yeah, I mean, a year ago we moved halfway across the country when the rest of his family lives almost on the same cul de sac and there are also culture clash isssues where our families are both from very homogenous and insular communities that are very different from each other (his is very loud and physically affectionate, mine is preeeeettty solemn), so I do understand where her feelings are coming from, it’s just really sad that they had to manifest like this.

        On the otherhand, it’s been clear for pretty much forever that it might be good if she had some help working through her emotions and as a result of this, she has agreed to start therapy. (maybe. it was a text message. She might’ve just agreed that my husband needs therapy but I’m going to stay optimistic. Therapy for all of us hahaha)

    • Rose

      Oh no! I’m so sorry that people were so terrible! I hope that you and your husband will have some time to spend enjoying each other’s company away from all the stress.

      ETA: if that’s how your husband’s aunt behaves, she sure should be afraid that people will cut her out of their lives.

    • nosio

      Oh my god. I am sending you a million hugs right now. I cannot believe you had to deal with such awfulness on (and leading up to!) your wedding day.

    • ART

      Ugh I’m so sorry, that sounds awful. We had some disappointing people behaving badly right before our wedding (thankfully they just didn’t come) and it broke my heart to see my husband so sad about it. Our honeymoon was short, but such a perfect time to just enjoy being married – I hope you get some time away from all of that just to yourselves.

    • Jennifer

      Oh my god. I am having flashbacks. I want to hug you so much and… yeah. I hope that the whole family thing is something you and your husband can work through together and things improve somehow but wow. I hope you have a lovely honeymoon far far FAR away from the in laws.

    • CA

      I’m so sorry to hear this. More hugs. On the bright side – hopefully you have positive memories from your ceremony to focus on, and it sounds like you and your husband are very much on the same team for dealing with his family going forward (and also major props to your makeup artist). I hope you can forget his family for a little bit and enjoy being married! (and being done with wedding planning!)

    • NolaJael

      “Once about three months before the wedding, my mom heard my MIL yelling at my husband about having a “cheap” wedding. This was devastating to my mom, I will never forget the look on her face when she asked me if she should “find some more money”.”

      This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read during happy hour. *HUGS*

    • Henri

      I am so, so sorry. I’m sorry that the people in your husband’s family can’t get over themselves for even five seconds to support you both and be happy for you. I sincerely understand how devastating, frustrating, and scary that is, and I send you both many hugs.

    • Kara

      God these people suck. I wish you and your husband all the best going forward.

      I truly would have your husband send each of these foul people a text or email letting them know that you two will not be communicating with them until you both decide it is in your interest to do so. The behavior displayed by MIL, FIL and Aunt are not befitting a toddler throwing a tantrum, and you will not respond to them until you see fit.

      If they get all huffy, just . don’t . respond. Full stop. Don’t answer phone calls, texts, or emails. Let them be as shitty as human beings as they they truly are. Hell, send their emails to a special folder.

      You have the right to ignore them and cut them out of your lives as you see fit. Maybe radio silence and all contact will wake them up. Maybe it won’t (and probably it won’t because MIL has been like this for a while), but you guys get to decide your level of communication and interaction going forward.

      • suchbrightlights

        I think this sounds ideal, if her husband is also ready and willing to take that step on behalf of himself.

        I’m sorry that you had such terribly-behaving family step on your joy, and I hope that over time your honeymoon memories from your first few days of marriage crowd out the unpleasant memories from the day.

      • penguin

        I was going to suggest something like this too – their behavior was Not Acceptable, and you do NOT have to put up with it. I’d also make an effort to let your family/parents know how much you appreciated everything they did.

    • emilyg25

      I’m so sorry. I’d be taking a good long break from all these people who made what was supposed to be the happiest day of your life all about them.

    • bee

      Good grief, how awful. I’m so sorry. The bit of light I can see is that your husband is your teammate and is on your side. Hang in there.

    • I hope you can get away, just the two of you, and have a relaxing, peaceful and healing honeymoon….far, far away….

    • notquitecece

      I’m so, so sorry. You and your husband sound like a great team, though. So much love, and I hope you get the rest and celebration you need soon <3

    • Jess

      I want to send you the biggest hug in the world. Your husbands family sound like A Lot, and I am so sorry they made your wedding about them.

      I am glad to hear your husband sees that this behavior is not ok and has your back.

      I hope your honeymoon is full of nothing but sunshine and happiness and peace, because you really deserve it.

    • somanypseudonyms

      Just sending you love, along with the others who have commented. I agree with @disqus_MuWh9XjYPW:disqus, though, that on the bright side, this really shows that your husband is your partner and teammate, and there for you even when it gets really damn crazy.

