APW Happy Hour


I'm good, I think. How are you?

by Stephanie Kaloi

woman in kitchen with tea cup on table

Hey APW,

In the wake of Terence Crutcher’s murder, I feel like I’ve been doing a whole lot less speaking and a whole lot more learning this week. Example: I read this article from PBS about how PTSD can be triggered every time someone shares a video of a black man being shot. That one hundred percent makes sense to me, and while I’m not one to share the videos anyway, I don’t think I had ever paused to think through the possible ramifications of doing so.

I’ve also been doing a lot more learning about the presidential race. For example, did you know that Trump plans to appoint an oil executive as Secretary of the Interior? Or that Gary Johnson thinks climate change is NBD? Meanwhile our girl woman continues to be the only reasonable person in this race. We’re about a month and a half away from November 8 (and the first debate is next week—help us all), and to be honest, it sometimes seems like the world is contemplating folding in on itself.

Of course, where there is darkness, there is also light. Like, totally frivolous, fun-as-hell light. Grey’s came back this week (OMG) and This Is Us premiered (and I cried on my couch the whole time), and I was really, really happy about both. I found a new brand of kombucha that I love, and a tea shop opened up near me and it’s bringing me regular periods of solace.

What are you guys thinking about this week? What’s good, what’s bad, and what else is out there?

XO,

Stephanie

Link roundup

Hillary sat down with Zach Galifianakis and it was pretty hysterical.

Did you see Elizabeth Warren grill the CEO of Wells Fargo?

Must read: “On Your Way to the Camps, I Just Want You to Know…

How the Lowriders of San Francisco Customize Their Cars into Drivable Works of Art

The first ever binary alien planets *might* have been found (and now I need to figure out what that means).

 

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 (!!! ? ? ?).

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  • macrain

    In honor of #BiVisibilityDay, I’d like to share something my wonderful husband wrote and posted on Facebook. The first time I ever connected with another lady who is married to a bisexual man was on this site, and that felt pretty huge to me at the time. Anyways, Happy Bi Visibility Day one and all!

    “The main thing that sucked about growing up as a kid who thought he might be bisexual was that bisexuality didn’t seem to actually exist.
    Theoretically, it did. I’d certainly *heard* of it. And if you did a discreet Altavista search for “bisexual celebrities” you could find a few obscure or oddball compatriots. But it didn’t exactly help me feel normal that the most famous ones I knew were named Andy Dick and Alan Cumming.
    And there were no openly bi people in daily life. In suburban Georgia in the 90s, there were hardly any openly gay people either. Casual homophobia was an everyday thing, part of the language of boyhood. It was very easy to internalize and participate in.
    So even though my friends were open-minded and my parents had always made it clear they would love me no matter what, I suppressed my feelings. For most of my adolescence I pretended, to myself and to everyone else, that I was straight.
    It was easy enough, because I kind of was! But I was always lugging around this big, weird secret in my subconscious. In retrospect, it was obviously putting some heavy dents in my confidence and self-worth. And I hid that from myself too.
    Meanwhile I went to college, which changed things but maybe not in the way you’d expect. I read a lot of Ayn Rand, which screwed up my opinions on stuff for a while but also made me realize I had to be responsible for my own happiness. The culture evolved a little bit. And by 2003, in the midst of the Bush-era GOP’s marginalization and degradation of gay people, coming out felt like not only a personal decision but a political act. I finally felt brave enough to actually do it.
    And I was lucky. Unlike a lot of queer people, I never had to suffer bullying, abuse, or poverty for admitting who I was. I had access to a counselor, and I still had those open-minded friends and loving parents. Everyone I came out to was totally accepting. And soon after, my friends further demonstrated their worth by graciously accompanying me to a club on the edge of town called Boneshakers.
    Today I’m married to a woman whom I love and who has always accepted my identity. And I have a son who doesn’t care because he is focused on stuffing every nearby object into his mouth. Things are good.
    So why am I posting all this?
    1. It’s #BiVisibilityDay.
    2. I’ve written about all this stuff elsewhere in years past, but it’s not something I talk about often and I probably seem straight to a lot of people I know. So this is me letting you know, to the extent that you even care. Which you don’t have to!
    3. Perhaps you don’t totally understand bisexuality, and that’s okay. Honestly I’m still learning new things about it, too. Here’s a place to start: http://www.glaad.org/bisexual
    Happily, I think things are a little different today for young people. There is much greater acceptance, generally speaking, and much more awareness of the complexity of sexuality and gender identity. But openly bi men are still kinda rare, in everyday life if not online searches, and the B is still one of the more overlooked letters in the acronym.
    So I want to do what I can to make sure my son grows up in a world where bisexuality exists, more than it did before.
    #BiDadsforHillary”

    • Ashlah

      Thank you for sharing, this is lovely. My bi husband is still mostly in the closet, which I know is hard for him sometimes, so I appreciate your husband doing his part to make the world a place where he might someday be comfortable embracing and sharing that part of who he is.

      And I love the hashtag.

    • LJ

      bi engaged to bi here and didn’t know this was a thing. TY.

    • MC

      Love this and love the hashtag. Way to go to your husband!!

    • VKD_Vee

      What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!

      And… since I’m not here as often as I used to be, or would like to, you’ve had a SON! Wahey! Many, many congrats!

  • Jessica

    My refrigerator stopped working (as my Dad said, “that’s not cool.”) So I just had to run home to have the service guy tell me that the whole freezer needs to be defrosted before he can really determine if it’s done for or if it can be fixed. I’ll be seeing him again on Tuesday. I mourn the loss of all my condiments.

    In the meantime, I’d love to know if you love your fridge and what kind it is. I also appreciate #fridgepics and finding out what people have going on behind closed freezer doors. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, I swear.

    • louise danger

      your dad is the king of subtle dad jokes. A+ to your dad. and good luck with your repairs!

      my current fridge is a side-by-side with in-door ice (cube/crush) and water. i… hate it? i really prefer the wider shelves in an over-under type fridge, and i’m not a fan of how much space the in-door ice/water occupies.

      also our fridge has a stainless steel front which is fine but oh my god it’s not magnetic? WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT ALL THESE KITSCHY MAGNETS, FRIDGEMAKER? we didn’t discover this until after settlement

      all of our magnets live on the (also stainless but miraculously magnetic) microwave at the moment. this is… cluttered.

      tl;dr i do not recommend my fridge but i’m not sure what kind it is beyond “non-magnetic front side-by-side with ice and water in the door”

      • MC

        Non-magnetic?!!? I mean, what is a fridge for if not to cover with magnets, photos, wedding invitations, coupons, all postcards received in the last year… or is that just me?

        • emmers

          We have a stainless fridge, and ours isn’t magnetic either, which I don’t love. Apparently some are, some aren’t!

    • JSK

      I hope it can be fixed! But if not, think about which parts of the fridge you use most and with what sized objects you put in there. We have a samsung with french doors on top, a drawer for soda/etc, and a freezer at the bottom. It rocks. The french door part has movable shelving so I can fit tall bottles/pitchers of sangria. The soda drawer thing is the BEST (ours is mostly beer) and can be used for various different things.

      I intensely dislike side by sides because the freezers aren’t big enough for frozen pizzas.

      • KPM

        Your last sentence was just so helpful for future life decisions. Thank you.

        • JSK

          LOL, right? Won’t someone think of the frozen pizzas?!

      • emmers

        Our side-by-side allows frozen pizzas:)

      • Eenie

        You have my dream fridge.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, Disqus didn’t show me your comment earlier, but I am here for fridge talk! I hope yours is salvageable, but if not, here is the one we bought last year, and we love it!

      We were very limited by our space (and this one just barely fits). I actually originally wanted french doors, but I’m so glad we ended up with the single door on top and the drawer on bottom. There’s so much room! And why open two doors when you can open one? ;) It’s got three drawers, which has been great for organization (our old one only had two), and they’re clear, which helps us to not forget about our produce. (I don’t really know how unique these features are these days–our old fridge was really old!)

      Oh, and the whole thing is magnetic! If that matters to you, and you’re interested in stainless, take a magnet to the store with you when you shop.

      • Good idea to take a magnet along! Mine is not magnetic, and I was sad after I realized that… The sides are magnetic, and so I have a few magnets on the one half-exposed side that is beside the stove.

  • louise danger

    catering is sorted! HOORAY! It’s going to be a food truck, and here’s the menu:

    CHOICE OF ENTREE:
    – two sliders (pick from lamb with pickled onions and cumin mayo, battered cod with homemade tartar sauce, veggie burger)
    – two corned beef spring rolls (with cabbage and swiss cheese)

    CHOICE OF SIDE:
    – poutine (YES) (wedge fries, truffle chicken reduction, fresh mozzarella curd)
    – cottage fries (wedge fries, cottage pie filling, cheddar jack – think shepherd’s pie but fries)
    – garden salad

    a dessert display of mini pastries, flavors TBD (waiting on the seasonal menu from the rep), and a small vanilla buttercream cake to cut

    can’t recommend this place highly enough, if you’re in/near Baltimore. they’ve been a gem to work with and were super flexible when working with our modest budget. the tasting will be scheduled probably in the spring next year :3

    you guys this is a real thing that is real! I’m feeling like Michael Scott during the fire drill “IT’S HAPPENING”

    • Jessica

      I choose all of it.

      Yes.

      • louise danger

        fiance “so… we get one of everything, right?”

        • Jessica

          I just ate lunch and this list is making me hungry.

    • You had me at poutine.

    • Totch

      This is more of a general comment, but people have been posting full menus more often lately and I LOVE IT.

      Yeah, it makes me hungry. But it’s also a super fun level of detail.

      Congrats on having poutine at your wedding!!

      • louise danger

        right? food makes people happy, let’s share food! all food all the time! o/

    • Michela

      Oh my gosh can I come!? Sounds amazing!! Congrats.

    • accidental_diva

      Who is it? I’m in Frederick and this sounds worth it!

    • Sara

      I’ll take the lamb. Please and thank you :)

    • Laura C

      Sounds amazing.

    • jazzygingery

      Menu looks awesome! I’m also excited to hear of someone else going the food truck route and the variety of desserts. My fiancé and I are about 95% sure we’re going to get a food truck to cater our wedding next summer.

      • louise danger

        they have been the most responsive, the most budget-friendly, and the most flexible of all the caterers i contacted. and we know we like the food, since the truck is associated with one of our fave restaurants! 10/10 would recommend food truck weddings

    • Looks awesome! So many decisions done!!!

      Our buffet menu looks like this, and at about $28/head ($12 for children and vendors) I’m feeling pretty good about it:
      – Cocktail Hour –
      English cheeseboard with crackers & fig jam, Seasonal fruit, Vegetable antipasti, and Pita.
      – Dinner –
      Chopped salad station, Sourdough rolls, Bourbon glazed pot roast, Orange miso salmon, Lemon pepper chicken, Tomato vodka pasta florentine, Smashed red skinned potatoes, and Grilled asparagus & roma tomatoes.

      • louise danger

        let’s do a wedding trade, we’ll each give the other a seat at the reception purely for menu tasting

        that’s a fantastic price for those things! chopped salads are my LIFE during the week and literally every time i read this (scrolling on my phone on the train, getting the email notification, now as i’m replying), my mouth starts watering when i read about the pot roast lol

        • 3 of our 4 entrees involve fermentation: bourbon, miso, vodka. The teetotalers are stuck with lemon pepper chicken, I guess, lol.

          • louise danger

            i don’t drink but will happily consume the alcohol-based entrees on their behalf

    • suchbrightlights

      1. That sounds delicious.

      2. Is this Slainte by chance? They’re the only food truck this Baltimorean can think of who’d be likely to bring poutine. ETA I read further down that it IS!

      I’m interested to know who you ended up with- as a fellow Baltimorean starting to look at options, I will happily spend my money on good customer service, and it sounds like you’ve had a great experience so far.

      • louise danger

        1. i can’t wait for the tasting (in the spring?)
        2. it is! :D/

        i 400000% recommend them. erin the catering lady has just been phenomenal – informative, helpful, PATIENT with what feels like never-ending questions from me hahaha. our event is pretty casual and we wanted something ~fun~ so the food truck option made the most sense for us, but they also do more traditional catering buffets if you’re wanting something more formal. and the menu they have includes not just slainte food but also stuff you might see at woody’s (the taqueria/rum bar upstairs from slainte) and kooper’s (burgers). and even if we’d gone the buffet route, the per-person cost (not counting the price of a staffer to watch the buffet line) was going to be affordable for us! slainte was the only one i contacted (total of about four) who was able to do that.

        we’re going to be signing slainte’s contract as soon as she gets us the menu of mini pastry flavors for us to take a look at and revises the total to include dessert.

        i also contacted two “traditional” event caterers in the area, each of whom basically laughed in my face with varying amounts of headaches beforehand when i told them our budget, and victoria gastropub in columbia/ellicott city. the rep there was also helpful and informative, and their pricing for events is very straightforward (more spendy than slainte’s offerings but way below the event caterers’ quotes), but a restaurant buyout didn’t make sense for us given the way other aspects of our planning turned out, so we opted not to use them. i would consider them for a future event, though!

    • Keri

      Yay Baltimore! <3

    • Eenie

      This looks delicious. I’m glad to see the battered cod still made the menu, but isn’t the only thing on there!

  • savannnah

    In all the darkness this week, here is a picture of my paid-for-by-work-bring-my-fiancé Cancun morning sunrise. Here til Sunday. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41d96efc1235064e00b8de04d092ebd7ccaff28e8c97215aa88153c849a23095.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Bootiful.

    • Michela

      Wow. I want to make this my computer desktop background.

  • tggsm

    I’m one week away from my wedding, y’all! Okay, one week and one day. Any other October 1st brides out there??

    Also, question. Maybe a dumb question. I’ve fairly recently been weaning myself off washing my hair everyday. Right now I wash it every other day. So, should a big day like a wedding be a wash day or a no-wash day? In terms of styling or just generally how it looks. Thank you!

    • louise danger

      no-wash! it has more texture and will hold the style better (especially if you’re thinking about braids) :)

    • Amy March

      Typically for something “styled” like an updo or a very structured look, things will stay better in hair that’s a bit dirty.

    • Lisa

      Most likely no-wash. Are you getting your hair professionally done? If so, you could call the salon and ask what the stylist prefers.

      • tggsm

        I’m just doing it myself. A little nervous about that, but I’m not trying anything ambitious.

        • Lisa

          Maybe do a trial run-through this weekend on both clean and dirty hair? That way you’ll know the issues might encounter and have back-up plans ready to go.

          (Don’t be my sister, who had never tried her DIY hair prior to the wedding day and yelled at all of us and spent an hour in the bathroom by herself trying to figure something out.)

          • tggsm

            I’ve tried it twice on a no-wash day, and tomorrow I’ll try it on a wash day! Thanks for your advice! :)

          • Lisa

            Perfect. Good luck!

          • You’ll update us with the verdict? I’m curious about this!

      • Michela

        Agreed. Hair is usually easier to style when it’s not freshly washed and, therefore, slick and difficult to manipulate. If it’s any consolation, I washed mine the night before and it was totally fine.

        • sofar

          That’s what I thought, too! But my stylist was like, “You need to wash your hair on the morning you see me.” In fact, I did my trial the day after a wash-day, and she noticed immediately and emphasized that I MUST wash my hair the morning of the wedding.

          I guess because I was wearing my hair down? Anyway, we made an agreement where I hopped in the shower right before seeing her, and she dried it for me before styling. Personally, I think my hair looks best 2 days post-wash.

          • Michela

            Oh that’s so interesting!! Mine said it would be fine to wash the night or day before, but I wore mine up. Maybe that matters?

    • Natalie

      I’ve had my hair done quite a bit and I know that for me, washing it and then putting a bit of mouse in while it’s still wet makes it a really nice texture to work with. I also know that I just feel prettier with clean hair, and so it’s more comfortable for me. Talking to stylist friends, it’s about your comfort level – will you feel less comfortable with unwashed hair? then wash it! I’ve also heard that people whose hair can get greasy (like mine) should wash, and add some product, because really dirty hair doesn’t necessarily style better than washed hair…

    • Lindsay

      Depends on what you feel comfortable with! My mom is a hair dresser and they usually prefer dirty hair. But she also knows I have the world’s greasiest hair (and she touches peoples hair all day). I can sometimes swing a dirty hair day, but I don’t feel comfortable with it. So even though they recommend dirty hair, there was no way in hell I was going on my wedding day, the day I want to feel most beautiful, with greasy hair. So do what makes you feel comfortable! You can totally style clean hair. It works.

    • APlus

      I have pretty fine hair that doesn’t handle being greasy all that well. My hair dresser recommended washing it that morning and using some texturizing product.

    • Zeth

      I wash my hair once a week and so asked the chick who was doing my hair whether she wanted it clean or dirty. She said that for my hair (fine), it needed to be clean for her products to work better. She said that thicker hair can benefit from being dirty. When I do my own hair, I find that I can get more volume having it be a no-wash day. I’m not an expert, but maybe just walk into a salon and offer someone ten bucks for their opinion? I am NOT an expert. P.S. Good luck. my digestive system shut down a week before my wedding and a bridesmaid bailed badly. Survived the week. Wedding was wonderful, but God help that last week.YOU GOT THIS!

    • I feel like the no-wash preferers have never had bangs/fringe. Because if I don’t wash my hair for a day, even if I wash my bangs separately, they end up extra gross. ‘Just no way around it.

      It’s tricky enough preventing bangs from clumping!

    • Jess

      Depends on your hair! Personally, I was told (by my stylist, guys, after I did next-day hair for the trials) to show up with clean hair because my hair gets too slippery and weighed down with oil.

      Since you’re just adding curls, how do you like them better? Try them on a day with washing and a day with no washing and see which way stays better!

  • Nell

    So, this past week, I found out that yet another couple that I really love and thought had everything really together might be breaking up (no, not Brangelina — an actual couple that I actually know). It seems like this has been the Summer of Divorce in my group of friends. It’s making me sad, and anxious about my own marriage. How do other folks handle helping a friend through a very rocky time in their relationship while not letting it spill over into yours?

    • Michela

      That is so hard. I have no advice; just popping in to send you internet hugs and tell you that really sucks.xo

    • Totch

      Also popping in to hug you. I don’t have many answers, but one piece of self care advice: pay attention to the line between supporting your friend and nuking your partner.

