APW Happy Hour


Clinton/Kaine 2016 4ever

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

woman sitting in a chair with coffee

Hey APW,

I have spent this week vacillating wildly between “Everything is awesome!!!” and “OMG we are all doomed” thanks to the most recent Presidential debate, and yesterday I decided that enough is enough and I’ll try to stick with “We are all going to be okay.” And then Michelle Obama threw down the gauntlet with her speech yesterday, and I just… cried:

And now here I am out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women. Language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency. The fact is that, in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who over the course of his lifetime, and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. And I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.

I think it’s worth a watch, if you’ve got thirty minutes on you (and the transcript is here, if you don’t):

Besides all things political, this week has been more or less nondescript on my end. What are you guys up to?

XO

Stephanie

LINK ROUND-UP

Nicki Minaj is on the upcoming issue of Marie Claire, and we’re here for it.

WikiLeaks has revealed John Podesta’s recipe for risotto, thus proving that WikiLeaks can be good, sometimes.

The perpetual panic of American parenthood: oh, this one. Ouch.

Harry Potter might be come a real religion, guys.

 

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 (!!! 😊 🎉 🎉).

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • This political campaign is making me nauseous. Michelle Obama’s speech brought me to tears. I can’t believe we have gone on for so long pretending like we were moving forward when so many horrible deplorables are just seething, ready to rape us. I can’t decide if knowing is better. My anxiety says no. I don’t know. So then I had to delete my facebook app off of my phone in order to keep my sanity. But then I just feel cut off from the world.
    How is everyone else feeling?

    • Emily

      Michelle Obama’s speech also brought me to tears. A lot of the ridiculous BS in this election has. I decided about a week ago to just really take it on; read the news everyday, watch the debates, yell when I am angry (if even just as the TV) and stand firm in my beliefs even though there are a lot of people in my personal life who disagree with me. I thought about deleting facebook a while ago, but I decided that just lets the propaganda win. We have less than a month to go, we will get through this!

    • Amy March

      Hillary Clinton looks at pictures of cats doing weird things to help her get through it, which confirms that she is the candidate with whom I’d rather drink a case of rose.

      • hahaahah! nice. You know, I always said I don’t need to want to have a drink with someone to vote for them, but I would love to meet Hillary. And Obama. And Michelle Obama. It’s true.
        Yes. I tried to fill my feed with kittens. I follow skeptical kitten. And, it’s not like I’m never on facebook. I just had to stop reading it before bed. I already don’t get enough sleep.

    • Ashlah

      It hurts every time I find out someone I love supports Trump. Every time I see someone defend his “locker room talk.” It makes me uncomfortable to be around those people (those men), for fear of what they say about me and other women behind my back, and what they might do/have done to me or the women I love. It’s terrifying for women and insulting to men.

      I cope by having angry venting sessions with my husband. I don’t know if it really helps, since we’re both just as angry, and we constantly run to each other to share the latest terrible Trump news, instead of protecting ourselves from it, but it feels good knowing there’s at least one person on my side, one person who understands the magnitude of all of this.

      • Right?? I’m so afraid of white men now. Perhaps I should have been all along, but ugh. Now I imagine perfectly normal looking dudes walking down the street as secret predators. It’s horrifying.
        And as Trevor Noah said on the daily show, real men don’t joke about sexual assault regardless of whether or not they have daughters, wives, or MOTHERS for christ sake.

        • “I’m not proud to admit this, but before I had daughters, I sometimes used to harvest women for their organs to build Liver Pyramids in my backyard. I just didn’t see a problem with it. I sure do now, though.”
          http://the-toast.net/2016/04/18/father-daughters-think-treat-women-like-daughters/

          • hahahahahaa!!!

        • MC

          I loved that Samantha Bee had a pie chart of every man who was related to a woman and it was 100% – clearly that isn’t a factor in every man’s morality nor should it be. Full Frontal has been my saving grace this election season because her comedy is so anchored in outrage.

          • oh, Samantha Bee!!!! I love her!!!

          • Ashlah

            Her coverage has been SO GOOD, seriously!

        • Amanda

          Seriously, you are so afraid of white men right now? Because of one man? FBI crime statistics don’t bear out your fears.

          I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone here. The things Trump said are inexcusable and make all women feel sick to their stomachs.

          But, come on now, Bill Clinton has also been accused of groping and even rape, and we don’t even blink. We don’t automatically “believe the victims” like we say we should.

          Hillary Clinton has been reported to have gone after the women’s reputations, so she is just as problematic.

          So one candidate gets a pass and one does not. Feminists have gotten a lot of flack for this turning a blind eye on female victims if it’s their candidate, and we’re doing it right here in Happy Hour too. This is not a pro-women stance.

          • Ashlah

            For the record, I believe Bill Clinton is a rapist, and would be more than happy to have Hillary in the White House and Bill in prison.

            And I believe the fear comes not from one man, but from all the men agreeing with him.

          • Yeah, Hillary was shit during all the Bill-Clinton-ing. But just because we elected one rapist, doesn’t mean we should elect another…also, I’m guessing Hillary Clinton doesn’t rape people.

            …some crimes are worse than others. Holding a personal/financial vendetta against your husband’s victims is one thing (anti-woman, etc.)…but {showing up unannounced in Miss Universe contestants’ dressing rooms, normalizing talk of sexual assault, and raping women} is another thing. A new level of anti-woman.

          • Mary Jo TC

            Agreed. I’m convinced that in a few years, the 2016 election will be in rhetoric textbooks to illustrate the fallacy of FALSE EQUIVALENCE.

          • I don’t know what you’re implying that I said. All of this publicity has brought light to the problems that have been there all along. Where I was previously more able to go about my life temporarily ignoring the idea that many men think like this, now it is very out in the open. I am confronted with it every day. That is both a good and a bad thing.
            I don’t actually think Hillary is “just as problematic” at all. I don’t know how you can say that a man groping a woman, or talking about it, is just as problematic as a woman who is trying to navigate a world of men in power that speak openly like this. That’s really ignoring how to women have had to act in order to get by. She was not created in a vacuum and she is being punished, much more harshly, for having been in the political world, in the world of men, for so long.

          • Further, this fear of white men did not come on suddenly with the release of that hot mic tape. All of the racist, sickness that has come about with Trump’s rise has made me feel that way. I am not afraid of Trump, I am afraid of his supporters.

          • MC

            I do believe Bill Clinton’s accusers. Bill Clinton is not running for president. As for accusations that Hillary went after the women & their reputations, there’s no evidence of that and the fact that there have been SO many baseless accusations about Hillary makes me very skeptical that they are true. (I know she said rude things about Monica Lewinsky, which is awful, but I think many of us would have unkind first reactions in that situation.)

            I actually think the whole Bill Clinton / Trump comparison could be a really important national dialogue – look how far we’ve come since 1992 that women are being listened to and that sexual assault accusations are hurting a candidate! It would be stupid to ignore this progress & just shrug & say, “Well, we did it once, who cares what we’ve learned since then?”

            Yes, ideally Hillary would leave & denounce Bill – but she may feel she cannot & keep her hard-earned success, she may have given him an ultimatum to get his shit together, they may have gone to counseling, we don’t know. Assuming that Hillary is an enabler of sexual violence just because she’s still married to a rapist is pretty problematic – given the statistics, there are lots of women married to rapists & assailants. Are they to bear the blame and burden of their husband’s crimes?

            An article I read awhile back said something to the effect of, “Accusations of sexual assault didn’t ruin Bill Clinton’s career, and it would be ironic and tragic if they were now to ruin Hillary’s.”

          • april

            I’m pretty sick of the “but Bill Clinton is a scumbag too” diversion tactic. This article sums up my feelings on the subject pretty nicely: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/stevens/ct-bill-clinton-feminists-hillary-clinton-debate-balancing-1010-20161010-column.html

            Key line: “I’m furious with Bill Clinton, if you want to know the truth. I’m furious that his late-’90s affair with Monica Lewinsky, which already cost close to $40 million and an inordinate amount of our attention, is the first thing some people think of when they see his wife — an ardent champion of women and children’s rights since the ’80s, a two-term U.S. senator, a secretary of state and the first woman to be nominated for president by one of the two major parties.”

        • I’ve been afraid of White men for most of my life, so you aren’t alone in that.

      • Eenie

        My husband and I do a quick run down of everything in the news that day. Shocking how much one of us misses sometimes. It’s just gotten depressing lately. Except my state (Georgia) is purple!?! So exciting.

        • Jennifer

          I’m so proud of GA. I miss it a bit and now I’m in one of the bluest states ever but I’m going to vote anyway.

    • Jessa

      As a Canadian, my heart is warmed by all of you who are also disgusted by Trump. Thank you for your sanity.

    • Cellistec

      I’m certainly depressed about all the news, though reading the smart coverage in The Economist helps somewhat. And I get angry every time a friend or relative complains that both candidates are liars and thieves. Um, no, one of them is uniquely well qualified, with deliberate and reasonable policy positions, and despite her past mistakes has run a campaign of compassion and inclusion. But I don’t say that out loud because I know at this point, no minds are going to change.

  • Ashlah

    I make myself feel better about the election by checking Five Thirty Eight’s Election Forecast pretty much daily. Clinton’s been sitting at greater than 80% likelihood of winning for over a week now, continuously going up since the first debate. Unless something massively unprecedented happens in the next few weeks (I suppose you never know in this election cycle, but it’s unlikely), Trump is toast.

    It’s still absolutely awful and disheartening that there are enough people in our country to get him this far, but I take solace in his upcoming shellacking. (While still worrying about his/his supporters’ behavior in the aftermath.)

    On an uplifting note, you must read this hilarious piece of fiction, if you haven’t already. I promise it will make your day: Hillary Clinton’s Locker Room Talk

    • I can’t look at polls. They really scare me. I feel like they are too inaccurate to feel safe by them.
      Hillary Clinton’s Locker Room Talk is almost too uncomfortable to read for me! It’s like I’m beyond finding anything funny anymore. Sigh.

      • Ashlah

        I understand. For me, Five Thirty Eight’s predictions are the only thing that have finally made me able to find some humor in it at this point. Humor helps me cope, and now that I feel relatively confident that he won’t win, I’m more able to appreciate it. Overall, though, the whole thing is disgusting and terrible and decidedly not-funny. I’ve certainly had my moments of breaking down and crying over his success, and I still have moments of but-what-if-style terror, so I know where you’re coming from.

        • We’ve just got to get through this. We will make it through.

    • ART

      Just daily? They update several times a day, you know! Kidding…sort of. I’ve been hanging on those forecasts as well. I keep wishing someone would be able to come along and say ok, you can all stop worrying now, it’s in the bag. But I know no one really can do that, and I know we can’t get comfortable and lazy about this thing in the last few weeks. I’ve been volunteering with a get-out-the-vote texting campaign and that feels somewhat useful, at least. Also, I’m taking the day off to be a poll worker (I mean Election Officer/Judge!). Because I would be useless at work that day anyway.

      • Jennifer

        there’s a texting campaign!? I can totally do that. *looks into it now* (I’m scared of people but not of writing to them).

    • Lisa

      Ha, just looked at the map, and my state is one that’s trending ~96% for Trump. I’ll still be doing my part anyway!

    • Lawyerette510

      That piece is amazing!

      • Ashlah

        Right?! I read it out loud to my husband last night, and we both about lost it at, “You smell like a Hawaiian pizza.”

  • Pro tips for hiring a Day-of Coordinator: (1) Ask them if they’ve ever used Google spreadsheets before. Then ask them if they know how to save a copy to their personal Drive. (2) Ask them what search term they’d use in Gmail to find a Word Document that you sent them.

