APW Happy Hour


Adventures in wedding guesting

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

Hey APW,

Guys, I survived my crazy wedding weekend. That image above is from my BFF Kristina’s wedding shot by her amazing photographer. (Are you dying? I’m dying.) In the span of four days, Michael and I dragged ourselves and our poor five-month-old baby from San Francisco to New York, and then from New York to Maine, and then back to San Francisco, during which time we attended a brunch, a rehearsal dinner, a wedding, another wedding, another brunch, and my grandmother’s birthday. The baby even got to go on his first boat ride and his first subway ride (he wasn’t particularly impressed with either). Lest I make it sound like we had our shit together, though, please note that this is what my family looked like on Thursday night as we made our way to the rehearsal dinner for wedding number one:

And this is what we looked like riding the ferry back from the post-wedding brunch of wedding number two:

I mean, at least the baby is still cute?

But it was totally worth the whirlwind. I cried like a baby at both weddings, got a little too drunk, and nearly broke myself dancing to “Pon de Replay.” I have no regrets.

cheers,

Maddie

P.S. Thanks for the outfit opinions! I ended up wearing this bad boy to the second wedding (with the giant bird earrings, obvs.) I was not wrong to be worried about what to wear though. Apparently the theme of the wedding was “dress like it’s RuPaul’s drag race and you have to lip sync for your life.” People turned out.


The Info:

Top photo by Tomasz Wagner | Bottom two photos from Maddie’s personal collection

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, she currently lives on a pony farm in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Michael, their son Lincoln, and an obnoxious mastiff named Gaia. Current hair color: Natural (gasp!)

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Angela’s Back

    Now I wanted to be invited to a party where I’m directed to dress like it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and I’m lip-synching for my life…

  • Katie

    Been feeling very low all week. And remembered what I loved the most about school and college: Literature! So my question is, do you have to pay tuition to visit certain classes? Not looking to get a degree or anything, just wanna listen to some dope professors talking about Shakespeare and Fitzgerald. Has anyone done it?

    • theteenygirl

      Never done it after graduating but really.. those big lecture halls are pretty anonymous places. When I was a student I would sit in on my friends’ classes that sounded cool. Just wear a hoodie and sweats and no one will know :)

    • CMT

      I think you’re probably supposed to pay *something* to audit a class. But yeah, if it’s in a giant lecture hall, maybe nobody will notice?

    • Amy March

      Have you looked into Coursera?

    • louise danger

      Email the professors – one, so that you know whether they’ll flip their noodle or not about you being there; and two, so that you can know whether that class session is a lecture or if it’s something like a test review or students giving presentations. Many professors that I’ve worked with would be happy to welcome someone to a session, as long as the room has enough chairs and the session’s topic is suitable for visitors. If you plan to make it a regular thing, expect to pay for it. It’s possible in general, though, to be a non-degree-seeking student enrolled in a class or to audit the class. The registrar’s office of the school can help you with that; fees are usually much lower. :)

    • emilyg25

      English major here. Went to a giant state school. Never had a lit class with more than 30 people. Look into auditing classes. Or sometimes colleges have events where professors talk about their research.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Your local library might also be a good place to look for literary speaking events!

      • A single sarah

        More brainstorms:
        • events at local bookstores
        • lecture series/special events at local colleges. (Beyond the classroom. Colleges have all sorts of events if you live near one.)
        • courses at community college (cheaper than other schools.)
        • and Katie, because you’re local, do you have plans this weekend? texasteenbookfestival.org

    • jem

      It’s not in person, but there are some pretty great free MOOCs out there. Also Great Courses has some good literature courses (tho not free).

    • SarahRose472

      At the college I went to residents could definitely audit classes for free. You can either contact the registrar about it or email professors directly.

    • Cellistec

      If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I recommend the Witch, Please podcast, which is basically a hilarious, audio-only lit analysis treatment of the HP series by two charming fans who also happen to be in academia. Definitely start from the beginning of the podcast series.

      • AGCourtney

        whatttt that sounds amazing

      • ssha

        OMG I love Witch, Please so much and it has literally changed the way I read.

      • LAinTexas

        UGGGHHHH I wish I could get into podcasts! I’d love this! But I always listen to a few and then it fizzles.

    • Jess

      I have not, but my grandpa used to do this after he retired because while he had never been to college, he loved learning. I believe it’s called “auditing” and is free. Contact a professor or the college!

    • somanypseudonyms

      I’ve taught seminars where people sat in — in general, if you email ahead of time so the prof can share any expectations (or say no, which you should be prepared for), auditors are welcome in lecture classes! Seminars can be a little weirder, since they’re smaller groups with more participation, and it can be hard to tell in advance from a course catalog what size a class is. As a rule of thumb, though, most people I’ve known in humanities departments really wish that more people cared about their subjects, so having another interested face in the group is generally welcome. Go for it!

    • I know that Yale does online recorded lectures in all sorts of subjects and I’m sure other colleges do them too! Not as great as in person, but free and convenient (and it’s a whole semester’s worth of classes): http://oyc.yale.edu/english

  • Zoya

    Okay, folks. I need cat toy recommendations. Our demon chaos beast LOVES tinsel balls and feathers, but he also destroys and/or eats them with alarming speed. (We got two Da Bird toys as wedding gifts, and he’s already broken one out of sheer enthusiasm.) He’s been acting out lately and I need new tricks to help keep him exercised/occupied so he doesn’t destroy our house while I work. Bonus points for battery-powered toys I can just plonk on the floor and let him amuse himself…

    • CMT

      I have some battery-powered little creepy crawly bugs that my cat loves to chase around. Search Hexbug on Amazon.

    • Sarah Jane

      Our kitten loves these plastic balls with bells in them – the balls have like bars on the side, instead of being a complete closed sphere? I don’t really know how to describe it, but she can pick them up with her teeth and carry them around the house, and she hasn’t destroyed any yet. The only thing is trying to keep them out of the bedroom, because otherwise you get woken up to her going nuts with a bell at 2am.

      • Angela’s Back

        Seconding the bell in ball toy. We also have a ball that’s like a little wire cage with a wee mouse in it. When you roll it along the floor, not only does it not make bell noises, but the mouse tail sticks out of the cage wires and flaps around in a way the kitten LOVES. I also had great success making toys for our older cat–when he was younger–out of metallic sparkly pipe cleaners. Probably wasn’t the best thing for him to be chewing on tbh but he loved the way the different bits stuck out and wobbled and he could chew on them for ages and they wouldn’t break (at least for a while).

        • Sarah Jane

          Sparkly pipe cleaners sound like fun, I might have to try that this weekend! The only other issue we’ve had with the balls has been that (even though we have literally 10 of them) eventually, they all get stuck under the couch. The poor kitten just sits in front of the couch and gives this loud, pitifully sad, wailing meow (the why-are-you-abandoning-me kind of thing) until someone comes and rescues them.

          • Eenie

            It sounds like you need more toys then… :)

          • Sarah Jane

            This year, I’m planning on getting full size Christmas stockings for each of the cats, and hers is going to be filled with these balls ^_^ Husband will be happy, I’m sure!!!

          • jem

            My MIL always does this for our cats (and includes a little tag saying it’s from her cats) it’s ADORABLE and the BEST and I love it. (and thanks for reminding me of something awesome my MIL does!)

          • Sarah Jane

            That’s so cute!!!!

          • Zoya

            Our cat bats toys under the couch deliberately! He likes fishing them back out, right up until the point he can’t reach them anymore. Then it’s complain city.

          • Angela’s Back

            Boy do I ever know *that* feeling… part of the reason we got the mouse wire ball was that it was big enough not to roll under the fridge. Up until that point we’d been making crumpled up paper balls, which the kitten is all about but has turned our apartment into a paper ball graveyard now. I’m looking forward to counting up how many we find when we eventually move out.

    • Eenie

      The winning toy in our house right now is a shoe lace. Our poor cat will drag it to you when he’s bored and wants someone to play with. I’m also a fan of drugging my one cat with Kitty Kush ($8 on amazon). It’s the best catnip ever. My other one isn’t sensitive to catnip.

      • Zoya

        Yeah, ours is unfortunately impervious to catnip. We also can’t leave him alone with ribbons or shoelaces, because he eats them. (Ask me how I discovered this…)

    • louise danger

      My friend’s two monsters go apeshit over their MeowBox each month. The other subscription toy service? Couldn’t care less. But each delivery of this version has been a smash hit.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Our favorites are plastic Ethical Pet springs (usually $2 at a grocery store), these things (https://www.amazon.com/Lautechco-Rabbit-Colorful-Feather-Random/dp/B01MT10VBN/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1507313344&sr=1-1&keywords=fur+on+a+stick+cat+toy) and other natural fur bits, and tissue paper in seasonal colors from the dollar store, which is great for burying and then hunting things.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Also, those foamy cat dice from Jackson Galaxy. Light enough to carry around.

    • Kate

      My cat also eats things (string, hair bands, ear plugs, sweaters), so I try to be mindful of the toys I give him. His favorite toys are cloth crinkle fish from Target. They’re easy for him to carry around in his mouth.

      https://www.target.com/p/smartykat-174-fishflop-153-cat-toy/-/A-50725283&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Pets%2BShopping_Brand&adgroup=SC_Pets&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9028818?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhKbz8Mvc1gIVR5d-Ch0IrASVEAQYASABEgKblPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    • jem

      We got these hollow balls with holes in them that you unscrew and put treats inside, so the cats have to bat the ball around to get the treats out. I hide them in the morning so they have to hunt for them.
      ETA: https://www.chewy.com/kong-active-treat-ball-cat-toy/dp/51500?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=KONG&utm_term=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzPKpjM3c1gIVCAdpCh2nYwzMEAQYAyABEgIvi_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    • Les

      My weirdo cat growing up loved baby pacifiers of all things. Because they don’t have a flat surface, they wobble and fly around the floor well when batted. Maybe cut the rubber bit off if he’d chew that up? Weirdo cat also liked to chew on Barbie feet, but that doesn’t sound like a solution for you ;)

    • Cdn icecube

      Our cat loves this scratching pad/ball circle hybrid thing. It’s hard to explain but I’ll post a link below. She loves it because she can paw the ball around and that keeps her entertained, but also likes the scratching middle part. I mention it because she goes ape shit for anything on a string that you can flick around but this is a more “i’m not home so you’re going to have to amuse yourself” kind of toy.
      https://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Turbo-Scratcher-Colors-vary/dp/B000IYSAIW

  • Amy March

    If anyone is looking to do some more fall entertaining, I highly recommend inviting people over on a Sunday afternoon for pie and beer. It was low key and easy and a nice way to reconnect after summer’s busyness without making a big fuss, and mid-afternoon isn’t a meal time so no pressure to offer alllllll the options. A+, would host again.

    • Zoya

      Pie and beer. I like your style.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      That sounds perfect. I need to have some get-togethers, and this fits my bill in all the right ways. Add in a fire in our fire pit, and I will be in heaven!

    • Cellistec

      What a fun idea, especially with all the awesome breweries and bars in my area to fill growlers at. Thanks Amy!

    • Jess

      How have I never thought of that! Looking for open afternoons now…

    • Cbrown

      I did prosecco and pie for thanksgiving (live abroad). 1 to 4 on a Sunday, it was mellow and fun.

      • Amy March

        Where do you think I got the idea? :)

    • Definitely stealing this, that sounds lovely… Thanks for the idea!

    • Jenny

      Yes! We always host a mid January warm drinks and sweet treats party at like 2 in the afternoon on a Sat/Sun. It’s great because I just put apple cider in the crockpot with some rum next to it so people can spike and make a pot of coffee (with kalua and bailies add ins). I love baking so I always make a bunch of treat options. I love the mid afternoon hangout party!

      • MariaMTinsley

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      • RoseLTignor

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    • AmandaBee

      Damn, pie and beer sound like an awesome combination. We’re hosting people Halloween weekend, so I need to remember this.

    • Sarah E

      I’d second that rec. We’ve had a lot of fun with Sunday afternoon open house-style beer and bread hangs. Get some cider and a couple gluten-free snack options, whatever jams/mustards are lingering in the fridge and bam– good times.

  • Eenie

    Just popping by to thank everyone for the suggestions in DC! We had a fabulous time. We got a three day capital bike pass which was fantastic since it was never too far of a walk, but by biking it was even closer, and saved us on our uber/lyft bill (we typically would take a car home, the ride up hill was brutal). We saw almost all the Smithsonians that were open, I briefly considered attending the Gill v. Whitford hearings (I decided I didn’t want to get up that early), and we saw all of the monuments at night (via bike, it was magical).

    The food was fantastic! I haven’t eaten that well in years.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I’ve missed so many Happy Hours recently! I’ve been traveling a lot, mainly to a couple of camps dedicated to my hobby- nothing is better than grown-up summer camp.

    My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary and opened up the cards we had set out instead of a guestbook. I pre-labeled the enveloped with years up to 25, so we have a couple cards filled out by our guests to open on each anniversary. Our top cake layer was delicious, and the cards made us laugh, and so one year was marked down on the books. :-)

  • CMT

    Dudes are the worst. So is dating. I was hanging out with a VERY cute, VERY charming guy who turns out to be not great for dating and it’s so disappointing! Ugh. I thought my ex-bf was going to be the last person I had to date and having to do this all over again is not fun.

    • very anon for this.

      solidarity. And funny story because misery loves company:

      I thought I had met a great guy and then, after a couple dates, we slept together. And the sex was GOOD. But then, after half an hour of cuddling, he not only asked me if he could “put it in my butt,” within two minutes, he also requested I get both a tongue and labial piercing because “don’t you think it would be hot?”*

      um…boy bye.

      * not that anything is wrong with any of those things, but why so soon and not my scene.

      • CMT

        OMG. Who asks somebody to get piercings?! At any point, and especially after a couple dates?! WTF.

        I will say that I’m proud that I’ve realized this guy is not good enough and I’m moving on, even though I still get the occasional texts and I’m going to see him out and about. Younger CMT would have put up with a lot more bullshit.

        • very anon for this.

          Yay! That’s something to celebrate! If nothing else, know that you’re one step closer to finding the last person you’re going to have to date because you have more clearly defined standards.

          (As much as I’m loathe to admit it, I know when I was younger, I would have gone on a few more dates with butt sex/piercings boy because “he was nice otherwise,” and leaving his place knowing I’d never see him again was freeing).

        • Haha, my husband totally has nipple piercings he got when we were like, 21 at least partly because I made so many “jokes-not-jokes” about it, soooooo… (We had been on more than a couple dates. Not sure it actually makes it better.)

      • Les

        !??! hooooookayyy

  • savannnah

    I’m having a really hard time right now with a friend who I know is really struggling right now. She was in my wedding 3 weeks ago and was the instigator of a lot of unnecessary drama in the months leading up to the wedding and after. She is (er was) a super close friend of mine from collage and engaged in some really passive aggressive and hurtful behavior in the lead up and now after giving me the silent treatment for a few months wants to discuss how hurt and excluded she felt at the wedding. I know our conversation is going to be emotionally exhausting and I’m not going to get from her what I need and I also love her and miss her and am sad and angry about the whole thing. We are meeting up this weekend and I just don’t even know what I want out of our conversation- beyond that I want to feel like I’m handling this situation like an adult. Some of her issues stem from everyone turning 30 this year and feeling like she’s falling behind on the find a partner/marry/babies parade and I don’t know what that pressure feels like but at the same time I can’t imagine I wouldn’t be anything but happy for her when/if she wants to get married. So it’s just a lot of anticipatory nervous anxiety on this Friday.

    • Amy March

      Ugh. Sorry this continues to not be great. I think I’d need to say that I felt hurt and excluded by getting the silent treatment for months, and obviously no, I didn’t think she was someone I could really invite in emotionally at the wedding because of that. Like, yes, I would love to move on and figure out a way to be friends, but I’m not bending over backwards to be sorry here. But I think your framing of this is great- it will suck, but at least you can be proud of handling it intentionally.

      I kinda feel like the work of growing up is figuring out how to handle like when you’re struggling without taking it out on your friends.

      • savannnah

        Yes- that is basically what I’ve narrowed it down to I think- I’m feeling hurt and excluded and her stepping away from our friendship this summer had an impact on how we related at the wedding and wedding events and that should not have been a surprise. She is a great friend when you’re life is going poorly and a pretty bad one when its going well. At some point I’m afraid it will just be unsustainable to continue on but I hope not.

    • Jess

      I’m sorry this is still a thing.

      As usual, I’m with Amy March – acknowledge her hurt, tell her your hurt, and use her reaction to that to determine how much you can move forward with her.

      • Les

        Even if it doesn’t go great, your friend may come around later, when she is happier. I had a friend once remove herself from my friendosphere for reasons like what you are describing. Some years and some changes later, we were all older, wiser, and now friends again!

        I’m feeling you on the anxiety while waiting!

    • scw

      ugh I could have written this. I no longer speak to this person (or two other people closely involved in my wedding as a result). I’d say that I hope your situation turns out differently, but I’m actually much, much happier and better off now.

      can you have some sort of treat ready for yourself for when it’s over?

      • savannnah

        That is a great idea

  • maybemum

    This is my first week having an intern at my job…and my first time ever supervising another person (my role is pretty self contained). Enjoying it but feeling mentally exhausted and ready for the weekend. Patting myself on the back for overcoming some imposter syndrome and taking this next professional step :)

    • MC

      I feel you! I’ve supervised interns for the last 2-3ish years in a semi-official capacity and it is exhausting! Eventually it feels like less work for me, once they get trained and all, but it takes lots of time and energy to get there. And overcoming imposter syndrome is huge!

      • maybemum

        Thanks! Glad to know it gets easier- it’s really exciting, but 2 days in I was wiped.

    • savannnah

      Yes. Mentoring other people- young women especially, has been so rewarding and exhausting, but most importantly has made me feel like I might actually know my job and field in an authoritative way.

      • maybemum

        Definitely! It’s making me own how much I really do know.

    • theteenygirl

      We hired two interns a few months ago and I’m in charge of both. I figured I would be really good at managing people. Turns out I have no idea what I’m doing, and it’s actually a huge learning curve! It’s such a great opportunity though, and I’m really enjoying it. Good luck!

      • maybemum

        Thanks for mentioning the learning curve …a few hours after posting I was like “dear god what have I gotten my into”….I’ll get there!

  • NikNat

    I need a gift recommendation! My mom is retiring from social work in two weeks. She is such an amazing mom and has such a hard work ethic, that I feel a lot of pressure to get her THE BEST retirement gift.

    She loves to shop at thrift stores and sell at flea markets. She loves her kids, grandkids, and dogs. She enjoys drinking wine and trying new foods (within reason). I welcome all suggestions!

    • emilyg25

      A really nice bottle of wine, champagne if she likes it.

      • Zoya

        Or a nice corkscrew, if she doesn’t already have one!

    • Amy March

      Inflatable kayak for all her new found adventuring time?

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Maybe a gift basket with all kinds of relaxation things that she can use now that she’s not working all day? Wine, a game, fun lounge clothes, a book, a DVD, etc.

    • Kate

      A monthly wine club, it’ll be a fun little thing to look forward to every month as she adjusts to retirement.

    • Arie

      maybe a series of cooking classes? You can go together, perhaps?

      • Jess

        I love the idea of classes, because retirement can become kind of a vacuum of activity!

      • Angela’s Back

        Or if she likes cooking, a basket of exotic ingredients with some new recipes that use them?

  • Kaitlyn

    I broke my first bone this week :( I dance and landed a jump wrong on Sunday. I thought it was a sprain and kept dancing on it. After a few days, I dragged my butt to the doctor who sent me for x-rays. Now I’m in a boot and one crutches for at least a week until I can see the orthopedist next week. There’s a chance I might have to get a pin in the bones based on the way the bone broke. I’m not a pleased :( :(

    • CMT

      Oh no!! Although I’m impressed that you danced so hard you broke a bone!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Was going to say the same thing! Girl them’s bragging rights!!

        • Kaitlyn

          Hahaha I did turn to J and was like “Well I danced for two hours on a broken foot” for badass points haha But I also figured since I could tap dance for an hour (though in pain) it couldn’t have been broken but alas, here I am haha

    • savannnah

      Boot Club! *for those of you who like me didn’t heed their mothers warning about not getting up on those nice white wedding folding chairs- don’t do it. Don’t be like me and get your foot stuck for half an hour in a wedding chair the day after your wedding so you can avoid lying on the ground crying under your chuppah like a caught bear surrounded by confetti glitter and mosquitoes* I also delayed going to the orthopedist. Best of luck that you don’t need a pin!

  • penguin

    I missed last week’s Happy Hour, so here are some updates. My grandpa passed away last Friday morning. I had already taken the day off to drive up to visit, and I got the call right before I left my house. He passed peacefully in his sleep, which is about as much as we could hope for. Hospice nurses are amazing and do difficult work, please support a local hospice organization. Also, fuck cancer.

    A few days before that, my grandma called me to talk. In his final few days he was non-verbal, but before that he made my grandma promise to ask me to invite my mother to my wedding. It was really important to him, and he said that he didn’t want me to have any regrets. So my grandma (who I’m very close to), calls me to ask, near tears and knowing that she is going to lose her husband of 40+ years soon. And I couldn’t say no to her. So now my mom is invited and attending the wedding (in 9 days).

    I spent Friday through Wednesday up at my grandparents house, and helped my grandma get stuff sorted and moved, since she is moving in with one of my aunts. Lots of stuff happened, mostly just a lot of family time. I had a 30 second conversation with my mom to let her know that she was invited, and it was only because it had been so important to grandpa. She said she had been hurt not to be invited, and I said OK and walked away. She kept hugging me randomly throughout the weekend, which I was uncomfortable with but didn’t know how to deflect without causing A Scene.

    The day I left, my mom made a big deal of asking me to look at the outfit she plans on wearing to the wedding. She takes me out to her car where she has it hanging and shows it to me – and it’s literally 100% fucking white. It’s an ivory skirt suit looking thing with pure white flowers on it. She asked what I thought, and I said it’s too white. She says it’s not white, it’s ivory. I say again that it’s too white to wear to a wedding. She tells me that my wedding dress is pure white (bitch it’s ivory, also you’ve never even seen it so excuse me??) so her outfit will be fine. She says her only other outfit that fits is black. I tell her to wear the black. She says well this is the only thing she has with her so she has to wear it. I was so fucking mad I just walked away. I didn’t even want her at my wedding, and now she will not only be there, she’ll be in all white. I told my aunt about it, who is going to talk to her. She has time to buy another goddamn outfit, and I honestly don’t care if she’s underdressed. The only criteria I gave people when they asked me about their outfits was wear whatever you want, but don’t wear white. I’m pissed, and honestly hoping that it either goes mysteriously missing or someone spills red wine on it or something.

