APW Happy Hour!

Hey APW,

We’ve been looking for a new home for our Saturday Link Roundup (which we loved, but were getting totally lost over the weekend). So we thought we’d roll it in to happy hour. Chat it up, and sometime between now and Monday, enjoy a link or two.

It’s your open thread (I know you’ve been waiting). Hop on it!

Meg and Crew

Highlights of APW This Week

My thoughts on kicking off APW Pride month (my favorite month of the year).

Manya discussing reframing things for ourselves in the paradigm of plenty, and working to slay insecurities that way.

Manhattan courthouse wedding. Wedding dress with long sleeves alert!

Open Thread: Poems to read at your wedding. (There goes the weekend.)

Elisabeth’s exploration of the queer case against gay marriage, and why she’s getting married anyway.

Link Roundup


The Atlantic is kicking off Pride month with “The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss,” an article on how straight couples could learn a thing or two from gay couples—because remember the lesbians! (I read this in print, in bed, and it was gooooood.) Plus they gave us an article on how gay couples handle the name-changing issue.

Why your wedding is not unique…and that’s okay.

The dinosaur photobomb.

We hate to get all “kids these days, get off my lawn!” but…we can’t help but agree with Linda Holmes at NPR that “promposals” is… not a word…. but I’m also totally willing to waste my time watching these videos and flinching.

Reclaiming Wife

This week in Having it All News, an Esquire article outlines why men still can’t have it all. I get Esquire in print (which is a sign of valued media around here), and I was engrossed, dragging it around from room to room. I’m sad he didn’t cut out the occasional snotty aside (who’s his editor?), but holy hell do we need to be broadening this conversation to men.

What does the ongoing debate about Beyonce’s feminism say about us? Bitch explores issues of race and perceptions of feminism. I loved this. A lot.

A new report from Pew Research Center shows an increase in mothers who are the sole or primary breadwinner in the US. (I feel like I should tell you this is a nuanced conversation, but I really just want to go around giving high fives.)

The New York Times has an in-depth piece on the drug trials for the new pills that may increase female desire.

Of interest

If you need a bit of inspiration in work or in life, start by reading all of Judy Blume’s career highlights. Good stuff, and I’m not just saying that because I like NYU grads.

In the most awkward transition of all time, we’d also like to recommend Q&A: A fresh look at rape during the U.S. Civil War.

In the context of the ubiquitous “share” button, what does it really mean to share? This is a piece for those of you joining me in working on occasionally unplugging.

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  • KW

    My coworker and her fiancee got married today in Washington DC (since same-sex marriage is not legal in our state). They are having a big wedding here later this summer for their friends and family. I am super happy for them. :)

  • It is finally June, and it is warm over here, sandals and a t-shirt kind of warm. I just baked a cake (chocolate and raspberry meringue buttercream) for a friend who got engaged. We keep hoping and praying. Next week will be busy and I am looking forward to it.

    • Remind me, Amanda, you’re in the Netherlands? I just want to make sure I book the appropriate flight so I can come taste that cake- it sounds SO FAB!!

      • Yes, the Netherlands :) Let me know if you do come by :)

    • I’m loving the warm, domestic picture you painted so effortlessly here.

      Perfect kickoff to a hopefully Happy Weekend :)

  • I wish I had good news to report, but it’s kind of been a rough week. Tomorrow I am wedding ring shopping with a very dear friend of mine though, so that will cheer me up.

    • As someone who’s had more than a few rough weeks lately, I totally get how important it is to have something awesome to look forward to. Have fun ring shopping!

      • Aw thanks. I’m so excited for her! Hope your days are improving.

  • How have you who have moved cities made new friends? I feel so very alone here (Southwest VA), and it’s proving to be really difficult as time goes on. :( SADS.

    Other question: Have any of you adopted internationally? After my HSG test last week showed everything looks “totally fine”, therefore still no answers for why no babies after over 2 years + 1 miscarriage, my husband and I are trying to figure out if we should put the profit from selling out house into adopting from Uganda (I’m 26, so my age is a factor in where we can adopt from right off the bat). Experiences? Thoughts? My sister in law just announced a pregnancy and she and her husband will have a mixed-race child so if we were to adopt inter-racially the child would have a mixed race cousin already. My brother and my parents have also been to Uganda. Practical peeps, what’s it like adopting internationally? (We’ve been on a webinar with an agency, but obviously those kind of make it seem hunkydory. I’ve been reading the blog findingmagnolia and it makes me confident, but still! Practical ladies? Gents?)

    • I went to a local community college for an evening course in cake decorating. It was great fun, and I made lots of lovely friends who, in the end, insisted on helping to decorate my 5 tier wedding cake with hundreds of hand-made sugar flowers! Find something you’re interested in and have a go. (Also, you cheered me up just by making me think of those lovely friend and their generosity. Thank you)

      • Thanks! I’m trying to keep myself out of the classroom for a while, but I may look into picking up riding again.

    • I am sorry to hear there are still no answers for you. Glad to hear everything is fine… (Though for us “unexplained” I am not sure if it is much relief, we just want something that is fixable).
      I have no experiences or know anyone regarding adoptions, but I want to send you all the hope and love, and wish whatever happens will go smoothly (and maybe, still, a miracle can happen, I keep believing it is possible).
      About making friends… taking classes as suggested above or joining a group / book club, etc of something that interests you are always great ways to meet people. I was lucky that there were a lot of international people about my same age at my old job, so that was one of the perks of it.
      Hoping good things for you.

      • Thanks — we were definitely hoping the test would show a problem that would be fixable. Sounds weird, but at this point, any answer’s better to us than “unexplained” because “unexplained” = mo money thrown in multiple directions. Siigh. It’s why we’re thinking to forego that and move on to family-building another way, lest we sink all our money into answers or treatments that don’t work for unexplained reasons. (My MIL was like, maybe you have endometriosis without any of the symptoms, because I explained I have zero symptoms of it, and she was like, well what do they do to test for it, and I was all, um, abdominal surgery/lapro or something? I’m not into testing for things when there’s no symptom, but being unexplained means ~everything’s~ a possibility or something. GAH. NOOO.)

        Heh, after having finished a Master’s last year, classes are something I want to steer clear of for a long time ($+Master’s PTSD ;)) but I may actually look into riding lessons. I rode as a teenager (English jumping) and would love to get back into the saddle. Literally. ;) (Which, yeah = $ too, but horses are good for the soul.)

        • Kirsten

          Your gynecologist should be able to tell from a pelvic exam whether you have endometriosis, but I think you would know it if you had it. Maybe I’m wrong and it can be asymptomatic, but I’ve never heard of it… not that I’m a doctor. :)

          • Endometriosis can be asymptomatic, and there is no correlation between the severity of the pelvic pain and the extent / degree of the endometriosis.
            You can not see it with the HSG or normal ultrasound, unless there were cysts / endometriomas / adhesions (that would show a difference in the way the liquid goes through the uterus during the HSG).
            (It can also “disappear” over time… when I was 19 I had a laparoscopy and was diagnosed with degree IV endometriosis, at 31 I had a second laparoscopy and the endometriosis was gone (except for 2 little spots), there were no cysts, myomas, adhesions or other lesions ) . It is not very well understood.

    • I’ve been living in my new city for almost two years now. I haven’t made super-close-best friends, but I have made some friends. First, we found a lot of friends through my partner’s grad program. He’s obviously closer with them since he sees them on a near-daily basis at the office. If I recall from stalking your blog, your partner is in AmeriCorps now? Usually AC members are a little more hip. . .I say that as a former AC member. Maybe you guys could host a backyard beer party for his fellow members?

