APW Happy Hour


We're gonna do some learning

by Stephanie Kaloi

woman sitting at table reading magazine

Hey APW,

So here’s a fun fact: My favorite bit of content that we run is our collection of open threads. I love them because they’re super interactive, because they provoke a lot of thought, and because they are almost always born out of conversations we’re having on the team Slack—which was the case with this week’s open thread on emotional affairs. The idea to open up that conversation happened after we realized we were devoting an hour or so of our work time to the topic, and coming up with zero consensus. So… I wrote the post.

It turns out that how I think about emotional affairs is really different from how a lot of other people do, and that’s okay (for the record: I think an affair is an affair, whether or not sex is involved). It also turns out that I have some homework to do, and I’m asking for your help. I’m still getting through some of the comments on the post, but what’s clear to me is that there are so many definitions of “emotional affair,” and so many of you have lived experiences that I haven’t, and I want to read about them.

In that vein, this is me, standing in front of the Internet and asking you to send us your submissions on emotional affairs. You can be public or anon, and it can be about your own emotional affair or anything else you want to talk about on the topic. In the meantime? I’ll be over here working on a second and maybe more accurate open thread on our various staff thoughts on the subject, plus your input, that we’ll publish down the road.

Other than that? I love you guys. Thanks for the thoughts.

P.S. If you have topics you’d like to suggest for open threads, email them with the subject “Open thread idea” to team (at) apracticalwedding (dot) com.

XO,

Stephanie

Link roundup

17 Things No One Tells You About Being on Jeopardy!” …because you’ve always kind of wondered, right?

Here’s how Obama’s female staffers made their voices heard. SLAY.

Are you ready for tonight’s prenumbral eclipse?

Papa’s Not a Rolling Stone: Low-Income Men and Their Children

Trans people in Bolivia were recently issued IDs that match their gender identities.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Rebekah

    I wanted to comment on something I’ve noticed in the past couple weeks in the comments sections. It feels like there’s been a lot more negative commenting, especially towards the authors or letter writers, in a way that’s not constructive and doesn’t come from a place of loving concern. For example, there was that commenter who thought Meg should “reconsider” the way she talked to her husband after Meg went out and shared a glimpse of her personal relationship with us, and the way most of us jumped up to tell the LW in AAPW to DTMFA who didn’t want her parents at their wedding. Most recently I took issue with the complaint in this week’s post about guilt over her wedding budget where the commenter said she was tired of hearing women say they’d never dreamed about their wedding as girls and that it was a false way to seem cool. This isn’t what I’ve come to expect from the APW community, so I wanted to see if anyone else had noticed this shift in tone.

    • Amy March

      I haven’t. I think there’s always some give and take, some comments over the line, and others that aren’t but strike a chord. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the comments about the fiance who didn’t want her parents at the wedding- what is the point of asking the internet if not to get opinions from people removed from the situation. I also didn’t see any issue with the comment about saying “oh I never dreamed about my wedding” is kind of a “cool girl” issue (and, I read that comment entirely the opposite- I thought she was saying that never giving any thought to your wedding is the normal, and we shouldn’t be saying “oh I never thought about it” as a preface because that implies it’s something different, when in fact it is the status quo and those of us who did plan their wedding at age 5 are the outliers.) In general I think people are pretty capable of pointing out when something is problematic when it happens, its easy to flag posts for moderation, and heming and hawing about tone outside of the context of posts feels a bit like demanding women play nice, which I think has a tendency to escalate tone policing unnecessarily.

      • Meg Keene

        I agree with all of this. AND as the internet has evolved and changed (as it always does), we’ve backed off from moderating in a way that involves more tone policing. Frankly, it’s a nice change for us, and the APW community seems to have developed into a place where people can survive that, and I’m glad.

    • Cellistec

      I did think the treatment of the commenter in Meg’s (rad) Huma Abedin story was overkill. True, the dynamics of Meg’s marriage are 100% none of the commenter’s business, and said commenter couldn’t figure out when to quit, but other readers sure seemed to pile up on her after the point had been made. Reading some of the snark, I was embarrassed…I thought as a community, if you can call us one, we were better than that.

      • Ehh, we’re all adults, and said commenter continued to double down on her attack on Meg’s marriage. Piling on a LW in a AAPW post would be too much, but someone who keeps commenting and fanning the flames? They’re grown, they know what they’re doing, and they deserve what they get.

        • Kim

          I don’t know. At what point are they “doubling down” and at what point are they merely answering other commenters? I’ve noticed the community just getting madder when the person they don’t agree with answers them. So, are they not supposed to answer?

          I don’t really understand the rules.

          • It became “doubling down” for me when Meg politely asked the commenter to not comment on her marriage/husband and said commenter continued to do so. It could be that she felt that she was defending herself, but the thread could have been way shorter if she’d just tapped out after Meg said “please don’t comment on my marriage”. That should have been the end – the continued talk of how it comes off was unnecessary.

          • raccooncity

            I’ve definitely been in a position where I thought “WOW. I disagree with literally everyone else on the board right now” and that’s usually my cue to stop writing things and just speak to a person IRL who loves me IRL and see if I’m way off or if I’m just of a different mind than some others.

            But I definitely know that replying further would be bad for my own mental health, and I think that’s the choice we’re talking about here. Deciding when making your point on the internet isn’t worth it anymore, and everyone’s personal line for that is different but we all make that choice as grownups.

          • Meg Keene

            I 100% agree, on a personal level.

          • Kim

            The reason I ask, is that everywhere on the Internet, I see a person express an opinion, then a billion people come on throwing out all kinds of comments at them. But then when the person answers them individually, people say they are being defensive.

            What? I’ve never understood how answering people is defensive. This seems to be an Internet thing.

          • Violet

            Honestly, I think without facial expressions, tone, and body language, it is impossible to tell the difference between being “defensive” and “responding.” I got into an exchange with a commenter here once that I really regret, because while I thought the other commenter was just responding, turns out, she was getting really upset (quick note that, yes, my comments were all within APW commenting guidelines—stated from my experience, my preferences, etc.). If I’d realized the emotional place her responses to me were coming from, I for sure would’ve stopped earlier. As it was, by the time I realized what was happening and apologized, it was WAY too late. While I know all commenters here are adults and it’s on them to own their feelings, I don’t like knowing I hurt someone, so I’ve been a lot more cautious since then.

      • Meg Keene

        I see your point. I also thought, as the person directly on the receiving end of those comments, that what the commenter said was overkill, and quickly became way out of line, when she was asked to stop and wouldn’t. I probably should have moderated her down more quickly, but… it’s easy to make the wrong call in the moments on comments.

        • Cellistec

          I don’t think you made the wrong call, Meg. I thought you were the only person qualified to respond to that particular commenter, given that you were the subject of her comment. And once you responded, it should have been sufficient to end discussion. So yes, she certainly dug herself in deeper by continuing to press the point. But the tide of opinion among APW readers was so clearly against the commenter that I thought it was just unsportsmanlike for others to pile on.

          I know, the internet is no place for sportsmanlike behavior. I guess my point of view on this is aspirational rather than realistic. :p

          • Violet

            Yeah, my personal rule of thumb is, “Am I saying anything new?” If not, I upvote whoever else already said it and call it a day.

    • Meg Keene

      Hey! As the person who (for better and for worse) has been doing this for the past eight years, I thought I’d jump in here. First, it actually has been a rough few weeks for comments. The staff is tired right about now. But to be totally fair, we have always had rough weeks and days with comments. This is life on the internet, and frankly, it’s often the hardest part of our/ my job.

      That said, there has also been a whole lot of good stuff happening. The commenters who jumped into the fray with the AAPW reader ended up prompting a really deep conversation with her boyfriend, who was horrified to realize what he was doing to her, and he literally printed out the comments and took them to his therapist to work through. She sent a note that it was a miserable comment thread to live through, but it provoked important and fast change in her life. So it’s good to know that comments can be rough and sometimes do good work. And frankly, that’s what AAPW is about. We don’t expect kind sweet non-confrontational comments there, and letter writers also know what they’re getting into.

      As for… the rest of it… It’s important to remember that all of us who work at APW are adults, and while we get shitty comments, we also can put on our big girl panties and deal (and quite often, laugh it off). The general rule is that you can’t share anything on the internet that you don’t want comment on… which is why I mostly hold off on sharing stories about parenting or my kids lives online. Because hey, I don’t want comments from strangers on that. But I can deal with it on the stuff I share about my marriage. And now David gets to mock me regularly, reminding me that he’s an “innocent man” and I should “really reconsider the way I talk.” HA. So, he wins. And we continue to moderate comments, which means we try to remove the worst offenders, particularly when the writers are not staff members… because we don’t want to host pure trash talk.

      Do I want to encourage commenters to think before they speak? Sure. But I also want to foster a place where women can speak their minds, and not be tone policed constantly while they do it. And that means that the result can be a little choppy.

      I’m hoping for better weeks ahead (any week where we get taken to task for talking about our genuine love reusable tumblers for water is sort of an absurd one). But all in, we’re doing ok.

      And from the bottom of my comment burned heart this week, thanks for your comment and concern. I owe myself a drink tonight ;) And for sure I owe my staff one.

      • raccooncity

        <3

      • Megan

        I am SO interested in hearing back from the AAPW letter writer who didn’t want her parents at the wedding. That comment thread was pretty crazy and I’m really emotionally invested in what happens next!

        • Meg Keene

          I have no idea if she’ll want to share. I’m not sure if I would after that thread, good personal results or no ;) But if she does, we’ll let you know. Obviously hoping for nothing but the best for her, whatever that looks like.

      • AmandaBee

        I was one of the people who was (I hope respectfully?) critical of the Emotional Affair article, and I just wanted to say that I overall really appreciate and enjoy the posts on this website. This place (and your books!) were a huge source of support as I planned my wedding, and continue to be a source of support as I work on my marriage…and on just generally getting through life.

        My intent in leaving critical comments, like I did on that article, were to express when noticed something that felt off and how I thought it could be made better. In this case it was that I felt there was a dismissive tone to the article and that a firsthand perspective based on experience would help avoid that. Obviously others may not agree with me, and I try to avoid leaving personal attacks, though I also don’t police my tone as well as I should sometimes and I’m working on that.

        If I didn’t really like APW and the writing that I find here, I probably wouldn’t leave any critical comments or feedback – I’d just stop visiting. If there’s a better way to leave critical feedback, I’d be happy to know about it. But I hope, for what it’s worth, that the APW staff knows that this critique often comes from the fact that this is a place where readers like me feel some sense of community.

        (And by “critique” I mean of the writing…not personal critiques, which are just out of line IMO.)

        • LJ

          I stopped visiting offbeat bride when I realized I didn’t like it or relate to it. I visit here because I do. Well said.

      • LJ

        I know I haven’t always been the nicest commenter. I do try my very best to be objective and to never use ad hominems (sp?) or other fallacies… and I would hope that, like that “Grace” person, if I’m being a jerk then I get shot down hard and fast by the rest of you. Thanks for what you do.

    • Arie

      Thank you for bringing this up. No matter what everyone’s responses/opinions are, I think this is a really constructive thing to talk about on a regular basis.

    • LJ

      Sooooo I just went back to the last article you mentioned and read that comment and kinda had a “oooooooo someone’s having a bad day” moment……

      I’m definitely one of the “fack wedding planning” girls, which is not the same as “never thought of it” but is more likely than not to be in that category as well…… but reading the comment made me raise my eyebrows and laugh. To me, I read it and think the commenter is closer to 20 than 30. I don’t think I’ve had anyone in my social circles even use the word “cool” since high school, which was 10 years ago… being “cool” stops being a motivator pretty quickly once adulthood steps up, and being “cool” to random internet people? WHAT.

      Also, I’ve gotten SO MUCH CRAP socially in real effing life about my lack of zealousness towards my wedding and lack of planning when I was a full year or more out…. why would that make me cool online? That’s not my experience and it doesn’t seem to be anyone else’s.

      Water off a turtle’s back y’all. :)

  • Alanna Cartier

    The wedding is two months out and we’ve finally nailed down our menu. I wanted to share with you guys. There going to change everything to be gluten-free for me too :)

    First
    Duck Breast, Freekeh, Horseradish Vinaigrette
    or
    Wagyu Beef, Black Miso, Sesame Seed

    Second
    Lobster, Brûlée Avocado, Shimeji
    or
    Pork Belly, Sweet Potato, Mustard

    Third
    Atlantic Cod, Hemp Seed Crust, Black Bean Relish
    or
    Cornish Hen, Goat Cheese Mousse, Olive Muffuletta

    Fourth
    Beef Tenderloin, Potato Pavé,Mushroom Confit
    or
    Rack of Lamb, Potato Perogies, Citrus Mascarpone

    Fifth
    Coconut Chocolate Cake, Almond, Mousse
    or
    Earl Grey Pot de Crème, Vanilla Streusel, Ginger Cookies

    • Ashlah

      Oh my, that sounds gluttonous and wonderful.

    • Amy March

      But are you sure you have enough options? People want options. :)

      • LJ

        She has 5 courses. I think she’s fine.

        EDIT: or was there an implied /s I missed? :

        • idkmybffjill

          I think @amymarch:disqus was kidding. Literally every course has an option. lol

        • Don’t want to pile on here, but the context of the “people want options” quote is so great that it bears repeating. There was a post on apw a while ago (3-4 years?) in which the author was dealing with her mom’s expectations for the wedding. Whenever the author tried to do something non-traditional, her mom would invoke the needs/desires of nebulous “people”: “people will want appetizers! People will think it’s strange if you don’t do a father-daughter dance! People will want a full bar!” The author finally asked her mom which people she was talking about — great-aunt Marge? College friend Joey? cousin Sue? Because if specific people were going to be affected by the decisions made regarding the wedding, the author was willing to take them into consideration (depending on the impact, the person, etc), but if mom was saying “the people” and really just meaning “social expectations” than the author didn’t really care. So, on APW, “the people want options” became shorthand for something like “don’t let generalized social norms become personal, unless they really are.”

          • idkmybffjill

            I used this with my mom about a totally non-wedding related issue recently! Something’s going on in her life and she was like, “what will people think!” and I just said, “Which people? Tell me the name of the person.” and she instantly felt so much better! Such a great tool for when you’re worrying about a nebulous “other” and it’s totally unfounded.

          • LJ

            hahahh that adds a LOT of context…. there were no vegetarian options and “only” 2 choices for each course, which would upset some people, so it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that there weren’t enough with limited information given. Also, smileys seem more likely to cushion a blow than to denote sarcasm online so I am feeling reasonably defensive.

          • toomanybooks

            Oooh. Good point!

        • Amy March

          There’s an actual smiley face at the end! Obviously she has enough options! She has 5 courses of them :)

      • Alanna Cartier

        Ahahaha, I know right? We could have just picked one set menu but where is the fun in that?

    • macrain

      This sounds insanely yummy! Can I come?

    • Violet

      EarlGreyPotdeCremedrooling……..

    • Lisa

      That sounds amazing!! If you have any last minute cancellations, I’m sure I could help you out. ;)

    • Evey

      omg can I come please?

    • AmandaBee

      So, uh, where and when is this going to be? Just…wondering. No reason.

      (but seriously, YUM)

    • Alanna Cartier

      The fiancee and I both decided our #1 wedding priority was food, so I think we nailed it, ahahah.

    • veg

      Just to be the vegetarian pain-in-the-ass, it looks like it’s dessert-only for veggie folks and maybe not even that for vegans. Of course, you may not have any veggie sorts in your crowd, but if you do, you might want to consider what their options could be…

      • Alanna Cartier

        The restaurant has veggie options, so any vegetarians will still get a 5 course meal. I don’t think we have any vegans attending :)

        • veg

          Cool! That’s awesome. As the veteran of “here are some grilled vegetable sides for your meal” weddings, I would super appreciate a whole 5-course veggie meal :)

          • Alanna Cartier

            I know that feel. As a celiac normally I get: here’s no food. When selecting the venue making sure everyone would have a great meal was a priority. Nothing worse that spending the whole night awkward and hungry as people say, aw, that’s too bad you have no food.

          • Totch

            Super nervous about this! We’re doing a Chinese wedding banquet, which is a fairly set menu and served family style. I keep adding on vegetable dishes for our 1 pescatarian.

          • stephanie

            Same! I shoot 20-30 weddings a year and it’s very frustrating when I get like… some vegetables and a roll.

          • veg

            Seriously, if you’re going to hand me veggies and a roll (and not even think about sauces, protein, etc), then those better be the most amazing vegetables and bread on this planet. And yet they’re usually limp and maybe salty. The weddings of two of my cousins had the same “here are some julienned peppers” vegetarian “meal” 5 years apart…

          • idkmybffjill

            This gives me such joy to hear! We went with a half vegetarian, half carnivore menu because alot of our friends are veg and I…. sometimes just don’t like meat? Brisket w/ rolls to be made into sliders for the meat eaters and vegetarian tamale’s for the non. I’m so excited for the tamales! And hopeful that our veg friends will feel taken care of!

          • LJ

            At a SUPER fancy restaurant I went to years ago, they had the standard “rotating menu; please pick beef, chicken, pork, or vegetarian entrée” for fancier small plates… the vegetarian entrée was MISO SOUP.

            MISO.

            I was so unimpressed.

          • AGCourtney

            WHAT.

          • LJ

            I don’t think they got many vegetarians. I was irate.

          • Miso soup can be done pretty well, like, if they added in mushrooms and bean sprouts and salad greens along with the tofu. But I’m guessing they didn’t?

          • LJ

            It’s a soup that was maybe 300 calories total…. it was pretty, but it was still a soup. It sucked to watch everyone else eat filling and solid foods.

            I was veg for 6 years and I don’t miss it… it’s gotten better, but it’s still ridiculous some places.

      • stephanie

        I almost said the same thing. ;)

      • Lisa

        Always good to consider. When I told someone the menu for our wedding, she balked at the fact that we weren’t offering anything for the vegetarians. I had to politely let this friend know that we had only one vegetarian at our wedding, and I’d worked personally with her to make sure she got a comparable dinner and that there were some veggie hors d’ouevres. What might look thoughtless from the outside might actually have a lot of consideration behind it! :)

    • Sara

      Omg, I want this: Rack of Lamb, Potato Perogies, Citrus Mascarpone NOW

      • Alanna Cartier

        I KNOW RIGHT?

    • toomanybooks

      That food…. sounds amazing…….

    • the cupboard under the stairs

      …uh…. no one’s a vegetarian, right? :)

  • Ashlah

    Random bits: My boudoir shoot is in two days and my makeup artist dropped out and I am freaking a bit.

    Tonight, we’re transitioning from a queen bed to a king, with our first-ever bed frame (so adult!) and a Casper mattress, and I am freaking (in a good way).

    We also just painted our bedroom a beautiful grey (Benjamin Moore Stonington Grey, if anyone needs a true light grey!) and consolidated our two old dressers into one purdy new one, and I’m really happy to finally have a bedroom that feels grownup and just…good to be in. It’ll be a tight fit, but it’s going to be much less stressful than the mess of a room we had before.

    Husband’s 10-year high school reunion is tomorrow. Eep.

    I just added APW to my AdBlock white list, but it’s kind of a slow nightmare, and I’m going to have to go back. Does anyone else have trouble with ads here? If it’s not a regular issue, maybe I’ll keep trying…

    • stephanie

      Hey, if you do have trouble with ads and have a second, can you take a screenshot of the specific ad(s) and email it to us? (team@apracticalwedding.com). We try really hard to weed out the ones that give people trouble, and it helps SOOOO much when we have a visual.

      • Ashlah

        I’m not sure which ad was causing the issue, but if I can I figure it out I’ll send an email! Thanks for looking out for us :)

      • MTM

        It’s been bad this week, I thought it was just me. They’re popping up at the bottoms of pictures and the side panel keeps changing sizes (in chrome).