    Suggestions for how to deal with this shit for my wedding day welcome. My MOH and brother are on “keep my mother the hell away from me” duty.

    • CMT

      Oh no, I am so, so sorry. If I were there, I would totally spill red wine on her.

      • Eenie

        I thought the same thing!

      • hahaha

        This is the friend you need. :)

      • penguin

        Thank you <3 My MOH offered to, which made me feel better even though I know it won't happen.

    • Amy March

      I feel like calling her and saying “if you plan to wear white, don’t come. you’ll be asked to leave.” is not out of line. And if this Aunt is her sister, she should be able to deliver that message loud and clear. I’m sorry.

      • aldeka

        This. You kept your promise to invite her to the wedding. But if she can’t behave appropriately she doesn’t have to stay.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Lady needs to know she’s on thin fucking ice, and will be asked to leave if she steps out of line and makes a scene. I don’t remember what sort of venue it is, but if they have staff, I would alert them to a potential problem guest, and definitely have some choice family and friends (especially tall, intimidating ones) at the ready to step in and remove her if need be.

      • penguin

        Yep this Aunt is her sister, so I’m hoping it goes well. I’m calling my grandma tonight to talk to her about it (mom is staying with her until the wedding). I don’t think I really realized how non-confrontational I am until this past weekend. Going to try and woman up tonight and make that call.

    • Zoya

      So sorry you’re dealing with all this. No advice, just solidarity!

    • emmers

      Ugh, I am so sorry, on so many levels! I’m sorry for your loss of your granddad. I know you were close. And that sucks.

      As for your mom– it is super infuriating and irritating that she is probably going to wear white, even though you’ve asked her not to. But you know what? I’m sure it’s this kind of stuff (x1000) that were the reason you weren’t originally going to invite her. Even if she wears white, and is a general asshole, you are still getting married to your love. You are still being way cool to your grandma/grandpa by fulfilling this very rough wish of theirs. And you are still going to have a good time, because it’s your motha-fuckin-wedding. Chalk this up to mom being mom, and try to concentrate on other things as best you can. If she comes up to you at the wedding, it’s fine to remember that urgent thing that makes you need to go (“oh goodness, I must go speak to the caterer before I forget!” “Oh my, I must go get another plate of food, byeeee”).

      Hang in there. You are doing the best that you can. You are getting married! I’m so happy for you, and I hope that you can remember the fun parts of the wedding that you’ve planned, and all the amazing people who are coming to town just for you, and can mentally minimize crazy-sucky-mom.

      • penguin

        Thank you so much, this is really helpful. We were originally going to do a receiving line between the dinner and dancing portions (they are in different rooms on different floors). Do we skip that? Or do I just hope she rushes by as fast as possible? I want to say hi to everyone (except her) and I feel like there is no good way to do that. I guess I could also ask my brother to go through the line with her and nudge her on ASAP.

        • Plant someone in the line after her who “has to grab you and tell you something urgent” so she’s forced to move on? Or give another family member a job to do between dinner and dancing and ask them to take your mom? Or make THAT the moment you lose control of the red wine?

          (Also, I think it would be 100% legit to simply ask your mom to not participate in the receiving line)

        • emmers

          Maybe still do receiving line if you’re excited to say hi to everyone else, though if in the moment you feel too stressed, you can always cancel it.
          Could bro have an urgent errand that he needs help with right then? Like getting something from the car or even decorating the car or needing to leave to buy cough drops? Something to get her away away?

          Or, if you see her could you act like you dropped your bouquet, or fake sneezed loudly so no hugs? Or have your husband shake her hand and then you duck behind him to hug your brother? Or just have your brother tell her in advance that there will be no hugs on wedding day, and if she tries shit it’s gonna be awkward for her cuz you’re not going to accept them. And if she tries, literally out your arms on your shoulders and push out your elbows to create space so she can’t hug you close.

          I’m so sorry this is taking up so much headspace for you right now. My guess is that on the actual day there may be some shitty moments, but by and large, you and she will both be distracted. I remember my wedding as being so busy, that I really only had moments with each guest, even the ones I actually wanted to see. So, I know it’s hard, because you are probably so tired and upset right now, but try to concentrate on other stuff. I’m sure you have a zillion last minute things to do. I hope you can have some wine, relax as best you can, and not let your mom get in your head. And if you’re able, maybe squeeze in a quick counseling session? Or at least a venting phone call to your close friend?

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Oh, man. I’m sorry this is all happening now, and that you have to deal with your mom on top of your grieving for your grandpa. I don’t have any suggestions, aside from the fact that no one in attendance will think badly of you if she wears white. She’d be the one to look like a complete jerk.

      Lots of internet hugs to you.

    • Violet

      Oh no, I am so sorry. That your grandpa died. That your mom is being just as horrible as you knew she would be. I am totally with Amy March- aunt can give her the heads up that if she wears white, she’ll be escorted off the premises.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ohhhhhhh, penguin, I’m so sorry about all of this. I’m sorry about your grandpa, I’m sorry about the timing of all of this, I’m sorry your mom is being a dick, I’m sorry there’s nothing I can do aside from tell you that somebody on the internet really wants to give you a hug right now.

      • penguin

        Thank you, it really does help. Literally as soon as she showed me that outfit part of me was thinking “are you fucking kidding” and also “APW is going to hear about this”.

        • Eenie

          Where is Sosuli?!?! Keep in mind, she will look like the crazy one wearing that outfit to a wedding. I hope your aunt makes some progress, and I’m sorry you had such a tough week.

      • penguin

        Not creepy at all, and thank you! This community really helps me deal with all the wedding and family drama.

    • Arie

      I’m so sorry. This is like the very definition of A Lot. You are making a big sacrifice for your family here, and I think it’s 100% in-bounds to ask your family for the same level of sacrifice. It’s okay to say to your mom, “I’m choosing to do this for grandma & grandpa, but here are my expectations of you” and communicate the same thing to your aunt. Absolutely end things like hugging that are invading your personal space boundaries. If she’s going to pull some shit, she does not also get to hug you. It sounds like you are going to need a lot of boundaries, and soon, so it’s totally fine to start that in an immediate and small way now. Protecting yourself in those small, physical ways can be really helpful. I would also just encourage you to keep reminding yourself that after the wedding, which will be joyful no matter what, your relationship can go back into non-being if that’s what you choose. You aren’t really getting to choose what family you want at your wedding, but you get to choose who is around you on holidays for the rest of your marriage/life. That really helped me keep family drama in perspective at my own wedding. I wish you all the best (and all the wine). We’ll be thinking of you!

    • Katelyn

      Fuck cancer. Internet hugs.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss…

    • louise danger

      i’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. if you think he would appreciate it (or if you would), i will pray for him at mass this weekend. otherwise, i’ll keep you all in my thoughts.

      • penguin

        My grandpa would appreciate it, thank you <3

    • Jess

      Oh, penguin. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather’s passing. I’m glad to hear he was well taken care of and you were able to see him as much as possible recently.

      I’m also fuming about your mom situation. My common “Mom is here” tricks include
      1) Surround yourself with the loudest, friendliest, most positive friends you have. Let them occupy your focus.
      2) Let other people (you have assigned them! This is great!) be her focal point. Do not engage.
      3) Regularly give yourself 10 seconds to feel whatever the hell you’re feeling about her current actions. Then take a deep breath and remind yourself that you don’t get any say in what she does. Go back to #1 and 2.

      I will gladly show up at your wedding armed with the reddest of wines.

    • Sarah Jane

      I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Les

      Sincerest condolences for your loss- fuck cancer. No advice for dealing with your mom- just stranger rage on your behalf!

    • somanypseudonyms

      I am so, so sorry to hear about all of this. I think @disqus_O3uvyucfVg:disqus , @disqus_s3URZFNDFk:disqus, and @disqus_5GrLaQLEXy:disqus have the advice covered — but if you want any more awkward internet hugs, they’re on tap…

      You are already doing the best that you can to balance all this shit, and that’s all that anyone can ask of you. Taking care of yourself (and protecting yourself, as with MOH and brother’s Official Mom Watch duties) is just as important.

    • I’m so sorry… I’m glad that your Grandpa’s passing was as gentle as possible but that is so rough. Fuck cancer.

      I can’t believe your mom is fighting you about wearing white, and it’s so shitty that you have to devote bandwidth to someone you don’t want there. I’m glad that you have people on keep her away duty, & I’m spilling some psychic red wine on her outfit from over here.

      Internet hugs & good vibes :/

    • rg223

      Well shit. I’m so, so sorry penguin! I just agree with Amy March – and really, if she steps over the line anywhere at all, she’s out.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Sending a virtual drink your way, penguin!

    • Mrs H

      I’m so sorry about your Grandpa. That’s so tough.

      Also re your mom-my terrible advice is fuck that bitch. Tell your aunt to to tell her that if she plans to wear that dress, she can forget the invitation.
      My better advice is listen to all the sensible people who’ve given much more rational advice.

    • ssha

      I am so sorry to hear about your grandpa, and can’t imagine the emotional turbulence these events, including Mom being the Worst!! bring for you. i hope you are able to take care of yourself this week and it sounds like you are already setting up good boundaries for the wedding day. Sending you virtual hugs, greeting cards, chocolate and wine.

    • Lisa

      I am so, so sorry about the loss of your grandfather. He clearly meant a lot to you for you to go through with his request. I hope your mother behaves herself and peaces out early. And that your bouncers/bodyguards/friends and family can protect your bubble of newlywedded happiness from her.

  • theteenygirl

    We had the wedding! And it was a huge success! The day ended up being a bit of a blur, and I’m already panicking that I’m forgetting details and that I wasn’t present enough in the moment (even though in my vows I literally said I would work on being more present). Our family and friends really got down with the vibe of the “weekend” and pitched in and helped out with everything. The ceremony was performed by my brother in law, and he did the most exceptional, amazing job. A few people caught on that we were already legally married but it was SO not a big deal. It really did feel like a wedding, and I really do feel married now! Oh, some of you may remember when I asked MONTHS ago for advice about eating outside in the Fall.. you all convinced me that we should eat inside and I shouldn’t torment my guests with being too cold. Well, we had a heat wave and it was like 35C (95) so last minute we had to completely change our plans and eat outside. Luckily, a tent was left there from a previous wedding so.. free tent!

    Here are some pictures.. will remove after HH :) Thanks everyone for helping me to pull this together!! Also, bonus picture of my parrot Levi sitting on my head. Because he’s adorable. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/320666375af9fabd50e13ec5ab082193ac8c0e0e7aaeed5958b64858758f065e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/971c8b9f2788727bfd0088a6160fd77ea043dd0c6e0b2bf138095ff9a7d4321a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19aaca77a2d863cbab953cebd0ed18763d9bfb2c2868daaa80eba1a30593355a.jpg

    • Zoya

      That parrot photo is EVERYTHING.

      • theteenygirl

        Thanks :) We did a family photo shoot with him too. Our photographer had never photographed a bird before and she was such a champ (as was Levi) at adjusting to handle him (he’s pretty skittish with new people and large items). He is a HUGE part of our lives (parrot ownership has been likened to parenting a toddler…) so it was really important that he was there with us. He is really therapeutic for me and my anxiety. :)

      • AmandaBee

        I took a few minutes to see the parrot because I was distracted by that amazing dress. But he’s so cute!

    • louise danger

      omg parrotlet LOVE

      i wish my feathery can opener could be around for our photos, but he’ll be away at Halloween Camp (boarding) :) lucky you that Levi was there! and congrats!

      • theteenygirl

        Yay someone who knows birds!! We were so lucky he could come, because we rented out the whole Inn they let him stay with us :)

        And thanks!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      These are amazing! The parrot was a slow burn- I didn’t notice him right away!

      Also, your dress and hair are A+!

      • theteenygirl

        Hehe we lose him behind toys in his cage all the time :)

        And thank you! My sister did my hair in about 20 minutes if you can believe it. She’s not even a hair dresser. She has a pixie cut! Just such talent.

    • Violet

      I can only assume I was someone who was like, “Noooo, your guests are gonna freeze!” I’m happy you didn’t have that situation at all, and in fact had a great backup for what did go down!

      • theteenygirl

        The big joke the whole time was that when I told my mum I wanted to eat outside she said, “But it could SNOW at the end of September!!!” and then it was so hot and humid and there were so many bugs…

        • Violet

          It’s *never* what you think it’s gonna be, is it?

    • Zomg, the parrot ;) Congratulations!!

    • Rose

      I LOVE your braid! Looks amazing!

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you! I have almost waist length hair and surprisingly it was difficult to find an updo style that 1) my sister was able to recreate/actually do and 2) wouldn’t make me look like a cartoon character. So this is some pull through ponytails as the middle/anchor and two braids going around and tucked in. Not at all what I had in mind, but gosh it looked pretty.

        • Rose

          Oooh, thanks for the description! My hair is long enough that a lot of updos don’t work, but that probably would for me too! I’ll have to play around with something similar if I ever have an occasion that calls for it.

    • Kat

      Ok I have a fear of birds but this picture makes me like birds. SO cute.

      • theteenygirl

        Awh thank you! One of my best friends (a bridesmaid actually) is terrified of birds so I totally get the fear. They are very unpredictable animals! But Levi is super tiny and fluffy and loves kisses and cuddles and snuggling in my hair and playing with toys and saying “you’re so pretty!”.. I find it hard to see why she’s scared of him!

        • Kat

          It is a super impractical fear and the best I can figure, it’s because 2 of my close friends growing up had large pet birds that were just loose in the house and as a kid they seemed dangerously close to my size. Lol

    • Alli

      Idk what is wrong with me but the parrot photo made me tear up. You just look so pretty and you’ve got this little friend on your head! I love it.

    • acg

      Congrats! Also as a bird owner & lover I am devastated that I missed this wedding bird photo!

      • theteenygirl

        Oh no! When we get the full pics back in a month I’ll try to remember to post a family portrait :) He’s a little blue-grey parrotlet

  • AGCourtney

    Hi everyone! I missed last week because the renaissance festival is open the Friday of the final weekend. Ren Fest was the focal point for my year this year, so it’s odd to realize it’s over. We had a wonderful time, though. The princess court, where we spent the most time, presented my daughter and me with matching silk scarves. (I wore mine to work yesterday! It was great.) All in all, it was magical.

    So, now it’s time to try to get my house in order. Because it looks like we’re working on our audition for Hoarders. I’m so tired, though. I had my day shift yesterday and afterwards, I went to bed around 8:30 and didn’t stir until nearly 10 this morning. Homeschooling is a lot of time and work and I have to remind myself that just because I’m home doesn’t mean I’ll be able to organize. But it’s going well!

    Oh, I have to pass on this story: the other night, my (5-year-old) daughter and I were chatting. She asked about a plot point of Aladdin (we saw the touring show! So good) and this led to her saying, “Oh, like how girls used to not be able to go to school. …You know, since boys got a turn to go to school when girls couldn’t, I think girls should get a turn where boys don’t go to school.” “Well, honey, then we’d have a bunch of stupid boys. What would we do with them?” “Kill them.” DIDN’T EVEN MISS A BEAT. (She was joking, of course.) Oh, I laughed so hard.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    YAAAAS NEON DRESS AND BIRD EARRINGS YAAAAS.We are attending a wedding tomorrow afternoon! One of PADude’s work buddies, who is awkwardly not on our intended guest list. I’m not super fond of the guy, because when we end up in the same room together, he’ll engage in animated conversation with PADude without ever acknowledging that I’m standing right there. Like I’ve never even exchanged a hello or made eye contact with him. It’s super weird. Whatevs, weddings are fun and other work people will be there and we get to dress up. Related: I recently changed size enough that some of my go-to fancy event dresses don’t fit anymore, so I ordered a new dress to wear to this one, and I’m a little sad it’s not neon. Alas.In terms of our own wedding, we nailed down a date last week, and my mom is getting super excited, and it’s adorable. She’s also tried super hard to handle everything cautiously in terms of what information she shares with people. Months ago she told her friends about the dress I thought I was going to buy, and I was pretty upset that she did that, so I told her just not to tell people the details I give her, and this time around she asked before even telling anybody the date we chose. I’ve realized that I need to ease up on her a bit, she should be able to talk about the fun even she’s helping to throw.

  • Katelyn

    I need engagement photo outfit opinions!!

    Outfit One
    My fiance is wearing jeans and a plaid flannel so I wanted to stick to plain colors

    If I can find all of these elements this weekend because I have been massively procrastinating…:
    1. Maroon corduroy skinny pants
    2. Blush tee/blouse
    3. Big fluffy long cream cardigan
    Basically this, with inverted colors on top and cozy sweater instead of jacket:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cb3d831a3fbfa0a0c57e7dadc9f81f432adfe5833ea36c0b820712f6c3851b25.png

    Outfit Two:
    My fiance is still deciding between wearing a maroon sweater or a light blue sweater for #2 so I bought the dress in both “wine red” and a soft blue.

    1. Long sleeve swing Dress
    2. Big old blanket scarf
    3. Black booties (possibly w/ black tights if it’s chilly)
    Similar to this:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30a29da6cac4d6e5bbee9593b43f008811d48dafd2b811a926db950f24ce1e13.png

    Hopefully will find blue blanket scarf on my shopping adventures…

    Thoughts? Modifications?

    • louise danger

      both are nice! my advice: don’t overthink it, and wear something you’ll be happy and comfortable in! our photos wound up happening on the hottest day of the year at that point and it shows in some of them that i was too warm in the dress that i’d picked, even though overall it wound up looking just fine.

      scarves are the best.

      • Katelyn

        What is this “not overthink” thing? Lol. I have warmer/colder versions of all the outfits planned and have test-driven them or have at least worn very similar outfits. There are so many rules! “Don’t wear white or black, unless they have xyz,” “Don’t match but don’t clash,” “Pick a similar formality,” “but RELAX it will all be OK”….. this is insane. All while I’m worried my fickle hair will act up, my makeup will be too subtle or too extreme, and there’s a chance of rain all on top of this pile of bullshit.

        • Capondoodle

          I am also in this same state of anxiety for pics next week. I’m not the best at coordinating outfits :-/

          • Katelyn

            Solidarity hug! Maybe your photographer has some portfolio photos for ideas? Or Pinterest. But don’t fall too far down that rabbit hole (speaking from experience…woops).

    • Zoya

      Our photographer told us that we should dress in complementary/contrasting colors and patterns. So if your fiance is wearing maroon, go with blue, and vice versa.

      • Katelyn

        Do you think maroon and blue are complementary? I almost exclusively wear greyscale but I don’t want to look like a black and white photo. So I think all colors that aren’t variants of each other look weird. I’m trying not to match but pull in elements of his colors into mine. Maybe I should re-think my first outfit and stick the white sweater on top of the swing dress to mute it…

        • Zoya

          Just went over to our photog’s website–check out the third photo down: https://manaliannephotography.com/engagement-sessions/

        • Jess

          Blues go great with maroon, especially Navy.

          • Katelyn

            Yeah, I should go buy something in navy. The blue I purchased is not quite right…

    • Eenie

      Make sure you feel comfortable in the clothes! I think that’s what makes the biggest difference (for me at least). So not too many new items? Unless you don’t feel weird in new clothes.

      • Katelyn

        I’m pretty much buying new colors (aka not black/white/grey) of clothing I usually wear. So I’m pretty comfortable wearing the clothes themselves – but worried about whether they’re photo-appropriate, if they match too much or if they clash, if I’m dressing up more or less than him, etc etc…. so many rules!

        • Eenie

          And over here I wore a black and grey sweater with black pants for mine! I like the outfits you put together!

          • Katelyn

            Yeah, my fiance likes this thing called “color” plus his outfits are brown-based. His clothing selection is much more limited than my options so he gets to call the shots for this :) Greyscale lovers unite!

          • Jess

            I wore a grey sweater and a white sweater. Oops? I looked great, whatever.

    • Angela’s Back

      I wore basically option 2 for our elopement photos, but a sweater dress with coat, and it was great–warm and comfortable and easy to move in, which was nice for photos. Either of these options is really nice though, and honestly, if you already have the stuff for option two, I would just wear that because it’s less work :D

  • louise danger

    a week from this writing, i will be married! stuff that’s going on:

    – i’m DIYing escort cards this weekend and that’s the last wedding project on the list! might make more pompoms if we feel so inclined but i think we have enough going on
    – the tabletop/day-of signage arrived and it’s PERFECT
    – i have a cold and despite my insistence that it GTFO, it’s lingering a little, but i am mainlining Vitamin C supplements and Dayquil and I honestly feel pretty much like a human today
    – 10-day forecast shows sunny and high in the upper 60s – PERFECT
    – we need a frame for our guestbook poster (which is AMAZING and is something i’m actually excited to put on the wall after the wedding – as someone who is often hesitant to put up pictures, because it limits the blank walls’ potential [<– something i've said out loud before to Mr Danger], this is a Big Deal™) and we have to test the offprint the printer sent us to make sure our pens won't be bleedy and sad day-of
    – need to put the tablecloths and lanterns and other assorted decor into Rubbermaid bins along with instructions for the restaurant. honestly this restaurant has been so chill and has just rolled with all our punches. "are you all able to X?" "sure" "awesome, thanks – someone also asked about Y, is that cool?" "yeah, no worries" UGH YES
    – the fall foliage is scheduled to peak the days that we'll be wandering around Skyline Drive/SNP YAY
    – Mr Danger's mom actually spoke with the restaurant about the rehearsal dinner and the screaming-match topic of guaranteed minimums, and wouldn't you know it, they were able to revise that number lower for her with zero hiccups or concerns. magic.

    tl;dr everything's coming up louise danger and the only thing that's really left/TBD is where to take our stuff for dry cleaning before the big day. anyone in the Baltimore area (we're in the Catonsville/Ellicott City/Columbia zone) have any trusted recommendations?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Please tell me more about what’s happening with all those pompoms, and also your guestbook poster, pls.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Yay so excited for you!! Sounds like you guys are making shit happen!

