APW Happy Hour


by Stephanie Kaloi

meg keene delivering keynote at alt

HEY APW,

Heyoooo! We, aka four members of APW (Meg, Maddie, Najva, and me) have been at Alt Summit all week. It’s my first Alt, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the best Alt, because hello! Rainbow walls and good vibes, unicorn floats and emoji hats, keynotes who keep it real and encourage your inner Hermione, and like, you know, champagne.

I’m going to take you guys on a bit of a journey here, a little behind the scenes, a little let’s-hold-hands-and-talk-about-why-we-love-APW time, cool? Cool. I have been working in weddings for a little over eight years, and have known about Meg and APW for a little over six years. I’ve worked for other wedding sites, I’ve always circled the bright orb of the center of the wedding universe that is APW, but until Meg casually asked if I’d want to work 5 hours a week while she was on maternity leave (word to the wise: the baby is 18 months and I’m full-time in Oakland these days), I had not tapped into APW, like, officially. I was, in other words, appropriately fan-girling.

Yesterday Meg gave an interview as a keynote at Alt.We had casually all spent a lunch discussing various talking points she might want to hit, and during that conversation there was a push to get a little political, dig a little deeper, to ask more of her audience than they might expect—but also to include plenty of how-to in the wedding industry, how-to in the real life, how-to make sure you always get to wear what you want to work, and to work from wherever you want. Because, you know, #dreams. #Goals. #Hashtag.

So Meg gets up there, and she’s kind of amazing already because APW, because she managed to perfectly coordinate her shoes with her lipstick (I still don’t wear lipstick, I’m 32, I guess there’s time?), and at like approximately minute ten, second eighteen (check it on Instagram stories, y’all), she begins to talk about the Why. The why of APW, the how, the who, the everything.  As you guys know, in this new political atmosphere in the US, this god-awful environment, this heightened experience of #whiteflail (I’m trademarking that one, y’all enjoy), APW has drawn a pretty clear line in the sand: we’re here to give you wedding inspiration, to motivate you to have the wedding you want to have, but we are also here to get shit done. We are not fucking around. The phrase “dude bros” was dropped multiple times to great glee, emphasis was placed on not shying away from putting your political views out there, and the moral of the story was hey: if you have a platform and you’re being silent, you’re still telling people something. And you know? That something is not the something we are in the business of.

And guys? I cried. Because obviously a) I really love my job, but b) I felt really proud of my job. I felt proud of my team, proud as hell of my boss, and proud of what has been built, what we are still building, and what has yet to come (sidenote: Najva felt the same way). And I’m writing all of this because I want you guys—whether you showed up here nine years ago or nine seconds ago—to feel equally proud. Because while I know we say it here and there, right now, in 2017? We all have serious skin in this game. And it was… it was just validating as all hell to hear my boss, my friend, this cool person calmly tell a group of people why they need to fight, to #resist, to take a stand. I have been writing online since 2000 (!!!) and working officially online since 2010 and you guys? This is not common.

This is a thing we’re doing. It often feels casual to go to my boss and be like, “Hey, I have an issue I really need to write about, can I do it?”, but yesterday made me realize: it’s not. This is a good space. This is a motivated space. This is a I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore space. I dig the shit out of it.

So, hey you. Hey girl (in a non-gendered way). Hey, thanks for being here. Thanks for coming back each week. Thanks for showing up, for speaking out, for supporting us while we do what we do. It’s good, it’s solid. I know when you read a site for years and years it can get to be like “OMG HEY this site! Glitter! Yay!” but trust: I am picky as all hell, and I am proud as fuck to work for APW. Dig.

We are doing this thing.

XO

stephanie

PS: If you haven’t watched Terrace House on Netflix, holy cow you need to. Najva and I have had one gigantic sleepover all week, spending our evenings watching Terrace House and drinking hibiscus margaritas in between rallying our moral and figuring out how the fuck to defeat Trump. Trust, it helps.

throw your money here

JFREJ

New York Immigration Coalition

African Communities Together

Arab American Family Support Center

National Immigration Law Center

Legal Aid Society

AID Foundation

Mercy Corps

Link Round-up

Bey is pregnant with twins and the entire maternity shoot is incredible.

Drag Race is baaaaaaack.

Frederick Douglass is continuing his streak of recognition.

Can we drunk text our Bae, Barack, that we miss him?

How to #stayoutraged without losing your mind.

In the new White House, female staffers must “dress like women.”

Arkansas has a new law that would allow family members to sue to prevent a woman’s D&C.

Medicaid blocks are a bigger threat to U.S. healthcare than ACA reform.

It may only take 3.5 percent of the population to topple a dictator.

As Trump’s administration pushes for a DAPL fight, tribes are ready to fight back.

Whether or not you believe in climate change, the laws of physics will continue.

Yesterday’s #BodegaStrike was powerful.

Our Vendetta: Witches vs Fascists

Stephanie Kaloi

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

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Laura

    My husband and I got in a discussion about literature and the importance of reading books from diverse perspectives. He mostly sticks to authors he knows and likes, which includes a lot of White Man Canon (his faves are mostly American authors…Hemingway, Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Poe).

    So, we’re each “assigning” one another 10 books to read in 2017. He’s going to make a list of books that he thinks would give a good perspective of his love for traditional American literature, which admittedly is an area that I have not much explored. And I’m crafting a list of books written by women, people of color, and other marginalized groups, because he agrees that he needs to make more of an effort to read works by authors from diverse backgrounds.

    Any suggestions? Fiction or non-fiction are welcome, although I would probably skew more heavily toward fiction. A couple of my favorites that I’ve included so far:

    – “Americanah,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    – “Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates
    – Something by Roxane Gay, although I haven’t decided which
    – “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse,” Louise Erdrich
    – “White Teeth,” Zadie Smith
    – Something by Jhumpa Lahiri, but I’ll have to check my Goodreads to see which I’ve liked best.

    • K.

      Science fiction can be hit or miss with traditional American canon lovers, but I can never recommend anything by Octavia Butler enough. “Bloodchild” is a good collection of short stories that are easy to read and get you primed for her ground-breaking take on racial dynamics in otherworldly hierarchies in her longer form novels, such as “Kindred” or her Xenogenesis series.

      • K.

        RTA: Her Xenogenesis series is more commonly known as “Lillith’s Brood”

      • I’ve read “Parable of the Sower” and would…maybe recommend something else Butler wrote, probably either of K.’s options here are best. “Lilith’s Brood” is on my list but am somewhat averse to $10+ eBooks…

      • Sarah

        I like the Octavia Butler one about the black woman married to older white man in 1970s who time travels back to slavery South…can’t remember title.

      • BSM

        Loooove Octavia Butler!

      • Cam

        I second Bloodchild.

      • Lil Hana

        I was getting ready to recommend Kindred! The first I ever read by Butler and I haven’t looked back since.

      • bootsoo

        So I immediately went on my library’s website and downloaded Bloodchild. Wow, thank you!

    • Eenie

      I absolutely love this idea, and the two books that popped into my head are already on your list! What a wonderful way to branch out in your literature together.

    • CMT

      Isabelle Allende, Clarice Lispector, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (uh, can you tell I like Latin American literature?) . . . OH! ALICE MUNRO! She’s probably my very favorite author . . . My Ántonia . . . Hmmm . . . I’m going to keep thinking about this one.

    • Angela’s Back

      The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, because it’s very much canon-esque so will probably feel more familiar to him stylistically but is about a woman and by a woman and just heartbreaking in terms of the ways women had to contort themselves to move unscathed through a society that had a lot of rules for them.