      Also, when we moved, I was looking for friends + job, so I looked at all the community bulletin boards I could, then started volunteering. The best gig was at a non-profit who managed community gardens around the city, plus had a farmers-in-training program. I’m still at least casual friends with several people I met through there- and it introduced me into a whole community of eco-minded people, so I got more and more involved in different projects and groups that drew from the same demographic.

      So my recommendation is to be a joiner- just show up to community events (and see if you can help plan them/volunteer at them), check bulletin boards in the local coffee shop, find volunteer gigs that might put you in touch with orgs/people with similar values/interests. Good luck! You just have to show up and be seen in the same circles for a while, and volunteering is definitely helpful- you have something to do besides trying to come up with small talk, and you can connect with the community at large, too. You’ll get there, it’ll be great!

      • Close! I’m an AmeriCorps site supervisor at my job in addition to being the Community Technology Librarian, so I oversee our members, though our grant is up in August. My husband works for Parks&Rec! Together we ARE Ron and Tammy. ;)

        I have thought about volunteering some; I was in APO in college and helped lead that (Community Service VP), and helped build a community garden in my old neighborhood. It’s really a matter of finding the opportunities with the right groups (the nontheists had a trail cleanup, but I went to one of their meetings and found all the members are in their fifties-ish, which isn’t *bad* but isn’t exactly where I’m at, exactly, haha). Hopefully people will post things where I can find them! I may have to start creepin’ around Hollins or VT. :P

        • Ah, my bad. Yes, it took me a few dance events (on including some shuffling folks a couple generations ahead of me) til I found my people. Of course, I have to drive an hour to dance at the best spot, but I can do that a few times a month.

          You’re right about finding opportunities and groups that actually work for you. Keeping my fingers crossed that something comes your way!

          Also, it kills me that you aren’t closer to Lynchburg because I have a cousin there who is extremely active in her dance community, and her mom gets out and about a lot, too. But it’s a bit of a hike.

        • Not sure where you are exactly, but I lived in Roanoke for a year and had a hard time meeting people (perhaps increased by my work schedule of working nights and weekends). I did, however, meet a couple people (through work and church). One of my friends (an urban-style, artsy architect) was involved in the Contra dance scene. I went with her once to some contra dance in Floyd and had a fun time. She was also involved in the flat dancing and fiddle scene. That’s how she met her now-husband, actually.

    • Amy

      Don’t let the “Christianese” of Jen’s blog put you off- find her very recent three part series on International adoption for lots of information. http://www.jenhatmaker.com. Lots of good information, and my prayers to you! International adoption is a road we’ll be on in a few years.

    • JEM

      Where in SW VA are you? I’m in NoVA but love road trips :)

      • Roanoke. (I moved here from Richmond about 7 months ago.) 8(

        • Ah, you do live in Roanoke! If the contra, fiddle, and/or flat-dancing scene is of interest, let me know and I would be happy to contact my friend for suggestions. Or perhaps she has other suggestions? She lived there for much longer than me.

    • Caroline

      Volunteering, joining a synagogue, and going folk dancing regularly at the same place are all ways I’ve met friends.

    • KE

      Friend-making suggestion: Take up a hobby that’s totally new to you. When you join a group doing something you’re already good at, you can focus on doing what you enjoy and end up neglecting the friend-making aspect. Trying something new forces you to let your guard down a bit, ask for help, and actually talk to people.

      • KE

        Also joining a committee for a nonprofit or alumni group is good. It’s free, you have regular meetings, you have projects to discuss (always good if you hate small talk), and you can bond over shared triumphs/issues.

        Adult sports leagues are good for the same reasons, but not free.

    • Kara E

      For those of us who have moved, making friends is sort of like dating (a) get the heck out there (cake decorating sounds great, or a running group, or anything that makes you get out there and interact with other people), (b) be the vulnerable one, even if that means getting shot down on occasion, and (c) be patient.

      As for international adoptions, be ready to save your pennies, BE PATIENT, and be ready to jump through lots of hoops. I have several friends who have adopted (or are adopting kids) internationally and it can take years. That said, I know it’s been worth it in the end.

    • Emmers

      I have friends who’ve had good success with meetup.com. Maybe something to look at?

    • Crayfish Kate

      Hi Centauress!

      My younger sister and I are both adopted from Korea. I don’t know much about the int’l adoption process for Uganda, but I’d be happy to talk to you if you’re curious about an international adoptee’s perspective. Feel free to shoot me an email at kpc4s [at] yahoo [dot] com :-D

      I’m a (totally biased) firm believer in adoption, & it always warms my heart when I hear people are considering it.

    • I have no answers to either of your questions, just more questions. Sorry, not sorry.

      Why did you decide to adopt internationally? Is there any specific reason you aren’t looking at adopting locally? You mentioned age being a factor, how does that affect it?

      I’m totally not judging your decision to adopt internationally, I really just want to know why. Due to some medical concerns that are still getting hammered out at the moment, I’m getting closer and closer to the realization that adopting might be a great choice for me or maybe my only choice. But there is SO MUCH that I don’t know. Like all the legal stuff and the process – where did you find that kind of information when you first started looking?

      Sorry for totally hijacking your post and if any of this is way too personal, please don’t feel obligated to respond or you can always email me at alifeworthwritingdown (at) gmail (dot) com

      I hope everything goes well for you!

      • It’s okay! Ask away!

        We came to the conclusion that international adoption seems best for us by reading a number of books on adoption and going through various checklists that point you in the right direction based on your answers. There are a couple factors which point us towards international, some (*not all*) being: We are not interested in an open adoption, and it seems like most US adoptions are quite open (not a bad thing, but not what we want) in theory. We also would not like to foster to adopt, as we have had our hearts broken enough already and I grew up with several families who went this route and it seemed like a neverending battle nightmare — when reunification is the goal, rather than adopting, being the prospective adoptive parent isn’t the right fit for us, because we want to be parents, not maybe-parents. I’m not saying our hearts won’t be broken in other ways, but that kind of particular loss is one thing we want to protect ourselves from. For a second child, yes, foster-to-adopt seems like an option, but for our first, no.

        When I was young, I *begged* my parents to adopt. As in, I was 16, and offered up all of my new-car savings for them to adopt from Russia. They were seriously considering it at the time. My parents and brother have also all worked in Uganda with the same orphanage for several years, and so I have kind of a family connection to the idea, and having a potential uncle and grandparents who have been to the child’s potential homeland is something of a plus in my book.

        Finally, my husband and I are very into learning new cultures. (Husband has an anthropology degree.) So, from a purely us perspective, we feel like we’d be a good fit because we’d be very open to traveling and nurturing that past for our potential child.

        There are a number of other reasons as well, but it seems like international is the best fit overall.

  • Jenny

    If you are driving home tonight in the south east, or tomorrow in the northeast, be careful out there!
    Public Health announcement for flash floods on roads- “turn around, don’t drown”.

    • And just because I’m my father’s daughter I have to remind everyone: never use cruise control in wet weather.

      • Kara E

        Oooh, I’d never thought about that! Makes total sense to me!!

  • Kirstin

    Hoping that this weekend brings something that actually feels like summer to the middle of the country! I am running a 5K this weekend, and asking a friend to be part of our wedding. : )

  • Michelle

    Hey all!

    This week was a productive planning week for us – hooray! Last night we laughed at the ridiculousness of ourselves as we washed (in our bathtub!) a gazillion glasses and mismatched plates we just bought from a couple on Craigslist who used them for their self-catered wedding. Now we just need to scour garage sales and thrift stores for about 40 more plates… hopefully that won’t be too hard. Good luck to everyone with finding those breakthrough moments in planning. I have to say I’ve been feeling disheartened lately and it feels really good to have some movement in the right direction.

    p.s. We’re thinking we might offer to rent out the dishes to others on Craigslist in the time between now and the wedding. Has anyone ever done that? We’re not sure if that’s a crazy idea or a crazy good idea.