      Also just came to say I know what you mean about the wall’s potential. It’s a problem.

      • louise danger

        YAY i’m so glad. like… our old apartment had 17′ ceilings (it was in a converted textile mill) and the light was amazing but what do you DO with that much space? and now we’re in a normal 1960s Cape Cod-style bungalow so the walls are more limited but like… the moment i put a picture up, the wall will be limited to having that picture on it.

        my anxiety manifests in strange ways sometimes but it’s heartening to know someone else has this thought process, too :)

    • wannabee

      Might I suggest Wellness Formula for your lingering cold? It MIGHT be snake oil, but I find taking a bunch when I think I’m getting sick helps stave it off. I mainline them when I’m flying, too. Happy Wedding prep!

  • emilyg25

    Last Saturday, my husband took the kid to the store to get eggs and came home with eggs and a vintage tandem bicycle. It’s perfection: hot pink, with gold glitter seats, and it even came with a child seat. The three of us rode it to the brewery and it was a blast! Three people on one bike! Being the stoker (back) is weird though—you have to completely give up control. It definitely confirmed that I married the right person. I don’t think there’s another person in the world that I’d trust to be captain.

    • emilyg25
      • MC

        WOWWWWWWW I LOVE THIS!! Husband and I have talked about getting a tandem bike so this is the dream!

        • emilyg25

          Yard sale! It was $45!

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        OMG WANT

      • Zoya

        Everything about this story is my favorite.

      • Les

        husband goals!

      • Sarah

        My husband and I call these “divorce bikes.” We won’t get on one, for fear of divorcing. And to put it in perspective, we really love AND LIKE each other. We worked together for a handful of years, we did bicycle and regular commuting to said shared job while also living together and still got along. We even added marathon training together and training together for metric century rides to that mix and still got along. We’re a great team. Almost nothing could break us. But a tandem bike just might. No divorce bikes for us.

        • Nicole

          I’ve heard tandem kayaks called divorce boats too. BUT we have some friends who are very into tandem biking who’ve said it’s more like, “no matter where you’re going, a tandem will get you there faster.”

          • Sarah

            we tandem kayaked on our honeymoon. Neither of us had kayaked before and we had a broken rudder. It didn’t work out very well but we were fine. I’m sure we bickered, but we still look back on it fondly and would likely try it again. But a tandem bike, no way. For us, there’s something uniquely horrifying about sharing a bicycle. It’s just like our ONE thing that we simply can’t do together. But tandem-other-things would be fine.

        • emilyg25

          Yeah, it’s definitely something different. I basically never give up control of anything, but my husband is weirdly good at chilling me out. It helps that he’s a much more experienced, confident cyclist than me, so I’m honestly kind of relieved to be able to just relax and pedal.

    • CMT

      I love everything about this story <3

    • Emily

      Yes! Being the back person on the tandem is like a couples counseling session. A very good one. That bike is awesome!!

    • Cellistec

      I had no idea there were titles for the two seats! Talk about a useful metaphor for marriage sometimes.

  • Her Lindsayship

    I commented a few weeks ago about how I had some initial disappointment at my wedding photos because, mostly tbh, I didn’t look as glam as I felt. Everything else about the photos was great, and now I’ve really warmed up to them by focusing more on the love and happiness there.

    But I still have a bit of dress remorse. It’s vain AF but I know I could’ve looked better, so I’m considering soothing my ego with a fabulous dress for my 30th birthday in a few months. Unfortunately I am a peasant and cannot figure out where on earth it would actually be appropriate to wear an evening gown for my birthday. (I wish I could throw a lavish black tie dinner party for myself but I’m not Daisy Buchanan?) The whole point is to give myself permission to be glam post-wedding, but I am struggling a bit with it. I’d love your thoughts!

    • Amy March

      Does it need to be a birthday focused event? Charity galas are usually good for an excuse to wear an evening gown. You could also go for it for an opera or ballet performance but you’ll be overdressed, if you care about that.

      • Angela’s Back

        Overdressed maybe, but all the underdressed people will look at you and be like oh yeah, that’s what you’re supposed to look like at the opera, and you will have the dress equivalent of the moral high ground. Signed, chronic opera overdresser.

        • Violet

          Oh, someone linked to the Wait But Why post about feeling “cluey” (aka, empathy) yesterday, and your comment reminds me of a time when I felt this hardcore. I went to a matinee production of Hairspray on Broadway a while back. There was a couple there where the guy was in a tux and the woman was in an off-the-shoulder emerald green satin ballgown. I really felt horrible. Maybe they were loving it and having a great time, but all I could think was how awful I’d feel if I were that overdressed.

          • Angela’s Back

            I don’t know if I could be that overdressed for a matinee, but the evening show? That shit is on and in my mind it’s 1899 and floor length is required.

          • rg223

            Oh, my friend is a theater critic and he would have LOVED that couple! He is on a one-man crusade to get everyone to dress up to go to the theater again. He taught me well, so I believe it’s not that the couple was overdressed, it’s that everyone else was under-dressed.

          • Violet

            Dude, I am not wearing more than darkwash jeans and a nice top to a matinee of Hairspray with my mom’s college buddies! Just ain’t gonna happen!

    • Kaitlyn

      I think the tickets are a pricey, but I think it’s black tie! http://www.bostonwinterball.com/

      • Her Lindsayship

        Omg thanks this is awesome! Have you ever gone/been invited? It looks like you have to have a code to view tickets, though maybe that’s just because it’s so early at this point.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Could you and some friends throw a black-tie progressive dinner? That way, you’d only have to shell out your portion of the evening, like the salad course and the drinks to go with it.

      (I’ve never done this, but have wanted to for ages!)

      • Zoya

        My husband has been talking about doing something like this. I told him he’s welcome to plan it, and I will show up in a fancy dress and be a guest! :)

      • Her Lindsayship

        Dinner with friends was my initial thinking, and making it a progressive dinner sounds awesome! But I don’t think I have friends who would be into it. I’ll try asking around a bit, see if I can generate some interest…

    • louise danger

      it’s charity gala season. look up museums, organizations, non-profits, etc that you’re interested in supporting – the dress code is usually black tie (or in the case of some museums, creative black tie), so a big ballgown would not be out of place. if the cash for a ticket to the actual gala dinner is too spendy, some places have started offering afterparties – more like a cocktail party than a formal dinner, with louder music and nibbles – which might fit the bill if you want a dress you could potentially wear to fancy weddings as a guest in the future

      • Her Lindsayship

        Literally never would’ve thought of this, amazing, thank you

    • Kate

      Oooooh I used to throw “All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go” parties. Everyone wears ridiculously fancy or just straight up bizarre clothes to go bowling or something. Very little work compared to a lavish black tie dinner party. Another possibility- go to the opera a la Moonstruck.

      • Angela’s Back

        One of my coworkers at my last job always wanted to have a party where we all got dressed in prom dresses and then went to McDonald’s and just hung out. I wish we had done that before I moved away…

        • alexis

          My best friend and I did this!!! We wore our prom dresses to McDonalds (this was during our first year of college), brought a cheap tablecloth and one of those fake flickering candles. It was totally ridiculous and a lot of fun!

    • Eenie

      Go out to dinner at a fancy-ish restaurant!

      • Abs

        Depends on your personality for this one. Some restaurants that are fancy for some people are, like, Tuesday night for other people, and I feel like more and more you see rich people going to nice places in sneakers and sweatpants because it’s not special to them. Which makes my blood boil when partner and I have saved up to do something special, and we’re all dressed up and then we’re seated next to some rich geezer in a windbreaker watching espn on his phone.

        That is literally my top pet peeve, so if that also bothers you, probably entertaining at home (cava! snacks! black-tie!) or the charity even option is better.

    • Violet

      Can we all take a moment and breathe a sigh of relief we’re not Daisy Buchanan?

      • Her Lindsayship

        Almost went with Mary Crawley, but Lady Mary would never throw herself a birthday party. (I on the other hand have no qualms about it. It also helps that I have a twin, so we can and will throw each other a birthday party that is the same party.)

    • savannnah

      Our friendsgivings are always themed (no apologies) and this year is black tie. Just a thought!

    • NolaJael

      Cocktails at a fancy hotel!! Doesn’t *have* to break the bank like a whole dinner would.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Second vote for fancy cocktail night. We have a friend who comes in from the city to visit, and we do this whenever he’s here, and it’s fabulous.

    • ssha

      “unfortunately I am a peasant” this made me lol and I also relate.

    • Sarah E

      Last year for New Years’, friends of mine hosted a “Prommitzvanera” or something, basically with the description being if you missed out on having or attending a super fancy coming-of-age kind of party for whatever reason, this is it. Tiaras abounded and everything dressed either really fancy or really sparkly or both.

      • AGCourtney

        omg that sounds amazing

  • Hi Maddie, can I borrow Linc for like 2 days? Thanks!

    • MC

      THAT FUCKING CONGRESSMAN. And of course he was a co-sponsor of the 20-week abortion ban that just passed in the House. Men keep finding ways to be the worst.

      • Danielle

        Yes.

        Everyone, please call your senators this week and make sure they vote NO on the 20-week abortion ban.

        I mentioned this earlier this year when it happened, but I had to end a (very wanted) pregnancy just after our 20-week ultrasound, when we learned our baby had a fatal genetic condition. I live in a state that outlaws abortion after 20 weeks, so I have a taste of what this experience looks like. Many women in my position have gone to other states to get the procedure done, and I’m terrified of what will happen if this cruel, medically irrelevant law is extended across the country.

        You can find your senator phone numbers here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

        • Antonia

          Hugs <3

        • emmers

          Thanks for sharing. I’ve been thinking of you these past months.

          • Danielle

            Thank you emmers. It’s been hard but I’m feeling better now. It really takes time (and counseling, writing, crying, walking in nature, grieving, and quality time with my partner).

            How are you doing?

            If you want to connect with me privately, I will share my email address.

          • emmers

            That would be super cool!

            Mine is ehogge at gmail. Let me know when you’ve got it & I’ll take it down.

          • Danielle

            Got it! Thanks.

    • Violet

      The Penn State thing mystifies me. Granted, I don’t understand the point of fraternities/sororities in general (yes, I suppose you can use them for networking, but there are plenty of other options to achieve that goal). These men/women behave in disgusting and criminal ways, so why do people keep signing themselves up for it? That people die in hazings is not news; it has to be part of the decision-making process when people choose to pledge. Can someone help me understand this?

      • So, I’m Greek – I pledged a historically Black sorority in college & I’m still active (which is common in Black orgs). I’ve heard/seen a lot of hazing, but nothing as blatant as what I read in that story. I joined my sorority for sisterhood, to serve my community, etc and while I would have been able to do those things in other organizations, nothing bonds like a fraternal org, at least in the Black community. However, I cannot and will never defend injuring or murdering someone in the name of the organization. I don’t know the answer to stopping it though.

        • Violet

          So to clarify, you’re saying that the hazing you’ve seen/heard didn’t directly injure the person? Do you mind me asking what kind of hazing it was, then?

          • Technically by our organization’s standards, anything that you require the initiates to do outside of the approved new member education is hazing. Examples: wearing the same outfit, having them do laundry/wash your clothes/run errands; standing in line reciting information; lack of sleep; etc.

            Also I said “I’ve heard/seen a lot of hazing, but nothing as blatant as what I read in that story.” – meaning I’ve never seen/heard of someone being forced to drink large amounts of alcohol+bodily fluids at one time, or all the physical punching/kicking/etc. The most I’ve heard of personally (meaning someone I personally know experienced it” was paddling, and it was always fraternities. I know there are sororities who did/do paddle but I’ve never seen it.

          • Violet

            Huh. It’s just so hard for me to wrap my head around. I wouldn’t even do someone’s laundry to get into a club, so to do things that are actually injurious (and sleep deprivation is in that category for me) is really hard for me to wrap my head around. I know that what happens in many cases is there’s a sunk cost fallacy operating, where the hazing asks start small but then snowball over time. By the time someone is doing the gauntlet it’s partially because they’re thinking, “Well, I’ve already done X, Y, and Z, so I can’t give up now.” But it seems like most fraternities and sororities are pretty clear at the outset that you’re gonna have to do stuff you don’t like to get in. But I do recognize I have a very low tolerance for risk, which affects my risk/reward ratio in decision-making.

      • Sarah

        BUzzfeed had a long article about pledging a sorority. Wowza. I’d bet a very small number of the girls were STEM majors!

        • Violet

          Wait, why? What about STEM majors?

  • Ok updates:
    *I did not get the job that I interviewed for last week, which is a slight bummer. I mostly feel like they wasted my time because one of the 3 PT contractors wound up getting the job. They led me to believe that none of the contractors wanted it, hence why they were interviewing.
    *We started the house process! We went to some open houses last week to start getting a feel, and we’ve talked to a couple realtors. The scariest part was doing the mortgage application but surprisingly we qualified for a nice amount on just my salary & score. So it feels like this is all coming together.
    *BabyPi is 9 months today, yay! It’s also getting colder in MN and I’m trying to figure out what to do about a coat. She was born in Jan & we just did the car seat cover, but now she’s in the convertible seat. She also runs really hot. I think maybe just a fleece jacket and an extra blanket in the car if she’s cold? Any recommendations on coats that are car seat safe?

    • Mary Jo TC

      As far as I know, no coat bigger than a small jacket is really car seat safe. We have always carried the coat to the car and put it on the kid as we get out after we arrive. So yes, fleece jacket and blankets in the car, coat when you’re actually outside. But it also helps that we live in the south and only have about 2 months of real cold to deal with. Good luck with the house search and keep us updated!

      • CMT

        I would have never in a million years thought about coats being unsafe in car seats. You learn something new every day!

        • penguin

          I was thinking the same thing! Is it a smothering danger? Or that it could get caught in the buckle or something? Not doubting, just curious.

          • louise danger

            the puffy jacket has an effect on how tight the straps are – makes them too loose to be safe

        • @disqus_S6iEtjGKhk:disqus it’s because the puffiness of the jacket makes the straps not tight, and in an accident the child can fly out of the straps and die.

          • penguin

            Wouldn’t have thought of that! That’s good to know for sure.

          • Violet

            They’ll tell you in any infant CPR class, so just make sure to take one before having a kiddo if you want to make sure to know the crucial stuff.

    • AGCourtney

      Ugh, that sucks about the job. But yay on the housing process! I really enjoyed the researching phase.

      Coats won’t work with the carseat. Our solution is to just bring it along and she puts it on when we get wherever we’re going, (e.g. so Aunt so-and-so doesn’t panic when we arrive at her house). The blanket sounds like a great solution.

    • emmers

      I’m sorry about that job. That stuff can be demoralizing. I hope you find something great soon.

      Good luck on the house hunt! Yay! And good luck on finding good warm-kid solutions!

    • rg223

      Agreed with the above on the car seat thing. There’s also the option of buckling in the kid sans coat, then putting the coat on backwards on top of the buckle. It works well, especially if there’s no hood.

    • Ken

      The coat question is perfect timing!…I’ve decided today is the day to get over my internet shyness to start participating here and I’ve been wondering about the same thing. My kiddo is just a bit older than yours (born end of Nov.) so we also got through last winter with just a car seat cover. Fleece/blanket in the car and something heavier just for longer times outside is what I was thinking.

      • Yay, welcome! I think we’re also going to do fleece+blanket cause of the car seat deal, and a heavier coat for the limited times when she’ll play outside.

        • Jenny

          That’s what we did. It worked great (though I am in a more southern climate)

      • Lesley

        We bought a fleece carseat poncho for my daughter and it worked well. It’s easy to get on and off and can be flipped up to buckle her into her seat. I guess it’s pretty much a wearable blanket, but was super handy for quick trips in and out of the car/buildings.

    • BSM

      Sorry about the job. I agree that feeling like your time was wasted is often more frustrating than not being picked!

    • emilyg25

      The Patagonia baby down sweater is Car Seat Lady approved. I bought a size up and we’re getting a second year out of it. But yes, fleece + blanket is fine too!

    • Sarah E

      My husband also runs hot, and did while he was a baby. My MIL runs cold, though, and always put him in sweaters since the common advice she saw was “dress the baby like you would yourself.” She took him to the doctor when he developed a rash and it was literally just a heat rash because of the sweaters. (Still took like 30 years for her to stop buying him sweaters.) All of which to say, I have no practical advice, but your baby will probably be fine. And good work on creating a warm baby in MN– that’s a quality that will serve her well ;-)

  • MC

    Soooo what are people doing this week to not feel totally depressed and demoralized by recent news?? I made a big effort to do things that would make me feel good and help others, in no particular order: donated to Hurricane Marie + Mexico Earthquake relief, donated blood, spent time with my Little Sister, read Harry Potter fanfic, went on runs, and went to a Shins concert and danced my face off. Overall I think this is the least depressed/anxious I’ve been during a truly shitty week of awful things (or shitty 9 months), so gonna try to be really intentional and proactive about making plans like these next week, too.

    I also got to see Dolores Huerta speak at the high school my husband worked at (where 90% of student body is latinx) and it was super inspiring to see her and to see all the teens get inspired by her. A dance team did a dance routine in her honor where they raised their fists and said “Si Se Puede!” and it made me tear up. Teens!

    • Angela’s Back

      My husband and I are going to go look at some fall foliage and just enjoy nature and quiet :)

    • Mary Jo TC

      HP fan fic recommendation? It’s so hard to find good ones.

      So jealous of you getting to see Dolores Huerta!

      • MC

        I wouldn’t say I’ve found any *good* ones, but I just re-read books 5-7 and wanted to see what other people thought happened post-Deathly Hallows. Mostly it just makes me realize what a good author JK Rowling is because nothing compares! But still fun to read.

  • Cellistec

    Does anyone take vacations on their own? No partner, no friends, no kids, just…alone. Even just a weekend away? The idea sounds amazing, but I think it’ll hurt Mr. Cellistec’s feelings (he’s an extrovert who understands I need more alone time, but I know it still stings when I hint that I want to spend less time with him).

    • Violet

      Closest I’ve ever done is take a random day off work and do my own thing all day. Or go to our hometown by myself and hole myself up with my mom for the weekend. Not quite what you’re getting at, but both are been awesome, imo.

      • penguin

        Yep I’ve taken some days off from work like this, it’s glorious. I usually get a ton done around the house too (or just watch a ton of CSI).

    • savannnah

      We live in commuter train distance from NYC and every few months I do a weekend date with the city and me. Spending some points on a hotel and wandering around the city for the weekend just on my own is a great recharge. My husband uses the time alone to binge on video games and also recharges.

    • Essssss

      I’ve extended work trips for personal time, or just built personal time in. During work trips, one of my favorite things is treating myself to a nice meal by myself with a book.

      • Violet

        Oh yeah, I forgot, work trips are good for this kind of thing, too. I love going to a restaurant and eating alone from time to time.

      • Cellistec

        Yup, hotel room cable + takeout for one at work conferences is my jam.

    • Cleo

      I took a mini road trip by myself in March to see the superbloom in the California desert. I left Saturday morning, hiked through the desert and took pictures, grabbed tacos from a taco truck, crashed, and drove back home on Sunday. It was so FREEING to not have to think about anyone else’s schedule or to communicate my needs to anyone (thanks anxiety for making that difficult!). Highly recommend.

      • Cellistec

        Oh, that sounds lovely.

    • Amy March

      Hmmm. I think I’d be hurt by this because vacations are a fun and exciting thing, and they are the type of thing I want to do with a partner. But you know what sounds awful? A silent yoga retreat. Or a meditation and mindfulness seminar. Is there some way you can frame this as some sort of enrichment activity he will hate and not a vacation?

      • CMT

        Or if you travel for work tack on a few days to the end of a work trip?

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, I was thinking of tacking on a day to the end of a visiting-a-friend trip and just spending time somewhere by myself to decompress.

      • theteenygirl

        Seconding this. Husband gets like 3 weeks more vacation time than me, and he has expressed interest in going on vacation to do things that genuinely sound awful to me. Touring soccer stadiums in London? Golf weekends? Skiing? Ugh no way. I’ve told him I’d be happy for him to spend his “extra” vacation doing those things without dragging me along.

        • Yeah, my husband goes on more trips than I do because he has more vacation time and I do not want to spend a whole week touring presidential museums and baseball stadiums. (Maybe one of each is fine, but I’d rather spend my vacation time camping or visiting people mostly). But also my husband is way more extrovert-y than I am, so I also don’t really mind too much being alone (plus he is gone for work ALL THE TIME anyway, so I am used to it).

      • ART

        Thirding this – I went on a work-related trip last year that entailed being on a train/bus/ferry/on foot and in hotels for three days, and getting from home to my destination and back without my car and with everything I packed in a backpack. Part of me desperately wants to do something like that again…just take off on foot and take every public transit option available and pack next to nothing…but to my husband? This would be utter torture. He’d be so glad to be left at home.

      • Sarah E

        Agree. Though we’ve both traveled by ourselves, his is always always for a work conference (which sometimes includes extra time for himself). I already get jealous just when he goes and does all that stuff and I’m stuck at home that if he suggested he was going to a spot just to hang out by himself, I’d be balling. In contrast, I’ve taken ONE trip to visit my college buddies without him (other solo travel has been for funerals, and that hardly counts), and he was A-okay with it, independent introvert that he is.

    • CMT

      Yep! All the time! But I don’t have to worry about hurting a partner’s feelings. But let me tell you, it is great to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

    • Sarah Jane

      I haven’t gone on vacation by myself (as a married person), but it’s something I did a lot before I got married. I discussed with my husband that having the freedom to do that without any Feelings about it was important to me, and he agreed, and admitted that he would like to be able to do that too. I think the important thing to realize for us was that just because I was now married to him didn’t mean that I had stopped being me, and this was a thing that was important to me.
      That being said, I have done this in the context of travel for work, and it’s been perfectly fine. For example, my last work trip required me to be in South Carolina for 3 weeks, so I took the weekends to do some sightseeing. He was excited to hear about my adventures when I got home.

    • Eenie

      I think it’d be easier to sell this if he has something fun to do at the same time. So he’s going on a trip with friends? Choose that weekend to do the same yourself.

      • Cellistec

        That’s how we try to plan our separate vacations–usually him camping and me with friends. But It’s still not alone time for me, so I guess I could scale back on the friend time and go solo instead.