      In breakups and divorces, it’s common to have really cathartic conversations with your friends about their relationship. And they can easily turn into “men suck.” And then you’re airing all your little grievances about your spouse, trying to keep up with/support their big, marriage-ending grievances.

      But your marriage isn’t ending, and it’s a false equivalence. No one in this circle (you, your spouse, your friend) will actually benefit: your friend doesn’t need you to be going through the same thing as her to know you care, your spouse doesn’t need you bad-mouthing them to your friends or letting your friend’s bad news spill into your relationship, and you don’t need to make yourself feel low just to help someone who is.

      That said, bitch sessions are totally fine when needed. I just know it can be really easy to go too far when supporting a friend, and regret it later.

      • Michela

        Such a fantastic point. If you want to support the “men suck” momentum, you could complain about exes who did equally horrendous things to you without giving in to the “ALL men suck” momentum. Maybe that’s an ok compromise? Bonus points- maybe confiding in friends about terrible exes will make you hug your partner extra hard. Good luck. This is a shitty situation for sure.xo

      • Nell

        BTW, I’m a lady-partnered-lady. So just replace “men suck” with “partners suck” and we’re on the same page. :)

        • Totch

          Yeah, somehow I went gender-neutral the rest of the post but left in “men suck?” Sorry!

    • Leah

      It IS hard, but I also think it’s very important to remember that their relationships isn’t yours. Even if their spouse does something your spouse has done, every relationship is different. Boundaries are key to being able to support them while not hurting yourself and your relationship.

    • Having been on the other side, I would agree about the false equivalence thing. For example, hearing my friend share how a college boyfriend dumped her years ago did not make me feel any better after my husband left me for another woman. I don’t doubt it was very painful for her, but at the time it just felt like it couldn’t compare and I felt like she just didn’t “get it.” I kept my mouth shut, though, because I had already learned that some people say some surprising stuff when faced with shocking situations, like an unexpected divorce from a couple that seemed completely in love and happy.

      However, when someone who had been through their partner leaving them for someone else shared with me, it was incredibly helpful and encouraging to hear how they dealt with it. But for friends who had had no experience with that type of thing, I found it was more helpful when they were simply willing to listen and check in on me, letting me know they were thinking of me, etc. And my biggest supporters during those days had not been through it. They were just there for me and were beside me in my pain. They didn’t need to try cheer me up or anything; that would have been impossible anyways. But those simple emails, texts or in-person little check-ins meant the world to me and kept me going… It’s amazing what a little “I’m thinking of you” text/email can do when someone is going through the darkest days of their life…. It’s a reminder that someone out their still loves them and still cares for them and wants the best for them. This is a lifeline in those times…

      (And I know my own situation prompted some of my friends to have long, hard talks with their partners, and I think this is probably normal. I’d say trying to talk through your emotions, concerns and anxiety with your partner is a good and healthy thing…)

  • The B.

    Also, though not in the paragraph: Jill Stein’s ideas are terrible (seriously, they are TERRIBLE if you care at all about implementation or knowledge or, like, logic) and she is astonishingly unqualified for the presidency!

    (“Jill Stein is not the savior the left is looking for”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/07/27/jill_stein_is_not_the_savior_the_left_is_looking_for.html)

    • LJ

      error 404?

    • Mary Jo TC

      I was done with her when I found out she’s a physician who’s an anti-vaxxer. WTF.

      • LJ

        “There’s a call not just to label genetically modified foods but to “put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.” Never mind that scientists have studied GMOs extensively and found no signs of danger to human health—Stein would like medical researchers to prove a negative.”

        THIS IS MAKING ME IRATE….. I have extreme loathing for people without relevant education who decide they know more than experts. THAT’S WHY WE HAVE EXPERTS. argh

        • Gina

          Not to mention it’s so incredibly privileged. GMOs are the reason a lot of people don’t go hungry.

          • LadyMe

            I don’t mind GMOs, but I have problems with Monsanto. I feel like the straight-up anti-GMO crowd makes it hard to discuss what’s wrong with the giant corporations that control GMO stuff.

          • Gina

            Yeah, that’s a different issue than the scientific benefits to or disadvantages of GMOs, though. It sounds like what you really have an issue with is the fact that only a couple large companies control a large portion of the U.S. food supply and get to set the prices of the GMO seed they sell to farmers.

          • LadyMe

            Yes, exactly. Which is an issue, and I know other people are bothered by it, but it seems like the only time GMOs come up is when people are “debating” if they’re “safe” or not. I find it frustrating.

          • Gina

            Oh I think I read your comment wrong haha. Totally frustrating. Also can’t believe Bayer is buying Monsanto.

          • LJ

            People who don’t even try to separate the business practices (admittedly assholey) with the science make me facepalm so hard. They can’t have a conversation about GMOs without the word Monsanto in it. GMOs are great, but Monsanto has been a dick.

      • Lisa

        Exactly. There’s no way you can be involved in the sciences and still think being anti-vaccinations is good for anyone.

      • louise danger

        http://www.snopes.com/is-green-party-candidate-jill-stein-anti-vaccine/ it’s false – the language is similar to that used by anti-vaxxers, but she’s since clarified that she is in favor of vaccines and thinks they are and have always been useful and important.

        i don’t think she’s an ideal candidate (and i think the green party platform is a mess, even though i’m registered green), but this particular point is false

        • Lisa

          Happy to be wrong about this. Thanks for sharing!

        • Mary Jo TC

          Thanks for the correction. I’m still not comfortable with her using language that seems tailored to appeal to anti-vaxxers, especially when paired with the ‘moratorium on GMOs”

          • stephanie

            Yeah, same. My issue with her is not whether or not she supports vaccines, but that she definitely uses intentionally vague/misleading language to try to get anti-vaxxers.

          • louise danger

            i don’t disagree! it is pretty irresponsible not to just flat-out say “vaccines are good, polio and smallpox are bad” when you’re a doctor who is running for office

            i posted it because i think it’s important to make sure that the truth – which, in this case in particular, doesn’t fit into a soundbite – at least gets added to the conversation, even if it doesn’t make her a better choice or change people’s minds about whether or not to vote for her

        • JC

          The back and forth on this political topic is so interesting to me, because while I support correcting her record to indicate that she isn’t anti-vaxx, she’s not just a political candidate, she’s a doctor. Anything less than a full-hearted “huzzah for vaccines!” to begin any conversations about health care policy and childcare strikes me as shockingly unethical given her profession.

    • MC

      I was also super turned off by her comparison of Democratic voters as people trapped in abusive relationships in her Politico interview this week:

      STEIN: Yeah. Well, I feel very sorry for people who are trapped in an abusive relationship and keep making excuses for their abuser. You know, I think, like people trapped in such a relationship, it’s important to stand up and get your life back and move forward, because we’ve got a race to the bottom–

      THRUSH: You are talking about–let’s be clear what your metaphor refers to, the abusive relationship.

      STEIN: Well, with an abusive political relationship, with a political party that’s throwing you under the bus, sister, I’m sorry to say–

      I mean, what?!!?

      Full interview here: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/full-transcript-jill-stein-228336

      • stephanie

        OH MY GOD

    • stephanie

      OMG she is totally terrible, I just haven’t heard as much about her recently and assumed people have moved on from considering voting for her. Gary, though.. I know way too many Gary fans.

      • Michela

        I thought the same until I saw someone handing out Jill Stein for President flyers in my local Kroger parking lot last week (?!).

      • The B.

        Yeah, the mental gymnastics I’ve seen people go through to excuse his Aleppo “gaffe” (which was not a gaffe so much as inexcusable ignorance for someone vying to be the United States Commander in Chief, but that’s just my opinion *sips tea*) is astonishing.

        But alas, I still know way too many people who think Jill Stein is the only good option out there because she says things that sound progressive. SIGH.

  • Annie

    Because I’m a sucker for silly internet games: What are y’all’s three fictional characters that describe you? Mine are Lisa Simpson, Ben Wyatt, and Buffy Summers. :)

    • louise danger

      Lyra Belacqua/Lyra Silvertongue
      Molly Grue
      Merida

      :D

    • scw

      harriet m. welsch, leslie knope (I guess we’d get along!), and that dog that sings “he’s a tramp” in lady and the tramp

    • touchdownton abbey

      Anne Shirley, Jo March and Disney’s Belle.

      Hair disasters, being described as “odd” and being a TINY bit dramatic is definitely by MO.

      • KiwiSarah

        I don’t know if those three describe me, but that’s pretty much the greatest list ever.

    • stephanie
      • EF

        so my partner works at a botanical gardens and they had a talk on yams this week. he kept texting me about frankie and yams and inappropriate jokes…it was great.

        • stephanie

          Yessssssssss

    • emilyg25

      Lisa Simpson, Leslie Knope and Cat from 10 Things I Hate About You.

    • rg223

      So far I’ve come up with Moke from Fraggle Rock, and Cher’s mother in Moonstruck (Olympia Dukakis – though I might replace her with Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias, because she’s basically the same person. Frankly, I’m just Olympia Dukakis).

      I’m not sure who the third one would be! Anyone else having a really hard time choosing?

    • JC

      Anne Shirley, Luna Lovegood, and Marshall Eriksen.
      (I’ve also seen this with five characters, so I will also add Kit Keller from A League of Their Own and Amy Gardner from West Wing.)

    • lildutchgrrl
    • Khadijah from Living Single
      Miranda from Sex and the City
      Diane from Blackish

      In case you didn’t know, I’m extremely sarcastic…..

    • EF

      will hunting, sheldon cooper, toby ziegler, for sure.

  • Ashlah

    Ya’ll, I crushed my 5K race last week! I beat my PR by 90 seconds! I have never run that fast, ever. Not even close. I took no walking breaks for the first time in a race, and it paid off! It was a small race, but I came in second overall! So, so proud of myself! (Admittedly, I battled some imposter syndrome telling me the course must have been short, but I shut it up by confirming the course was USATF certified, so yay!)

    And the next day I had my boudoir shoot (which was perfect timing, really), and it was SO great! I haven’t seen the photos yet, but I already know it was worth every penny. It was definitely awkward to get started (the “modeling” movements more than the nudity), but felt relatively normal pretty quickly. It really was just like hanging out with the photographer…and I happened to have my tits out. Anyone on the west coast, check out <a href="https://brianamorrison.com/"Briana Morrison. She does weddings too! And she is so fabulous and fantastic to work with.

    • LJ

      Congrats on your 5K time!!! That’s a HUGE PR!!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on your PR!! And I’m loving the photographer’s boudoir portfolio. Her photos are gorgeous!

      • Ashlah

        Isn’t she great?? I love that her boudoir photos are more fine art style, and that she doesn’t Photoshop people into having plastic-y skin, which I noticed in a lot of people’s boudoir portfolios. She suggested maybe wanting some of the photos from our shoot in her portfolio, which…eep! It’s super flattering, but obviously I have my reservations! No one IRL knows I did it, and I work in a conservative office. I want to be the person who doesn’t give a fuck, but I’m not sure I am. We’ll see.

        • Lisa

          As long as she’s not posting with your name you should be fine right? Or maybe they could be part of a portfolio she uses with clients but that’s not on her web-site?

        • Maybe you can ask to approve any photos that go in her portfolio, and ask for only ones that don’t show your face. I mean, some people who really know you might be able to identify you without it, but…slim chances.

          • Ashlah

            Oh yeah, she’d definitely only put ones up that I approve! I had the same thought about maybe allowing non-identifiable ones… I’m just so paranoid about someone coming across them and recognizing me! That almost feels worse than being totally out there and open with it, you know? Like somebody’s discovered a “secret.” I definitely have some thinking to do, if she really does end up wanting to use them.

    • MC

      Congrats!!! The feelings of finishing a race AND setting a new PR are so great.

    • Totch

      Congrats!!!

  • Kaitlyn

    So some of you saw on the proposal thread the other day that I’m engaged! It’s been such an up and down week. I go from being elated out of my mind to stressed about how the eff we’re going to pay for this to so excited to crying with how happy I am. In the thread, someone pointed out that if you’re proposed to in a public place, you can always return. And the thought of being able to go back to our engagement spot and then one day bringing our kids and being like “this is where your dad proposed”, makes me cry big ol’ crocodile tears.

    I bought Meg’s two books and have been working my way through the first one. I’m going to make my fiance read it when I’m done haha I’m also one of those people that has been planning my wedding seriously for a while so I started compiling some of the crap on my Pinterest boards (venues, photographers, videographers) into Google docs so my fiance can go through some of my top choices and let me know what he likes.

    We’re heading to my hometown tomorrow to see my family finally and I’m so excited to see them (plus I haven’t seen them in almost two months so I’m just pumped for a visit). So today is dragging, but I’m happy!

    • louise danger

      congratulations!

      i also was idly planning things for a while and it’s helped me a LOT in terms of sorting through and identifying things i want/don’t want, from as specific as dress styles/choices to as broad as trends and colors. i’m 12.5 months out and already have a lot done, which is awesome because it means i’ll get to relax and enjoy being engaged the rest of the time :D

      (also aren’t meg’s books AMAZING)

      • JLily

        YES. Next person close to me who gets engaged will be receiving the APW planner from me!

        • Lisa

          I sent it to one of my best friends as a birthday/Valentine’s present last year. I still haven’t seen it and have no idea what’s inside, but she absolutely loved it.

      • Kaitlyn

        That’s my plan! I want to secure down the big stuff (venue, photographer, videographer), and then I’m gonna relax and enjoy it. Then do dress and other big stuff. And then relax haha

        And yes, I love it! I’m about halfway through her first one and keep tearing up every time she mentions is that wedding is the first time you appear as a family/unit/etc haha I’m hoping to dive into the planner this weekend :)

        • Lisa

          We knocked out those first three within the first two months of our 14 month engagement, and there wasn’t a whole lot else we even started until we were 7 months out. (I think we did the engagement shoot/STDs, attended PreCana, and started shopping for the fabric for my wedding dress around then.) Best of luck with the planning!

          • Kaitlyn

            Thank you!

    • Emily C

      Yayy! Congratulations! I too love that we got engaged in a public place (on the steps of a historic courthouse) and we ended up deciding to make it our wedding venue too, since they do weddings + it’s beautiful on the inside. Good luck planning!! How did people plan weddings without Google docs?? :)

      • louise danger

        “how did people plan weddings without google docs??”

        so many binders. all of them. all tastefully decorated on the outside and organized within an inch of their collective lives on the inside. color-coded tabs, naturally. ;) i finally chucked my old one a few years ago and it was so liberating!

  • LJ

    Sooo last week we finalized the guest list. This week we finalized invitations. And on Monday we’re sending them out! Just passing on some anecdotal evidence to those of you with smaller weddings, torn over inviting partners/spouses/etc…..I have 40 spots in my wedding (like that’s the venue maximum incl photographer and officiant), and 33 of them are family/wedding party/us/photog etc….. so between my fiancé and I, we can only “invite” 3.5 people each… which has been ROUGH because that is a tiny number.

    So we are not inviting significant others, regardless of legal or official marital status, unless we are as close to them as to the “original guest” that’s invited. This goes against what I felt is a solid wedding rule of thumb, which is “don’t ask people to acknowledge your relationship if you won’t acknowledge theirs” – as in, if they’re living in a conjugal marriage-like relationship then they come as a pair.

    I texted with each of the 3-4 invitees who are affected by this this week to explain the situation, and you know what? THEY UNDERSTOOD. They were incredibly gracious, they said that it was not a problem and of course they’re excited to come party with us at a later date with a larger group (this is something we’ve been planning for awhile, sort of a week-later no-host pub party for the 100 people we would love to celebrate with), but they completely understand the restrictions we face. The world didn’t implode.

    So, for those of you facing a tough situation and worried about this… don’t overthink it. Be up front about things, and people will get it. Weddings are known to be complex and crazy, and people understand so long as it’s presented reasonably.

    Cheers and TGIF!

    • Totch

      I can second this! Especially when it’s a small enough wedding to have a real conversation with everyone before sending invites, people will understand. In our case, we invited spouses and kids of all invited guests. But not siblings.

      Yup, of our parents’ collective 14 siblings, we invited 3 (plus spouses). We spoke with our aunts and uncles beforehand, both those invited and those not, and explained our specific situation. It’s also a major wedding rule that if you invite 1 person in a certain class of relationship (eg. cousin or aunt), you should invite them all. We didn’t. We explained. They’re OK.

      • LJ

        Totally…. I invited all my aunts and uncles, but I have a winter wedding and many are snowbirds so it was almost a symbolic “I know you won’t come because you’re already prepping your RV for your 4-month trip” invite…. but I also struggled because I had a very distant and not wonderful relationship with them, and I wouldn’t consider the vast majority of them as supportive of our relationship. Giving them seats over people we see regularly who do support us and love us…. that was HARD.

        • Totch

          Yeah, tbh, my fiance and I agreed to handle our own aunts and uncles. His 100% wouldn’t come even if invited (too far), so he sent them honorary invites and followed it up with a conversation confirming that they wouldn’t come.

          My family would have all come if invited, and I made the decision just to rip the bandaid off and tell them they weren’t invited rather than leaving it open ended.

    • KPM

      I think this situation shows that etiquette rules are really guidelines that help us think about how to be kind to others. If you hadn’t talked with your guests, they may have been confused or hurt when the invite came. But you knew what was usually done, understood how your actions were deviating, and addressed the situation. Hope you have a lovely wedding!

      • LJ

        Totally :) thanks!

        I’ve just seen some pretty intense “

    • I misread that at first and thought you said “Cheers and DGAF!”.
      Which also works.

  • MC

    I got my Hillary Clinton champagne flutes in the mail yesterday!!! I only ordered them a few weeks ago so I was just hoping to get them before election day, but now we can drink out of them when we watch Monday’s debate (which I will definitely need alcohol to get through).

    In non-Hillary news, my 2nd wedding anniversary is this weekend and we’re celebrating by stealing off to a small town and doing wine tastings and RELAXING. We also got a small cake from the same bakery that made our wedding cake! Now to just get through the last 5 hours at work…

    • Lisa

      Congratulations! My MIL surprised me with the champagne flutes as a feminism present, and I’m absolutely in love. I like your plan to drink from them during the debates…though we’re planning on beer, I still might steal this!

      And congrats on your anniversary! That sounds like a lovely weekend. We’re coming up on our second one in a couple of weeks, too. :)

      • Olive

        Love that your MIL gave you a feminism present!