    • Good luck! When my husband and I stole the OBB’s “muglies” idea, we had a grand time using our weekends to scour for thrift mugs. It was a blast.

    • We are buying mismatched/used dinnerware for our rehearsal dinner/open house/party/”everyone come to our house because we LOVE you!”. I know it would be easier to use disposable plates and cups, but the waste is something I couldn’t look past. So, we are buying up as many dishes and beer glasses as we can over the summer. it has been fun finding some really interesting dishes!

    • I haven’t done something like renting out wedding plates pre-wedding, but it sounds more like a crazy idea (sorry). a) renting things in general can be a huge pain in the butt b) renting means that some of them are probably going to get broken and then you’ll have to find more

      BUT I think you could manage renting them out post-wedding!

      • If you have mismatched plates, it’s not such a big deal if some get broken, as long as you can source more. But generally the kind of people who would be looking for that are a particular “type”, and I would venture that they might be more conscientious.

        I connected with another bride in my area via Wedding Bee, and we went in together and bought a boatload of plates and cutlery from a caterer getting out of the business. In the end I think it only saved a little money for me (because I had a smaller wedding but we had to get as many as the largest wedding), but I felt good about it. After her wedding, she sold everything to another bride. For glasses, we just did Ikea, which are cheap enough, and also sold those post-wedding.

  • YAAAY! Tomorrow is my bridal shower! And today I get to leave work early for a mani/pedi!

    And it’s FINALLY FRIDAY! GOOD GOD WAS THIS WEEK AS LONG FOR ANYONE ELSE AS IT WAS FOR ME?? I’m fairly convinced someone snuck in an extra day somewhere in there…

    • Laura Lee

      I completely agree that this week was obnoxiously long. And I don’t know about you, but I’m still stuck behind my desk for 2 hours and 20 minutes, and today has just been dragggggggggggggggging.

      Enjoy your shower!

    • Michelle

      Have fun at your shower! We ended up having a great time at our couple’s shower last weekend. People were really supportive and the feeling of love was overwhelming. The only thing that made me cringe was a sparkly “Bride to Be” tiara that was forced upon my head with the person stating, “You’re the bride! You’re the princess!” which made me want to throw up and but I just smiled and said thank you.

    • Stephanie

      I had jury duty this week, so — SUPER LOOOOOOONG WEEK!

      I hope your shower is fun!

      My bridal shower is Sunday! AND we got our first gift delivered to the house, which made me ridiculously happy. It was a handful of kitchen tools, like an egg slicer — which my fiancé insisted we include on the registry. He is SO HAPPY that we got the egg slicer! I love when little things bring so much joy.

    • Longest week ever. Ever. TGIF indeed.

  • APW Happy Hour Drive By! I have work events tonight and alllll day tomorrow and then Sunday I have to write a memo and my midterm for my grad school classes in between cuddling the wife. See you guys in July eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  • Paige

    I’m getting married. Tomorrow.


    I still need to make our bouquets (I am in LOVE with the flowers I got from Blooms by the Box!!!). I still need to print out the ceremony for the official. I still need to do x,y,z.

    I’m getting married tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited!!!

  • Caroline

    I’m trying to figure out what is the next step of wedding planning and how to do it. We have a venue, officiant, gues list, and date, and a maybe photographer (I hope we can use her.) Now what?

    Also, I’m having serious struggles with my mom on how to balance my religious observance of Shabbat and family travel. A few weeks ago, we were having this issue when we went to LA for my cousins’ college graduations, and now she and I and my sister are going to Carmel for my cousin’s baby shower. I don’t eat out on shabbat and she doesn’t want to eat late or do a picnic. I’m sure other people have navigated those things, and I’m sure we will as well, but it’s frustrating because she’s so grumpy about anything to accommodate my religious observances.

    I’ve been gardening a lot more which is actually quite fun. I had forgotten how much I like it. I had pretty much stopped gardening and only my fiancé was gardening but I actually really like it.

    • Where are you staying? Is there a table you could eat at there?

      When I was observant a lot of my family was not that accommodating and I don’t have much helpful advice, but I know it’s tough. Good luck with it.

      And (almost) good shabbos/shabbat shalom

      • Caroline

        Thanks. I think the conflict is over expectations. I’d like her ad my sister to join me for a fun picnic in the garden at the hotel (there are plenty of places to sit and eat) or at a nearby beach, or eat after shabbos and my mom wants me to go to the restaurant with her and if I won’t be flexible then I should eat alone. Which is probably what I’ll end up doing but eating a cold meal alone while they go to a restaurant feels kind of sad. If my fiancé were coming, we could at least eat dinner together. I’ve found dealing with travel and Shabbat meals even when it is just me and my fiancé very very challenging.

        Luckily my dad is more supportive and helpful about it than my mom. We’re going to NY next week, and he’s been great about being willing to eat at home on Shabbat (we’re staying at a relatives, so can cook.)

    • Copper

      Next steps in wedding planning: caterer, save the dates (and think about how they dovetail into invitations—are you buying something readymade online? hiring a designer? DIYing?), and dress.

      • Caroline

        Awesome. It’s not too early to buy a dress? (at a little more than a year to go). Yay. No idea how to find a caterer, but I guess I’ll figure that out. Thanks. I know exactly what I want for invitations (handwritten by me on cardstock) which leaves a lot of room for easy save the dates.

        • Even though your wedding is a year away, front load as much as you can get done now. We did a huge amount of planning when we were still 9-12 months out, and we are definitely reaping those benefits now that we are 4 months out.

    • littleone

      Another shomer shabbat APWer!!! We should be friends.

      I’m also dealing with introducing my family to exactly what they’re going to have to deal with when I’m home/with them as far as kashrut and shabbat go. I’ve found that focusing hardcore on what you CAN do within the boundaries of your observance, while playing down the importance of things you can’t do, is the key. My parents visited recently for a week and they went to a sports event on shabbat, which I didn’t attend with them… but I was able to grab tea at their hotel later and have a nice long chat.

      A lot has to do with your level of comfort/observance. If you don’t eat out on shabbat because you don’t want to enter a place of business/transaction, you might be stuck. (although even then you could try to distract them by not making a big deal of eating one meal apart, and focusing on how excited you are about doing XYZ with them later). If your problem is just with eating food that has been cooked on shabbat, you have the option of going with them and just getting a drink, or a salad with no cooked ingredients.

      Good luck! I know how tough this is, and I wish you lots of patience and positivity.

  • Laura Lee

    Tomorrow is 3 weeks til the wedding. I got lots of encouragement during last week’s happy hour, and I’m dutifully chugging along towards the finish line. There’s still so much to do on the wedding and house renovations fronts, but FH and I were very productive on both.

    This week I’m feeling frustrated with my wedding helpers, and especially FH. Everyone says they want to help but just don’t see the urgency of the fact that the wedding is in Three. Weeks. FH has been very helpful, but he is so. darn. slow. I gave him a list of things at the beginning of this week that were uber high importance must be done asap. I also communicated said importance in every way I could think of. But no matter what I say, he always misses the deadlines. We had a “come to Jesus” talk last night about getting this week’s list done TODAY. And he’s doing it, but at least one item is a multi-day thing that’s just getting started now.

    I mean, I love the guy to death, but I desperately need help, and I need said help on time. And I’m spending so much time reminding people that I need things that I’m behind on my own to-do lists. Gah, so frustrating.

    *Deep Breath* No matter what else gets done or doesn’t get done, we’re having a wedding and getting married and that’s what’s important. And I know everything will come together one way or another, I just wish it was coming together in a less stressful way in these last weeks of planning.