    Your day-of coordinator really needs to be digitally literate.
    An event planner, maybe less so because they can have their own planning system in Pinterest + MS Paint and it won’t affect your communications very much.

    One week away!

    • Jessica

      Wow. Just wow.

      • I’m not saying she uses Pinterest/MSpaint as her planning tools. But when I get requests like, “Can you resend me the contract you sent yesterday?” I’m left a little…confused?

        A third question you could ask: (3) How do you turn on/off revision mark-up in Microsoft Word? (or track edits, etc.)

        • Jessica

          Nooooooooooooo. I’m so sorry.

        • louise danger

          oh lord i work with a bunch of long-time faculty in a non-technical field of study and the Track Changes feature is my albatross

          • Yeah, TBH, if your career does not involve writing papers, you might now know this one. But if you’re a DoC and you collaboratively construct your contract…Track Changes is a thing you should know.

            I’ve switched to using highlighting colors when I make edits.

    • Ashlah

      Ho boy. I’d be afraid to see the email chain that led to those pro tips.

      • They’re not awful. It’s just a lot of extra hand-holding from weird questions such as:
        – Can you resend me the contract you sent yesterday?
        – This image is printing too small.
        – Can you send me the groom’s contact info? (it was already prominently featured in a google spreadsheet titled “important_people”)
        – I RSVPed on the website for the rehearsal and wedding (when the email sent just prior explains that she should *not* RSVP because as a vendor, her meals are counted differently).
        – Several rounds of contract edits due to misunderstandings about ‘Liability’, etc.
        etc. etc.

        Hopefully on the day-of, she just takes all the items I give her and arranges them, talks to vendors/confused guests, and packs everything away. That’s all that I really want. My DJ is super competent, my photographer is super competent.

        I just cheaped out on the DoC a bit ;)

        • flashphase

          that sounds awful/stressful! I’m sorry!

        • Megan

          OH LORD. This literally made me shiver in disgust. Professionals who are doing something for pay should know computer basics. And they should NOT be contacting clients with these questions!!

          • Yeah, well, she’s $400 and that includes rehearsal coverage. You literally get what you pay for!

          • emmers

            Ha! I’m DOCing for a friend’s kid today/tomorrow, for free. And I’m doing a better job than this! It halfway makes me want to go into business and make allll the money– but only halfway, since this ish is stressful!

        • sofar

          Oh man, I had those exact exchanges with my MIL. I kept having to explain that email is searchable and that you can pull up the email I sent you three days ago — you don’t have to send me another email asking me to re-send. Also, a 15-column, 400-row Google sheet isn’t printing out well because it’s 15 goddamn columns and 400 fucking rows! You’re not meant to print it! Had to do this with my dad a bit, too. He deletes emails right after reading them because he thinks that’s what you’re “supposed to do,” meaning he asked me about 5 times to re-send him the venue contract.

          But, you know, that’s to be expected, since they’re in their 60s. If my DoC had done that, I’d have lost it. We paid a bundle for her, but she was literally the last strand attaching me to sanity.

          • Eenie

            Yup. My mom is even pretty good with email bit still uses Hotmail and can never find an old email and asks me to resend it.

          • Our DoC is in her 20s, and younger than me. I’m finding it difficult to empathize.

          • sofar

            OMG seriously??? I was expecting to say you hired an older person. Wow you have the patience of a saint. I’d be like, “OMG I thought you 20-somethings were supposed to be digital natives or something!!”

          • toomanybooks

            Ohhhhhhhh those email stories are painful!

          • Mari

            “I kept having to explain that email is searchable and that you can pull up the email I sent you three days ago — you don’t have to send me another email asking me to re-send.”

            Have had this exact conversation with my mother (albeit not a DoC)… multiple times. Still always results in my re-sending the email. The pain is real.

        • Jessa

          My DoC was the *only* issue we had going up to our wedding this summer. We had disagreements because she volunteered to pick up supplies for us, and then hit us with a delivery charge that she never informed us about. When I asked her to inform me of any extra fees (and I mentioned I would be happy to pay them, just wanted to know), she replied that her “feelings were hurt” and she has done a lot of things for us that didn’t charge for, such as changing an excel spreadsheet chart to a word document (eyeroll). We ended up working with one of her staff on the day of the wedding, who was wonderful! I simply don’t understand how she got a stellar reputation when she didn’t communicate well and was completely unprofessional.

    • Christina McPants

      I work as a day of coordinator and we primarily work through google drive. This hurts my soul.

  • louise danger

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fad50ed478ca4017bcc47217ddbcb3d300abd5135366fc210957381510382be8.jpg hey y’all, this has been a big week wedding-planning-wise! i got my dress last weekend, despite assorted Mom-dragon shenanigans, and i am so happy with it! thanks to the folks here who suggested alfred angelo a few weeks ago for plus-size bride shopping! also the local david’s is a big fat YIKES, 0/10 would not recommend

    mr danger was able, after several rounds of phone tag, to talk to his childhood parish priest, who basically said “it won’t be able to be a second big wedding to-do up here since you’ll already be legally married, but i’d be happy to do something at $churchname, just let me know what your plans are” because he is awesome o/

    yesterday was t-minus one year, and yesterday sucked so maybe yesterday was just absorbing all of the oct 13 bad juju in advance of the coming oct 13? who knows

    and today, i will officially book the venue! :D since it’s a state park and dead-affordable, i’m thinking of renting the pavilion for two days so that we can do the heavy lifting the night before, and the day-of site prep would just be the decorations – just waiting to hear from mr danger before i pull the trigger there.

    next up is florists. :D almost everything is done and i still basically have a year!

    to fit with the HH’s political theme, here is a non-sequitur photo of my great-aunt (in the middle) dressed as a suffragette for a 1950s local election in Falls Church, VA:

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on knocking things off the to-do list!

      I know DB gets a lot of love around here, but I and the people I know have had no positive experiences with them or the quality of clothing. I will grant you that they might have upped their game in the past 3-4 years, but I remember the dresses literally ripping off my cousin’s bridesmaids at her wedding and the horrible dress and alterations experience my sister had purchasing a bridesmaid’s dress from them. My mom was practically in tears when she took it apart for alterations and saw the construction of the garment.

      • louise danger

        The dress quality wasn’t the greatest but I avoid satin at all costs so I didn’t get a sense of what the satiny fabrics were like. My issue was that my consultant disappeared for 10 and 15 minutes at a time (after being 20 minutes late for my appointment in the first place), leaving my matron of honor to help me in/out of the dresses.

        And also the fact that he took my measurements right in the middle of the store.

        And that he told me to my face “here is my business card; you probably want to hand that to mom, since the bride usually forgets.” ew.

        • Lisa

          What an awful salesperson. That’s definitely something that can make or break an experience. The consultant my friends had when they went to try on recital dresses at DB basically walked out on us when she realized we were there for the $99 sale and to look at recital gowns, not bridal ones.

    • Yay for getting a dress! And yeah, David’s Bridal can be…interesting. I went with 2 friends to DB (1 friend was trying out dress styles) and we asked the consultant what material a dress was made out of. Her reply “I don’t know, something cheap”. Well alrighty then!

      On the plus side tho, my bridesmaids dresses came from DB and were cute, and their dress preservation service was the cheapest I could find, so that made me happy.

      • louise danger

        heh i had a similar moment with my consultant at alfred angelo: “is this princess seaming on this dress?” “oh, i have no idea!” bless her heart she was so sweet.

      • I can’t decide if I want to preserve my dress after-the-fact, or sell it. Maybe try to sell and if that doesn’t work, preserve? It’s strapless (and altered), so it’s not like it’s going to fit everybody…on the bright side, I’m 5’11”, so it was never shortened, lol.

    • Amy March

      What would the heavy lifting be?

      • louise danger

        moving big metal-and-wood state park picnic tables around to how we want them configured, some light tidying (sweeping, dusting of cobwebs) of the pavilion, etc. stuff that isn’t necessarily difficult, but is too sweat-generating-y (<– what are words) for me to want to do the morning of my wedding. and if the forecast calls for rain, 'heavy lifting' would also include implementing a rain plan of some kind. i figure i'll probably be taking that day off work anyway, might as well put it to use

        • Amy March

          Sounds like a great plan!

        • Yeah, sounds like you definitely need that extra day.

        • JC

          I like the extra day plan because it gives you some room to say “nope, I’m done.” At the end of prep day, if you’re too tired for that last thing? Leave it for tomorrow. And on the morning of the wedding? It’s just the one thing left over from yesterday, not the whole kit and kaboodle.

    • JC

      The woman on the right (on your great-aunt’s left) looks so much like my late grandmother, I’m crying. She would have loved to see Hillary elected. Bless your great-aunt and all those like her.

      • louise danger

        <3 she was a formidable lady, that's for sure

    • Ashlah

      <3 that photo

    • DB’s customer service is super random, dependent on the local franchise. It can be great or it can be awful. I’ve been to one in NJ and one in CA for wedding dress shopping, and they were actually pretty great. The alterations department was fine…a little bit upsale-y, but I can’t blame the little guys for the entire compensation/organizational structure.

  • AGCourtney

    Michelle Obama’s speech was fantastic – as soon as I was done watching it last night, I posted it on Facebook. It almost brought me to tears at points. I also finally donated to Hilary’s campaign earlier this week. My woman card will be arriving in 6-8 weeks.

    My dad got an apartment!!! We’re so excited. He’s moving in on November 11th, I believe. He’s getting a nearby ground floor apartment with a sliding glass door, so that will make moving him out much more convenient.

    …this definitely isn’t new, but I’ve been feeling particularly socially “in-between” this week – poverty and middle class, young and adult, and so on. I know we’ll find our people eventually, but sometimes I wish we had more than surface connections with people. It’ll be fine, but sometimes social mobility and growing up is hard, haha.

    Still, it’s exciting. I was looking at American Girl doll stuff on Craigslist last night and had the realization that I could actually buy them. I’m saving up for my teeth, so I won’t, but still, it was thrilling. I just want to go back in time to the 8-year-old girl longingly paging through those well-worn catalogs and enthuse with her. I know she’d understand. :)

    • Lisa

      Yay for the new apartment for your dad.

      You should take your daughter to the American Girl store once she’s old enough. It’s a fun experience, and I bet both of you would enjoy it!

      • AGCourtney

        We actually live within an hour of the Mall of America, so she’s been there before – and loves it. A catalog came in the mail the other day and she pored over it, just like I used to when I was a kid. She’s asked about getting a doll before, and though she doesn’t know it, I actually found her a used Molly doll for her upcoming birthday. $10(!!!) – no glasses or original clothes, but since my daughter’s turning 5, I doubt she’ll care. My original thought had been to make her first doll Felicity, since she has red hair and is interested in that historical period, thanks to Hamilton. But I couldn’t turn down a $10 AG doll.

        I’ve been joking with friends that this is going to be my version of that parenting trope where you never learned how to play piano, so your kid is going to have piano lessons. I desperately wanted a doll for years. Though when AG came to the Mall of America around when I was 16, my grandmother bought me a doll as a birthday gift. :)

        • A $10 one sounds perfect for a just turning 5 year old. In my family, we got an American Doll when we turned 9 and could prove that we would take super good care of them. So maybe when she’s older you can splurge on the Felicity doll :)

        • Lisa

          How sweet! I bet you could find some of the original clothes on ebay; there’s a TON of stuff there. I check it periodically because I’m searching for a Pre-Mattel Addy doll to strip for parts. (My doll has “silver-eye syndrome,” which was a common flaw in the original dolls, and I’d like to repair her at some point.)

          • Lisa

            Just to prove it, I found this whole kit. A little pricey at $35, but since you got the doll so cheap, it might be fun! The glasses could probably be made out of a coat hanger or some wire.