        • Lisa

          She and her sisters are so excited about the possibility of a female president and have been supporting HRC whenever they can. (Much to my FIL’s chagrin, I’m sure.)

    • Ashlah

      I am so excited/terrified for the first debate. I wish I had cool champagne flutes to help get me through!

      Happy anniversary!

      • MC

        Depending on how the debate goes, we might end up drinking something stronger than champagne out of them…

        • stephanie

          My husband said we should get 3 bottles of champagne for election night: either to celebrate her victory, or to observe the last day of a Trump-free America Casablanca style.

          • Ashlah

            I’ve already requested the next day off work, for similar reasons. Plus I don’t want to talk to my boss about the election, regardless of outcome.

          • stephanie

            Yep, I said he should plan to be off work also. I make my hours and I think APW will basically have one big YAAAAAAAAY or OMGGGGGG WTFFFFF day either way.

      • Eileen

        I will be dealing with the first debate through denial that it is happening. (Thinking wistfully of Jacques Chirac’s refusal to debate Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2003… not that I really think that would be a good idea for Clinton) I live in France so I would have to watch in the middle of the night anyway. As for election night, baby boy is due November 5th, so I might be watching the results through the night with a tiny baby in my arms.

        • Ashlah

          Oh, that’s got to make the outcome feel that much more crucial.

        • Amanda

          A refusal to debate would be thought of as a childish decision.

        • stephanie

          I was pregnant when Obama got elected in 2008, and I will never forget the utter JOY I felt watching him walk out with his family to make his acceptance speech that night. It made me feel so calm, so good about the world I was bringing my child into. I hope you get the same. ♥

      • Keri

        I am having friends over to watch it, since we’re the only ones with cable, and also because of fun. I’m trying to think of fun themed snacks. Cheetos, of course. Popcorn to throw at the tv…. Still working on the menu. :)

    • macrain

      I am really hoping to get my Hillary gear in time for election day, so this is promising!

      • Lisa

        Mine took 6 weeks, which is what my MIL said the on-line store quoted her. Hopefully your delivery will be just as accurate!

        • stephanie

          This makes me feel better! My order just hit 6 weeks and I don’t have them… hopefully soon.

          • MC

            I did just sign up earlier this week to volunteer which makes me wonder if that is somehow related to the speediness of my delivery…

          • stephanie

            I’ve been volunteering for weeks! :(

          • Eenie

            Ok, I signed up to volunteer but all I’ve gotten is fundraising emails! I don’t have extra money right now, but I have extra time. How did you start volunteering?

          • Diana

            Hi there! I’ve been volunteering for Hillary over the past week, and it’s been super fun. It turns out that the easiest way to get hooked up with volunteer events near you is to google “Hillary Clinton YourState” (so for me, “Hillary Clinton Michigan”) and get to the “We are Hillary for YourState” page. Scroll to the bottom, and you can enter your zip code to find a list of events near you and sign up. Do it! It’s fun and awesome and a great way to feel more optimistic about the world!

          • ART

            I finally got mine last week, I ordered right after the DNC when there were a million links to her shop in the HH.

      • My order took about 7.5 weeks. Finally came in today. So it does happen…eventually.

    • Emily C

      If we weren’t two weeks out from our wedding I’d be ordering some Hillary champagne flutes right now to toast with at the wedding!! I ordered some t-shirts for my bridesmen and according to the website they should be here in time! One of my best friends in coming from England to attend the wedding (!!!) and he looooves Hillary, so I got him one too!

  • Ashlah

    I loved Clinton’s Between Two Ferns interview! And I am baffled by the number of people who don’t get that she was in on the joke. And I can’t stand all the people who loved when Obama or Sanders had fun and did comedy shows, but hate Clinton for doing it. It’s such an obvious double standard. I get that she can be stilted in speeches sometimes, but she’s fucking funny when she wants to be.

    • stephanie

      YES, preach.

  • ART

    That article “On your way to the camps…” gets at my feelings about my white/cis/etc privilege and how it has to inform how I vote, I mean, I live in a non-swing state, and I’m also excited about Clinton as President, but even if those were not true, I COULD NOT vote in a way that makes Trump more likely to become President based on how bad I think it could be for people who are not me. That’s not to say that I would tell, for example, a woman of color how to vote or whether to vote – I respect people’s right to their own decisions and their own calculations about what is best for them. But like, I feel like I am way too privileged to GET a protest vote in this election. And meanwhile I’m getting really sick-to-my-stomach nervous about it. PLEASE double-check your voter registration status and re-register as needed. Do what you want with it, but don’t let your options expire with the registration deadline, whatever it may be in your area.

    • stephanie

      This is 100% why I linked it. Like, it was a very intentional call out to privileged people who think they can get a protest vote this time around.

    • anon

      Honestly, if you feel like it’s white privilege that keeps you from not putting in a protest vote rather than THE GOP HATES WOMEN, I don’t really get that.

      • anon who typos

        keeps you from* whoops

      • ART

        I don’t either – that’s why I clarified that I do indeed want to vote for Clinton (and felt it went without saying that I think Tiny Hands is a nightmare). I can’t actually speak from the perspective of someone who wants to vote third party, but I keep trying to put aside my preference for Clinton in order to put myself in their shoes and I keep winding up at NOPE for the reasons this article articulates. If you don’t want to go beyond the GOP’s take on women’s issues, I wouldn’t push you to…by all means, vote for Clinton along with me. But I see that others don’t share those feelings and I do think privilege needs to be part of the conversation.

  • JLily

    I am turning 30 two weeks from today! Since we just got married last month, I didn’t feel like I could do another big party to -once again- celebrate me, so I am flying up to my cousin’s corner of the world to ride horses, taste some wines, and have a slumber party with my mom, sis, cousin, and favorite aunt. I’m also treating myself to a spa day! I am not really upset about turning 30, but I do think of it as a milestone, so I wanted to do something memorable. (I have also finally wised-up about birthdays–if I want something special to happen, I just go ahead and plan it!)

    I was also considering buying myself a ring for my right hand for my birthday. Anyone else buy yourselves bday gifts? Did any of you do something really awesome for yourself on your 30th?

    • Ashlah

      Happy birthday!! I think your plans sound awesome, and I think you’re a genius for taking the initiative to plan it yourself. I haven’t turned 30 yet, but treating yourself to something special (especially to mark a milestone!) is never a bad idea :)

    • emilyg25

      Haha, I always buy myself birthday (and Christmas) gifts. For my 30th, we splurged on the tasting menu at Stone Barn at Blue Hills, one of those crazy once in a lifetime foodie mecca places. I had planned to throw a big party, but then I was pregnant and didn’t really feel like watching everyone else get drunk.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I love this!! My twin sister and I are 28, and we have never once made a big thing out of our birthday. We tend to do something just the two of us, which is awesome, but this year we decided that 30 will be the year we make a fuss for ourselves! I think we’re going to try to get as many friends as possible to go to Iceland with us. I SO love the idea of taking a birthday trip and spending it with the people you love! What better way to celebrate another year of life? :)

      • Lisa

        I’m considering doing something like this next year when I turn 30. 30 is my golden birthday, and I’d always wanted to have a gold-themed party. However, our friends are so spread out that I don’t think I’d be able to convince most people to come to us for just a birthday party. I’m seriously looking into a gold-related place now that I can visit. Ideas currently are Gold Coast (NZ), Gold Coast (Chicago), and El Dorado/Mexico, but I’m totally open to new ones!

        • Her Lindsayship

          That’s a pretty great list already. I never knew this until now but apparently California is the Golden State, so there’s a wealth of options for you!

          • Lisa

            Haha, my husband loves any opportunity to go home! Maybe that’s how I sell him on the idea. ;)

        • Meredith

          30 is also my golden birthday (except mine is in 37 days)! I highly recommend NZ. I spent about 7 months there in 2013-2014 and it’s definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever been/ possibly my favorite place I’ve ever visited/ been/ lived.

        • Angela

          Do you mean the Gold Coast Australia, rather than NZ?

    • gonzalesbeach

      HBD! I ran 30 km on my 30th. Followed by fancy doughnuts and a nap. [and later a surprise birthday party plus a surprise KITTEN]. I don’t normally buy myself a present, but I do normally take my birthday off work for a self-care day.

    • Louise

      I brought myself a present for my 30th it was something I had wanted for ages but was not something I could justify buying, so like a kid I saved my Christmas money and self imposed allowance money and brought it

    • For my 30th, my partner and I rented out a bunch of bowling lanes at a cool retro bowling alley in our city. It was on a Sunday afternoon, which also happened to be $0.50 hot dog day, so I made a bunch of hot dog toppings (bacon, quick pickled onions, dilly beans, some cheese, etc.). And there were tasty cupcakes.

      As a present to myself, I bought a stamp of my face and I just stamped whatever I wanted with my face. Like the cupcake box, so the 7yo birthday party in the next lane over didn’t get any ideas ;)

    • For my 40th this year, I had a jeweler friend design and make me a necklace. And I planned a friends party for myself. :) I finally wised up too about planning my own stuff, though I didn’t catch onto this quite as soon as you did in life! I say go for the ring to mark the milestone yourself! (And a few years ago, to celebrate my first 5 years in Canada, I bought myself some earrings. Clearly I am a fan of marking big milestones with jewelry! I love wearing them and thinking of the meaning I connect with it.)

  • KK

    Anyone else watch This is Us? I unfortunately read Slate’s review before it premiered and then lost interest in watching it: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2016/09/nbc_s_this_is_us_reviewed.html

    I felt some agreement with this bit:
    “Ladies, if your husband interrupts the doctor trying to save your life by claiming he can protect you with the force of his will, consider kicking his mansplaining behind out of the delivery room, if not your life.”

    Probably I should have watched the show first, decided for myself if I liked it, and then (or never) read the critics, but I do find myself agreeing with those critics when the shininess of the acting and background music isn’t there to tug at my heartstrings. Kind of like how that Jezebel article sorta ruined Love Actually for me.

    So, TLDR, anyone think This is Us is worth watching?

    • Amy March

      I really liked it so far! I didn’t think he was mansplaining, he was really scared and overwhelmed. I’m not sure I’ll watch it forever, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

      • stephanie

        Same — I really didn’t interpret it as that at ALL. As someone who had a really scary delivery, like.. I totally felt what he was doing.

    • Kat

      Jezebel did a similar article on The Notebook and now I can’t watch without quoting the article obnoxiously.
      Although hate-watching can be totally cathartic.

      • KK

        Yeah, I think I intentionally avoided reading that one!

    • stephanie

      AWWW I loved it! I didn’t love that ONE TINY PART but the show is so good. Watch it!

    • Totch

      I watched it. That part didn’t bug me, but the fact that the fat woman’s character development was all about her fatness and weight loss was disappointing to me. I’ll keep trying for a few more episodes, but it didn’t feel like a strong (or kind) start to her story.

    • Laura

      OMG THANK YOU. during that scene, my husband exclaimed ‘shouldn’t that be HER decision?!’ and my heart grew three sizes. it was RIDICULOUS.

  • Kate

    Anyone got good Etsy sources for Hillary gear?

  • Kat

    I started my new job this week! It’s a huge change from what I was doing, and it’s a lot of new information to learn in a short amount of time, but so far everyone has been really friendly and I think this will be a good place for me.
    AND next weekend we’re going to visit my BF’s family in south FL for Rosh Hashanah. Very excited for a mini-vacation!

    • Michela

      Congrats on the first week in the new job!!! That is so exciting.

  • Michela

    Big week in our household! Work is nuts for me with the end of the fiscal year next Friday, which means my dull job is busy instead of slow (still dull, but at least not slow). My dude also officially hired someone to take over his job in our current city!! This means we can officially kick off our California job search and plan a new location for his business + new job for me, which is both exciting and terrifying.

    We’ve nixed SF (prohibitively expensive in the long-term) and are scouting San Diego now. We’ve booked a weekend trip there in November to scout neighborhoods and potentially meet with some friends of my brother who might have job opportunities for me.

    In the meantime- does anyone have advice about job searching remotely? Or moving cross country? Or know of any good places to live/eat/work in San Diego?? I’m all ears!!
    xoM

    • LJ

      Job searching remotely: don’t mention you’re currently remote unless it’s asked directly/you’re at the end stages of the interview. You’ll get bumped to the bottom of the pile more often than not if you’re forthcoming about that – companies see a potential lack of commitment, they see risk-heavy, they see….. something more complicated than is often necessary.

      Just include your email, and possibly phone number (although that may be a giveaway), on your resume. Don’t include residential address. And if it comes to “how soon could you start” or other questions that refer to it, yes disclose it. But not before you have to.

      • Michela

        Thanks for the advice! Ask a Manager recommended putting something on your resume that says “Relocating to San Diego, CA in February 2017” so the hiring firm sees the relocation as for-sure-happening and not dependent upon them, as well as writing a line in your cover letter about not requiring relocation assistance. I wonder if I can do a combination of both.

        • Lisa

          I was just about to comment with this advice!

          • Michela

            So question, then: if I take my address off and don’t mention anything about relocating, won’t employers kinda figure it out when they see my current job (listed November 2015 – Present) is location in Ohio?

          • Lisa

            That’s a really great point. It might be worth it to explain it upfront and make sure that they know the move is happening no matter what.

          • Michela

            That’s sort of where I’m leaning, though open to all suggestions… Thanks!!xo

          • Eenie

            I didn’t feel comfortable listing an address that I didn’t actually live at, so I explained in my cover letter that I planned to relocate by X date. I got two interviews right after I moved and both were surprised that I was already local – I went through an entire phone interview before I realized they would have preferred to see me in person.

            Moral of the story, if you are moved along in the process post move (not sure if you’re moving come hell or high water) make sure to tell them!

          • Michela

            We’re moving hell or high water, but not without me having a job first. This means I need a job come hell or high water- ha! Because my husband owns his own business, it’ll take at least a year for him to pull in a steady paycheck in San Diego. We’re keeping his business location here, but aren’t sure yet what monthly income we can expect after moving and transitioning to a new management in our current city. This means the primary income responsibility in CA rests on my shoulders, and I’m far too risk-averse to move without a job sorted out. We’ll have several months of expenses saved before moving, but I’m still too nervous to move without a job.

            Do you think you got the two interviews right after moving just by coincidence? It sounds like it, since they were surprised you were already local. I’m uncomfortable listing a local address, too, but I’m hoping it won’t prohibit me from landing interviews…

          • Eenie

            Pure coincidence and the fact that I applied to so many jobs in September/October and they didn’t start interviewing until the new year.

            In all honesty, I would list your current address and explain in cover letters. You don’t want to eliminate the possibility of them giving you some money for relocation. And since you’re truly waiting to move until you secured a job, that’s a little different. I would have been using my husband’s (and future me’s) house as my address and didn’t even do that. If you don’t have much luck you can reevaluate and try your brother’s address.

        • LJ

          It probably depends on the workplace. If you’re networked with them and know them and they’re familiar with you already, then that could work. Otherwise… they could see it as an unnecessary hassle.

          • Michela

            Gosh I know.. It’s so hard to tell.. My brother lives in LA and I considered putting his address on my resume, but that feels squicky. Maybe it will just be a nightmare regardless lol.

          • LJ

            It’s gonna be hard, but I hope not a nightmare! Are you able to network in your field in your new city before you move? e.g. do you or any current coworkers have connections there that you could connect with beforehand? That may be the best “in” to an interview :)

          • Michela

            Sigh. Well that’s the challenge. I work for the Air Force now and I want out of government work for not-so-nice reasons I won’t complain about here. I have marketing experience + an advanced degree, so I’m going to try to shift into marketing in private sector. I’m hoping it will help that my brother has connections in San Diego, so we can orchestrate something similar to what you’re describing. A lot of them work for the Navy out there (I can’t escape!!) but maybe they’ll know someone?

          • LJ

            What a situation! Please keep us posted, I’ve used up all the advice I feel capable of giving haha

          • Michela

            Ha! No I totally understand. Thanks for piping in. I will definitely keep you updated!!xo

          • I was in NYC and relocating to Minnesota, and upon the advice of my friend who works in HR, I used my aunt’s address because she was local. They knew I was in NYC and moving regardless, but having a local address at least keeps you from getting eliminated before they even glance at the rest of your resume. I don’t think its sneaky, its just a way to keep yourself from being unnecessarily eliminated. Once I was hired, I changed the address they had on file so HR docs came to our PO Box instead (because we were subletting and needed something for mail)

          • Michela

            How did they know you were in NYC if your resume listed a local address? Did you disclose that after they contacted you for an interview? Just trying to clarify the timeline of your experience since you were clearly quite successful! : )

          • In my cover letter I explained that I was currently working at NYU, but really excited to move back to Minnesota. In that case, I was still employed at NYU which was obvious from a google search, and also because I had asked them not to contact my current boss. The thing is, people that working in hiring say that resumes often go through an automated system that will weed out people by searching keywords before a cover letter is even looked at. I didn’t want to get weeded out before they even read that I was moving, which is why I used the MN address. Relocating and job searching is definitely difficult from afar. In my case, a friend of my sister in law in Philly knew someone in MN that was hiring, and they connected me. I would tell everyone you can that you’re planning to move- you never know who knows someone!

          • Michela

            This is great advice. I think I’ll take my address off my resume and maybe put my brother’s Los Angeles address (not exactly San Diego local, but closer than Ohio..) and then use my cover letter to explain our concrete move to San Diego. This way I’m not lying or being sneaky, but I’m also not getting weeded out by resume robots.
            THANK YOU. This is a great compromise.
            And speaking of telling everyone I can that I’m planning to move… APW! I want to move!! Hit me up for marketing/digital content strategy jobs in California!! ; )

          • Glad it helped, and no one at the job questioned the address. Just make it clear in your cover letter. Good luck on your search!!!

      • KPM

        I wouldn’t worry too much about phone just because so many people use a cell phone as their main/only phone and have had the number since they got a cell. Once you’ve settled on a particular city, you could get a google number with their area code that forwards to your cell if you want extra reassurance.