      • Laura C

        Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee, has a very House of Mirth feel but is about a daughter of Korean immigrants finding her way after graduating from Princeton.

      • BSM

        Just checked and House of Mirth is available on Kindle Unlimited!

      • toomanybooks

        Yeeesssss! So educational and it doesn’t feel stale or dated!

    • MC

      Oh I love this idea! Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is my fave book that you don’t already have listed. And Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi! Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography is also really good.

      • AP

        Ahh Persepolis! Loved it, and the film!

    • Katie

      What a fun idea! Based on what your husband currently likes, I would recommend that he try something by Marilynne Robinson. I think everything she writes is fantastic, but Housekeeping would be a great place to start for a really woman centered novel.

      • Katie

        Ok, I keep thinking of more! The Kristin Lavransdatter series by Sigrid Undset and Middlemarch by George Eliot are both great (thought dense) novels by women authors that have great female character development. They might be good jumping off places for someone used to traditional (male) literature as they keep some of the same traditional novel form but center women in the narratives.

    • Christina McPants

      Does he like science fiction? NK Jemsin is amazing.

      • StevenPortland

        I started reading her about 6 months ago and agree!!

    • p.

      The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead) is SO GOOD. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth paying for in hardcover.

      What is the What (Dave Eggers) for an incredible refugee story

      The Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series (starting with My Brilliant Friend) is
      such a good story about female friendships, and it also really speaks
      to women’s choices and limitations (gender as well as class).

      Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver really took me into the world of someone who was
      gay before it was acceptable to be out. I also learned a lot from her book Flight Behavior (and I had my husband read it), which is about a woman without a lot of means in a very
      traditional area of the country and what she faces as she starts to
      learn about science and the environment.

      • Natalie

        I love everything Barbara Kingsolver has written. So. Good. Prodigal Summer might be my favorite.

        • MC

          Literally can’t go wrong with her.

      • AF

        Just FYI Dave Eggers is a white dude. What is the What is based on interviews he did with a Sudanese Lost Boy but isn’t a memoir. I’ve heard its a great book but it might not be something Laura wants to add to this particular list.

        • Laura

          i loved what is the what – and i think the spirit of these books is to challenge preconceived notions and be confronted with different views/realities of life – what is the what will do that.

    • Natalie

      Lab Girl by Hope Jahren is a fantastic memoir about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated profession, a woman in America today, and a woman with a mental illness. It’s a beautiful story about friendship, dedication to one’s calling, and love of trees. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially good variety for someone who mostly reads white male voices.

      Also, I’m loving this thread & plan to add a ton of these to my own reading list.

    • Alyssa

      I love this idea, and I recommend Margaret Atwood to your husband (my bias because I like everything she writes). A Handmaid’s Tale is fabulous and might be a good one for him to read?

      • Alyssa

        OH OH! And for a sci-fi/whimsical/fantasy flare, Gollem and the Jinni is fabulous and written by a woman (can’t think of her name off the top of my head, but she wrote it specifically to explore some of the cultural differences between her Jewish background and her husband’s Syrian heritage.)

        • Jessica

          I heart the Gollem and Jinni!

        • Booknerd

          LOVED this one

        • Cellistec

          I loved it too…until the end. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it fell a little flat for me. Womp womp.

      • And Hulu’s making a TV series for April……….

      • Alyssa

        ALSO — okay so I know I keep commenting, but someone below recommended Junot Diaz, and I loved Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and Drown by him (Drown is a series of Short Stories). He’s an amazing writer too (and I remember learning about him in my literature classes in college in the same classes as Faulkner and Hemingway, so it might be up your husband’s alley too). Okay, no more recs from me… promise :)

      • Laura

        Ha, Margaret Atwood is one woman author who he actually really loves! Particularly for her speculative fiction (MaddAddam series), but I’m not sure he’s read Handmaid’s Tale. That’s definitely on my to-reread list given recent political events.

        • Alyssa

          That’s great! I actually have pretty similar literary tastes as your husband, so I figured if I liked her, that he might too. Or that she would at least be a good segue author.

          And thank you for posting this on HH, giving me lots of good ideas for new books! I’m currently reading a book called The Sellout by Paul Beatty that might be a good addition to the list too (your list for him)!

    • Jessica

      I recently read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. It’s heartbreaking and enraging and a look at how much effort it can take to get justice if you’re poor and/or POC.

      One book I recommend to all but never want to read again is Untamed State by Roxane Gay. That one is difficult to get through, but you can’t stop reading.

      A little lighter is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell has her critics, yes, but it’s a super cute story featuring a romance between two teenagers, one of whom is plus size and one is mixed race/culture in small town Nebraska in the 80s.

    • Cleo

      The
      Hate
      U
      Give by Angie Thomas (acrostic intentional) – it’s a highly anticipated YA novel about a black girl dealing with one of her friends being shot and killed by police officers.

      It comes out February 28.

      Fox have the movie rights and Amandla Stendberg is set to star.

      • Yael

        My fiancé has gotten me back into reading YA lit (he teaches high school English so he reads a lot). He had me read Eleanor and Park which seriously made me cry

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          Eleanor and Park made me so incredibly anxious; the feelings of being a teenager with no control over one’s life really hit me hard. It’s such a good book!

    • Megan

      A friend of mine also had this idea and compiled a list of suggestions from our friend group:

      “Things Fall Apart” Chinua Achebe
      “Americanah” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
      “Throne of the Crescent Moon” Saladin Ahmed
      “The Hakawati” Rabih Alameddine
      “The Angel of History” Rabih Alameddine
      “The New Jim Crow” Michele Alexander
      “Speak” Laurie Halse Anderson
      “Is’nana the Were-Spider” Greg Anderson-Elysee
      “The Handmaid’s Tale” Margaret Atwood
      “The Price of the Ticket” James Baldwin
      “The Fire Next Time” James Baldwin
      “Are You My Mother?” Allison Bechdel
      “The Mothers” Brit Bennett
      “The Parable of the Sower” Octavia Butler
      “Fledgling” Octavia Butler
      “Kindred” Octavia Butler
      “Black Panther” Ta-Nehisi Coates
      “Between the World and Me” Ta-Nehisi Coates
      “Locavesting” Amy Cortese
      “Breath Eyes Memory” Edwidge Danticat
      “Tracks” Robyn Davidson
      “Babel-17” Samuel Delany
      “Brief & Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” Junot Diaz
      “This is How You Lose Her” Junot Diaz
      “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” Elena Ferrante
      “My Brilliant Friend” Elena Ferrante
      “The Story of a New Name” Elena Ferrante
      “The Story of the Lost Child” Elena Ferrante
      “Sea of Poppies” Amitav Ghosh
      “A Life of Reinvention” Nikki Giovanni
      “Fates and Furies” Lauren Groff
      “Homegoing” Yaa Gyasi
      “No Death, No Fear” Thich Nhat Hanh
      “All About Love” bell hooks
      “The Will to Change” bell hooks
      “Brown Girl in the Ring” Nalo Hopkinson
      “The Panther and the Lash” Langston Hughes
      “Lab Girl” Hope Jahren
      “The Inheritance Triology” N. K. Jeminsin
      “Stokely: A Life” Peniel Joseph
      “The Vegetarian” Han Kang
      “No Knives in the Kitchen of the City” Khaled Khalifa
      “The Poisonwood Bible” Barbara Kingsolver
      “The Big Thing” Phyllis Korkki
      “A Wrinkle in Time” Madeleine L’Engle
      “The Wizard of Earthsea” Ursula K Le Guin
      “The Left Hand of Darkness” Ursula K. Le Guin
      “March” Rep. John Lewis
      “The Three-Body Problem” Cixin Liu
      “We Were Liars” E. Lockheart
      “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” Audre Lorde
      “Maybe You Never Cry Again” Bernie Mac
      “H is for Hawk” Helen Macdonald
      “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” Manning Marable
      “The Thorn Birds” Colleen McCullough
      “Family Matters” Rohinton Mistry
      “A Fine Balance” Rohinton Mistry
      “Until Tuesday” Luis Carlos Montalván
      “How to Be a Woman” Caitlin Moran
      “Beloved” Toni Morrison
      “Memory in the Flesh” Ahlam Mosteghanemi
      “IQ84” Haruki Murakami
      “Gogol” Vladimir Nabokov
      “The Sorrow of War” Bao Nihn
      “The Sympathizer” Viet Thanh Nyugen
      “The Complete Stories” Flannery O’Connor
      “Who Fears Death” Nnedi Okorafor
      “My Year of Meats” Ruth Ozeki
      “Tale for the Time Being” Ruth Ozeki
      “Commonwealth” Ann Patchett
      “The Bees” Laline Paull
      “Push” Sapphire
      “Lucky” Alice Sebold
      “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” Lisa See
      “Some Sing, Some Cry” Ntozake Shange
      “White Teeth” Zadie Smith
      “On Beauty” Zadie Smith
      “Station Eleven” Emily St Mandel
      “Girls Wait With Gun” Amy Stewart
      “Tiny Beautiful Things” Cheryl Strayed
      “Smile” Raina Telgemeier
      “By Light We Knew Our Names” Anne Valente
      “The Glass Castle” Jeanette Walls
      “The Underground Railroad” Colson Whitehead
      “The Interestings” Meg Wolitzer
      “Another Brooklyn” Jacqueline Woodson