          • I just wanna say that I’m so jealous you have an Addy doll! My parents were happy to buy me all the books but I never got an Addy doll and I’m still slightly sad about it as an adult. I spent hours with that damn American Girl catalog but my parents were like “nope nope nope”.

          • Lisa

            Addy is the best! Back in the early Pleasant Company days, they sold the patterns for the doll clothes in the catalogue so my mom bought all of those and made us really nice knock-offs instead of buying all of the crazy expensive stuff. I love the dolls and their books!

          • Kara

            My mom did the same thing. I loved my Addy, too!
            Now, she has gorgeous silver eyes, and I think she’s awesome.

            I remember being about 10 and writing to Pleasant Company about creating the “first” American Girl doll–a Native American. They did …. finally. Though, I haven’t followed up on it in years.

          • Lisa

            If both of my doll’s eyes were silver, I think it would bother me less. The single eye is unnerving.

            I think I read my sister’s Kaya books when they first came out and enjoyed them, but it’s been so many years that I don’t remember the storylines very well.

          • Kara

            I understand–one eye is a wee bit unnerving (unless we’re talking about Graceling).

            I never read the Kaya books, but I hope they were good!

          • Olive

            My mom made my doll and I matching dresses for a tea party birthday I had when I was a kid :)

          • Lisa

            We did the same thing! I have Addy’s Christmas dress and PJs, and my middle sister has Kirsten’s summer dress and PJs.

          • Kara

            I loved Addy’s Christmas and School dresses. It looks like they changed her school dress though (I had to go check the website).

            Oh the hours I spent playing with her….thankfully, my 2 nieces will get to enjoy her. My parents kept my dolls and Legos just in case they had future grandchildren. As luck would have it, my brother had 2 girls, and they are thrilled!

            On a side note: my mom made Addy an awesome “closet”. She had a tall boot box and covered the outside in cabinet liner, inserted a dowlrod as a bar, and magically, Addy could see all her clothes in her own closet :). You can get creative.

          • Lisa

            I noticed they changed the outfit, too. I’m wondering if they got a different supplier or something because I don’t understand the one random re-design otherwise.

          • Kara

            I didn’t realize they discontinued Felicity, Kirsten, and Molly. I’m really behind.

          • AGCourtney

            A few years ago, they launched this new BeForever thing and brought back Samantha, who had been retired, and gave everyone new clothes.

          • Hannah

            I have a pre-retirement Samantha that I found in the trash. That’s right, I dumpster dove for an american girl doll. It was so worth it! I grew up with one of the build your own look a like ones and my sister had a bitty baby.

          • AGCourtney

            Wow! That’s amazing.

          • JC

            My mom used to make us all and our friends matching poodle skirts for us and our dolls!

          • flashphase

            yup – I played with the catalog!

          • Jess

            Man, now I’m going to have to pull out my Addy doll to see if she had the same flaw.

          • Lisa

            You’ll know right away. It was really jarring and upsetting. I’ve always heard of people talking about dolls who were scary-looking, and this is the first time I’ve ever thought it myself. I could send her to the AG Hospital to get a new eye, but it’s very likely they’ll scrap her and send me a new one instead. (If they don’t have matching eyes, they’ll put on a new head, and if the head doesn’t match, they’ll throw out the whole doll.) I couldn’t do that to my Addy!

        • Olive

          Molly was my first (and only) AG doll! I remember places like Joann or Michaels having doll sections with glasses you can buy separately, if you are interested in finding some. And it’s so exciting that you found one for $10!

        • Laura C

          I thought this was pretty great: my best friend’s 3-year-old son wanted to know why there aren’t American Boy dolls, and she looked into it and found an Etsy store that takes American Girl dolls and repurposes them into boy dolls, so she’s getting one for her son.

          • Olive

            that’s awesome.

          • LadyMe

            https://boystory.com/collections/action-dolls
            http://www.wondercrew.com/pages/about-us
            I’ve seen write-ups about these 2 companies that make boy dolls as well, in case anyone else is looking for a similar toy.

          • Giselle

            Oh neat – my mother has a doll company too! All handmade in the USA, all women who sew or stuff the dolls her are paid a living wage. The dolls are not gender specific, the “hair” is totally changeable because of the way it attaches to the head, and she sells dresses/vests/bowties if someone wants to dress the doll one way or another.

            http://www.stafforddolls.com

          • lady brett

            just fyi, the walmart knockoffs of american girl have a boy doll. my mother in law just got it for our kids 5th b-day, and it has been a big hit (especially since he has real hair still).

      • Lexipedia

        I’m not American, so I grew up with the books and not the dolls, but I went to the AG store in Chicago a couple of years ago to see it and had a pretty emotional experience.

        There was a mom in there buying a doll for her daughter and collecting the add-ons It was one of those ones where it is supposed to look like the child, and it had dark skin and curly hair (the mom was a woman of color with natural hair) and she was getting help with the wheelchair and glasses accessories. Then she broke down crying in the shop and said to the African American saleswoman helping her how she was so happy to be able to surprise her child with a toy that represented who she was, vs. a white, blonde, able-bodied doll, and that she wished she could’ve had something similar when she was a kid. Then the saleswoman teared up, and I teared up, and it was a whole cry fest of all of these women in the AG store.

        So, as much as there are always representation problems with toys and the toy industry, this was a good moment.

        • Jennifer

          I haven’t thought about that in so long but as a Deaf child it was pretty awesome for me to go into the American Girl store and see a hearing aid add on. Even though I don’t wear them now, little me would have LOVED to have a doll with hearing aids and glasses like me!

    • Lawyerette510

      I have such fond memories of those American Girl catalogs!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I never asked for one when I was a kid because I knew how expensive they were, so I’ve made up for lost time as an adult and have bought two off of eBay. Little Me is SO happy. I love being an adult.

      • Cellistec

        I also pored over the catalogs but never asked for any of the dolls because holy crap, all the money. I love that you bought your own on eBay. I bet your younger self is high-fiving your current self.

  • Eh

    Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. In the open-thread about plans for the holidays I mentioned that my in-laws agreed to move thanksgiving to the weekend after (i.e., this weekend) to accommodate my husband’s work schedule since they hadn’t given him enough notice to book time off. I thought we were finally making progress but it turns out that they had Thanksgiving last weekend without us. They didn’t even tell us that they were planning on having something that weekend when we discussed having it the weekend after. The day of the Thanksgiving supper my SIL said that she would see us at supper and I said my husband had to work (and had the car) so we couldn’t go and I mentioned that we didn’t even know about these supper plans. (Later I found out there was a rumour that we weren’t there because I was visiting my family.) Then after Thanksgiving my FIL sent my husband a text saying how much they missed us at Thanksgiving. This was one of those situations where it is really good that he deals with communicating with his parents as I would have said that they didn’t tell us that they were having Thanksgiving on that weekend and that if they want us to come to things they have to give us at least 2 weeks’ notice.

    In addition to having a family supper this weekend we are also having family photos taken with my in-laws. Tuesday night (at bedtime) my MIL texted my husband about coordinating outfits (first time she’d mentioned it). She hadn’t decided what she wanted yet. After I blew up, my husband responded with that she needed to make a decision sooner rather than later and gave her a deadline of Wednesday night. My family rarely has photo shoots (the last, non-wedding, one was five years ago) but we don’t coordinate outfits. People are responsible to wear something that is appropriate for a photoshoot (dressy-casual). After making such a big deal, she just said “dressy-casual” and didn’t even give us any preferred colours.

    • Sosuli

      Oh man that sounds so frustrating! Sending you patience for this weekend.

      • Eh

        Thanks! I need it. We are spending Saturday night at my in-laws since it doesn’t make sense for us to go to supper there and then drive an hour home and then an hour back for pictures at 10am.

    • Amy March

      “This was one of those situations where it is really good that he deals with communicating with his parents as I would have said that they didn’t tell us that they were having Thanksgiving on that weekend and that if they want us to come to things they have to give us at least 2 weeks’ notice.”

      This seems like it would have been an excellent response!

      • Eh

        I agree that would have been a great response but it’s not great for our relationship with his parents.

        • Yeah, props for staying out of meddling with that!

          • Eh

            Obviously I influence what my husband says to his parents but he communicates with them about these types of things because he will communicate it in a way that won’t ruin our relationship.

        • Ashlah

          Are they aware that they didn’t tell you about the dinner? That seems like important information for them to have! Good for your husband to be the one communicating it, but I hope you aren’t both pretending that you forgot? Maybe I’m misunderstanding part of the story.

          • Eh

            We have made it clear that my husband had to work, and not that we forgot or anything like that.

            They seem to think that it’s a moot point that they didn’t actually invite us because we weren’t available because my husband was working so we couldn’t go anyways. And if we were available then we would have been invited. They don’t consider supper this weekend the real thanksgiving supper.

            The part that is confusing me is why they were telling people that me and my daughter were visiting my family.

    • Totch

      Sorry for the in law drama. I know it can feel really… invalidating? to not be kept in the loop on things like family dinners.

      We moved Thanksgiving to this weekend, too, and I’m hosting my in-laws (they don’t normally celebrate, my family does but lives too far away). I’ve hosted the last couple years, and my fiance’s mom just told him “Tell Totch not to make so much food this time! She always makes such a fuss!” To his credit, fiance replied “Mom, it’s Thanksgiving. Lots of food and fuss is the point.”

      I’ll be thinking of you!!

      • Eh

        Thanks! Good luck!

        We live an hour away from my husband’s family (and 8 hours from my family) so we already feel we miss out a lot. So it does feel invalidating when things aren’t communicated to us. And then we are guilt tripped about something we didn’t even know about.

        When we were discussing having thanksgiving this weekend my husband didn’t want to overburden his parents (supper is on Saturday so it’s less prep time then she could have had if it was last weekend). So he told his parents to keep it small (number of people-wise) and not to cook both a turkey and a ham (which is what my MIL does). I had to remind my husband that his parents are hosting and they get to decide who they invite and what they serve.

    • sofar

      Good luck. I grew up in a family of Type-A planners. For any important event that required attendees to travel/devote an entire day, a detailed itinerary would be established weeks prior.

      My in-laws will announce Very Important Events last minute and expect everyone to drop everything. I have gotten really good at saying, “Oh that sounds like so much fun and I would have LOVED to attend, but I have already made other plans/can’t arrange for time off work without notice.” That’s often a lie — I may not have anything planned, and my work is very flexible. But dammit if my mental health can’t handle my in-laws expecting us to drive four hours away with a day’s notice. You gotta establish boundaries somehow, and it’s good that your husband handles to fall-out.

      • Eh

        My family never travelled for holidays because my extended family lived very far away (two days drive). I am not used to having large family holidays and having to schedule them at all. My in-laws have been doing this their whole lives (all the family lives within an hour) so I am confused why this is so difficult.

        Boundaries are important. We need two weeks notice for my husband to book time off. No one goes if they don’t give us that much notice (unless my husband has the time off and we don’t have other plans and it’s not going to stress us out).

    • Jessica

      Your in-laws sound like the Canadian version of my in-laws. We get invited last minute to full-blown extended family suppers, they don’t communicate with each other (so we’ll tell his mom we’ll be a little late to a holiday dinner, then get 10 texts from his fam wondering where we are as they are about to start dinner). For our wedding, we sent our immediate families the photo timeline and asked that they spread the word to aunts & uncles, but she didn’t, so we have very few photos of her side of the family from the wedding.

      Basically, not great communication. Drives me crazy.