    • Brynna

      San Diego is lovely – lived there for a number of years, but if you’re open to other cities in California, Sacramento is great! Affordable, diverse, and with fun art, food, wine and beer scenes. Lived here for 6 years now and I always try to recruit new people here :)

      • Michela

        Totally open to it!! My husband owns a soccer training academy which we’re trying to open in locations across the US. Sacramento is actually on our list… It’s fate!xo

        • Brynna

          Soccer is v. hot right now in Sacramento, since we got a team a couple of years ago (http://www.sacrepublicfc.com/). So glad you’re considering it – feel free to reach out if you need more info!

          • Michela

            Thank you!! Soccer seems to be hottest in California overall, so it sounds like we’re making the right decision, even though building a location from scratch again will be challenging. I’ll definitely keep you posted!xo

      • Lisa

        One of my husband’s best friends lives in Sacramento, and I keep hearing it’s on the up and up!

        • Brynna

          Glad I’m not the only Sacramento cheerleader out there!

    • Mer

      I’m you! I gave my notice just yesterday that I’m resigning at the end of October, traveling to Asia for two months then relocating from the east coast to San Diego. (I finally went to visit 2 weeks ago, about 2 months after I decided to move there). I’ve started applying for jobs but I work in an industry that is always short staffed and gives out relocation for relatively entry level employees.I had a phone interview last Friday where the biggest issue was my January start date, not that I’d be moving across the country and they’d be paying for it.

      I really liked the Hillcrest neighborhood, I think that’s where I’m going to try to live.

      Rent is pricey there from what I’ve seen on Craigslist. More affordable than Boston (where I currently live), which isn’t saying a lot. But no snow. So I think I’m winning in the end.

      • Michela

        Aaaah!! I’d love to meet up whenever we end up there (hoping about the same timeframe- February-ish). I’ll write down Hillcrest on my list of neighborhoods to visit while we’re there. The rent is shocking, but we were considering San Francisco first, so San Diego seems like a dream now ha.
        Have so much fun in Asia and PLEASE keep me updated!!xo

      • EF

        hillcrest is *great*. it’s the gaybourhood and super friendly. also home to a couple of lgbt nonprofits — i worked for one for a summer — and generally really progressive people.

    • I blogged a tiny bit about our drive cross country to move.

      Here’s my thoughts on the Upack Relocube (i.e. a moving Pod): http://byov.blogspot.com/2015/10/moving-upack-relocube-pods.html
      On drugging the cat for a 5 day road trip: http://byov.blogspot.com/2015/10/moving-road-trip-5-days-car-travel-with.html
      And the actual drive itself: http://byov.blogspot.com/2015/10/road-trip-pittsburgh-pa-to-mountain.html

      • Michela

        This is such great info, thank you! At the very least it sounds like I need to overestimate how much time it will take to pack, load the truck/cube, and drive to CA. I love that you made the most of it by stopping along cool places out west. We’ve talked about doing the same thing, so I made a note of the places you visited. Thank you for sharing!!

    • If you want a sorta-DIY move, I would suggest checking out ABF U-Pack. You pack your stuff into a semi-truck (you don’t have to use all of it), then they fill the rest with commercial stuff to transport and drive it to your destination. It was less expensive than U-Haul was for me when I moved in 2009.

      • Eenie

        You or one of the other commenters mentioned this when I asked for recommendations. It was awesome, but mostly because I only needed to use 6feet of trailer. They have a pod type option too which was less expensive for some amounts of space. Their customer service was awesome.

        • I think that might have been me because I’m pretty sure I have mentioned them here before! So glad you had a good experience too!

      • Michela

        I read about them on an Apartment Therapy post about moving across the country. So happy to hear you had similarly great experiences! I’m officially adding them to my moving notes. Thank you!!

    • San Diego

      I just wanted to share an encouraging anecdote (I hope it is encouraging, anyway) that my partner and I decided we were moving to San Diego if I could get a job here, and we did it, and I got the job while I still lived on the east coast.

      • Michela

        That is so encouraging!! Thank you for commenting.

        Any advice about how to job search across the country or any tips on what worked well for you? Any and all info is much appreciated.

        Thank you so so much!xo

  • touchdownton abbey

    This week has been INTENSE for me.
    Wedding is 3 weeks away.
    Car broke down over the weekend, and is unable to be fixed. (It was old and lived it’s life, but it was still a disappointment.)
    Got a new car.
    Work was crazy…

    All in all, it’s just been crazy.
    However, I took that Pottermore Patronus Quiz- and mine is a Capuchin Monkey!

    • Michela

      Wow. Sounds like your week was exactly that- INTENSE. At least Capuchin Monkeys are cute? I’m seeing some depressing results from that quiz (mole rat, pigeon, etc.) so I’m afraid to take it. You might have changed my mind though.. Good luck dealing with everything else! Pour yourself a glass of wine/tea/tequila; you deserve it!xo

      • touchdownton abbey

        I just poured myself some coffee and I’m trying to take it easy tonight!

        • Michela

          Cheers, then!!xo

    • Lisa

      I’m a bit disappointed with my Patronus (dolphin), but the hype around the new quiz finally convinced my husband to take all of them, including the Sorting Hat quiz. We finally have confirmation that we’re both Ravenclaws!

      • touchdownton abbey

        At least Dolphins are graceful? I just wish there was some explanation on the quiz regarding your patronus. Because I feel like I would have been more pleased with the results if there was some reason for it. But I’m a ravenclaw too so I might just be overthinking it.

        • Lisa

          My friend tried to make me feel better by commenting on how majestic and intelligent dolphins are. I, too, wish there were more explanations, especially for the weirdly specific iterations of cats. (I’ve seen at least 4 varieties so far.)

          • APlus

            see above, pheasant. things could be a lot worse.

          • Michela

            PHEASANT!? I cannot take this quiz. I’m so terrified.

          • APlus

            I’m totally going to get murdered in book one.

          • Michela

            Does that mean you’ll spend the afterlife in a perpetual medieval feast?? *insert wide-eyed emoji here*

          • Totch

            Stoat. Channeling Lyra Belacua from The Golden Compass, because I think Pan was sometimes a stoat?

        • Kaitlyn

          The lack of explanation is killing me

      • SuzyNP

        I also got a dolphin and was a bit disappointed!! High five fellow Ravenclaw. My husband is a hufflepuff which I find hilaaaaarious.

      • rg223

        Dolphins are cool!! And as you said downthread, they are totally the smartest animals. I’ll trade you salmon for a dolphin!

        ETA: And I’m a Ravenclaw too!

      • Alyssa Andrews

        I got a dolphin too! I was hoping for something else….. but dolphins are smart, playful, pretty bad-ass and surf by my house. I think I was really hoping for something more interesting though!

    • My Patronus is a badger and I don’t know how I feel about that.

      • touchdownton abbey

        See, I would have been OK with that- my dad called me Badger as a kid as (I think?) a term of endearment?

      • Totch

        Said it upthread, but I’ve got to put it here too because they seem related: I got a stoat.

        • KK

          A stoat? Did you have to google what the heck that was or did you already know, since, of course, it’s your Patronus! Apparently I should have watched more National Geographic or Animal Planet as a kid. I expected to learn about *magical* beasts from Harry Potter :)

          • Totch

            I knew because of another fantasy book: in The Golden Compass, Lyra’s daemon takes the form of a stoat at one point so I’d looked them up when I was a kid.

            #qualitynerding

          • rg223

            LOOOOOOVE this!

          • KK

            Man, I even read that book in the last year. Now I ALSO need to work on reading comprehension/retention/look up words when I read. This thread is giving me a lot of homework :)

      • My patronus is a SNAKE.
        Welcome to my damn life. lol.

      • rg223

        Mine was a salmon. Whomp whomp.

        • lizzers

          Haha, of all the ones I’ve seen, I have to say that salmon strikes me as the most lame. Condolences.

          • AGCourtney

            I’ll see that and I will raise you: MOLE.

            Outside this thread, I will continue to refuse to acknowledge this, haha.

          • LadyMe

            Have you ever read the Redwall series? ‘Cause the moles were awesome.

          • Totch

            Seriously. Moles and stoats ftw in redwall (now that you’ve reminded me of redwall, I’m feeling even better about my stoat patronus).

          • rg223

            I’m not just defending my title of “most lame” here, but I think moles are kind of cool? I feel like they have cool adaptations to live underground, and can like sense other creatures and objects when they burrow?

          • lizzers

            Agreed. Moles don’t for a second tempt me to move the “most lame” crown to their tiny-eyed, furry head. Their burrowing skills are amazing!

            No, that title shall remain for salmon, that unmemorable entree option you regretted picking at your cousin’s wedding in suburban Toledo.

          • rg223

            HAHAHA, thanks.

        • Lisa
        • Gaby

          if it’s any consolation, Evanna Lynch who plays Luna also got salmon and she likes it.

        • karyn_arden

          Mine is also salmon. So too for Evanna Lynch, aka: Luna Lovegood, so I’m feeling reasonably secure in my salmon-ness.

      • Rose

        Mine is a black mare. Which isn’t terrible (I mean, I wouldn’t have picked a horse for myself, but whatever), but black? Not black! Silver! It’s a patronus! Why on earth would you designate a color for a patronus? It’s not like it’s a species or variety designation, like a red fox would be.

        • Lisa

          This is how I feel about the variety of cats. It’s not like they’re even being broken out by breed. It’s just color!

          • Rose

            Like, it announces that it’s a “black mare” as a silver one gallops across the screen. It just looks ridiculous.

      • Nikki

        Omg I got badger too, but I kind of love it because my family always played the “what animal would you be game,” and my dad used to tease me that I’d be a badger because I was grumpy and independent and kind of elusive. So when I got a badger patronus, I was just like, yep.

    • Kaitlyn

      I got a grey squirrel and was horribly disappointed haha

      • Michela

        See? This is why I’m scared to take it.

      • APlus

        MINE WAS A PHEASANT AND I GUESS I HAVE TO DROP OUT OF HOGWARTS?

        • rg223

          This is becoming my favorite thread of Happy Hour.

        • scw

          I had an identity crisis last night when I was sorted into hufflepuff! I was ravenclaw in the old pottermore but when I reregistered last night I decided to roll the dice instead of going with my old house. was it a huge mistake? am I a hufflepuff now that my saturn return is over?

          • APlus

            I was delighted to be Ravenclaw, but the delight was quickly dampened by the pheasant. I guess I’m a meek back of the class type ravenclaw…

          • scw

            hey, at least you didn’t get salmon.

      • stephanie

        My son got that and had the same reaction. I got a red squirrel and kind of love it. ;)

    • Kara

      My Patronus is a fox. I was pleased as punch :).

      • KK

        I thought mine was looking like a fox until they identified it as a ginger cat… not as cool :( Though I do love kitties!

    • Fiona

      Mine is a swallow, which I’m ok with.

      • Lisa

        I really thought I would get some type of bird like a sparrow. (Singing + air sign.) Aquatic animals weren’t even on my radar. I thought my husband would end up with something like a fish, but he got an owl.

        • Jenny

          Wait, you got a water animal (which you thought your husband would get) and he got a bird (which you thought you would get)!? That’s adorable, it’s like you are looking out for each other, like how Tonk’s takes the form of a wolf because she loves him, and Harry’s takes the form of his dad (who loves him).

          • Lisa

            Ok, this is the best explanation of our Patronuses that I’ve seen yet. Thank you for making me smile last night during the debate! (Goodness knows I needed some kind of positivity in my life then…)

    • Laura C

      Ok, I just signed up finally … black swan.

      • touchdownton abbey

        Oooh. that’s a good one.

        • Laura C

          Working my way through the quizzes and I am surprised to be a Gryffindor rather than a Ravenclaw.

          • Lisa

            The Sorting Hat test is kind of wonky. One of my friend has 4+ accounts because she has researched it and presents about the Pottermore quizzes at HP conferences. She said she’s answered roughly the same way each time (there are always different questions), and she’s gotten all four houses and two different Patronuses so far.

          • JC

            THANK GOD. I am so upset that I was sorted into a house I’ve never been sorted into before. Like, unreasonably upset, but oh well, it’s been a long week. I am comforted by telling myself that the real Sorting Hat would have let me choose.

          • Gaby

            late reply, but I had to laugh at myself on Friday because we picked up our wedding license and were very excited, but then I immediately came home and started ranting to a friend about how the new pottermore put me in a house I had never been in before. I always thought I would be ravenclaw and was shocked to get Slytherin (on multiple accounts) a few years ago, but eventually accepted it. Then I came back and got Ravenclaw this time! Now i’m ranting again. But I did like getting a fox as my patronus :)

          • Her Lindsayship

            I was also sorted into Gryffindor and also surprised about it! I’ll take it though. My patronus is an IRISH WOLFHOUND aka friggin PERFECT

      • rg223

        Seriously? That’s badass!

    • Alyssa Andrews

      Dolphin! Probably not what I’d choose for myself, but I won’t question the wizarding world.

      • Olive

        Haha!

    • Olive

      Bloodhound! Which just makes me want a dog even more…back to petfinder…

    • doublegus

      Mine is a sparrowhawk, which sounds made up.

    • Mine was a black and white cat, which I felt pretty good about!

      • Alyssa Andrews

        My cat is a b+w cat and she is the best. You got a good one!

        • oh thank you! I watched the patronus prancing around the pond for awhile, because it looked lovely. I did think it was funny that they specified the colors of the cat :)

    • Rebekah

      My sister was upset that she was a grass snake (because to her, snake = Slytherin = evil), so I took it ASAP and got . . . Tortoiseshell Cat. I’m ambivalent.

    • Arie

      Um. White Stallion. What?

    • lildutchgrrl

      This thread reminds me of the shenanigans last night at my storytime class — we were all handed puppets from a big bag and told to take them home and get to know them before next week when we practice using puppets in a storytime. The woman in front of me got a BEAUTIFUL otter. There were lots of bunnies and doggies and a porcupine. And I KNOW you get what you get and you don’t get upset… but the horsie I ended up with just did not work for me. There’s no rule that says you can’t swap, though. :) I ended up at the table afterward with a few others sorting through the leftover puppets. Ended up with Fuzzik the Ferret. (He doesn’t have a voice; he just whispers to me and I tell the kids what he said. Can save my voices for the books!)

    • Lulu

      Wolf. So much more badass than I actually feel!

    • louise danger

      I got a Kingfisher! I wasn’t excited initially, but it’s been growing on me. I think I like that my ~visible manifestation of happiness and safety~ is a small, murderous but brightly-colored ball of feathers and death.

      /rah rah ravenclaw

  • sage

    It has come to my attention this week that I am not managing my anxiety all that well without medication and some doctors visits are probably in order. I stopped taking medication almost two years ago and since then I’ve made several positive changes to my lifestyle to try to stay mentally healthy (cleaned up diet, regular exercise, much less caffeine and alcohol). However, little cumulative life stressors like going on vacation, a family member’s diagnosis, and small disagreements with my fiance are sending me into a tailspin these days. Adding to that is the fact that for months now every time I go into work I get this weird pressure/ringing in my ears that seems to be stress related. And now we are just starting wedding planning and planning to buy a house next year.

    I love living a full life, complete with loads of travel and a stressful but engaging job that I can throw myself into, but even with the healthier lifestyle I’ve been working on, I think I still need some additional help to keep my anxiety in check. If anyone has been in a similar place or has good stories about being on SSRIs long-term to manage anxiety, I would love to hear your thoughts. Obviously I will be discussing options with my therapist and psychiatrist as well, I just mostly want to know I’m not alone.

    • LJ

      I’ve managed well with diet controls (I track via my fitness pal) and exercise. I do find that strength stuff affects me differently than cardio, so you may want to play around with that?

      That said, I have mild anxiety that got bad but had notable distinct causes that were lifestyle-mitigateable. That’s not the case with everyone. I know the medications – TCAs, SSRIs… they work, and doctors prescribe them for a reason. As much as the “woo” peddlers want to convince you that kombucha and yoga can fix chemical imbalances, most times they can’t.

      Here’s an anecdote… I used to work as a cabin leader at an overnight camp as a teenager. We would regularly get kids sent to us with ADHD, whose parents would not disclose that they had ADHD and would not send them with their meds. They wanted to give their kids a week to “be themselves” but they couldn’t manage the kids “being who they really are” so they sent them to camp. It was obvious within 24 hours who these kids were. They were not happy. They felt out of control, manic….. they weren’t “themselves”! The medication made them who they wanted to be and made them functional and allowed them to do what they wanted to do.

      I disagree strongly with stigmatization of mental health medicine, so if that is a factor for you, please realize that medicine exists to help and doctors do want to help you.

      • Ashlah

        I can’t believe parents did that to their kids! That sounds awful.

        • LJ

          It was so well intentioned but SO DUMB. It was heartbreaking and made everyone’s camp experience that much harder. :(

          • Lisa

            Perhaps well-intentioned on their part, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a kind way to treat the counselors who will be supervising the children!

          • LJ

            The volunteer high school counselors with no formal training!

            We learned fast. :

      • APlus

        I taught swimming lessons, and at the halfway point of a 2 week session (daily lessons), a child’s grandma informed me the child had fetal alcohol syndrome. I felt terrible for how impatient I had been with her and SO ANNOYED they didn’t think that was day one information…

        • LJ

          “need to know” means those who supervise your child “NEED TO KNOW” it doesn’t mean you just don’t tell anyone. So hard :(

        • Lisa

          That’s so hard! Not totally comparable, but my husband’s best friend and his wife have a dog that was diagnosed with diabetes at 6 months. The wife, who has a short fuse and strong intolerance for things not going her way, had been super frustrated with the dog peeing in the house and had been yelling at her a lot. She felt awful when she realized that it wasn’t the dog’s fault.

          She’s pregnant now, and I’m hoping that this was a good lesson for her for when something possibly happens with her kids.

      • rg223

        A similar thing happened when I was a summer RA at a high school program at my college. There were several kids dealing with different mental illnesses, and we had no idea (except of course we found out very quickly from their behavior). That was especially tough because the kids themselves didn’t want us to know, as well as the parents, and everyone’s heart was in the right place… but I would have handled situations much differently if it had been disclosed.

        • LJ

          SO rough….. working with kids gets so complicated when mental stuff gest involved, and it’s not exactly straightforward even without those added barriers!

    • Michela

      You are absolutely not alone. I struggled with anxiety for years before being able to define what that tight chest, nausea, difficulty breathing feeling was. This spring I finally got on meds when the stress of a new job + wedding planning with family overseas + final semester of graduate school got to me. I was projecting my stress onto my partner, which was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. The meds were a total lifesaver and you should feel neither alone nor stigmatized by the need. I will say that with the wedding and graduate school over with, I’ve needed to take them less (my prescription is a take-as-needed thing) and have been able to counteract anxiety with healthier eating and more exercise. But you know what? I still have days where I need to take it, and that is totally ok.