        • stephanie

          Ok, thanks! I’ll pass this one. If you happen to see it in action and can grab a visual, that would be amazing. <3

          • nutbrownrose

            The first one is this page, and then you scroll a bit and it tries to follow you but it shivers (?) while it’s following, and then it stops and looks like the second. And then when you move the page again it reverses, but always with the shivering while you scroll! I don’t mind the ads, I know you guys get the moneys from them, but the shivering is really distracting, and I read at a decent pace, so I’m always scrolling.

      • Evey

        I gotta say I find the whole page just scrolls slowly with all the ads running.

      • Olive

        There’s a best buy ad that keeps following me down the thread (even with AdBlock paused – is that different than white list in terms of practicality?)…but APW has been ridiculously laggy for me for a couple weeks…I’m glad I’m not the only one!

        • ART

          Suuuper laggy for me as well, to the point of going “oh this is not worth the time” and closing the tab :( And the ads that follow me down the page are like, strobing (so I can’t get a screengrab because it’s just there, not there, there, not there, in rapid succession).

          • Olive

            yes! same! This is the first time in awhile that I’ve deemed it worth the time…maybe because I reallllly don’t feel like working.

    • Cellistec

      Ok, dumb question…how do I add APW to my whitelist? I did it successfully for another site, but I keep getting a “not found” error message when I put the APW URL in the Adblock whitelist search bar in Chrome.

      • Ashlah

        Do you have the AdBlock button to the right of your URL bar? I clicked on that and hit “Don’t run on pages on this domain.” The first time I did it, it froze the tab, but it worked the second time.

        • Cellistec

          That worked! Ads are back. Thanks for the tip!

    • Her Lindsayship

      We painted our bedroom light grey too and I will never not have a grey bedroom now! It’s so relaxing and modern at the same time. Also, jealous of your king size, ENJOY!!

      • Ashlah

        The grey is so nice! We were worried it would be too cool (and “depressing” in my husband’s words), but it’s just really clean and airy and relaxing. I totally want to paint our other rooms the same color.

        • EF

          also trying to convince partner we want gray rather than blue in the bedroom! (we might pick a blue-y gray?). i’m gonna look up your shade pronto.

          • Ashlah

            Definitely look up that color! I originally wanted a blue-y grey, and he was worried about it being too cool, and this was the perfect compromise for us (and actually made me glad we didn’t go too blue). It’s a pretty true grey, but it has the slightest blue undertones so it’s closer to the cool end than the warm end of greys. Hope you find something you like! Picking paint colors is the worst.

    • Ashlah

      Aah, I think I just found a makeup artist, thank the heavens! Fingers crossed it works out!

    • toomanybooks

      I’m totally considering making the move from a queen to a king… let us know if it makes a noticeable difference! I often feel like the queen we have is not quite big enough for the two of us (especially if one has a laptop open, lol).

      • Ashlah

        We went back and forth a lot, mostly because the queen felt like enough space most of the time, and kings always seemed so huge in hotels. We ultimately decided that no one regrets a king, but some do regret a queen. That might not be 100% true, but it felt true enough for us to make the leap! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

      • A king definitely makes a difference, especially if the two of you are above average heighted people. Or sprawlers. Or whatever. It is great.

    • Jess

      Please follow up on your boudoir shoot! I’m so interested in this because I’ve been feeling really out-of-touch with myself sensually and would be interested to hear how it went!

      It seems like it would be a really cool and validating experience!

      • Ashlah

        That’s what I’m hoping for! Will report back next Happy Hour :)

    • Eenie

      Yay king bed!

      I ad block cause it’s the video ones. If it wasn’t I would white list.

  • Lisa

    I am heading off on my first bachelorette party weekend thing for a friend who’s getting married in November. They’ve rented a boat, and apparently we’re supposed to spend all day tomorrow on the lake and take the boat bar/restaurant hopping in the evening. Please throw out some good juju that my motion sickness medicine works and that I don’t get left on the dock alone the whole time!

    • Violet

      *throws good juju*
      In the interest of hoping for the best but planning for the worst, do you have a good book just in case?

      • Lisa

        I’m halfway through The Girls so I’m planning to take that along!

      • Lisa

        Good Juju made me laugh, because it’s actually the name of a beer with a strong dose of ginger in it (from Lefthand Brewing) which seems like the perfect medium between bachelorette drink and motion-sickness remedy. I hope it goes well! Give us a follow-up. Your companion in sea-sickness.

        • Lisa

          How appropriate! I was only on the boat for probably about 30 minutes total. The organizer was super sweet and noticed that I wasn’t feeling great so she pulled the boat up to a spot with a concrete dock where I could sit on stable ground while everyone else hung out on floaties. We did that for a couple of hours, and then they dropped me back at the house while they drove around for a while.

    • Alex K

      If you have time- consider stopping at Walgreens/CVS etc and getting SeaBands. They SAVED me on a similar trip. I am always the first to get motion sick on a boat and was fine on the trip I wore them for (two hours each way, very bumpy). And they are not medication so you can always just add them on to your current plan :)

      • Lisa

        I tried Sea Bands when I was on a wildlife cruise in Alaska, and they didn’t seem to help any more than the meds I had taken. To be fair, that cruise was ROUGH. I slept through most of it and had my now-husband wake me anytime there was a whale sighting.

        • Alex K

          Uck! Hopefully you saw whales and it was worth it! Fingers crossed for a smoother ride this weekend!

          • Lisa

            It was actually amazing! The local in-law relatives we went have worked with the company for years, and they told us it was one of the best wildlife days they’d ever had. We had orca pods swim right up alongside our boat and followed a humpback mama teaching her calf to breach for 30 minutes. A very magical day. :)

    • raccooncity

      OMG, so this is probably too late for you but I get mad motion sickness d/t inner ear problems and I have had my life CHANGED by ReliefBand

      If you have an ongoing problem, might be worth the splurge.
      http://www.reliefband.com/

      • Lisa

        I’ll have to read more about this when I get home!

      • Lisa

        Do you know how this works? I’m definitely intrigued, but I’ve had so many remedies suggested to me over the years that are supposed to cure my illness that I’m a little hesitant to spend $90 on a maybe. I’m looking through the web-site and having trouble locating information that explains how it helps. It looks like it stimulates a nerve that ends up shutting down nauseous feelings in the stomach?

        • raccooncity

          I think it works on the same concept as those seabands, but i never found those to be any good. If you click on the “for medical professionals” section of the website they explain a little better and link to some research. Mostly I based my purchase on the amazon reviews, though, tbh. It seemed like an OK gamble based on the number of reviews and the percentage that were bad, as well as the actual complaints expressed within those bad reviews. (many had to to with not being able to change the battery, which they ended up fixing.)

        • Shawna

          If you don’t want to splurge, there’s a simpler method. There’s an acupuncture point that originated this concept so stimulating that point is what you really want to do (the pulse band is a super fancy way and I’m into the idea of it, but it’s expensive if you don’t experience this symptom unless you’re on a boat, etc).

          Locate the point (Pericardium 6) by placing three fingers of one hand at the wrist crease (see diagrams http://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-point-p6/). This point has been accepted by Western Medicine through research as effective to treat nausea, including that related to chemo and pregnancy (http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/jnep/article/viewFile/8312/5178)

          You can: rub a drop of lavender or peppermint oil on the spot (after making sure you don’t react to these therapeutic grade oils or making sure to use a carrier oil); wear a hairtie that has a bump or attachment on it around your wrist so that the nub presses into that one point; ask a friendly acupuncturist to place a vaccaria earseed on the point so you can gently rub it to stimulate the point (http://www.earseeds.com/faqs/). Failing having any of these things on you, just gently press, hold, or rub the point (or alternate these). Concentrate on your breathing.

          It’s past the weekend so perhaps you already figured something out for the boat trip, but for future reference I hope this helps you!

          (I’m a licensed acupuncturist)

    • toomanybooks

      I also do Dramamine and ginger chews for motion sickness/general nausea. Whatever I can get…

      • Lisa

        I haven’t tried ginger chews, but I’m not a big fan of the flavor in general. I usually just try to avoid activities where I can get sick, offer to be the driver for road trips, and force myself to fall asleep when I have to engage in an extended activity. The sleeping has been my best defense against sickness for most of my life, and I fall asleep so easily in moving vehicles now!

        • EF

          I *hate* ginger but get seriously car sick. stem ginger biscuits (in the uk — just shortbreadish cookies with chunks of ginger in) save me every time i travel. literally night and day difference. if you can stomach it, maybe try some ginger!

    • Lindsey

      Bonine saved my life on my cruise!! It didn’t even make me drowsy and we were in horrific seas- this is from someone who gets carsick in Ubers!

  • Alyssa Andrews

    It’s been a hell of a week for me. I’m a school counselor, and there have been two shootings in the area I work in, both resulting in the deaths of people very close to my students (or my students — elementary school kiddos — were in the line of fire). It’s been crisis after crisis after crisis and I’m completely emotionally fried, so my supervisor encouraged me to take a half day today. I’m looking forward to going dress shopping at BHLDN tomorrow and seeing my parents, hiking with their dog, etc. Self-care FTW!

    Update: while writing this, one of my kiddos whose relative was killed came in to say he was doing really well today and told me (excitedly) about a shirt he made with his relatives picture on it for the funeral next week. To go from Tuesday where he was completely distraught to today where he and I have built enough of a relationship where he knows he can come see me just to say “hi” and share little things about his grief process makes my heart burst. Seriously — counseling is not my first career but I never thought I could love a job so much.

    • Ashlah

      Oh I’m sorry, that sounds so, so hard.

    • JC

      Thanks for all that you do, the love you share, and your hard work. I’m so sorry that this week has been full of tragedy, and I’m so glad you’re getting much needed self-care! Counselors are such a gift.

    • Meg

      Thank you for what you do and being there for those kids!

    • Keri

      That’s really tough. I’m glad you have a supportive supervisor and that you know how and why to take time to care for yourself! Best of luck in the coming weeks – it sounds like you have a good relationship with your students.

    • Dri

      School teacher here– THANK YOU for all you do for your school. We need school counselors more than ever. Your daily work makes our class work possible– especially in times of crisis.

      I hope you have an awesome appointment. You deserve happiness for all the peace your work brings others.

  • Emily C

    3 weeks out as of tomorrow!! Today is our deadline for RSVPs. We did all online RSVPs with rsvpify and only have 22 outstanding RSVPs as of today! I call that a success! I am so thankful to APW for making wedding planning so much easier. I’ve used so many APW recommendations and have found the comments to be so valuable, especially on the open thread posts! Any other October 8th brides out there?? :)

    • idkmybffjill

      Close, the 15th!! Congratulations!!

      • Emily C

        Congrats to you too!! Someone asked me this morning when it was and I had to think about it for a second and realized, oh! 3 weeks from tomorrow! Everything seems to be going smoothly, hopefully for you too!

        • idkmybffjill

          Yeah same here! In no small part to APW :).

        • Gaby

          I was asked and I replied “ohhhh god, it’s a month from tomorrow … but I’m very excited!” Everything is going well but I can’t help but get anxious and nervous about it coming together as we get closer. Congrats and good luck as well :)

    • LadyMe

      I’ll join the October party – Friday the 21st.
      Our RSVP deadline was today (with *mail* invites!) and we have… 3 missing replies out of 110. I’m in shock.

      • Emily C

        Wow, that’s amazing!!

      • Eenie

        You have lovely friends and family! We only sent 50 invites via email and had to track down half by text of phone.

  • So I just finished “Why Have Kids?” by Jessica Valenti, which I loved. I’ve already read “Expecting Better”. I’m currently on “Bringing up Bebe” – what other books about motherhood/parenting should I put on my reading list. Extra points for suggestions from mothers of color.

    • stephanie

      OMG did not like Bringing Up Bebe, but it might just be me. I also read it way after the fact—my kid was like 4—but there was nothing earth-shattering in it.

      • Really? Interesting. I’m really horrified by a lot of American parenting so I was hoping to get an interesting perspective. I’m on chapter 1 tho so we’ll see how it goes.

        • stephanie

          Oh, I am equally horrified by a lot of American parenting, and I do think that if I had read it while pregnant I would have liked it. At that point I was like “Yep, ok, nothing new here, alright, bye.”

          • Amy March

            I read it and found it interesting, but my observation of French parenting involved lots of hitting, lots of yelling, lots of “shhhing” even at a children’s playground, punitive school systems, and rigid conformity to community norms. Obvi #notallfrenchparents, but I’ve never been particularly convinced her book represents reality.

          • stephanie

            Saaaaaaaaame. When we were in Paris, French parents appeared to parent.. just like parents in America.

          • rg223

            LOL #notallfrenchparents.

        • Alyssa Andrews

          Same. When my fiancee and I traveled to France a few years ago we were pretty amazed at how well-behaved and mellow french kids seemed to be by comparison to the kids we’re both surrounded by as a school counselor (me) and a teacher (him), and in our general community (Santa Cruz/Bay Area).

        • emilyg25

          I liked it! I got it from the library and it’s a quick read. I’m interested in Simplicity Parenting, but I kinda get the whole point and don’t need a book for it anymore. Also check out the website Aha Parenting. There’s a book too but I mostly just read the blog.

      • Mary Jo TC

        The thing I found frustrating about it was that the French have SOOO many social/government supports for parents that make it so much easier for them to be chill. Like, of course parenting doesn’t take over your life, you have free child care. Or course your sex life doesn’t suffer, you have free pelvic floor physical therapy. It was like a list of reasons life is better when government takes care of people.

        • stephanie

          OH excellent point(s).

        • stephanie

          Also, the biggest reason I tend to avoid parenting books is that most of them are just tapping into the fear that we’re all fucking up our children… and I’m not into tapping into that fear most of the time. Do you best, be kind, keep them fed and clean, love them all the time. Hopefully it will be ok.

      • Gina

        The thing I hated about it was how she really made it seem like there was One Style of American Parenting and One Style of French Parenting and French parenting was soooooo superior… Like, ew. Not true, full of gross generalizations, and most of her suggestions–“the pause”, for example– are laughably ineffective.

    • raccooncity

      Can I just jump on here and say that I have been MASSIVELY disappointed in the availability of books for future dads? The ones my husband read, he found really upsetting with how paternalistic they were and how gross they were about women in general.

      Anyone know of something that’s FOR men but not douchey?

      • Yes, also a good point! I’d love to get something for my husband but there’s nothing, so I think he’s just gonna wing it, LOL.

        • raccooncity

          One book he read talked about sex during pregnancy like this (not exaggerating):
          First trimester: HOT. Her boobs are huge.
          Second trimester: If you squint she might still look pretty good so do that.
          Third trimester: She looks gross but it’s your job to make her happy so do the sex if she wants.

          My husband was absolutely HORRIFIED.

          • Ashlah

            Holy shit.

          • stephanie

            NO.

          • raccooncity

            I want to note here that this is a very recent, “cool guy” book….not some thing from the early 90s or whatever. He stopped reading it after that exact section. I skimmed the rest of it and there were many, many more gems like that.

          • Ashlah

            I sort of want to give it to him as a horrifying joke…but I don’t want to spend my money on it.

          • raccooncity

            Yeah, definitely don’t reward this guy financially.

          • April

            OMG. I’m having a really hard time even figuring out what I want to say to that. Just… yuck, I guess.

      • stephanie

        OMG YES PREACH THIS. Neither of us are actually that into reading parenting books (I’ve read 2 or 3 total, and only one was truly helpful, but it’s something you read once you’ve got a kid—it’s not angled at men or women specifically). I don’t think we read ANY before we actually had a child, period. I do hate how so many are angled at… “show dad how to do this” or “men can’t figure out parenting omg hahahahhaa” . :/

      • Ashlah

        I’d be curious about this too! We’re reading Expecting Better together, and I think a lot of these books are just as useful for both parents, but it might be nice for him to have a resource directed specifically towards him.

      • ML

        Be Prepared is a great book for dads. It’s instructive, fun, and easy to read. I read it myself and wished the mom books were as breezy. For pregnancy, the Birth Partner is a very thorough resource to prepare your partner for what to expect and do (and NOT do) during labor and birth. It’s a lot of info, and would be good paired with a class to show you, but I highly recommend it.

      • Tennymo

        Not at all douchey: Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood. It’s a collection of personal essays with a super diverse and smart set of contributor dads. https://www.amazon.com/Rad-Dad-Dispatches-Frontiers-Fatherhood/dp/1604864818

        • raccooncity

          This looks awesome! Thanks.

    • Ashlah

      Have you read All Joy and No Fun? It’s another one that’s often mentioned along with those, and I really enjoyed it. Curious to see other suggestions!

      • Sweet! Adding to my list, thanks!

      • raccooncity

        +1. I liked this, although it does cover parenting up to like, full grown adulthood so it’s a little hard to relate to after the toddler bits, but still SO interesting.

    • macrain

      Baby 411 really helped me deal with a lot of practical matters, like finding a pediatrician and figuring out childcare. And it is GENIUS when your kid is spitting up 24/7 and you’re like uh, is this normal? (Most of the time: yes.)
      I started to skim it while I was pregnant and it really helped me think some things through that I would not have otherwise. While you will never feel totally “prepared,” there’s a ton of stuff in there that’s like OH good to know. Our kid is 4 months and we still consult it all the time.

    • Alyssa Andrews

      How do you like Bringing up Bebe? I’ve never read it, but being francophiles (and planning for kids in the next few years), it’s on both our reading lists…

      • I’m only on Chapter 1, so I’m not very fair, but so far I like the writing style enough to keep reading it :-)

        • Alyssa Andrews

          Thanks! I also just saw there’s a thread on it as I scroll down, so I’ll check that out too :)

    • ML

      I’ve found the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Your Baby’s First Year to be a good resource. (We’re halfway through the first year.) It’s straightforward, and has just enough info to not be overwhelming but still make you feel informed. Before the birth I read the caring for newborn care sections, and stuff about what to expect for your physical recovery and co-parenting. The rest I’ve read as needed. There’s a chapter for each month, which I always look forward to reading in advance so I can keep an eye on new developments.

    • I know you’re in Minneapolis, so maybe check out the free Childbirth Collective meetings?They are Monday nights at 7:30 in Minneapolis (at Blooma) and Wednesday nights at 7 in St. Paul. They have different topics, ranging from pregnancy but also “becoming a family”, etc. Might be worth checking out!

      http://www.childbirthcollective.org/calendar/

      • OMG thank you! I see some sessions I’d love to attend, and I had no idea about this org!

    • janie

      The only parenting book my mom read was called “How to talk so your kids will listen” – and I’ve read parts of it and I like the philosophy. It’s about not (unintentionally!) minimizing your kids’ emotions and teaching them to how to cope. People on Amazon say things like “Used it on my immature boss! Not just for kids!” so I feel confident recommending it – though I would guess it’s a little further down the line than motherhood or pregnancy books.

      • Violet

        I own this book and can attest it is valuable for literally every interaction you have with another human being.

      • If it works on adults, that’s even better! Adding to my list, thanks for the suggestion!

        • janie

          No problem – there’s definitely something freaky about reading all the tricks your parents used on you as a kid!

    • Gina

      I don’t really like parenting books but I like learning about what’s normal emotional/mental development in children (especially since our culture has some really effed up ways of thinking about kids) so I cannot recommend The Whole-Brain Child highly enough. It’s written by scientists in a completely approachable, not-boring way and I learned so much about brain development. Maybe not immediately helpful to caring for an infant since all infants need is sleep, food, and to be physically comforted 24/7, but babies grow into toddlers really fast so might as well start now! Haha.

      • Thanks! As a fellow scientist I love it when scientists write books. Totally adding this to my list.