        • Eenie

          Oh if you already do solo vacations I think that makes a huge difference. I would just be upfront about it. Tacking a day or two on the end of a trip (either work or friends) is a pretty good idea as long as it doesn’t really ruin your vacation timing plans. My husband is travelling all of next week and I’m really looking forward to having the house to myself :)

          • Cellistec

            Yes, I love it when my husband goes camping without me! Though I spend the weekend doing a lot of chores and homework, I also crash hard on the couch with Netflix for a couple hours. I just wish I got more alone time that wasn’t cannibalized by a to-do list, which is always the case when I’m at home.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Do you talk with him about being introverted and what that means in terms of what you need? My mom is a DoublePlusExtrovert, and I am not, and I’ve found it helps over time to explain it as, “I need to spend time alone for a bit, and then we can spend time together,” and not as, I don’t want to spend time with you right now, which feels a lot more personal to her.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, he’s gotten a lot better at giving me alone time, which is tricky in a studio apartment. (Headphones FTW.) When he goes camping alone he sometimes calls it “recon,” as in checking out the spot for a future camping trip with me, so I could do the same with a day trip and I think he would get the meaning.

    • rg223

      My friend wrote this and it’s pretty great, and I love having an excuse to share it: https://www.thehairpin.com/2013/09/the-hairpin-travel-serial-part-four-paris-is-lonelylovely-when-youre-alone/

    • Kate

      Do it. If it makes you feel like a jerk, be comforted by the fact that last week I straight up told my partner to stay home so I could go out with friends alone. The friends are kind of his friends too, but they’re my grad school classmates and I knew them first and I’ll be damned if I never get some fun time alone with them. For the record, my partner survived and it helps if I say “I just need time alone with my friends sometimes” as factually as possible. Say “I just need some time with me, myself, and I sometimes” as factually as possible.

    • Angela’s Back

      My husband travels to see his friends in Austin by himself pretty regularly and I’ve never thought it was weird–the one guy in particular who he stays with he’s known since kindergarten and I have no desire to be in the middle of that, although I know him and like him just fine. And I kind of love it when he goes away because I get the place to myself for a few days and I can live on spaghetti-os and tuna mornay and crochet while watching crappy police procedurals, all things that he is not that into. Vice versa, I’ve gone on vacations by myself to see *my* friends and it’s just lovely. Like the other commenters, I would frame it less as “I need time away from you” and more as “I want some time to go do this thing you’re not that into that I love.”

    • Abs

      When I do this it’s often on the end of a work trip–like, I’m here anyway, so I’m going to stay an extra day and go to this other place right near by. Partner does it too, and it doesn’t feel bad, because there’s a built in reason why you’re going, and why the other person isn’t.

    • AmandaBee

      I’ve totally gone on vacation without my husband, often tacked on to a business trip or to meet friends, but I’ve also floated the idea of travelling alone. I agree that it helps if it’s something he’s not interested in doing. My husband hates the beach, so he’s not jealous when I plan beach vacays without him. Is there something you love that he doesn’t? Start there!

      Maybe it would help if you’re also planning some trips together, so it’s not like he’s left out of all the travel fun. My husband and I also sometimes travel together, but split up for portions of the trip (he goes to one museum, I go to another, or whatever). That way we can both do what we want, and then talk about it over dinner. So maybe there’s a middle ground like that you could try.

  • Sonnie

    Last week one of my best friends (who was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I totally assumed that I’d be a bridesmaid in hers) asked me to be a reader instead. A few other friends of hers have been posting about how she asked them to be bridesmaids, so I know it’s not a family-only or a no bridal party thing.

    I’ve been cycling through feeling hurt and embarrassed and guilty and petty. I was so excited to celebrate her at the wedding and at all of the other pre-wedding events and now… I don’t even want to attend. I’m struggling at how to push past all these feelings and go back to being the excited, happy, supportive friend that I was before I found out my role in her wedding. So far my coping methods have been crying in the shower and trying to find the best non-bridesmaid dress, probably not the healthiest but it feels good. Any help on ways to re-bound from this?

    • Amy March

      I think just give yourself time! Of course it stings, but equally of course it sounds like you’re not going to end the friendship over this. It’s been a week, trust that in time the feelings will pass.

    • emmers

      I’ve posted about this before, but this happened to me. I had been so excited about the wedding, and just assumed I’d be a bridesmaid, but I wasn’t. I think, just take care of you the best you can. Maybe that means coming to the showers and stuff (cuz maybe you’d miss that later if you didn’t go?), or maybe coming to some stuff but not all. I wrote this letter, because it did really hurt.:
      https://captainawkward.com/2015/11/12/791-feeling-slighted-and-unmoored-in-a-friendship-and-looking-for-ways-to-connect/

      And yea, it’s just a lot of feelings. Hang in there.

    • Alex K

      Can you make fun plans for before the wedding (if your traveling). I’m in a weird wedding situation and I made plans to go to the spa before the wedding with my mom (who is also invited). So while it still sucks I feel like something postive has come out of it (and the spa will be super fun).

      • Sonnie

        Good idea, and a way to distract myself from the rehearsal dinner, getting ready time, etc.

        • Amandalikeshummus

          Readers to generally go to the rehearsal dinner. So unless you’ve been told otherwise, I’d expect an invite to that. Also, spa day with mom sounds fun!

    • Kate

      I’m sorry that you feel hurt. Silver lining, I think reader is not one of those made-up wedding jobs (like standing next to the guest book). I would be very choosy about who I asked to stand up and speak in front of my whole community on my behalf. Still 100% okay to feel a little hurt and take time to process your feelings.

    • JC

      Can I suggest renting a non-bridesmaid dress? It has the satisfaction of picking out a dress just for you with the added bonus of wearing a dress WAY more expensive than one could afford to buy. I’m getting a lot of pleasure out of my dress-rental plans.

    • Cleo

      I’m the perpetual, “You’re not a bridesmaid, but you’re totally welcome at the bachelorette party if you want to come” friend. It DOES sting. It freaking sucks. It makes me feel like I’m some sort of second tier friend forever and ever. And I feel this way EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m not asked to be a bridesmaid.

      Nothing can make you feel wholly better except time, but remembering you love your best friend, that her wedding will be super fun, and that, yes, you do get to wear a killer dress (retail therapy is REAL) will help. Also, offer up your services to her as a friend – if she needs any help with any wedding related stuff or to vent or to celebrate, so you get to feel like part of her wedding/life.

      And perhaps consider the group who are in the bridal party… one of my best friends didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid because the dynamics between everyone else in the bridal party were tricky (VERY cliquish) and she didn’t want me to feel left out/have to manage everyone to get them to open up to another person.

      • emmers

        +1 to retail therapy

    • Rosie

      That’s really hard. Maybe it would help to think about the fact that people choose bridesmaids for all sorts of weird reasons, even if it’s not family only, and there could be any type of logic going on in your friend’s head that caused her to make those decisions. For example, maybe there were people she “had” to invite for other reasons, or maybe she only wanted to ask local friends so they could help more, or maybe in her mind being a reader is a bigger honor (I mean, it’s kind of a big deal if you think about it).

      Allow yourself to feel hurt and embarrassed and petty and all of the things that you are feeling right now. Trust that you will process those feelings and they will pass, the same way that your body heals a cut or wound. You had an expectation of how things would be at her wedding, and that’s not how it is, and you are mourning that loss, and it’s ok to cry and be sad.

      Perhaps this has made you question your friendship with her. When you are ready, spend some quality time together, try to remember why you are friends in the first place, and cultivate gratitude for this special person in my life, and to remind yourself that your relationship with her is about more than just what she asks you to do on her wedding day.

      Also – I totally second the idea of buying or renting a bomb dress, and planning something fun for the day of her wedding! While you are doing said fun activity (whether it’s sleeping in, brunching, hiking, whatever), remind yourself how much more fun it is than waking up at 6am to get your makeup done ;)

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Just want to add another voice of, I FEEL YOU. It can feel like a demotion. I’ve actually never been a bridesmaid, either because I’m asked to sing, my friends have tons of other friends and family they love, or a combination of both. I’ve come to terms with it; but it still makes me sad and like I’m missing out.

      Feel the feelings, and you’ll get used to the situation.

      • emmers

        Demotion is so accurate! Even knowing logical Reasons why I’m not chosen, that’s so the feeling.

        I wish this wasn’t a thing in our culture.

  • Kate

    I have made a goal to send more snail mail to my loved ones. It makes me happy and is one of those activities that helps me manage my anxiety. Plus I can’t justify buying more fun stamps if I don’t use the 60+ I already have. I’m doing pretty good so far, sent 5 postcards / 2 letters last week and have 4 more postcards waiting to go out today. Do y’all send snail mail for fun? Do you have any favorite sources for stationary or postcards?

    • rg223

      Oooh yes love stationary! I have too much! I don’t know what the selection is like now, but I’ve gotten cute stuff from Modcloth in the past. And honestly, the best places are independent stores in your town, if you can get to one of those.

    • Cellistec

      I do! Mostly birthday cards, but also letters, postcards, etc. I like Postable’s cards, which I know is kind of cheating because they send the card for you, but it’s easy to get it done at my computer and not traipse all over town for stamps. Emily McDowell’s cards are my favorite to buy and send the old-fashioned way.

    • I have a couple of friends I send mail back and forth with regularly, and I’ll randomly pop a postcard in the mail for others. I love sending and receiving letters and cards! I usually send either free postcards I find around (hotels, tourism offices and the like), ridiculous cards I horde (Just Wink are my favourites), and recently I made my own silly stationary I surreptitiously printed on my work printer.

    • Angela’s Back

      I send postcards and birthday cards! And now random cards to my MIL because she’s all about mail and I figure it’s the least I can do since I took her son 2000 miles away from her, ha.

    • Sarah E

      Every time I start thinking about how much I like to receive fun snail mail (to relieve the endless march of junk and bills), I try to send something. Put out into the world (literally) what you hope to get back.

      A year or two ago, when my bff bought her house, she sent me a lengthy note about how her bulletin board was mostly covered with cards and notes I’d sent to her, which just made my day. That’s absolutely why I send them– in hopes my people get a smile out of them, the longer-lasting, the better.

    • A single sarah

      I stock up on blank cards from the sale section at museums (especially art museums). Supporting the institution + pretty designs.

  • Jessica

    Um Maddie you look really cute in both pictures so looks like an awesome weekend!

  • Vanessa

    Friends! I got married! I’ve been MIA here for a while as a result, but I got some preview photos from the photographer & wanted to share them!!!

    https://i.imgur.com/cHFgeFW.jpg https://i.imgur.com/u1Xxkcu.jpg https://i.imgur.com/z1d0jdg.jpg https://i.imgur.com/Df6wgw9.jpg

    • Fiona

      This is STUNNING.

      • Vanessa

        Thank you!!!!!

    • somanypseudonyms

      G O R G E O U S

      • Vanessa

        Thank you!!!!

    • Jess

      Beautiful!

      • Vanessa

        Thank you!!!

    • Kat

      So dreamy, I love them! And your lipstick choice is sooooo good!

      • Vanessa

        Thanks!! It’s a sephora brand lip stain!

    • Les

      Looooooove the RED

      • Vanessa

        eee thank you!!!

    • Stunning!! I love the shawl thing you’ve got going on!

  • Fiona

    I am working full time and doing my master’s degree on the side in higher ed. I have an ambitious plan to finish by next summer, but I need departmental approval. I met with my masters advisor yesterday who unquestioningly endorsed my plan, and asked if I was applying for the PhD program (YES!!!!!!). She responded, “good, because if you weren’t, I was going to tell you that you should. You’re PhD material.” I am elated! This feels incredibly validating because I moved to this state on a dream that this would work out two years ago.

    We also addressed my research interests: Disability studies in the social model of disability and international ed. I was concerned because I felt like those things don’t fit well together. My advisor said that they could fit very well together and it would make an EXCELLENT dissertation because there is a dearth of research in that intersection.

    Finally, I am hoping to take my last master’s class as an independent study with a professor who does a short term study abroad in Martinique. She said I could DEFINITELY do it, and if that professor isn’t willing/able to supervise graduate-level independent study, I could still go and she would supervise the study. Je vais en Martinique!

    • Les

      Yay! Dreams coming true!

    • MTM

      We were just talking about this — students who want/need to study abroad but who have a mental illness and where they are travelling does not provide the support needed (medication, therapy, other accommodations) and how to address this when culture/laws are totally different (remote therapy sessions, sending an aide, etc.)

    • Sarah E

      Nice! I have a friend who is focusing on disability for her dissertation/career in Sociology, specifically looking at spinal cord injuries. Definitely an area that needs more good people. Go you!

      • Fiona

        That’s awesome! Sociology will DEFINITELY inform my work. :)

  • minimalme

    Today is the actual worst. My credit card number was stolen, fraudulent charges posted to my account; my computer hard drive spontaneously failed and can’t be recovered; my partner, who was deployed and with whom I’m having huge problems resulting from poor communication, lack of support around medical and mental health challenges, and disrespect of my gender identity, is coming home today but only for a week and we’ve barely spoken; I tried to get an IUD inserted this morning but they couldn’t do it because my anatomy “won’t cooperate” so I have to wait 2 weeks and have it done with an ultrasound tech. Can it be the weekend now please?

    • Les

      No! That is awful! Today is definitely the worst. I’m so sorry about all the shit hitting your fan today.

    • OMG. *hugs*

    • somanypseudonyms

      jhfskdhf I’m so, so sorry — this sounds awful. Are you able to go home (assuming you’re at work) and get some rest before tackling any one of these rough things?

      but at least: the weekend is coming for you, and strangers on the internet care?

      • minimalme

        sadly no end in sight–I can’t get home til much later tonight. but thanks internet friends for letting me scream all this frustration into the void, as it were…

        • somanypseudonyms

          <3 <3 if there's anything small you can do for self-care (get a favorite beverage/treat? give yourself five minutes alone in a bathroom stall to cry and/or breathe deeply?) before you get home, might be a good idea. but in the meantime, the void is rooting for you!

    • Cellistec

      Wow, that’s the worst. All of it. I’d make the weekend start sooner for you if I could!

    • Jess

      That is SO MUCH. I have no words, but I can offer you a nice warm cup of internet calming tea?

      • Amandalikeshummus

        I’ve got an internet cookie for you, too!

    • Violet

      Wut. Please treat yourself to something indulgent this weekend.

    • ART

      Ugh – so sorry! Hopefully the fraudulent charges will all get cleared up soon but I know what a huge pain it is. Someone bought eight plane tickets with one of our cards earlier this year, and although the bank handled it, I got the satisfaction of calling the airlines, reading them the transaction number from my credit card statement, and getting the name of the purchaser (well, to be fair, that person’s name could have been used fraudulently as well, because there’s a particular kind of scam people run with plane ticket refund vouchers that I suspect was going on here). The airlines couldn’t do anything for me but I did get a lot of sympathy from the people on the phone when I said “wow, Mr. So-and-So’s been very busy using my credit card, thanks for the info!” Silver lining, it was a rewards card and the bank never reversed the rewards credits so we got a few bucks out of the deal.

    • E.

      that sounds so horrible. I’m sending you good vibes back from the internet void!

    • Sarah E

      UGGHHH. For what it’s worth, I had my IUD inserted on the second try, too, because my cervix was resolutely not allowing anything to pass. They gave me a scrip for a couple pills to take an hour before my second appt to soften that baby up. It sucked like 200% to go through all that pain a second fucking time (probs first or second most painful thing I’ve experienced), but it’s one million percent worth it to have it in there. Here’s hoping long term good outweighs the short term total suck you’re dealing with.

  • Fance

    I have a logistical question that the interwebs has been zero help on (maybe my Google skills are subpar this week) – what do people print their ceremony on? Not programs, but the actual ceremony – we wrote our own, my brother-in-law will be officiating, and there’s no podium / altar / thing to stand behind. BIL, readers, and we will be passing this…booklet? back and forth depending on what part of the ceremony we’re at. Do we print an actual book through snapfish? Get a fancy binder? I’m just like – at a loss and for some reason am fixating on this 3 months out….

    • Alex K

      I used slightly thicker paper so it wouldn’t flop around. Both outbreaks officiants had a copy. Readers got their own copy of their ready. But a binder sound good too!

    • Essssss

      Our officient printed off the ceremony and put it in a simple black leather folder thingy. I’ve also seen people paste the pages into a moleskin to make it easy to pass around. or, ipad.

    • somanypseudonyms

      We used printed paper and a nice-looking clipboard because we were out of time! (The acrylic clipboard looked fine with our kind of vaguely industrial aesthetic for the ceremony anyway.) Readers just had printed pages.

      I think either a leather folder or a clipboard would look better than a binder, but you can also simply hold the pages inside anything that will (1) keep them from flopping and (2) be in line with whatever look. Or… just hold pages, because paper just looks like paper.

    • We emailed it to our officiant and I think he just printed it on regular paper. We didn’t write our own vows, but we did tweak the “standard” vows, which we repeated after the officiant. Great question btw.

    • NolaJael

      Printed and marked up on normal paper, held in a black three ring binder so as to be unobtrusive but organized.

    • theteenygirl

      Our officiant (my brother in law) memorized our ceremony.. but he is like.. super human so I wouldn’t recommend that.

      We did have backup copies printed on just regular printer paper. I think a nice folder with each reader’s section printed on cardstock would be nice. BIL can pass each reader’s respective material to them, and then they can hand it back?

    • MC

      LOL, so we just printed the ceremony out on paper and our officiant ended up taking the binder/booklet from his hotel (y’know, that they put hotel policies and restaurant recommendations in) and stuck our ceremony in there so it was easier for him to hold. He ended up leaving it at the ceremony and my MIL had to return it to the hotel front desk the next day and everyone got a good chuckle out of it. But good for you for thinking ahead because husband and I truly had not given any thought to that part.

      For readings (we had 4), I printed out each reading on a separate half-sheet and had them laminated, so our officiant just passed them out to each reader when it was time for them and then collected them again, and it seemed to work pretty well!

    • Eenie

      We used my plain black resume portfolio and printed the ceremony single sided with no staple. Our officiant flipped the pages as she read them. Our ceremony was only two pages long (including both of our vows typed out). It worked well. I think I ended up losing the resume binder though which I can’t find now.

    • rg223

      We had this exact situation, and we used a fancy binder. My friend/officiant loved carrying around and feeling official.

    • Katharine Parker

      When I’ve been in weddings like that, the readers have always had their own copy of the reading with them. I would probably have the officiant have the text, too, in case they forget, but it’s a little smoother to go up without having to pick up your reading from the officiant, I think.

    • LAinTexas

      I used to work at a print shop, and I remember at least one occasion where an officiant came in and chose nice paper to have the ceremony script printed. (It was a reprographics shop, so we mostly printed architectural/engineering type stuff, but we had a color department that did photographs, invitations, etc. too.) Print shops should have a wide selection of different types of paper, including fancier options, if you want to keep it as a keepsake. If not…just plain old paper should work. :)

    • nutbrownrose

      Our officiant printed us “crib sheets” of our vows…I think after we realized at the rehearsal that we didn’t have any copies? I’m just very thankful he did that because I would have been vowless otherwise. And he printed the rest of the ceremony on regular paper and I think had it in one of those fancy leather folders or a binder. Our reader somehow ended up with the right thing as well?
      My vote would be to make it your officiant’s problem, unless your BIL is anything like my brother (aka would forget his head if not attached), in which case print multiple copies, put in those folders with the foldy hole-punch things, and move on. And put your crib sheet vows in your fiance’s pocket (assuming they have pockets and you don’t).

  • somanypseudonyms

    I’ve missed the last couple HHs, so it’s really nice to come back and see people’s post-wedding updates and almost-to-the-finish-line posts! also hey: we’re *all* almost almost to the end of wedding season yaaaaay/booooo

    apparently our wedding got picked to be on Junebug (or possibly some subsection of Junebug — I’m not totally clear on this)? I’m really thrilled for our photographer’s sake — it’s a big career-helping deal for her, and I’m so glad for her sake that the place she was hoping for is publishing it. For myself, though, I feel really damn weird: all of those mixed messages inherent in the aesthetic parts of weddings (you’re frivolous for caring about this! but also if you don’t care about this you’re not taking it seriously enough!) are bubbling right back up from where I’d comfortably put them away after the thing was over. The external validation of being picked (for… anything at all) is really nice, but I also feel sort of embarrassed about it.

    anyway, that + general depressive malaise that’s been kicking me around for a few weeks = ¯_(ツ)_/¯, but I’m so glad to see other people’s happy posts.

    • Jess

      I would feel all those things! That’s super cool but also like… oof. I feel really embarrassed when I’m the focus of attention, so I would have a real big helping of embarrassment.

      Good luck with the malaise – I’ve been in my funk for a long time now.

      • somanypseudonyms

        Yeah, exactly! But also: why do I feel embarrassed about being the focus of attention when I also *want* the external validation and approval? darnit brain be inhumanly consistent already

        good luck with your malaise, too. :( I think all the changes in my life are just finally catching up with me, and I kind of feel awful.

  • Rose

    I’m having trouble even articulating my thoughts, but this is something I’ve been thinking about, I thought people here might have some interesting thoughts. Does anyone else have that experience where the things that are (harmfully, sometimes) socially expected of women are the things that come naturally? And get conflicted about that?

    I was reading this article today (http://www.slate.com/blogs/better_life_lab/2017/10/05/professors_are_the_new_therapists.html), and while I agree with most of it, the part that really made me think is about how women tend to have higher expectations for doing that emotional labor. Which is obviously super problematic, because a) not all women are good at it or want to do it and b) it’s not part of the job description and there is no professional recognition or reward, just potential costs. But, on the other hand, I actually would want students to come to me if something is really troubling them, and I don’t actually mind being part of their support system (to a reasonable extent, I’m not a replacement for a therapist or anything).

    I’m trying to think of other examples too. Well, things like taking notes on meetings–it’s messed up that women are more often expected to do that, but I actually kind of enjoy it. And I like helping keep track of the social parts of workplaces–bringing treats for birthdays, remembering to organize a good-bye lunch, that kind of thing. At some level I know that I like being relied upon. But I also know that the expectation that women will do those things is really not good. So I end up being conflicted about what I should spend my time/energy on, and whether I’m letting the side down a bit by choosing to do these things instead of spreading them around more evenly. Does anyone else ever feel the same?