    • Some people are just procrastinators. My husband was like that as well. It’ll be frustrating because you have different ideas of time frames but it will work out.

      • Copper

        Mine often doesn’t realize that if I’ve taken the time to ask, that means I reallyreally need him to make whatever it is happen. But on the flipside, he doesn’t take repeated askings as nagging. So I can nag as much as I need to until he gets the hint, because eventually he’ll go, “oh, she’s asked about this like 10 times. It must be important.”

    • Lauren

      I think I commented on your post last week too, but yay! Solidarity three weeks out!

      Something I learned just recently in my wedding planning is that my FH needs at least two days to think about how to approach a problem. He is just not a get-it-done-fast kind of guy. So I put him on alcohol duty, told him about it Monday, and expected results by Wednesday. I also told him specifically when and what day he should do things. It sounds demanding but otherwise he would just to it on him time and him time is not logical nor helpful! I hope my little aside helps, if not, you will figure it out in your own way.

  • Katelyn

    I think I’m setting up my future marriage for absolute failure. I pulled the ultimatum card on my guy of 8 years. We had been talking about getting married, but he wanted to wait “at least 2 years” from now to do it. I put my foot down and our entire relationship on the line, and he agreed to get married next summer. My compromises were to head back to therapy to deal with ongoing anxiety and depression and a short 6 month ‘official’ engagement.

    Now I feel miserable and guilty, and he’s just shrugging his way through planning, while our family and friends who have gotten word are in a tizzy of excitement. One second I’m getting excited about food options and doing a little bit of crafting, and then I feel so lonely in planning as I try to force-feed him information on all the decisions we need to make and hoping he actually has an opinion.

    He just straight up doesn’t, and never has, understood why getting married is important. I thought it was something that would just take time, and he has certainly warmed up to it, considered his starting point of freezing-cold, but I’m starting to feel like this engaged thing is all a big ruse about to blow up in my face.

    Thanks for the vent, ladies.

    • Amy

      Oooooh, that’s heavy. My thoughts are with you as you deal with this, but um…it doesn’t sound good.

    • Catherine


      I am so sorry you are feeling so low right now. First of all, nothing is doomed. You did nothing wrong by expressing your needs and what you value and why. I have a friend who after 12 years finally got married to her guy, HE wanted to, and she had lots of anxiety around it, lots of underlying false beliefs about marriage and herself that weren’t serving her or the relationship. Holding her back and tormenting her. She worked through her anxiety with a great therapy and a lot of healing childhood wounds (might sound kooky, but its true) and is married now and so happy and proud of herself for facing all her fears.

      Marriage is scary. We all know that. No matter how “married” you feel, something does change when you get married. It is a huge risk. Giving your whole heart to someone, putting all your eggs in one basket, makes you face deep seeded fears of loss, fear of losing oneself, losing control, fear of your own ability to fully love and practice that loving for a lifetime, self trust, self confidence, face mortality in a new weird way…and sooo many more. There is most likely something underneath the blanket statement “I don’t want to get married” or “I don’t think marriage is important”. Your guy very well could be dealing with all of this. Would he be open to couples counseling? What is his relationship with parents’ like? How is their relationship? (sorry to sound like a total therapist right now)

      It’s great that he wants to honor your “request” but of course it’s painful when he doesn’t seem excited and or like he wants it. I think a beneficial thing you could do for him right now would be tell him it’s ok to grieve. It’s okay to feel whatever he is feeling. We have to make space for the fear, have to make space for grieving, if we are ever going to make space for the joy. Our society sends so many mixed and untrue messages about marriage and what is should look like and “feel” like. Let him know you hear where hes coming from, and want to give him the gentle space to take responsibilty for all his feelings – and “not believing or wanting marriage” isn’t a feeling, so that doesnt count :)

      I’m sure he is feeling a lot of pressure and guilt in this time as well, which can really kill intimacy and the love feelings. Getting married isn’t just some joyous “ohmygodbesttimeofyourlife” thing- its a rite of passage. In that, there is so much within us that comes bubbling up the surface as our tides change. Embrace this time of learning about each other in a new way. Let him know you are there for him, his wounds , and his feelings, and that is exactly why you have the bravery to marry him.

    • Kristen

      I issued an engagement ultimatum, so I understand in part what you’re dealing with. In my case, it wasn’t an issue of him not believing in marriage nor thinking it didn’t matter. Once the engagement happened, I forced myself to let go of lingering doubts or guilt about the ultimatum. I didn’t put a gun to his head and he drove himself to the jeweler so I figured I was not guilty of anything beyond making it clear what I needed in the relationship.

      I’m going to ask you a tough question, and I promise its not an accusation, but something I think you might want to consider: Why marry someone who doesn’t think marriage is necessary?

      Will the marriage mean something to you even though it doesn’t seem to mean much or anything to him? If so, then him not being invested in wedding plans seems like it shouldn’t matter so much. Because the wedding and maybe the marriage are just for you. Except they aren’t. A marriage is (I think) supposed to be about the two of you deciding to do this thing together. If he’s still acting like he’s not on board (and that doesn’t mean him caring about anything but that you guys get legally married. I don’t think we can require grooms to care about anything else) then maybe you need to have a talk with him. Tell him agreeing to get married was something you BOTH did and you need him to show you he’s on board – maybe not with caring what flowers are in the centerpieces or what kind of chicken you eat, but on what the marriage is all about. I think that’s totally legit to ask for. He may not be at all into the wedding but he kind of needs to be into the whole marriage part. Otherwise, what’s the point of getting married?

      Good Luck!

    • Kara E

      Can the two of you attend some premarital counseling sessions together? Just to help make sure you’re on the same page? My now-husband and I were on the same page re marriage, and I still had a lot of these feelings. It might help you both if you could talk through this with a neutral third party. Good luck.

  • anon

    Sorry for the Friday afternoon downer, but I need some advice, you guys

    My husband is brilliant and passionate and wonderful, and he’s working at his “dream job”…but it’s making him really miserable, because he really cannot stand the people he works with. There’s pretty much nowhere else he can do what he’s doing. He’s in a total bind.

    But this is the real problem: instead of looking rationally at what he’s doing and making a decision one way or another– 1) the pros outweigh the cons and I’ll suck up the shitty parts or 2) it’s time to consider a career change — he’s just staying stuck in a rut. And by stuck in a rut, I mean that he’s antagonizing the coworkers he disagrees with, talking back to his boss, behaving in a pretty entitled way about a project his bosses wanted him to finish a whole year ago, and basically working half days even though he gets paid for full days. If he worked for me, I would’ve fired him at least six months ago.

    The issue is that watching him commit career suicide in slow motion is making me CRAZY. Over the past year or so, I’ve tried everything — I’ve tried being supportive and I’ve focused on positively reinforcing when he holds his tongue in staff meetings, I’ve tried tough love, I’ve tried insisting that he talk to a therapist (which did help, for a while). With a lot of effort from us both, it gets better for a while — and then slides back into the same old crap.

    He is going to get fired. Probably in a way that deeply affects his future employment prospects. In addition to worrying about what that will mean for us financially, I just keep thinking about the horrible shame and depression cycle it’s going to send him down. He has worked to hard to be where he is, and I don’t want him to suffer. I’m just at my wits end with how to be supportive without being enabling, and with how to deal with my own anxiety about all this uncertainty. This behavior affects our plans for the future, and it affects my ability to be on the ball at my job (which is very demanding!) Couples counseling is the only additional thing I can think of, but I have no idea how to go about finding someone who can help. Would it be strange to both meet with his therapist, since it’s someone he trusts? Has anyone been in this kind of situation before?