        • Olive

          The Informed Parent was published this year and is based on the most recent scientific studies and I’ve been considering reading it even though we’re not planning on trying for kids for a few more years. I don’t know anyone who’s read it, but I’m all about science.

          (Am I the only one who wants to read parenting books before kids are even in the picture? I was raised Catholic and identify as more of a universalist, husband identifies as a humanist, so I think a big part of this desire is to figure out what to tell the kid(s) now so they’re not ridiculously confused (and maybe try to figure it out more myself).)

          • JLily

            Several years out if I even decide to have kids, and yes I’m all over this! I feel like it’s something that warrants research in advance :)
            I’ve been listening to the longest shortest time podcast, which someone here recommended, and its fascinating.

          • Ashlah

            You are definitely not alone.

          • Jess

            Not alone. I have many fears of becoming a parent, and because it’s something R & I agreed to try to do together, I am managing my fears by becoming well informed about both what to expect and advice for making it all be ok.

          • E.

            I read my first parenting book when I was in high school and I’m still a few years away from kids…

          • I started reading parenting books when my parents started checking them out of the library because my youngest sister was being more difficult/different than me and my other sister (I think middle school ish for me). I mean I suppose my parents may have also been getting them when my sister and I were difficult babies but I obviously couldn’t read them when I was a baby because I was a baby. Also it was fun when I was a teenager because then I could pre-emptively identify when my parents were trying to use their book strategies on us.

        • Lulu

          You might really like Alison Gopnik, who has a new book out, and lots of gems in the popular press, like this: http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-manifesto-against-parenting-1467991745

        • doublegus

          The only parenting book we read together was “Brain Rules for Baby” by Dr. John Medina. Lots of science with terrible goofy metaphors thrown in.

    • E.

      I’m not actually a parent, but I’m a teacher and have found 2 books especially helpful in working with kids:
      – How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk (which I read as a nanny in high school and later learned it resonated so much with me because my parents had used it with me lol). This is definitely more directed towards parents
      -Conscious Discipline, more directed towards teachers, but applicable to parents as well. I like that it incorporates a lot of science behind different strategies to help kids cope with big emotions

  • G.

    PSA: There are 4 days left to comment on how the government should handle or require religious non-profits & colleges to handle the provision of contraception (aka the ACA’s contraceptive mandate). When the Supreme Court threw the Zubik case back to the government and religious groups to work out a way to ensure *seamless* coverage for women who work for these employers, they decided to seek comments from the public, as Linda Greenhouse describes (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/opinion/birth-control-continues-to-bedevil-the-supreme-court.html?_r=0).

    Let your voice be heard by commenting here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/07/22/2016-17242/coverage-for-contraceptive-services

    There is a full explanation provided of the issues in the link, but the key questions for individuals to answer are:

    A4: “What impact would the alternative procedure described above [government view that it requires insurance companies to provide separate contraceptive coverage without employer notification] have on the ability of women enrolled in group health plans established by objecting employers to receive seamless coverage for contraceptive services?”

    B2: What impact would this approach [Zubik plaintiffs view that insurance company should be required to provide a contraceptive-only plan to women and that women should have to opt-in rather than be automatically enrolled] that have on the ability of women enrolled in group health plans established by objecting employers to receive seamless coverage for contraceptive services?

    • AP

      Thanks for lifting this up!

  • savannnah

    -1 year! My fiancé even got me a necklace to celebrate which was unexpected. Besides everyone giving me shit for my wedding date being the day before my birthday (yay 28 tomorrow) planning has been fairly smooth save one rude vendor, which I’ll never understand.

    • idkmybffjill

      Yay! Congratulations! We went to dinner to celebrate our -1 and it was so fun. We told the restaurant what we were celebrating and lots of people made us feel really special! I loved it!

      And agreed re: rude vendors… why? I just want to give you my money?

      • savannnah

        I know- this table rental guy keeps sending me half sentences and pokey questions and no info…

        • DJs ARE THE WORST WITH THIS NONSENSE.

    • Kaitlyn

      Are you a birthday person? I was thinking about an April wedding, but my birthday is the 22nd and my gut is like, “but I don’t the two dates to fall so close together”. Buuut getting married in April is cheaper than May so I feel like I’m gonna have to suck it up haha

      • idkmybffjill

        I am DEF a birthday person… my birthday is 2 days after valentine’s day, and my fiance’s is 2 days before our dating anniversary. I’m really exciting to have a wedding date that isn’t close to either of our birthdays so we can have a time that’s just romantic!

        That said – my fiance literally always celebrates both my birthday and valentine’s day, even though I insist that we don’t (and legit really care way more about my birthday), because he’s awesome. So sometimes it’s like EXTRA SPECIAL LOVE TIME HELLO. And that is great. I bet a dual anniversary/birthday would also feel great!

        • Kaitlyn

          Haha I’m afraid that he’d put them together :( Although he knows birthdays are pretty important to me (today is his bday and I went ham baking a cake and decorating the kitchen and buying presents) so he might not haha But we usually do bday trips and I can see us wanting to do an anniversary trip and it end up being a combo my bday/our anniversary trip, which might make us both feel shafted haha Such a first world problem.

          • idkmybffjill

            For our dating anniversary we’ve usually done a trip that is mostly his birthday/part our anniversary. He’s not a big birthday person so it’s been okay… Kinda moot now cause I think we’re gonna stop celebrating our dating anniversary once we’re married (Just less than a month!!!!!). But if I had it to do over I’d probably try and make sure his birthdays felt ESPECIALLY like birthdays and not just, yay! We’re on a trip! Special dinner! Although.. those things are obviously still great :).

          • Kaitlyn

            I think that’s a good point. Congrats, so soon!

      • savannnah

        I like my birthday but I’m also a twin and it’s never been MY day so maybe that’s where I’m feeling a disconnect? People are like horrified about it and I’m just like meh.

        • Jess

          I am not a birthday person, and people are always so concerned about that.

          If you’re meh, and don’t mind being married close to your birthday, roll with being meh!

          • heyqueen

            Solidarity on being meh about birthdays. Mine was recently, and people seemed thoroughly concerned that it’s just another day to me.

    • emilyg25

      Our anniversary is a week after my birthday. I’m a major birthday person, so we generally just do something small for our anniversary.Like this year we went to the BBQ place that catered our wedding (roadside shack basically) and then ice cream. I’m not big into anniversaries, so that helps!

      • My husband’s birthday is 2 weeks after our wedding. He’s not much of a birthday person, so it looks like we’ll be doing a big thing for the anniversary & then something small for his birthday. This year he asked for Chick-Fil-A and drinks at a nice bar (which is how we got #BabyPi, but that’s another story, LOL).

        • emilyg25

          Well there’s really nothing better that Chick Fil A and drinks, so…

          (And for your future reference, they actually have a surprisingly good kids menu.)

    • Cellistec

      Shoot, my friend recently got married ON her birthday (only day the venue was available), and I have no doubt she’ll be able to carve out separate celebrations for both. People shouldn’t give you shit for it…weddings are tricky and we do what we gotta do.

      • Ashlah

        My co-worker’s husband has a birthday near Christmas, so she threw him a surprise half-birthday party this year. It was a smashing success because you can’t really get more surprising than a birthday party not on your birthday!

        • Cellistec

          That’s awesome. Especially if the recipient is hard to surprise!

    • Our wedding is 2 days before my birthday and 1 weeks before Manperson’s. We celebrate our birthaversary every year and do one big thing to cover all events. And then we don’t do anything for a year. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s the best.

    • JC

      Happy Birthday! We’re two days apart!

    • Eenie

      Two of my friends got married on his birthday so they wouldn’t forget.

  • raccooncity

    Been hitting up TIFF pretty hard this week – we get free tickets each year from Mr. RC’s work, and then some people he works with had to back out of theirs so we got to benefit. I actually never (as in literally never) go to movies at the theatre outside of this one time each year at TIFF so it’s kinda fun to get all fancied up and see the celebrities. Going to Edge of Seventeen on Saturday which looks pretty funny.

    In other news, Kit (aka fetus RC) is upside down and that’s begun to be a notable thing. We’re in negotiations right now to change that. These mostly involve me poking its little head and being all “you’re still gonna be that way? fine then.”

    • Did you do the screening of The Birth of a Nation? I saw a screening last night.

      • raccooncity

        No, it wasn’t on our list of options, unfortunately. His company gets the tickets as a gift from another company they hire for auditing services and they send us tickets to SOME films. I really wanted to see the film about Elizabeth Barrett Browning but it also wasn’t on the list. Sadz.

    • Granola

      I love that description of Kit being upside down. I did acupuncture when my daughter was breech, which I liked (it didn’t work, but for other more systemic reasons. I think it did what it was designed to do but the crazy Braxton-Hicks I had prevented any flipping.) In the end I had a successful version, if that gets to be something you think about. Good luck!

  • Fiona

    I’m having a really hard time understanding the negative reactions to Colin Kaepernick’s protest (besides the obvious anti-black ones) and I welcome some input on this perspective… I have always a hard time understanding patriotism at all costs because it wasn’t a part of my context growing up as a home schooler. I visited a school in the Caribbean in middle school, and the music teacher asked me to sing my national anthem for the class, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know it. Around the same time, I read a historical fiction piece about the granddaughter of someone who had been held captive in the Japanese internment camps during WWII. She explored the idea that in the United States, it is not “liberty and justice for all,” but “liberty and justice for some.” This is especially poignant as a direct descendant of German immigrants who were put through no such arbitrary tribulations, though they were arguably more closely associated with the most “guilty” party (Nazi Germany).

    A few years later, I started attending the local public high school part time. We would recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and I skipped out initially because I didn’t know it. A friend offered to teach me, and I did learn the words, but continued to refrain from pledging or placing my hand over my heart, because “liberty and justice for all” was and is inspirational. I was born in the United States, and I’m proud of certain elements of our culture and the accomplishments of some of our citizens. Other elements of our culture and members of our citizenry frankly don’t speak to the ideals of universal justice. I have always refrained from participation in the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, and I would continue to do so because I hold our country to a higher standard.

    • Ashlah

      I can’t help you understand it because I don’t understand it myself. I’m certain it’s a heaping helping of racism, mixed in with our traditional American Exceptionalism. I just cannot for the life of me care about patriotic symbolism like this. Even if I felt there was nothing wrong with our country (ha), what does it matter if someone stands for the anthem? It truly does not matter. My mom is in the military and thinks it’s all about respect, which I think is ridiculous (respect is earned, not standing affects no one, and being forced to stand is neither respectful nor democratic); my father-in-law only cares because he’s racist, I’m sure of it. In the same conversation where he said Kaepernick should stand because he’s lucky to live here, he complained non-stop about our country because he feels he’s “the wrong color” to get food stamps. I don’t think there’s much logic in the outrage we’re seeing, and it’s exhausting. I’m pretty ashamed of a lot of people.

    • Amy March

      I think for many people, standing and saying the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem is a fundamental way of showing your respect and pride in your country. I think people view it like not letting the flag touch the ground and certainly not burning it. To many, its simply an unacceptable protest to destroy or disrespect those symbols of our country.

      I don’t agree with that perspective at all, but I think it is a part of the issue many people seem to have with his protest.

      ETA: I completely agree with Jubliance that all of it is anti-Black, fundamentally and at its core. This is just an explanation of how people justify it to themselves.

    • IMO, all of it is anti-Black, even when folks try to couch it in other things. Folks will say “it’s disrespectful to the troops!” yet forget the NFL didn’t even do these displays until the DoD started paying them for them. These same folks invoke veterans yet have never done anything to help vets in their communities. Then there are the other folks who think everyone should be happy to be an American, as if being a citizen means you never criticize your country or it’s policies.

      Frankly some people don’t want to hear that Black folks are tired of being treated as second-class citizens, that racism is still alive & well even with a Black President, and to see folks use their platforms to speak out against injustice.

      • Fiona

        I happen to agree with you that all of it is anti-Black…but I really want to understand the perspective as articulated by the people who hold the perspective.

      • ART

        The other thing that grates on me when people say things like “it’s disrespectful of the troops” is that that has all these implications that “the troops” are like, not diverse in their viewpoints, not Black, and not supportive of protest/free speech, and also have some kind of monopoly on patriotism/the anthem. And none of those is true! I think people who use that line might disagree that that is what they are implying, but it’s the subtext I always hear. Same with 9/11 – there were Black Americans that lost their lives, lost their loved ones, took part in rescue efforts, donated money, gave blood, joined the military, etc., and saying “shut up! 9/11! 9/11!” suggests that there is this non-Black ownership of 9/11, which moreover must not be tainted by the mention of any other topic on or around that day, and that’s just bullshit.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I read somewhere that conservatives and liberals have value differences, and one of them is that conservatives have a sense of the sacred, an almost religious sense, that liberals do not share. I think to them any “disrespect” to national symbols (flag, anthem, etc) feels like watching someone take a dump on a church altar, or any comparable sacrilege/blasphemy.
      Among those who disagree with his protest, there’s also a sense that Kaepernick is being ungrateful or unappreciative of his role on the football team and his good fortune to be born in the US. (I’m sure this is tinged with racism, to say the least.) My conservative dad, while he agreed that Kaepernick had every right to protest, pointed out that in no other country could he make $11 million with his football skills.
      I think it’s awesome that Kaepernick’s jersey is now the best-selling in the NFL and that the protest is spreading to other teams and sports.

      • Violet

        You read that from Jonathan Haidt’s research!

      • AmandaBee

        I was trying to come up with a way to explain this based on personal experience, but didn’t realize there was research on it. Thanks for sharing!

        In my own experience with conservative family, and growing up in a conservative working-class area, this is fairly accurate. National symbolism has a weight to the community I grew up in that I don’t see in the more educated/liberal community I’m now frequently around. So I think the idea of ignoring the anthem, or destroying the flag, just seems like blasphemy.

        BUT I will also say that among many, though not all, of the people I grew up with there wasn’t a strong understanding of the history of racism in our country and the racist structures that continue to hurt people of color today (adding: though I’m from a mixed-ethnicity family, the community I grew up in was largely white). So in addition to seeming like blasphemy, I also think that people just don’t understand the context of what exactly there is to protest about. And without that context, it just seems like shit-stirring.

        In that sense, I do think it’s anti-Black, because it does stem from lack of understanding and empathy for Black Americans. But there’s a value system that feeds into and intensifies the reactions.

        (Adding the disclaimer that this is not how I think about the issue at all, this is just my observation of how others might come to be offended by it.)

        • Mary Jo TC

          I think you’re right on about the lack of understanding of the history of racism and institutionalized racism. There are a lot of white people in communities like the one I grew up in, who don’t have a lot of contact with people of color, and who are just ignorant of what their lives are like, out of lack of experience and lack of empathy. And a lot of them also feel self-righteous about the struggles they had and feel they earned their good fortune and anyone else could have a great life too if they worked hard, no matter the color of their skin–they believe in a colorblind meritocracy that doesn’t exist. So, because those people are ignorant, they don’t understand why there’s a need for protest, and yes, shit-stirring is the right word to describe the way they see these protests.

          • Lisa

            This. I tried to explain institutionalized racism to my FIL, who claims it doesn’t exist because he’s “never personally witnessed it.” Yes, I understand that you, white, 70-year-old, Bay Area man, might never have personally seen racism in practice, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge what other people say their experiences are.

        • Ashlah

          Absolutely. My grandma keeps stating that he’s just “looking for attention.” Well, yes. He’s protesting real issues, of course he needs attention to achieve that. But she’s ignorant (or uncaring, or both) of the issues he’s protesting, so to her it looks like, well, shit-stirring and thinks it should be ignored.

        • Jess

          “I also think that people just don’t understand the context of what exactly there is to protest about. And without that context, it just seems like shit-stirring.”

          YES TO THIS. Not that they don’t have the opportunity to go find the context, but I do find that (sometimes willful) ignorance is where a lot of these opinions come from.

          • AmandaBee

            Right, there is often some level of willful or motivated ignorance. For some folks it may just truly be lack of exposure – I mean, at a younger age I had beliefs that really bordered these and many of them shifted when I went to college and took a class that actually addressed racism (and not the bullshit candy-coated 1 week of civil rights history version taught in my high school). So that does happen.

            But a lot of the time I think it’s easier to stay ignorant and hold onto those beliefs because they benefit you, and that can feed a lot of resistance to listening to other people’s perspectives. So when I say that there’s a lack of context or that people don’t understand, I don’t mean that as a way to let white people off the hook.

          • Jess

            Yup. I think too, a lot of white people in my parents generation and older grew up in a time when we taught Respect.

            You respect the nation. You respect the nations leaders. You respect your parents. It was a time when you didn’t question things and public patriotism was really high (otherwise maybe you were a commie?).

            They also grew up in a time when racism was explicit. There were actual laws of segregation. There were people who actually said out loud, in public, things they only think or say among like minded people. I can see how they look at the way things were and say to themselves, “Well, it’s not nearly so bad now. What is this kid complaining for? He should be grateful.”

            So their context matters too, when it comes to how they react to a protest.

            And when it comes to what we’ve seen – in my predominantly white area we were taught that racism is in the past, and everything was fixed when MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech and we abolished the Jim Crow laws. It took me longer than I care to think about to understand that wasn’t true.

            I don’t agree with the mindset at all, but I can see a lot of how it happens. And we can’t fix it until we understand where it comes from.

      • JLily

        I really have a hard time understanding the IMMEDIATE jump from “disrespecting” a national symbol to disrespecting the veterans/troops. They are so tied in peoples minds but I guess maybe I think of the flag/national anthem/etc in a different way.

        • Mary Jo TC

          It is kind of a leap, but I guess it’s kind of like the transitive property?
          Kaepernick disrespected the flag
          Veterans fought for that flag
          Therefore, Kaepernick disrespected veterans.
          He disrespected the thing they sacrificed for, so he disrespected their sacrifice so he disrespected them.
          Some of the best responses to the whole controversy have been from veterans supporting him. If nothing else, supporting his right to protest. But some going as far as to say the country they fought for needs to shape up.

          • JLily

            But like, they didn’t literally fight for the flag! Or the song! They fought for the country. What does the flag symbolize if not freedom (ie of speech! and peaceful protest!)? I just wonder what part of what the flag symbolizes they think is being disrespected, exactly. (I think you are right, btw, I just don’t understand it.)

          • Gaby

            Yeah, I find that immediate connection very odd too. I don’t think any of my family in Mexico associates their respect to their flag/country with the Mexican military at all. At least, I’ve never gotten that impression from any events I’ve been a part of that include the national anthem or saluting the falg.

        • KiwiSarah

          Yeah, I found that really weird during the recent process to change the New Zealand flag. I was pro-change but respectful of some of the arguments for keeping it. One of the arguments I found less easy to respect was “our veterans fought and died for that flag!”. Um, no they didn’t? Or at least I hope not! It might have been a unifying symbol, but nobody goes to war over a piece of fabric.

    • Jess

      Along with what Amy March said, where it is considered a showing of respect, I think it’s also fundamentally a way to cloak criticisms of anti-racist activism. It’s like the All Lives Matter thing – it’s a way to feign moral outrage at someone’s legitimate complaint.

      The situation is that a multiracial man is insisting he has a voice while on a stage where his role is to entertain.

      Because he’s doing it at a time that is infused with paid patriotism (deadspin has done a lot of really interesting reporting on that), people have the excuse that he’s being “unpatriotic” instead of telling him to “know his place.”

      I find it interesting that in pictures of Kaepernick’s protests, there are people running around with headsets, stretching, etc. Those people aren’t called out for being disrespectful of the nation.

      There are people booing the President of the United States during a 9/11 address. Based on the vitriol I hear of both Obama and Kaepernick, I have to believe some of the people booing are the same ones that don’t support Kaepernick.

      It’s very strange the way we cling to nationalism in the US sometimes, but not others.