    • Amy March

      I think the other part of the calculus is that it isn’t only that the expectation is bad and you are “letting the side down”, it’s that picking up the administrative tasks and emotional labor at work when it isn’t your job can actually really harm your career. It sets you up as a supporter instead of a leader and that perception can be really problematic for you, outside of whether it’s an issue for women generally. I think it’s really important to think about and decide whether it makes sense for you to be doing these things even if you like it.

      • Rose

        Right, that’s so true. I’ve seen it happen to other women, who get so involved in logistical/social tasks that they don’t do enough of the other stuff they need. I think in some ways it’s particularly likely to happen in the relatively un-structured parts of academia–labs can get really uneven in terms of which grad students/postdocs are taking care of the daily stuff, since it isn’t anyone’s actual job, and even with faculty I think the relatively flat structure can have similar effects. I do think I’m going to have to keep it in mind and make sure I stay relatively focused, at least until I’m more senior/have tenure.

        • rebecca

          My lab is currently going to complete shit bc I only do my own emotional labor and the other woman is currently on leave so lol, yeah, cosigned

          • Rose

            Ahaha, yeah. We had a grad student a few years ahead of me graduate with this crazy impressive CV–part of which was because he never did anything but focus on his own work, and my advisor, while well intentioned, was so conflict averse that he never dealt with anything like that. So, yeah, someone needed to organize things, especially when we’re in the field, and if that one student won’t do it, the rest of us have to while he writes another paper. Good on you for setting some boundaries, though!

    • I think about this a lot, because frankly a lot of what I’m good at is under the “emotional labor/softskills” category. More, even in areas where I have hard skills, they aren’t always what *actually* gets it done… Like I do freelance video production, and my ability to connect with clients and figure out how they want to be represented is both more challenging and actually more important than than technical execution. I feel like a lot of the conversation around emotional labor is about how woman should do less of it, and not as much bandwidth goes toward how to concretely value emotional labor and highly “support” tasks more.

      • somanypseudonyms

        stronggggggggg agree with this. Also: the very categorization of these skills as “soft skills” is problematic — they’re genuinely difficult to learn as skills, but calling them “soft” and contrasting them with domain knowledge is part of what helps keep them devalued, at least in the environments (academia, software) I’ve worked in.

        • Violet

          These skills are devalued until you are a man and write a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People that is basically ALL about soft skills, and then you sell a bajillion copies.

        • Ugh, right, like I totally fall into it too.. What I mean is easily-quantifiable and less-quantifiable, although even that doesn’t make them sound comparably valuable.

      • Rose

        Right! Teaching (at any level, I assume, but higher ed is my experience) is such a combination of needing “hard” technical knowledge, and needing “soft” skills. Like, obviously I need to know something about genetics. But the actual pedagogy is a combination of “hard’ skills you can learn, plus having the “soft” skills to relate to your students. Like, I can know everything there is to know about planning an active learning activity, but if I don’t have the empathy to imagine what it’s like to be learning this material for the first time, it’s going to be incomprehensible to the students. And if I come off as completely disinterested or detached, students aren’t going to come to me with questions, and they’re going to learn less. So I like your perspective, too–that maybe these things need more support from everyone.

        I felt the same way about the whole viral thing a few years about women saying sorry too much. Maybe instead men should say sorry more?

      • Rose

        As I think about this more, there’s also a bit of a distinction to be made, maybe? If I have good “soft” skills with students and am a better teacher because of it, then (hopefully) that’ll be reflected in my teaching evaluations, which are important for getting jobs/tenure/etc. And if you’re making better videos because you can understand your clients’ needs better, then (I definitely hope!) you’ll be getting happier clients and more buisness. So to a certain extent there should be professional benefits in those contexts–which suggests that the “soft” skills should be more explicitly valued and discussed as important, but that at least sometimes they are rewarded. As contrasted with things like taking notes or taking time to listen to student/co-worker/whoever’s problems, which often seems to be an outright cost.

        I’m not sure what my point is, except that maybe I should keep an eye out for the times when those skills can be professional helpful and emphasize using them there, instead of times when they come with a cost.

        • That’s a good point, “people” skills definitely do yield benefits that “support” skills don’t, even if they are like, informal benefits. So yeah, on an individual level things like note-taking are maybe the thing to pull back on… That said, workplaces really suffer when there aren’t people with strong support skills, so in a broader sense I still feel like we need to figure out how to value them more?

          • Rose

            Yes, absolutely. Value them more and probably share them more equitably. I’ve spent time on some campuses that were making deliberate progress towards that (including small things, like rotating who on a committee took the minutes) and it does make a real difference.

    • PeaceIsTheWay

      Yup! Total double standard that regularly bringing homemade cookies into the office is a bad career move for me as a woman, but would not be similarly damning for male peers. I like baking! Meetings go more smoothly when there are cookies!

      Taking it a step farther, it’s occurred to me that when a man arranges his life plans around his love it is ‘romantic’ and laudable, but when a woman does so she is a victim of the patriarchy…

      • Rose

        So true.

      • JLC

        mmmm I don’t know that it’s a widespread belief that it’s “romantic and laudable” for a man to arrange his life plans around his love. In fact, I think those examples where it is found romantic is because it’s so *unexpected* for a man do be doing that, when it’s frequently a woman accommodating herself to a male partner’s career.

        • PeaceIsTheWay

          Fair point! I agree it is more unexpected for a man to make career sacrifices for a woman than vice versa. But it seems as though the typical social pressures can create an inverse dynamic for those who would buck tradition? I may be underestimating the amount of pressure men are under to prioritize their careers. As a girl, though, I’m aware of the widespread expectation that I put family before career, but I’ve simultaneously felt pressure to NOT put a boy at the center of my universe, as if this is somehow not ‘feminist’.

          • JLC

            I agree that your last example is totally also a thing. Undoing the patriarchy is complicated. ;)

    • Mary Jo TC

      I’m a high school teacher, and I totally agree that we are expected to serve a counseling role that we’re not trained for, probably to a much greater extent than college professors. And that putting this expectation on teachers is a way for schools and communities to get out of paying for support services like counselors. I just came from a professional development session on social-emotional learning, and when I’m feeling really cynical, I just see that stuff as teachers being expected to do the job of counselors and parents. And yes, because it’s a female dominated profession, all of that is very gendered. I guess the minority of male teachers are in the same boat as us though, taking the same PD, so in that way it’s equal. Although school counselors might skew even more heavily female than teachers, while administrators are more likely to be men.

  • Anon for Today

    I’m getting divorced, and as weird as this sounds, I’m super happy about it! I’ve posted on a few happy hours that my husband and I were struggling, and that he always put his issues in front of my own, he’s cheated in the past, and that I changed my mind about wanting kids. We were working on things, and last Monday, I told him I was done. He had a freak out, and I moved out of our house. I’m now in the process of finding a good lawyer and getting my house back (I currently pay all the bills. Like every single one. I’ve realized this man is such a parasite.) As much as this sucks, I have such a big weight off my shoulders and feel so much better about myself and my life already.
    In addition to all of this, I’m young, 24, but I grew up quick. I run a business, have 120+ staff that report to me, manage literally millions of dollars for my business, and own my own home… Sometimes, I really just want to be 24. And last night I did that! It felt soo good! I went to see a band I really like with two guy friends (something my ex would never have been okay with, so that made it even more fun and freeing), didn’t get home until 2 am, drank more than I probably should have on a work night, and it was just so much fun. Any other recently single people realizing how many good looking people there are in the world? I swear I’ve been blind for several years.

    • Jess

      Congratulations on making a decision about your future! It can be a really big relief to just not be waiting anymore.

      It sounds like you’re getting the chance to do things you want to do! Enjoy this time.

    • Jan

      Not recently single, but as someone who separated at 23 and divorced at 24, I get it. Enjoy your freedom, and congrats on moving forward.

      • Anon for Today

        Thanks for commenting. One thing i’ve been struggling with is being 24 and divorced, and it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one!

        • Leah

          Two of my best friends married and divorced in their 20s. Now (mid-30s) both have a) grown as amazing rocking-it people in their own right and b) married new incredible partners who support that awesomeness. So, you are far from the only one and congrats for making hard decisions.

          • Anon for Today

            Love you guys for all this support. Right now, I’m feeling super strong and so supported by people I didn’t even know would support me.

        • SL

          Think about it as getting out early instead of wasting time and figuring it out years down the road! :)

    • Beth

      Beth p

      • Beth

        Ha, of course my phone doesn’t like disqus. Chiming in to say also divorced at 24, and while it felt SO awkward at first to have that label, it was so amazing to have my life back. And now my friends see it as me being brave! I guess it was , I just didn’t realize it then.

        • Anon for Today

          That’s what all of my mom’s friends are saying! That I’m strong and brave for saying eff this. I’m very fortunate to have the community I do.

  • Anon Friend

    I am caught up in some friend drama and I need to do some anonymous venting.

    My husband and I are part of a tight knit, but long distance foursome of friends. The other two friends in this group had a casual hookup recently that resulted in an accidental pregnancy. Neither are in a place where a kid makes sense, and so female friend had an abortion. In the immediate aftermath, male friend took some basic Good Dude steps and said the right things (it’s your decision, I support whatever you decide, I’m sorry you are going through this, etc.) prior to the procedure, but then totally checked out after that. He basically went totally radio silent for more than a week.

    I got worried enough to intervene and told him that if he wasn’t in a place where he could be supportive emotionally, he should at least pay her his half of the costs because she was stressing over her finances. At that point, he finally resurfaced, gave her a brief apology, and paid her for more than half the cost of the procedure. She asked him for a handwritten apology for basically abandoning her in a time of need and for him to make an effort to get some therapy because this sort of extreme avoidance is part of a pattern for him.

    Fast forward to a month later, and he still hasn’t written her the damned apology. I was initially worried that he was basically torn up over the abortion, but he swears up and down that it doesn’t bother him, so it’s not like he’s too caught up in processing his own emotions to deal with hers. She’s venting to me and considering ending their friendship, and I can’t say that I blame her because his behavior has been pretty thoughtless toward her. If he were just some random guy, I wouldn’t expect him to pick up any emotional slack in this situation, but he’s supposed to be her good friend! Plus, the tension between them is spilling over into our group dynamics and a trip they had planned to take to visit us is now unlikely to happen.

    I do have some sympathy for him because I know his social anxiety is making it hard for him to write the apology note. He wants to find the perfect words and when he can’t do that, he just avoids the task altogether. At some point, though, his anxiety induced avoidance just looks like selfishness and neglect, and it’s hard for me to maintain sympathy. Husband texted him today to warn him that he might lose the friendship if he can’t get it together enough to write the apology, so hopefully he gets it together enough to write it. I’m just sick of being in the middle and would like our awesome group dynamic to return.

    • Violet

      Oh boy. Have you thought a bit about the possibility that the awesome group dynamic might never return from something of this magnitude, whether he writes the note or not?

      • Anon Friend

        Yeah, I have. I honestly think we could bounce back to a good group dynamic if he writes the apology in the near future, which is what’s making me so frustrated with him right now. He’s scared to take action because he might screw up, but his inaction is going to create a bigger mess.

        • Violet

          Obviously I don’t know enough about the situation to have a real opinion. But could it be that’s he’s also worried that no matter what he writes, it won’t be enough? He’s already apologized and she doesn’t think that was enough. Maybe he knows on some level that he’s being set up for failure (after you know, already failing on his own accord). How is a handwritten note going to feel more sincere to her?

          • Anon Friend

            He might be worried about that. I know I am a little worried about that myself. I am hoping (and she says) that she really just wants a tangible show of good faith on his part that shows he’s willing to make their friendship a priority, but I do worry that this has festered long enough that anything he writes won’t be enough.

    • Emily

      I don’t think this is what you’re going to want to hear, so feel free to discount it entirely! While I understand that you’re all very close friends, really dude has done his part–he faced the situation, paid her for his half of the procedure, and apologized (it sounds like more than once) that they got into this mess. She also got them into this mess. Has she apologized? The woman can’t force him to hand write an apology. While maybe she thinks it will make her feel better, a forced apology certainly will not. Unfortunately the group dynamic HAS changed, you’re never going to go back to how it was before. Maybe if the dude is not behaving the way the group is asking him to, he doesn’t want it to.

      • Katharine Parker

        While I agree with your point that the group dynamic has changed and that this dude has done the bare minimum of acceptable things in the face of an accidental pregnancy, I find it unfair to expect that the woman should have to apologize to him for getting pregnant. It’s her body that went through the pregnancy/termination, not his. They can both be sorry that this happened, but neither owes the other an apology for an accidental pregnancy occurring.

        And even among friends, even outside of a relationship, even maybe with geographical distance (this is unclear to me), even with anxiety, expecting that the guy who got you pregnant might check in with how you’re doing as you schedule and get an abortion is not asking too much. They were friends. He didn’t treat her like much of a friend while she was pregnant.

        • Emily

          I actually agree, neither owe the other an apology for an accident. I think I was assuming that the woman would like the handwritten note to be an apology for their situation, for what happened, and for the state of their friendship. After reading a comment by the OP, I think I was right, and you can’t force that kind of an apology.

      • Anon

        She’s not upset at him because of the accidental pregnancy; she’s upset because he skipped out on her during a really emotionally fraught time in her life. (In addition to the unintended pregnancy, she had some other major stress in her life at the same time due to situations beyond her control.)

        I think he would be happy for the group dynamic to be restored, but he might place a higher value on avoiding his issues than maintaining his friendships, which is where I get angry at him. And I guess if he does place his need for avoidance above their friendship, then I have my answer, no matter how unsatisfactory it is.

        • Anon Friend

          Somehow the “Friend” got removed from my username. This is my comment, just to clarify!

        • Jess

          “I think he would be happy for the group dynamic to be restored, but he might place a higher value on avoiding his issues than maintaining his friendships”

          That sounds so very super dude-like. “Like, can we just go back to how things were?” No… no you can’t. It’s a very sucky situation all around and sleeping with friends and the possible outcomes from that change dynamics.

          Sometimes people have a bar they need to have cleared to feel someone is sincere or to just put closure to an event. It sounds like that’s what your friend is doing, which I’ve definitely done and can’t really blame her for.

          I hope you can get past this drama soon, with or without the group being maintained.

      • Amy March

        I really agree. They randomly hooked up. He isn’t her boyfriend, he isn’t her partner, I’m not sure what her expectations are but I don’t think demanding a handwritten apology is going to fix anything.

        And fundamentally I don’t think the “group” should be involving itself in something that’s pretty private and personal between two people.

        • Anon Friend

          I’m confused by this sentiment. You don’t think friends owe each other emotional support in difficult times? I would definitely expect a higher level of support from a boyfriend/partner/husband than I would a straight up friend, but I would still expect my friend to be there for me and not just stop responding to texts when things got rough.

          In general I agree that it’s not my place to get involved. However, she’s made me her primary sounding board for talking through the emotional fall out of her unintended pregnancy and their rift is impacting the travel plans they are trying to make to come see us, so I’m involved even if I’d rather not be.

          Perhaps I’m feeling overly defensive, but I feel that I should say the extent of my involvement with my male friend was one conversation to tell him that I knew, that I was here for him if he wanted to talk about it (he didn’t), and that he should pay her back for his half. I figure the situation is dramatic enough that I don’t need to add to the mess. Of course, trying to stay out of it makes it that much more frustrating because I can’t fix everything for everyone.

          • Amy March

            I think it’s a complicated situation, hard for both of them to understand and process, and I’m not comfortable saying he owes her any particular level of emotional support. Yes, ideally it would be great, but I don’t think it’s obligatory, no.

          • I’ve definitely experience how it’s super painful when someone you are close to isn’t there when you are hurting, and I think it’s totally fair for your friend to be reevaluating her friendship with this guy. Like, if a close friend knocked me up and then went radio silent, I personally would be allllll the way out. That being said, I think that saying any given friend “owes” a specific kind of emotional support is dicey. Like, people have their own shit and while it would be nice if they could set that aside, sometimes a friends’ difficult time full-on outstrips available bandwidth.

            Regardless, no fun that you are being drawn into this… That’s definitely the rub with a certain kind of close friend group dynamic, staying out of it can be challenging AF :/

    • Anon

      Is there a reason she wants a handwritten apology note? Why would/would a sincere apology in another form not be enough?

      Not rhetorical, genuinely wondering. It seems like she’s incredibly hurt–with good reason. The request for an apology and the suggestion of therapy is very reasonable in this circumstance. But I’m wondering what a handwritten note does, other than creating a barrier to entry for resolution. Maybe she doesn’t really want to forgive him or move on? Which from an outside perspective, would be fairy understandable.

      Sorry you feel stuck in the middle of this rough situation.

      • Anon Friend

        I think she wants the handwritten note because the verbal apology seemed like it might be lip service just to calm her down, and a handwritten note shows that he’s reflecting on his actions and wants to put effort into the friendship still. She feels like he broke her trust, and wants to see that he’s making an effort to repair it.

        I go back and forth on whether or not I really think it’s a necessary step to actually repair the relationship. It’s not something I’d need if I were in her situation, and I think she might be insisting upon it at least in part because she feels like he’ll never process his feelings if he isn’t forced to. She’s very much a talk all your feelings out kind of a person whereas he’s a let’s never speak of this again unless we’re all very drunk kind of a person. Obviously, it isn’t her place to force him to reflect, which is what makes me feel uncomfortable about the whole situation. But I do think she’s owed a sincere apology, so I’m not gonna die on that hill right now.

    • Anon

      Actually, upon re-reading, I’m confused about what she expected during the week that he went silent after the abortion. Was it about the money? (Tooootally valid) Greater moral support? (Dicier since he’s not her partner and the dynamics are often very different between friends) Once he got his shit together, what did she still feel was missing?

      It seems like her expectations of his support may have been incongruous with what he thought was required, and so this may be too difficult to truly bounce back from… :-/

      • Anon Friend

        She expected some level of moral support and to a lesser extent, the money. He basically stopped responding to all texts and phone calls, so it’s not that he didn’t have the right response–he had no response whatsoever. After he stopped avoiding all of us, he just acted like nothing ever happened, so I think she just wants acknowledgment of the whole situation.

        I agree that their expectations are very different. Their approaches to life are pretty disparate, which can be fun as an aspect of our group dynamic, but it’s making it pretty hard to navigate serious conflict.

  • Les

    It’s October, which means I’m finally ready to talk about the weddings I went to in Sept! One I was MOH for, my first time and, thanks to APW and being a Project Manager by trade, I can safely say I crushed it! The two brides are both close friends of mine, so I was thrilled to be all up in their wedding. I did flowers (including a boutonniere, which incorporated a Hand of the King beer bottle opener and it was the most glorious boutonniere ever!), Bride 1 got ready at my apartment and had first look on my roof, I taught myself how to do updos on youtube and did Bride 1’s hair (note to all future brides: don’t make your non-hair-doing friends do your hair. It’s slow and it’s STRESSFUL!), crushed the toast-giving, cleanup, and all the DIY, counseling and dress shopping for the months prior (I got to help both brides pick out their dresses! Bride 2’s dress was the FIRST ONE I picked out for her! Talk about living my dreams, dressing up my beautiful friends). This wedding meant a ton to me for myriad reasons, one of which is my SigO and I are pretty much right behind them in life milestones so it was great getting to observe closely all the stress, money, decisions etc. I was so emotionally wrecked after the fact, though, I pretty much told my SigO that we were just going to elope. He wisely said nothing.

    The second wedding was a destination wedding in Italy (HEYO) that I got to combine with a family trip. All inclusive villa. It was amazing, obviously! It was a stark contrast, to see how relaxed the bride and groom could be since their only job was to get dressed. After that, I told me SigO that we were doing a destination wedding. He wisely made agreeing sounds.

    In the middle of all of this, I took a PMP exam prep course, studied for 2 weeks and then passed my PMP exam! Like, 2 days before I went to Italy!

    It’s been a great September, hoping the magic continues!

    • You only studied for the PMP for two weeks? BALLER! I know people who studied for months! Congrats!

      • Les

        Thank you! It was allll about that week-long exam prep course. They teach just the test and they know their STUFF. I was totally impressed and now, elated!

  • Cassy

    Hello APW friends :) It’s been a great week! Not only did I put in my two-weeks at my current job (at which I’m underused and not challenged) for a job in a field I’m interested in, but we did a lovely engagement shoot and got the pics back already. Here are a few I love. <3 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f9c1f192dc24bc22e8dd1b67f6929d44d51ba58a3df6fed52e9114cc91e4834.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2a0bfdea61b6538c71d6cc111b201304e9647d2078d775d6dfcd83723508dad6.jpg

    • Zoya

      That first photo is so cute!

      • Cassy

        Thank you! ^_^

    • Jess

      Your dress is so lovely!

      • Cassy

        Thanks!! I got it at an adorable boutique in Cape May :)

  • Looking for suggestions for a black dress. I feel like it is possible to have one that may be appropriate to wear to both a funeral and a wedding. Is this so? (I feel like this is the concept of black dresses, but this whole pick-out-your-own-clothes thing is still a pretty new concept for me–grad school delayed it significantly so I’ve never really had to dress like an adult before, but in general I’m trying to minimize the number of clothes I need to buy. If that isn’t the case, then I guess I would be looking towards more of funeral+work appropriate outfit. I generally dress pretty conservatively (style wise, not particularly so length-wise) and don’t like to wear anything too out-of-the-ordinary or uncomfortable. Do you guys have any black/dark dresses to recommend?

    • dress advice

      I have a plan black Calvin Klein sheath which is definitely good for funerals and work (got it at Lord & Taylor or similar), but I think a little too subdued for weddings or cocktail parties. FWIW, one rule of thumb I’ve heard for wearing black to a wedding is that if you’d wear the dress in question to a funeral, it’s a no-go, so I do think this is a tough one to make work.

      • Hmm, so it seems. I am both trying to figure out what clothes in general are good to wear to funerals/hypothetical work places (although it’s very likely I will end up only really being able to wear pants to my hypothetical future job for safety purposes) and weddings that are nicer/not in summer so you get out of the nicer-sundress category. This is all very helpful.