    • Katelyn

      When he went to therapy previously, did he take or consider medication? Depression manifests in many different ways. I get combative and become much less productive at work as well. I understand if it’s not an option, but it definitely sounds like between his lack of motivation to change and his unhappiness, there may be something going on brain chemical-wise that may need more than talking.

      • anon

        Talking with his therapist really allowed him to see that he’d been depressed for a long time — and medication has definitely been helping as well. His therapist “graduated” him a while back, so maybe a start would just be to suggest a tune up. Thankfully, while he still has this job, he has great health insurance :)


      Gosh, that’s a tough situation. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

      I’m not sure my advice will be any good, but here it is- maybe you could ask your husband to talk to a career counselor? Someone who specializes in that field might have constructive ideas on how to take what he loves about this current career path and either use it to tune out his co-workers or find another job.

      And maybe a counselor just for you. Having an impartial third party to focus on you while you’re focusing on your husband could help keep this stress from affecting your career.

      As far as meeting with his therapist, that would be up to your husband. If he’s comfortable with it, maybe it would help to talk this over with someone he already trusts. But not everyone is comfortable with the dynamic of couple’s therapy.

    • “My husband is brilliant and passionate and wonderful, and he’s working at his “dream job”…but it’s making him really miserable, because he really cannot stand the people he works with.”

      that’s pretty similar to where my wife was a few years ago. (also reminds me of what my ex used to say about work: “people don’t quit jobs; they quit bosses and coworkers.”)

      i pretty much gave her the ultimatum that she wasn’t allowed to be miserable all the time anymore, so she needed to figure out how to fix the job or quit (it was super weird; i’m not really an ultimatums sort of person…and it wasn’t worded quite that neatly). it took a while of that, but she quit and she’s in school now. obviously that depends on being financially able to do so (it was a change, but living on 1/2 our income was in no way unmanageable) – but if he’s on a path to getting fired and he’s miserable, quitting is a big improvement over those.

      funny thing about it all is that even though she started school intending to change directions, she is now on a path to doing really similar work (but with a degree) to what she did at the job she hated. we finally realized that she could do that dream job…she just can’t do it here, so we’re working on a plan to move when she graduates. (that may not be what you mean when you say “nowhere else”, but for us it took a while to realize we meant “nowhere else around here”).

      another thing i’ve found in my job (in which i love the people but not the work) is that i go through major up/down cycles like you described – but having a plan to get out (said move), even though it’s 3 years away, has drastically changed my outlook. it might be possible, rather than quitting tomorrow, to work out a plan to transition to something/place else in the next year or so, and it’s possible that the “light at the end of the tunnel” will help him get through more productively ’till then.

      mostly, though, best of luck.

      • anon

        I’m EXACTLY the same as you — having a plan helps me get through hard times. or even normal times. basically, I always like a good plan, even if I’m not gonna stick to it.

        However, thinking about change stresses him out — he’d rather live in the moment (even if some of what’s going on in the moment is really crappy). His strategy is to focus on the good stuff, like our life at home, even if work is no fun. Which is one of the things that makes him *so* good for me, because I worry about the future constantly.

        Maybe it’s just time to have a conversation about how I sometimes feel like the ant to his grasshopper — focus on how his strategy affects me. I’m glad to hear that the ultimatum helped for you guys — because I’m definitely getting to that point.

    • Kristen

      The way I look at these things (and I’ve struggled with this exact problem with both my ex and current hubby – pattern much?) is to be practical. Everybody has to have a job. Sometimes you have to work for people who are not only less intelligent than you, but downright incompetent. There’s no magical workplace (other than perhaps working for yourself) where you’re going to love everything and be happy with all your co-workers. It’s called LIFE.

      Balancing empathy with pragmatism has helped me a lot. Letting my husband know I understand why he had a hard time dealing with a supervisor’s incompetence while at the same time pointing out that we’re adults and we aren’t allowed to throw tantrums at work is sometimes the only way to get it across. Unfortunately not every person gets to adulthood and understands this. Admittedly my husband struggled for quite a while at grasping that just because he was the smartest person in the room, didn’t mean anything. He still had to follow the rules, deal with dumb people and do the work assigned. That’s what having a job entails. It’s not condescending to point out the truth to someone. I also would highly recommend therapy but since this is his issue, I don’t know whether couples therapy makes sense.

      • anon

        It makes me feel so much better that I’m not the only one who deals with these kinds of struggles with my partner. Thank you.

      • Class of 1980

        I have often thought that the dirty little secret no one ever tells you about the work world is how dysfunctional your bosses and/or coworkers can be.

        You are led to believe that if you are behaving professionally yourself, that everything will fall into place. Not necessarily.

        If you think about it, the world is full of people with personality disorders and other psychiatric conditions, and most of those people go to work. Thus you have to deal with them. The world is also full of people who aren’t very intelligent and you have to deal with them too.

        No one tells you this when you’re young. No wonder it’s common advice not to say anything negative about your past jobs during an interview. That advice is given because so many people have stories of ridiculous workplaces.

        • Paranoid Libra

          Dear God YESSSSS!!!! We get led to believe that the people act like mature adults in the working environment yet you get many throwing tantrums over something or other or acting like mean girls in high school.

          For the record I have a co-worker who 10 years before I ever got this job has gotten DUIs on the way to work! I am sorry but a DUI in your 50’s is just nuts. Yet the office is still stuck with this co-worker….how I am not really sure.

  • Margi

    I threw my friend an engagement party and it went off WITHOUT a hitch. Yay me!!!

  • Kathy

    We got married last Saturday! We made it to the other side! Hold strong ladies, having all your people surrounding you with love makes it all worthwhile.

    Now I’m just in a sea of HR forms – adding him to insurance, changing beneficiaries, etc etc. I can’t imagine doing all this AND changing my name. Though I do have to file a form with the bank so I can cash the checks we got made out to Kathy HisLast. So, that’s fun.

    Still! So glad to be married. YAY!

    • Moe


      It’s been about 10 months for me and the last name-changing task I’ve yet to complete is adding my married name to my bank account. I’m too lazy to go across town to my credit union and do it in person!


    My bachelorette is tomorrow! Woo hoo! I think.

    I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention, and I always like having an exit strategy at parties. How do I do that when the party’s for me? I love and trust my friends and sisters to plan something that will be Meg-centric (no big crazy bars, nothing that I have to wear that will draw attention to me, etc) but I’m still nervous.

    How do I calm down short of shooting a glass of wine before my gent drops me off?

    • Lan

      It was also awkward for me too (I always have an exit strategy) but just remember that your friends are there to support you. Nothing wrong with shooting a glass of wine to loosen up prior either.

    • Laura Lee

      I don’t have specific advice, but I can tell you that I felt the same way before mine last month. And then everything was just so beautifully, lovingly planned, and I could tell they really were thinking about what I would enjoy the most. I had an amazing time, and there were all these moments throughout the day (it was an all day into late night shebang) where I just realized how amazing my girls were and how awesome it was spending time with them like that. We just had so much fun, and all my worries about uncomfortable situations were unfounded. I just felt so much love that day.

      I’ve found over the years that I’m a big worrier about social events and being the center of attention, but once I’m actually there everything is fine. So don’t worry, you’ll have a blast. Your friends love you and you will feel that and love your day. And you know what? If you need a glass of wine before you get dropped off, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

    • mira

      what laura lee said. my sister and friends did solicit some input from me ahead of time, but the way it all came together was 100% more awesome that I could have planned for myself. let them love you — it’s good practice for the wedding :)

    • If the party gets out of hand, run to the bathroom, make some vomiting noises and come back in walking unsteadily…it helps if your hands are shaking a little as well. Sometimes food poisoning just gets you at the wrong time ;)

      Your bachelorette will probably be fabulous but there is nothing wrong with leaving if you’re uncomfortable. Enjoy the party all night or enjoy it for a little while and then relax for the rest of the night.