      • ART

        “I find it interesting that in pictures of Kaepernick’s protests, there are people running around with headsets, stretching, etc.” – Yes. My husband used to work NFL games on the TV crew. He said NONE of those people pay one bit of attention to all the anthem/patriotic stuff, they are running around getting ready for showtime. It’s like literally only the players/coaches that are paying any attention down on the field. It’s not as if the whole stadium comes to a halt.

  • anon in phl

    Any Philly folks have recs for good therapists (Center City/South Philly/West Philly)? Looking for someone for individual counseling (no huge life-altering event, but want to deal with some more regular chronic feelings/issues)…. thanks!

    • scw

      I have heard good things about both the council for relationships (they do individual counseling too) and the therapy center of philadelphia, though I don’t have any personal experience with either. good luck! it can be really hard to navigate the system and find a good person, but I think it’s worth the effort.

      • anon in phl

        Thanks!

    • Olive

      Not in Philly, but check out psychologytoday.com, you can search for someone in your area, and e-mail around to find someone who fits your needs! It’s how I found my therapist.

  • Cellistec

    Continuing the book thread from the past couple weeks, what are your current reads? Mine:

    1. Carrie Brownstein’s memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. So raw, so depressing. Maybe if I were a Sleater-Kinney fan I would have gotten more out of it. If you start it and think, “Wow, I hope this lightens up as it goes on”…it doesn’t. If it hadn’t been a gift I wouldn’t have finished it. Anyone else love it and have a better perspective?

    2. The third Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) novel, Career of Evil. I probably shouldn’t have started this the same day I finished Carrie’s memoir. I love the characters but it’s dark, if not as dark (as of page 150) as The Silkworm. I’m going to need something light and funny afterwards. Recommendations welcome.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I’m reading Hillary’s Hard Choices book. It makes me less sad to watch the news.

      • stephanie

        I just bought that the other day! Looking forward to it.

        • Alanna Cartier

          I found off it started a little like a campaign speech, but I’m really digging it now. It’s like a really detailed west wing, but specifically about the position of Secretary of State. I’m also learning how woefully un-knowledgable I am about the world at large. I mean, I thought I kept up fairly well, but clearly I do not.

          • Cellistec

            That does sound good! How’s the writing? I tried to read Madeleine Albright’s memoir a decade ago and found it so stilted–and studded with typos–that I couldn’t get through two chapters. Poor ghostwriting and editing killed it for me, and I’d hate to see the same happen with HRC’s new book.

          • Alanna Cartier

            The writing is good. A little stilted, but not terribly so. I think the feelin of stilted-ness mostly comes from trying not to disclose too much personal information about the people she was dealing with.

    • Trinity

      I loved the third Galbraith novel even more than the first two. I can’t wait for the next one!

      I just finished reading the first two books in the Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab. Fantasy/magic books about multiple worlds. Powerful female main co-character. I can’t recommend them enough.

    • Her Lindsayship

      My book club is currently reading this novel called The Patron Saint of Unmarried Women. I only know its title and the Amazon description, but I’m already so underwhelmed that I haven’t even picked it up yet. :P It could be awesome, I’m judging it on basically nothing, but that’s where I’m at.

    • CP2011

      I just read Carrie’s book too. Really enjoyed it, but since I’ve never even listened to Sleater Kinney that part dragged on too long for me. I’m a big Portlandia fan so I was disappointed she didn’t talk about that.

      • Cellistec

        Me too! What I really wanted to know was how she went from her agonizing but necessary membership in Sleater-Kinney to the total opposite end of the spectrum on Portlandia. That process sounds FASCINATING.

    • toomanybooks

      Yes, I read Carrie’s book for a book club and felt about the same way. I thought, “I know she became well-known and successful in music and TV, so when does that kick in? When does she come into her own?” If I’d never heard of her before, the way she told it, I would have thought she was a bad musician in a mediocre band that never really made it until she gave it all up to work on dog rescue.

      • Cellistec

        Right? I guess it’s a detailed example of impostor syndrome, or how someone can succeed at something difficult while struggling with terrible anxiety and bouts of depression, but I didn’t know that going into it so I kept waiting for some character development to occur.

    • JC

      My office is planning a Harry Potter read-a-thon! For October to December, we’re going to read all seven books (and go see Fantastic Beasts, of course). I recently went through a heavy library use period where I only picked up new/difficult material, but I’m a re-reader, so I’m really looking forward to sipping on some old classics.

      Speaking of classics, I’m also doing a mini binge on Anne of Green Gables right now, because I needed some good laughs last week. I finished the first and am halfway through Anne of Avonlea. I think I can finish Anne of the Island before HP starts.

      • Cellistec

        Your office wins. Can I join your read-a-thon remotely? ;)

        • JC

          Of course!!

  • Trinity

    We’re finally going public: We’re expecting! We didn’t have our heartbeat appointment until this week (week 12), and it was such a relief to learn that everything is okay. Husband is an only child and is beyond excited to tell his parents this weekend.

    • Ashlah

      Woot, congrats!!

      • Trinity

        Thank you! We think they’re going to love this little onesie.

  • Her Lindsayship

    My fiancé and I think we’ve found a venue that we like for the reception! This is PROGRESS. However, we really can’t have the ceremony there. Any advice on where to look for non-religious ceremony sites? We live in Boston, and public parks are an option but are majorly touristed, and technically you’re not allowed to bring chairs or have amplified sound. Other than that everything we’ve seen is either a ceremony + reception site where you’d do the whole shebang, or… churches. We’re not religious and would feel disingenuous having our ceremony in a church. (Bonus advice welcome re: whether we should wait to book the reception venue until we figure out the ceremony venue!) Thanks!

    • Alex K

      What part of Boston/Boston area is the venue in? (Boston resident/local here..)

      • Her Lindsayship

        It’s in the city, near downtown crossing. I’d be ok with a ceremony site somewhere in Boston/Cambridge/Brookline area, but probably don’t want to get too far out from there. :)

        • Kaitlyn

          How many people are you expecting? (also a local haha)

          • Her Lindsayship

            I did not provide enough info LOL. Around 60 we think!

          • Kaitlyn

            Have you looked at one of the smaller event spaces at the aquarium or science museum? I’m not sure if they let you do ceremony only, but both have great views. The other spot I really like (but also not sure if this is possible) is that walk right behind Moakley Courthouse, that’s on the water and I feel like is never too populated.

          • EF

            the science museum does such cool weddings. strong recommendation for that!

            also, might sound stuffy if it’s not your style, but the harvard club (comm ave) would be about the right size for you and i think has rooms for both ceremony and reception.

            have you thought about parks that are a little less touristy? for instance, thomas park in south boston has a great view of the city but no tourists, basically. (dunno their official stance on weddings, though. i did grow up just a couple streets over, but southie is so different now i assume all the rules are different, too).

            finally, my personal fav: the old state house does wedding ceremonies and *not* receptions! I worked there for a year and it’s really beautiful, it’s the upstairs room right above the gift shop that would, i think, be about the right size for you.

          • Her Lindsayship

            Thanks for the suggestions! The Old State House’s website says they’re currently not open for event rentals. :/ Maybe it’s changed since you worked there?

          • EF

            it might be worth calling with the dates you have in mind! when they have special exhibits on, that room can’t be open for events, but between exhibits it usually is :-)

    • louise danger

      sometimes, ceremony + reception places allow you to have the ceremony-only there. could be worth looking into. public parks have been a lifesaver here – our venue is a state park and while it’s “open to the public,” it’s only $75 to rent a pavilion big enough for our crowd for the whole day, although our event is going to be just mid-afternoon.

    • Alex K

      A few (super random thoughts)- the park across from the Museum of Science/by Education First is right on the Charles River and always DEAD on weekends. I believe you can get a permit for $25. I believe amplified sound is OK (I live by the park and have seen a few events with sound equipment). Another thought would be some of the new “luxury” apartment buildings in that area (I am thinking of One Greenway in particular) have terraces that are supposed to be only used by tenants (and can be reserved). I have heard rumors that because those buildings are so empty they are letting people rent the space (?). Might be worth checking out.

      • Kaitlyn

        Unrelated tangent: but I’m so annoyed by all the luxury buildings going up. Housing around here is already ridiculous and they keep putting up apartments with rents that very few people can afford. Mayor Marty came to my work to do a “town hall”, we asked about it, and his answer was basically, “Well the colleges are going to have to build some dorms and then students will move out of the multi-families and you guys can move in there”, but that’s obviously going to take a while to do. And still doesn’t address the fact that all these buildings are “luxury” and I wouldn’t spend that much on rent when I can spend less on a mortgage. /endtangent haha

        • Amy March

          Do they? If very few people can afford the rents, they’ll come down pretty quickly when the buildings sit empty.

        • Lady Me

          Seriously! Why luxury? Like, I just want something between run down ancient triple deckers and luxury high rises. I will accept linoleum floors and non-granite countertops!

          • G.

            This. So much this. I want decent, not luxury. Well-maintained, not fancy. Everywhere I’ve lived, it’s been a challenge to find this mid-level option.

          • Kaitlyn

            Exactly! I’m not picky. I lived in this horrendous Brighton apartment for two years (we’re talking cockroaches, mice, it hadn’t been updated since the 50s, the hot water usually didn’t work) and when we moved out, they rented it for $400 MORE a month. WHAT. I just want a nice place, that’s decently affordable. Preferentially with heat and hot water included haha

        • Alex K

          Haha. I feel you. Those buildings are ridiculously priced. Like it makes me laugh…then I wonder, where the heck do they expect people to live?!?

          With that being said..if they really are doing this, it would be kind of nice for every one to get SOME use out these silly buildings (that they apparently can’t find tenants for).

        • EF

          *especially* if you know the history of the west end (RIP). it’s so sad that many parts of the city are locking out real bostonians.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thank you!!! Will definitely look into those! If you’re still living there next summer and see my wedding ceremony come say hi! ;)

    • LittleOwl

      I would call the reception venue people and see what they recommend! I got a lot of great recommendations from our venue, and they know what lots of other couples have done locally.
      I love Boston! You could try corporate rooftops- a few friends of mine have gone that route in other cities. You can also check out the CRI boathouse- a little out of the way but so pretty!

    • Brynna

      I live in another state capital and a friend of mine got married on the steps of the Capital Building (looks like a mini version of the one in DC) and then had the reception elsewhere. It was very pretty. I lived in Boston once-upon-a-time and I remember the State House being beautiful. I’m sure there are other spots like it around.

  • Eh

    I just finished an interview for a promotion at work. I applied for a promotion a couple months ago and didn’t get it. The job is in the same department so the same manager interviewed me again. I have met with her about the job and my previous interview, and I have been working on what she suggested (mostly selling myself). The interview went much better in some respects but I was surprised about the very technical questions (e.g., describe linear regression, describe logistic regression). The job requires that technical knowledge (the job I previous applied to didn’t require the same stats knowledge) but I have never been asked those questions in an interview. That was in the middle of the interview and I didn’t let it phase me when they got back to the other questions that I had prepared for. When they asked me a question about areas I need to work on I started off with “brushing up my knowledge on regression analysis”. I have spent the last couple weeks preparing for this interview (I started before the as I was creating my cover letter and updating my resume).

    • emilyg25

      Good luck!

      • Eh

        Thanks!

  • louise danger

    hey y’all, i’m back with a little more catering drama but a lot of good progress too :D

    drama 1: saw caterer’s website and the menus there with prices were super affordable, so we sent an inquiry about a non-priced menu that we liked. after pulling teeth to get her to reply (sorry to inconvenience you, ma’am?), and providing her with our details including our budget, she eventually provided a proposal that came in a whopping 3x our budget. i asked her if she could break any of that down for me but that was two days ago and i don’t expect to hear from her. lady, if you can’t work with my budget, just save us all some time and grief and say so.

    drama 2: being lectured by a different caterer for i guess appearing to try low-balling them in my initial inquiry message (here’s our budget, love your work, hope to hear from you soon) that “things cost money.” ew.

    good progress: we will be able to feed everyone for less than our target $20/head! food trucks are AWESOME final menu TBD but i’m excited (corned beef springrolls? yes pls)

    and, completely organically, the wedding is becoming a small/local business affair – depending on where the dress comes from, that might be the only non-small-business vendor we have! the rest are the local state park, a local restaurant (where we went on one of our early dates, aww), and an LGBTQ-friendly photog. STOKED o/ mom-dragon is still dragon-shaped but she’s less looming now and more just sort of there. success through avoidance, hey.

    • Ashlah

      “Things cost money” jeeeeez, what an ass. Do vendors think if they’re mean about your budget that you’ll magically have more money? Glad you found someone that will work for you and with you!

      • idkmybffjill

        Ugh right? I totally would get the sentiment if she WAS lowballing, but I feel like there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hi – I don’t know what everything wedding thing costs. Here is what I have, does that make sense for you?”. Like.. just say no or don’t reply!

        • louise danger

          vendors who don’t post prices on their website make me want to S C R E A M. even just give me a “starting at” price point throw me a [bbq short rib] bone here, caterers

          • idkmybffjill

            A couple of women at my work just got engaged and asked for any advice I had, and I was able to share the spreadsheets of vendors & prices I’d compiled (and culled for taste and ease of use) just so they could have an idea of range (prices change of course, but sometimes it’s like geez, can I get an estimate!?). They were both ecstatic and it’s felt really wonderful to me to pass along that hard won knowledge!

          • louise danger

            that’s an awesome idea! i haven’t quite spreadsheeted (…yes, google, i know that’s not a word) things but i’ve been keeping all the vendor emails with prices, menus, etc in the Gmail inbox that i set up for wedding stuff. i’m one of the last of my friendgroup to get married but it’ll be a nice resource maybe for future coworkers or something :)

            and yeah! how do i know if i’m [unintentionally] low-balling you if you don’t tell me how much your hand-stamped artisan folderol widgets cost in the first place?

          • idkmybffjill

            I’m a spreadsheet nutcase… by no means is it a necessary thing to do :).

            And yes, I totally agree! Especially because I feel really very respectful of artists, and some services have such a wide spread of prices, it’s so hard to know! Our photographer cost ~2K. He’s wonderful, a photojournalist who has worked for newspapers, we love him. But there were photogs who were 7K whose photos looked the same to my (non photographer) eye. I didn’t want to insult them by saying I had 2K! But that’s the amount I had!

          • Yeah, I’ve got all this info in a google Doc that I share with friends getting married in the area. I’ve also rank-ordered the photographers, and grouped them by price/ability. But it also includes linens, make up artists, florists, cake (which seem to be pretty open about their prices on their website, thank heavens) a bunch of APW resources, etc. etc.

            The Google Doc is a tremendous hit.

          • AGCourtney

            That is a wonderful idea.

          • Lisa

            I hated this about wedding planning. Why do I need to e-mail a venue just to get the brochure about basic numbers? Why can’t those just be listed as a download on the web-site?? It’s maddening. I think the first two months of our engagement were just e-mailing everyone.

          • idkmybffjill

            Yep. Absolutely.
            I think it’s the biggest reason we ended up waffly on budget too! I’d planned lots of events but only for large groups. So when I guesstimated our wedding cost I’d essentially scaled down the prices I usually spent on events… NOT HOW IT WORKS. NOT HOW IT WORKS. Hahaha. We actually almost didn’t even look at Revolution because I thought it was so far out of budget. Thank goodness we did alot of research and found swiftly just how reasonable it was!

      • Amy March

        And if they don’t want to field inquiries from people with offensively inadequate budgets (eyeroll) they could also post their prices on their websites instead of making people guess.

        • idkmybffjill

          I just upvoted and unupvoted this like 10 times so I could upvote again.

        • AmandaBee

          That was probably the part of wedding planning that frustrated me the most. Like, don’t make me guess what your prices are by how nice your website is. Give me a starting point or an average or SOMETHING. I will happily not waste my time or yours contacting you if you don’t fit in my (tiny) budget.

          But, nope. Especially with vendors I found that I had to directly contact all of them to get any kind of pricing, and even then half the time the price structure was so complicated that you needed a freaking math degree to calculate what you’d actually end up paying.

          • idkmybffjill

            Yes! Even if it’s “Packages start at X”. That’s all I need to know to see if it’s worth my time to send you an email!

          • I keep a Google Doc of all pricing inquiries I received for *all* wedding stuff…and then share it with local friends getting married.

            It feels like the price of renting linens is the world’s largest secret, and it really shouldn’t be…

      • louise danger

        she said, “well this this and this other thing all will be extra, and if you want this thing too then that would be additional as well. if you have some wiggle room in your budget or if you’d included it elsewhere but didn’t realize, let me know and i can set up a meeting for you.” like… ew i am a grown up attempting to maybe hand you quite a large amount of dollars please treat me like one

    • laddibugg

      I hate when I see “We work with wedding of any size and any budget”. No the hell you don’t on that last part.

      • idkmybffjill

        I got to a point when strangers would say, “X is really inexpensive!” that I had to say… can you define inexpensive? Like one dollar? Or like one thousand dollars?

        • toomanybooks

          Yes, “inexpensive” is so relative, especially when it comes to weddings.

    • Jess

      LOVE the idea of food trucks and small/local businesses!

  • Ana

    Tips for traveling with a baby? We recently committed to a crap-ton of upcoming travel with our newish baby and I’m kind of freaked out about how this is going to go.

    Details: For Thanksgiving we’re flying across the country and staying at my mom’s, for Christmas we’re taking a road trip to stay in a VRBO with family, and we’re toying with the idea of flying to Hawaii with her in January for a just-the-three-of-us trip. She’s been a pretty easy-going newborn, but she’ll be 4 and 5 months old at the time of all this travel and I don’t really know what she’ll be like then.

    Also: Our pediatrician bumped up her vaccine schedule slightly (within CDC guidelines) so she’ll have two doses of the major vaccines under her belt by the time we go, but she’ll still be too young for the flu shot and I’m kind of worried about how to keep her from getting sick.

    • emilyg25

      We had good luck flying with our son as a lap infant (he was 9 months). But for a super long flight like Hawaii, buying a seat and bringing her car seat would probably be more pleasant. I’ve found that vacations with a baby are very different. Fun in their own way, but not exactly vacation. My son goes to bed at 7, so it kinda sucks to be stuck in the hotel room so early. I’d save Hawaii for a few years down the road. To keep from getting sick, the best thing you can do is wash hands frequently. Good luck!

      • Ana

        Thanks! I appreciate the advice. I should clarify that the reason we’re thinking of Hawaii now is that my husband has a month of paternity leave to take in January, and in his profession it’s nearly impossible to get a true vacation. As in, if he has a vacation planned and his firm hits a busy period, they will reimburse him for his travel expenses and tell him he can’t go. Or they’ll let him go but he’ll be chained to his laptop the whole time. They can’t do that during his leave, so this may be our only opportunity for a truly protected vacation for at least the next few years, and we’d like to take advantage of it to do something fun.

        • emilyg25

          Can you do something that’s still a nice break, but not so big? For me, Hawaii is like a once in a lifetime experience and I’d want to be able to lay out all day and drink fancy drinks on the beach.

        • Laura

          I would totally go then – but instead of a hotel room, i’d do an airbnb or vrbo so that when baby naps/goes to sleep, you guys can still hang out on a nice patio (or whatever) with some wine. will keep it feeling more like a vacation!

    • My baby does pretty well in the car — we did two road trips when he was 3-4 months old. My #1 tip is to leave at the time of baby’s first nap of the day (for a 4-5 month old, usually about 1-2 hours after the first wake-up). Pack food for the adults in the car so you can stop when baby needs to stop, not when the grown-ups need it. When you do stop, try to give the baby time to play and stretch out on a blanket. I did a six-hour road trip to my parent’s house by myself, and it only took about 8 hours total (gotta factor in breastfeeding time!) and my son cried for maybe 15 mins total (getting back in the car after the 2nd feeding stop).