      Good luck. <3

    • Ilora

      I am so so sorry that happened to you, that’s awful. Definitely feel free to take a break from them for as long as you need. My husband and I keep certain members of his family at a distance and it’s very freeing.

  • Henri

    We (finally) booked our flights for our honeymoon IN JAPAN! And we booked three nights at a seriously fancy resort with private onsen (hot spring bath) in the room. I’m ridiculously excited.

    • rebecca

      I looooooove Japan! Happy to offer restaurant recs for Tokyo, Kyoto and Tsumago-Magome anytime! Private onsen sounds fabulous!

      • Henri

        Tokyo restaurant recs would be fantastic! We went a couple years ago but spent most of our time in Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka.

        • Gaby

          Following for Tokyo recommendations! We’re 50 days away from our trip, but only doing Tokyo and Hakone because we only have 7 days.

          • AhhHowDoesDisqusWork

            So for Tokyo we did a lot fewer formal dinners and a lot more “places we saw that looked good”. Daikon Man in Shimokitazawa has really great Okonomiyaki and a really cool vibe. Shimokita in general is really awesome, it has a bunch of jazz clubs and vintage shops and is a little slower paced than a lot of the city. There’s also a really great izakaya called Shirube there that was probably the most fun meal we had in Japan. For the most part Akihabara was a little unnerving to me but Taito Hey was super fun (but heads up, it’s pretty smoky). The fine art museum is excellent.

            This is probably not the right move if you’re only there for seven days, but we were in Tokyo at the end of a super long trip and we’re kind of ready for something familiar and Tokyo Disney is accessible via public transport and has discount evening only tickets. We went to Tokyo Disney Sea (which at one time was the most expensive theme park ever built) and it was totally fun. We road the Tower of Terror and we don’t speak Japanese so in the picture from the ride, all the Japanese people are screaming because they picked up that the drop was coming from the narration and we’re just sitting there like “what? what’s going on”. (They also have way better fireworks than we do in the US)

    • rg223

      I honeymooned in Japan! Looooved it! Have fun!

    • Disqus issues

      This is what we are doing!!! Would you mind sharing the resort?

      • Henri

        Not at all! We’re staying at Takefue :) There are other onsen in that area (Kumamoto) that are similarly super beautiful and offer private in-room onsen.

        • Disqus issues

          Thanks!

  • Bsquillo

    It’s been a bit of a rough couple days at our house, as my dog kept us up all night with diarrhea and vomiting, and was in pretty rough shape this morning. We took her to the vet to get some fluids and meds, and she’s doing a bit better.

    After about 8 months of (expensive) medical mysteries from her, it’s starting to feel like we try to do everything right for this animal, but we still can’t keep her healthy. I’m just feeling sad for her and frustrated by vets who don’t ever seem to have any definitive answers for us.

    • NolaJael

      I had a dog that had diarrhea for months (among other things) and it ended up being food allergies. Basically she’s allergic to all commercial dog foods (even the expensive ones!). I started making her homemade food maybe eight years ago and it made all the difference. It takes about 30 min total a week to prep and freeze in meal sized portions. Works for us. Sorry about the sick pup. :(

      • LadyJanee

        I was just about to suggest food allergies! A friend’s dog was so sick, couldn’t put weight on, stools wouldn’t form properly… eventually they started treating for IBS and she started feeding her dog all raw food (meat and veg) and her dog is now completely healthy.

  • Ring update: Etsy decided that the seller had not given sufficient evidence that she would reimburse me, so they stepped in and reimbursed me from the sellers account. They said it might take a few days for the refund to show up on my credit card, and I haven’t seen it yet. But that is good news. Nice Jeweler said that when he gets back from vacation, he will make me a beta version of a ring he thinks I’ll like, based on the ideas I sent him, and then he said we could tweak it from there!

    In other news:
    I accidentally spilled water on my chromebook and my boyfriend’s laptop (that was less than a year old!) last Sunday! I stuck then both in rice and we left them there for 72 hours. And both survived!! There are some bits of rice that are under the keys because every once in a while they’ll stick, but SUCH A RELIEF.

    I’m also thinking about putting in an application for a competitive artistic opportunity. No harm in trying, right?