  • I can’t stop thinking about how to write a post about the conversation in the comments of Manya’s post this week, but I’m just not sure yet. So I’m gonna crowdsource this. If you have thoughts on the phrase below, send them to me at emmalouklues at gmail dot com and I would like to create a post with multiple perspectives on this topic. Send me whatever you want (in the context of weddings, marriages or just life) and we’ll collaborate and submit a post together. Anybody want in?

    There is a big difference between cultivating joy rather than seeking happiness.

  • We are doing pre-marriage counseling as a requirement for getting married in the church that my fiance has attended his whole life and we still attend together. At first I very much balked at the idea– I thought, “What on earth could we possibly not know about each other?! We’ve talked about everything– we didn’t rush in to this marriage thing.”

    We are having SO MUCH FUN learning more about each other. Or really, learning about how things that make us different (or alike) affect our relationship and how we can use our strengths, minimize our weaknesses and balance each other. We took a personality test this week and learned that we each scored very high on the “people-pleasing” scale and after about 5 minutes of just talking about what that means realized that that part of our personalities makes it hard for each of us to ask for what we want or need from the other because we are so afraid to impose on the other. I had no idea.

    What I saw as a “necessary evil” of wedding planning has actually become one of my favorite parts of the process.

    • I definitely feel you on this. We have to do it too, but since we’re doing it long distance, it’s mostly self-directed with a few check-ins with the minister. We’re not thrilled with how some of it is laid out (workbook with perforated pages and some of the introductions are cheesy and not our style), but it has led to some really great conversations. I’m really glad most of this is taking place just between the two of us, because of the small-town nature of the church and the fact that my mom serves on several boards with the minister so it could easily just make it overall awkward. But so far, it’s not.

    • Laura Lee

      We don’t have any kind of counseling requirement, and have such crazy schedules right now that I have no idea how we would have fit it in before the wedding, but we both really want to do courses/workshops/etc. after the wedding. I’m so glad to hear from you that’s its been so valuable, it helps validate for me that it’s useful and will be worth the time/expense/effort. Now I feel inspired to really make this a priority after the wedding. We are both so very committed to each other, and it just makes so much sense to work on building a strong marriage in the good times rather than waiting for bad times. Thanks for sharing!

      • I have had other friends who didn’t have to do it or felt it was really not in their current budget and they instead read The Five Love Languages with their partner. Another book I have enjoyed reading is Quiet because my fiance is an introvert and I am an extrovert and we have learned that our “vertness” (as we call it) is actually the root of a lot of disagreements. Quiet helped me understand introversion better and better respect his interest in time away from me not to distance himself but rather to recenter himself so that when we ARE together he can give me his attention and not feel overwhelmed.

      • mira

        We flipped through a book called “The Hard Questions,” and found it triggered some really good conversations. Also, it made us realize how many of the important things we’d already talked about! Very low-budget way to self-counsel.


    • Shauna

      We loved this process also. One of our “assignments” was for each of us to create a map of our relationship, and then share it during the following session. I made something creative but basic (using Word and clip art), and my now-husband made an awesomely nerdy visual representation of key places overlaid with a map of the world – AWESOME. Needs framing. This is a great activity for any couple!

    • Kate

      Could any APW readers see themselves making use of DYT premarital counseling in the form of PDF worksheets of sorts? In the same spirit as the APW planning spreadsheets?

  • I just realized that today, a rainy day full of job applications and desperately needing to go to the store but not wanting to go out in the rain, marks 1 year until our wedding day! It’s such a normal day, but if I can get off my butt, there will be cheesecake at the end of it. Even with all of the planning we’ve done so far, the fact that we’re getting married in a year still doesn’t seem like a tangible thing. We’ve been together for 5 and a half years and known each other for 8 and have been through so much, but the idea of having a wedding and getting married still feels somewhat abstract, if that makes any sense. I think I’m not sure what would change, if anything. And the posts about everything changed/nothing changed didn’t really help, because my main takeaway was maybe.

    Wow, this got way off from where I intended to go. Clearly, I need to explore this more. But overall, yay one year from today!

    • Green

      Congratulations! We are also getting married 1 year from today – it feels so close and so far away at the same time. So far we have done very little planning – only picked a venue and that’s it, so maybe this will be the motivation to get things going!

    • Emmers

      Happy one year future-versary!

  • I have a tattoo appointment scheduled for next weekend! I’ve been waiting to get this thing for years, but have had problems simultaneously having the money and reasonable access to an artist whose work I like. I’m very excited but at the same time very nervous, especially since I’ll be there for awhile.


      I have a tattoo on my wrist I sat and thought about for months before I got it don, so I remember that feeling.

      Do you already have tattoos or is this a new experience for you?

      • This one is my first. It’ll be on my shoulder. So yeah, new experience.

        • ANOTHER MEG

          My last tattoo (I have two) was much better, and I think it was because it was a celebration. My sister came to town to hold my hand and distract me by talking with me while it was done, and then we went out to a great dinner.

          Do you have a friend who can go with you and take you out after?

          • I think either my husband or one of my grad school friends will be coming with me, possibly both. I was thinking of bringing my kindle as well, just in case.

        • Nice! Take some ibuprofen beforehand (just a regular dose) and make sure to keep it moisturized/protected afterward. My artist (who I loved- good work, never a problem with the skin) told me to buy diaper ointment (def the ointment, not the cream) to keep on it for the first two weeks. Aside from a little grease, it worked great and healed without a hitch.

          • Noted on the ibuprofen. Thanks! I plan on following whatever aftercare instructions the artist gives me-I’ve noticed everyone seems a little different in that respect.

            In terms of keeping it protected, do you know if it’s better to wear loose clothing over it, or to keep clothes off of it if possible?

          • Sorry I can’t reply directly, Heather, but I wore loose clothing- just basic T-shirts actually (I was working at a running shoe store, so it was common attire for my job). Tighter clothing didn’t bother me, but because of the diaper ointment, I didn’t want to risk staining any of my nicer clothes. My tattoo is on the side of my ribs, so it’s not like a different cut would have avoided it. It was bandaged for a few days, but it was never overly sensitive- I think touching a fresh brush burn hurt worse. It was just tender skin.

        • Ashleyn

          Congrats on your first tattoo!

          The one thing I wished someone had told me was that while healing, it would be itchy. Like crazy itchy. I was always one of those kids that picked at their scabs and itched bug bites even though you’re not supposed to, and the itchiness of the tattoo healing drove me nuts! The minor discomfort of getting it was nothing compared to the itching, so be prepared to slather on lots of lotion/ointment or whatever your artist recommends.

    • Paranoid Libra

      They can be addicting. I finally figured out my second one in concept so now I’m getting chomping at the bit to get another one. Pain wise I feel like if you can just put yourself into your own zen zone it’s very possible to not really be bothered by it after the first few mins of the process. I would personally suggest no clothing over it if possible just because as it’s healing it can leak out ink and stain your clothes. Remember no swimming for 2 weeks as the chlorine can cause the color to fade out while healing.

      The worst part for me was I had a friend slap my back thinking my new ink was in a different spot and she nailed it dead on. I shrieked bloody murder (its mid back so its not a usual spot for one) so I go with another plus to keeping clothing off of it so no one absent mindlessly hits you there.

  • Tomorrow, five years since we’ve been in Canada. How did that happen? There’s a bottle of bubbly chilling in preparation.

    I did an interview this week with Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood fans? Anyone?), and it was such a joy to speak to her. She’s got a documentary on the plight of African elephants coming out later this year, Out for Africa, so keep an eye out for it.