      Sadly, 4-5 months is often a time for crappy sleep as babies get more aware of their surroundings. I’d bring at least a sheet from home if you aren’t bringing a whole portable crib (so that the bed/crib at least smells like home). A trip to Hawai’i sounds like more stress than fun to me but ymmv (I know someone who went over the summer with their 7 month old).

    • stephanie

      We’ve been flying with our son very regularly since he was 3 months old, and I have a few tips:

      1) Stay as flexible as you can. We’re fans of throwing out a lot of “rules” about bedtime and whatnot when we travel, because you close yourselves off to potentially amazing experiences. If I were you, I would get a baby wrap or carrier and take your baby out with you at night—my son always fell asleep really easily when tucked into a Moby-esque wrap, and that you way you guys can still be out in the evening (because evening in Hawai’i? Yes, please). We went to Paris 2 years ago with our then 5 year old, and the best night of the trip was halfway through when we let him stay up until midnight or 1am and roamed the city. He was so fun, and it was so exciting. I know your baby will still be VERY much a baby, but… flexibility. So good.

      2) See if your airline offers baby bassinets, and totally get one if so. Consider bringing a pillow that’s big enough to lay your baby on, and put that across the tray tables if you want. Obviously you can also bring the car seat and buckle her in that way—options!

      3) Also see if you guys can snag a seat with leg room—when we went to Hawai’i with our then 11 month old, they moved us to one of the seats with a lot of room and he mostly played on the floor. I’m sure she won’t be, since she’ll be younger than he was/probably not sitting up, but it’s nice to have the space. The only snag here is that you don’t have an underseat area to store things.

      4) Make sure she has something to drink while ascending and descending, because it’s killer on the ears.

      We’re also big road trippers, and the first totally applies. Flexibility is EVERYTHING. Always add 1-3 hours onto your projected trip time, for example, because you’re going to be stopping more. Don’t get hung up on the time at all, actually, if you can do that.

      • AB

        Definitely concur generally on the flexibility point, but would add that it can be a bit of a kid-dependent situation. Our first (2.5 now) is the type of kid that any delay in scheduled naps and bedtimes lead to tantrums and breakdowns (and he has never slept well in carriers or strollers), so we have had to plan our travel with that in mind. That being said, there are still plenty of tricks to make it work–for instance, going to Europe where we didn’t adjust his schedule for the time zone change all the way, which naturally meant he was staying up later. Also, trips with friends or family where you stay in a house and can put the kid to bed and still hang out. Being forced to sit in a dark hotel room at 7 pm isn’t awesome, though you may find that after a full day of travel activities with a baby/toddler, you are ready to sleep as well!

    • LittleOwl

      I’m not a parent but I travelled with my cousin and her newborn recently. Some airlines have a bassinet that hooks into the wall against the bulkhead, and it’s free! You just have to call ahead to request it and make sure you’re booked to sit in the first row of the section. It’s perfect, Baby slept almost the whole trip and my cousin had he hands free!

  • CommaChick

    1. I love it when APW includes astronomy news in the week’s roundup.
    2. I’m getting married tomorrow. I can hardly believe it.

    • idkmybffjill

      Yayy! Congrats!!!

    • Jenny

      I love the inclusion of astronomy news too, but I’m disappointed in National Geographic for the typo – it’s actually a “penumbral” eclipse. And as the article points out, it’s not visible from North America, so the bulk (presumably?) of APW readers won’t be able to see it. :( Here’s a visiblity map for any international readers out there: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2016Sep16N.pdf

      • Joycejbooth4

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !sk477f:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !sk477f:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash767NetworkDoubleGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!sk477f:….,….

    • Mjh

      Congratulations!

  • Anna

    I would love love love an open thread about how people celebrate significant dates / anniversaries with their significant other, both the tangible ways of marking occasions (trips, gifts, dinners etc) but also things like having a state of the union check in. I’ve seen that idea mentioned on open threads before but not really discussed in nitty gritty (like, how do you get your partner who is less enthused by goal setting on board?!). I got married recently and would love to start some traditions for celebrating but I’m not sure where to start.

    • Lady Me

      Not married, but been doing State of Relationship check ins for a few years now. We set aside 2-3 hours for talking and have dinner reservations later. Its the only time I ever eat $20 entrees, and it’s a nice reward for hashing through serious stuff. I don’t have to cajole my partner into it though – we’re both very into discussing stuff. We’ll exchange cards and *small* gifts, but the point is really to treat ourselves to Really Nice Food because it’s the only time we do it.

      • JLily

        Really curious about what kinds of topics you bring to the check-ins. I’ve heard this idea for budget-related convos before, but this sounds more holistic?

        • Lady Me

          There is a lot of financial stuff, but we’ll bring up patterns of behavior where it’s easier to survey the last 6-12 months. Does each person feel they are getting enough individual time? Does each person feel they are receiving adequate quality time with the other person in their preferred ways? Does one person feel that the other is slipping into bad habits? How is our communication? Do we need to change anything? Are we proud of how we’ve handled situations that have come up? We’ll give ourselves props for that and note what made it go well. We’ll also apologize for patterns of being annoyed over what we recognize as harmless behavior and stress that we do think it’s harmless. We’ll talk about how our Families are and the state of interactions with them, make sure we’re on the same page of understanding what’s going on and just make sure we have a united front. We’ll talk about life goals – career plans, grad school thoughts, personal projects or hobbies we want to focus on, even if they’re not concrete. Not necessarily capital-G Goals, but just thoughts and dreams and plans.

          • Caitlyn

            Holy crap. This is amazing. APW – can you please ask her to write an article about this? I would be SUPER into that. (and from the comments I’ve seen on the topic, I think others would too).

            Thanks for sharing, Lady Me. Something about the way you’ve phrased it is just super positive and doable. I think especially the “giving ourselves props when we’ve handled situations well”. My partner and I seem to focus so much on times we’ve communicated badly that taking a chance to say – you know what we totally handled that situation like champs would be really reassuring and healthy. So really, thank you.

          • JLily

            This sounds awesome. In my experience, even though I see my husband every day, some stuff falls throuhg the cracks. I love the idea of making a point of checking in on how I’m/he’s/we’re doing!

        • Lisa

          State of the Unions for the win! We’re nerds, so we call it a high council. We typically have drinks on the patio or hit a favorite pub to make it feel more fun and relaxed. @jlily:disqus we have budget convos more regularly, but at our high council we talk about big life issues, dreams, and plans (that can later turn into 5 year plans, but we don’t do anything that requires a computer and feels like work at that moment). Sometime we bust out a sheet of paper later in the evening, if we want to think about timelines, but only if it doesn’t stifle the conversation. We know it’s coming, so we have a few weeks to do some introspection and come prepared, and we use it as a time to talk about things that are scary to voice out loud and test the waters or make sure we’re on the same page. Marriage, kids, career goals, legacies, moves across the country, houses, pets, big projects or hobbies, travel, etc.

    • Jess

      Oooh I am interested in this!

      I have no idea how to get a non-goal setting person on board. Especially because I’m not good at goals either – I love the idea of them and I love talking about expectations or the future, but I’m not good at being like, “I really want this in my life and here’s how I want to get there”

      Regarding celebrating, we are mostly quality time people. We put on some slow music, light some candles, make an appx 3 course dinner together (usually something like a cheese plate w/ champagne, main course w/ sides, and dessert, although we’ve gone fancier), and just kind of sit and talk in a way that we often don’t have energy for after a day of work. We make a commitment to not watch TV or a movie, and just kind of luxuriate in the process of cooking and eating.

      This works for us because we love cooking together and because I am not always so good at letting go of agendas and to-do lists, so we usually have a lot of fun things to talk about (Remember when…, and I’d love to go to…).

    • My husband and I do those – we call them status meetings. I mentioned it a bit in my post about how we gave each other performance reviews (Holy Batman did ppl have strong opinions on that one!), but basically we’ll do a quick check-in once a week, and a longer talk on our monthly date night. We talk about what’s going well & what’s not, how we’ve been feeling in our marriage, what we’d like to start/stop/continue, big plans, etc.

      • Jess

        FWIW I loved that post. I’m thinking about pitching a less intense version of it to R.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        I didn’t see the bit about status reviews but I gotta check that out, cuz I’m pretty sure I’m INTO IT.

      • lamarsh

        I loved that post too and found it super helpful. A while back, my FH read a smattering of articles on APW because he was curious what was going on with this wedding website I suddenly was referring to all the time. He specifically mentioned your article as a great idea and one we should implement.

    • Tennymo

      Each year, one of us plans our anniversary date (usually a little weekend roadtrip, but we’ve stayed in town before too) and the other writes a letter chronicling what happened that year. The next year, we switch! Neither of us is much of a journaler or a regular letter writer, so the idea is that this will create a nice record of our marriage, incorporating both of our voices, for future generations.

      • Her Lindsayship

        I LOVE this and might steal it. :)

    • JennDee

      I find that having some kind of celebration/reward for reaching a goal works best for us. It gives us both something to work towards and makes us accountable to one another. Our rewards tend towards experiences–going someplace new, visiting a fancy new restaurant or an overnight trip somewhere. Our first major goal we reached was saving the entire amount we’d be spending on our wedding–our reward, once we reached that terrifying number, were fifth-row seats behind our favorite hockey team’s bench. It was a complete splurge but something we both really, reeaaallly wanted to do. It took us 18 months, but when we hit that mark in the savings account we were both so excited (it helped that our team were currently on a losing streak so we could get those amazeballs tkts for half the usual cost!).

    • April

      Ooo interesting. I like to celebrate events and my partner isn’t a huge celebrator so we normally meet in the middle with something very low key. Maybe we’ll stay in and have a date, which is pretty similar to what we do most other nights only we call it a date. We usually just acknowledge the date is special and then go about our business and then if I decide I want to do something more special I’ll plan something for us.

    • rg223

      I think someone on Jubilance’s post on this topic commented that they do the state of the relationship talk, but NOT at the same time as the anniversary (because it can make the anniversary… not fun). That sounded like SUCH a good idea to me that I’m bring it up again here.

    • Miss W

      The way we celebrate our anniversary (of meeting, not married yet) is to recreate our first date every year. We wear the same clothes (fiancé is particularly a fan of the dress I wore so that part was his idea!), go to the same places in the same order… And we’re not allowed to kiss that night until the point we had our first kiss on the first night ;)
      We change it a bit each time- the first recreation we got ready separately and met up at the location (definitely increased the butterflies!) and this year we added in a meal at a fancy restaurant we’ve been wanting to try for a while.
      We love it because it brings back memories of that first night we met and gives us lots of time to sit and talk about the year just past and our hopes for the one to come. I also have been creating a photo album for each year we’ve been together and we sit and look at it that morning together.

  • toomanybooks

    I’m really starting to get into a wedding planning groove now! We just booked an adorable b&b room near our venue for our wedding night, and we’re emailing with a caterer. So I’m really excited!
    Question, because I value the APW perspective: our caterer has a suuuuper cute High Tea menu that includes sandwiches, scones, pastries, fruit, tea, and we’d supplement this with some more savory food. (And serve cake later of course.) Does this sound like an okay meal for dinner, or is it only ok for lunch or afternoon, or should I do the caterer’s more traditional dinner options (a meat, vegetables, mashed potatoes, rolls etc)? I’m drooling over the English tea food (and it would be on theme, the wedding is at a historic mansion) but wonder if it will disappoint guests.

    • Amy March

      I vote not okay for dinner, at all. Afternoon tea is for afternoon! I think guests will be confused, disappointed, and hungry (even if there is plenty of food calories wise, people just don’t look for a tea party at dinner time). Totally adorable, but not the best choice hospitality wise.

      Unless you want to actually have a mid-afternoon wedding, in which case go for it.

      • Katharine Parker

        Yeah, I don’t think afternoon tea is an acceptable dinner. I would be confused by this – even if you clarified on your invites, if your wedding is at dinner time, I expect a dinner-level meal to be served.

        • Amy March

          Yeah. I just don’t think saying “hey at this dinner time wedding you will not be served dinner” is actually good enough.

      • CP2011

        I’ve gone to a number of weddings where the ceremony is between 2-3:30 and a full dinner is served at 4 or 4:30. I’d much rather have afternoon tea than dinner if it’s being served to me before 5:30pm. I do second the comment below though about skewing savory not sweet.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Personally, I love it! It sounds tasty and light, which is especially nice if you’re having a dance party – it’s hard to get down when you’re stuffed. I do think supplementing with more savory things is a good idea, but once you throw that in, I think it’s perfect.

    • Violet

      I’m torn. I cannot possibly state enough how much I love a full tea. But I also really count on dinner to be my main meal of the day. (Eating heavy earlier in the day just makes me sleepy.) So I guess if even one of the biggest fans of this meal is on the fence, I’d say it’s risky?

    • gonzalesbeach

      sounds tasty, & if you’re supplementing with savory things – mini quiches, ham sandwiches etc. then that seems filling enough. and maybe just somehow let guests know in advance on website or word of mouth, email etc. that it’s a English high tea-style reception – if people know what to expect, they will be fine and plan accordingly.

    • Jess

      Is this evening or late afternoon?

      It sounds delightful, but I’m not sure I would be ready for pastries and scones at 7pm.

    • LittleOwl

      Love!!! All my favorite foods. I think you have a few options:
      1) go for it at dinner time and just make sure to write “tea and refreshments served” so people know they’re not getting a full entree-style dinner. This way they know to eat before or plan accordingly.
      2) arrange for your reception to occur at around afternoon tea time- 3-6pmish? Then people can go out to dinner afterward if they want.
      3) use the tea menu for as a cocktail hour- type snacks before a a traditional dinner
      4) add a few savory/hearty apps to the tea menu and put “heavy hors d’oevres” on your invite.

      In general, do whatever you want but just make sure to be specific on your invites so people know what to expect. Your wedding sounds lovely so far :)

    • AmandaBee

      I love the idea of afternoon tea, and if you’re in sort of an in-between time, I think it could work, just make sure to notify guests of the choice. We had a late brunch, but it was at noon, which was still fairly brunch-ish. But if you’re squarely in the dinner time zone (say, 6pm or later for serving) then I think traditional dinner options are the way to go in terms of keeping guests happy. This may depend on your family. Mine takes their dinner food really seriously and there would be a bit of a riot if I had a “dinner” with no real dinner foods. Other families might be more chill, in which case just notifying people and making sure that there’s enough (maybe over-ordering to assuming dinner-level appetites vs. tea appetites) would be fine.

    • CP2011

      I’ve gone to a number of weddings where the ceremony is between 2-3:30 and a full dinner is served at 4 or 4:30. I’d much rather have afternoon tea than dinner if it’s being served to me before 5:30pm. I do second the comment below though about skewing savory not sweet.

    • EF

      we did an afternoon tea wedding! ceremony was at 2:30, food at 3:30/4, we were gone by 6, it was perfect for us. At 9:30 we met with friends and had a pub crawl — most people had gone and gotten something else to eat in between. partner and i went home, changed, ate home-made pesto and pasta whilst watching gilmore girls. it was low-stress and perfect for us.

      no one complained about it not being a ‘full meal’. a lot of people were glad we weren’t going super late because it made travel easier. i think it’s very much, know your people.

      • Amy March

        But you served afternoon tea at afternoon tea time- completely different!

    • rg223

      If you want to serve it at dinner, I think it depends on how much food you’re actually going to give them. My experience having tea and food at restaurants is that they give you like a sandwich/two scones/a ton of pastries/fruit/tea, and it’s enough for dinner. But that’s also like, it’s fancy and we’re spending $20-30 a person, so we’re getting a lot of food. So I would look at it by amount more than type of food, if that makes sense. For lunch, it’s perfect!

    • Or, you could go in the other direction….what if you had a post-dinner-time wedding (with a start time of 7:30 perhaps) and then had the tea/desserts/etc. after? Kinda like a dessert reception, but with the English tea theme.

  • flashphase

    There’s been so much bad news life stuff recently, it’s been hard to feel excited about the wedding or the million wedding to-dos. But we’re moving forward – we are now 4 months minus 1 day away, and hopefully will have an officiant and wedding planner booked by the end of next week, caterer and DJ by the end of the month. And photographer sometime in the next 4 weeks hopefully. We very quickly registered at BBB last weekend and his mom gave an “okayyyyyy” that clearly meant “not bloomingdale’s?” but I haven’t been in a Bloomingdale’s in 10 years and I’m not about to start now!

    We’re also thinking about an engagement/halloween party to shake off the last few weeks and start getting excited. Did anyone else throw their own engagement-ish party? Any tips?

    • Amy March

      Does it need to be an engagement party? Traditionally you don’t host your own engagement party, and having one two months before your wedding feels a bit like overkill to me. Just a Halloween party, where you two happen to be engaged and costumed accordingly, sounds super fun.

      • flashphase

        good points!

      • Rebecca

        If you want to do a Halloween party and subtlely highlight that you got engaged I suggest you do a couple’s costume: The Owl and the Pussycat – because they get married in the poem and you could make these awesome masks from this site. https://wintercroft.com/collections/half-masks/products/make-your-own-owl-half-mask So neat! I haven’t made them yet but I ordered them to make for the photobooth for our kind of woodland-creature themed wedding.

        Also – in one of the best couple’s costume pairs I’ve ever seen my friend and his now wife went as Carmen San Diego and Where’s Waldo.

    • Jess

      We threw ourselves a low-key engagement party. We did it over Labor Day last year, told our local friends, “Hey, we’re gonna make some ribs and provide some drinks. Bring a dish, and come celebrate our engagement and stuff!”

      Our people are potluck people, and we were pretty clear that this wasn’t a fancy pants, bring a gift kind of event. We didn’t invite people from far away to attend.

      But… this was like a year out from our wedding right after we got engaged. YMMV when it comes to the timing for yours.

    • Sosuli

      Just wanted to add a belated Happy Hour solidarity bad news pre-wedding fist bump. There were three deaths in my husband’s family and one divorce in the 5 months before our wedding on top of all the bad global news. On the day itself all of that was put aside and everything went beautifully. Hang in there, whatever bad news you’re facing.

  • Julia Schnell

    Here’s something I’m not sure how to deal with: someone BF has known since childhood assumes he’s invited to our wedding. BF complains loudly to me when he has to spend time with this guy, but is uncomfortable with the potential social discomfort of being questioned about it — since the guy has texted to ask what the date is, etc.

    (Additional twist: the guy’s *mom* is invited, since she’s someone I know and someone who got BF’s parents together.)

    • idkmybffjill

      I say if there’s room in the budget for him, and he’s not a BAD person, just invite him. Unless your wedding is very very small your fiance will probably only have to say hello and then excuse himself to be the groom!

    • Amy March

      Pretty simple choice- either BF sucks it up and deals with the awkward and says “hey, you aren’t invited” or you just invite the guy. No fair letting him go on assuming he is invited when he isn’t, even if he shouldn’t have made the assumption to begin with.

      • Julia Schnell

        I mean, I see it as a simple choice, too, but I don’t know how to hold down some of the community drama around it.

        • Amy March

          There’s no stopping drama if people want to make it. Although I agree with idkmybffjill- is it really so important to not invite this guy? Especially since your BF hasn’t previously drawn a line about not hanging out with him and they have known each other since childhood, and his mom is invited. You’re certainly entitled not to have him there but it does seem destined to ruffle some feathers.

        • idkmybffjill

          I think you just have to decide whether it’s more important to you that he not be there or more important that there not be drama. Unfortunately the two are probably not mutually exclusive. Fortunately, usually drama is short lived!