      • Eh

        Ugh! My MIL and FIL don’t communicate well. One time we asked my FIL if we could borrow their SUV. My FIL told my MIL that we were coming over and she planned a whole supper around it. This meant that we drove an hour to their house, an hour back to our house to run errands with the SUV, an hour back to their house (we were guilted into going back for supper because my husband’s grandparents were coming), and then we had to spend night (which I prefer to avoid since I prefer sleeping in my own bed) because I did not want to be in the car for another hour.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m feeling frustrated for you! Hope thanksgiving weekend goes well

  • Lawyerette510

    I’ve really been struggling this month. I started my new job October 3, and while I know logically it is going well, emotionally I feel like my life is falling apart. I have been weeping a lot (in private, not when with my new coworkers), I’m terrified of doing something wrong (even though it’s the exact work I was already doing and it’s work I’m good at), and my husband is still not working (it’s been 9 months since he was fired) and still “figuring it out.” He is convinced we are ok because we have savings. I know we are ok *for now* but when we were working hard to build those savings I wasn’t aware the point was so he could apparently have a gap year of not doing anything except for thinking about what he might want to do next, taking care of the dog and doing about the same amount of housework and emotional labor as before, while I kept working.

    I’m trying to not be entirely pissed at him and to communicate effectively with him, but it is really hard not to feel resentful. I don’t know what to do to get through to him, and when we talk about it he says he understands, but then he does not take any meaningful action.

    • Ashlah

      If it’s been 9 months, I think you’re well within your rights to get entirely pissed at him and let him know it. He can work a non-ideal job while he figures out what he wants to do next. He is an adult in a partnership, he has to pull his weight.

      • Lawyerette510

        Yeah, that’s what we keep talking about, then he’s like “ok, I’m on it” but then there’s no action. I don’t feel badly or unreasonable for telling him to get his ass in gear and do his fair share, but what I’m struggling with is the feelings of anger, resentment, and just horribleness that I’m feeling towards him. It sucks to feel mad at your spouse all the time. While I love him and I try to base my actions from that love, I don’t like him very much these days and it makes me so sad.

        • Ashlah

          Does he know that? The extent of your anger, the growing resentment? Is marriage counseling an option?

          • Lisa

            I second marriage counselling. He’s not responding to your (totally reasonable) requests at this point, and it sounds like you could use a mediator. Is there any chance there are medical reasons for his lack of follow-through like depression? Maybe he should see his doctor, too, if that’s something your insurance covers.

          • Lawyerette510

            I don’t know if he knows, but you and everyone else are really helping me to realize that I need to be entirely clear about it. Thank you.

          • Ashlah

            Best of luck. I know it’s not an easy place to be, and I hope things get better for you soon <3

        • emilyg25

          You can tell him all that! It’s only fair to give him a full picture of the situation so he make informed decisions.

          • Kate

            Please do @Lawyerette510:disqus! I feel there were some big issues in my relationship that my partner did not take seriously until I said, “I’m feeling resentment and it could really impact whether we have a future or not. We need to work on x, y, and z.”

          • Lawyerette510

            Thanks for the encouraging words, you are right in that I need to voice how where I am at is really that bad.

        • anonynony

          So. My partner did something similar during wedding planning. No matter how many times we talked, no matter how many times the repetitive talk lead to me crying over him doing nothing…he said he’d be more helpful, and then follow up. After-the-fact, he said he figured the crying was just something I did, and it wasn’t that big of a deal.

          It wasn’t until I gave the ultimatum to call off the wedding or go to couples counseling that he finally got his ass in gear. I mean, we went to counseling too, but he finally got the big picture.

          A friend of mine had a similar thing happen. The dude did not realize that because *he* was causing her tears that it was a BIG GIANT DEAL. It wasn’t until she called off their engagement that he realized it was. I think many men are not socialized to understand the importance of being the cause of someone’s crying, so they don’t treat it accordingly.

          I don’t know what advice to give, other than…he’ll probably get his ass in gear if you threaten to leave. But that’s not really ideal.

          • Jess

            I have a lot of feelings about women becoming emotional while discussing something painful and being discounted by men *because* they got emotional. Just so many angry feelings.

          • Lawyerette510

            Yes, very early on in our relationship, my husband and I talked about this phenomenon and how sexist it was, and to his credit while he hasn’t always been perfect, it is something he has made a point to avoid doing. Now sometimes if I am expressing my emotions in a way such as yelling with lots of profanity or weeping so hard he can’t understand what I’m saying we have to revisit what I was trying to express later, but that’s different.

          • Jess

            I think it’s really common for a lot of relationships.

            Women have been trained to not voice their anger/displeasure, especially to men, so bringing something up is already a significant vulnerable task, plus being emotional about the topic, and on top of that, it’s very ingrained for men to respond to crying women as “hysterical.”

            It’s such a recipe for disaster.

        • Laura C

          I’m so sorry. I’ve had my moments of feeling a little bit of that lately with a lot less justification than you, and it’s just a terrible feeling to be feeling it, on top of all the reasons you feel it. If that makes any sense.

          • Lawyerette510

            It makes perfect sense, it is just such a crappy feeling regardless of what the cause of it is.

    • Jess

      I don’t mean to make things harder, but those are very reasonable things to be pissed about (husband) and scared of (new job, finances).

      I hope there’s some action and adapting coming your way. In the mean time, take care of yourself and know that these feelings seem very appropriate to your current situation to me.

      • Lawyerette510

        It doesn’t make things harder. Thanks for the support.

        • Jess

          Glad for that. As above, hugs and support and positive wishful thinking thoughts are going your way.

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, 9 months is way too long to go without making concrete plans for the future, especially if he’s not taking on the role of househusband. Sounds like it’s a time for a sit down.

      • Amy March

        And possibly a trip to marriage counselling? Does this new job maybe provide that benefit through an EAP? I think in the mean time forgive yourself for being angry and resentful. He’s not doing a good job at being a partner right now. It’s okay to resent that, and to say so.

        • Lawyerette510

          the counseling is a good idea. sadly, my new job has better cash compensation than my old one, but very few benefits because it’s a tiny (4 people) firm. There are some sliding scale clinics near where I am, and they offer marriage counseling, so I think that’s the next step.

          • Emily

            On this note, also check any colleges or universities that maybe near you? A lot of them have like a grad clinic that is sliding scale or free but maybe not advertised as such. It was the only way we could afford counseling

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you for the validation. What I’m struggling with is when the sit downs aren’t working. We have them, then there’s no follow through.

        • emilyg25

          You could try once more where you really lay it out there and explain that he’s beinga shitty partner and you’ve talked about this before and seen no follow through, so let’s decide on concrete next steps. Or you could take it to therapy.

        • Emily

          My relationship had this issue before we were married. On the short term, it helped me feel in control by making my own goals and plans and then acting on them. My partner has now said that seeing me in action all the time helped him realize that if he didn’t get it together I probably would move on. A really bummer way to have to get to that point, but it’s what kept us together in the long run

          • Lawyerette510

            Thanks for the perspective Emily.

        • Jess

          The lack of follow through, in my life and my relationship, is what actually makes me angry.

          I will be irritated by the thing, but if there is no action based on our conversation about the thing, I get angry. For me, a good apology is not saying “sorry” or understanding my point of view but comes in the weeks and months later when change has happened.

          I don’t have any words of advice, but I do have a lot of appreciation for the frustration of waiting for follow through.

          Sending you lots of supportive thoughts.

          • Lawyerette510

            Thank you Jess, and yes I’m similar on what I crave is not a “I’m sorry my actions resulted in your feelings of frustration” I crave the end result of the thing being done.

          • Lisa

            This is me, too. There’s a companion quiz to the love languages for apology languages. Perhaps it’s correlated with my acts of service love language, but my apology one was basically what you described. I need the person to apologize for what they did wrong, acknowledge their fault, and back it up with action/never do it again.

          • Jess

            It seems so self explanatory! But I’m married to a “show how bad I feel” apologizer, which drives me up a wall because I do not want you to feel bad, I just want you to stop!

            Obviously, we’re still figuring it out.

            I would be really interested in seeing how apology styles relate to love languages!

    • emmers

      I am really, really sorry. I know the emotional-life-falling-apart feeling. And I’m so sorry that you’re having such a hard tie that you’re weeping. I recommend counseling, though I know it can feel so inadequate. I’m so sorry. You have a lot on your plate.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you for the kind words and the encouragement for counseling.

    • AGCourtney

      Solidarity. As others have been saying, just making it clear that things are *that bad* is probably key. Like you, though we’d had good discussions before, change was short-lived or nonexistent. I certainly didn’t want it to come across as “do this or I’m leaving”, but when it occurred to him that I could leave, and when I admitted around the same time that I am often, day-to-day, unhappy with our marriage, some serious changes in his actions happened. I haven’t done couples counseling before, but it’s likely a great idea for your situation.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you. I think what you and many other people here are saying is really helpful. I don’t think I’ve been honest enough with him to say “i’m not just unhappy about this when I look at the numbers and think about it, or when I’ve had a tough day, I’m unhappy about it and our marriage daily”

    • Antonia

      Ugh, I can relate to *so much* of what you’re going through… I wish I had some words of advice, but all I can offer is a solidarity hug.

      • Lawyerette510

        thank you, hugs back.

    • Totch

      I’ve been having a really overwhelming time at work lately too. Throwing you some support, and hoping you find your rhythm in the new job.

      Sorry that your husband’s unemployment has gone on so long, that absolutely is frustrating. Not the same, but I gave my fiance a gap year on planning for his future (he has a job but no potential for a career). It’s now slowly approaching a gap 2 years, and it is impossible to gauge how much pressure is right.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you. Sorry to read your work has been overwhelming as well.

        I know part of my frustration is just the inherent differences in my type A personality and his laid-back style. I always have a plan (or two) for what comes next and a back up, and I’m mostly not happy unless I’m working towards something. My husband isn’t like that. It sounds like your fiance may also just not be the kind of person who is moved by the idea of having a plan for their career, which can be hard if you are that type of person. And it is so hard to know what is necessary/ helpful pushing and what is just pressure because the person isn’t approaching it the same way you would.

        My husband had a gap 3 years on his life the first 3 years we were together. We met as he was leaving his job as an attorney to live in a van, rock-climb, and surf and figure out what to do that wasn’t practicing law. He did that for the first 3.5 years we were together (including 6 months we were in the van together and traveling) and it was fine. He then went back to work in a different field where things went well until they didn’t, and he had to learn some lessons about being lower in the hierarchy of a workplace the hard way.

    • AmandaBee

      Oh *hugs* for the husband thing. Mine also had a really hard time after being fired, and it turned out to be depression/anxiety related. Any chance that could be what’s freezing him from taking action? If so, meds and therapy are what honestly saved us. He’s still struggling to find a permanent thing, but has been working part-time and studying for the GRE, in addition to actually applying for full-time jobs, so at least that’s something.

  • JLily

    My friend from college posted this, and I feel like it captures my feeling that there is a silver lining to the horror of what this election season has “allowed” people to express:

    “Walking to work today behind a girl ( no older than 16) who had a backpack and her lunch. Men on the other side of the street started whistling and making comments….about, among other things, her backpack. The man walking to my left slowed his pace with mine and looked like he was about to say something: but this backpacked girl did–not–hesitate. She crossed the street in her sneakers and pointed at those men with her shoulders back: ‘ SHAME ON YOU. You CANNOT talk to me like that.’ That’s all she said before striding away, her head high and moving her arms like an airplane. The rest of the street stopped and I’ll be dammed if the man walking beside me didn’t let out a, ‘ Hell yes.’ | There are some days when I’m not sure what we’re fighting for. And then stuff like that happens, and I look at all the young women I know, and I know we’re all going to be JUST FINE. I’m betting on that girl.”