      Please don’t feel alone!! And let me know if you ever want to chat privately.xo

    • Louise

      I tried to go of my medication once I thought my life had stabilised, the wedding was done and I was working at a job that no longer made me cry everyday but I found that I still had a constant underlining feeling of anxiety it was exhausting and since I have been back on my meds it is just easier

  • Sara

    I have a quandary for the group here – for those of you that have done therapy, how did you find your therapist? Google? Recommendations? Trial and error? I don’t have a regular doctor (I’m more of the home remedy until its a serious issue type of gal) and I don’t know of anyone in therapy, so I don’t know where to start. But, I’ve been feeling really really down lately and I think it would be a good idea to find someone to talk to that’s not a friend, family or my overly dramatic brother. I googled who was in my network but then felt like everyone was ‘advertising’ their specialty in drug abuse or trauma, and neither of those apply to me.
    Any advice would be welcome :)

    • Ashlah

      Caveat that I’ve never looked for a therapist for myself, but I’ve helped my husband in his search. I found Psychology Today’s search tool pretty useful because you can sort by specialty (among other stats).

      https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/

      • Olive

        I used Psychology Today too!

    • Michela

      I asked my ob/gyn at my annual pap because the timing worked out, and she gave me three recommendation. I called all three and picked the one who took insurance and could get me in the soonest. It worked out well, but I empathize that it’s a difficult thing to figure out.

    • Lulu

      This is random, and I might be mis-remembering, but are you in Chicago? If so, I can relay the name of the folks I reached out to this week and had a good intake experience with.

      • Sara

        I am! Good memory :) I’m in the burbs, in Glen Ellyn.

        • Lulu

          If only I could train my brain to retain the things I actually need to remember! Anyway, I started my search by inquiring with Urban Balance, for absolutely no reason other than that I had filed the name away, their locations are reasonably convenient, and I could start the intake process over email. Good luck!

          • Sara

            Thanks! Good luck to you too :)

    • LJ

      search for one specializing in depression and anxiety as that’s probably closest to you. I would google “[your city] anxiety depression counselor”…. and mad props for being open for mental health checkups. Just as important as physical ones. :)

    • Psychology Today has a “find a therapist” option.

      If your company has an employee assistance program (EAP) they can give you names as well, and many cover a limited number of sessions as well.

    • Eh

      The last one I got through my Employee Assistance Program through work. My biggest advice is to make sure you mesh with the person. I did not like the first one I was assigned so I called back and got a different one.

      • Kadee

        My finance and I did a few sessions together last year and we went through a similar program through work. Ours covered a certain number of sessions and had a policy that if you had a session with a therapist you didn’t like, they would help you find a different one, and the “failed” appointment wouldn’t count as one of your covered sessions.

        • Eh

          I know my EAP only pays for so many sessions and changing therapists did not seem to effect that.

    • Essssss

      Props for taking action! You can also call your insurance company and they can help you filter down results of in-network providers like a list of the female providers who are taking new patients and specialize in depression. If you call folks and talk about setting up an appointment you can also ask about their style (like are they more directive or listening). Do you want homework? Do you just want someone to talk to? Do you want to do most of the talking or for it to be 50/50ish? You can ask them about that. Or just go to a first appointment and figure that it might take visiting a few people before you find someone you click with.

    • Lotsa good tips here, but remember that it’s also okay to not like the therapist you meet with…and to find another one you mesh with better!

      • Alyssa Andrews

        Agreed! I’m a therapist in training and while I can’t speak for everyone, of the people I do know in the therapy field, we genuinely want the best for the clients we have, even if that means seeing someone else. I’ve also fired a therapist before and it was awkward, but most definitely worth it because I found someone who ACTUALLY helped me.

    • Alyssa Andrews

      Therapist in training here — I think the best way is through the Psychology Today Find a Therapist, where you can search by need, specialty and zip code. I think they also list what insurances they take too. Warning though– a lot of therapists don’t work with insurance because it’s a headache (apparently), so if you can swing it financially, keep your options open to someone out of network. For me, the best therapists I’ve had didn’t take insurance. Also — look for nonprofits in your area that work with children and family services. They will often offer counseling services for individuals at reduced rates.

      Also: Shop around! Schedule initial phonecalls or sessions with a few different people and let them know that you’re looking for a therapist for x, y, and z in your life and see how they approach problems and just pay attention to what it’s like to talk to them. It feels a little like dating, but finding a therapist you “click” with and feel like you can talk to is often the biggest factor in someone having “successful” therapy.

    • sage

      I didn’t have a ton of time or energy to thoroughly research therapists at the time I needed one, so I asked a minister from my church for recommendations. She crowdsourced from a few of her other minister friends in town and sent me the names of those with the best testimonials. This worked really well for me!

    • A single Sarah

      Ive ask friends on the same insurance. Then friends on whatever insurance. Then the insurance site. I like the psychology today filters, but making sure I think was covered was hard.

  • Ashley

    I can understand the “anyone but Trump” mentality (although I choose not to vote out of fear) but I get really bored with the glorification of Hillary on this website, a website that seems to fold feminism as a basic tenant. To me there isn’t feminism without intersectionality. Berta Cáceres was a feminist, Hillary, not so much.

    • Can you explain what you mean by “there isn’t feminism with intersectionality”. Does that mean if a woman doesn’t have an intersection like race/ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, etc she’s not a real feminist? Just trying to understand.

      • Mary Jo TC

        did she mistype and mean “without”? Like “there isn’t feminism without intersectionality”?
        Clarification would be helpful. There are some legit complaints about Clinton’s record, ex criminal justice issues from the 90’s. But it’s still clear that she’s by far the best choice we have.

      • Ashley

        What I mean is that I don’t think feminism simply means believing women and men are equal and deserve equal rights, but that it is recognizing that disentangling one oppression (classism, racism, colonialism etc) from another is impossible and that fighting in the face of all injustice is essential in fighting for women’s rights generally.

        I do think that a woman running for president and being outspoken and courageous in the face of negativity is a feminist act. And I do think she has done some progressive and great things in this country in regards to poverty, racial equality, and in other areas. However when her foreign policy stance has historically favored occupying other countries and standing by dictators, supporting US companies that do not support women’s rights, supporting racist policy, and publicly using racist language, (I wont begin to talk about the slut-shaming she engaged in because I can’t begin to comprehend what it would be like to live a private life in the public eye) it is hard for me to not be skeptical that her “feminism” is nothing but a mask put on to get votes.

        Sure, she’s a politician and none of them are perfect. All I’m saying is I find it frustrating that on this website, it seems like she is being put on some sort of pedestal of feminism. I wish we could have a more realistic conversation about her and her politics.

        And for those of you who were wondering (shaming), I actually did not say I am not going to vote for her, I just said I wouldn’t vote for someone based solely on the fact that they are better than Trump. Maybe that is privileged, as I certainly hold a lot of privilege in this world. But I don’t think democracy is about bullying someone into voting for one person or another. I also think that if I want something about our current system to change, then I should probably do something about it.

        Really though, what I was saying is my interest in this website is waning because I think there are a lot of articles that glorify Hillary as a feminist. If we are taking a break from wedding planning to talk politics, I think the conversation should be honest and fair. If that isn’t possible, maybe stick to the other stuff. But that points to my choice about being bored that some commenters don’t think I have….I don’t have to read this website!

        • Gotcha, thank you for explaining.

        • Melinda

          I’m with you, Ashley, if it helps.

    • LJ

      As a Canadian with only a passing interest, I agree that being partisan can make us non-Americans feel a bit outside of everything, so I would appreciate it being secondary to the rest of the APW news that is accessible to non-Americans too….but I’ve really enjoyed the persective and I disagree with the feminism viewpoint.

    • Amy March

      You get bored with the glorification of the first woman with an actual shot at being President of the United States? Sorry I guess you’ll just be bored then.

    • emilyg25

      A feminist thinks men and women should be equal. Hillary Clinton thinks men and women should be equal. And she’s spent a good portion of her career making it so. I can get that people get tired of politics, but saying she’s not a feminist is just absurd.

    • The B.

      “I choose not to vote out of fear” — meaning that you won’t vote for Hillary because she doesn’t perfectly encapsulate your values, despite the danger lurking on the other side? Frankly, that’s an incredibly privileged position and not one that’s exactly supportive of the intersectional feminism you’re claiming to hold in such high regard.

      “The purpose of voting is not to express your fidelity to a worldview. It’s not to wave a flag or paint your face in team colors; it’s to produce outcomes.” Hillary produces outcomes that no other candidate running will, including protections for WOC, LGBT and more.

    • Kate

      “I get really bored with the glorification of Hillary on this website”- Hmmmmmm. You know what? The world and America are literally at stake so I’ll keep talking about Hillary until we are safe on the other side of November 8th. And is it really glorification if we really think she’s just that great? Sorry you’re bored, but times like these require CONSTANT VIGILANCE. If we look away, Trump will win.

    • Fiona

      To defend Ashley, I understand this perspective, (especially if it’s “isn’t feminism without intersectionality”…). I’m having a really hard time with this election because I don’t like voting for third party candidates, Trump is out of the question, but hawkish foreign policy is a HUGE negative for me as a lifelong pacifist. I will definitely vote for Clinton, but I’m not happy about it.

      • The B.

        You don’t have to be happy about it! Votes count either way. No one is saying that Hillary is perfect, but at this point voting Hillary should be a moral and ethical imperative…and yeah, talking about the alternative being worse is a good enough reason this time. I have no patience or regard for those who want to stay in their little bubble to laud unqualified third party candidates or, worse, refuse to vote in order to make themselves feel better about their progressivism.

    • MC

      I think one can easily make an argument for Hillary as an intersectional feminist – some of her first work as a lawyer was helping kids with disabilities who were not in school, she has the most representative staff of ANY presidential campaign, also had a very diverse staff as SOS, made it wasier for trans folks to change their gender on their passports as SOS, just to name a few examples. Is she a perfect intersectional feminist? No, and if we had to wait for one as a candidate we would never see a woman as president. We sure didn’t have to wait for any flawless men before they were elected to do the job.

      • ART

        “We sure didn’t have to wait for any flawless men before they were elected to do the job.” BOOM

        • Michela

          I just laughed out loud at this line. Yas qweeeeen!!

    • Rowany

      Honestly, even though I care deeply about intersectionality, I think such a hard stance is another example of holding women to higher standards. That because you’re a WOMAN activist you have to care about everyone. I don’t like nor support the history of white feminism shutting down other voices, but at the same time I think it’s disingenuous to expect Hillary to speak for all women. We don’t say that because a Black Lives Matter activist isn’t talking about the issues of black women or LGBTQ that they aren’t ‘really’ supporting black lives. We gave Obama a pass for not being ready for gay marriage when he was campaigning, or not talking about Asian Americans enough. I do think that having Hillary as President will be better for women in a way no other candidate will be this election, full stop, which is pretty feminist to me.

      • Not to nitpick, but Black Lives Matter DOES include Black women and LGBTQ – in fact, the founders of the movement are queer Black women. The focus is liberation for all Black people in America, which includes Black women & Black LGBTQ folks as well.

        • Rowany

          That is a great point, and I am not trying to diminish that. My point though is that I wouldn’t call out an individual BLM supporter for not “truly” being a BLM supporter if for example, their primary issue of concern is police brutality, as long as they’re not shutting down the voices of others. Similarly I’m not going to tell someone they’re not a feminist if for example, they care more about the wage gap in their industry than LGBTQ discrimination laws. I might point out ways in which they are privileged, but I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to care about all the issues within feminism and more importantly I think it’s better to have more open dialog than to shut it down by trying to take away their feminist badge.

    • SuzyNP

      “I choose not to vote out of fear”…
      Fine, but please don’t forget the rest of the planet: those who feel the effects of US foreign policy in every aspect of their lives, for the sixty-five million people forcibly displaced and the millions more that could be if a nutjob like Trump had access to the nuclear codes and the most powerful office in the world, for those whose lives have been put on hold and who are compared to skittles in political ads, for those living in countries that follow the example, for those who trade, work, breathe the same air as the citizens of the USA.
      A great many of us live in fear of who you will vote for president. Please use that precious, privileged vote wisely.

      • Melinda

        There was a documentary called “Clinton Cash” about The Clinton Foundation that was shown at the Cannes Film Festival this year. You can watch it on YouTube.

        Sorry, but there is no way I can vote Clinton considering what The Clinton Foundation has done to other nations on the planet. They did terrible things in Africa, Haiti, and South America and no one wants to talk about it.

        • Amy March

          “Documentary” is an interesting word for that movie. I’d go with “poorly researched conservative propaganda” myself.

          • The B.

            Seriously, Breitbart champions it.

  • LadyMe

    Anyone got any good reasonably priced ($100-$150) Mother of Bride clothes for a plus size lady??? My mom is freaking out a little, and she gave in and bought one of those lace dresses with a jacket thing and doesn’t seem like she loves it. We’re doing Catholic mass + lawn games in New England October weather, dress code somewhere around between what you’d normally wear to church and what you’d wear for Easter.

    • emilyg25

      Does it have to be a long dress? My mom (size 14 I think?) wore a lace cocktail dress. Many more options in the cocktail realm!

      • LadyMe

        She does not do short dresses AT ALL. TBH, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear a dress of any length in my living memory.

        • Lisa

          Would she be open to pants then with a fabulous blouse? There are some really pretty “formal” shirts in most department stores like Macy’s. As a singer, I can tell you there are lots of great fancy pants/shirt combos!

          • LadyMe

            That’s what I was trying to encourage, but she went to the mall for hours and came back with that dress because she couldn’t find anything that looked good on her. I was hoping people might have some secret tips on maybe plus-size specific lines or stores that might have more options.

          • InTheBurbs

            Nordstrom Rack has some super cute formal shirts right now – and something like that paired with palazzo pants would look great and trendy!

          • LadyMe

            Thanks! I will go look on their site.

          • Lisa

            I’m thinking maybe a blouse like this, which is available at Dillard’s or Lord & Taylors. This could be really pretty, too. I’m having a lot of luck finding items on Lord & Taylors site under plus-sized tops. Maybe that would be a good place to start? You could also order a bunch of tops and have her try them on at home, which might make her more comfortable than going in to a store and having to sift through all of the racks to find things she likes.

          • Lisa

            This is the designer who keeps popping up most frequently. I googled “formal plus sized separates” to get a start.

          • LadyMe

            Shame on my google fu. I’ve just been going straight to store websites and searching :P

            Both those tops you linked seem like possibilities and the trying at home thing is a great idea. Thanks for all the help!

          • Lisa

            You’re welcome! I’ve been in retail/needed formal wear for years so I’ve got a bit of a jump on this. :)

        • Michela

          I was just thinking about that too, @disqus_ShkBoOhlEN:disqus. Maybe part of the reason your mom is uncomfortable/dissatisfied has less to do with the style of dress and more to do with the fact that it’s a dress.

          • LadyMe

            Yeah. She wants to dress up nice cause I’m the first kid getting married, but she wasn’t able to find anything she liked when she went shopping, so she caved and bought this dress, and I feel really bad because she’s clearly trying to pysch herself into liking it.

          • Michela

            I totally understand that : /

            One thing that worked really well for my MIL was sending her photos of MOTB/MOTG outfits off Pinterest. She’s Dutch and had no experience with the American wedding experience so she didn’t know how fancy to look, whether she should wear long/short dress, how to coordinate with everyone else, etc. After showing her photos in the color scheme we suggested, she was totally on board. Maybe you could show your mom some inspiration photos of MOTBs in trousers/blouses so she won’t feel like the only person who’s ever done it? And suggest some blingy jewelry to dress it up extra nice?

          • LadyMe

            I haven’t loved anything I’ve found on Pinterest. It’s a lot of weird flowing match-matchy stuff that seems pretty identical to the dress… just, in pants form.

          • Michela

            Ugh. I’m out of ideas… I hope she finds something she’s happy wearing! What an annoying situation.xo

          • LadyMe

            Sorry! Thanks for the attempts :)

          • Michela

            No apologies necessary! Keep us posted.

          • Lisa

            Or, if as LadyMe said below, she’s just unhappy with her body in general, then it makes shopping even more difficult. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened at my retail job where a woman looks great in an item but talks herself out of it because she’s upset with a certain part of her body.

    • Michela

      Agreed with @emilyg25:disqus! My mom bought a cocktail-length lace dress in a pretty blush color from Nordstrom online for less than $180. She even had it hemmed to hit right at the knee so it felt less dowdy. We also had a Catholic mass, if that helps!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I wouldn’t discredit David’s Bridal. They are often the best for plus size variety. Do you know what size she is and what she’s ideally looking for? There are some great plus size brands but a lot of them don’t do formal (it’s more cocktail style and it sounds like she’s not having a shorter dress.)

  • Lulu

    Would anyone like a lighthearted question about dresses? Because I have two! I am in a bridal party with an “any black gown” directive. Do you think Rent the Runway is too risky for someone who is really short (5’0″)? I live in a city with a RTR store, so I’m going to pop in and see what they think, but I’d love to hear real-life experiences too. Then, do you have any hidden gem retailers I should check out? Nothing on major department store sites has really grabbed me thus far. The Venn diagram of “can wear a bra” and “not for the mother of the bride” and “costs less than a mortgage payment” seems surprisingly small.

    • Michela

      I really love ASOS, but they don’t have a brick and mortar. If that’s not a deal breaker, it might be a good option because they have various price points (especially for a LBD) and an entire wedding section that I wish I’d known about when scouting bridesmaids dresses. The shipping is relatively quick and it’s free returns.
      Good luck!!

      • If you’re going to do ASOS, I would order a few sizes, and generally up from what you would normally wear. I always struggle with ASOS sizing, and a lot of my friends have the same problem. Still love their options- but its just a heads up.

        • Lulu

          Good advice, thanks! They have one dress I’ve had my eye on (http://www.asos.com/Jarlo/Jarlo-Lace-Back-Fishtail-Dress/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=7025859), but I’m worried it would be a tailoring nightmare. Again, short girl problems!