    • Alex K

      I sort of dealt with this. A friend of my now husband’s had been really odd about a relationship when we first got engaged and decided we were not comfortable with her at the wedding (and really she was not that good of a friend). She kept asking about the wedding and we would give vague answers (oh, its sometime next summer, but we know it will be small). But one day she pulled out her phone and asked what the date was so she could put it in her calendar. FH just told her I’m sorry but it’s a small wedding and we couldn’t invite everyone. That finally stopped it. Some people just have to be told.

    • CP2011

      Easy for me to say, but would it be a huge issue to just invite him? His mom will already be there and it could make your relationship with her tense if her son isn’t invited. Some of my wedding regrets were around people I didn’t invite because it wrecked my relationships with those people.

    • Didn’t we just lose, like 4+ responses to this comment? I only see two below, one from Amy and one from Julia and I coulda swore there were far more…what is going on with Disqus these days?!

      • Ashlah

        Disqus eats comments sometimes if you’re staying on the page for new comments. If you refresh and find this thread, I think all the comments are still there. Disqus is such a butt sometimes.

  • anon

    We are about one month out from our wedding and I have a quick question for this wonderful community. How do you deal with the disappointment of someone not coming? We are having our wedding out of state so we logically knew that some people would not be able to make it. However, one of my uncles (my godfather) who had expressed excitement and asked me lots of questions just RSVP’d not coming. There was no explanation and I am pretty hurt. Besides feeling the feelings, any other great suggestions on how to focus on the folks that are coming?

    • idkmybffjill

      Jumping in because I’m on the same timeline and have had the same disappointment! We were really upset because it basically ended up that with the numbers we ended up with, we could’ve gone with a smaller venue. I’ve reframed it a couple of ways that seem to be very helpful for me:

      1) I created a new tab in my guest list spreadsheet that just has the final attendees on it. Not staring at the ones with “0” next to their number attending lifted my spirits big time.
      2) We’re upgrading ALL our catering and booze since now we have to make up the difference to our minimum and I’m getting really excited at how spoiled our guests will feel!

      I hope the disappointment passes for you soon! It’s really hard and really hurts!

    • We also had a wedding out of state. Ended up with a 50% attendance rate. Even though some of our favorite people weren’t able to make it, the combination of people who did come was pretty near perfect. One thing that helped us was to think about all the additional time we’d get to spend with the people who did come. There’s only so much time a wedding lasts, so at a some point the math works like “for every person that RSVPs no, we get X number minutes extra time with those who do come.”

      If you ask any of the women here, the people who you least expected pre-wedding often have the biggest impact. Be sad about who can’t come, but then get pumped about the ones who are coming. Weddings are a combination of love, people and magic. Fret too much about the people and you’ll miss the love and the magic.

    • Poppy

      We had some very important people in our lives who were unable to make it, and for the most part it helped me to repeat to myself “this is an important day/milestone in our lives, but it’s not the only one.” Life and friendship and family relationships and (hopefully) marriage are long; yours will be filled with important moments, both once-in-a-lifetime and mundane. Future happy mornings drinking coffee in my aunt’s garden will feel just as important even though she couldn’t be with us on our wedding day. You will still feel overwhelmingly surrounded by the love of the people who are able to be there with you.

      Also, I noticed that a lot of the people who had been planning to come and then RSVPed no at the end were almost embarrassed about it, or afraid we would be upset with them. One friend said “I was putting off telling you I couldn’t come because I couldn’t figure out how to tell you” and she needed me to tell her that it didn’t harm our friendship from my perspective. Maybe that’s why you didn’t get an explanation from your uncle?

  • Lawyer_Chef

    My wedding is in 8 days!! I’m at the stage now where I keep feeling like I have to buy more last-minute stuff. I keep putting things in my amazon cart and taking them back out.

    • Jess

      Same… we just bought umbrellas and I keep thinking about getting other stuff that I really don’t need.

  • Anna

    I just donated blood and thus am temporarily a little too woozy to write code, which conveniently gives me time to actually see what’s up on Happy Hour this week :D

    We officially have a venue now – not the dream venue I mentioned a few weeks ago, but one that we’re confident will have amazing food (easily our top non-people priority) and that has done plenty of weddings, which seem to consistently go smoothly. So that’s reassuring, although now it means that further wedding planning is no longer blocked on us finding a venue, so the pressure to do the next thing (currently, get save-the-dates out) is building.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Woo! Congrats :) we’re on the edge of booking a venue too and ALL THE THINGS are already looming on the horizon with it. But I think it will feel so good to be able to say “The wedding is going to happen! At a place!”

      • Anna

        Yes! It now feels much more like we’re really going to get married…

    • Olive

      Congrats on your venue! After we booked ours I definitely had the “wow. this is happening.” moment. I really enjoyed designing and sending out STD’s save the dates, too! Good luck!

      So I’m a bit of a needle-phob, any tips to help ease my anxiety for my first blood test (in recent memory) on Tuesday? I’d love to give blood in theory, but sitting with a needle sticking out of my arm just freaks me out. I’m thinking about it as two-part adulting…the blood test is for life insurance, and I’m going to need to get over the needle thing so I’m not a total mess when it comes to having kids (and hopefully I won’t pass on the bad feelings to the kids!).

      • Anna

        In my experience, after the actual moment of putting the needle in your arm, you don’t really notice that it’s there (the insertion site is covered up with gauze, it doesn’t really hurt, and you can focus on something else – like sometimes they’ll have a movie playing, or you can listen to music, or whatever). But I’m maybe not the most helpful person to ask on this front, since I’m pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum on reaction to needles – I seriously freaked out my fiance (like you, not a huge fan of needles) at one point by telling him that I thought it was really cool to watch the blood going through the tube and know that it came out of my veins.

        • Ashlah

          Haha, I always thought it was cool too. I tended to look away for the insertion out of an abundance of caution because I nearly passed out one time (just once! I was hungry and dehydrated, whoops). I loved donating, but after two false positive hep tests, I’m not allowed to donate anymore. I’m still sad about it 7 years later!

          • Anna

            Never again? Aw man, that sucks. I got a tattoo just over two years ago and I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t donate for a year afterwards. My fiance always gets super anxious when I donate, though, so I don’t do it as often as I otherwise might (conveniently, today was a blood drive in my office so he didn’t have to think about it as much as if I came home and then was like “now I’m going to give blood”).

        • Olive

          Haha! That reminds me of my mom (a nurse) telling me I had nice veins when I was a kid…maybe that’s why I’m like this…

          Objectively, it is really cool, though. I’m just a huge wuss.

        • JLily

          Disagree. I can FEEL it in there. I give blood every once in a while, but I hate hate hate it so much. Lots of self-pep talking in order to go.

      • Violet

        First of all, the amount of blood they’ll need for those tests is very small. We just had our insurance blood testing done, and it was over before it started.
        Secondly, keep in mind that different strategies work for different people. Some people like to try to relax. I find that hard to do because I’m freaked out, so instead I just babble on and on to whoever’s doing the blood draw. They’re used to it, so I’m sure they don’t even notice how I’m rambling about The Beatles’ Eight Days a Week, or whatever.
        Finally, and not to disappoint you, but blood/injection-type phobia is highly heritable. As in, it’s not 100% you’re going to pass it on to your kids, but for most people who have it, they have a close relative with it. So maybe work on your own coping strategies so you’re ready to help your kids in the event they get it, too.

        • Olive

          Thanks. That makes me feel better.

          I tend to babble about how nervous I am. I am comforted that it will be in my house, and my husband will be right there being super awesome. And I can pet some cats afterward At first I was like “ooo! I can have a cat on my lap!” and then realized that is probably a very very bad idea.

          I didn’t realize phobias were heritable…I’m going to have to research that more!

          • Violet

            Yeah, I actually try to avoid talking about how nervous I am, because I’m trying to bolster my confidence. I highly recommend chatting about something–anything!–else. Let us know how it goes! (Oh, and having it done at home is way nice, too.)

          • Olive

            Thank you :) I will be beefing up my confidence all weekend!

        • LittleOwl

          Yes!! I talk like crazy. I always make an effort to wear the comfiest things I own- even if I’m coming from work I will pack a bag and change. It’s a nice treat and it’s easier to move around for the the technicians. Also you can time it on your phone or watch if you want! Usually it’s over in less than a minute and that might be a comforting thought.

          Also, since it’s been awhile, just go with your tendency. I cannot look at needles at all when I’m in the room (I look at the ceiling) but my spouse HAS to watch everything or he freaks out. Just go with what makes you feel better.

          • Olive

            Thanks for the tips! It’s first thing in the morning at our house, so comfy clothes will certainly be on. Maybe I’ll make sure some soothing music is on or put on 5 min of my favorite movie – ha! I’m sure these nurses have seen/heard it all.

  • AGCourtney

    Has anyone listened to or seen the musical The Last Five Years? I finally listened to the cast recording this past week and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve written pages about it in the journal; I have so many emotions to process and thoughts about questions that it’s sparked. What a powerful show. (For those who don’t know, it’s a 2-person musical about a five-year relationship in which the woman, Cathy’s, scenes start at the end and go backward, where her husband, Jamie’s, scenes start at the beginning and progress until they split up at the end. They share one number together in the middle, when they get engaged and married. It’s incredibly well-written: painful but lovely, intensely relatable, and actually very, very funny.) I had my husband listen to it in the car with me yesterday while we drove up to the cities and back, so now he understands, too. There’s a movie of it and we’re thinking of watching that this weekend. I was just wondering if anyone else in the community has experienced this show/movie.

    It’s our first anniversary on Monday! It simultaneously feels like we’ve been married way longer than that but also doesn’t seem like that much time could have gone by already. My husband works this weekend but does have the day off Monday – but we watch my best friend’s kids Mondays from 12:30-9:30, so we’ll find another day to do something, I suppose. Not sure what we’d do anyway. And that ties into an update in the kitchen saga – we’re moving forward with the IKEA remodel! My husband has never been to IKEA, so it was really fun to show him around. A deal where the price of a personal kitchen planner coming to your house is refunded in the form of a gift card after you buy the kitchen has been extended, so we get a lot more help than I thought we would! They’re coming out to our house Monday morning. Happy anniversary! Haha. But we’re so excited to get this moving that we don’t mind at all.

    • Ashlah

      I’ve actually never heard of The Last Five Years, but my interest is piqued. I’ll have to look into it.

      Happy anniversary, and good luck with the remodel!

    • Violet

      That sounds fascinating- like a cross between (500) Days of Summer and The Affair.

    • Her Lindsayship

      OMG! One of my best friends in high school used to have this soundtrack playing sometimes when we were driving somewhere in her car, and I remember LOVING IT. One time a few months ago I remembered it and googled for it and discovered that it’s like.. not a popular thing. I barely found anything about it. I thought it must be a popular thing because ten years ago I loved it? Anyway, now I know I really need to go watch it. Yay!

    • Mary Jo TC

      I saw it on Netflix. Anna Kendrick was in it. She was great, loved the music, but thought the guy was an ass and it was sadder than it had to be because of that.

      • AGCourtney

        I’m interested to see what the differences will be in the movie. I’m a supervisor at a college library and had a two-hour conversation with one of my Broadway-loving desk workers about TL5Y and she told me some of the changes they made that really shift the scales more in Cathy’s favor.

      • Annie

        YES, I watched it with my husband and he was like, “Oh, so this is a musical about a nice woman married to a narcissistic jerk?” It was a shame because the original show makes it much more ambiguous than that (on both sides–Jamie is more sympathetic, Cathy isn’t always so nice), but I couldn’t argue with his take on the movie.

        • Cellistec

          That was my reaction exactly.

    • Nell

      It’s quite possibly my favorite musical. I first experienced it live in a college production. I think it actually had a really big influence on how I see marriage and relationships generally. I often think about “The Next Ten Minutes” when I think about my marriage.

      The movie isn’t as good as the original cast recording, in my opinion. But that’s ok!

      • AGCourtney

        Ooh, I would love to see it staged! I’m glad to hear it’s had a big influence on how you think about relationships, too. Like I said, we’re coming up on our first anniversary and it’s making me ask myself things like what does our ideal marriage look like? Are we meeting that? What can we change to get there? Along with irrational middle-of-the-night thoughts like “What if we completely fall apart in a few years?!” I finally had to have my husband listen to it so he could start to understand why I’ve been a bit of an emotional wreck for a few days, haha. Ahhh, The Next Ten Minutes is just gorgeous, musically and lyrically. And then haunting, at the end.

        Yeah, I don’t think I’ll like the movie as much, but my husband’s very visual, and I figure it’s worth seeing once. I think I’m going to bawl, though, I watched one YouTube clip and was already tearing up. xD

    • KK

      I’ve never heard of it, but just added the movie to my Netflix queue. Sounds like a perfect thing to watch this weekend while my husband is busy with more hours of football than I can handle in a day.

    • Olive

      Happy Anniversary! I am not a huge musical person (but do enjoy them!), and I could not watch TL5Y. You guys have me reconsidering it, though.

    • rg223

      I love The Last Five Years! One of my college friends introduced it to our group, and it carries a lot of college and New York nostalgia for me (I went to college in NYC). They recently did a revival in New York, and I saw it with my “Jason Robert Brown” friend (he does concerts of his music and we’ve seen him like, three times). The revival was really wonderful. Cathy was especially great. The show ended, I sighed, and I cried as I was walking out – I’m usually a “crier during the show” person.

      Though it’s great to see live, you haven’t missed much by only listening to the recording. They sort of mostly stand around and sing alone on the stage. It’s pretty much all in the songs! I don’t love the movie, but I thought it was worth watching.

      The best part of the show for me is that you can listen to it over and over and learn something new about the characters each time. I’m discovering new things in it even twelve years (!) after listening to it for the first time.

      If you love the music, definitely check out other Jason Robert Brown musicals. I’d recommend Parade, Bridges of Madison County, and Songs for a New World. All on different topics, but all with beautiful music.

      ETA: I’m so glad you found this musical and it spoke to you! I love it!

      • AGCourtney

        Oh, awesome! I checked out the libretto from the library next, so know it’s not much different- little pieces of dialogue – but I would still love to see a live performance someday. I loved the stage directions, though. (Like at the end of If I Didn’t Believe in You: “But she’s not going anywhere, and he has probably known that all along.”)

        Yes! I love that aspect of it. I listened to it again today and today I was picking up on the melody for I Could Never Rescue You in those other places and AUGH, my heart.

        I will definitely check out his other work sometime! I still need to process my emotions about this show, haha. I’ve been in a bit of a funk for days. Glad to hear from other people who love it!

        • rg223

          Oooooh I’ve never read the libretto – that’s a great idea!!

          • AGCourtney

            The perks of working in a library! There’s not a ton of them, obviously, as it’s a pretty simple show, but I really felt it added a level of nuance.

      • Lisa

        Seconding Songs for a New World. “Stars and the Moon” is one of my favorite songs.

    • Ooh, after reading this in happy hour, I just watched the Netflix version tonight when I couldn’t sleep. It was so good. (Although also sort of a sad movie/show to watch at 2am but still so good).

    • I saw a high-school-student production of it in spring 2003, I think. (It was a high school near where the show premiered, just outside of Chicago.) I was blown away by it and the time. I’d be curious to watch it again now, especially with how my life ended up going in the intervening years…

    • Lisa

      I love TL5Y and really any JRB. “Still Hurting” is one of my favorites. I really like “Summer in Ohio,” too. Did you listen to the original cast recording? I think there are some videos on YouTube.

      I don’t remember where I heard this now, but if I remember correctly, I think the musical is loosely based on JRB’s first marriage and its demise. His ex-wife even filed a lawsuit against him for violating the terms of their divorce by producing the show.

      • AGCourtney

        Yes, I listened to the original cast recording. Anna Kendrick’s rendition of I Can Do Better Than That comes up all the time on my Broadway Pandora, though, so that was actually my first introduction to it. (So it was a punch to the gut when I heard the ironic reprise at the end of See, I’m Smiling!)

        Yeah, I think I remember reading that he wrote it as the divorce was being finalized. He had to change a song (it’s now Shiksa Goddess where it was I Could Be in Love with Someone Like You – the prior lyrics made Cathy too similar to his ex-wife.)

    • Shawna

      Yes! Discovered it through the movie version, obsessed over both the movie soundtrack and cast album, then saw it when ACT did it in San Francisco with my then fiancé (now husband). We had a great chat about it afterward. He loved it, which was exciting (I’d just gotten him into Hamilton – will turn him into a musical junkie like me in no time at this rate)! He also had very different reactions to certain parts since I had seen the movie twice and he had only seen the show. Always fascinating to get new takes on something you think you know so well.

      Every now and again a thought will come up again and we’ll talk about it. Such a great show about relationships. Neither of them are role models, both flawed humans, which makes it more interesting. I was solidly on her side for the first few experiences and have started to see Jamie as more sympathetic (though still not an awesome guy obviously). Has provided some helpful forrays into conversations about our financial imbalance and trying to avoid the pitfalls they face, ways to deal with attraction outside the relationship, etc.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, this is also the next musical I introduced my husband to after Hamilton. I kept an eye on him while driving to gauge his reaction to certain parts – like during Nobody Needs to Know, waiting for the moment when he got what was going on. We haven’t had a discussion about it just yet, but I’m really looking forward to it for the reasons you brought up.

        • Shawna

          Love that Nobody Needs to Know is also the moment that is explicitly referenced in Hamilton (or is that what you meant?)

          • AGCourtney

            I love that, too! (But no, I meant what you probably thought I meant, haha – what’s going on, plot-wise.)

  • Lindsey

    We’re one week out from our wedding! I’ve been losing sleep over my own insecurities though- are there any fellow fat brides out there that can shed some wisdom on self confidence for the big day?

    • Jess

      Happy wedding weekend buddies!

      I have no advice for you on what does work, but for my self confidence, I have actually explicitly asked my MOH and a bridesmaid to tell me I look good.

      I’m also planning on keeping up something I’ve been doing, which is playing fun music and dancing while getting ready. I love the way I feel when dancing and singing to 90’s songs. It gets me in a really positive place when I get ready to go out on weekends, and I’m hoping it carries over to this long and documented day.

      ETA: Also, I’ve been doing a lot of fun lipsticks lately and I’m planning on pulling out my favorite red during the rehearsal. Just to feel that boost even the night before.

      • Lindsey

        I absolutely love every single one of these!! And kudos for the lipstick – that’s a phenomenal idea! I think I may copy if you don’t mind!

        • Jess

          Do it! I’m a big advocate!

  • MC

    Is anyone else SO EXCITED for the upcoming Wrinkle in Time movie?? I have been thrilled by the casting news this week – Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who?! Amazing! And Meg reimagined as a young black girl (played by Storm Reid) AND directed by Ava DuVernay! I started re-reading the book in anticipation.

    • Anna

      WHAT I HAD NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS AND THIS SOUNDS AMAZING

    • ART

      WOW, gonna reread as well!

    • KK

      Oh man, I had not heard! Just added it to my library queue!

    • Cellistec

      ME. I hadn’t heard the casting news…must go read.

    • raccooncity

      YEP.

    • Jess

      I am SO EXCITED. Such awesome casting.

    • JC

      Yes yes yes. All the yeses.

    • AP

      YESSSSS. So excited.

    • Totch

      Just finished my reread on Wednesday!!! V excite.

    • E.

      I didn’t know about this, but this sounds amazing!

    • rg223

      I am pumped!!! VERY curious about who will be Charles Wallace, that’s going to be a tricky casting.