    Also last Sunday, I woke up and had been dreaming about my former cat, Booboo (who I had to put asleep a few months ago). He kept getting lost and I kept looking for him and finding him and losing him again. I woke up having lost him. I had left him in a small box on the container of the hospital we were in (???), I left and realized I had left him on the container as soon as I got out the door, but before I got back in, he had been taken away. I went to a lab and was trying to get someone to help me find him, and that’s when I woke up. As soon as I realized what I had been dreaming, I started crying pretty hard. I love our new cat, Slinky (who is great!), but I guess I still miss Booboo too.

    And I just got the boyshort bathing suit bottoms in the mail and I dunno about the fit. They couldn’t be any smaller really (and have me still be willing to step out the door), but the back of the bottom doesn’t hug my bum… Not sure if they are workable or not. The material is nice and thick, though, but…

    • rg223

      Glad you’re getting that ring reimbursement!

      • Thank you! It’s such a relief. And the seller’s store seems to be no longer there, so I’m relieved no one else will end up in this kind of situation. Though maybe it’s just suspended or something? Or maybe she closed it to try to avoid paying me? (It was unavailable before Etsy refunded me.)

        • Eh

          The store may have been suspended if people complained. I ordered something from a store and it ended up suspended due to complaints. I ended up getting the items I ordered months after I was supposed to, but the seller went MIA for a while so people (including me) complained to Etsy (unfortunately, it was past the deadline to get a refund through Etsy or Paypal so most people had little recourse).

          • Oh, wow! I am glad you finally got your items. That must have been so frustrating though… How did you find out others were complaining? I guess maybe comments were on the site before it was suspended?

          • Eh

            When I ordered the store had good reviews, but when I checked back around the time I expected the proofs of my items I noticed a lot of bad reviews and people saying that the seller had not got back to them so they filed a complaint with Etsy and they were trying to get their money back. A few days after I saw the bad reviews, the store was suspended. I measaged the seller and said that I needed the items by a certain day because they were gifts, and I said if she didn’t get back to me by a certain day that I would be contacting PayPal and my credit card company to get my money back. The seller did get back to me.I am not sure why she made my items and not other peoples’ items.

          • Huh, so weird. I’m glad you got your items in the end and I feel bad for the others who didn’t. Maybe she was more afraid of you contacting the credit card company than Etsy? Who knows…

    • MTM

      Not sure which Chrome book you have, but my keyboard cover has been a lifesaver from a couple spills (this is the one I have https://www.amazon.com/CaseBuy-Ultrathin-Colorful-Keyboard-Chromebook/dp/B01N2SFFGW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1501292574&sr=8-3&keywords=acer+chromebook+keyboard+cover)

      • Ooh, this looks excellent! I will have to see if it’s actually compatible. I think it might be, but need to find my specs to confirm… Thank you!

        • somanypseudonyms

          I’m so glad it worked out for you, but just in case of future accidents — putting your device in rice is actually usually less effective than just air-drying! (The Verge did a long piece on this, in case you find it amusing.)

          I worked at a computer help desk in college (now depressingly long ago :) ), and our general spiel on this was:
          • turn off your device **immediately** if you get any liquids in it.
          • if you can, take out the battery as well. These two steps help prevent short circuits — sometimes preventing any additional electricity from moving through the system is the main difference between a minor spill that causes damage and one that doesn’t.
          • sop up as much liquid as you can with something absorbent, then — if it’s a laptop — “tent” the computer upside down over a towel and let it drain for a few hours.
          • let the machine air-dry (for as long as you can manage without them — ideally a few days). Air-drying — provided you don’t live somewhere extremely humid — is almost always going to pull more water out of the machine than using a desiccant or rice, particularly since those will ultimately just hold the removed moisture nearby.

          but anyway, I’m really glad this worked for you! spills are scary, but they’re often survivable as long as you act quickly.

          • Yes, I saw that rice was not supposed to work and that I was supposed to “tent” them, but they were already in rice at that point, so i left them. But next time (if I am that unlucky!), I will probably tent them… Thanks for the confirmation about air drying. It just seemed less effective….

          • somanypseudonyms

            Please don’t be that unlucky, haha! Though I suppose given how much time most of us spend at our computers, the odds of spills are pretty high for everyone…

            Rice *is* an effective desiccant, as are those little silica gel packs: it’s just that dry air is the most effective desiccant of all — and it has the benefit of keeping the moisture moving away, instead of locking it in place.

    • emmers

      I’m glad you got your refund and now nice jeweler can help!

      I can relate to the depth of feeling about booboo. I have a dog who I had to leave for the weekend since I was going out of town, and I’ve been irrationally worried about her, with some strong tears involved. I just love her so much & don’t want her to feel alone. Sweet animal babies.