          • For some reason that link is bringing me to their homepage, even though I can see that you have Jarlo in there….

          • Lulu

            Doh! Might have been a parentheses problem– tried to edit it. Someday I’ll learn to embed links like a real internet-er.

          • Lisa

            Link embedding is easy! Do whatever text you want. Omit the stars.

            Edit: Wow, this just doesn’t want to cooperate!

          • Lulu

            Thank you! Somewhere across the city, my software developer husband is rolling his eyes so hard…

            Here is the dress in question!

          • Lisa

            In case you’ve clicked the drop down reply already and are confused by what I’ve done, check out the edit for the HTML code. :)

          • I finally got the link to work by right clicking and copying the address, then removing the http before it. That dress is lovely! There is a lot of dress at the bottom to hem, but its also a dress that could be used more than once so maybe the hemming costs will pay off?

          • Lulu

            Thanks for both the persistence and the affirmation– I might give it a whirl!

    • Amy March

      Not if you can try it on in the store!

    • Brynna

      I’ve used RTR several times and I think it’s super fun! I recommend it to friends and family. It’s a great way to get a style you want to wear, but don’t need to own.

      Always look at the user pics to find people with similar body types to see how the dress looks. That’s key – otherwise, I’ve had great experiences.

    • I think popping into the RTR store is a good idea. Does it have to be long, or can you go with something cocktail length?

      Maybe also try Ann Taylor or Banana Republic? I think they have more “wedding” type stuff that you can order, and see if it works for you.

      • Lulu

        Ooh, yeah, I should have specified that it has to be long– that’s why I’m so hesitant about RTR for my Lilliputian self. I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has been in a RTR store– I’m worried they won’t have much selection!

        • I am just over 5 foot too, and when I first heard about RTR, this is what I worried about too. It’s also been a problem with long dresses with beading or detail at the bottom. Sigh. No suggestions, but I can relate! Though last fall I did find a long black dress at the thrift store and then altered it so it fit me exactly (shortened it, added a side slit, and took it in a little at the sides). I tried at stores and couldn’t find anything and ended up at the thrift store. Thankfully they had some good options! Good luck!

    • Olive

      I just ordered a RTR dress for a wedding (as a guest) in a few weeks. I’m so excited to try it! I flipped through all the customer pics to get an idea of length/fit on people of different sizes…a short-ish dress shouldn’t be a problem, but a long one might. I also ordered a couple chiffon Adriana Papell dresses from Macy’s that were on sale & divine earlier this summer. If you’re an online shopper I also always check Modcloth, 6pm, and zappos. Good luck!

      • Lulu

        6pm! I had forgotten about that one. Those kind of deal sites are where I’m hoping I can find something that is both not too boring and not too expensive.

    • Kat

      Does it have to be floor length? RTR has some great tea-length and hi-low options.
      Also, try ASOS, or maybe even thrift/consignment shops? Luckily “any black gown” is easier to find than, say, a very specific shade of purple. Good luck!

      • Lulu

        Yes, floor length… but still pretty easy in the grand scheme of things. I’ve done lots of bridesmaid duty and never worn a gown, and I’m pretty excited to feel a little glam.

    • I loved RTR when I lived in NYC and could try on in store. Just make sure you go on off hours (so not after work on Thur or Friday). I’m hesitant to use it again now that we’ve moved, but in store- definitely. Plus, if you hate the dress after the order comes in and you’ve tried it on, they will exchange or credit you back. Then just walk over to 6th Ave and buy something else. Or swing by the Aldo a block over and grab some different shoes. Good luck!

      • One more note on RTR- if you’re nervous about length of dress, maybe order some fun jewelry? They have great stuff and its a fun way to really punch up a more basic black dress. It initially seemed silly to rent jewelry, but a lot of their options are super bold and not things I would normally buy. I’ve rented earrings twice and they’ve always made a big impact.

      • Lulu

        Thanks for the in-store affirmation– I’m excited to play dress up!

        • When I’ve gone and its not busy, they’ve been super helpful! They also have these really cool mirrors that you can adjust to outdoor, indoor, and evening light. It sounds kind of silly, but it makes a huge difference in dress colors! I’ve gone earlier on Saturday mornings and its really good, but after work before a weekend its an inner circle of hell.

    • Nell

      JCrew is having a big bridesmaid’s dress sale right now!

  • Katelyn

    My last couple of weeks have been a WILD ride. So many things have happened! So much advice is needed!

    1. My sister-in-law (with three children under the age of 5)… has a brain tumor. She’s in surgery RIGHT THIS MOMENT and I can hardly focus on work.. hence my HH post. Please keep her in your thoughts this afternoon!

    2. I turned 30 last week and because of #1, it was pretty subdued but ended up being pretty amazing anyway. Highlights: Dinner at the Chicago Athletic Association (if you’re in the area, drop everything and GO RIGHT NOW), 90 minute massage, and my sister flew in unexpectedly (again, see #1).

    3. We decided to start the home buying process while we have plenty of time (11 months) on our current lease so we can look and wait for the right place. We’d like to hang on to it for ~10 years, so it needs to be future-proof for a kid, so there are some extra considerations. Because of #1, I’m going to be going home every weekend until… whenever, so viewing condos on weekends is going to fall in his (very capable!) hands to sift out all the duds before I get involved. Home buying advice welcome!

    4. Because of #3, I think this pushes off any proposal. My boyfriend casually mentioned to his aunt (who is our realtor) that house buying is going to delay timing – buying a ring, etc. Except… I kinda thought maybe he had already bought it because we’re going to the symphony in a month and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. We chatted about it briefly afterwards and I mean… I get it… but I want my cake and eat it too! Should I ask to delay house shopping until he feels comfortable doing both? We might also be getting contributions from our parents for the down payment, which would ease the money situation considerably and this is all a moot point.

    5. Started a bullet journal yesterday. Seemed like good timing since I just started a new decade. Trying to focus on function over form right now but totally want to hear about favorite sources for layouts and ideas!

    • Lisa

      Good thoughts to you, your family, and your SIL. That sounds like a really challenging time.

      If you’re in Chicago, I think there’s something in the Chicago Tenant’s protections/laws that allows you to break your lease if you purchase a home. I’m not sure of all the specifics surrounding that, but it might be something to look into if you find something really quickly before your lease is up. My friends mentioned they might be taking advantage of that when they bought their home in Portage Park.

      • Katelyn

        Oh, that’s great! Worst-case is that we’d have to pay 2 months rent, but it’s a high demand apartment so optimistic we could sublease or the building would let us out early without penalty. Will *definitely* be checking tenant laws!

        • Lisa

          I can’t find this rule in my initial search, but I thought this information about subletting might be helpful.

    • emilyg25

      Get engaged now and pick out a ring later! Or do what I did and just go with a nice wedding band. Love and light to your SIL.

    • Ashlah

      Sending best wishes to your SIL. What a scary time. I hope the surgery is successful.

      • Katelyn

        It’s like I live in two worlds right now – the normal one where I go to work, play on my volleyball team, and plan grocery lists – and then I go to my parents’ and it’s watching kids, driving to the hospital, and biting nails to the quick. My coping mechanism is apparently “do all the things!” so I can’t sit and worry and have to focus on actions instead.

        Edit: Sorry this comment was so me-focused. My problems right now are miniscule compared to my brother’s family right now. I’m going down every weekend to cook, clean, babysit, run errands, etc… and that’s all I can do. So I’m trying to occupy the rest of my time with all these completely bullshit, made-up problems.

        • rg223

          Hey, you’re going through a lot and we’re all friends here – you can be me-focused in the comments!

    • Amy March

      Personally, I’d never buy a house with someone without the commitment of an engagement. You don’t need a house now. You have 11 months on your lease. There will always be more homes out there. But I also cannot fathom a world in which my parents give me and my boyfriend who has yet to propose money for a house.

      • Katelyn

        Totally valid point – and that was always the plan. I’m not sure when things got switched up, honestly! (probably Zillow-induced endorphins…) My parents would be cool with it either way but the excitement has gotten my personal priorities mixed around. Thanks for some straight talk!

      • gonzalesbeach

        So, personally, I did buy a house with someone without an engagement. We were/are fully committed to sharing our lives together and moving forward on the house, trying for children, growing vegetables, spending every weekend at Home Depot… was/is right for us. I wont go into the exact details about how we decided to handle the purchase, but we had lots of discussions about ‘what happens if’ in various scenarios (eg. what happens if I die and you’re alone to pay mortgage… this led us to arrange our life insurance) and you can easily create paperwork around house purchase and other assets with lawyers. People who are committed to each other with or without a ring can break up and have to divide their assets. And on the other side, people who are committed to each other with or without a ring also stay together for their entire lives. It’s not the wedding or ring that will make us committed to our joined life. We already are. The wedding will just be a fun, wonderful celebration of our community and the awesome life we’ve built together. :)

    • rg223

      In general, I agree with Amy March that I would be afraid to buy a house with someone without being engaged or married. I think you are saying that your boyfriend doesn’t want to get engaged because he would have to spend money on a ring, and that money should go to house-buying, right? Is the ring super-important to you, or would you be okay with being engaged and not having a ring? Plus, there’s also the option of just getting a less-expensive ring and upgrading down the line. I mean, I don’t know your ring budget or your house budget, but it’s unlikely that buying an engagement ring is going to be the difference between making a downpayment or not – it’s just not that much money comparatively.

      • Katelyn

        Having a ring for a proposal is very important to him. And I think he just feels a little overwhelmed – you spend all this time saving and saving and then it’s like *whoosh* it’s gone. But on our two hour drive to my parents’ tomorrow we can flesh out our feelings more.

    • Also…rings don’t have to be so expensive that it’ll delay the purchase of a house, ya know? Look at moissanite. Look at wedding bands. Look at vintage rings!

      • LJ

        Look at literally any fine jewelry that doesn’t have the word “wedding” or “engagement” on it. My engagement band was marketed as an “anniversary ring”.

      • Katelyn

        The engagement ring comment was confusing, because I’ve explicitly said I want moissanite. So $3K for a really nice ring? We’re looking at putting down 5%, so $15-$20K depending on house. I think he just feels like he’s bleeding money and even though it’s not much compared to a down payment, it’s just a little thing he can control. But it’s been made clear to me that it’s a topic to re-visit and put down my foot a little.

        • ART

          FWIW, my moissanite ring was $520 (well, it was like $6xx but we used a mother’s day promo code!) We got it online and I have been sooooo happy with it. Money was tight when we picked it out and my then-fiance was a little uncomfortable about the low price because he had always heard much higher benchmarks, but we’ve never looked back. It’s a vintage reproduction and it’s really, really pretty.

    • SuzyNP

      I hope the surgery goes well, all my best wishes.

  • Nellie

    Inspired by past APW posts, my spouse and I have been having conversations about legal guardianship for our young daughter, in the event of a tragedy claiming both our lives. We thought we had decided on a sibling to name, but now I’m seriously reconsidering. This (very adult, professionally working, etc) sibling has become absolutely hateful towards one of the grandparents. They’ve never had a warm-fuzzy relationship, but recently it’s gotten so bad that I seriously wonder if the sibling would keep our daughter from seeing her loving, attentive grandparent. It makes me so sad, but I’m not comfortable with that idea, even in this worst-case, hypothetical scenario. We do have other options, so looks like back to the drawing board.

    • Mary Jo TC

      This is an interesting question and I wonder if any lawyer APW readers could answer. Is it possible to name one person a guardian, and then also name several other people who will have legal visitation rights to the child, in the event of the death of both parents? For the sake of preventing the situation Nellie anticipates, to prevent a guardian from cutting off contact with other members of the child’s family that his/her deceased parents wanted her to have a relationship with.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, this reminds me that our friends asked us if we would be the legal guardian of their kid(s) in this scenario. We asked for time to think about it, and I’m realizing we need to get back to them soon. Husband is hesitant because it could hypothetically result in us raising three kids instead of the one we want, I’m hesitant about family dynamics when her family learns none of them were chosen (and needing to facilitate time spent with their families). I want to say yes (and for it to never come true), and I am so touched that they would even ask, but there’s a lot to consider. Plus, there’s the question of whether we’d ask the same of them.

      Sorry for hijacking your post with my story! I hope you find someone you’re comfortable with. It’s so hard to decide which factors you’re willing to compromise on, and which are dealbreakers. Mary Jo TC’s question is a very interesting one. Do you think discussing your thoughts with this sibling could incentivize them to improve their relationship with the grandparents? Or do you expect they would never get along?

      • APlus

        We don’t even have kids yet but I stress about this already. We’ve said no to someone before about being their guardian, and it was a bad scene.

      • Nellie

        You know, that is a great question re: incentive to improve the relationship. I know that up to present, the sibling has had a “why bother” approach when asked about going to therapy together, etc. Which doesn’t exactly inspire optimism, but you never know. I’m mostly disappointed to realize just how deep this…unhealthiness goes, and I struggle at times to keep it distinct from my relationships with both parties. Family dynamics…

    • Amy March

      I think what you are looking for in a guardian isn’t perfect. It’s if the worst possible thing happens to my child, do I think this person will love and care for them. You just can’t hope to guarantee everything else.

    • Eh

      My husband’s cousin who is married to one of my best friends asked us to be guardian for their children because their siblings would not keep contact with the other family if something happened to both of them. Their families do not get along but obviously if something happened to both of them they would want both families to have contact with their children. Since both me and my husband have ties to both families it worked out well. It also helped that they made it clear that’s why they picked us over one of their siblings.

  • AGCourtney

    My ACT tutoring clients took the test on September 10th, and this week, I received emails on two consecutive days with elated, all-caps subject lines. :) 27-> 31 and 24 -> 30. It made my day to know that I made such a big difference for them. So that was a win!

    We had our first anniversary on Monday. Someone came out that morning to measure our kitchen and put in the kitchen design on the IKEA planning program. It actually wasn’t the greatest experience, but we’re able to fix the design online and we get that money back on a gift card once we buy the kitchen, so it’s fine. Then we watched the two little girls I usually watch on Mondays, and that was that. I also spent a significant portion of the day fighting with the IKEA online planner and figuring out how to solve a couple of problems that have come up. (Our cabinets will be one inch out past the soffit, so we’ll need some sort of molding, and we have 10 inches left on a wall when IKEA’s smallest size cabinets are 12 inches.) I don’t regret the way we spent the day, but I did realize at the end that it was important to me that we recognize it in some way, so someday we’ll set aside a day to celebrate it.

    I wrote last week about The Last Five Years. Mercifully, I have gotten over the *feels* and can now just enjoy it. A fun treat, however, has been to see how much my daughter loves it. She always requests to listen to it in the car now and even sings along sometimes. She’s also made a couple of in-jokes related to the show. I was talking to someone and mentioned “It’s a challenge,” and my daughter immediately lit up and said, “It’s a challenge!” a la A Miracle Would Happen. And she also connected a line that mentioned Washington Heights to the musical In The Heights. My favorite thing, though, before she really got into the show, was when I finally figured out a way to explain the premise to her in a way that clicked: I connected it to Hamilton, saying it would be like hearing Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story, followed by Helpless. It clicked! Ah, I love this kid.

    • Michela

      Happy anniversary!!
      Just popping in to say that the blog House Tweaking has a whole series on people who’ve used IKEA cabinets in their kitchen remodels. It might be worth checking out, if only to look at beautiful photos and imagine what you’ll be living in after all the frustration : )

    • rg223

      I love that you and your daughter bond over musicals :) Heart emojis everywhere.

  • Eh

    This is really bad, but my husband and I have not been out on a date (e.g., sans bebe) in over a year (she’s almost 14 months). So tomorrow we are going to a fundraiser gala for a program that helps young mom’s in the town my husband grew up. My inlaws are looking after our daughter while we’re gone (at their house and we will sleep over there). This is a huge step on so many levels. My inlaws have never watched her (she goes to daycare and my SIL has watched her a few times). My inlaws are nervous about feeding my daughter whole food (it’s normal for a 14 month old to not eat baby food). They are uncomfortable with the fact my daughter gets febrile seizures (if she gets sick in the next 24 hours I will stay home with her) and have made it clear that they would not handle an emergency well. On the other side, my daughter is very used to her bedtime routine which includes me (I still breastfeed her at night). My husband puts her to bed once a week (he gives her a bottle of breast milk) when I volunteer and it’s a bit rough.

    • Amy March

      Congrats! Even if it doesn’t go perfectly, it sounds like a great first step. And none of you, including her, will learn how to do it without some practice.

      • Eh

        Thanks. I hope it gives my inlaws a bit of confidence about taking care of her so I can feel better about leaving her with them in the future. Andy daughter has learned to sleep at daycare so I have hope that one night it won’t be a struggle if I am not there

    • Gina

      Nothing but solidarity, girl. My daughter is 15 months and my husband just gave me the “we need to go on a date” speech. We don’t have family close, but we have a reliable babysitter–but, like your daughter, she’s used to her bedtime routine which involves nursing to sleep. And she refuses breastmilk from a bottle or cup anymore, so when I step through the door from work she wants it Now. Same with bedtime. I just can’t imagine leaving her at night! So you’re one step ahead of me! Write out detailed instructions for your in-laws and know that if something happens you can always go home :)

      • Eh

        The closest family we have are my in laws and they live an hour away. we had considered asking them to babysits many times during the day (which is what they would prefer since they want to play with her) but they told us they were not comfortable with us doing baby led weaning and then the whole thing with her seizures.

        My plan is to write detailed instructions and the things my husband does when he puts her to bed.

        • Gina

          That’s so weird to me. We did BLW too, but even for people who don’t, are 14-month-olds seriously still eating purees? That seems strange. Especially since I’m sure your daughter can feed herself pretty well by now haha.

          • Eh

            My FIL made a huge deal about it when she was ten months old. At that point they had seen her eat a number of times so they knew she was good at feeding herself. I asked a friend who fed her babies purées since I was pretty sure most kids start eating at least some solids by then. She said that her kids were and thought he was over reacting.

          • Eh

            Mini update: My FIL was really good this time about food and my MIL was more cautious. They asked if she could eat what they were planning for supper (chicken, potatoes, veggies) and I said yep if cut up into pieces. We found out when we got back that they debated if she could eat apple slices for dessert. My MIL said no and gave her a cut up banana instead. I said we give her apple slices and don’t even peel the apple. My FIL said “I would have peeled the apple”.