      Both of these are by white guys but I found them to be helpful in understanding a different culture that I didn’t know a lot about before reading them.
      “What is the What” by Dave Eggars
      “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson

      • Alyssa

        OMG I forgot about Junot Diaz. I love his writing too. And Flannery O’Connor!

        • Megan

          Personal plug for “Some Sing, Some Cry” – I picked it up at random from a library and that book still haunts me years later.

      • rg223

        Ahh I LOVE Murakami, and he’s going to blow a Hemingway fans MIND. Not sure if it’ll be a good thing or a bad thing!

      • Mari

        This list is fantastic <3

      • Jennifer

        And now I have my reading for the next several years. That’s an impressive list.

      • Jennifer

        One that was a good read along these lines was “Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped An American City,” Antero Pietila. About Baltimore City.

    • Vanessa

      Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

    • Danielle

      “Redefining Realness” by Janet Mock. My cat and I can’t get enough of it ???https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/caabd072576c1b00f5baf774971b60b0546065b2676ce92449c94f6cc1e59996.jpg

    • AP

      “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jaqueline Woodson
      “The Men We Reaped” and “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward (a writer from my neck of the woods!)
      “The Fire This Time” collection of essays by people of color, edited by Jesmyn Ward
      “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay
      “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
      Seconding “What is the What” by Dave Eggers and adding “Zeitoun” also by Eggers (who is a white man, but he writes these books in collaboration with their biography subjects)
      “The Diary of Anne Frank” (I’ve learned not to assume people have read this, plus there’s something really different about reading it as a an adult)

    • Katherine

      This is such a good idea! If you’re willing to try some science fiction, I can’t recommend Ursula K. LeGuin enough. She builds fabulous worlds and manages to tap into some deep emotional wells at the same time.

    • Fiction:
      “The Three-Body Problem” Liu Cixin
      “The Inheritance of Loss” Kiran Desai
      “Who Fears Death” or “Binti” Nnedi Okorafor

      Non-Fiction:
      “The New Jim Crow” Michelle Alexander
      “March” John Lewis (graphic novel, SO GOOD, definitely my go-to recommendation right now)

    • Laura

      You all are the best!! My own Goodreads “to read” list has just expanded by a ton. I’ll report back later this year with how well this worked. I’m hoping it sparks some good conversations and an expansion of both of our perspectives.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I love this idea! I have a copy of The Lowland on my to-read pile, but I’m a slow reader/am bad at prioritizing reading/am determined to finish a book that I should probably give up on because it’s taking me months to get through.If you wanna break it up, you could throw in something graphic, like the new Ms. Marvel https://www.amazon.com/Ms-Marvel-Normal-Graphic-Novels/dp/078519021X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486157998&sr=8-1&keywords=ms+marvel, or this graphic adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred: https://www.amazon.com/dp/141970947X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3JN3L6YVSYLVW&coliid=I4LEREENK3PXH.

      • Danielle

        Oh if you’re gonna go graphic, I highly recommend Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. SO good!!!

    • Mallory2

      Yes! This! Copying down so many new books to my reading list thanks to this thread!This is a goal of mine too that I’m trying to lovingly challenge my husband to join me in. He’s not a big reader, though, and more of a podcast consumer, which is not my strength. Anyone have suggestions for those as well?

      • AP

        This is my husband as well. We have a hard time agreeing on podcasts, but here are some led by women that we listen to together:
        “Bad with Money”with Gaby Dunn
        “Death, Sex, and Money” with Anna Sale
        “HerMoney”with Jean Chatzky

        (I just realized they all have money in the title, which is totally a coincidence. Only HerMoney is actually a personal finance podcast.)

        Thanks for the podcast challenge! Hoping others can add some recs for people of color led podcasts. Here’s a good list of some I plan to check out: http://mashable.com/2015/04/14/diverse-podcasts/#Nko6q88GssqS

        • JC

          To add to the Money theme, “Planet Money” is another fun one. It’s like RadioLab, journalism/storytelling mixed, with an economics theme.

    • toomanybooks

      I really love Nevada by Imogen Binnie – it’s quite possibly the best novel about (and by) a trans woman and it’s such a fun read.

    • Laura

      i really loved ‘green grass, running water’ by tom king – it’s a novel about aboriginals in canada, but it also follows some really interesting traditionally aboriginal storytelling styles.

    • EF

      oooooh I have similar tastes as your guy. it is *hard* for me to get out of white man canon sometimes.

      I’m about to start ‘americanah’ as part of a reading group! I’ll be interested to hear what he thinks, too.
      So as for my tastes…I adore Ta-Nehisi Coats, I think his writing is beautiful and actually is a lot of what I love about reading, anyway. others to try: ‘a little life’ (diverse characters, all male, but written by an asian-american woman, goes with the long novel trop that i like); ‘100 years of solitude’ (GGM of course, but a latin voice); anything by nora zeale hurston (i particularly like ‘their eyes were watching god’).

    • rg223

      Oooh, I thought of a good one! Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison! And it’s American Lit, so it’s hopefully a good blend of your interests and his!

  • I’m rezoning my Facebook time as self-improvement time. This means taking both the currently offered CIRTL MOOCs about Teaching STEM Undergraduates, enrolling in the semi-informal Teaching Certificate program at my university, reading [nonfiction] disciplinary books, calling senators, knocking things off our California bucket list, and actually getting some real stuff done.

    All with the hope of lifting this layer of presidential despair. Ughhhhhh.

    • Eenie

      I started social media/news free Wednesday. Because I could not handle the world on Wednesday and it seemed to help. I may steal your idea for channeling my time into something productive like you’re doing :)

      • Kalë

        I’ve been trying to limit my “screen time”. On Wednesday, I played like 10 games of Banangrams with my mom. Last night, we made dinner at a friend’s and my phone stayed in the car. It already seems to be helping my mood and level of overwhelmed-ness.