        • JLC

          Maybe a sleeveless sheath, but in gray or navy? I think you can add colorful accessories and a scarf to make it wedding-appropriate, and a black or gray cardigan to make it funeral-appropriate. (But Amy March might be right and it might be easiest to just get something for each side of the spectrum. There are definitely options that would work for funeral + work, and others for work + wedding, but covering that whole funeral to wedding range is a lot.)

        • Angela’s Back

          Even if you end up getting one funeral/work dress and one black dress for weddings, there’s nothing like knowing you always have that dress there to wear on the occasion of a funeral. My funeral dress is also the dress I wear every year for Kol Nidre (night before the Jewish Day of Atonement, very somber occasion) so usually I don’t wear it but once a year, but it’s there whenever I need it.

    • Amy March

      I feel like the only black dress it is inappropriate to wear to a wedding is one that is also appropriate to wear to a funeral!

      Like this I think is a great all purpose black dress but I wouldn’t necessarily think it screams wedding:

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/emerson-rose-stretch-sheath-dress/4614609?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%20CAVIAR

      And this one seems great for a wedding or a night out:

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-off-the-shoulder-crepe-sheath-dress/4683568?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

      • Violet

        Couldn’t a sleeveless, knee-length sheath dress work for both, but add a cardigan for the funeral version of it?

        • Amy March

          Yeah, I guess I just think a sleeveless knee-length black sheath dress is a bit grim for a wedding? Like, I’m sure there are dresses that can make it work, but I don’t think I’d go looking for a dress to be both wedding and funeral appropriate because you’re probably not winding up with the best option for either occasion. A work appropriate dress isn’t usually fun enough for me to find it wedding worthy.

          • Violet

            Yeah, maybe not for me either, but I guess if sleepwakehopeandthen’s style really is conservative enough, the sheath with some fun accessories and cute heels might be enough for a wedding.

      • Good information!

      • GDI, I’m trying not to buy a new dress for a wedding coming up, but that Vince Camuto…

    • Les

      I got a great black dress for a wedding from Adrianna Papell off of Amazon. ‘Adrianna Papell Women’s Beaded Sleeve Sheath Dress’ it has fun pearls on the sleeves. Adrianna Papell is my go-to.

    • penguin

      If you aren’t in a rush to get it (shipping is a bit slow), then I definitely recommend eShakti. I have this dress (and many others…):

      http://www.eshakti.com/shop/Dresses/Cotton-knit-sweetheart-empire-dress-CL0046983

      It’s cute and comfortable, and has two deep pockets.

      • I love that one a lot! I’m not in any particular hurry, just realizing after scrambling to find some clothes to wear to a funeral that I don’t particularly have many nice clothes.

      • Zoya

        I have a similar black dress in stretch jersey, minus the pockets. Super-comfy, totally versatile, and I can just ball it up in the corner of a suitcase if needed! (I wear a lot of jersey.)

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        eShakti is my jam! I love all the things I’ve gotten from them. The cotton jersey is great- nice and thick.

    • Emily

      I have this dress http://tinyurl.com/yajuvz6t that I’ve worn with a jacket to a funeral and with bright pink accessories to a wedding. You can find it!

    • rebecca

      If you happen to be a size 10 I am loving this dress from the Tibi sample sale http://www.tibi.com/shop/sample-sale/edwardian-silk-short-dress (I also love the long Edwardian dress but feel like it’s pretty specific and that shoulder probs doesn’t fly @ a funeral)

    • Jess

      I have a black dress similar to this: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1010447&vid=1&pid=797422002

      I have worn it to weddings and funerals and job interviews and Christmas dinners with various shoes and jackets and accessories. “Wear-to-work” style dresses seem to be the most universal, especially in suiting/lightweight wool weaves.

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour | Wedding Warriors TC | Wedding Planner | Kennewick, Richland, Pasco()

  • BSM

    36 weeks, and this kid is breech! My NP thought he was head down previously, but I guess she had the head and butt mixed up.

    So this week looks like me making all the appointments and trying every suggestion to get him to flip, leading up to an ECV next Thursday.

    Anyone have experience with a breech baby late in the game? Or ECV? Or a c-section?

    • My yoga teacher tried Spinning Babies which didn’t work, and she wound up giving birth to a breech baby at home! Which apparently is very rare.

      I had a c-section after 36hrs of labor and honestly, it was nowhere as bad as I expected. It’s major surgery but I also had a lot of help and was able to rest/recuperate which definitely aided in my recovery.

      • BSM

        Thanks so much for sharing, Jareesa! It helps to hear other experiences, since so much out there on cesareans seem to start from a place of vaginal >>> cesarean and talk endlessly about how it’s MAJOR surgery*.

        My hospital actually will perform breech vaginal births, but the risks seem a little steep for me, so, if the little guy doesn’t turn over, we’ll schedule a c-section (hopefully for his EDD).

        *Obviously this shouldn’t be downplayed, but, like, I get it.

    • justamomma

      C-section here. In my case, my blood pressure was all over the place a couple days preEDD, and even though they tried inducing me 3 times, my cervix would NOT cooperate. So, after about 36 hours of literally ZERO dilation, our midwife strongly recommended a c-section. At that point, I was all for meeting my little girl; my husband was actually super freaked out by the idea, and he needed comfort and consoling for labor not going the way he’d envisioned it (a dear friend of mine had a c-section about 9 months prior, and all she talked about was how painful and out of commission she was in the weeks after, which I think set him up to panic, thinking about me in that situation – also, this was NOT my experience at all).

      The only time I got panicky was when we were in the OR, and it sounded like they were getting started, and Husband wasn’t there yet. I fretted about it out loud and was reassured nothing was happening yet, and then there he was. They put up this huge heated tarp to separate me from the business, and it was so warm and toasty. I had an excellent anesthesiologist – he rocked so hard in my delirium I dubbed him Dr. McSwoony, and was awesome about judging my comfort level and increasing or decreasing the drugs accordingly.

      Honestly – and this may be TMI so proceed accordingly – at one point I thought they were pressing and prodding my belly, trying to situate Baby before – ya know – slicing me open, but turns out that was the point their hands were actually in me. Weirdest sensation ever. No pain, just…tugging? Getting stitched up took forever (or what felt like it) and I was high enough at this point (and delighted enough by my healthy baby girl) that I started heckling my midwife about how long it was taking – getting stitched up was more uncomfortable – but still not painful, hey anesthesia and epidural – than the actual surgery, for me.

      TL;DR – c-sections are Major Surgery buuuuuut…they are also a routine surgery. And I think if you frame it as the means to meeting your child, I don’t know…isn’t that the end goal of any labor? Ultimately, who cares how you get there, if you’re making the best decisions you can with the information you have?

      • BSM

        Thanks for sharing that. It’s nice to read stuff about c-sections that feel more real (and lighthearted!) rather than 90% doom and gloom.

        • justamomma

          Right? I’m glad it came off that way :). Solidarity fistbump, for sure. If you have any other questions, you can hit me up at lovebugandlucky@gmail.com :D Happy to share my experience in as great or little detail as you’d like/need, or provide an ear as someone who’s BTDT, even though your mileage may still vary :D <3

          • BSM

            Super appreciate your offer and saving your email address!

        • Pippa

          Hi! I’m not sure if you’ll see this as it’s rather late in the evening. But just in case you are checking, I wanted to chime in and say that I LOVED my c-section. In my case, it was necessary because the attempt at inducing didn’t work. I got to sleep the night before and was relatively well rested. Like one of the other comments, my recovery was a lot easier than many of my friends who had had vaginal deliveries.
          At my follow up I asked the dr about it as I, too, had always heard that recovery from C-sections are more difficult. He said that’s the case when someone’s been in labor and then has a C-section. For scheduled C-sections he often sees people with my experience.

    • Violet

      Aww damn. Did she use ultrasound, or just felt it and she was wrong?
      Overall, how are you feeling?

      • BSM

        Felt at 34 weeks and said head down, but we had the most crappy ultrasound ever on Monday that showed him head up.

        I’m OK. Trying to stay positive and flexible but having a lot of mixed emotions. I’m not devastated by the prospect of a c-section, but I feel a little sad that there’s a very real chance that I’ll miss out on a “real labor” (seems really stupid but, am I less of a woman? Or mom?). I’m also kind of thrown, since we’ve been preparing for a standard labor and delivery, so I’ve been gearing myself up for that. And, lastly, I’m a little scared. I’ve had surgery before, but I’m nervous thinking about being cut open.

        • Violet

          I personally would be able to relate to these emotions if I were in your shoes. Everything on the week-to-week stuff in my book now is all about “waiting” and signs of labor, so if you’re skipping that part, I totally get how it can be a little, I dunno the right word, but anti-climactic, maybe? And the surgery stuff too, while it’s a very common procedure, is still not common to you. Maybe you can try getting in downward dog and having your husband talk to your groin and he’ll flip. That worked for someone I know! But if he doesn’t, your hospital can handle it regardless, so that’s good. The practice where I’m going, even with their absurdly low c-section rate, doesn’t deliver breeches vaginally.

          • BSM

            I went to an osteopath on Wednesday (she was awesome, going back again next week), a chiropractor today (way too much “woo” for me), acupuncture and moxibustion on Monday, and then we’ll see where we are at my regular Tuesday appointment.

            I think I’m also having a hard time being in this ambiguous/not-knowing spot, which is always hard for me. Really looking forward to having a better idea of what the plan will be in another week.

          • Violet

            Right, if you know for sure he’s not gonna flip, then you can work on getting mentally prepared. The uncertainty is going to keep you in mixed emotions land for longer. Ironically, knowing for sure you’ll have a scheduled c-section is way more certain than any other kind of birth “plan,” which, even if it starts with a vaginal delivery as Plan A, always includes other options that may unfold in real time if things don’t go smoothly. I hope you get answers soon!

          • BSM

            Yes, you said everything going on in my jumbled brain! Just being heard/understood helps a lot. Thank you!!

    • That Baby’s Upside Down!

      I had my breech baby by scheduled c-section and it. was. awesome. Not at all what imagined but a joyful end to a rather difficult pregnancy nonetheless. (Seriously, I get all misty thinking about it.) If you decide to go that route and/or the ECV doesn’t work, you may want to check if the hospital is willing to do a gentle/family-centered c-section. In my case we had music going the whole time, they hung a clear drape so we could see baby being born, and I did skin to skin as soon as the docs had checked baby out, while they were closing me up. Baby even latched in the OR. Recovery was fine – probably not much worse than my friends who have given vaginal birth. Getting up and down was tough for the first week or so but manageable after that, and I felt about 90% about a month out.

      • BSM

        Thanks for chiming in! Our hospital does do family-centered cesareans (with all the stuff you mentioned!), and it’s great to hear some firsthand feedback on how the experience was for you.

        Did you try an ECV? At what point did you schedule your c-section and for when did you schedule it?

        • That Baby’s Upside Down!

          I didn’t try an ECV. C-section was scheduled when I was 37(?) weeks for 39+1. Waking up the morning of the surgery was a little surreal – welp, guess we’ll go have a baby now!

    • Rose

      I haven’t *had* a c-section, so this isn’t exactly the perspective you were looking for, but I’m the result of an emergency c-section. As far as I can tell, this has had virtually no effects. I’d have to ask my mom how the recovery was for her, but it doesn’t seem to have been that terrible that I’ve ever heard. In all the photos she looks exhausted but happy (so, like pretty much everyone does after giving birth). I know that people talk a lot about labor being such an important bonding experience or something, and that may be true, but at least since I’ve been conscious of it, I’ve been awfully close to my mom. I definitely don’t want to devalue your feelings about it, because I do get it (I want to be pregnant someday and I’d probably be unhappy in your situation too), but from the perspective of the kid, c-sections can definitely turn out to be ok. I’m just glad that I got to keep breathing. Hearing about all of the medical stuff that Mom went through with her pregnancy honestly only ever convinced me more of how much she loved us.

      • Essssss

        Same! I was an emergency C section and we all made it great in life. My mom always says, at the end of the day, now matter how it happens you’ll get to meet your baby!

    • Jess

      I have not been pregnant, but I’m reading up on a lot of pregnancy/birth/parenting things to ease some of my anxiety about it.

      I actually really enjoyed The Small Things Blog’s discussion of her C-Section (http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/2014/01/my-c-section-experience/ ). The Longest-Shortest Time has a few episodes on C-Sections (planned and otherwise) and some of the emotions that pair with it, especially along the “Am I a real woman/mom” line of thought.

      To that line of thinking, I want to reaffirm: You are enough of a woman – your ability to give birth vaginally or carry a pregnancy does not affect that. You are a mom if you are a woman who has carried or raised a child – regardless of how that child began its life.

      • BSM

        Thanks for your kind words and for sharing that story! It was reassuring, and it makes me super happy that my hospital practices family-friendly c-sections. I originally picked them so that I could use nitrous oxide during labor (lol), but this seems even more important!

        • Jess

          I’m glad that it was reassuring – I definitely felt really comfortable after reading it! Way to pick a great hospital – it’s funny how we make choices for reasons that end up being totally unrelated to what we end up needing, but that still turn out great.

    • Kara

      I have never been pregnant, but I can understand your anxiety.

      I kept telling my friends who were expecting their first child “the goal is for you and your baby to survive and thrive. That’s the only goal.” ** I don’t take any pregnancy stuff lightly.**

    • anon

      just want to chime in with a bit of a different experience – I have never been pregnant but my sister’s baby was breech about 2-3 weeks before she was born, and we were actually successful at getting her to turn head-down. The biggest thing that helped was that my sister did a lot of laying upside down, although – and this sounds pretty hippy-dippy but…my mom and my other sisters all spoke to the baby from below to try to get her to “follow our voices”. My sister thinks the upside down thing really did it, although my mom swears by her solution too (and actually my little sister was also breech and turned before she was born, again using the upside down method, and was then able to be born at home with a midwife). Just a thought in case you are looking for last-ditch attempts. If you do end up having to get a C-section you are not at all less of a woman or a mom!!! Good luck, I’ll be thinking about you and your baby!

    • ellabynight

      I had a scheduled c-section after my doctor advised me that it was the best way to go. I struggled with it at first and still sometimes feel like I haven’t “really” given birth, but overall I feel like it was the best decision for our family and I would make the same decision again.

      I don’t know if my hospital did what are considered family friendly c-sections, but the atmosphere was pretty good considering it’s all happening in an OR. The medical staff were all chatty and friendly, and I got to do skin to skin with my daughter right away. During the procedure, all I could feel was a weird pressure/tugging. I also don’t do super well with anesthesia, so I was a bit nauseated, but the anesthesiologist did a great job of managing my meds and listening to me. My daughter did have a little too much fluid in her lungs after she was born, but they stabilized her breathing quickly.

      I was honestly surprised that healing from it was much easier than I anticipated, and I felt like I had an easier time of it than some of my friends who had vaginal deliveries. I was really glad to have strong pain meds in the hospital, and it was pretty hard to maneuver for the first few days. Things were still pretty sore when we got home from the hospital, but I felt pretty good as long as I took my pain meds. I didn’t have any trouble walking around or taking care of the baby, but I did struggle getting up and down a little bit. It’s all kind of a blur now, so I’m not sure exactly how long it took me to feel okay, but I know I felt pretty good by my two week check up. I think the fact that my c-section was planned helped make it less physically traumatic. And I don’t want to undersell the effects, but as someone else on the thread said, it’s major surgery, but it’s routine surgery, too.

      Whatever way you give birth, you are NOT less of a woman or a mom for it. I know that it can feel that way sometimes and I’ve had those feelings myself, but over a year into this whole parenthood experiment I can tell you that the real work comes after labor and that’s what really makes you into a parent.

      • BSM

        Thanks for sharing :)

    • Breech Twice!

      I have 2 kids, and both were breech very late in the game.

      I found out Kid #1 was breech at a 38-week ultrasound and had a successful ECV three days later. Three days after the ECV, I went into labor and gave birth vaginally. I didn’t have an epidural, mostly because labor was pretty quick for a first-time mom (if my labor had been much longer, I would totally have gotten one). It was a great birth experience.

      I found out Kid #2 was breech at 34 weeks, because I was concerned it would be a problem again and pressed my provider for ultrasounds. (I was palpated head-down multiple times for both kids, so I do not trust anything other than ultrasounds.) I tried acupuncture, chiropractic care, spinning babies, you name it. The one time Kid #2 was correctly positioned was when I came in for an ECV at 38w5d. Then he flipped again, which I found out a couple days later via another ultrasound. So I ended up with a c-section scheduled for 40 weeks.

      I have say, the c-section was rough for me, definitely worse than vaginal birth in terms of recovery. But I also had a toddler that I couldn’t pick up for weeks after the c-section, so that is probably coloring my perspective. And the birth itself felt really weird, I think mostly because I had the vaginal birth to compare it to. I did not have a family-friendly c-section–not an option where I delivered–and that might have helped. Labor is truly awful, but it provides a transition, and I missed that. My friends who have had only c-sections think their births were great, though.

      Sending good baby-flipping vibes to you! It’s tough to get thrown at the last minute. If you’re like me, and you have a doula and took childbirth classes and the whole nine yards, it can feel very disappointing. Having experienced both, there are good things about vaginal birth and other, different good things about a c-section.

      • BSM

        Thank you so much for sharing and for the good vibes! I saw an osteopath last week, a chiropractor today, and am going to acupuncture and moxibustion on Monday! And I have a doula and did the whole 4-part childbirth class and have been spending some solid time with my partner discussing how we’ll handle labor, etc., so it’s an adjustment for sure. Along with the fact that the ECV may work, in which case, we’ll adjust back, I suppose.

        How did you find the ECV? I’m up for giving it a go, but I’m a little nervous…

        • Breech Twice!

          I was definitely nervous about the ECV too, but it worked perfectly. The pain was intense, but it only lasted about 30 seconds to 1 minute. I do think the pain is worse if the baby doesn’t flip on the first try. I believe they typically try 3 times? It does look really weird. I didn’t watch, but my partner was a little freaked out (but he also doesn’t handle medical stuff well, which is another reason we had a doula).

          I will say, my experience may be unusual. My doula had an unsuccessful ECV herself, and I was her first client to have a successful one (I believe 2 others tried). Even if they do turn, babies can flip back too, so I was concerned about that after the ECV. Even with all of that, my doula still thought it was worth it to try, as did a family friend who is a retired ob/gyn.

          Trying to get a baby to turn is like a full-time job. My pregnancy with the 2nd kid was much more difficult, and I just didn’t have the energy to really go after all the options (acupuncture, etc). I tried them all, but I still wonder if I could have done more. But it also seemed likely–per my doctor–that there is something about my anatomy that made the breech position comfy, and all the effort in the world wouldn’t get that kid to permanently turn. I hope it works out for you! However you give birth, you’re still a mama. :)

  • Eh

    My inlaws insist on trying to see us on our birthdays and our anniversary but it’s always last minute which never works out with us. I forgot how frustrating it is because we were away for my birthday and our daughter’s birthday this year. My MIL did make comments about how sad it was she couldn’t see us on our birthdays but that guilt trip comment is less frustrating then them trying to drop by our house when we already have plans (because we don’t just sit around our house on our birthdays/anniversary waiting for them to visit). (Note: we were at a friend’s wedding for my birthday and visiting with my family, including my sister who lives far away, for our daughter’s birthday.)

    Last Saturday was my husband’s birthday. He rarely takes days off on the weekend but he took Saturday off because he wanted to go to an amusement park as a family. His mother texted just before we were leaving, asking if they could drop by. My husband said we were just about to go to the amusement park. As we arrived at the amusement park she called and said they were just about to leave (they live an hour away). He said we were already at the amusement park and we were going to be there for a few hours. She said they would drop by in a few hours to see if we were home and if not drop his card in the mail box. A few hours later she texted again asking if we were home. My husband said no and we didn’t know when we would be but they could drop by and see if we were home, and if we weren’t, leave the card in the mailbox. An hour later she asked if we were available for breakfast Sunday morning. We already had plans for Sunday (all of the weekend chores, a friend’s daughter’s birthday party, and my husband had to work) so my husband replied “We have plans and I have to work. We will see you next weekend for Thanksgiving.”

    My husband was pretty frustrated by his mother’s texts/calls. Next time I think he’ll just start off with we have plans and we aren’t available (and not give her the shimmer of hope that we might be home in a few hours). We have also talked about not answering text/calls while we are having family time.

    • Eenie

      As crappy as this situation is, I feel like your husband has come along way in recognizing the behavior and enforcing the boundaries with his parents!

      • Eh

        He has! The situation helped him see that sometimes he has to lie to his mom. After talking about it he realized that he gave her hope that she could visit by saying we would be home in a few hours.

        • Eenie

          I totally take this weekend as a win then!! Did your husband enjoy the amusement park and family time?

          • Eh

            We had a great time. It was the first time our daughter was big enough to do stuff. Hahaha that’s why we were there more than a few hours.

      • Jess

        Same! I’ve been really impressed with his growth!

  • Just got back from Barcelona! It was an amazing trip– a lot of tasty food and wine, a beautiful city, some political excitement, and a good chance to just get away for a while. I am very impressed at how widespread political mobilization was around both the referendum and the general strike. Also, I now find myself wanting to eat tapas-style at every meal.

    • Jess

      Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! I remembered an APW’er heading that way and was hoping you were safe with all the mobilization. I’m also really amazed with Catalunya’s organizing right now.

      • We saw crowds at the polling places, but these polling places we saw were not raided by the police and voting seemed to be proceeding peacefully. The strike was impressive– 80-90% of businesses in the city center were closed. There were marches on nearly every major street.

    • Jenny

      mmmmmm tapas!

  • Kat

    I went a little off the rails in Trader Joe’s and bought ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS so I’m having friends over for pumpkin pancakes in the morning, then we’re going hiking and possibly to a vineyard afterwards. I love fall so much it’s insane.
    Also we’re a month out from our trip to London & Munich and I have so much to do between now and then, I feel totally overwhelmed. I did have my TSA Pre-check/Global Entry interview last week and my card already arrived in the mail, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I’m mostly stressed about packing. We’re trying to do 10 days in 1 carry-on each, so I’m trying to find lots of mix-and-match pieces to save space. Tell me all of your packing hacks!

    • Eenie

      I recently tried the bundle method for a work trip and it was great. Not great if you’re going multiple places since everything is wrapped up together. Rolling is typically the way to go, and you deal with the wrinkles.