    • macrain

      I am pushing myself to use a sitter next weekend since my sister is in town. I have no idea if I will even be able to enjoy being out, but I figure I’ll get used to it? And like- I WANT to be able to enjoy being out with the baby, but I know it’s just not that simple.
      Good luck with the in-laws, I hope it all goes well! And have fun with your husband. :)

      • Eh

        Good luck!

    • rg223

      Good luck to you and your in-laws! I hope you guys have fun. The first time can be emotionally rough, but it’s so good for everyone to get into the habit of going out/babysitting/going to bed without mom and dad every once in a while.

      • Eh

        Thanks! I would us to go out more so maybe this will help us get back into a date night schedule

  • Olive

    My blood test was fine! I didn’t think about it all weekend and the nurse used a butterfly needle on me…it was less painful than the flu shot! And I finally feel like an adult, haha! Thanks to everyone who eased my mind last week.

    In other news, we gained an adorable new niece on Monday, my mother immediately asked “So when are you coming home?” (hopefully next month sometime…I live 4 hours away and am in grad school. She must have forgotten!). Long-distance aunting makes me sad, but my brother has been excellent at sending all the baby and baby and big sis pictures. Oh, and the Trump office in our city moved into our neighborhood…which hasn’t gotten many people too excited…

    My advisor basically took issue with everything I presented in our meeting with our collaborators this week, which was really humiliating and upsetting. I’m not a great person at receiving criticism/feedback, but he is also not the best at giving it. As in, I’m in my 5th year of grad school, you’ve seen some of these slides all summer, maybe you should’ve addressed it A) at the beginning of the summer, or B) earlier in my PhD. I’m still getting over it. Yesterday I left work in the middle of the day to treat myself to a haircut, and today I’ve been trying to address his comments about my work. Blech.

    My FIL is visiting this weekend which is exciting, but also reminds me that I want to build a better relationship with him and my MIL, whom we typically see once or twice a year. My husband and I don’t talk to each other’s parents on the phone, and it doesn’t help that we don’t live near them. Any recommendations for building these relationships are welcome!

    So happy it’s Friday.

    • Michela

      Sheesh. What an intense week. Pouring a glass of wine in your honor tonight.xo

    • Rose

      Seriously, advisors. They don’t remember what we’re doing, they catch things last minute, they change their minds. . . Almost exactly a year after my prelim, one of the members of my committee suggested that an experiment would be really interesting–yes, I agreed, that was why I’d proposed it at my prelim and then abandoned it after everyone else in the room said it wouldn’t be worth doing. Anyway. It’s not just you, if that’s any comfort? That sounds awful, and you have all my sympathy. Honestly I’m impressed that you seem as motivated as you do at the moment, I would probably have decided to avoid any reminder of it, at least until next week.

      • Olive

        Thanks for the commiseration. I have group meeting Tuesday so I need to show some semblance of progress, and obviously I’m here, so not being entirely productive. I decided after talking to my labmate/friend that I’d split the blame with our advisor. He’s a wonderful scientist and not a bad guy, but a terrible lab manager.

      • Olive

        But yea, my friend reminded me that I’m the student, and I’m here to learn. So it’s not my fault that expectations weren’t clarified. I have bad anxiety surrounding these collaborator meetings and tend to be hard on myself leading up to them, so it was good to talk it out after everything didn’t go as well as hoped.

        • Rose

          All of this sounds so familiar to me–my advisor is also a great guy and a very bad manager, and I’d be freaking out about those kinds of meetings too. And no, I don’t think it’s your fault. As much as people expect us to drive our own projects like we’re fully-fledged professionals, the fact is that we’re not. I think that’s one of the hardest things about grad school–our work is judged similarly to what experts do (I mean, it’s not like there’s a grad student category for papers), but we really are still learning. A good mentor/teacher should be take care of that, it shouldn’t all be on us. It often is made to be all our responsibility, and I think a lot of us start to feel like that’s reasonable, but it’s *not*.

          • Olive

            I could go on and on about him… I’m trying to motivate myself by working on a college teaching certification program that my school offers, and continually looking at job postings in dream locations that I’ll be qualified for when I finish the degree. Although it makes it hard to not apply and expedite the whole graduation process…

        • saywhatnow

          I’m sorry for your meeting, that sounds awful – and honestly reflects really badly on your advisor. He absolutely should have given you feedback beforehand!

          This is onerous, but any chance of “managing the manager” here? As in: post-meeting, send him a plan of your next steps (experiments, reports, drafts — sorry, I’m a humanist and don’t Speak Science :)
          Also: a timeline for completion, and requests for regular meetings.

          It really, really sucks to have to chase your advisor **who should be helping you!!** into doing their job, but sadly, it happens all too often, and the extra work for you in doing so will likely pay off in terms of 1) more structure to work within, and 2) creating accountability for your advisor.

          If it’s appropriate, can you run some ideas or questions past your other committee members? It’s perhaps much easier to do so in HSS than STEM (no labs or proprietary projects-type stuff involved), and maybe useful in terms of gauging where you stand…

          Either way, much support. PhDs are ROUGH, especially nearing the end. Gather all the support you can!

          • Olive

            I don’t work closely with my committee, so I’m not sure how appropriate that is. But thanks for the reminder that it makes him look bad…it’s really hard to recruit new students to the group when I can’t honestly say he’s a good advisor. His loss.

      • Senior students specifically counselled junior students about “advisor management strategies.” It really is a thing, and it’s really useful to know about!

    • Lisa

      Long distance aunting is pretty sad. My SIL has an Apple feed of pictures of our nephew that she uploads to regularly, and she also tries to FaceTime us every 1-2 weeks. I wish we were closer to spend quality time with him, but SIL has been really great about facilitating what’s practical.

      • Olive

        Yea! I recommended the UsTyme video/ebook app here before, but we haven’t done that in awhile. My SIL has a shutterfly website for their first daughter since neither of the parents are on social media. My dad is the babysitter while they’re at work, so I also hear about everything that’s going on from him :)

        • Olive

          We also get daily group text photos of my niece from my dad…which are usually blurry but still cute :)

    • Depending on what you’re PhD is in (this works atrociously for bio-related people) and wehre in the process (i.e., not taking classes), it’s not impossible to take a 6 day trip somewhere (like home to see a niece). Leave right after your advisor meeting, return right before the next one. Just save up a bit of work from a previous meeting to present in the post-trip one. If someone asks to see you during that week, you can say “no, that doesn’t work for me” without giving an explanation, and then suggest a time that does actually work.

      I’m a lot more productive after a vacation, so I developed these methods for getting out of an unproductive rut…

      • Olive

        That’s a really good suggestion. I’m a TA on Monday and Wednesday, but I may be able to swing going home Thursday-Saturday. :) I usually don’t allow myself such little pleasures, but I did leave early today and it feels fabulous!

    • Marcela

      I am a long distance aunt and a long distance niece to all three of my aunts who lives in various places throughout the world. I have a tremendously better relationship with the one aunt who would always call and talk to me about things that mattered. She also tried to be part of things that were going on, such as birthdays graduations etc. I try to do the same with my nieces and nephews by skyping often. It’s hard though…

      • Olive

        Thank you for the tip! I grew up with my entire family within a 30 minute drive of each other, so this is new. I’m encouraged because my husband is really close with his long distance aunt (and a lot of others I know). The older niece is 2 so she doesn’t really talk on the phone yet, but I try to video chat at least once a month with her and her parents. When she was born I was worried she wouldn’t know us, but that worry was quickly squashed!

    • KK

      In terms of the building relationship with your in-laws, maybe just try joining your husband on the phone when he calls them? My husband and I also used to call our parents individually, but once we moved farther away from his parents after we got married, they started asking to talk to me or asking us to use speaker phone together. It felt weird to me at first, but it got easier every time and now it’s normal for the phone call to be all 4 of us together. Now they have also discovered the ‘joy’ of video calls which are kinda annoying, but really do make you feel like you actually saw the person.
      Now that I’m thinking about it, I realize how cool it was that they initiated that. Plus, I love that I don’t have to ask my husband to repeat the whole conversation every time. When I’m driving or can’t participate I always feel like I missed out on some details.
      And, good on you for wanting to build the relationship! For me it came in very handy when my husband got sick when we were traveling and I had to call his parents multiple times to update and calm them down. That would have been way harder if I didn’t already have experience talking to them on the phone!

      • Olive

        Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve tried to face time his sister by myself before, but that felt kind of weird. It’s hard to build those relationships at first. My husband tends to go into another room when he talks to his parents, which is just strange to me. I grew up listening to everyone’s phone conversations with everyone else in our small house, but my husband hates when I talk on the phone with people in his presence…I’m going to start encouraging speakerphone. :)

        • Eenie

          Oh, we do this. Unless I’m facetiming I’ll be in another room. We live so far away from both sets of parents we just don’t really have great in law relationships. Speaker phone helps on my parents end though since my dad never answers his phone I just call my mom.

          I reframed my thinking on in law relationships lately to making sure that my husband has the time and space to call and visit his family. And he does the same for me. This includes visiting alone sometimes if schedules don’t work out or making dinner/doing housework so the other can stay on the phone.

    • Essssss

      Advisor solidarity. That’s rough.

      For in laws, sometimes we have family dinners over skype with my mom or my husbands parents. Can be low key and just chatting while everyone is eating, if the time zone works.

      • Olive

        Yea! good suggestion! I like it!

    • Violet

      Oh lord, the advisor thing sucks. But thanks for the blood test update! : ) Glad it went so well!

      • Olive

        better than I could’ve expected! I was chilling on the couch and my husband kept his hand on my shoulder (but looked away). Afterwards I was like “Oh! I can totally go donate blood. this isn’t that scary!” And then I told myself to slow my roll…haha. baby steps :)

    • Kate

      Have you ever used What’s App? Esseially you have group text messaging threads. My FH’s family has one because he lives out of state and various people were traveling all summer. It was an easy way to share pictures and updates. Anyway – you could suggest doing something like that. That way you can have your own responses to his family members’ messages.

      • Olive

        That’s a good idea. We have group texts sometimes but his family just…doesn’t communicate very much/often. I’m going to try to send them more pictures of our home renovations and their grandcats. Haha! I do text my MIL occasionally, but I think they’re generally not great at technology and she doesn’t always reply. My family always keeps in touch via group text, and I include him when I can, but when someone else is composing the message he’s not always included.

  • Essssss

    Recently celebrated our first anniversary and I really didn’t really have expectations, but I was surprised by how happy I just felt through the whole day. Its like a birthday, except for the two of you! Plus Valentines Day! We kept it pretty laid back- exchanged small gifts and went out to dinner- but I just felt so lifted up. I don’t think about having many “firsts” at my age, but it was nice to be reminded that they’re out there, and they’re joyful.

  • Anon

    I got a job offer today. It’s terrifying to think of leaving this job I’ve loved for 6 years, but no longer fits. I have another lead out, so please wish for me strength to do the professional but badass counter-offer / negotiations well.

    • Michela

      You got this!! I read relevant Ask A Manager posts when I need to boost up my confidence for those types of things. Something about doing the research helps me feel like I’m prepared for it. You’re valuable and smart and a total asset- make sure they deserve you!!
      Keep us updated.xo

  • cam

    Hi APW friends: Long time reader, first time poster. This community has been SO valuable – both before our engagement and now that we’re in the planning process. So thanks, all! We finally have a date! And a venue! And a photographer! It’s all happening!

    BUT I have a sensitive issue that I’m not entirely sure how to go about dealing with. My best friend of more than 20 years got married this past May. Fast forward a few months to August and her and her husband separated with no chance of reconciliation, by her choice. I’m crushed for both of them, and their families, and have been working through the breakup process with her – apartment searching, budget rehashing, crying while drinking wine, etc.

    My fiance and I will be married in early July. It makes me feel horrible and selfish, but I’m sad that I feel like I can’t share my engagement excitement or wedding planning process with my closest friend given the changes in her life. She hasn’t been looped in with the date or any of the plans. There’s also the issue that I would very much like her to be my woman of honor. Has anyone been through something similar? Any advice or thoughts?

    • Amy March

      You need to start talking to her! Can you try thinking of it a bit differently? Right now you are treating her as though she cannot possibly handle both being sad about her life and being happy about yours. With the very best and kindest of intentions, but the outcome is that you are depriving her of an opportunity to be a great friend to you, and that’s unfair. I think you just talk to her “hey, it feels awkward to me to be gushing about my wedding to you, but I’m also super excited and want to share with you- how do you feel about that? And of course I would love for you to be my woman of honor, if you want?”

      • cam

        Yep, you’re right, this is helpful. I don’t want to feel like a selfish friend, but she deserves to have the opportunity to choose whether or not she wants to be involved. I can’t make that decision for her. Thanks.

      • Totch

        The only thing I’d add is that this is a know your people moment. You want this friend to be your maid of honor, so I’m sure she’s awesome!

        For me, my sister is in a comparable situation and I know that her current attitude would result in her trying to bring me down during wedding planning. So I’m not rushing to include her for my sake, but I also haven’t completely cut her out for the reasons mentioned above.

    • LJ

      She might appreciate something sunny and happy in her life – and your wedding could be that thing. Have you asked her if she wants to be looped in? She could say Maybe Later… or she could say “YES PLEASE so long as the drinking wine continues”…..it shows respect to her to ask if she wants to be included, and lets her know you value her opinion and input, but still respect her need to grieve at her own pace. Low pressure, “hey do you want to be part of this yet and if not, no worries, it’ll still be here since it’s still almost a year away”…..

    • emilyofnewmoon

      I posted last week in open thread, my fiance’s close friends are divorcing each other. Since he proposed to me less than a week after finding this out, he’s not in any hurry to tell them we’re engaged. It’s a hard place to be in. Not much to add but sympathy, and cosigning people below saying she might WANT this fun distraction right now.

    • Jess

      She went through a difficult divorce by a few years rather than months, but my Woman of Honor really came through for me. We didn’t talk a lot of logistic plans or happy feelings, but she and I had amazing talks about what was important in marriage.

      Only you know your friend and how she’s feeling. Tell her how much you’d like to involve her, and check out what she’d be comfortable with?

    • Kelly

      Same thing happened to me. I was in a wedding, and then asked her to be in mine. Found out she was filing for divorce during engagement. Luckily, I had other people that I could fangirl to about wedding stuff, and just tried to be as supportive for her as possible.

  • JC

    I started training to get my own team at work! Really excited for the promotion, the title boost, the new responsibilities, and the money!

    • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!! Congrats!

      • JC

        Thanks thanks!!!

  • Shawna

    Running a business is hard, but I’ve also had fun celebrating (in my head and over text with my extremely supportive husband) these little milestones. My first Google Ad! I opened a business bank account! I actually MADE MONEY this month! I mean, I’m still in a hole from previous months where I wasn’t making money yet, but seeing a green line felt really good this week. I have a few more leads for patients and am hoping to make this thing take off. It’s going to happen!

    Also, the big sigh of relief this week was my friend had brain surgery and is recovering nicely. Praise the sparkly unicorn!

    • KK

      Congrats on your business and all the little milestones! Soon they will add up to big milestones!

      • Shawna

        Thanks so much!

  • Morgan D

    Y’all, partner and I have been doing some serious relationship spring cleaning in the last few months (okay, really in the last few years :/ ). It has been sooo painful, but it also feels good to have a space, even if just in an online comment, to be able to say:

    I am sooo proud and sooo grateful for us having stayed diligent. There were so many times when it would have been “easier” to quit, and we always hoped we could do it, but… Y’all, we’re really doing it now! And it is so, so nice – after years of living on hope and effort – to stand fully in faith and conviction, no more doubts or fears. It’s like… stepping into a life that was your birthright, one you’d always hoped was more real than Disney fiction… but you hadn’t lived it yourself, or seen other people live it up close yet before, so you always secretly had your toes and fingers crossed…

    Anybody else know what I’m talking about?

    Cheers to everyone who knows what it’s like when your pre-engagement years aren’t your “honeymoon” but your “getting our shit together” years. And cheers, really, to all of us – because we all know what it’s like to slog through towards something we hope for, but are secretly afraid isn’t real (and it is!) or that it somehow isn’t meant for us (it is, too!).

    Whew! Anyway, now we’re getting into gears to address some stuff with partner’s friends, so any good wishes that can be sent our way are most welcome! Love and hugs!

  • Booknerd

    I need some advice- My biggest struggle with my husband right now is chores and accountability. I don’t know if I’m the problem, or he is, but I’m at my wits end.

    We’ve tried having a chore chart, but it was too rigid for us. I always know what I’m responsible for, and I don’t need a chart to keep me on track. He doesn’t seem to “see” the dirt until I point it out, so his chores of sweeping, moping, dusting, etc. always are a fight because I get so tired of having to ask. I don’t think I should have to, but the only way around it is just doing the chores myself. This is creating huge amounts of resentment between us.

    The main problem with the chore chart was I would put down for myself “Laundry”- Tuesday Thursday, but if something came up that I couldn’t do it those days, it still gets done by the end of the week, nobody runs out of clothes. He sees that as breaking the rules, and figures its a free for all, whereas if the floors don’t get washed and skipped for a week, they get so filthy. I understand that life gets busy sometimes, and we both need some freedom but I’m feeling myself turning into a nag and I don’t like it.

    • Amy March

      This might be too simplistic, but why not try a simpler chore chart?

      9/26-10/2- wash floors (m), laundry 1 (f), laundry 2 (f), vacuum (m), dust (f). And let it not matter to either of you when those chores get done, as long as they get done by the end of the week.

      Or hire a housekeeper if you can afford it.

      • Booknerd

        I can try that again and see what happens. I wish housekeeping was in the budget! We are getting our condo ready to list so its a disaster zone we are trying to manage right now.

        Here’s another question- there are tons of things that I seem to just *know* need cleaning, like cleaning out appliances like the oven, dishwasher, cleaning the drapes, washing walls, lots of seasonal cleaning tasks I picked up from watching my mother. I know these things need to be done, and I also know they haven’t been done in this condo that he owned for years before me. I am tackling them one by one but I really find myself resenting the fact I can’t just say “hey clean the blinds” because he neither sees that as a task that needs doing nor will he do a good job, or he will ask for help. ***I know I know this is a thing that if I want it done my way I have to do it, but once in a while I wish I could just have high expectations and have them met**

        • LJ

          Have you tried discussing with him how this is causing you stress and how you’re happy to instruct him initially, but having his support would result in both of you having a happier relationship?