    I feel like a vocabulary is developing to address the misogyny and inequality surrounding us, and I can’t help but feel that the negative, violent reaction to that is inevitable. But I like to hope that it is a sign of progress, and that the more we can articulate our experiences the more expedient, lasting gains we will make.

    • emilyg25

      See also: the segment on NPR about sex ed and consent during this election that featured the voices of several young men explaining clearly about the value of Yes Means Yes, and the Liberty University students writing a statement denouncing their president’s endorsement of Donald Trump. The kids are alright.

    • Ashlah

      I cannot wipe the grin off my face from that story. I mean, I hate that it happened at all, but what a badass. Good for her.

    • Jess

      Hell yes to that girl. I feel afraid when I just raise my hand to flip off men who are yelling at me.

      It’s good to step back and acknowledge that in the face of all this ugliness, we are developing a way to talk about it and to talk back against it. I hope the blow back isn’t as bad as I fear.

    • BSM

      Wow, reading this actually made me cry, I guess from relief?

      I responded to someone on Twitter the other day who was expressing how sad it is that women need to give so much and lay themselves bare for any progress to be made and asked why. I said that I do it in the hopes that the next generation of women won’t have to.

      So your story made me think of that and made me happy that everything all these women (and men) are doing might be worth something.

    • That’s amazing! I guess, I’ve just never felt empowered enough in my life to do that. I would feel like it would make it worse, but then again, what could be worse? Men like that will take action regardless of “provocation”. Perhaps it’s safer to call them out before something happens.

  • emilyg25

    Interesting article about the stress of parenting in America. I’ve also been listening to the Stretched series on NPR this week and every time it comes on, I cry. I didn’t realize how much stress and pain I still carry about that first year as working parents. It was SO HARD. But one thing I wish people would mention when talking about how expensive childcare is: early childhood educators work really hard, do important work, and get paid shit for it. We’re lucky to be at an amazing day care center, and even though the bill is second only to our mortgage, it’s worth every penny.

    • Laura C

      Such an important point. As much as we’re paying for daycare, I still don’t know how the math works for the daycare center. Which is yet another reason individual families shouldn’t be the ones carrying this…

      • Antonia

        Likely not much. My daughter is in full-time (good, expensive) daycare, and I found this so depressing, on a number of levels: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/05/27/the-alaska-child-care-market-is-broken-for-parents-and-caregivers-alike-heres-why/

        • “Platt said that although her income exceeded the cost of day care, she felt her leftover pay was not worth the time she was losing with her daughter.”
          Oh man…and they’ve done studies on the opportunity costs of one parent staying home fulltime. Families end up losing out on hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars over a lifetime, just because one parent stayed home fulltime for 10 years.

          Short-term costs is one thing, but people are soooooo bad at thinking about the longterm opportunity costs.

          • Antonia

            I hear ya. I would never not work for a number of reasons, money being one (but not the only one). I think a lot of women (men too) see parenthood as an “excuse” for leaving a job they don’t like, that doesn’t pay enough, isn’t fulfilling, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with stay-at-home parenthood! Not at all. But I think money is often only part of the equation.

          • Absolutely. Money is only part of the equation. Honestly, my PPD was so bad that returning to work was actually good for me despite how hard it was.

    • The Stretched series has been fascinating to me, as I’m soon to be a parent. It burns me up how our society makes it so hard to be a working parent. And yesterday’s story about Pat Buchanan defeating govt subsidized childcare really made me upset – I was shouting in the car!

      • Ugh. I heard that one last night and I wanted to punch people. I was gushing tears.

      • emilyg25

        The part where Pat Buchanan was like Yeah, I’m glad I killed it because if I hadn’t, it’d be a huge program and there would be daycare centers everywhere! I wasn’t like, That … would be awesome.

    • Antonia

      I actually have some mixed feelings about extended, paid parental leave, but I have NO mixed feelings about this: “early childhood educators work really hard, do important work, and get paid shit for it.” Such bullsh*t, and absolutely inexcusable.

    • Yep. We pay for a nanny share and it equates to about 2/3rds of my paycheck. And, I realize that it’s not about my paycheck, but our paychecks collectively, but I would be the one to stay home because I don’t have the career. And as I said below, my PPD was so bad that returning to work was actually better for me despite how difficult everything is. We are incredibly lucky. It kills me what people have to go through. It’s weird, it was so hard for me during the first year, but now that she’s almost 2, it’s almost worse. The long haul of the hard parenting life. I NEVER get all the things done. I never even get half of the things done, and my husband is actually very helpful.
      My nanny is worth every penny, but I really wish it could be different. I really wish there was a socialized help. I really wish we were living in Sweden.

      • emmers

        I know you had a hard time at the beginning- I remember from your comments then. I’m sorry it’s still hard. And mad props to you for realizing you were your better self working. Also- money-wise, it’s not just about your present pay. It’s harder to get hired the longer your gap is (I’m mentoring someone who went thru this) and it can also be tougher to advance- some folks who were working before gotta essentially start over. Obvs some people still decide it’s right for them to stay home anyways, which, go them! But you’re doing a good job, even if you feel like you’re not.

        • Thanks. I am not so sure I care about my “career”. I finally came to the conclusion that I am a worker. I am not interested in a career. I just want to go to work, do my job and be respected for the effort that I put in. I am so happy to have that job now. I wonder sometimes if I should be working harder to make sure I can keep it, but I don’t have it in me right now. And despite my experience, it’s hard to get hired anyway. I don’t know who the magical unicorns are that just get jobs are. I understand the greater societal implications of anything we all do as women. It’s so hard to reconcile who we are as individuals with who we are in society.
          I have nothing but respect for those moms that can stay at home with their kids. That life is so much harder than my job. I say life, because SAHMs never get to take a break. If I find it hard to take a break… ha!

    • Mary Jo TC

      I wonder if my Republican dad realizes that family leave policies enacted in the next couple years (or not) are going to determine the number of grandchildren he ends up with.

  • Sosuli

    This totally throws my being sketchy about my country of origin out the window… but a piece I wrote for The Guardian (UK) was published in their Higher Education section today! They opted to put it in their Academics Anonymous section, so I can share here without giving my identity away. I was pretty excited about this today!

    https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2016/oct/14/im-a-researcher-from-the-eu-and-brexit-has-left-me-in-limbo?CMP=share_btn_tw

    • AGCourtney

      That’s awesome!

    • Totch

      Oh no, you spoiled the mystery. The magic is gone.

      Congrats!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the article!

    • Call Me Penny

      Congrats on the article, you’re in the big leagues now! I’m also a UK based non-Brit and working in a university (though not in an academic role), and the whole thing has knocked me for six. I think because we were caught up in the end of wedding planning in June it didn’t properly sink in, and now I’m feeling all the feels. My boss also very clearly voted out and hasn’t been sugar coating her views much the past few months, and I feel in this awful limbo. Like you said in your article, we’re lucky to have had the opportunity to be here, but it’s such a strange feeling not knowing what comes next. Sending good thoughts your way while you and your person figure out what’s right for you!

      • Sosuli

        Thanks! Sending you patience in dealing with what sounds like an awful boss.

    • EF

      i read this earlier and have seen it posted by several friends on fb! way to go! (though obvs, uuuuuugh at the situation. i wish we could stop playing ‘how far can the pound fall?’)

      • Sosuli

        Seriously?!? You just made my day!

    • Eenie

      Congrats on the piece!

    • AF

      I’m not graduating for at least another year, but I’ve been looking at Finnish post docs! If you’re still around APW when I start looking I might have many questions for you.

  • Anon Employee

    I got laid off today. Actually feeling relieved about it – the PIP process had been so long and demoralizing, I’m glad to have it over with. And I had a phone interview earlier this week for a potential opening in another company, so that gives me hope.

    I am also about a little over a month pregnant, which I informed my job about and thought would help me get a better severance package, but no. I might look into getting a lawyer to see about possibly getting a better deal, but we’ll see.

    For now I’m just enjoying a beautiful fall day, free from my awful work environment. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and thanks for all your support the last few weeks <3

    • *hugs* I’m very sorry about your layoff, but better is coming!

    • AGCourtney

      Well, at least it’s (largely) over now. Hope the interview went well!

    • rg223

      Ugh, I’m sorry you’re going through all this. Break a leg with the job search – onwards and upwards!

    • emmers

      I’m sorry to hear that, but glad no more PIP. Hang in there!

    • Not Sarah

      *hugs* I’m sorry the layoff came, but I’m glad the PIP process is over. Take care of yourself through all of the emotions that come.

  • Elisabeth N

    I’m a long-time reader (ever since my now-husband and I got engaged 3+ years ago!), but only sometimes commenter. I’ve really appreciated the community here at APW and felt compelled to share a recent success (not wedding related, but SO influenced by the thoughtful discussions here)–my co-worker/friend and I started a new project that we’re really excited about and have been talking about for a while. We get to talk to amazing women about their work and amplify their voices. It’s been so fun in stretching ourselves, trying new things, and it’s even bringing up discussions with friends and family that I never would have had before.

    I was really nervous about this project because it’s really putting ourselves out there in a way I haven’t before, but it’s been such a great addition to my life; I get to try new things in a way that I’m not really doing at work anymore (I feel sort of stalled-out at work). My husband commented the other day that I seem so much happier and seem to have more energy. So, side-hustles and projects for the win!

    In any case, thanks to this great community for always being a source of inspiration and challenging me to think about motherhood, work, feminism, etc. etc. in new ways. That is all. :)

    • Giselle

      Ditto! APW is the only place on the internet that I spend time on the comments, because it’s dialogue and a community of people that want to see/help/listen to each other succeed in all facets of life.

      Congrats on your new project, knock it out of the park!

  • Totch

    Haven’t been on much lately because work has been really stressful, but I’ve got a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Last year, my boss and I started talking about me changing fields. Shortly after, a team member quit and my boss offered me a deal: we condense my job and the open one into one position, I get a promotion/raise, I stay for a year, and then he helps me find a job in the sector I’m trying to move into.

    It’s been a really hard 8 months doing 2 full-time jobs, and it’s been catching up to me lately. But last week HR sent their first email asking about my contract extension, so my boss and I took the time to talk about me leaving. He’s still supportive of the switch, and still hoping to play a direct role in me finding a new job. Asked me to send a cover letter and resume for him to pass around, and suggested we start by setting up a meeting between me and the head of a relevant nonprofit. I’ve got his blessing to ask other groups we work with about job openings, and also to apply on my own.

    I’ve always been in a position where I felt I needed to hide job searching from my employer, this is radical and new for me. It’s pretty exciting to have support, especially because it feels like a show of confidence in me. I spent a lot of the year feeling inadequate under the pressures of the job, and having that imposter syndrome sense that once we got to this point my boss would laugh and say “why would I recommend you!?”

    Good stuff coming, I hope.

    • louise danger

      best wishes for you in your search! how wonderful to have such a supportive person in your corner!

  • scw

    doing my best to celebrate some tiny personal victories in light of this horrendous political climate:

    I bought my first car this week! (yeah I’m 30 and I have – HAD – never owned a car before.) my husband and I are taking it on a spontaneous road trip to see some of our best friends tonight. I also got notice from my job that some of the pieces I wrote for the (college) website are going in a published book of their best stories.

    feel free to piggyback with your own good news of the week!

  • EF

    i mentioned a while back that i was pivoting towards data analytics/coding/data science…and today i had my first data science interview! i don’t know if i’ll get it (it went well, but i could see them wanting someone with more scripting experience), but i’m glad to have taken on the challenge. on the other hand, the pound continues to crash, making my life (ie student loan payments) a bit…difficult. but hopefully i’ll get a new position, and significant pay rise, soon. in the meantime, i’m off for my annual trip to the usa and glad to be going home, even if it is elections season.