        • Eenie

          My phone actually stopped working this weekend, so I was without a phone for several days. It was nice (once I figured out a workaround for calls from potential future employers!).

          • Kalë

            wow, sweet relief!

      • JC

        Oooooh, I’m having a REALLY hard time getting through Wednesdays lately. Social media/news free Wednesday might make it much better.

      • Booknerd

        I just deleted facebook off my phone!! I have a blanket I’m knitting for a baby shower in less than 3 weeks and I’m taking all of my time I usually spend scrolling through blogs or refreshing my social media (except this one) to work on it. I am working on the mentality that I need to “catch up” on content I may have missed while away and just let it go…

    • Olive

      AHHH I did the CIRTL MOOC’s! I hope you have a community for discussion, I did one with and one without, and having people to meet with and talk to was so helpful. It was kind of hard to stay motivated as one person working independently on them. Good luck! Let me know if you want to chat about them!

      • I’ve got a local university-hosted discussion group for Course 2 but none for Course 1. I think it should be alright.

    • Cellistec

      Super cool idea. I didn’t even know those online professional development programs were out there. Are the MOOCs fee-based?

      • Most MOOCs let you take the course for free, but if you want a certificate, you might have to pay. I don’t think the CIRTL MOOCs work this way, though. I think they’re all free (supported by government grants and the like).

        Here’s the CIRTL MOOCs home: http://stemteachingcourse.org/

        • Cellistec

          Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the info and link…I’m going to dig around for other neat offerings. Education FTW!

          • Olive

            you can check out coursera.com! They have a bunch of free/not free courses.

          • Coursera, edX, NovoEd, Udacity…

          • Cellistec

            That’s exactly the source I was trying to remember! Thank you!

    • Essssss

      Can I just say I have no idea what those acronyms are about, but they sound like the best acronyms ever?

      • I’m an academic. I speak in a lot of jargon. At least sometimes the acronyms are pronounceable.

        • Essssss

          That’s why I like these acronyms. They have vowels.

  • Totch

    Wedding is 2 months out. My dress is ready, we’ve got an appointment about a suit for fiance tomorrow, and ring bearer dresses are picked (though I’m hoping the honking bows on the baby one remove easily).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aebcf2c53c9b09168cba64a9c2722e7a8dce2f8610045389b71c833a953fb1bf.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb4622435ef3453177c41b61b7fcaaca6fabaee2c808d0086162e6461766d2b3.jpg

    Everything is a little bit hurry up and wait at this point, huh? The restaurant wants us to wait til end of Feb to finalize the menu, the flower shop says to give them our order the week before, and we’re just ordering a normal cake so it only needs to get called in 2 days before. Why won’t these people let me fixate on my wedding and ignore the outside world?

    • These wee dresses are so cute! Bows should be pretty simply removed…if not you could cut then off and replace them with tinier bows?

      • Totch

        No, just no bows please… As long as they’re only tacked on you shouldn’t see any trace of them having been removed.

        • Eenie

          If there is a trace you could look into a sash of some sort. But then you’d need to tie the sash into a bow…

          • Totch

            They already have sash ties in the back (sewn into the side seams), so adding an extra sash would look pretty silly! I’m not opposed to sashes being tied in bows, they serve a function. Those front bows just don’t fit in at all? The big girl dress has a flower embellishment at the waist that I think looks great!

            Like I said, not a big concern. If they don’t come off easy then they’ll stay.

    • Christina McPants

      Honestly, it took two looks to see the big bows on the picture, may not be that bad IRL? I’m guessing they’re tacked on.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I saw the dress, thought it was Modcloth, and immediately thought “WANT. MUST HAVE.”

      • Totch

        I for sure checked the site’s adult section for one. I wouldn’t need to let everyone know I bought my ring bearer’s dress for myself … It’s not weird if I don’t make it weird…

        Unfortunately, only in kids sizes!

  • Sophie

    Quick question…..is there a way to make the vertical toolbar that appears in the middle of the left hand side of the screen disappear? It always cuts off the first couple of letters at the beginning of each line.

    • BSM

      This really bugs me too.

    • penguin

      I want to know about this too, it’s really frustrating to read around.

    • StevenPortland

      Answer all depends on which browser you are using, and whether you are viewing on a phone or a computer, etc.

      • StevenPortland

        I use Chrome on my Windows laptop with no problem.

        • penguin

          Hmm, I’m using Chrome on a Windows PC and I see the bar. I wonder what’s different?

      • Sophie

        I mainly use Safari on my iPad. I just tried Chrome, and it is the same there. If I remember correctly, this was a problem before and a small arrow was added under the bar that allowed it to be retracted. No matter how I try to click the small arrow will not appear. Any insight/tips/tricks would be appreciated. I love this website but am getting more and more frustrated as I can only read a couple of complete lines ata time.

    • Jessa

      So annoying for me too! thanks for mentioning

    • AP

      Ugh, this happens to me on all my mobile devices. Fine with Safari 10 for desktop.

    • Em

      I sent a message through the ‘Contact Us’ page a few months ago asking about this – but never heard back + it’s still a problem. V annoying! (I’m on Chrome on mobile and desktop and it’s a problem on both).

  • Eenie

    I had a phone screen interview this morning, and they scheduled a phone interview for THIS afternoon! 2016 was rough for so many different reasons, but the job search was the worst part. Accepting a job that ended up being so horrible I went to therapy to get a handle on my panic attacks, interviews where I did well but one other person was a better fit, talks with companies to set up interviews and then ghosting after filling out the detailed applications. So much frustration at the abysmal job market and looking at driving two hours each way for potential jobs.
    I’m so excited and have so many questions about the position. I’m just over here trying to compose myself so I sound sane on the phone in three hours. It’s so nice to feel this feeling again.

    • Ashlah

      Good luck with the interview! I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

      • Eenie

        Thank you! I want to say I don’t need it, but OMG I really need this job if it’s a good fit :D

    • CMT

      Good luck!!

    • Essssss

      Yayy! Good luck!

    • Persistence can be rough. Keep hanging in there.

    • Totch

      Good luck!!

    • Jessica

      You got this!

    • Natalie

      Good luck!

    • raccooncity

      You got this!

    • BSM

      Good luck to you! My husband has also been in the job market for most of the last year, trying to get away from his current soul-sucking one. After a lot of rejections (like 50-100 maybe?) and a ridiculously long and complicated interviewing process, he accepted a position at a new company this week! So, even if this one doesn’t work out, hang in there as best you can! I know it’s really tough, but something will happen eventually.

      • Eenie

        Yes! That’s so exciting for him, congrats! The unemployment has been rough (husband convinced me to quit the toxic job), but we really buckled down on our budget and are in a great financial spot. The extra money will be nice, but I’m also looking forward to leaving the house everyday, having something to do with my mind, and getting social interaction.

    • Kat

      Good luck! I sooo relate to this, 2016 was ROUGH job-hunt wise, and then the first week of 2017 I got offered a job that so far I love. I know it can get old when people are like “the right job will come along, everything happens for a reason” but damn it if they weren’t right. Fingers crossed for you!

      • Eenie

        Oh I know! I’ve been kicking myself for not accepting a different offer I got a year ago, and I’m trying to be patient with the process.

    • AP

      Good luck!!!

    • Gaby

      Good luck and come back with an update if you can! You’ll be in my thoughts :)

      • Eenie

        I will!