    • rebecca

      Uniqlo Ultra Light Down is your friend, esp in London in November

      • BSM

        I loooove mine. Although FYI they are *not* waterproof!

    • Amy March

      I go with no options for travel. None of this idk what I will feel like wearing stuff. I’m wearing one of the two pairs of pants I have with one of the five tops I have or the one dress I brought, and that’s it. I’m wearing sneakers or short boots and that’s it. I like a large warm scarf in a fun color that I won’t mind seeing in every single vacation photo, and a hat and gloves don’t take up a ton of room but really help if it’s a cool week.

      • Kat

        This is 100% what I need to do but my track record is….not great when it comes in minimalism packing. I’m aiming for a color scheme so everything goes together, and cute/warm accessories to make it feel less monotonous.

        • Amy March

          Some practical things I do: write a list on the computer, edit it ruthlessly. Put all the clothes I want to bring on the floor and remove at least half. Remind myself that I can’t buy all the things if my bag is already full, and that they have stores in Europe if I desperately need something.

          • Essssss

            Yes to the writing a list and sticking to it! And, packing a day ahead gives you a chance to remember what you forgot and take out what you are second guessing!

          • Mer

            When I’m freaking out about forgetting something a little “passport? credit card? anything else can be bought” reminder helps.

          • yes! i have a “passport, purse, phone” mantra that really works. although now I have to include “visa documents” in there…

          • nutbrownrose

            I wrote a packing list in my journal for my honeymoon (which occurred after the wedding in July)…in February. I wanted to think about the beach, and was super glad I’d done that the last week before the wedding when my brain was like..I don’t remember giving you the list you’re thanking me for giving you, so guess it’s a good thing I made those lists?

        • Kara

          I really like to use this as a guide:
          http://www.extrapetite.com/2016/05/travel-style-how-to-plan-cute-outfits.html

          I know the examples are better suited for warmer weather, but it’s a good start. Also, thanks to another HH, I learned how to pack socks the right way!! There are youtube videos on how to pack.

          I did 7 days in New England last October out of a carry on. Tips: wear your heavy coat (don’t pack it), wear your heaviest boots/shoes (again, don’t pack), matte jersey does . not . wrinkle (so roll it all you want). Black jeans look dressier, if it’s too cold for skirts/dresses

          Lastly, if you’re worried your toiletries won’t cover the full 10 day period, there’s bound to be some soap/lotion/etc. at the hotel or a drug store not far where you can buy some. My husband will carry my face lotion because he has more room in his quart sized clear bag.

    • Violet

      Pack all neutrals; they’re easiest to mix and match.

    • Essssss

      I only pack carry ones for international travel now, after a few almost missed flights waiting for bags! My rough formula: 1 dress, 1 skirt, 1 jeans, 1 other “out and about pant,” 1 yoga/PJ pants, lots of shirts of various weights, and more undies than I think I’ll need, 2 pull over/cardigans, a rain coat, a light jacket or vest, a hat, a scarf. A pair of comfortable walking shoes and a pair of nicer shoes that are still comfortable for walking (I like some of the nicer chaco sandals they’re making, or chaco/teva/merrel ankle boots), I wear which ever shoe is bulkier on the plane. I am very willing to pay for laundry or do sink laundry (you can buy little packets of detergent often times) as a sacrifice for space limitations. I pack things in ziplocks or drawstring bags to keep organized/light. I have a platy bottle (flat plastic water bottle/bag) which saves on space. Ipad and long-read magazines instead of books. Usually I have all of this as a small backpack (smaller than a carry on suitcase) and a shoulder bag with a zipper. I like to also pack one of those reusable cloth grocery bags to carry with and as extra space if I bring more stuff home than I came with. Have all the fun!!

      • Essssss

        Oh and SWIMSUIT. No matter where you’re going.

        • A single Sarah

          YES!
          Always pack the swimsuit.

    • Katharine Parker

      Global entry is AMAZING. So worth it (also worth having a travel credit card that pays for it).

      • ooh, really? i’ve been considering it for a while! wonder if i can get it as a UK national in the US…

    • Violet

      I’ve already eaten a full bag of those pumpkin-shaped candy corn things, so needless to say, October is off to a great start.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Bring old socks and undies that you can just throw away as you’re done wearing them!

    • Louise

      We did London and Berlin last winter and I did 2 weeks in just a carry on. Here’s what I brought: 1 pair of nice jeans, 1 black jersey pencil skirt, 2 pairs black fleece-lined tights, 1 grey cashmere sweater, two long sleeve smart wool shirts, two long sleeve cotton shirts, two wool scarves, two wool hats, gloves, knitted fingerless gloves, one pair black ankle boots, and yoga pants for the plane and pajamas. Oh and a packable down coat. So, basically my tips are stick with one neutral color and bring a scarf or two for color. I layered tights underneath jeans when it was super cold. Though it was limeted, I didn’t feel like I stuck out too much as a tourist even in fancy cities (we’ve done a few winter backpacking trips in Europe). We did laundry halfway through at a laundromat, and it worked out pretty well. When packing, think layers and chronology of your trip: put a hat, scarf and gloves toward the top of your bag, because it will be stuffed full (hard to look around in) and you won’t have been outdoors since you left. Put your pjs immediately under those, because chances are you won’t want to dig around once you are in for the night. Have fun!!!

      • Kat

        Thank you soooo much! This is incredibly helpful!

  • Capondoodle

    Feeling anxiety about engagement pics next week. Not much of a picture taker. Any advice?

    • Jess

      Do the stuff that makes you feel like your best self. I got my make-up done at Sephora, listened to my pre-mixed Get Pumped playlist of dance jams, and shook my butt all over my bathroom doing my hair.

      You may enjoy drinking vanilla tea and reading. Or going out for a walk.

      Hopefully what ends up happening is you talk to your photographer and your partner, you walk around an area, maybe have a drink or a coffee or something, and make stupid jokes. That’s pretty much how it went for us!

      It was way less awful than I expected and I loved the photos a lot more than I hoped.

  • penguin

    Another thing I forgot, we’ve gotten some interesting gifts so far for the wedding. And it seems like no one (not even our friends) remembers that we made a wedding website. A ton of people have asked where we’re registered, so I tell them and also remind them about the website. Oh well.

    So far we’ve gotten a few things off our registry (yay!) although one was broken on arrival, one thing that was on our registry but purchased from a different store in a different color (probably going to try to exchange for the color we wanted), and the crowning glory – a $600 crystal vase that wasn’t on our registry, wasn’t from a store we registered for, and now I’m terrified of breaking before we can return it to the store. Hopefully we get store credit for it or something.

    Anyone else have stories of weird stuff you’ve gotten for wedding gifts?

    • somanypseudonyms

      Amazingly, we only got one unwelcome gift — everyone else either went with the registry (although I think a fair number of people had to get help finding it, judging from what I hear through the grapevine) or brought/sent a red envelope. But the unwelcome gift is an extremely fancy crystal picture frame that’s not our style at all (more accurately: we are both actively repulsed by it), and we don’t have a gift receipt or know where it came from, and it was given by a very old friend of husband’s mother, so I suspect we’re stuck with it.

      • jem

        This seems to be an ideal regift opportunity. Boss? Doctor? Newspaper delivery person?

        • somanypseudonyms

          See photo upthread for extra confusion.

          • jem

            I mean honestly my MIL would LOVE this. And will probably buy something almost identical for her son in the next 3 months.

          • somanypseudonyms

            but… *why*? I get the appeal of crystal for dishware/etc (and even though it’s not my/my husband’s aesthetic, I can kinda enjoy the sparkliness), but it seems so bizarre for something like a picture frame..

    • anon

      Decorative seasonal snow globes.

      • Jess

        Like… including seasons other than winter?!

        • anon

          Yes. One for every season. Bless their hearts, it was a sweet thought, just not our style…

          • somanypseudonyms

            I… had no idea they made non-winter snow globes. 😳

    • rebecca

      10 boxes of gingersnaps from a small East Coast chain grocery

    • Angela’s Back

      Weird by normal standards but it was totally on our registry: one of those skeletal cat Halloween decorations from Target because we live for Halloween/the month of October in general, plus a box of glittery skulls “for the home.” Both are up in our apartment now.

      • louise danger

        https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/51619830?wid=520&hei=520&fmt=pjpeg we’re gonna wind up with two of these bad boys even though we only registered for one, because someone bought it without checking it off the registry. can i tell you how unbothered i am about it? because omg cactus lamps

        • Angela’s Back

          We have a cactus wall clock! Mr. Angela is from El Paso so I couldn’t resist when I saw it. It’s pretty fun though :D

      • ART

        We didn’t use Target for the wedding but do have our baby registry there, and after being told we “didn’t have enough on there” I learned that I could register for champagne and coffee (and surely many other things, but I put those on there, stat) Yay Target registry!

    • anon for this

      A toy for our future kid (we did not start talking about kids till a few years post wedding)

      • Cellistec

        What was the toy??

    • louise danger

      i can’t stop thinking about the early episode of Mad Men where pete keeps explaining the Chip-n-Dip he and Trudy got (and then he returns it and comes back with a rifle)

      my boss, who isn’t coming to the wedding, got us a cookbook. which is a very thoughtful gift and one that we’re likely to use and enjoy. she explained that she was at the [university] library book sale and saw it on the $0.50 table and just couldn’t pass it up and it’s a book she and her husband like so much etc etc and it is honestly a lovely cookbook but really she could have just shared a little less about it and i would have liked it even more. i keep telling myself with a smile that it’s the thought that counts, lol

      • somanypseudonyms

        I can no longer even see chip-n-dip-type servingware without thinking of that episode. gaaaah.

        also: oh dear, boss, oh dear

      • jem

        Someone gave us TWO chip n dips

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        We have a chip and dip inherited from my grandparents, and whenever I use it I announce, “It’s a chip and dip!” and nobody has ever picked up on the reference.

    • lamarsh

      Two very grandma-ish table runners (one with an Easter theme) when we don’t have a kitchen table. We live in a small apartment so they were pretty much immediately donated. We also got several Waterford bowls/vases which we didn’t register for and couldn’t return, but maybe I will like them some day? They just don’t really fit with our mainly west elm catalog decor.

      • penguin

        Yep that massive vase we got is from Waterford, I’m hoping we can return it.

        • Cellistec

          I admit, I’m drooling. Waterford crystal is a traditional gift in my family and I love it. But yeah, if it’s not your style, I hope you can return it! And not break it in the meantime.

          • Jess

            Same… I would loooove a crystal vase.

          • Cellistec

            APW gift swap: new in 2018.

          • somanypseudonyms

            please take our picture frame

            please

          • Cellistec

            Imma need a photo of this crystal monstrosity, pls.

          • somanypseudonyms

            stand by for post-getting-home, pal, and you shall receive

          • somanypseudonyms

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac1e3f682ae4cfbe1443cc7e04e34a1dd2046b1508efc1b4bd2db2bf9839f277.jpg

            So I’m not inherently anti-crystal (some of my more traditional relatives have collections, and they’re sparkly and nice, I guess), but I just **do not** understand why you would do this for a photo frame. It’s INCREDIBLY heavy, and isn’t the giant weird sparkling “raindrop” pattern just going to distract from the actual photo? I’m wondering whether we can use it as a tray… that sits sideways because of the base… or… something…?

            If anyone is here who does find it aesthetically pleasing, I would love to know what appeals to you about it. We’re both completely baffled.

          • Amy March

            It’s so shiny!!!!! 💕

          • Cellistec

            I admit, it’s not as bad as I expected. What size photo does it hold? I get how a super heavy frame is impractical, though…unless you want to stage it as a potential weapon and thunk someone over the head with it? And then rain down crystal bits upon them in a most dramatic fashion?

          • penguin

            Dear Meg, it’s me penguin. Please make this happen k thx bye.

          • penguin

            We immediately put it back in the box with the giant pieces of styrofoam that hold it in place. I like the look of some crystal pieces but not this one unfortunately. It was very generous of them and I can’t complain, but I’d still like to return it for other things.

      • Kara

        For the bowls/vases, they can go up on shelves. When/if light hits them, it can be pretty.

        Also, a bowl can be for keys or a fancy remote holder :).

        • lamarsh

          Yep, they are currently in my Billy bookcase with glass doors, and they look very pretty in there when the light hits them. (But also it makes me laugh that I am storing Waterford crystal in Ikea furniture.)

          I actually hadn’t thought of the key idea though, may have to try that.

          • Kara

            It sounds like you’re doing it right to me!

          • Cellistec

            Eh, I use my grandma’s silver stuffing bowls for key bowls in the front entryway, and I keep forgetting to hide them when my mom comes over. Some of the traditional gifts don’t adapt to the times very well, but damn if we can’t shoehorn them into usefulness.

          • lamarsh

            What is a stuffing bowl? Is it just for Thanksgiving stuffing…or am I missing something obvious?

          • Cellistec

            Whoa, yeah, Thanksgiving stuffing. No other kind of weird double entendre stuffing. Whatever that would even be.

          • lamarsh

            Haha, it’s more that stuffing is probably my favorite food, but I had no idea there were particular bowls for it — now I want them.

    • We got a relationship advice book and bath candles, I’m pretty sure from someone I didn’t even really know? I genuinely appreciated the intent, but it was… a little off.

    • rebecca

      Oh! Not quite a gift but my mom visited us a month or so after our wedding and bought a GIANT ornate knife that allegedly my grandfather used to cut turkey with on Thanksgiving. We don’t eat any meat at home but the best part was when took it out of the box and was like “What is this?” she said with *all* sincerity “Oh, well, you’re married now, so I thought you might need it”

      • Cellistec

        *blinks*

    • NolaJael

      An ENTIRE dish set that we did not register for … from my boss. Plates, mugs, flatware, tumblers, wine glasses, AND place mats.

    • Not Sarah

      We haven’t gotten anything off registry yet but we did get a $20 pair of scissors and no card from a friend who lives within two miles of our venue, brought his girlfriend, has no debt, and makes six figures. That was bizarre to me and I feel like he should have given a card and no gift.

    • BSM

      Not weird, but very similar to your gift, my BFF’s parents gave us a sous vide machine, which we did not register for.

      We like to cook, and it was pretty expensive (like $400 with all the accessories), but we just *did not* need another tabletop appliance, especially a HUGE one, in our 850sf house. And no gift receipt, of course.

      We ended up returning it to BBB for store credit worth 75% (I think) of its retail price and bought some new pots and pans instead, which we use daily and love. So it all worked out in the end!

    • Anne

      A GIANT set of wind chimes with Bible verses on them.
      (doubly absurd because we live in a tiny apartment a plane flight away from the wedding, and were not going to save suitcase space for wind chimes)

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        What did you do with it??

        • Anne

          Left it in my parents’ basement for now. They are operating under the (slightly questionable) assumption that we’ll be moving back and buying a house in that area in the next few years. The chimes did have a nice sound so if that does happen, maybe I’ll see if there’s a way to remove the writing…

    • scw

      monogrammed (unreturnable) towels when we had completely different towels on our registry!

      but that person later bought another couple in our friends group ONE WASHCLOTH for their wedding so at least we got two.

    • ART

      This isn’t weird stuff (and in general the gifts are either money or useful things we’ve registered for), but I have one relative who has taken this approach with wedding and baby shower gift of asking me “we’re thinking of giving you X, at some Y point beyond this event. would that be OK?” and I’m like…sure? I’m not going to tell you how to or how not to give me a present? Based on the specifics I can’t really tell why they do this, not sure if they just want to have A Conversation about giving me something or what. I try to just be as grateful and open to anything as I can, since I don’t understand what other answer they might be looking for…

    • MC

      My husband’s cousin’s family sent us two mugs with the letter B on them, which is Husband’s last initial. I did not change my name and they of course didn’t ask and of course didn’t include a gift receipt! Luckily we figured out they were from Target (weren’t even registered there) and were able to return them for store credit.

    • Eenie

      We got a case of Capri suns and gushers. BUT WAIT – it gets better. On top of said boxes were two paper cats, attached to sticks standing up, decorated like our two cats. No card. We have no idea (18 months later) who got them for us. I posted multiple times on social media about it. FOREVER A MYSTERY.

    • jem

      We got an anonymous microplane

    • emilyg25

      An insanely ugly butter dish. We got a few gifts off registry and most were very lovely and special and thoughtful, except for the butter dish. It was ceramic, in that funky quirky style that I associate with middle aged women, white ceramic with black polka dots and like a stegasaurus spike down the middle and a little ladybug on the side. I have a reputation for being funky and arty, so I think that’s why my aunt and uncle thought I’d like it? But in reality, my taste tends toward preppy/classic/minimal. We “lost” it when we moved.

    • We got multiple paintings with that 2 Corinthians “Love is patient…” written on it above our names.
      Multiple people thought we would enjoy that. Although, to be fair, my husband also loves them, so I guess his friends/family did guess well. But he also thinks that we should decorate our apartment so it looks like my Midwest grandma’s house did–complete with an identical painting of Jesus to the one she had hanging up in her house–so we have learned to compromise.

    • Alli

      My dad bought us a really involved espresso/cappuccino maker and coffee bean grinder and nice beans. Neither of us really drinks coffee, but we’ve learned to make espresso on it because I know he’s going to ask about it when he comes over. I feel bad because it’s nice but it’s taking up counter space.

  • InTheBurbs

    Didn’t post last week because I don’t want to saturate happy hour with puppy. Quinn gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks. As of this weekend we’ve had her for a month! We’re still having our moments with the biting – our current method of dealing is to yelp like a puppy when she bites too hard and immediately replace with a toy. We know we’re supposed to stop playing with her for 30 seconds – but it’s hard when she then turns to the furniture. We start puppy kindergarten in 2 weeks and we’re all excited. On a positive note – she knows how to sit – and last night after watching for a bit – was playing fetch with my parents lab. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5202b8d4d079066e45303796644c87f6ccee35f177b9afcd508ce2d7aeecc688.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69825bac99c797297d9050aee59bafa34c43a25e92fe613990669f6c38b83000.jpg

    • Kat

      Oh my gosh I love her unconditionally. What a cutie.

      • InTheBurbs

        Thanks!

    • penguin

      Um, please ALWAYS saturate Happy Hour with puppy pictures! She’s adorable.

      • InTheBurbs

        Thank you!

      • Jess

        I support the movement for Puppy Hour.

        • rebecca

          If you insist…we adopted this little lady about 3 weeks ago. She had a bad case of hookworm when she came to the shelter and she just got the ok from the vet that she’s all clear to go to the Dog Beach this weekend! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a76db73fa880ea0642020ea7f71d1efcea23aad2c61898499b59d50929d5e963.jpg

          • InTheBurbs

            Oh my goodness. She is stunning!!! Dog Beach sounds amazing – have fun!

          • rebecca

            Thanks!

          • Jess

            Guys. My heart is swelling so much! Dog Beach!!

            (also I cannot with her ears! She looks so curious!)

  • jem

    I found out I’m getting a big award next month and finding it so hard to talk about without downplaying it. Also have no idea how to put it on my resume? Also my peers at work who know about it are weirdly negative, which also feels weird. I want to enjoy this, but having a hard time managing to!

    • rebecca

      WHOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!! Congratulations! Receiving an award when you’re a grown up who is not Meryl Streep is such a rare and exciting occasion!

    • Essssss

      1: YAY, you’re awesome! Congrats!
      2: I hear you on the downplay, but what are you excited about with it? Did it acknowledge how hard you’ve worked on something? Will there be $$ that help you in life somehow? Having something that feels “factual” vs. “braggy” (but I mean, you deserved it, brag away man!) can help me talk about these things more easily. Also, just a simple “thanks, I’m really excited,” without any explanation is super legit.
      3: Resume: you can add a section to your resume called honors and awards, and list it there. I’ve put this section after education, or after work experience towards the end, depending on how important I think it is to list. If it is related to a specific job, you can also put it as a bullet under a specific job, ie recipient of the Spongebob honor, highest acknowledgement for rocket science issued annually to one employee by the Unicorn corporation.
      4: Sorry your co-workers are being negative. Jealousy/comparisons are a real thing and people all have to deal with their own stuff. Give it some space. If you feel especially generous, acknowledge how great they are at whatever, too, but really, we’re all grown ups. Are there friends and family that can be more genuinely happy for you? Can you take yourself out for a nice dinner or buy yourself a yay present?

    • Jess

      CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BIG AWARD!!!!!!!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!!

    • NolaJael

      1) They are jealous. 2) I have a section in my resume for one-off things, maybe called “Trainings and Accomplishments” or something? It’s for like conferences I’ve attended and work-related recognition. I keep them in chronological order. But there are lots of ways you can incorporate it (and should!!).

    • E.

      Congratulations!!!

    • RE

      I call this section of my resume “Hustle.” Which I have been told sounds unprofessional but I like it.

  • AmandaBee

    Picking the APW hive mind today if y’all don’t mind: what are some good ways you’ve found at staying connected with family and friends when they’re far away?

    About 2 months after moving out of the state in which I grew up for the first time, I’ve realized that I really need to step up my game on this. Random text messages aren’t doing it, phone calls help but some of my peeps aren’t “phone people” so…ideas?

    Relatedly, I’m meeting a few old friends for a girls weekend next week and I am SO EXCITED!!! Friend-making in the new city has gone surprisingly well, but there’s just something about being around people who you don’t have to explain your weird self to.

    • MC

      One of my friends from college started an e-mail thread with a group of 5 of us, and the only rules are that there’s no obligation to write and you can write as little or as much as you want any time you want to share news, ask questions, rant about patriarchy, etc. It’s been super nice to hear more about their lives than I would if I was just relying on phone/texts, especially since one friend recently moved abroad.

    • justamomma

      My BFF from back home and I just recently started using the Marco Polo app. It’s silly, but definitely going a long way to making us feel more connected. It’s kind of more personal than a text message, but you can get to it in your own time unlike a phone call…I guess describing it as a video voice mail would be apt, but I’m pretty sure we’ve rambled to each other longer than the amount of time a traditional VM allows :)

    • Fiona

      I live far away from my peeps, and we have a group text on whatsapp. We send each other pics and updates regularly. We also do a group email with bigger updates.

    • Eenie

      Group chats! Like in whatsapp, and you just low key check in every now and then. It also prevents you from having to tell ten people the same news.