  • Any advice for living with family members/roommates?
    Background: My SIL is moving in with us for 5-6 weeks starting tomorrow, and then possibly coming back in late January for 4-5 months. She has lived in the US for 7 years on student visas/internship visas, but did not get selected for a work visa. So, the fall trip is the time between when her job ended and she actually has to leave the country, and the spring would be for her to do a one-year certificate program at the local community college, mostly just so that she can be back in the US and interviewing for jobs and trying for another shot at the work visa. I’m a grad student trying to work on my dissertation while also taking care of our baby, so she’ll be helping with childcare. (Probably TMI but basically, this arrangement seems to be beneficial to everyone involved.)
    Questions:
    – How did people divide cleaning? She and my husband share a similar trait, in that they will pick up clutter but not *clean* things (eg they’ll wash the dirty dishes after dinner but not sweep the floor and wipe down the counters). With my husband, I can discuss this as a broader part of our relationship and contributing equally to keeping the household running, etc., but I’m not sure how to discuss this with another adult.

    Actually, now that I’m thinking it through, I think my deeper question is much more specific to my personal situation. We have talked through her childcare responsibilities a bit, and decided that during the week, she’ll watch the baby from whenever he wakes up from his midday nap (around 1, most of the time) until 4 or 5. I will probably have to nurse him at some point during that time unless he decides to start taking bottles (he hates them right now!). Does this seem like a fair contribution in exchange for food and rent (ie she’s not paying rent or groceries)? Or should I expect her to contribute to the household in other ways as well?

    • Amy March

      I think that seems like a fair contribution, if you add it baby sitting at night twice a month so you can do date night.

      I think the best way to divide chores is clearly and openly, like, on a chart in the kitchen. Unlike with your husband, it doesn’t need to be a negotiation or a conversation. She is living in your space, and that requires completing the chores on her list every week. Obviously get on the same plate as your husband with this, but I think you need to be very very clear about what, exactly, is her job.

      • Hmm, maybe I wasn’t clear with my question: Does it seem fair to keep all household maintainance-type chores divided exclusively between me and my husband, since we are getting 15-20 hours/week of free childcare from my SIL? Or is it fair to expect her to some cleaning/cooking/etc as well? Your response seemed to say that the childcare alone was enough, but then you were talking about chores too…

        • Amy March

          Oh, no, I think childcare for rent/groceries is fair. I also think that as an adult living in the home she must do an equal share of household chores outside of childcare, like any roommate

    • flashphase

      Re: cleaning, my FH is like your husband and hiring a cleaning person once a month makes a world of difference. It’s tough on a grad student budget for sure, but it prevents any resentment or issues around having different levels of cleanliness. I think it’s reasonable to sit down and say, look, with three adults in the house, things are going to get messier faster, I want to either bring in someone or have a chore wheel. And if they want to own the cleaning rather than hiring someone, have them work out a structure that they will adhere to.

    • KK

      Yeah, I like Amy’s idea of a chore chart from the beginning. Set out expectations clearly, then if expectations aren’t met, there’s an easy way forward to discuss it. And if she meets them, no stress! But obviously husband has to be on board fully so that if she tries whining or complaining to your husband, he shuts it down quickly (as siblings, they may have a shared history of complaining to each other about their parents’ rules, my brother and I did at least, and you don’t want them falling back into that behavior making you feel like their mom hah).
      I think hoping that she will ask or intuitively see how she fits into the chore cycle is just asking for trouble and will likely end up requiring a more awkward discussion down the road.
      I also think a chore chart is a good idea in general for people who don’t naturally notice when it’s time to clean things – I’m like that and had to create a chore chart for myself! Otherwise the house was getting gross, but I’d never notice until right before people were coming over.

      • Chore chart! Yeah!

    • gonzalesbeach

      If you look at it like straight exchange of goods and services, then: let’s say $300/month single adult in groceries, 700$ rent. (inclusive of all utilities), -3-4 hours/babysitting/weekday will be 60-80 hours per month. That would be 12.50-17$/hour for babysitting. But then you are providing all her with cleaning & meal preparation services – let’s say it’s: 20 hours of cleaning (2hours/week) & meal prep (5 hours/week, plus shopping that I don’t know if I’ve factored in!) at $10/hr = $360. Then she’s getting equiv of $17-23/hr. I’d think she can be participating in sharing meal prep & cleaning.

    • SLG

      Schedule check-ins. As in, “hey, one month after you move in and every 6 months after that, let’s sit down and talk about how it’s going with this whole roommate thing.” Knowing you have a scheduled time to talk helps keep tension from getting bottled up – especially if your family, like mine, isn’t always skilled at bringing up tense or awkward topics.

    • I lived with my sister and her family for 2 years doing a similar scenario. In exchange for rent/most groceries/utilities I watched her two kids while both parents worked. This ended up being things like getting kids up and dressed for school, picking them up again and watching them nights/weekends whenever my sis was working. My sis and her husband owned their own business so having another person in the house with a flexible schedule was invaluable.

      We aren’t a tit for tat kind of family so I didn’t pay for groceries unless it was something that I alone ate. IE, her grocery list was her own making, she just included me as another person. I ate what was there and tried to be mindful (replenishing items if I used a lot of it, etc). I also cooked a lot of the meals. She is a clean freak so I mostly just had to make sure that I kept things tidy and she did the deep cleaning stuff.

      What worked best was for us to identify our strengths and assigned tasks based on it. I’m great with kids and a good cook, so I had those tasks. She and the husband did the rest. We’d usually sit down every change of season to re-evaluate what worked. We stayed flexible.

      I will say, that once I got a more steady job, we opted for me to contribute to rent and do less kid centric tasks because it was less stressful.

  • Jess

    I am one week away from being married. Whoa.

    I’ve been really struggling with being comfortable with how I’m going to look at my wedding lately. I last minute got my hair highlighted yesterday. I was really worried it looked stripey for the first night, but it’s actually fine. I think it was just me over reacting having never dyed my hair ever.

    I’m sending out final stuff to all our vendors with the APW timeline spreadsheet, and they have been very impressed. Thanks, APW!

    I’m low-key panicking because this whole thing has not stopped feeling surreal and I just want to be excited.

    It’s going to be fine, but I just feel so disconnected from the people in my life and my wedding and I want that to feel different.

    • JLily

      So, this was me, too. I kind of went from being really excited when the planning part was happening, to being really stressed about everything and very disappointed in some people, to just wanting to get on with it. I think what helped was reading some of the older posts on here, about the range of emotions that different people feel at their weddings, and the range that a single person can feel! And just trying to recognize that it’s probably all normal. Its not what is portrayed in magazines, and it’s probably not what will show up when you look back at the pictures from the day, but it’s reality. It’s a big day in your life, and big moments just happen that way.

      What helped me was to focus on the things and people and moments that I was excited about. They might not be the things that everyone else is worrying about, but if you are excited about them, they are the important things.

      Honestly, the whole thing is still feeling a bit surreal to me, but the longer I have to digest my memories, the more real it becomes. Thank you notes that I write are helping me to feel connected to people again. Talking with my husband about the day and filling each other in brings things into focus that I forgot about. I also realize that there was just so much hype, it took place of my regular “excited” feelings, but looking back, I really was super excited (at least about certain things!).

      My advice is to just let yourself feel what you feel, sort through what you can, and come back to the rest later.

      • Jess

        OMG thank you for this. It can be tough sometimes, when my mom is constantly like, “Aren’t you EXCITED!?” and I’m like… “It’s not real yet?” and she’s completely crestfallen.

        I need people to remind me that it’s ok to feel whatever I feel sometimes!

        (And also about the hair thing! I took many pictures and sent them to my MOH, who was like, “Jess, this is your hair but extra. It’s like it looks when you’re out in the sun. Your colorist is amazing.” It helped immensely. That and literally no one has commented on it, which means it’s not very obvious, which is exactly what I was going for.)

      • Mari

        I so identify with this. I got married 5 weeks ago and am still processing it all. I felt all sorts of things – in addition to happiness and exhilaration, also frustration, overwhelmedness, and “this has been really fun but I’m ready to be done with it now”-ion. I also had multiple moments of feeling like “this is surreal, how is this happening right now” while everyone else around me was ooohing and aaahing like this was just so fun and as expected. We got our photos back recently, which has helped run me walk through the day again, though it’s still not the same as my own perspective. Really remembering how normal it is to feel all the feelings, including the ones not ever talked about for your wedding day, has helped. And APW posts and comments like this one!

    • Lawyer_Chef

      Hi, I’m one week away too, and I’ve been low-key panicking all week as well. I’m trying to get over the hill and down the other side to just doing the wedding already. I hope I’ve planned it enough, but who knows!

      • Jess

        It’s wild, isn’t it? We’ve done everything up to this point, all our vendors are good, I’m not very concerned about anybody not doing what they’re supposed to be doing within the wedding party, we have pretty easy decoration/schedule/whatever to follow.

        But somehow, I’m just like, “Well, this is happening, and I’m not really in control of it anymore, and I haven’t really cared that much about it. But I want to be excited and happy!”

        My list of things I’m looking forward to:
        1) Playing fun music while getting ready and being silly
        2) Having a little time with my dad before the ceremony
        3) Actually, the ceremony in total. I love every part of what we wrote.
        4) The really good food & wine
        5) Seeing friends I haven’t seen in forever

        • Lawyer_Chef

          I am just starting to get to the point where I’m getting excited rather than stressed. I sent a copy of the ceremony (that we wrote ourselves) to the bridesmaids and my mom, and several of them said it made them cry, so I think that’s a sign it’s good. And the food! I am really excited for the food. And all the party aspects – having all my cool peeps meet each other, have a drink and dance together. Aww, I’m starting to get pretty pumped just writing this all down…

          • Jess

            That’s why I started my excited list! JLily mentioned finding the stuff I was excited about, and I like lists! :D

    • Sosuli

      I felt exactly like you describe the week before our wedding. Then as people started coming in and events were happening I focused on being excited about those (day with my female friends yay! My PhD graduation day yay!) I was still super stressed and the wedding felt unreal though. I don’t think I fully relaxed until a few hours in to the wedding day. Which is not to say I didn’t love every minute from walking down the aisle onwards – but I don’t think I properly breathed and ate until after the speeches.

      It’s okay. Everything will be fine and you can’t force yourself to connect when you’re understandably super stressed. It doesn’t mean you’re going to feel that way on the day!

  • JennDee

    I probably shouldn’t even be checking-in today SINCE WE’RE MOVING INTO OUR DREAM HOME TOMORROW!!! Wish us luck and send all the wine and craft beer my way :D

    Best of luck to everyone getting married this weekend!! Sending positive, calming thoughts and all the good Fall weather!

    • CP2011

      Congrats!!

    • April

      Ahhh congrats!! :D

  • Amanda

    We made the move across the Atlantic from the east coast to London! I’m liking the new job so far but social life is a bit lacking. Are there any APWers in London who’d be up for meeting for a drink/coffee/something?

    • toomanybooks

      I’m not in London, but I’d love to know what it’s like to move there from the east coast! (Are there any big adjustments that you didn’t realize would be a thing, etc)

    • Moving someplace new, from one city to another or one country to another is always lonely the first ~3 months. Do you knit/sew/crochet? Stitch ‘n Bitches are good for meeting people :)

      • Amanda

        I do knit actually! How does one find a stitch n bitch?

        • Well, either a google search or get yourself a Ravelry account and search for ‘london’. Some of them might have their meeting info up somewheres.

        • LJ

          meetup.com may work for you?

    • ClaireC

      I have literally just created a profile to respond to this! (Long term lurker). I’d love to meet up. Lots of my friends are moving away or we are drifting so I definitely have room for more ?

      • Amanda

        Yay! Want to drop me an email ajboyer86 at gmail

    • EF

      I’m in london! it is definitely a difficult place to build a social network. but i’m happy to meet you — and show you adorable coffee shops if that’s your kind of thing :-)

      • Amanda

        Would love that EF, drop me an email and we can plan from there? ajboyer86 at gmail

    • Sosuli

      Not in London (we live “oop north”) but welcome to the UK!

  • KK

    House selling update – we listed last Thursday (at a price I feared was too high), ended up having a ton of showings over the weekend and early this week, then got an offer that we accepted yesterday! I am so pleasantly surprised to have gotten an offer so fast in our market and at a price we like :)
    Inspections are on Monday – hoping that goes smoothly, but we are mentally and financially prepared to pay some sellers assist or to get a few things fixed.
    So glad that all our hard work this spring/summer and spending our whole Labor Day weekend prepping the house paid off!
    Looks like we are one step closer to moving to Colorado by the end of the year.

    • Olive

      Congrats!! Best wishes for a quick closing!

  • emilyofnewmoon

    My partner’s close friends (m/f, married to each other) just told him they’re getting a divorce. Actually, the male half of the couple told him over drinks. My dude is both devastated and freaking out. It sounds like a lot of things went wrong—they didn’t talk about having children before marriage and, surprise surprise, that question reared its ugly head. Also sounds like a fundamental difference in goals, what they want their future to look like, and she didn’t want to go to counseling. Still, my partner is (very understandably) asking what it all means, and plaintively asking me if I would go to counseling if we were in trouble, etc. (the answer is YES!). I think it’s hardcore shaken him because he had no idea they were having problems, and he’s close with both of them, not to mention we are planning on getting engaged soon. Anyone have any advice on how to weather this and the questions it raises?

    • Violet

      Maybe make a gesture of good faith and suggest you guys start your pre-marital counseling now, so he can process how he’s feeling? And that would reassure him you’d be willing to go. Or would that scare him half to death?

      • emilyofnewmoon

        Ha, I don’t know if it would scare him per say. I’d like to wait til we’re officially engaged to start the pre-marital counseling (if for no other reason than career stuff happening right now that is time constraining). But you’re right, calmly reiterating “don’t worry, we are going to continue talking through big issues before we do this thing,” is a good call.

    • JLily

      My cousin started the process of getting divorced as we were planning our wedding. Just discuss it. All of it. Some conversations might be hard, but these are really important topics for you and your partner to bring up before you get married.

    • flashphase

      I FEEL YOU! Two couples we are close with – including one of my bridesmaids – are separating. And it’s really shaken me. My partner says over and over again that we are not them. We will make our own mistakes, but we are different people and what happens with them won’t necessarily happen with us. To the extent that we can, we try to learn from their experience. And I repeat to myself (and to him!) that marriage is a leap of faith in our relationship, and one I want to take.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        I’m trying to balance a bit of the “we are not going to make the mistakes of this couple!” hubris with the “anything worth doing is a leap of faith, and yes there is a chance it won’t work out but it’s worth it” realness. I’m sorry your bridesmaid is going through this, that must be tough for both of you.

    • Cellistec

      Would it feel like a natural topic to discuss who your marriage role models are, rather than dwelling on the marriage that didn’t work? If bringing this up would be weird, it’s probably not worth it, but it could be a pivot to a more positive (and constructive) angle.

      • Olive

        love this!

        • emilyofnewmoon

          Me too! This is a great idea.

    • Kate

      This path isn’t for everyone, and I’m a ‘lay it all out kind of person’, but I wrote up 2 pages of questions before we got married. We sat down with a glass of wine, agreed to be honest and hear each other, and spent the evening talking about whether we wanted kids and when, who would be a primary carer, the amount of time/effort we’d be willing to put into that, what that meant for work, how we felt about our careers and whether we’d move for each other’s work, what happened if one of us got a severe injury or illness, what would happen when our parents got older etc etc etc.

      He felt a little uncomfortable at the time, but three years later, we refer to it, and we both feel comfortable knowing where each of our limits generally is, though we both reserve the right to change our minds and discuss them again. It made it a gazillion times easier when we talked about having our first child – I’m now pregnant and the conversation about who does what is easier as well. I’m sure counselling would yield similar results, but that one evening cleared up so much, and made us feel a lot stronger as a couple.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        I love this. I am also a “lay it all out” kind of person, and having a document like this sounds like a great idea.

      • emilyg25

        Same here. I printed like 30 questions from the internet and was like THIS SATURDAY WE’RE DRINKING BEER AND GOING THROUGH THIS. Also, I met my husband when he was finalizing his divorce, so divorce has always been present in my thinking. When we committed to each other, we both agreed that 1. you can’t ask for a divorce without going to therapy first; 2. you can ask for therapy at any time and the other person must say yes; and 3. refusing to go to therapy is a dealbreaker.

        The first divorce in your friend group is rough. It’s sad to say, but they become easier as they become more frequent. Which they do.

  • Katherine

    A little over a month until the wedding (that still sounds crazy to say)! Thankfully, everything is on track and we’re now just having to deal with minor details. I never knew how little I cared about tablecloths until recently, but there you go.

    On a different note, my fiancé is getting a little down due to his job search. I keep reminding him that (a) we’ve only lived here a month and these things take time and (b) I’m more than happy for him to stay at home and be my house husband (hah! But seriously), but I understand how grueling the job search can be and how rough it gets to stay home all day and hear nothing back.

  • April

    Ahhhhh we are FINALLY on the homestretch of waiting to get into our new house! We put in the offer back in June and take possession at the end of the month. DREAM HOME HERE WE COME.

    In other news: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when we have kids and what making sure things are gender neutral actually means to us. My partner feels very strongly abut keeping any future daughters we have out of “pretty princess clothes” and I’ve been thinking a lot about how that seems to be really common but that it’s maybe not the way I’d like to raise feminist kids? A lot of previously (or even current) traditionally male things are now seen as gender neutral (or at least pass as gender neutral in that it’s okay for girls or women too) but most traditionally female things are still seen as primarily female things.

    I was saying to my partner that I think given a lot of the attitudes about traditionally female things, maybe keeping that stuff away from our future hypothetical daughter would reinforce that being a girl or a woman isn’t as worthy as being a boy or a man. So, we talked about making sure to expose children we have of either sex to a wide range of hobbies, interests and clothes and make sure that whatever the sex of the child we have in the future, they get a large range of exposure. He had a lot of interesting ideas about it and I had some thoughts on it that hadn’t occurred to him so it ended up being a really interesting discussion. I’m still not 100% sure on how I feel is the best way to approach the issue, but we both definitely have some new things to think about.

    • Olive

      I really like this idea. We will be having this conversation in the future.

    • Violet

      I agree with your theoretical concerns about what an all-out Princess Ban represents.
      Also practically, some girls get this stuff from relatives, and they enjoy it. Are you really going to take it all away from them? Also, where do you draw the line? They can’t go over a friend’s house if the friend wants to watch Sleeping Beauty? If she wants to dress as a princess for Halloween, you’re going to say no? Parenting is rife with a lot of tough stuff already. Adding this to the list is a major undertaking, so that needs to be factored in.
      Part of what happens in normal child development is kids get to a point where they *realize* there are genders. And they get fascinated by it and tend to act out the differences in an exaggerated fashion because they’re learning to understand it. (Which is how you end up with boys going to school in firemen costumes and girls on errands with their parents in full-on princess wear.) But for most kids, this phase passes. As an adult woman who enjoys the hell out of her femininity by wearing a lot of black, dark blue, and neutrals (ie, not strongly “feminine” coded colors) I forget that as a preschooler, my favorite shirt of all time was a purple tie-die shirt with fake gemstones placed in the center of glitter flowers. With hearts thrown on for good measure. It all turned out fiiiiiiine.

      • April

        “Part of what happens in normal child development is kids get to a point where they *realize* there are genders. And they get fascinated by it and tend to act out the differences in an exaggerated fashion because they’re learning to understand it.” This is super interesting, I didn’t realize this but now that I’m thinking about it, it makes total sense.

        I think it’s probably much more important that we work on having an equal relationship, respecting each other and having an equitable distribution or work around the home.

        When I was a little girl I LOVED super fancy and frilly, sparkly dresses. As an adult, I still love them but in the day to day I’m in more casual clothes, usually dark or neutral colours. Turns out I’m just as smart, interesting, ambitious and feminist in sequins as I am in jeans. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Violet

          I could not agree more about your equal relationship speaking for a lot. While we get very scared about how outside influences affect our kids, parents are still primary role models for most things, especially at young ages.
          ETA: Oh and if you’re interested in the developmental stuff, a basic primer here: http://www.summarizedreading.com/2014/11/pink-frilly-dresses-pfd-is-very-real.html

          • April

            Thanks for the link! I’m VERY interested in this lately so I’ll be giving it a read. :D

    • AGCourtney

      I work in a library, so I suggest books! Princess Recovery (I remember this as more of a parenting guide and it had how to channel potential issues into “heroine values”) and Cinderella Ate My Daughter are two I remember reading when I was formulating my stance on the issue. I also strongly encourage the book The Case for Make Believe.