    • Eenie

      Went well! Will hear back on Monday to see if I secure an on site interview.

    • louise danger

      yaaaaay go eenie! i hope it went splendidly! :D

    • Kira

      Fingers crossed!

    • Thinking of you! Keep us posted?

  • Shirley Schmidt

    Happy Hour! In these times of taking back control in a bad way, we have taken back control of our wedding in a good way!
    After an increasing cycle of hope/despair about whether fiancé will inherit money that would enable us to have our (essentially already planned) wedding this October, we sat down and decided 2 things. One, that we are not going to let pension trustees dictate our wedding date and two, that we are getting married this year!
    We are going to give the powers 3 or so weeks to make their minds up (and enjoy ourselves in Sweden for most of that) and then depending on money or no money, we will set plans in motion. Plan Money is to have our lovely friend-officiated hotel-based wedding in October (plus minimalist legal ceremony where we live), and Plan No Money is to do that in 2018 on the anniversary of a small family-only civil ceremony where we live.
    Either way, we’re getting married this year!!! I am so relieved and considerably less stressed. Not unsurprisingly, all fretting about my wedding dress has also vanished…

    • Totch

      Congrats on the decision!

      • Shirley Schmidt

        Thanks! My anxious, “control all the things” self is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

    • Kira

      Congratulations! Having a plan to be able to make a plan sounds like a huge relief.

  • Ashlah

    Question about professional behavior re: announcing pregnancy. Do I have to tell my bosses first? I have two bosses and three co-workers. I would much prefer to just tell everyone at once in an office meeting. My co-worker announced her pregnancies to each person individually (co-workers at least, I don’t know how she told the bosses), and that sounds terrible to me. I’d rather get it done and out there in one blast, rather than have multiple one-on-one conversations. But isa whole-office announcement unprofessional? Do bosses get a heads up first? This is the only office I’ve ever worked in, we have no HR, and obviously I’ve never done the pregnancy thing before. Help!

    • Christina McPants

      No no no no no no, do not announce in a meeting. Tell your bosses first. Don’t spring it on them.

      I would have preferred saying so in a meeting or an email, but was specifically directed by my bosses to do one on ones instead.

      • Ashlah

        Thank you! I had a feeling that was the proper protocol, but I really had no idea. I’ll plan to tell my bosses first, then perhaps ask their feelings on my announcing it to the other three folks at the meeting. If they’d rather I do one-on-ones, then I’ll know. I really appreciate your input!

        • Christina McPants

          It’s just one of those things that should never be sprung on a supervisor in public. Or maybe this is just the… interesting… bosses I’ve had that have informed that for me.

    • mimi

      I would tell bosses first, but tell co-workers in an office meeting after you tell the bosses.

    • macrain

      I’m of the mind that this is your body and your news, so do what makes you feel the most comfortable. I didn’t even tell all of my coworkers; I told a few people and then let the gossip mill do it’s job. I did end up telling my boss early on, since it felt like the right move. You mention bosses- maybe just your immediate supervisor?

      • Ashlah

        I don’t really have an immediate supervisor, it’s such a small business. The two owners and four employees (including me). So few employees that it’d be pretty weird to just tell one or two and not the other. My older boss is going to be so irritating, though, that I’ve totally (mostly jokingly) considered telling everyone except him and asking them to keep it a secret! I know that isn’t realistic, but man it would be the best.

    • Mary Jo TC

      With my first baby, I told my boss first privately, then everyone else found out when they saw it on my facebook announcement. With my second, I told my boss privately, then a coworker (unfortunately)asked me if I was pregnant because my clothes weren’t hiding the bump very well. I told my boss fairly early both times to give them time to plan my leave, so I didn’t want to tell everyone that early. It’s a scary thing to announce to a boss! Good luck!

      • Ashlah

        No matter how many times I hear these stories, I still can’t believe anyone thinks that’s an appropriate question to ask! If a woman wants you to know she’s pregnant, she’ll tell you. Jeez.

    • Abby

      Especially since you have no HR, I would advise telling bosses first but also knowing as much as you can about your job’s parental leave policies (if any) before you have those conversations and being prepared to negotiate whatever time and compensation you need. Assuming you’re planning to take some leave, announcing you’re pregnant at work isn’t just a “hey good news in my personal life” announcement, it’s announcing that a staffing change is going to have to happen, and giving your bosses the space to have that negotiation with you without the rest of the staff there is a good idea.

      • Ashlah

        Thanks! Because of a co-worker who’s had two kids in the time I’ve been here, I know there’s no paid leave and that I can safely take three months. But you’re absolutely right that, even if there are no new policies to be negotiated, it isn’t just personal news. It does impact the workplace in a way they deserve to have time to consider, and we’ll still need to discuss and confirm maternity leave even if it’s the same as my co-worker’s.

        • Abby

          Sorry about the lack of paid leave, that sucks, but glad you’re able to take the time you need. Best of luck with all of this!

          • Ashlah

            Thanks!

  • raccooncity

    Oh hi everyone!

    I missed a great many of these, and so much has changed in the world. I’m spending a lot of my day just watching things roll out with saucer-eyes. I live in a majority muslim neighbourhood in Toronto and tonight I’m going to try to attend a local vigil for the victims of the bombing in quebec city.

    In RC news, nothing is new. Kit is a dream baby, and while he is the typical newborn level of HARD, he is also a great sleeper, very adaptable and independent (those are obviously related to each other) and I have found breastfeeding to be the thing my boobs were meant for all along. I have some mild anxiety, and I think that has exploded all over my relations with my MIL, but it’s easing up as time goes on.

    One thing i’ve realized in making mom friends and talking about my experiences is that my C-Section was BAD. I know last time I was here I said it was bad, but I had no reference point. I’m talking my pain meds were not sufficient. I’m really scared about the implications for future c-sections (asking for more pain control is often seen as drug-seeking behaviour…sigh) but I’m obviously just avoiding too much thought about that now because more kids are at minimum 2 years away. (Yes, i got my IUD replaced ASAP. Kit screamed and cried during the whole procedure which really nailed it as a good decision for me.)

    Hope things are ok with everyone. I’m so sorry about everything happening right now, America.

    • Eenie

      Oh I’m so sorry. Longest Shortest time just did an episode about birth stories and how to process traumatic ones. Episode #27 was referenced, and the newer episode was #110. Having never been pregnant myself, I have nothing but internet hugs to give.

    • mimi

      Not sure what pain meds you were on after your C, but I felt like I had pretty good pain control after mine. On going home, I alternated between ibuprofen/Motrin and Norco every 3 hours for the first week, and then took ibuprofen during the day and Norco before bed for the next week. My sister is an OB and that’s what she recommended. I would talk to your OB ahead of time next time to make sure you have a good plan in place.

      • raccooncity

        Ugh, i hate telling people this, because it scares them, but I’m actually referring to DURING the surgery.

        Afterwards I was totally fine. I had a great recovery, by all standards.

        • Eh

          If you decide to get pregnant again and have a C-section this would be something to bring up with your care provider early on at a pre-natal appointment. I hate the idea of birth plans (mine was EPIDURAL and that was it and I didn’t get that) but I think adequate pain control during a C-section is something that is reasonable to put in a birth plan.

        • mimi

          Ah ok, then maybe just a talk with the anesthesiologist before you get started! They should be able to make sure you can’t feel what’s going on!! I think mine was too much, because I was totally numb from the shoulders down for an hour after.