    And now, a smoothing, maybe a book, maybe knitting, some jazz. Just another rainy Friday afternoon.

    • That all sounds fabulous. Rainy afternoons are the best for relaxing.

      And yay for 5 years in Canada!

  • Moe

    You know you are a loyal APW reader when you email your wedding-planning friend and type in all caps (we were discussing her plans and woes):


    Then I linked her here.

    • Ha! Love it. My mom casually mentioned that a waitress at a diner my parents frequent just got engaged and was asking my mom for help since she knew we were working on mine. I got out my prettiest sticky note and wrote out the address for APW and told her to pass it on the next time she saw her.

      • Moe

        I also like to refer friends to the East Side Bride, that bitch is fierce! :)

    • I spout many an APW-ism at generally well-meaning friends and family who tell me what I “should” be doing for the wedding. It makes me feel like Superwoman, smashing up the WIC!

  • I had a baby 9 days ago! My amazing mother stayed with us for 5 days and cooked and cleaned for us and supported me in every way possible. My husband has been home from work with us all week, and told me last night it’s been the happiest week of his life. He goes back on Monday, and while we’ll miss him I am starting to feel like I can handle meeting the baby’s needs on my own. The hard part is breastfeeding pain, but it’s bearable, and slowly improving, and I’m sticking with it. Reading APW while my little guy nurses helps a ton!

    • wow! and yay!

    • jlseldon7

      I’m due in September and just had my glucose tolerance test today. (Gross, right?) I’m so happy to hear that your support system rocked. I’m hoping September is just as awesome for us.

  • Kathryn

    Yay – I’m so glad the link round-up is back! I started looking forward to these and was wondering where they had gone.

  • Lauren

    Today is full of wedding goodness. Today:

    1) We braved the tropical storm to go downtown and pick up our marriage license ($60 bucks in cash though… yeesh!)
    2) We will be making our favors tonight (tiny pots of honey!)
    3) I will be making table decor and numbers (watercolor luminaries!)
    4) He is finishing up his half of the playlist (he is sitting on the couch bobbing his head in time right now…aw!)
    5) We will finally get to deliver all the last minute C-list invitations (sorry neighbors, but hey, you’re invited now!)

    Today has been filled with so much bubbly love and random smooches. It’s been great. Also stay dry, East Coast. My hair currently looks like Merida’s from Brave. Don’t drown.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Accomplishment fist bump!

  • Happy Friday, folks! Of note, I have an interview on Monday afternoon for a new position at my current company that promises a raise and better hours. I’m feeling pretty confident, and I have plans to prep with a friend tomorrow. Onwards and upwards!

    Also, can someone tell me how to give myself a profile picture? I searched the website but I couldn’t find the answer even though I know I’ve seen it….

    • Not Sarah

      Good luck with your interview!!

      I think APW uses Gravatar for the photos: http://en.gravatar.com/ It’s attached to your email address. So if you want to be anonymous, use a different email address to post that day ;)

      • M.E.

        Testing if Gravatar works! (if it does you should see a super cute dog) So glad someone asked this. I’d been wondering!

        • if you don’t already have one, did you have to create a Word Press account? like Juels says, I’d rather not have to create yet another online account if I don’t have to.

          But! I do see a cute black dog (lab?), so whatever you did worked!

          • M.E.

            That’s my Jasper :) See my reply below – I think you do need an account!

            Good luck with your interview! I just got promoted and hired full time by the law firm where I’ve been working PT for a year. Sending good moving-up vibes your way!!!!

        • thank you, I *did* get the job today :)

    • Does anyone know if there’s any way to do it without creating a wordpress account? Because the last thing I need right now is another online account to forget the password to.

      • M.E.

        I used to use both WordPress and Gravatar separately, both of which required a password. When I went to test this last night, it seemed they had merged, or at least allowed you to use the same login for each. I think you need an account/password either way. But when you comment on APW, just the email address triggers the image, so at least you escape signing in all the time with another password!

  • Laura Lee

    I feel kind of like I’m breaking an unwritten rule making two posts in happy hour, but I thought of something else I wanted to say.

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciate happy hour and the lovely people that are here commenting. I REALLY look forward to it every Friday, and am checking APW all day waiting for it to show up. I have a handful of close friends that are very dear to me, but have absolutely zero friends at work. I just don’t really like the people I work with, and consequently I don’t really have anyone to talk to at work. So being a part of this group conversation on Friday afternoons really helps fulfill a need for me to just like talk about things. I get to talk about stuff I’m going through and get thoughts and advice back, and I get to share my thoughts and viewpoints with other people going through stuff.

    It was just a realization today when I was reading through everyone’s comments how much I enjoy it when I read someone else’s question/issue/rant/whatever and I’m like “Oh! I know something about that! I might be able to help!”

    So yeah, just wanted to say I appreciate this place a lot.

    • Totally with you, Laura Lee. Yay for Happy Hours (tangible or virtual)!

  • Rachel

    A little late to the happy hour because I just spent a couple hours having lunch and walking around the Museum of Fine Arts Houston with a former-coworker/friend. It was great!

    I had a pretty big week…Monday was my FIRST OFFICIAL DAY AS A FULL-TIME FREELANCE WRITER. Circumstances made this the right thing to do right now, even if I don’t feel ready. I’m pretty scared but I have to admit…it was a pretty awesome first week!

  • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

    I read the NYTimes piece on the desire pills in print last weekend. Throughout the reading, I was so grateful that I’d seen previous conversations here about hetero relationships where the woman was the partner with the higher sex drive. Knowing that prevented me from feeling too completely alienated by the article.

    • Rebecca

      If you want a perspective on that from a scientist rather than a science journalist, Emily Nagoski has written a response to that article at her blog, The Dirty Normal. It’s mostly links to stuff she’s previously written, but I’ve read them and they’re good. Sooo helpful to have a different narrative about women’s sexuality.

  • I had a really bad experience where I felt like a complete failure last night. I had volunteered to go up to a local college about an hour away from where I live and help high schoolers draft their personal statements for college applications. It’s an intensive 4 day program. Intensive is right. I had a full-on panic attack before even going knowing that I was going to be away from my family for 4 whole days. But I got it together and made it to the college and even through orientation and dinner. Then when I know I was missing my son’s bedtime, the panic attack came back. I ended up driving home and backing out of the weekend program so I could be with my family. I feel sick knowing I let those other kids down and the even organizers, but I seriously couldn’t control the biological/psychological response I was having to being away. I’ve never dealt with anything like this before. Ugh.

    • It’s just like the oxygen masks on airplanes- you can’t help anyone else until you help yourself. It’s fine, the organizers will deal, the kids will still get in to college.

      PLUS- there’s always next year, and now you can take time to be more prepared (maybe work your way up to four days away), and your kid will be older next year. There will be plenty of young high schoolers who need your help any time of the year. Just breathe through it. You are still a good human being! <3

    • Panic attacks totally suck. If you’re battling one off, you’re just going to be completely useless to everyone else. Honestly, having them move one without you is probably going to be easier to work with and less disruptive than having you there on and off all weekend or having something go wrong while you’re actively working with the students. And like Sarah E said, there’s always next year, or maybe a one-day workshop, or something closer to home that you could assist with. Most importantly, THIS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A FAILURE. It makes you human.

    • Thanks so much you guys. Seriously. Thank You.

  • Kelsey

    I am so, so excited the link round up is back!! I love that feature!

  • Melissa

    In need of some ceremony advice from all you practical ladies. We’re having a self uniting ceremony, with a handfasting, but we’re sort of stuck with how to get people involved. We don’t want to just stand up there and say “I take you to be my husband/wife” and look at everyone doe eyed, but we are both very certain we don’t want any one person officiating. Anyone done this, or something like it before, and have any info on how to structure it?