      In our household, the “princess ban” stems largely from a commercialism standpoint. I’m generally fine with the princesses on their own but find the constant marketing problematic. The very limiting narratives that come with that trademarked Princess play are a factor, too. We strictly limit any franchise stuff coming into the house, not just Disney Princesses. This also coincides with the fact that we don’t do screen time. Our daughter has seen a few movies, but it’s a special treat. I’m fine with her loving her pink frilly skirt, the Cinderella nightgown a great-aunt gave her for Christmas, and being an adorable fairy at the Renaissance Festival; but it’s important to me that she not be limited to those things, that she come up with her own imaginative play, that she wear all sorts of colors and love being a pirate at Ren Fest, too. This works well for our family.

      The most important thing is, wherever you both decide to stand on things, having a united front with your partner. My husband and I are on the same page on this and it’s incredibly important. We’ve had several run-ins with his parents and often he has to be the one to say, no, you can not just shrug this off as a crazy whim of Courtney’s, this is from *us*. This had to be more overt initially, but now it’s more subtle – still important, though. Last time we were over, a raised eyebrow from me and a nodded agreement that it had to be him led to him casually going over to our daughter and his mom and saying, “Hey, let’s go see what toys you can play with!” when we could tell his mother was purposely testing boundaries. The united front makes a huge, huge difference.

      • KK

        Question – do you try to shield your daughter from the fact that there are these rules/guidelines and keep them in the background? Or do you explain them to her as well?

        • AGCourtney

          I’d say they’re more in the background, but our daughter is almost 5, so she’s more aware of what’s going on now. If she asks about something, we give her an honest, age-appropriate response, but it doesn’t seem to come up very often – she just takes it for granted. I definitely don’t want it to come across as an extreme, constant “princesses and screens are bad” – that could definitely backfire. So, for example, I vaguely remember months ago answering her with something like, “Your brain is still growing, and if you watch a lot of tv, it doesn’t grow so well,” and I think we connected it to candy – how it’s okay for a treat, but if you ate too much, it’s not good for your body. She understood that completely. The net result of “banning” princesses has honestly ended up being a manageable amount of them. She’s pretty accepting of all this; for her, the boundaries have always existed and are simply a fact of life.

          • KK

            Gotcha, that makes sense. Sounds like a good system. I really like the idea of limiting the commercialism aspect.

            Side note- I’m always so impressed by ‘age appropriate’ answers like that. It seems so easy when I hear one, but I feel like I never could have come up with that! I assume I will magically acquire that skill when I have kids? :)
            Thanks for sharing how things work for your family. I’ve posted before that I don’t have the chance to see many parents in action, so I’m always curious about how parents handle various situations. Not quite ready to dive into parenting books though :) we are at least a year away from trying.

          • AGCourtney

            Of course! I love hearing how other people do things and being able to share what works for us. Haha, yeah, it might be a bit early for the books. I didn’t start reading literature on this particular topic until she was about 2 and I found myself growing squeamish about everything we’re talking about but couldn’t articulate it – and off to the library I went.

            I think the “age-appropriate” thing just stems from knowing your kid well, so yes, you will “magically acquire” it. :) A funny example from today is when my daughter asked me for the third time this week why The Last Five Years (a musical I mentioned elsewhere in HH) was so sad. I finally hit on a good explanation by connecting it to Hamilton – “It’s like if the songs were all mixed up and the first song was Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story and then the next one was Helpless.” Aha, it clicked! The curious preschooler was at last satisfied. So, now that I think on it, it’s a survival skill for the preschooler “why” phase – you’ll definitely adapt it. :P

      • April

        Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to put those on my wishlist :D

        We are both pretty concerned about the marketing stuff too, I know my partner’s big issue with the princess stuff is the narrative that comes with a lot of it. I think our model will probably look a lot like the one you’re describing. We both are hugely interested in fostering creativity and making sure our future kids spend a lot of time with their imaginations.

        • AGCourtney

          In that case, for sure read The Case for Make Believe, it’ll be right up your alley.

    • JC

      Our family only has daughters, and once of the best experiences growing up was when my dad would play Pretty Pretty Princesses with us and wear the jewelry, crown and all. My mom also always emphasized when we were playing with dolls that our imaginary characters (and their imaginary friends and boyfriends) had hobbies and talents beyond looking pretty. There are a number of ways to tackle this, and I’m so inspired that you’re having those conversations. I know we’ll need to have them too!

      • Violet

        Yes to dad as helping reinforce that all activities are okay. Our dad watched our princess plays and loved our Lego creations with equal enthusiasm.

      • April

        The conversations are so important!

        It’s really awesome that your dad was the one to play Pretty Pretty Princesses with you guys and great that your mom encouraged hobbies and talents in your doll play. Life Goals! lol

    • KK

      Congrats on your home, almost there! We had a long closing on our first home (Offer in Jan, closed May 1) and it was so hard to just wait!

      Love the discussion you had with your partner. I’ve been thinking about the same stuff for my hypothetical kids and starting small talks with my husband. My parents, especially my dad, had a pretty strict No-Barbies rule. Especially around the time of the talking Barbie who said “Math is hard!”. My PhD scientist parents were having none of that for their daughter. Other than that I don’t recall rules against princesses/”girly” stuff, but looking back I know they pretty strongly encouraged other interests. Part of that was probably natural because they weren’t all that in to princesses/dolls and my mom had no interest in fashion/dress up/makeup etc. I do specifically remember my parents encouraging me to get dirty and not worry about dirtying my clothes. I climbed a lot of trees as a kid!

      I would say my parents’ method worked pretty well for our family, but I do think I picked up some judgey-ness about “girly” girls and definitely about girls who play with Barbies, which wasn’t really necessary.
      So I am also coming around to your thoughts about how ‘ban the princess stuff’ doesn’t really equal feminism.
      Having never had kids and limited exposure to other people’s kids, I think I don’t have a great idea of how much of kids’ interests is from their own personhood vs. learned from the environment. Reading more of the comments below, I like your idea about focusing more on equal partnership as parents… that’s something we probably have more control over than our future kids’ interests!

      • April

        I grew up in a house that was pretty sexist, and it was made pretty clear to me how “women are” and how “men are”. I definitely had some “cool girl” syndrome as a teen and young adult and had a thing against “girly girls” for a long time. I loved barbies when I was younger because I liked dressing them in cool outfits, but I also liked legos (I played with my brothers) and computers and other “boy things”.

        I’m not too sure either about how much of kids interests are learned from their environment, but I think it’s important to have kids realize that there is nothing wrong with traditionally female interests… but it’s a hard line, because to some extent we’d want to fight against the societal norms that are EVERYWHERE.

        • i’ve never thought lego and computers were boy things. i’ve always been an ultra girly girl who likes pink and dressy clothes, but i’m also the go-to “fix this computer problem” person in the house, and a math whiz when i was little, which my parents were super proud of, so it never even occurred to me that there’s a gender stereotype for my interests. i did code a lot of pink websites with hello kitty gifs, though.

    • Amy March

      Lol. Has he met little girls? Have fun with that plan, lovely girl, but turns out they also have opinions about their interests.

      • April

        “So, we talked about making sure to expose children we have of either sex to a wide range of hobbies, interests and clothes and make sure that whatever the sex of the child we have in the future, they get a large range of exposure”

        i didn’t explicitly mention there that this would be so our future kids would then be able to form their own opinions based on a wide range of options. I guess the implication wasn’t as obvious as I thought.

  • Likeabell

    Our three year anniversary was this past Weds, and now I only have two more work days to get through next week until our delayed celebratory mini-vacation—yay! We’re in NYC and were originally thinking of going to Montreal for a few days, buuuuuut we’re more broke than we like to think we are. It’s like that Eddie Izzard bit about “well, you’re British, so scale it back a bit…ok, scale it back some more…” Except replace ‘British’ with ‘broke New Yorkers.’ :-P “A few days in Montreal” became “a few days upstate,” and then “ok, one night a two-hour MetroNorth ride away.”

    I’m still excited to go (we’re going to go see art, hike, maybe pick some apples, and it should be gorgeous out, judging by current early fall-ish weather), but I’m bummed that this isn’t quite the “get away from it all and unplug for a few days” trip I originally envisioned. My husband is a freelance musician, and he basically doesn’t take “real” vacations from his work unless we are physically out of town. It’s an ongoing source of frustration for me/us because whenever I have a chunk of time off and I want to designate some to spend, just the two of us, we’ll negotiate, and he’ll agree…but then there’s always a last-minute gig that pops up and that he either takes (because, remember, we’re broke), or doesn’t take because *I* ask him not to…and then there’s some weirdness/resentment on his end. There’s already one such gig that’s popped up to encroach on the end of this anniversary “staycation” together, and I feel like I’m disproportionately bummed about it. It’s Sunday night, we didn’t have specific plans, and it’s an easy gig, very nearby, for decent pay. He asked and I felt like it would be petty of me to insist on keeping a whole 5 days completely work-free…but it cuts short my envisioned ‘relax & reconnect’ time. :( Blargleraaar.

    But fall, you guys! Sweater weather is almost upon us! <– I am terrible at summer/spring layering and accessorizing, but for some reason pretty good at fall/winter outfits, so I will never stop being thrilled about living somewhere that plays to my sartorial strengths at least half the year. Husband & I are both southerners, and my family lives in a place where short sleeves are generally worn up until about Feb. <–Torture!

    • Sweater weather is EVERY DAMN DAY I’m in this office.

    • Olive

      Enjoy your trip! Even if it’s not as long as you had hoped, I hope it is everything you’re hoping it’ll be in terms of quality time!

      • Likeabell

        Thanks! Yeah, I’m trying to focus on the fact that we DO have means/privilege to do *something* together this year. :)

  • JC

    Yesterday was my birthday! We’re going to the new, fancy art museum tomorrow. Birthdays come with…so many feelings. I always try to take stock in how my past year was, and this last year feels really successful. There are challenges, with health and family, but we also moved into our new apartment, my sister got married, and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I think I can say that it was the best year I’ve ever had, but that’s hard to reconcile with all the things I still feel compelled to improve. I don’t consider gift-giving to be my love language (and I’m very frugal and don’t want a lot of stuff), but when my family gives me perfectly thoughtful gifts that make me puff up with pride, I wonder if I really do want gifts and I’m just a *terrible* gift-giver??? Mini identity crisis. I’m going to try to let it all go tomorrow and just enjoy the peace and quiet of the museum.

    • Jess

      No need for an identity crisis. I am not a gift person and I am terrible at giving gifts, but there are certain gifts that really do make me feel loved.

      Part of it is that I know *they* are gift givers and I’m just hearing the way they want to love me & part of it is because it really was a lovely/useful/thoughtful gift and I appreciate that despite (or maybe because of?) not being able to reciprocate in the same way.

      It’s ok to enjoy getting good gifts, even if they aren’t your love language.

      Happy birthday!

      • JC

        Thank you! And yes to all your points. I think what I’m responding to is that it feels like they know me so well. Does my being a terrible gift-giver mean that I don’t know them very well? (No, but it sure feels that way.) But it is lovely to be so loved!

        • Jess

          Exactly. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it just means you love them differently.

          I couldn’t tell you what to buy my MOH, but I can tell you exactly what chores she would love to not have to do.

  • LJ

    Those of you with single-income households. How? I don’t think I want to be a stay at home parent, but I don’t currently see how anyone can in the current economy and I’m sad we don’t have the choice. (I live in an extreme example city….. Vancouver…. average RENTAL cost for a 2-bedroom suite or apartment (not stand alone house) is currently $2,300 and the suburbs are getting expensive now too as people flee to them and demand increases)…. my fiancé and I make around $75-$80k before taxes household income and we still can barely afford to save anything after paying bills and debt. We’re in the process of sorting out our finance before the wedding and I know we’ll get where we need to go, but it just blows here…. so please, how?

    I’m curious if you’re renting not owning, how or why you made the choice (financial reasons or preference), what things you had to change to afford it….. if you married rich ;)

    • Anonymous

      2-income household. 68k + 72k gross. 2br rental within 15 minutes of either workplace is $2700/month. Loan repayment $1000/ month. No pets or kids. We’re renting because buying would cost more, involve more work, and because we plan to leave after my husband’s contract is up in 4 years. We’re working hard to max out our retirement benefits with any extra money and build an emergency fund. We hope to buy once we move out of the Bay Area.

      • LJ

        Thanks for the info:) I know the Bay area is just as expensive, if not more than, Vancouver…. but I have heard the salaries are more likely to match the COL, a la NYC….. so interesting to learn how people make cities like this work.

        • Kaitlyn

          A big reason that incomes “match cost of living” in the Bay Area is that workers at lower incomes (eg teachers) have largely already moved out, and haven’t been replaced. It’s not like our teachers make more money because they live here. It’s more like, there are quite few teachers. It’s next to impossible to attract anyone to move to the Bay Area unless they’ll be making 6 figures.

          • Her Lindsayship

            Boston’s in a similar position – downthread folks were talking about all the luxury housing coming up here. The cost of living here is already outrageous and now instead of addressing that, they’re building luxury condo high-rises all over the place! I think it will have the effect of booting more people at low- to mid-incomes out, and Boston will look more and more like the Bay Area in the next decade. Except way, way smaller and with way, way crappier transit. :/

    • April

      We recently became a single income household.

      Probably not a super inspiring answer, but we managed it by getting the heck out of Vancouver. I would say we both lived well below our means while we were there and between the two of us we made a pretty decent household income. We also found a unicorn of a rental several years ago and stayed in it until our awesome landlords (who never raised the rent on us!) needed to space to expand their family. It was pretty shocking seeing how much rents had gone up in just 4 years. Needless to say, we both wanted a quieter and more relaxed lifestyle to raise our kids in, so the decision wasn’t entirely financial. We just bought a place with a huge yard for gardening and plenty of room for a future family.

      The rest of it was luck, my partner was able to keep his job and move to working remotely, which was awesome because the Kootenays don’t really have a lot of booming industry. Which, in all honestly, is a big part of why we are currently single income. lol

      • LJ

        Totally….. I would love to move to the interior (I grew up there! don’t want to move to the hometown, but I miss the culture) but neither fiancé nor I could find work there that pays as much as in Vancouver or has the same potential for advancement. Our jobs have basically trapped us, and even the fraser valley is now selling detached homes for over half a mill… and you have to commute from Langley daily! I just don’t see a good answer yet. :( thanks for sharing!

        • raccooncity

          So I live in Toronto and FH and I are debating this as well. He’s a corporate accountant and thus needs a corporation to really do his job. He makes a ton of money (at least, to my social worker mind).

          However, we sort of figured out that his making way less money might still be a better option if we lived elsewhere. That said, my employment prospects are pretty much equal everywhere, so i’d be making a small but respectable amt. of money no matter where we went. The thing is…DAYCARE here. and RENT. and just LIFESTYLE. Daycare is much cheaper nearly everywhere else, as is rent, and even though my husband would take about a 50% salary cut (minimum), when he could find an accounting job which is no small feat in smaller areas, it would likely still make a huge difference in our lifestyle overall to save that money by leaving toronto.

          Also, in smaller towns (where i grew up included) and smaller cities, my friends tend to not do as much going out for dinner and going to shows, etc. and no one has access to a hugely expensive stroller so it’s not a thing that’s discussed as often. And few people are making the money that my husband and his coworkers currently make so there’s less Jones to keep up with, at least in a financial sense.

          I have lots of friends in Toronto who absolutely need the urban setting and the diversity and the constant stuff happening, and my husband isn’t sure that he’s interested in moving to a less challenging role than the one he has now (although I’d sure like him to slow down from the 12 hour days)….but financially the losses and gains sort of even each other out in our case.

    • Laura

      my husband is from Vancouver, and we lived there for a few years after undergrad. We made the choice to move to my hometown in Ontario after our wedding/law school for a variety of reasons, but real estate was way up there. most of our friends there are paying the majority of their salary to rent and trying to figure out where that leaves them, or betting on their parents leaving them their houses.

      We now live in a great mid sized city that’s growing quickly, and was voted the best place to invest in real estate in 2014. we bought a detached, 3 bedroom brick house on a treed, corner lot in the best neighbourhood in the city for 260,000. My husband is an associate at a great law firm and i started my own practice. we are on track to make 100k + household income this year, which is our first as lawyers. we are able to save a LOT, in fact, we own an percentage of a low rise apartment building in vancouver as an investment :)

      i have a lot of empathy for you – because we did that math and it just didn’t work for us. we had to face the reality that we want healthy savings, real estate, and a quality of life that was just not possible in Vancouver. and yeah – part of that is that kids are expensive and one of us might want to stay home in the future for a year or tow. and that, and a lot of our other goals just didn’t seem possible there.

      at one point we realised that we could buy a LOT of plane tickets to visit for the amount we’d pay for one years rent. so we jumped, and we are so glad – but it’s hard to know how it will all play out. it’s a tough spot to be in for sure.

  • anony

    Venting.
    I asked my bridesmaids before sending the invitations out if they had anyone in mind who should be invited as a guest to the wedding (i.e., “Are you in a relationship with anyone?”). All said no. ~3 weeks after receiving her invitation, one of them asks for a plus one. I give her one, because whatever. And then a few days later she tells me she’s bringing a male former-roommate of hers who she has for years complained about being unhygienic (i.e., not showering), an alcoholic, and totally ruined a trip they took because he was smelly and high the whole time. I am less-than-pleased. I can’t do anything about it, but it’s just sorta inconsiderate.

    ‘Just evidence that no good deed goes unpunished.

  • Totch

    We’ve got our engagement photos scheduled for tomorrow morning, and have been working overtime to get things ready (we’re shooting at our apartment and then around our neighborhood, so lots of home improvement). Forecast for today and tomorrow has been rain, but so far it’s holding out.

    Other than our apartment, we don’t really have indoor shooting options. The photog says we’ll reschedule if it’s too rainy, but we’re all hoping we’ll be able to get it done. Wish us luck!!

  • E.

    What’s the deal for tipping vendors? Which ones and how much?

    • Madeleine

      Martha Stewart actually has semi-decent guidance on this http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/226661/tipping-wedding-vendors
      Certain vendors will include tips in the general breakdown so it’s covered–look out for those. Be sure to include tips in your budget so you’re not blindsided!

      • E.

        thank you! That’s why I’m asking now, especially about the catering. 15-20% of our catering bill is so much money!

  • doublegus

    Anyone know what to do about postpartum hair loss? It’s getting a little scary.

    • emilyg25

      Ugh, the worst. But it does usually come back after a bit.

  • LP

    A coworker really pissed me off today. We are competing for the same position, and he essentially told me he would sabotage my chances at the position. Of course all in a joking manner, but his true intent was clear. Thank god it’s Friday.

  • nutbrownrose

    Popping in a day late to say that my FH and I have finally made some real progress. I got a car!!!!! This is my first car in 7 years (long story….), and it means FH no longer has any excuse for not getting a job (we moved here in July, and are still in my mom’s basement without jobs), and I can get myself to the substitute teacher job I just got hired for that could be anywhere in the district at any time. So we might be able to get an apartment by Nov 1st….the original goal was Sept 1st….
    And now that things are finally moving on that front, my diet has finally started working, and I might finally have the emotional energy to book caterers and photographers for our wedding next July. So, lots of things. All at once. It never drizzles in my life, it only ever pours.

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