          • raccooncity

            I actually did that because it’s historically a problem for me, but telling a doctor you just met that “seriously, I don’t react to pain meds” leads to a lot of nothing. I’m hoping next time I can get an OB to speak up on my behalf to whoever the anesthetist is. Or have a VBAC.

            I’m also not sure if it was partially to do with the baby – I told the anesthetist it hurt during the surgery and she said we had to wait until the baby was out so he wouldn’t get more of the pain meds. I dunno… a lot of questions for next time.

          • Laura C

            Are you like that at the dentist, too? I have definitely been given novocaine and come rocketing up out of the chair the second they start to drill, and, as I said above, I had some (comparatively minor) issues with my epidural.

          • raccooncity

            YEP

          • CommaChick

            Are you a redhead? Redheads typically process pain medication at a different rate than others.

            “Those with the MC1R mutation are more sensitive to opiate pain killers — which means they’d actually need less — but less sensitive to other types, most notably lidocaine injections. One study which used heat-related pain as its litmus of overall sensitivity showed that redheads indeed felt things more acutely and unpleasantly, probably because the MC1R mutation releases a hormone that stimulates a brain receptor associated with pain regulation.”

            Source: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/10/why-surgeons-dread-red-heads/

          • AB

            This is me. I’ve been told my dentists that I metabolize painkillers quickly–so they just have to keep giving me shots way more frequently than normal. My first c-section was totally fine but during my second c-section, I started to feel pain as they were finishing up and had to ask the anesthesiologist to up the medication. Luckily, that worked fine. But have definitely learned to mention this to dentists and doctors.

          • janie

            This makes me terrified to have kids because I have always reacted weirdly to anesthesia – (ie during wisdom tooth removal, didn’t go numb for one of the teeth. The other three were fine). They always ask if you have a family history, I say yes (grandfather was the same), and then it leads to a whole lot of nothing. Whyyyy

        • OMG. I was intensely worried about feeling anything during my C-section. I hope you weren’t in a ton of pain :-(

    • Kalë

      Sorry back for Quebec. Double sorry because it seems like the perpetrator was influenced heavily by the alt-right, Mango Mao, and other sad and scary parts of America right now.

      • raccooncity

        Probably. We also have our own homegrown version of that in our politicians. Little Canadian Trumps. Plus Quebec has some really strong hate group culture.

        • Eh

          I wrote a rant on FB about Leitch today. She is so divisive. She is playing into people’s fears about security that aren’t actually an issue (1. our current screening processes work to keep bad people out, 2. the bad people have been “homegrown”). I’m concerned that her tactics are actually making us less safe, and more people might take actions into their own hands.

          And when Sean Spicer was asked how Trump is going to combat homegrown terrorism in the US (since the alleged perpetrator in the Quebec shooting was born in Canada), he said that it starts at the border.

          • raccooncity

            EFF THAT PERSON.

            have you read the beaverton’s take on that? https://www.thebeaverton.com/2017/01/kellie-leitch-heartbroken-people-act-hate-shes-incited/

          • Eh

            I like this rewriting of her statement about the shooting:

            https://mobile.twitter.com/ColinWalmsley/status/826231487578136576

          • Jessa

            The Beaverton has become one of my favourite “news” sites but in a desperate, internal screaming, way. Leitch is awful. I went to a vigil in Edmonton this week for the Quebec shootings. My husband is Quebecois and his family has been nothing but kind and loving to me and the other woman married into the family (we’re both ethnic minorities). I agree, however, that there is a lot of Québécois hate culture and a history of intolerance.

          • Thanks for going to a vigil… (And like I said above, in general, the intolerance tends to be for things that threaten the non-religious/secular, liberal society. Or their language.)

        • I don’t know if it’s that much worse than anywhere else in Canada. In 2013 (the most recent governmental statistics I could find earlier this week when I was looking), Quebec was ranked 5th in hate crimes per capita, following Ontario, Alberta, B.C., and New Brunswick. Perhaps Quebecs are more vocal, but I think that is primarily because it is a very liberal, secular society and they tend to be vocal about anything that threatens that…

    • Solidarity on all of this! I was telling my friends my birth story (36hr labor ending in C-section) and they were mortified. In the moment it didn’t seem so bad…but looking back, there were moments of horror, like needing to be stuck 3 times for my epidural *sigh*

      I’ve also had an interesting interaction with my MIL over these past 2.5 weeks…Lets just say I’m glad she’s leaving in a few days.

      • Eh

        When you have nothing compare birth to and you are in the moment it doesn’t seem that bad. I had a precipitous labour and couldn’t have pain med (thankfully it was “precipitous”). When I’ve told people my birth story many were shocked to find out that you can arrive at the hospital too late to get an epidural (or other pain meds).

        • Antonia

          Tangentially, does anyone else feel that asking for meds/pain control during L&D has become something of a defiant act? I wanted (and received) an epidural, and I’m one of the only women I know who went in with that expectation. That was basically my birth plan – “please give me an epidural when I ask for it.” I just had no interest in “proving” I could power through an unmedicated birth.

          (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my first pregnancy ended in stillbirth at 32 weeks. At the time, I’d paid lip service to the idea of a “natural” birth, but obviously those plans went out the window when faced with a three-day-long induction.)

          This second time around, I just… didn’t care. All I wanted was a living baby, delivered as undramatically and painlessly as possible. I don’t know, I just feel like asking for pain relief is kind of stickin’ it to the man now days. Like, “F*ck you, Ricki Lake!”

          • Ashlah

            I think it varies a lot depending on where you are and just the specific people you’re surrounded by (both online and in real life). I see people challenged in both directions, and it sucks. Birth options/choices are a good thing, and people should do what they want. It affects no one else, but people take it so personally. I’m personally hoping for a drug-free birth (but am open to whatever happens), and I know exactly which groups of people are going to be enthusiastic about it, and which groups are going to give me a hard time.

          • Antonia

            Totally. I’m surrounded by educated, older moms in middle- to upper-middle-class socio-economic circles, so my choice of wanting pain relief was something of an anomaly. I agree that as long as the life and health of the mother and baby aren’t at risk, birth options/choices are a good thing.

          • rg223

            Agreed – I was pregnant in a very pro-epidural community, and had some judgement thrown my way when I delivered naturally, whereas my friend/coworker in another neighborhood (same city) was surrounded by natural moms and felt judged for ending up with an epidural. And over something that, like you said, doesn’t affect anyone else.

          • Laura C

            For me the defiance came later. It felt like a total defeat at first. I had to work my way around to “you know what? I spent 18 hours having what they told me were frequent contractions but I couldn’t even feel them, then had what was supposed to be the gentle, slow misoprostol induction but instead went from 0 to 60 on the contractions, wasn’t allowed to get up and move around to walk it off because I was on monitors, was having back labor, ended up going from basically not dilated at all to fully dilated in six hours … I made the right call getting an epidural.” Especially since the epidural wasn’t 100% effective (it had a “window” — a spot where I could feel the contractions — and I had a lot more control over my legs than they expected, and definitely felt the stitches I got after he was born) and I pushed for 3.5 hours.

          • Eh

            A number of my friends had kids when I had my daughter and they told me that there is no medal for having a pain-med free birth. Some had no pain meds with one child and pain meds with another so they knew what they were talking about (one felt like a failure when she had an epidural with her first after more than 17 hours of labour and needed to rest since she still had many more hours to go but realized after she had an easier labour with her second that she wasn’t a failure).

            My birth plan was ‘EPIDURAL’ and I needed to come to grips with things when I arrived at the hospital at 9+cm. If I have another child epidural will be on my birth plan but I will be more prepared if I can’t have one (other things I am adding are ‘not having baby in car or at home’).