  • flashphase

    We are 3 months away! I have moments of stress but also moments of elation. Still struggling with my MIL too. But the Jewish holidays were meaningful, which was unexpected and great. Also our DOC has been helping us figure out decor, which has been sooooo helpful.

    We’ve figured out we want lots of candles and I’m wondering if we really need a florist. If you’ve done lots of candles, did you buy them yourselves? Rent? Get them from your florist/planner/another vendor?

    • You don’t need a florist! Lots of people here have used Costco flowers (there’s other online bulk floral providers)…I’m using a bunch of dried flowers from etsy. Or you can just not have flowers. Whatevs!

    • emmers

      We didn’t have a florist, and our wedding party was humungous! Costco + fiftyflowers FTW! Def work, but particularly if you’re not having much in the way of flowers, and have some helpers, it’s fine.

    • Jess

      We did lots of candles & flowers, so for us we ended up going with a florist for both to eliminate the work we had to do (included a fireplace candle display and lots of votives across all the tables to bring atmosphere to the flower centerpieces).

      I would quote it out to rent/buy/use a florist, plus think about how much set-up you want to do (or your DOC can do).

    • sofar

      We did lots of candles. Like 4 on each table, and more scattered around the reception area, along with preserved flowers from my mom’s garden. We used sparkly table numbers in tall holders to add “height” to the centerpieces.

      We bought the candles in bulk on Amazon. Look carefully at “burn time” if you go with small candles (the cheapest ones last only 2 hours!) We then bought little glass holders/vintage crystal/small jars from Goodwill. I made two trips to get the 200 I needed (cost between 10 cents and 50 cents each). All that glassware was dumped back at Goodwill by our coordinator the day after the wedding, so I like to think it was a “green” choice of decor.

      Not gonna lie, setting all those candles up and lighting them is a pain in the ass and something I only did because we had a day-of coordinator to do it.

      Also, talk to your venue. Ours required that we used holders that were taller than the tip of the flame. Pretty easy. Others require complete encasement of the flame (large hurricane holder).

    • Jessa

      We bought candles through the flower wholesaler, funny enough. They sold vases, flowers, candles, and all sorts of decor. You might be able to get it all at the same place…? My flowers were some of the most beautiful parts of the day, and you can definitely get beautiful ones at Costco to DIY

    • emilyg25

      We did long tables with a line of mixed bottles and mason jars with flowers and candles. The florist provided the candles.

    • Giselle

      We did candles everywhere and I have zero regrets about going flameless: no blowing out, no burning low. I tested one box for 10 hours and was happy with that so I ordered tons of them. At first I worried they’d have a white fake glow, but I picked the yellowish ones and they were fine. And I think I looked at them for about 2 seconds on the day of and not worrying about the house or drunk guests catching on fire was nice. Bonus: you have candles for yourself for a long time. :)

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HLD9S3E/ref=pd_sim_86_5?ie=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HLD9S3E&pd_rd_r=DDZ6DCZW99HW97N68NZT&pd_rd_w=B5TCB&pd_rd_wg=hGoey&psc=1&refRID=DDZ6DCZW99HW97N68NZT

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I used flameless candles, and they were fine. The ambiance was the same! As for flowers, I dropped $80 at Trader Joe’s, and they were amazing.

    • I bought leftover candles (small clear glass votive holders) from another bride and washed and used them. I think I bought unused candles from her too? I would totally offer them to someone else, but I’m in Québec, so only really useful for someone local since shipping costs would be unreasonable.

  • greeneyedgirl

    One year out as of today, and I’m so excited. We’re good to go on photographer, music, venue (which includes food and booze), flowers, and dress, so I’m actually feeling pretty relaxed. One thing I’m wondering about, though, is a month/day-of coordinator. Our venue comes with a staff member who keeps things moving and on our timeline, but I’m not sure if we’ll want a person to hand things off to the week of the wedding? It sounds great but it might be overkill. Thoughts from anyone who brought in a coordinator to this type of situation?

    • My venue came with a coordinator and we still hired our own, which turned out to be a great decision. The venue coordinator that we’d worked with for a year was actually out the day of our wedding – she was attending a friends wedding out of state and so a colleague of hers stepped in. While the colleague was fine, it was great to have someone who knew us, knew all the plans, and also advocated solely for us working that day. I found my DOC to be more impartial than the venue coordinator, and more willing to make sure I got what I needed/wanted.

      • greeneyedgirl

        That makes sense! Thanks!

    • emmers

      We had a venue coordinator, but I also had a friend be DOC. You may want to check with the venue DOC to see what they’ll be doing. When I dove deeper, I realized the venue DOC was not going to be doing things like tell X person to walk down the aisle, or wrangle XYZ people for photos, so that’s what I had my friend do.

      • greeneyedgirl

        Good point – I definitely need to get a better sense of what the venue coordinator does! Thanks!

    • On day-of coordinators, a friend said: “We had [a day-of coordinator], and while not absolutely essential, it was awesome. As [my husband] put it, it was like flying first class when you’ve spent your life in coach. Things just got taken care of for us, in the background, and there was someone to wrangle relatives who were stressing us out, direct deliveries and guests, etc. I’m not sure how big your wedding is going to be but ours was about 75 people, and the ceremony and reception were in the same place, if that helps.”

      …which is why we’re getting one.

      • sofar

        “It was like flying first class when you’ve spent your life in coach.”

        YES that is the PERFECT way of describing it! I had to do literally NOTHING the day of. My mom had to do literally NOTHING. So much time to just enjoy being with our guests and chilling before the ceremony.

        Even if people offer to help with little details, they may be DRUNK.

        I just attended a wedding where the bride had a lot of “moving parts” and DIY stuff and didn’t hire a day-of-coordinator. All the cute little drinks in the cute little drink dispensers ran out an hour in and she had to find someone sober who could go to the store for some Koolaid and iced tea. Something was supposed to happen with sparklers, and it never happened because the person “in charge” was drunk. She had special songs for literally everything (four songs for the processional, tons of songs for various *moments* during the reception), and the friend “in charge” was drunk. She had rented stuff from so many places, and it all had to be sorted into different cars at the end of the night — by drunk people. It was still a beautiful wedding and everyone had so much fun, but she was telling me how bummed and stressed she was about all that stuff in the moment.

        • I photograph family weddings for free, with the one understanding that once cake cutting is over, I’m probably going to be drunk ;) “Friendors” should be renamed something else that incorporates the inevitable inebriation into it…

        • flashphase

          Yeah, this is why we have a DOC – I don’t want to feel even a moment of stress, if possible!

        • Lisa

          I went to a wedding like this as my friend’s plus one and noticed this happening to the bride, too. She didn’t have a DOC so people kept coming up to her asking questions about whether they could serve the food or if it was time for the first dance or whether the band should start playing. Then she had to supervise the load out at the end of the night because she was the only one who knew where everything went.

          This was about three months out from our own wedding, and it definitely solidified my decision to get a DOC to spare my family and friends the stress.

        • Jess

          This comment really validated my decisions to hire reliable vendors and not invest my energy in tiny details/DIY.

          I love the idea of relying on your friends as a big coming together of community, but that is just not my life.

          • sofar

            Yep. I got lots of comments when planning and people started finding out who we hired (pricey local vendors that are known for full service):

            “Oh, but you could just get the local taco place to drop off a bunch of tacos!”

            “Oh, but you could have friends and family set up rented sound equipment!”

            “Oh but you could just bring in a bunch of beer and have uncle Bob bar-tend!”

            I tell you what though: the food was served on time, we didn’t have to clean up any food/plates at the end of the night, nobody got over-served if visibly drunk, and the sound/light guys set up and cleaned up without leaving a trace.

          • Jess

            As we like to say here, “know your people.” My friends and family have great intentions and love us very much, but they are more inclined to party a bit too much than help lift boxes at the end of the night!

        • Amy March

          Yup. Even if your friends say they will help, they’ll be busy having fun too!

    • Lisa

      We had an event coordinator at our reception site, but our DOC was awesome in other ways. He set up decor and did the car tasks like pick up the cake so that we didn’t have to ask our friends or family to do it. He helped with clean-up at the end of the night and even drove my husband and I back to the hotel.

      The event coordinator did things like manage the wait staff and make sure the sound system was set up. She basically handled everything that came with the restaurant, while the DOC took care of everything we brought in.

    • Eenie

      We had no coordinator or DOC, the venue owner took care of venue stuff for us. We had zero decorations, one other vendor (photographer), no wedding party, and about 80 guests. I don’t think a DOC would have made the evening run much smoother (we had a medical emergency which required an ambulance). A lot of guests stepped up for us during the emergency. If we had had more moving parts or a complicated timeline we would have hired one.

    • Jess

      I did not do a DOC from the outside, but my venue had a staff person who worked with us on set-up and keeping the day moving. Between him, the DJ, and the photographer, we had somebody making sure we were where we needed to be and had what we needed at every point.

      On the flip side, we didn’t bring in a whole lot of decorations so what he had to set up was fairly simple, my mom wanted to check in that day and make sure things were what she wanted, and we were really really communicative with all of our vendors & wedding party about what was going on when (APW Timeline Spreadsheet ftw), so nobody had any confusion that day.

      Questions we asked ourselves when considering this question:
      Do you trust the person your venue has appointed to be there when you need them & solving your problems? Are you someone to bring in a lot of handmade/need to be set-up specially items? Are you (probably based on where you’re at in planning) pretty organized and ready to communicate needs quickly and succinctly?

      ETA: Oh yeah, we also paid delivery fees rather than pick things up.

    • sofar

      Ask very detailed questions about what exactly the venue’s coordinator will be doing.

      At my 2nd choice venue, the venue coordinator did everything you’d ever want (and, thus, the venue came with a $1,500 upcharge).

      At the venue we chose, yes, they had a venue coordinator, but she worked on behalf of the venue (making sure the tables and chairs were in the hall, making sure the caterers were squared away, making sure the sound guys weren’t doing anything against fire code, etc.) I actually never even met/saw our venue coordinator that day.

      We ended up hiring a Day-of-coordinator to do the many things the venue’s coordinator wouldn’t do: pick up decorations from my mom three days before wedding, set up decorations, put all the flowers on the tables, make sure the wedding party was herded and walked out at the right times, distribute tips to the vendors, throw away all our decorations at the end of the night, box up the cupcakes/cake, make sure the gift table and guest book are set out run the rehearsal, make sure DJ played our grand entrance song on time, make sure WE walked out for our grand entrance on time, and so many other pesky little things.

    • Laura C

      The two things that persuaded us on a DOC were 1) a friend who said yeah, the venue will make sure the food gets out appropriately, but it won’t protect you from your MIL when she freaks out about something that you really don’t need to be hearing about right then, and 2) someone making the point that a venue DOC will be very good with a wedding that goes kind of how they expect it to go, but if you’re making big changes to the expected flow of events, they might not be as adaptable. I honestly don’t know how much of that our DOC did end up handling, but that could equally mean there wasn’t much needed doing or she did a really good job at it — and the peace of mind was good for me.

    • Jessa

      Despite my rant above about my DoC, the lady we ended up working with was actually SO good. The venue also came with a coordinator, but she was mostly there to make sure things that the venue provided were in place (chairs, tables, etc). The DoC helped setup all the decorations, the table settings, flowers, etc — the other things that weren’t provided by the venue. Both were really helpful, and I would highly recommend it. It was the absolute best feeling to just hand it off and not worry and I would definitely recommend having a DoC or an experienced friend help you out.