      • Yes, we have a family whatsapp thread (well, several of them) and it’s nice because there’s enough of us that someone usually responds to things but you can also just sort of sit back and know what’s going on in people’s lives even when you aren’t feeling particularly social at the time. It’s the best!

    • rebecca

      I’m a big fan of watching a show together, even if you time shift it. A friend and I do Scandal/Google Hangouts/red wine/popcorn on Tuesdays at Happy Hourish and it’s fantastic

    • Jenny

      Group gmail email for one group
      Voxer app for another group
      and texting/phone calls/emails for individual friendships.
      Occasionally we will give each other “homework” an article, tv show, movie to see and then talk about it.
      My husband and I (we are apart for 4 months right now) will start a netflix show at the same time and text each other about it like we are watching it in the same room.

      • A single sarah

        I’ve started using rabb.it for long distance Netflix and simultaneous video chat. The picture is smaller than whenever Netflix is full screen, but actually being able to say reactions instead of texting is fantastic.

  • somanypseudonyms

    a friend and I were talking about horrifying bridal hashtags (#sheddingforthewedding, etc) and I mentioned the #breadingforthewedding alternative that I think someone here came up with. Now we’re on to
    #SaucissonsAvantChoisissons
    and
    #meatingbeforebreeding
    and I need more rhyming parody hashtags stat.

    • littleinfinity

      Love these!! Umm what about #beignetsforthebigday … #chowbeforethevows … #fonduebeforeIdo …??

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        #macaronibeforematrimony

        • somanypseudonyms

          oh my god, these are all great

  • CW

    We closed on our house! It went so smoothly and I’m so excited and much calmer than a week ago. And right after closing we went over to do a sweep/vacuum/spider-killing. FH is moving into the house this weekend, so we’ll be super busy.
    On the wedding side, FH asked if we could do the wedding on about 60% of our agreed-upon budget. Well- NO- FH. We agreed upon the budget together from the start, and we’re getting married in less than 3 months and contracts have been signed, payment have been made. I think he just didn’t remember, given all the stuff with the house, work, grad school. But still, I was very frustrated for a bit. Other than that, wedding plans are going well and will resume in a week or so, post-move and post-marathon.

  • ART

    We were talking about eating salads (daily, mason jar, whatevs) a couple HHs ago and I recently tried this one that’s just as pretty and good as it looks: https://minimalistbaker.com/garlicky-kale-salad-with-crispy-chickpeas/

    I didn’t have tahini so I just made a mayonnaise-based dressing with the rest of the ingredients and added a couple drops of sesame oil. I also left one clove of garlic un-roasted because I just love garlic, sorry coworkers. It would totally work in a mason jar if you didn’t care as much about the pile of lovely naked chickpeas on top of well-dressed kale.

    Other than that this week sucked, for all the obvious reasons but also I saw another pregnant lady getting grief from a dude (who was probably high, but still) on the train about where she was sitting, and I was kind of behind a bunch of people and she got up and got on the phone while I was debating getting up and going over there, and then it seemed like it would be too little too late once she was on the phone, and then she started CRYING and I felt like the biggest asshole ever for not jumping up and being like “oh it’s yelling at pregnant lady day? I’m here for my turn…” Then when she got off *I* started crying and other people were asking me if I was OK and I was thinking where the hell were you for her, ugh! Fucking hormones. I still feel really bad. Next time I will try to do better.

    • BSM

      I’m not sure I want to hear more about this train (BART?) story, but what happened?

      • ART

        Yeah, it was BART. She was sitting in the aisle seat of that row that is perpendicular to and smushed up against the “reserved” seating (which was kind of full, maybe totally full when she got on) and the window seat with no leg room was empty. I think the guy either wanted her to scoot over (nope) or get up and let him sit there, and I think she was saying she couldn’t really move till the next stop, and he just started going off on her for “taking two seats” and saying all this stuff about how she hasn’t had the baby yet so she doesn’t need two…bunch of BS (he looked…like a yelling person on BART typically might look). I think she was just really embarrassed to be in that situation because people were noticing, kind of getting involved but not really, etc. I really felt for her because I KNOW how easily I get set off these days, and I just felt really selfish for not getting up and “helping” in some way. I was sitting in the back of the 4-seater area and it was pretty full, and I’m not very stable on BART right now because my pelvis is giving me shit, but I feel like every reason I come up with for not responding was just an excuse and I should have tried.

        I FEEL VERY CLUEY ABOUT THIS, EVIDENTLY!

        • BSM

          Ugh, I’m sorry for both of you! That sounds awful.

          I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I’ve gotten a little more timid about telling people off now that I’m at the physically unstable point in my pregnancy. I’m just not as quick on my feet, my mind is somewhere else, and honestly I’m a little more concerned for my safety, since I’m currently responsible for the nugget :-/

          • ART

            Yeah, in my second trimester, I cussed out a motorcyclist who cut me off in a crosswalk…third tri? Probably would seriously fantasize about it, but chicken out.

          • BSM

            So much same. A few months ago a guy in the Mission yelled at me to pick up the pace when I was walking (because sidewalks aren’t wide enough to go around people?), so of course I cussed him out, and he threw a mostly empty beer can at me. I’m less bold these days…

  • Anne

    I know there was a post about this relatively recently, but can someone confirm to me that it’s okay to wear a dress vaguely the same color as the wedding party when you are not in it? I have a RTR (my first one!) reserved for my SIL’s wedding that I really like but have started to get a little anxious about.

    Reasons it would be fine:
    -Bride told me not to worry and to wear whatever I want
    -It has a a floral print pattern and blockier style than most bridesmaid dresses
    -Navy is a super common dress color for fall weddings anyway

    Reasons to find something else:
    -I’m doing a reading and will be in family photos, potentially eating at the head table, etc, and the bridesmaid dresses are in mismatched styles, so in a lot of ways it could actually look like I’m in the wedding party.

    We have too many weddings and wedding-related events this year and I am so sick of dress finding, so it’s unlikely that I’ll change it, but I’m open to expert opinions here :)

    • ART

      Yes, you’re fine, enjoy!

    • JC

      In my family, the whole extended family wears the wedding colors, so the facts that you’re doing a reading and being in family photos are extra reasons, in my circle of people, for you to stick to the dress you had planned :)

    • topscallop

      Do the bridesmaids’ dresses also have a floral print?

      • Anne

        No, I would guess they’re mostly pretty standard navy cocktail dresses, but I don’t know for sure because they are mismatched.

        Honestly I think I’m just generally low-level anxious about this wedding because husband will be busy in the wedding party and I’ll probably end up doing a lot of helpful grunt work and slightly stressful socializing with their extended family.

    • Jess

      You’ll be fine. I’ve seen plenty of readers be somewhat-similarly-colored-to-the-party because you *are* involved. The dress sounds not bridesmaid-y at all, and it sounds awesome!

      Wear with joy!

    • If it’s navy I think you are 1000% fine — Given what you describe I’m sure you’d be on solid ground anyway, but pretty much everyone who has a dark blue for their bridal party will also have a guest or 11 that shows up in a similar color.

    • Anne

      Thanks for the reassurances, all. Here’s the dress in case anybody is wondering :) https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/halston_heritage/jasmine_rainwater_dress

      • Amy March

        Beautiful, go for it.

  • mui

    this week has been hard. mourning the violence that happens on such a regular basis in our country and also feeling vulnerable. I’m thankful it’s the weekend.

  • topscallop

    So, my stepbrother’s wedding photos came in and he put them all on Facebook (he got married a month before I did, his wife nearly 8 months pregnant at the time, so they didn’t come to our wedding – and now the baby is late which I’m only slightly grudge-y about bc it would have meant a lot to me to have him there) – and there is one picture with me, my husband, and my family and the bride and groom, in which my face is hilariously, awfully, clearly Photoshopped. Maybe my eyes were closed and the photographer copied my eyes from another photo and dropped them in? I look like a melting wax figure. It is bizarre.

    Otherwise, I’m just pumped for the weekend! I’m going to bake pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to take over when we help a friend paint her new condo tomorrow while drinking mimosas. We made another friend/couple date to see a scary movie my husband and I negotiated over (I hate horror, he hates social media – he has to like 20 of my posts in exchange for my going), and hopefully catch up with another set of friends and their adorable baby over brunch on Sunday. Tonight we are staying in, cleaning the apartment, drinking wine and making zoodles with tomato sauce and sausage-less sausage from Trader Joe’s. Maybe we’ll do a puzzle while catching up on The Good Place.

    Also, and sincere apologies for the overshare but I don’t want to tell anyone I know in real life because they also know my husband and shouldn’t have to have this mental image: in the last month or so, it’s like he cracked the code to my lady parts. Sex before was already great, but it’s like something just clicked and now he can get me off every single time, in record time. Maybe that’s why my skin is looking so great lately?!

    • Jess

      In reverse order: YAY for sex things working!!!!!!

      Hooray muffins and scary movies (would love to know which movie and if it was good) and wine and puzzles.

      And finally. WTF Brother and Photographer?!?!?!

      • topscallop

        Yay for sex things indeed!

        The movie was “It” and I hated it. I clung to my husband’s hand the whole time. Halfway through the movie he turned to me and said, “I’m sorry, I’ll never make you see a horror movie again.” I don’t care if I’m a wuss, he has other friends he can go see horror movies with from now on.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I know you’re being all anonymous on the internet, but I am soooooo curious to see that photo. Please tell me you’re going to print it and frame it and display it prominently.

      • topscallop

        Haha maybe I should! Even though I’m a little offended by it, it still cracks me up. It’s very meme-able, not quite as bad as the woman who painted over the Jesus painting but along those same lines.

        My niece arrived yesterday – the baby is very cute but they gave her a weird name that makes me feel sorry for her. I need to curb my dislike for my sister-in-law because I’m afraid I’m not keeping it under wraps enough and I want to be a nice person, but it’s not easy!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          At the very least it needs to be your Facebook profile pic, for the lulz.Happy Aunting! Kids pick up on vibes and attitudes waaaay more than you’d expect, so maybe building a relationship with this new little person will be good motivation to swallow your distaste for her mum.

          • topscallop

            Haha if I were better at Photoshop/design stuff I could make it a side-by-side comparison with Picasso’s finest, and rotate them every now and again.

            They live on the other side of the country so I probably won’t see them much, but that’s a good point about having a relationship with the baby – I have a hard time not judging everything my sister-in-law does based on some of the shady stuff she’s done in the past, but maybe motherhood will bring on some maturity. Though she did ask a cousin of mine a few months ago (a former EMT) about bringing the baby to see a chiropractor once it’s born…I think he disabused her of that notion pretty quickly. Maybe I’ll ask my family just to not tell me these stories. Ignorance makes for better family relations!

  • Mrs H

    I’m usually a bit of a lurker but I need to vent about my in laws y’all. I mentioned this on another post, but it’s still bugging me. At my son’s first birthday last week, my sister in law and I had very terse words in front of everyone about Christmas. My husband and kids and I live on one side of the country, near his family and my family lives on the the other side of the country.
    We go to stay with my parents for Christmas because they miss out on everything else-our birthday’s our kid’s birthdays, every other holiday and just the week to week of seeing our family, which husband’s parents and siblings are usually totally understanding about.
    Anyway my sister in law (husband’s brother’s wife) said ‘Where will you guys be for Christmas?’ My husband said we would be travelling to see my family. She said ‘What? That’s three years in a row!’ I said, ‘Well, yes, but we live here.’ Her response was ‘That’s not how it works!’
    I just walked away, I was so angry and upset. I was already sad my parents were missing their grandchild’s first birthday and it just made it worse. My sister in law has this weird thing where she only wants one child, but kind of expects my kids to be like honorary siblings to my niece-opening presents together, for example. I adore our niece, but I’m not basing all my holiday decisions around her!
    It’s also compounded by my husband and I deciding that we’re going to stay in the town we’re living now for another year. We’d been planning to move to be near my folks, but we just can’t afford it right now. It’s fine, but I’m a little sad and don’t need my SIL making it worse!

    • Jess

      That is really frustrating. That is *exactly* how it works for your family right now, thank you very much.

      • Mrs H

        That is exactly what I should have said!

    • Jennifer

      We are the opposite. We always spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and Christmas by ourselves. This year my brother is getting married the weekend after Thanksgiving. (Because his bride is a teacher and that’s one of the better off periods they have from school). My MIL is trying to get us to come for Thanksgiving anyway. I’m standing my ground because while, yes, we always do Thanksgiving with the in-laws, this year it just isn’t going to work. <3 Sending hugs!

      • Jennifer

        And by ‘come for Thanksgiving anyway’ I mean, she’s trying to get us to come either before or after for a visit. Meh.

        • Mrs H

          Ugh. Why can’t people just be reasonable? Good luck on standing your ground!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Her disappointment isn’t your problem. She can dream up whatever ideals she likes, but she can’t live your life and make your decisions for you.

  • E.

    APW meet Luna Lovegood. We adopted her on Sunday. She’s a 6 year old aussiedoodle, surrendered from a “high volume breeder,” which is basically a puppy mill.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/657ac3b27fd2fc2b5cde9b29f7526aecc5f6c0ce031e008955111e30335d3371.jpg

    • Jess

      Hi Luna! I’m so excited you will have a happy and loving home now!

      • E.

        So are we! She is very timid, scared of people, had never been outside, never walked on a leash not house trained. She is slowly starting to venture out of her cage and explore a bit.

    • JC

      LUNA!!!

    • LadyJanee

      We named our adopted pup Luna Lovegood too! Enjoy your time together :)

  • Jess

    Guys, PP is opening a new clinic in my state paid for by donors! I’m really excited that they’re able to commit to care and that their support has been so good, but also really pissed that the donor support is being used to justify cutting state funding. There’s only like three clinics in our state that offer abortions and I’m just feeling defeated about the whole thing, so it’s nice to have good news.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2017/10/06/planned-parenthood-opening-new-abortion-clinic-milwaukee/717250001/

    • jem

      This means so much to me, thank you for sharing ❤️

  • Katharine Parker

    Is someone getting an abortion not permitted as a topic of conversation here, or is there a different reason that comment thread was deleted?

    • Jess

      I dunno – I’ve seen a lot of things late in the day on Fridays get flagged in moderation, especially with really difficult topics (most notably a few weeks ago there was a discussion about nazi’s and family). It may be a keyword thing or a moderator gap thing? A lot of times they show back up by Sunday.

    • Amy March

      The post is still there- things get glitchy on disqus when they are flagged for moderation.

      • Katharine Parker

        My comment is showing up as removed (as is the comment I replied to and that is in reply to me). If it’s a discus glitch, it’s a really irritating one.

        • Amy March

          Mine is not any sort of official response, btw, but I can still see the thread.

        • CMT

          Did the original commenter delete their own comment? (Can you even do that? I’ve never tried.)

          • Eenie

            Yes, you can. Unless you post as guest.

    • Chelsea Hanepen

      Hi Katharine, we usually don’t moderate on Happy Hour because of the amount of comments that populate. Sometimes comments will be flagged enough times by readers that disqus auto moderates those comments. APW is open about conversation regarding abortion and comments like those aren’t something that would typically be taken down by APW. I hope this helps!

      • Katharine Parker

        Thanks for responding. I didn’t think APW would remove it, but it was weird. I guess it’s one more thing to dislike disqus for doing!

  • Jennifer

    The kitten is home!! Finally. His foster mom really wanted to keep him but we brought him home last night.

    But now I have a serious question. My partner and I are both Deaf. We hired 3 interpreters when we got married 6 years ago (and had only intended to hire 2 but my mom pushed hard that my also-Deaf brother needed an interpreter also. So we did that.)

    Now, it’s little bro’s turn to get married. I’m somewhat distant from my family and we don’t talk a lot because it tends to devolve into a particular person being verbally abusive to me.

    THAT said, partner and I really want an interpreter for this wedding. We know it’s a) small, b) on the cheap. So we’re willing to find and pay for the interpreters ourselves even though this isn’t SOP for interpreters.

    Wedding is in Summit County, Colorado. The thing I’m having trouble with is finding ANY freelance interpreters up there. I live in the D.C. area now, and I don’t have connections like I did before. I also am struggling with how to ask because I know saying we want an interpreter and we”ll pay for it won’t go over well at all with my family. They just don’t care if partner or I are included or understand anything.

    I guess I just want support. I’m still searching in Colorado in general and in some interpreting Facebook groups and I figure it’ll be ok, or we’ll just leave once the ceremony is over bc we won’t understand anything.

    Thanks y’all.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e8aff4b23d6d95c8125c423a4e3723817b476396b6b9de74fbc9fbfc3f4468d.jpg

    • ART

      I don’t have any advice and don’t know anything about hiring interpreters, but just wanted to say I’m sorry that your family doesn’t seem to value having your full understanding/participation, that really sucks. Is part of the issue having another person[s] there who needs an assigned seat, a meal, etc?

      • Jennifer

        I’m pretty sure the issue is simply money and the fact that interpreters, especially in that area, (or anything in that area) costs quite a bit.

        • Amy March

          Then won’t you hiring one solve the problem?

          • Jennifer

            Hopefully!

    • Amy March

      Don’t ask. Tell. You need an interpreter, and you’ve hired one. I can’t fathom why your family would have any issue with that and I’m sorry they aren’t providing like bare minimum levels of support here.

      • Jennifer

        Thanks. Well, they’re not really supportive of me in general. The aforementioned abuse. So… yeah. Will go back to trying to actually FIND an interpreter to hire and then tell them the deed is done.

    • MC

      I wonder if it’d be worth contacting school districts/government entities to see if they have someone who can be there? Summit County might not have a big enough population but you should have better luck in the Denver area. I also know someone who learned to sign in Colorado Springs…. hope you find someone, and so sorry your fam isn’t supportive.

      • Jennifer

        Well sort of? It depends a lot on weather. Denver to the mountains is about 3 hours with decent weather. I have been in contact with some people from around there though. That’s where I got married.

        • Denver-ite

          Denver to Summit county is under 3 hours – downtown Denver is only an hour-ish to Keystone and maybe an hour and a half to Breck (with normal weather). I would reach out to folks in the Denver area or maybe Jefferson County (the big county to the west of Denver – largest cities are Golden and Lakewood). I don’t have specific contacts for you, but agree that trying to find someone in the Denver Metro (and paying for travel) is probably going to be easier than finding someone in the mountains already. Good luck!

          • Jennifer

            I’m originally from the area. I know. I just don’t want the risks of having an interpreter stuck on the other side of the Eisenhower tunnel because of a snowstorm. Thanks though! I’ve been in contact with CAD and other groups and they’ve told me to try and find interpreters in the mountains because Denver is too far.

  • Mari

    Hive mind: Where can I find a nice (bath)robe? Thinking about something soft and silky rather than fluffy…

  • Lisa

    Maddie, you rock. And your lime green scuba dress? Profound. xoxox.

  • NotMotherTheresa

    I started a new job!

    A couple of months ago, I was on here lamenting my lack of a career–with 30 on the super immediate horizon, it was starting to hit home that I wasn’t exactly going anywhere in my mindless but delightfully low stress $10 an hour job.

    Well, I got serious about job hunting, and I found a new job that’s also pretty low stress, but that actually pays a living wage and has real potential for advancement! I’m still not making Oprah money, and often, this job is about as exciting and meaningful as watching paint dry, but it’s a real career! And so far, my boss is great! And, best of all, just like in my old job, this is one of those jobs where once you walk out the door at 5, you’re DONE!

    I mean, I miss getting to play on Facebook all day (at this job, we’re encouraged to use our downtime on professional development, since there’s actually room for advancement), and I have to do a little more thinking, but it’s really not bad at all! I get to put the talents I do have to use, yet it’s not the end of the world if I miss up like it was in law. Also, unlike law, I get to have a life outside of work! And I don’t have to wear a suit! And my employer pays for maintaining my law license/CLEs! All in all, I’m really liking it.

    To those of you who gave me encouragement and career advice, thank you all so much!!! The job hunt itself was…not fun. But, ultimately, I feel really good about where I am now. (And, as a side bonus, it’s really helping my marriage, too! This job keeps me juuuuust busy enough to help break a lot of my co-dependency issues, since the husband knows he can no longer call me at work seven times a day to prattle on about his thoughts on the weather! I still have enough energy left when I get home to give my marriage a REASONABLE amount of attention, but I’m no longer stuck on the constant roller coaster of my husband’s moods the way that I was before. Now, his problems are his problems, and my problems are my problems, and the two only meet if it’s a really serious crisis.)

  • Hi everyone! Grad school lurker is back.

    So my second week is over, and it’s been very up and down again. The first part of the week was really good, and I started to feel more on top of things. Got the class schedule sorted out too. But because I’m learning a language, I have work for it every. single. night. And when you get home late after a seminar, everything starts to get very late and feel very unachievable. I had a mini meltdown in the middle of campus today and just had to drop everything and go home, bailing out on an important dept event that promised to be really swanky. Never mind. Going to try and get ahead on work this weekend, but it’s already late this evening and I haven’t done anything yet :/ I’m seeing a good counsellor, but I just wish I would find a way to make everything feel less overwhelming. I can’t do the whole “working until midnight” thing. If anyone has foolproof time management tactics for really boring, time-consuming work (like Portuguese grammar exercises), I would love to hear them!

  • Rioux15

    So, my husband and I are just about to step on to the path of trying to get pregnant! so I’m looking for something with the same vibe/values/etc of APW but even more focused on fertility/pregnancy. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • I think some APWers have enjoyed some of the Reddit forums, but I cannot personally vouch for them. Hopefully you find something, and here at APW we’re always happy to talk about that stuff too!

    • notquitecece

      ugh, I have had a HARD time finding this. Pregnant Chicken is nice and snarky, but sometimes gets a little overwhelming/downer-y, depending on my mood. I do recommend Expecting Better, which I read in the months we were trying, then re-read after we got pregnant.

      • riouxrioux

        Thanks! I bought Expecting Better yesterday to give that a thought. I skimmed Pregnant Chicken as well and it looks pretty good. I’m sure I’ll be back here on future Happy Hours as well! Thank you!

    • Kelly

      Alphamom and pregnant chicken were my go -to sites when I was pregnant. I also love Coffee and Crumbs about parenting in general.

  • maria

    so much so hola frds add chat gregmaria397@gmail.com

  • RoseLTignor

    Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !hs47:
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