          • ZLMT

            I felt a self-imposed pressure, even though I don’t try to go pain-free in other aspects of my life — e.g. I get novocaine when I go to the dentist. But, reading things online about unmedicated birth and going to our childbirth class made me feel weird about going in expecting to get an epidural. But I specifically got a doula who did not have strong feelings about this issue, and thank goodness, since I was in labor for 48 hours.

          • Danielle

            First of all, I’m sorry for your loss.

            I recently induced labor at 20 weeks once we learned our baby had a fatal condition (trisomy 18). I was open to pain medication and ended up getting an epidural after about 24 hours because them placing the induction medication (every 4 hours, ugh) was very painful for me.

            I had discussed pain relief options with my midwives beforehand (at my initial visit to the practice – before we knew anything was wrong with the baby) and they told me epidurals were quite common in my area. Maybe it’s partly a cultural thing based on the norms/expectations of your location. I live in Columbus, Ohio, a somewhat suburban-ish Midwestern city that is fairly “typical American” compared to the bigger US cities on the coast, where natural stuff might be more prevelant.

            I’m also like “fuck you Ricki lake.” And like “fuck any dogma.” We just need to get the care we need/want, and every person is different.

          • Laura

            “living baby, delivered as undramatically and painlessly as possible” – i’m borrowing this for my future birth plan :)

          • cml

            I’m all for it. I don’t get the shaming from women who were “so strong” by doing natural birth. Like, you do you sister, but LET ME DO ME.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I was at a vigil earlier this week and when the crowd broke into Oh Canada, it was just overwhelming. Bring plenty of tissues

    • Eileen

      So sorry to hear about your C-Section pain. Things work differently here but we have an appointment with the anesthesiologist at least a month before the due date and I did bring up the fact that my local anesthesia was light during my ACL surgery. I don’t know if they would have taken it into account, since I didn’t have a C section. I did have a totally useless epidural thirty minutes before baby boy came out, so, that was dumb.

      I feel you on the anxiety—I’m still dealing with some stress at 3.5 months though it has gotten much better (everything has, SO MUCH).

      • raccooncity

        That sounds awesome to have a pre-meeting with the pain doctor. Now that you mention I know they have pain management people at some hospitals who shepherd individuals through chronic illnesses at the hospital but maybe I could get in on that sort of action as well.

        Also: I’m getting close to the 3 month mark now and you’re right – things are getting actually kind of fun, even!

  • Christina McPants

    Remember when Facebook and twitter used to be fun outlets? I can’t break my addiction to either, but it also seems to be sapping my will to live. Anyone have any strategies to keep themselves sane? I’ve tried blocking both platforms on my internet browser to no avail.

    In other news, I may be receiving an offer for a new job soon and I am sooooo torn. It will undoubtedly be more money, but from the research, the benefits are not great. My current position has a decent salary, AMAZING benefits, but rumor mill says there are potential furloughs coming. I am totally counting my chickens before they hatch (or, actually, making a comparison spreadsheet using vague information from the website). All things being equal, I would have pushed for $10-$15K more, but now I know things are less than equal, I just can’t figure out if I should push for $15-20 or try to get my current position to counter.

    • Why can’t you push for $15-20 and try to get your current position to counter?

      • Christina McPants

        That’s probably what will happen, I just don’t know which I’d choose if both came to pass. I’m primary earner for my household and we need more income if we want another kid, but the work life balance at my job is amazing right now.

    • mimi

      I check Insta when I can’t handle FB anymore. Still social, less political.

    • StevenPortland

      If the job offer arrives, plan on negotiating. Use numbers to show that a high starting salary is necessary to compensate for the loss of benefits.

      • Christina McPants

        That’s my plan. I expect my insurance premiums to double, if not triple, my vacation days to go down by 5-10, and their 401(k) match is only 5% and kicks in at some point. Not to mention I’m losing fertility benefits (which is not what I’ll say to them, but, you know)

        • penguin

          That’s rough, it sucks losing benefits. You might actually be able to negotiate some of those – I know some people successfully negotiate a little more vacation time, things like that. Good luck!

        • JSK

          Can you ask for additional vacation days in place of increased income? Or a blend? My last negotiation the employer wouldn’t budge on my base pay, so I asked for a 50% more vacation/sick days.
          Doesn’t address the other items, but may give more work/life balance.

    • Sara

      I deleted the Facebook app so that I have to log in the long way. I still can’t quit, but I do tend to go on big ‘Unfollow’ sprees when people start being toxic. I’m just here for baby pics.

    • Gaby

      I got so hooked on twitter last weekend that my right hand has been recovering from serious cramping all week. It helps that it’s blocked at my office but deleting the app from my phone on Monday only lasted 8 hours. Now instead of trying to “avoid” it, I’m trying to constantly just find better ways to use my time. Am I sitting on the couch on my phone? Why don’t I use this time to do a little self-care and have some tea and massage my hands with good lotion… and so on. It’s getting a little better every day.

    • flashphase

      I am not much of a game player, but I put a game on my phone so that when I’m tempted to check facebook, I play a game instead. Because usually when I want to check social media what I actually want is a mental break, so it’s a good substitute!

    • I’m really struggling with twitter at the moment. Everyone’s on the same side, which is nice, but it’s suddenly turned into nothing but retweeted news articles (a lot of which are a bit suspect – people retweeting for the sentiment rather than the facts). I miss finding out what people are watching or eating or doing. Facebook’s still okay for me because it’s all about the babies. Pinterest is my neutral space now, and I’m considering Instagram.

      • Christina McPants

        Facebook is the worst for me – it’s all copy/paste don’t share statuses that are turning into chain letters and detailed descriptions of how we’re all being slowly destroyed. I probably need to purge.

        • scw

          fwiw, I deactivated my facebook entirely and it’s been a real relief. I’d had it for so long! but I thought I’d miss it a lot more than I do.

    • macrain

      I deleted Facebook from my phone. Of course I still look at it other places, but it helps curb my usage. I have also found it helps to get your news from an actual newspaper. On Facebook and twitter you get news plus commentary, not all of it valuable (or factual, for that matter). In a newspaper you get- news. That definitely helps me stay informed without spiraling.

    • emmers

      I deactivated facebook post-election. I now reactivate (and then deactivate after 5 minutes) about once a week. Now when I log in, I’m struck by how rough it is, all of the things on there. I read more news now (vs whatever best hits facebook puts out). Sometimes it’s weird to not know which acquaintance just got engaged or is having a baby, but honestly, it also feels healthier– person from 3rd grade, it’s not my place to know what’s going on with your life! I also I guess accidentally unfriended a couple of key people (like my mother-in-law!), which means that if I did use it regularly I’d have to awkwardly refriend, so the awkwardness also helps keep me away.

  • AmandaBee

    Today, I’m mourning the loss of an amazing friend who passed away yesterday. She was the first person who taught me what social justice was about, and she did it by example. She gave 200% to everything she did, and she changed my life immensely. After fighting a chronic illness for over a year, yesterday she got to rest.

    I’m devastated, and angry, and thankful. One thing I’m incredibly thankful for is that she got to see me get married last summer. Afterward, she told me our wedding was one of the most thoughtful and egalitarian weddings she’d ever seen – and that is in large part because of things I learned reading APW. So thanks to Meg and her team for helping make that happen.

    • CMT

      I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your friend was amazing.

    • Jessica

      Hugs to you, it’s always hard to lose a friend.

    • Natalie

      I’m so sorry.