    • JSK

      I hired a planner to help out with vendor/contract wrangling, coordinate moving parts, and help me work through the logistics. In addition, I also hired her so that I could spend the days leading up to our wedding and honeymoon with my out of town family. The day of our rehearsal/day before our wedding, I got a manicure, got my rings professionally cleaned, and had time to enjoy the amenities at our fancy-pants hotel rather than being a total stress-ball and trying to get in touch with Vendor X to go over Item B on the list. EFF that noise, in my opinion.

      My planner even fought with my MIL for me the morning of the wedding. A bargain at twice the price.

      If you have space in the budget, for sure look into it.

    • Poppy

      We were in a similar position, and decided to hire a week-of person. I have said this before (last HH in fact!) and I’ll say it again: it was money SO well spent. She helped us troubleshoot all the last minute things that came up and we knew we could count on her to coordinate with vendors and handle all the day of SNAFUs. She is the reason we were all super relaxed on the day of the wedding. She also recommended a great seamstress to solve some issues with my bustle! We didn’t hire a florist but we hired a DoC because that ability to not be on the clock during the wedding was worth it.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      We hired a friend to stage manage the day; she manages a theater, so it’s the same skill set, and it was completely worth the $300 we paid her. I felt so much better knowing someone would take care of finding more ice, lighting the tiki torches, cutting the cake. That, along with my DGAF deadline of noon that day, were the best things I could’ve done for myself.

      • I had a guy friend who stage manages help me the day of and with the rehearsal the night before. Stage managers are great!

  • sage

    Despite how awful it has been to follow the political coverage over the last week, it prompted some really amazing conversations between my fiance and I this week. I’ve always considered and understood my fiance to be a feminist even if he had never vocally applied the label to himself. But this week we’ve had multiple conversations (completely prompted by him) about privilege and patriarchy and the world we live in. He basically became really really pissed off this week about how women are treated in society and the workplace and how it’s harmful to both women and men, as well as business and everything else.

    I’m just so happy to be building a future with this man.

    • scw

      this week we were talking with friends about something and my husband said “I want to live in a world where my wife doesn’t worry about getting catcalled when she walks outside” unprompted, and it just made me realize how much he and some of the other great men in my life are listening.

  • APW Knitters, where are you? I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been an avid knitter since I learned 6yrs ago. I learned how to knit English-style (aka throwing) but I’m teaching myself how to knit Continental-style (aka picking). So far I’m only doing knit stitch Continental and to work on my speed & tension I’m doing a striped scarf which is coming along nicely. Next up will be purling Continental-style!

    • Sosuli

      I love knitting! Currently working on a cardigan for my mom. I only do continental style – we had to knit at school in Finland!

    • Totch

      Hey! Taking my lunch break right now to adjust a Christmas stocking pattern. I’ve got a 3 hour daily commute, and knitting keeps me sane.

      I’m left handed so continental is a must! I can’t fathom being able to knit English. That said, I just learned how to knit a reverse continental stitch (project starts on the right needle and moves to the left) so I’m planning to never purl again.

    • I’m a knitter, and it’s been so long since I’ve knitted something. Dissertation/California will do that. I always loved lace and color work…Ravelry is THE BEST.

      http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTnamaste.html
      That yoga bag was one of my first projects. And I absolutely adore a ruffle scarf I made (under “It’s all about the scarf) here: http://jenniferlang.typepad.com/knits/page/2/

      • Yeah I’m a huge fan of color work – I took a mosaic class last year and ended up with 2 beautiful pieces. I really want to learn how to Fair Isle which is what forced me to learn Continental style.

        • Ah, I taught myself continental from the start.

          http://web.archive.org/web/20071027060145/www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/11/endpaper_mitts.html
          These ‘endpaper mitts’ used to be THE colorwork piece to do ;)

        • emilyg25

          Fair isle is way easier than you’d think! I find color work a lot easier that lace because you can see clearly when you eff up. When my son was an infant, I knit while I pumped at work and made the cutest fair isle cardigan with little elephants in the yoke (Ella Funt pattern on Etsy). Pro tip: get yarn bobbins. They really make a difference.

        • Oh can I ask where you took the Fair Isle class? I’ve seen a few through community ed that I was thinking of doing. My go-to project is usually baby blankets for friends, but now that we’re expecting, I’ve been looking up some baby booties, hats, etc. When I’ve needed knitting help, I’ve gone to help sessions at Needlework Unlimited in S Mpls, and it was super helpful, but I’ve never done a full “class”.

    • Sarah

      Good on you for learning continental style! I find it to be much more efficient that English style, especially when purling – I end up using my right needle (I’m right handed) to grab the yarn rather than having to do a whole wrapping motion to create the new stitch. Plus, if you’re interested in fair isle you can basically do both at the same time, with a different color in each hand. Would love to see some of your projects!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Yes! It’ll also be really nice to know how to do both, because whenever you learn a new skill from someone else, there’s a good chance they’ll knit a different way than you do.

        • LadyMe

          My grandma taught me how to knit right-handed way when I was a kid, but my mother learned from her left-handed mother. I was never more confused than when I started a project with grandma and then asked mom for help.

    • My English grandma taught me how to knit when I was around 7, and I have never been able to knit any other way besides throwing. I didn’t even realize there was another way until I was maybe a teenager and had checked out a book from the library and was so confused!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Hey-o! I am currently working on the Dreambird shawl. A friend and I both started it back in February or so. She has a lot more free time than I do, and finished it months ago. I’m a little over 1/3 done. I’ve learned that I can complete approximately 1 repeat during a football game.

    • Jessa

      I’m a knitter but I recently took up crochet and I might like it more (GASP!). It’s so much faster, and I’m all about instant gratification. Right now I’m working on a hexagon blanket for a new baby in our family! http://makeanddocrew.com/happy-hexagons-free-crochet-afghan-pattern/

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Crochet blankies > knit blankies.

      • Crochet is the next thing on my list and I want to learn it solely because it goes so much faster :-)

      • Crochet is so much easier to go free form and just wing it. Knitting relies on that ‘live yarn’ and the whole shindig will unravel if you’re not careful! Crochet’s like, whatever. I do what I want.

      • Aubry

        I am an avid crocheter and am so happy other people are getting into yarn crafting! I recently decided to crochet my final project for a creative course I’m taking so I’m loving the using school as the excuse to get back at it! Although starting to worry about what kind of a time commitment I’ve undertaken!

        I also cannot knit to save my life, and my knitting friend cannot crochet to save hers. We stare at each other in wonder lol. So I’m in awe or any people who can do both!

    • emilyg25

      Knitter here! I’m currently working on a baby sweater in Madelinetosh Vintage, which is the best most luscious yarn I’ve ever used. I knit … Emily Style. I kinda just do my own thing.

    • Vanessa

      Oo that’s very admirable to take all that time to teach yourself a different style when you’re already proficient in one.

      I’ve been very happy to return to a sweater I started a year ago, after finishing some baby hats that I promised my friends I would make but that became kind of a slog. No more baby knitting! They just grow too fast. But here’s the sweater I’m making – I’m just finishing the second sleeve so next week I’ll be joining them to the body of the cardigan and starting on the yoke!!! https://www.brooklyntweed.com/shop/bannock/

      • Sarah

        Oh I love Brooklyn Tweed! Are you using their yarn too? I just finished up Denali the other day: https://www.brooklyntweed.com/shop/denali/

        • Vanessa

          That sweater is gorgeous!!

          I’m using Malabrigo’s Mecha. I have very sensitive/itchy skin (fiance calls me Claustrophobic Turtle bc I tell him it feels like my skin is on too tight) and Brooklyn Tweed’s yarn was too scratchy for me.

          • Sarah

            Malabrigo is so dreamy! I think Brooklyn Tweed’s yarn is too scratchy as well, even though it has wonderful reviews after blocking. But at the same time, everyone describes the yarn as brittle and easily breakable (the patterns even recommend NOT using it for seaming) so I’ve never taken the plunge. Glad you found some yarn that works for you! Skin sensitivity is no joke.

      • I need to do some baby knitting! My husband has requested a Minions hat for our baby and I finally found a pattern I like. I’m also really afraid to try to knit a sweater so congrats to you! I feel like just simple things take me forever to do, which is why I’m switching to Continental so I can knit faster & longer.

        • Vanessa

          I am 100% in favor of knitting for your own baby, but I had gotten in the habit of making adorable hats with size 2 needles for the babies of all my friends and it just sucked the joy out of it for me. And you should totally try a sweater! Use lots of lifelines and just rip it out if you make a mistake :)

          • emilyg25

            Nooooo size 2 needles. I knit only knit sport weight or above. Ideally worsted or chunky.

        • emmers

          That sounds really cute!

    • Alyssa Andrews

      How does APW get better and better every week?! I love knitting, haven’t done it in ages — I’m now inspired to pick it back up. Thanks for the nudge!

    • Ooh different types of knitting. I taught myself to knit from a book (but didn’t read it thoroughly because I was 10 and impatient) so I knit where I just switch whichever direction I’m knitting in when I reach the end of a row (so half of it is “backwards” knitting) but it makes doing patterns for things that aren’t circular difficult because if I am not paying SUPER close attention, I default to that instead of turning the piece around and it tends to make the patterns not work? I think.

      • A single sarah

        I taught myself the same way whenever I want as 12! Only it’s resulted in me now knitting left handed despite being right handed everywhere else.

    • Louise

      I love this! I love knitting (for many reasons, but also because) its a pretty safe modality in which to learn new skills.

  • LadyMe

    Ugh, guys, my wedding is next week (inside ceremony, outside reception) and the forecast is cloudy and cold rain :(

    • Sosuli

      Good to have contingency plans, but I will say forecasts a week in advance are still fairly unreliable. We were forecast thunderstorms all day and in the end had a brief shower and then glorious sunshine all afternoon. It may turn around for you yet!

    • Me too, but the opposite! Outside ceremony and inside reception. MAKE IT CHANGE!

    • AmandaBee

      There’s hope! Our wedding day was forcasted to be thunderstorms off-and-on all day, and we ended up with a beautiful, sunny, perfectly temperate day. But just in case, maybe an excuse for a cute wedding cardigan/wrap?

    • emmers

      I’m sorry- I know that’s disappointing. :/ I will say that as a guest outdoor weddings with bad weather are always super memorable for me (in a positive way). I’ve had a blast at 100 degree weddings, and also freeezing cold weddings where I had to wear a coat the whole time. So lots of guests will totally roll with it!

      • Jennifer

        So true! My own wedding was a record high at the end of september. Everyone was melting, but I only have good memories! And the same of my good friends’ wedding which was the July before mine. Also unbelievably hot.

  • Trinity

    It’s been a stressful week! That NYTimes article on the perpetual panic of parenthood hit home today. I found out that because my due date is 11 days before my 12-months-since-hire date, it’s unlikely my company will give me a full 12 weeks paid leave. Instead I’ll probably receive 6 weeks paid and have to take the rest off through vacation and/or unpaid time–and/or end my maternity leave early. My supervisor has my back, and we’re trying to come up with a solution, but right now I’m just crossing my fingers that maybe I’ll go 11+ days late with this pregnancy.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      This is so messed up I can’t even.

    • JSK

      I had a similar situation (due 13 days before my work-iversary), but got pretty lucky:

      1. My company started a new family leave policy in January that covered all employees for births/adoption.
      2. Since I was the baby-delivering person, my leave was considered short term disability. I had to do a frustrating amount of paperwork while dealing with a newborn and healing from delivery, but received pay for 8 weeks from STD.
      3. I could supplement my leave with vacation time and had negotiated a hefty amount when I joined this company.

      Important to note my job was not protected by FMLA, but this wasn’t a major concern personally. I understand that this very much is a concern for others and why this is so critical.