      • Thanks, emmers. And I have totally missed Booboo so much that I worried irrationally and cried a litle while on trips, or just didn’t want to go on the trip in the first place! I hope Slinky does okay with trips. (And that I do okay with Slinky and trips, ha!) Slink is younger, so less worries fro a health angle, but he is curious and sneaky…and we’ve only had him about 6 weeks…

    • suchbrightlights

      I was reading through all of this thinking “yes, excellent!” to each one of your points, having kept up with the ring saga, and then got to your paragraph about Booboo. I’m sorry for your loss, and that it was brought back to you in what sounds like a vivid and wrenching way. They leave pawprints on our hearts, don’t they? It helps them stay with us.

      Best of luck with the art opportunity!

      • Thank you, suchbrightlights! I was take off guard by the fact that dream had such en effect on me…But I’m glad to have had the opportunity to take care of Booboo and have him be part of my family while he was here, and I think of him often.

    • In case anyone is also on a search for boyshort bathing suit bottoms…. Christina Swimwear Boyleg Biking Bottoms were the only ones I’ve found that met my criteria. Well, most of them. They cover my behind (for real, not like the “full coverage” I saw that were very “cheeky”), they don’t gap in the leg holes, and I will feel comfortable in public and around my boyfriend’s family in them. Whew. https://www.bikinivillage.com/en/christina-boyleg-bikini-bottom-black-43192

  • Yael

    I wish I could hang out but one of my best friend is on her way over and there will be MUCH drinking. I got back into the US this week and we just got back from seeing my sisters/mom for the first time in at least 6 months and my mom found out that my dad is throwing us an engagement party and while there were no words today…. there will be. Because my parents had the farthest thing from an amicable divorce and my mother is…. much like several of the MILs/mothers discussed on APW. You all know the ones I mean. I want so badly to elope and just not deal with any of this and A acknowledges that we’re not eloping only because he really really really doesn’t want to.

    • Jess

      Here for your “wish we were eloping” feels.

      Wishing you strength with your family and especially your mother. I hope she can reign it in for you just this once.

      If not, I hope you have lots of friends to shield you from her as your wedding gets closer.

      • Yael

        Thanks. A and my friends are awesome and know to run interference. I love my mom, but she can be difficult.

  • JC

    Earlier this week, I said that I probably wasn’t leaving my job any time soon because of health issues that are taking up a lot of energy right now. My hand might be forced, however, because it looks like my company is being bought out. I’m expecting to hear more in the next week, because there’s just no way they can keep up this secrecy. I think the chances of being laid off are low, but the chances of my looking for a new job are still much higher. I was hoping to take my sweet time, but alas. On the other hand, maybe this means good, new things! Ugh, I’m not hopeful, but I’m trying.

    • LadyJanee

      Good luck!

  • toomanybooks

    Late to the thread today! I’ve been obsessively researching mattresses because my back has been in so much pain lately and my wife and I are going to upgrade to a king. I like a super plush feeling bed (that still has support) and am looking at memory foam mattresses you can buy online. I’m probably going to go with the Amerisleep AS4, which is… a little more than we’d prefer to spend, but it’s impossible to tell if any other mattress would be soft enough for me. Most of them seem like they are medium-firm at best and they all seem to have starkly contrasting reviews on firmness level! Anyone have any recommendations? (For reference, I tried out the Casper in a store – I want something much more plush)

    • LadyJanee

      No recommendations but +1 for getting a new mattress! My husband and I got a new mattress at the beginning of the year and it has made a world of difference. I prefer a medium-firm mattress (erring more towards firm) but nothing beats sleeping on a new, comfortable mattress :)

  • Lexipedia

    Super late, and I had a question too! Does anyone have recommendations for any sort of feminist, secular “pre-marriage work books”? We get two counselling sessions with our officiant, but they are over distance. I’d really like some sort of guide to having those necessary pre-wedding conversations with FI so we are more prepared to go into these sessions and have them be productive vs. a starting point. I have friends who have had great experiences with things like pre-cana, but we aren’t catholic. I’ve also seen some books that are really religiously framed which, again, not quite what we want.

    • somanypseudonyms

      I definitely just went down a brief rabbit hole of looking at weird online pre-cana websites/quasi-scams.

      But I’m also genuinely interested in whether anyone has an answer to this. Making secular tools (whether workbooks or otherwise) for stuff like this seems like a good counterpart to the larger work of normalizing therapy and promoting emotional openness / talking about Big Scary Things in relationships, which is a pretty robustly supported shared value in plenty of places.