          Chores-blindness is hard to deal with, but it’s possible that once he realizes how upset it’s making you he’ll be incentivized to change. Also, if he helps (because he also lives there, if for no other reason), then it’ll take less time and leave more time for FUN TIMES wink wink…. that may incentivize him more effectively.

          • Booknerd

            I have tried this in the past, and he’s reeeeeeally good at first.. and then life gets busy and it falls off.

        • Amy March

          Do they though? I never clean the blinds, did not until just now know anyone washed the walls (like with soap? what?), why would you clean a dishwasher (srsly? it washes itself all the time). I think you do have really high expectations, and I’d caution you not to decide that your view of “clean” is correct, just because it is your preference.

          If this is a one time, we need a big spring clean in order to sell this place, I’m again going to vote housekeeper. $200, 4 hours, done. And then tackle the routine stuff differently. Or, accept that you can’t afford to outsource, and he isn’t going to do it, and trade for something else you want?

          • Booknerd

            Each home is different for sure, but things like “the dishwasher stinks when we open it because there’s food stuck in the bottom” that only my magic eyes can see apparently, or there is cat hair all over our 1990’s pink fabric blinds that don’t look pink anymore through all the hair, or bathroom or kitchen walls for sure need washing when you can see the grease or condensation stains on them. Its definitely not my high expectations but more a matter of basic cleanliness in our case. Not everyone’s home will have this issues but those are the ones I see. Its something that’s been a problem for the 2 years we’ve lived together, otherwise I’d be on board with a housekeeper for sure!! When we have a new house I will absolutely have it professionally cleaned so we at least have a fresh start.

          • emmers

            In our relationship, I’m more cleaning-blind. So we’ve split it where I mainly grocery shop/meal plan, he mainly cleans. If there’s something he wants help with, he’ll ask, and then we’ll clean at the same time.

            Can you tackle the every once in awhile chores together, as you notice them?

          • I didn’t know wall-washing was a think until I moved to Canada about 7 years ago. Until then I’d always lived in apartments that were painted right before I moved in and I didn’t worry about it (or stay long enough to notice dirt.) But they often don’t paint here where I live before you move in, I think it’s more common because of that. But I’m still not big on washing walls; I don’t think I’ve done anything more than an occasional spot cleaning since the initial cleaning when I moved in.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      We’ve struggled with this. Can you switch to something where there’s accountability, but flexibility? Like…you’re in charge of laundry at least once a week. And he’s in charge of sweeping and mopping once a week. Then it’s not a judgment call about whether or not it’s dirty enough, and you don’t have to be so rigid about when things get done.

      • I once had 3 housemates and we’d do something like this. There was a square split into four smaller squares, each having a chore (mop the kitchen floor, clean the bathroom, [handwash] dishes, whatever) and each person had a magnet that represented them. Your magnet would be at the left side of the chore at the beginning of the week, and moved to the right when we finished. At the beginning of the next week, chores would rotate.

        Give or take some of that structure and it might work.

    • LJ

      What worked for lots of my friends in Res was to have a chore chart done up like this:

      DISHES: FRED FRED STEVE STEVE MATT MATT
      SWEEPING: FRED FRED STEVE STEVE MATT MATT

      etc. And each time one person does one chore they cross off their name. It doesn’t matter when, just “when stuff gets dirty”, whoever sees it does it. When Fred and Matt have done a chore twice but Steve hasn’t done it yet, it’s Steve’s turn for the next two tries then start again. Ensures fairness, allows flexibility.

      ALTERNATELY

      My fiancé and I have conveniently complementary chore preferences. I hate scrubbing bathrooms but happy to do laundry. Him vice versa. I haven’t cleaned the bathroom in months but it’s beautifully clean because that’s his thing. He hasn’t washed his own boxers in months, but that’s cool because it doesn’t bother me. Win-win. Maybe give him chores (ones that he ‘sees’ – my fiance also doesn’t get sweeping duty because he’s just not “in tune” with what a dirty floor looks like) that are his and his alone?

      • Amy March

        that first idea is genius

    • KK

      Not sure if it will work for your schedules, but we like to do chores simultaneously. Whether it’s pre-planned weekend cleaning or spontaneous “Ok this is gross and needs to be taken care of” we do various chores at the same time, though not necessarily together. He will load the dishwasher and clean counters while I hand wash the pots and pans. I will sort/load/fold laundry while he vacuums. He will scoop cat boxes while I literally do anything else to avoid scooping cat boxes.
      That doesn’t necessarily solve the issue of you doing the emotional labor of deciding when it’s cleaning time and telling him what to do, but I like that it ensures we spend pretty equal amount of time doing chores. Also, we each can do the ones we hate the least. Also, we usually end up deciding together when we’re done and get to share the feelings of accomplishment.

      • Booknerd

        That’s a fair point and I do notice when we are both home and working together it does get things done, and we have it split up so our most hated chores are done by the other person, but for me evenings are for relaxing and weekends are for cleaning and he’s the opposite, so we’ve had lots of “why am I cleaning and you’re just sitting” discussions. I don’t mind cleaning while he’s out doing his social butterfly stuff on the weekends but it drives him nuts that after a certain point in the day I put my introvert pants on and want to relax in that one hour before bed and he’s sometimes still doing chores, so he feels he’s doing too much.

        As stupid as this is I broke it down into 15 minute chunks to make sure our hours of labour were even. I do probably 2-3 more hours a week of housework than him, but because mine is usually condensed on a weeknd day when he’s out or working saturdays, he doesn’t see it, whereas I see him cook dinner everynight and thats when I like to relax and read, so he thinks he’s doing way more.

        • Hannah B

          I was just watching Kate and Leopold because I am at home, super bored, waiting for my kid to arrive and also avoiding cleaning because I hate cleaning, but anyway! There’s a scene where Kate’s brother teaches Leo (who has traveled to the 21st century from the 19th) how to use a dishwasher, and he cautions him not to shut the door and start it until he is in Kate’s line of sight. That way it will be appreciated. Haha. Is there any way you can time your chores to finish as he comes home so he notices it?

        • I’m curious if you showed him the chart/notes you made with the breakdown and how that went. I’m considering a discussion about chores and defining who does what exactly because my boyfriend and I have been mostly spontaneous but I am wishing it was more defined/clear and sure that we were relatively balanced in our chores and household tasks. So I’ve begun a big spreadsheet with time estimates and an estimated ideal frequency to have as a starting point to adapt and add to.

    • Eh

      So this might seem totally unfair to my husband but he has scheduled chores and I have when ever they need to get done chores. My husband does not see dirt so he is scheduled to vacuum on Mondays and clean the bathroom on Tuesdays and get the garbage/recycling ready on Wednesday (it goes out Thursday morning). If he can’t do his chores on the specified day (because something came up) he gives me a heads up and tells me when he is going to do it (our accountability piece). When he was doing the chores when he thought things were dirty the house was really dirty and it took him a lot longer to do. He uses a cleaning schedule at work (manages a restaurant) so it wasn’t a hard sell for him. I do laundry and do the grocery shopping and tidy up the house. He always has clothes and the house is always picked up when he needs to vacuum and we always have food so he doesn’t complain when I do them.

    • HaHa
      • Booknerd

        He’s the one that showed me this video!!! Too funny

  • emilyofnewmoon

    I said this in the “public proposals” thread but I’ll say it here too–I got engaged this week! It was a fun day and we are telling people slowly, so it’s nice to get to have a little moment of excitement each day. I know people say to enjoy being engaged before starting wedding planning, but tell that to my family–they were like “congrats did you set a date??” And I was like: chill. Hoping to bask a little more before getting into the planning…

    • LJ

      Ahahahah get used to that…. “enjoy being engaged”….. I wasn’t able to do that for the first 6 months unless I was alone with my partner. Bask as much as you can and prepare to deal with the onslaught of people you DGAF about asking you about events they’re not invited to ;)

      • emilyofnewmoon

        Haha, I saw some friends at a birthday party and told them, and one of them asked point blank: “Am I going to be invited to the wedding?” And I was like….”uhhh….we’re not wedding planning yet, this happened yesterday.” I think she realized she sounded sorta nuts and dialed it back, but good lord…

        • LJ

          Yeah it doesn’t get better for awhile. People think they’re asking nice things when really they’re shaming/policing you for not being midway through planning a one-day event you just learned you have to plan a few days ago/weeks ago/month ago. Getting some default phrases going helped me… e.g. “We haven’t started planning this event yet because we want to enjoy this commitment we just decided to make to each other before we get wrapped up in something.”…. you can probably generate a better one haha

    • Jess

      We just said (word for word) “We are actually spending some time just basking in the joy before jumping into planning. It’s been an amazing time for us.”

  • Salwegottago

    Well, got married a month ago. Wedding was amazing, did think I might die in the seven days leading up to it. Was not helped by (1) bridesmaid who bailed for legit reasons but bailed SO cruelly (2) friend who bailed for a job interview that she didn’t get the day before and (3) cousin who bailed badly the day of. So my question is: how do you go about patching things up or letting people go? There are so many people who bowed out of the wedding gracefully or kindfully or mindfully, but there are about seven relationships that are tense because people were careless or cruel or hurtful. Advice for moving forward? Our wedding itself was only upside surprises and fun and lovely, but how to move forward with the people who weren’t there badly? Coping strategies? Ideas?

    • Morgan D

      Ugh. Also struggling with “patching things up or letting people go” questions, though for different reasons, so mostly posting here in solidarity.

      Don’t know the details of your situation, but do recommend 1) treating each individual relationship separately 2) bringing your thoughts/feelings to each person in a way that models the care/kindness/responsibility you hope you’d gotten from them (while also recruiting them in supporting you/making amends) and 3) maybe not letting people go (unless there’s history beyond this one, admittedly large, disappointment; obviously hard to say that not knowing the details, or what was so cruel about the one instance in particular).

    • SuzyNP

      I’ve been there…only thing I can really say is, give it some time and the sting will wear off. You may have to reevaluate some of your friendships, but wait until the sting wears off and you can see clearly. Some people are made to be in Act I but not in Act II, that’s ok.

      • scw

        “Some people are made to be in Act I but not in Act II, that’s ok.”
        sad but true

    • Anon

      I had a close friend just not show up to my wedding… no forewarning that she wouldn’t be there. A lame excuse next time we talked, then total silence for months. I found out a year later that she’d been dealing with post-partum depression.

      So, just to show that the reason people bailed most likely had nothing to do with you, your partner, their relationship with you. It’s too bad they couldn’t back out gracefully. You have to ask if they’re typically flaky or cruel, and is that the reason you might feel like you need to let them go, or if this one occasion was really atypical of them.

  • Salwegottago

    Wedding was a month ago now and, looking back, a lot of the best stuff came from this site and you folks. This includes: the letterpress we built off of the APW tutorial for invites, programs, thank yous and the AMAZING flower crown station, which was the biggest surprise hit. We also had his and hers pinatas instead of garter/bouquet. Little did I know that my grandmother and my mother had stuffed the pinatas not only with chocolate and tiny plastic booze bottles (expected) but also balloons, fake mustaches, and animal noses. At one point I saw someone go by with a gnome hat, elephant nose, fake mustache and flower crown and just kind of wondered where it all came from.

    Thank you all. Can’t believe we made it. So happy it’s done. So much happier as a spouse than I was as a bride.

  • AmandaBee

    Ugh ya’ll I’m fighting some serious work burnout this week. I’m in the midst of data analysis for my PhD dissertation and things are going pretty well, but data entering + cleaning + analyzing on top of a full time jobs (and, oh, applying for other jobs) has worn me down. I mean, it’s all good stuff, but I’m just wiped and I can’t even feel emotions about it anymore.

    Any APW tips on fighting work burnout? I know the usual recommendation is to take a break, but because of some nonnegotiable deadlines that isn’t feasible for at least a few more weeks.

    • Olive

      Another PhD student here. When things get overwhelming I have the headspace app on my phone and do a quick meditation at my desk to kind of refresh myself. I also like to treat myself to a massage once or twice a year, which all PhD students totally deserve. I’m struggling with motivation right now (I guess that’s basically burn out), but I’ve been giving myself stickers for when I get stuff done at work, and rewarding myself (usually with shopping trips to Michael’s, but working on non-monetary rewards) when I accumulate 15 or more. It’s literally the only thing keeping me going right now.

      Friends and I tend to take afternoon walks around campus a couple times a week, and exercise helps too, if you can manage to fit it into your schedule. Good luck!!!

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks lady! I’ll check out that app, it sounds like just the thing. And maybe suggest to my husband that a massage would make a great belated birthday present :)

    • Kara E

      If you check this again: schedule some mini breaks? Maybe some walks or gym time or whatever gets your happy endorphins going (for me, it’s getting outside, not inside). Love Olive’s suggestion of a massage, if you can swing it schedule/budget wise. And if possible, make sure you’re getting some decently healthy food to fuel you
      through (even if that’s an apple and trail mix or something).

      And give yourself permission to be exhausted for a bit. Crisis mode is real. And maybe block off one morning to sleep in, or nap, or go to bed early (whatever your preference is), just to take the edge off a little bit. If you schedule it, hopefully it feels better/more productive.

  • Val

    This is a day late, but …… I FINALLY landed my first paid Attorney position! I’ve been doing volunteer legal work for quite some time, along with a few odd jobs, and it just feels really, really great to feel validated in my choice of career. Plus: wonderful work environment, and full, free health insurance for both my spouse and me!!! I’ve been dancing since I received my offer on Wednesday. I’m just so. damn. happy!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Hi, everyone! I haven’t been on in about 18 months. I’m touched by those who remember me. I guess it’s been an exciting 18 months.

    The main thing for APW is that my new job has a heavy firewall that blocks websites not related to work (and some that are, which is annoying). Since my new job isn’t in wedding planning, I’ll continue missing discussions in real time, except for with my fellow PDT/PST night owls.

    • emmers

      I remember you!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the new job! It’s nice to hear that you’re doing well. :)

  • Jess

    Hopping in on a Sunday to say We Got Married!!!!! The whole thing was absolutely the best. We had a blast, felt incredibly loved, and present.

    I had been feeling so disconnected for the whole planning process, and gave myself a lot of space to feel whatever I felt that day.

    We got massages together before the rehearsal and it was a great quiet time to just reset and allow ourselves to stop running logistics and just start enjoying the moments.

    Thank you so much to APW and the whole community for helping us keep ourselves on track!

    • Lawyer_Chef

      Congratulations! I got married this weekend too. I think I will have more feelings about it later, but for now all I’m feeling is that everything went impossibly well, and we both have awesome families and friends! Also a big dose of “Whew!!”

      • Jess

        I cannot believe how awesome our people are. I’m so glad your wedding went really well! :D

    • Not Sarah

      Oh wow congrats!!! So happy for you guys! We got married on the 16th, which still seems crazy to me.

  • NotMotherTheresa

    I am now married!!!!!
    And…the post wedding blues are real. So real.
    The wedding itself was beautiful, everyone had a wonderful time, and the husband and I woke up this morning feeling great about things.
    Then we opened our presents.
    I didn’t have a wedding so I could get presents and money, and I never expected people to pay for their plate or anything, but honestly, some of our gifts were just plain hurtful. We had several relatives who gave waaaay less than the customary amount for our families. One aunt who is pretty financially comfortable literally gave us a $10 pan from Wal Mart that we weren’t even registered for (for reference, when her daughter got married last year, my dad gave $150 and I gave $50). Bizarrely enough, the cousin who received $150 from my dad last year bought us the exact same useless $10 Wal Mart pan that her mom gave.
    Not to be outdone in the cheapness department, my husband’s aunt and uncle who are millionaires many times over gave us a $30 gift from our registry.
    On the whole, we had a number of guests who were noticeably stingier than usual on the gifts, and it really has me feeling kind of hurt and confused. It’s not really about the money, so much as that it kind of makes me question some of our relationships. I always thought our extended families really loved and supported us, but receiving so much less than other family members has me feeling a bit lost. I feel like I’ve poured so much emotional labor into these relationships, and I’m just completely unappreciated.
    The irony is that every vendor I worked with went on and on about how they’d never worked with such a gracious, selfless bride.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!!

      The gifts thing really stings. We had some people who really surprised us in good ways (husband’s ex-uncle sent us a $400 knife block), but there were also the bad. One of my aunts made a big deal to me about how she couldn’t come to the wedding because she had used up all of her vacation time but wanted to send us a really nice present instead and asked what we wanted most off our registries. Then she sent us a check for $20. I don’t think it would have been as big of a deal if she hadn’t gone on about getting us that nice gift to make up her absence.

      I completely understand your hurt feelings. There are so many emotions swirling around weddings before and for months afterwards. Some of this might color your relationship with people going forward, but two years later, I had to look up our thank yous spreadsheet to remember the exact amount my aunt gave us. Time heals some of these wounds.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Thank you so much for replying! It really does help to hear that we aren’t alone in this, and that it stings less with time.

    • Jess

      I am so happy that you had a great time and were able to spend a morning feeling very happy!

      People are very strange sometimes in what they do – It would totally feel like a let down to go from “Woohoo wedding! Everyone loves us!” to “Yikes, people seem to favor other family members much differently.”

      I hope you can recapture some of the good stuff in time.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Thank you so much! Yeah, I’m still definitely in the process of working through things emotionally. I’m doing my best to focus on the people who DID shower us with love and generosity, but it’s soooo hard not to focus on the negative, and right now, that’s kind of coloring my memories of the whole thing in a bad way.
        Hopefully before long, the bad will fad to the back of my mind, and I’ll be able to regain the joy of what a beautiful day it really was, and all of the people who were so supportive.

    • AGCourtney

      Seconding Lisa here. We had a number of strange/hurtful experiences with relatives, both in gifts and actions, and they just left a bitter taste for quite a while after the wedding and I felt weird about it. But now we’re a year out and I’ve had time to work through it and/or just move on, and it’s largely fine now. So I want to validate your feeling hurt and confused and also assure you that it goes away eventually.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Thank you so much for the reassurances! We’re still obviously in the working through things stage, but already, I can tell that it’s slowly getting better. I certainly wish those people would have acted differently, but it’s no longer overshadowing the good quite as much as it did the first couple of days. I hate that you had to go through the same thing, but thank you so much for reassuring me that I’m not the only one, and that it gets better with time.