      My baby was 7 days late. My doctors weren’t planning to induce me until the 10-11th day so it’s possible you’ll be able to get the leave naturally. But holy shit does it suck that that’s the situation we have in this country…

    • Mary Jo TC

      I was 10 days late with #2, and 7 days late with #1! It happens! Due dates are just estimates!

      Here’s how my maternity leaves worked:
      #1 I’m a teacher and he was born on the first day of summer vacation. So my first 2 months were paid, but only because my 10 months of pay were going to be stretched over the summer anyway. The last 2 1/2 months were unpaid because it was the beginning of the school year.
      #2 He was born with 8 weeks to go before the end of the school year. We are allowed to use our accumulated sick time during the “period of physical disability” which for me was 6 weeks because I had a vaginal birth. (I had enough accrued sick time that I could STILL be off if they’d have let me but no.) If I’d had a C-section, it would have been 8 weeks. Yes, our leave policy creates an incentive for elective C-sections. So anyway, I had 2 weeks unpaid.

      Good luck sister.

  • Leela

    I just found out I’m being laid off. My program, which I was hired to create, is being eliminated. It sounds so violent, doesn’t it? On a positive note, I was able to negotiate a decent severance package so I have a little time before true panic mode sets in. I’m really proud of myself! Also, I realized that every single negotiating tactic that I employed is something I learned from my cat — so I started writing a humorous (if I say so myself) article about it.

    For example, Tip #2: Prolonged eye contact is unsettling, both in the wild AND in the office. Use it to your advantage. You are the predator. Your boss is your prey.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      1) Being laid off sucks, and I am sorry this is happening to you, but I am also glad that you’re in an ok situation with the severance package.2)I would like very much to read this article in its entirety.

      • ItsyBit

        ^^^^ YES. To both.

    • Jessa

      Congrats on making the best of a bad situation. I am definitely interested in reading the rest of this article!

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m so sorry about your lay off, but congrats on strong negotiating and I cannot wait to read that article!

    • Poppy

      I’m on team “would definitely read that and forward it widely to my cat-loving feminist friends”

  • Vanessa

    Does anyone have any experience with attendance rates for people who you did not send save-the-dates to? And did you send save-the-dates to everyone you intended to invite or just to a portion of your eventual guest list?

    • Lisa

      We sent STDs to almost everyone except for a few friends who were on the “maybe” list. The maybe friends were mostly local and pretty much all of them ended up attending.

    • rg223

      We had a destination wedding, so everyone got a save the date – I think you only need to send them to people who would have to travel, but it’s fine to send more!

    • Vanessa

      I should add: My dad is one of 11 siblings and I really only want 2-3 of the siblings to come. 10 of the 11 are out of state. I can’t only invite the ones I want to have attend, but I would like to decrease the chances of the others attending, for capacity and cost reasons. So I’m considering not sending date cards to the siblings and just having offline conversations with the ones I really want to attend.

      • rg223

        Oooooh

        A) I would not rely on a Save the Date or lack thereof to decrease the guest list

        B) Do your aunts and uncles talk to each other regularly? My mom has 10 siblings, and they would all know in the matter of a week who got save the dates and who didn’t. I think you’d just run into the same problem (that you showed some preference over others), but just at the invite stage and not the invitation stage.

      • flashphase

        I did not send save-the-dates to family members of my parents’ generation, in part to reduce attendance (for capacity and cost). Too early to tell, and I think my parents emailed everyone anyway.

      • Lisa

        My dad is also one of eleven! I wouldn’t send STDs to only a few of the siblings; they’ll figure out through talking to one another who got one and who didn’t. You know your family better than I, but if you’re not that close with most of the siblings, the likelihood of them attending is lower anyway. I think only three of my dad’s siblings made the trek to our wedding. My sister had slightly better attendance because her wedding was near my grandmother’s house so a few out-of-state relatives used it as an excuse to visit her.

    • AmandaBee

      We didn’t send save the dates to anyone, though our wedding was planned in 5 months. We just spread the word via various aunts/grandmas. Our attendance rate was high, but I think a lot of that was because our family was local. Most of the out of town family made it too though. I think it probably depends more on your family/location/etc. than save the dates, unless people are really far away.

    • emmers

      We didn’t do save the dates, and had about 70% attendance, about 200 invited. I did email long distance attendees in advance.

  • AmandaBee

    Soooo I just need to whine a bit today. This was supposed to be a relaxing work-from-home day, followed by a quick weekend trip out to see a grad school friend who recently moved away. Which I was super pumped about because I’ve been struggling with some serious work burnout, so I was hoping that a change of scenery and hanging out with some friends might offset that a bit.

    But just this morning I got the call that my mom was in the ER after being in an accident and I’m her medical POA. So instead of relaxing, I’m going on hour 8 in the ER. She’s thankfully OK physically, but she’s having memory issues so they want her to stay overnight. We have no news on when she’ll have a room though, this ER chair is uncomfortable as fck, and neither of us has had any food or water since getting here. And my weekend plans are shot because I need to spend the rest of it catching up on the work I couldn’t do today. *whine*

    • Jess

      :( Bummer way to have your would-be relaxing weekend dissolve.

    • Ashlah

      Booo. I’m glad your mom is okay, and glad you’re able to be there for her, but it’s disappointing to have your relaxing/fun weekend disappear through events out of your control. I hope you get a make-up weekend sooner than later.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m glad your mom is ok. I hope she gets a room soon. So sorry to hear about the mess up for your plans for self care.

  • Giselle

    ::Internet happiness:: Last night I went down an Instagram/Twitter/NYT rabbit hole on Covergirl’s newest cover, James Charles. How great is it that within one year he’s gone from an experiment (trying makeup for the first time) to being recognized & given credit for being himself? Pretty great.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/fashion/meet-covergirls-new-cover-boy.html?_r=0

  • Katherine

    I’ve driven 900 miles for work this week, my cold sores have been acting up, I sunburned a stripe into my left leg, and my wedding is next week. Gang, I’m exhausted.

    • JC

      A day pass at a gym will run about ten bucks– go soak in the hot tub!

      • Katherine

        I’ve got a big ol’ bathtub at home and a bag of epsom salts with my name on it. :)

  • Poppy

    This feels like a silly question, but here it goes: how do you guys stay in touch with extended family, particularly uncles, aunts, and cousins? I grew up very far away from them all and still live across the country/world from them, but I love and appreciate them a great deal. I want to strengthen my relationships with them without 1) spending all the money we don’t have visiting them or 2) being super intrusive in an appreciated way.

    • Lawyerette510

      One of my cousins and I have quasi-regular facetime sessions, usually it’s a weeknight and I’ll have a beverage while I facetime with her as soon as I’m home from work when she is winding up her evening (I’m west coast and she’s east coast). We also have a shared album with my aunt, uncle, cousins, my sister and I where we just upload silly snaps of what’s happening in our lives.

      • Poppy

        Love this. Did you initiate these things, or did they?

        • Lawyerette510

          My cousin and I started the hangouts when she was planning her wedding, and then kept them going. The group photo stream someone elsewhere started with an email asking who wanted to opt-in.

    • Eh

      I live away from all of my family (even my immediate family). I keep in contact with most of them through FB. I also have a photo sharing site. I do text one of my cousins that I am the closest to. I talk to one aunt on the phone a couple times a year.

    • emilyg25

      Facebook! My mom’s family is really close, but we grew up on the opposite coast. We’ve reconnected through Facebook, liking and commenting on things.

    • TeaforTwo

      Google+. No one is using it for anything else, and you have a lot of control over privacy settings…easy to share photos and have group conversations that people can drop in and out of, like at a large family gathering.

    • We have a giant family WhatsApp chat. It’s got all the cousins (well, except for the 8 year old) lots of aunts/uncles, and my grandparents. (There’s like 20 people on it). We use it to post pictures of pretty things we saw or also just chat about things we think our family will like. It’s nice because we grew up super close and within 2 hours of each other (so giant cousin swarms all summer) but now live all over the country–and world. So it does a good job of keeping us in touch with what’s up.

  • anon today

    Well, we recently started trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage in August… and I am officially NOT pregnant. We had been trying for almost a year when I got pregnant in June, so, I am just not feeling super hopeful about that. BUT, we (coincidentally–this has been planned for months, before I got pregnant) also started our classes to become foster parents this week, so that is a bit of hope on the (apparently long) road to eventual parenthood. I have always wanted to be a foster/adoptive parent, I just imagined I would also be a bio-parent. But I’m not sure if I’m really interested in a lot of medical interventions in order to get pregnant, so working on accepting that it just might not happen for us. I know that acceptance will take a while, but I also know I can do it if that’s what it comes down to.

    Anyhow. Thanks for “listening”, APW!

    • rg223

      *hugs* I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I’m glad you are finding a positive outlook on it all. Sending strength your way!

    • Jsk

      It is so hard. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

      So much love to you both for going the foster route (as well). Sorely needed.

      Tw/miscarriage and living child:
      We tried for six months before my miscarriage pregnancy and for another nine before the rainbow pregnancy. We were starting to weigh all other options when I got pregnant.

    • emmers

      I miscarried July 30! It sure does suck- just called the counselor to make an appointment today. We’re also not planning on medical interventions.

      Mad props to you for your foster parent class. I don’t have any advice- I just agree that miscarriage is shitty, and accepting it is hard. So many ups and downs.

    • Cellistec

      So sorry to hear about your miscarriage and non-pregnancy. And way to start foster parenting classes at the same time…we plan to get our foster care license once we move to a bigger place (currently in a studio apartment, which is a big nope). I’ll be curious to hear how the classes go!

  • ItsyBit

    A friend of mind shared this today and it just feels so… accurate. Many of my family are Trump people and it’s started to feel almost unbearably painful, like I am being personally de-valued. And while that feeling hasn’t really gone away, this surprisingly thoughtful piece helped me remember that many of my family members have been feeling that way for a long time. (That being said, I’m still hoping that they’ll see the light eventually because WTF, none of his BS is excusable in any way). http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

    • Thanks for sharing this article!

      • anon

        Tldr:
        “The savages are coming.

        Blacks riot, Muslims set bombs, gays spread AIDS, Mexican cartels behead children, atheists tear down Christmas trees. Meanwhile, those liberal Lena Dunhams in their $5,000-a-month apartments sip wine and say, “But those white Christians are the real problem!” Terror victims scream in the street next to their own severed limbs, and the response from the elites is to cry about how men should be allowed to use women’s restrooms and how it’s cruel to keep chickens in cages.

        If you don’t live in one of these small towns, you can’t understand the hopelessness. The vast majority of possible careers involve moving to the city, and around every city is now a hundred-foot wall called “Cost of Living.” Let’s say you’re a smart kid making $8 an hour at Walgreen’s and aspire to greater things. Fine, get ready to move yourself and your new baby into a 700-square-foot apartment for $1,200 a month, and to then pay double what you’re paying now for utilities, groceries, and babysitters. Unless, of course, you’re planning to move to one of “those” neighborhoods (hope you like being set on fire!).

        Not like those hipsters in their tiny apartments, or “those people” in their public housing projects, waiting for the landlord any time something breaks, knowing if things get too bad they can just pick up and move. When you don’t own anything, it’s all somebody else’s problem. “They probably don’t pay taxes, either! Just treating America itself as a subsidized apartment they can trash!””

    • a single sarah

      This captures so much so well. Thanks for passing it on!

      I grew up blue in a sea of red. Moving to blue country has prompted me to defend the red viewpoint more than I would have ever expected. I don’t get Trump at all, but this piece does a better job of explaining his appeal than anything I’ve seen from the Republican party.