    • Kate

      You could have a special friend or family member (or group) announce your presence before you walk into the room and explain the ceremony. Also I just looked up handfasting on Wikipedia and the very first picture was a couple where all the guests had tied ribbons instead of a single ribbon. Some special people could pass out ribbons before your ceremony too.

    • Annonymous

      I haven’t done this yet but I’m planning it for my wedding. It probably wouldn’t work for a large number of guests without some editing, but we’re getting all of our guests (around 20) to stand in a circle with us in the middle. Each person is going to say something as part of our ceremony, if they want to pick their own thing (ie poem, advice, ‘reading’) they can run it by us first to see if we think it’s a good fit for what we want, and we’ll help people who want more direction. That way we’re getting everyone involved. We’re also being very clear that there is no pressure to be loud enough for all to hear and that if they want to speak only to us during their portion then that’s what they can do. It’s going to be like having 20 officiants who actually know us well.

  • We bought a flat/apartment! For those in the UK, we just exchanged contracts, so now we can’t back out. It’s real! It’s so much money! We won’t have to deal with our landlord anymore! I still need to figure out how to transfer the rest of the deposit for the mortgage from USD to GBP! Aaaaaaaaahhh! Eeeeeeeeee!!

  • Radiantly

    Yikes. My friend agreed to officiate our wedding (it’s in 6 weeks) and I had thought we would give her a nice tip and pay for her accoms and travel, so like $200-$250. She just emailed and looked up what officiants charge and said $500-$1500!! This is a friend of mine and she has never officiated before. I feel sort of awful ad now have an awkward conversation ahead. :(

    • Jessica B

      I think laying out expectations and maybe approaching her about a reduced rate as a wedding gift would be a good way to discuss that. Here in Minnesota couples get a discount on their marriage license if they go through counseling with their officiant/qualified person. Since she won’t be able to perform that duty (I assume…) perhaps throw that out there (if applicable) as a reason for her to not charge as much. Maybe talk realistically about your wedding budget.

      But yes, it will be an uncomfortable conversation.

      • Also, if you’re paying for her travel and hotel, that could easily bridge the gap between $250 and $500. Food for thought before you sit down to talk to her.

    • Ouch. Had she already been planning on coming?

      I feel like travel and accommodations and a gift sounds very nice, especially if she would have come anyways. (And given that this is not her profession…)

  • Valerie

    Happy Friday everyone! I am finding myself in need of advice. My wedding is in 4 months and 4 days (but who’s counting?) and my fiance and I hired a wedding coordinator in early April. Both my fiance and I work 6 days a week, in different cities, at a minimum of 9 hrs/day, which is why we hired someone in the first place. Before we hired her, we managed to book a photographer and a venue. I am not interested in the “Stuff” that comes along with weddings….ie details of any sort. I just want to get married to my best friend while our toes are in the sand (we live in San Diego) with our family and close friends around us. My problem is that though I have met in person weith her several times and sent several long and detailed (which was tough to do!) emails, we are now at the end of the first week of June, and, nothing else has been accomplished! 90% of our guests are out of state/country and she hasn’t even blocked rooms, I can’t even tell if she has looked into them. It seems like any time I or my fiance ask her for an update (never more than once a week, or every ten days, I’m not dumb, I know these things take time) she just has excuses—very detailed excuses, but excuses nonetheless.

    I guess my question is, should I fire her (losing what amounts to 15% of our budget from what we’ve paid her) and just do this with my fiance even though just thinking about that gives me hives, or should we stick it out a bit longer and see what happens? Also, I’m assuming that finding and hiring someone else at this point in the wedding “season” would be impossible, thoughts?

    Stuck and Dreading It

    • mira

      have a glass of wine tonight and forget about it.

      then, send an email this weekend saying you are unhappy with the level of communication, and you are worried that things are falling through the cracks. Tell her you would like to agree to a schedule of when each major thing will be accomplished. Even tell her that that you’d like her to provide you with one by the end of the week. Don’t be apologetic OR hysterical. Be firm, and fair, and professional. Then see how she responds. If she doesn’t respond in a way that puts you at ease, my advice would be not to throw good money after bad.

    • Copper

      I wouldn’t jump straight to a firing. But I also wouldn’t beat around the bush about how unhappy you are. Reply to the last one of her excuses emails, and just be like look, I understand we all have busy lives and things get in the way, but you need to recognize that I am paying you to do a job, and so far you I have not seen that you are doing it. This needs to get better starting now. We are behind on X, Y, and Z and I need to see them accomplished by (date).

      • Valerie

        Thank you both!! I had a long phone conversation with my fiance and he agrees with you, so taking a step back and then having a conversation with her Monday. :-)

        • Copper

          Be sure to let us know how it goes!

  • Jessica B

    Guys. I just had my first ‘selfish bridal freakout.’ My best friend’s bridesmaids dress came in and it’s not the shade of blue we thought we ordered. The woman at the dress store said “Oh, well you were looking at the silk swatch, so of course chiffon is going to look different! The navy would look BLACK! It wouldn’t be good.” I feel like she just said that to avoid having to order the dress again.

    The sensible side of me says that it isn’t a big deal, I have two bridesmaids and they are getting different dresses from different sources and it doesn’t matter. This will not affect the world in any way shape or form.

    But…it’s not what we thought we ordered. The wedding is in 3 months, and this dress already took 2 months to get here. I’ve talked to her and she doesn’t personally mind it being different.


    • Brenda

      If the different types of fabric in the “same” shade end up looking different, that’s something she should have warned you about. She also should have provided swatches of each type of material. I don’t know if you’d be able to get a return or a discount (I personally hate arguing with stores and would probably just live with it), but if you do want to address it I think you’ve got a valid point that if it was going to be called “navy” but really look black you should have been told that before you made your decision.

      But if you decide to just go with it, as you’ve only got two bridesmaids I think it will be perfectly fine for them to be slightly different and could actually look quite nice.

  • Guys, I just moved across the country. Rochester, New York to Richardson, Texas and I am now a Texas woman. My husband and I did a long road trip, got here yesterday, and are slowly settling in (which really looks like running to Target a million times, doing homework on the floor, and sleeping on the air mattress until the moving company gets here with our stuff). I start my new job on Monday and we just go from there.

    I can’t believe I really did it!!!

    • p.s. if there are any Dallas readers out there, I’m in the market for new friends!

      • Hi Jackie!

        I’m in Dallas. :)

  • Kaitlin

    I’m going wedding dress shopping for the first time! My mom and maid of honor are joining me. I have 2 appointments tomorrow. As a plus sized bride, I’m a little worried about how this experience will go. In other news, 1 year til we get married. I’m just going to focus on that happy thought.

    • M.E.

      I hope you have an amazing time!!! Remember the ladies going with you have your back – and so do we! How exciting! Enjoy :)

  • I am a little late on the posting because I am on VACATION in the United States ! I am going to see my mom, and best friend in less than a week, celebrate graduations with cousins, sort of sisters and friends!

    My boyfriend is also meeting my mom, sister, and friends of my right hand on this trip. It is a big step.
    Did anyone else feel weird introducing a new significant other after a divorce? It has been a lot harder than I thought. I am also spending a lot of time with his family and falling in love with them too, which is also hard as I loved my exs family a lot, and loosing them in the divorce really sucked.

  • Paranoid Libra

    Ok I am a day late here for setting up for a big event yesterday and then being at said event today where I volunteer at but just to post my happys. Tomorrow is my 1st Wedding Anniversary! We are going hiking where he proposed. I am so very very excited. I have the top tier of my wedding caking thawing as I type in the fridge and I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow as my sister baked my cake and we have no idea of the flavor of it as it’s a surprise :)