      • Lexipedia

        Yep. FI was hesitant when I mentioned the idea, but he liked having some of these conversations together first vs. saying “ummmmmm…” when the minister asked us about something. I promised that we would get a couple of nice bottles of wine and sit down one evening to try out some exercises – now I just need a source.

    • Anne

      I don’t think it’s specifically feminist, and I only just started it before having to return it to the library, but our marriage prep counselor recommended the book The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, which is heavily research-driven and apparently something of a standard in relationship psychology. We were lucky to find a counseling center that offered marriage prep on a sliding cost scale – we did 5 sessions and it was definitely worth it, for defining our strengths and weaknesses as a couple and gaining a concrete vocabulary and framework for working through future challenges. It was a Christian counseling center (formerly associated with the Presbyterian church but now ecumenical I think), but all of the counselors are licensed and we had a choice of whether or not we wanted faith to be part of our conversations.
      Part of that process was doing the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment, which is a thing you and your partner both fill out and then a facilitator works through your results. It includes a workbook with some exercises too. You can look up certified facilitators from their website, and/or ask if your officiant is or could be certified to administer it – they’re a mix of marriage/family therapists or faith leaders.

    • Just Me

      Late reply but I really liked “the 10 conversations you must have before getting married” by Guy Grenier. The conversations about careers, and household chores definitely referenced that women tend to do more things around the house and that both people should make sure to be aware of hidden gender biases in discussing careers. It’s long but I thought it did a great job of getting us talking about things we hadn’t explicitly said before.

      • Eh

        I was about to suggest that book. We used it to start conversations.

    • jem

      Not specifically feminist and not exactly secular (it’s from a UU church, but content is pretty nonreligious), but we did parts of this: http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/documents/hoertdoerferpat/committedrelationships.pdf

  • somanypseudonyms

    Super-late, thanks to a MILLION THINGS HAPPENING AT ONCE, but — just dropping in to say hi and thanks for the kindness the last two weeks. Letting stuff/myself just fully melt down did, in fact, help. (Having a couple of the major wedding pieces — food, for example — finally come together also helped.)

    And it looks like we’ll get to move back into our own home just in time for the wedding, which at least means pals in town to help. Two weeks from today! So many things!

    • A single sarah

      You sound so much better this week! Glad that letting yourself have the meltdown helped. (I needed that reminder right now, so thanks for that too :)

    • Jess

      I’m glad to hear you were able to give yourself that time to feel all the feelings.

      Hooray for two weeks from today!!!!!

    • Anne

      Yay, so happy to hear this! So exciting!

    • jem

      Yay!!!

  • Laura

    i got to work yesterday, my boss asked if i had a second, and then offered me an 8 month contract extension as mine is up aug 4! AHHHH – i’m so happy :) i ADORE working as a Crown and this office is amazing. I originally had a 6 month contract so the 8 month is confirmation that I’m doing a good job and that my interview went well :) my husband took me out for dinner to celebrate and we’ve spent all day planning our main floor reno which I am so excited about!

    • Ilora

      That’s fantastic!! Congratulations!

  • Jan

    So, I ordered my dress back in February and knew I’d need to do significant alterations to get the fit and cut I wanted to lend it a bit more drama (it is, in its regular form, a pretty plain-jane dress). I had a fitting on Monday and while my seamstress is amazing, it’s just not looking like this dress can handle some of the alterations I wanted. The dress is fine, it’s pretty… but wearing it I felt self-conscious and sort of boring. I started poking around online for a dress that I could buy as a backup and return at no cost if I end up not needing it. And, well, the one I ordered came in yesterday. And I think I love it a lot more than the other one. And now I feel ridiculous about being “that bride” who ordered two dresses, wasting all that money on the first dress and alterations (probably about $500 total). But I really just want to feel confident on the day and not look back at my pictures and feel disappointed in how I looked. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s done this? Am I ridiculous?

    • BSM

      Not ridiculous. If you can afford it, there is literally no reason not to wear the dress that makes you feel more confident and beautiful. Go for it!

    • jem

      Hahahahaha I’m on my fourth dress. Sell the dress that’s not you and be at peace.

    • Zoya

      Another double-dress person here! (I bought two dresses within days of each other, then waffled for MONTHS over which one to wear.) You are not ridiculous–wear the dress you love!

      • Jan

        I’m so glad I’m not the only one, thanks to everyone who commented. I’m wearing the new dress! :D

    • kara e

      I bought one in a similar “oh my, I need a dress” vein – seamstress thought it wasn’t worth attempting to alter as much as it needed to be. Loved the real/second dress and felt much more confident and comfortable – plus, was able to get a better fit!

  • Jessicardixon

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