    • CDN

      I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Sending internet strength and love!

    • Katherine

      So sorry for your loss. Sending love.

    • sage

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.

    • Poppy

      Send you love. She sounds like an amazing person.

    • rg223

      I’m sorry for your loss. She sounds like an awesome lady.

  • Alli

    Wondering if anyone wants to weigh in on what the “perfect” part time schedule would be? FH and I were talking about it this week in the hypothetical. Kids are probably pretty far off for us still, but we both agree that when we have them it would be pretty baller and possibly attainable to switch to part time.

    His idea is that we should use part time to maximize time out of day care. So maybe we each have 4 day workweeks and each have one day where we take care of the kid instead of putting them in day care.

    My idea was to still work 5 days a week just with shorter days, so that there’s an extra couple of hours each day to just get ALL THE THINGS done. Especially if our kid is in day care, we might have an extra hour before having to pick them up to go grocery shopping, clean, etc without having to also worry about making sure this tiny human gets their needs.

    I’m sure there’s no right answer because it’s all personal, but I was wondering what others thought about it or if anyone has done it :)

    • Eenie

      In an ideal world my husband an I would both work 4 days and have 1 day off (different days) during the week where we got 1:1 time with kid/kids. I think it would help us work to keep an egalitarian household where one of us doesn’t become the default parent 100% of the time and share other household duties.

      • Ashlah

        This is what we’d like to do too, not sure if it’ll work out yet or not. We need to look at our finances (and minimum hours required to maintain benefits) to see how many extra hours we’d have to work each of the four days to make up for the day off. I know my workplace will let me do it, but we don’t know about his yet.

        • Eenie

          Oh, you could look at pitching a 80/9 schedule, work 80 hours in nine days and get every other Friday off? This is popular in some cities to cut down on traffic. If you alternate weeks you’d cut down to 4 days of daycare a week.

          • Ashlah

            Interesting! I’ll add it to the list of possibilities to consider.

          • Amy March

            One other factor to consider is whether day care will let you do a 4 day week. Around here most centers will charge you for 3 days or 5. If you only want to send Baby 4 days a week that’s great, but you’re still paying for 5.

          • Eenie

            Oh yes, absolutely. We’re eyeing this option more for the egalitarian benefits. Since it doesn’t require a reduction in hours, it’d be the same finance wise as just keeping the status quo with standard work weeks.

          • penguin

            That’s my fiancé’s schedule! He loves it, and it’s super convenient for things like doctor’s appointments.

      • Alli

        That’s a really good benefit of the 4 day week, the individual 1:1 time!

        • Eenie

          If you’re making pro/con lists, I know it can be difficult to find a daycare that will let you do partial weeks for a discounted rate. You may decide to still eat that cost anyways because it’s what you want to do, but you could choose to do a half day those days that you have off work, run errands and such while the kid is there, and then still have some 1:1 time.

    • mimi

      I work Tues-Fri. I have the weekends free to spend time with family (husband and 1.5 year old). I have Mondays off to grocery shop, run errands, go to appointments, etc. It is amazing. I started this schedule when I came back from maternity leave and don’t see myself giving it up any time soon. My daughter goes to daycare on Mondays so that I can get shit done, and since I have free weekends with her, that works for us.

    • StevenPortland

      It depends on what the *purpose* of going part time is. If it is to save money that otherwise you would need to pay to a day care, then each working 4 days a week is the answer. If the purpose is to keep your house from turning into a complete mess, then having an hour or two each day to pick up, run errands, cook, laundry, is the answer. A third purpose to consider is further out, once the kid is in public school. The school calendar is something you will learn to hate. There are so many Mondays that are vacation days, and our school has a late start one Wednesday each month. It would be really nice to have your schedule figured out to be able to cover some of those times. For example, I work from home on Wednesdays. That allows me to have my son play while I’m working and then I take him to school 2 hours late one Wednesday each month.

      • StevenPortland

        I would love it if my husband worked reduced hours so that he could be in charge of school drop off in the morning as well as afternoon pick up. I do drop off 3 days a week and it adds a level of stress to my job where my calendar is already jammed with meetings from colleagues around the world. Participating in conf calls at 5 AM is one thing, but a 7 AM call that requires me to also get the kids dressed, fed, and in the car while also on the call almost cracks me some days.

    • BSM

      At my husband’s soon-to-be-former company, he was on a 9/80 schedule which gave him every other Friday off, which he’d mostly use to run a bunch of errands, but it also gave him some chill time. Based on what he’s said about how quickly the day off goes by, I think you’re both at least right that you’re not going to be able to really spend time with a kid AND get stuff done during the extra time off you’d hypothetically gain.

      I think I’d probably do a version of what your husband is suggesting. If you both have 4 day work weeks, have your day off be on different days and have one of you run errands one day and the other hang with the kiddo on the other, switching periodically. Or each take the same day off and trade off who’s doing errands and who’s with the kid. Or half-day daycare/babysitting.

      So many variables that it’s hard to say what will work or what’s best :)

    • Lulu

      A lot of my coworkers go down to 70% of FTE, because that’s our threshold for being eligible for benefits. Most do three days in the office plus a half day at home, which allows for kid-free errand-running the other half of that day, then one day at home sans nanny.

    • JSK

      Where I live most daycare providers don’t offer partial week options and neither of our jobs could work like that. I’d prefer the extra hours each day to get laundry, shopping, etc done sans kiddo.
      Our son is 8 months old, so we aren’t experts (FOR SURE). For the time being, my husband leaves with kid around 745/8, drops him off at daycare. I start work right away so I can pick the kid up by 5/515.

    • Laura C

      If there’s a commute in the picture, then going to work every day for not quite a full day means you lose the hours you’d get if you worked a day less and didn’t have the commute on that day.

      Even without a commute — I work from home, and I work full time but get off work an hour, hour and a half before baby needs to be picked up from daycare. This sounded like a ton of free time to me, but it turns out not so much. Like I can work out (in the fitness center in our building) and do one errand within a couple blocks of home, or I can do a big grocery shopping trip, but that’s about it. It’s definitely better than nothing, but it’s not like I can make life run smoothly with that time.

      But if it was financially feasible, I’d look at taking the day off and keeping the kid in daycare and getting All The Things done that day. Including leisure time.

  • Cellistec

    You guys (in a non-gendered way). I’m getting sloppy at work. This week I forgot about a deadline (a minor one, but one that reflects on my team) and a colleague had to remind me the morning of said deadline. I’ve been taking more mental breaks than usual and fighting a sense of feeling disconnected from the workplace mentality and shared mission. Does anyone have advice for a professional reset? (I know a career change is necessary in the near future, but I’m in need of smaller tweaks right now.)

    • Ashlah

      Following this thread. My procrastination on anything without a firm deadline, and my general lack of giving a shit about my work has skyrocketed lately.

    • Can you take a mental health day or a long weekend to do a reset? Sometimes just getting away can be a big help. But I hear you – I’ve had those moments too and for me, they are a sign to step up my exit strategy process. I’m just not one of those people who can fake it in a job I’m not enthusiastic about.

      • Cellistec

        I just got back from a long weekend, so I gotta power through til Presidents’ Day. Sigh. And you’re right, stepping up the exit strategy process may help, in more ways than one. If nothing else it could remind me how good I actually have it right now.

        • Essssss

          As a counter to the exit strategy, sometimes if you’re not in the forever job but not actively looking, it can be nice to just say, you know i’m going to put this aside and come back to new jobbing in 6 months. And just commit for now. Cause 50% committed takes more emotional energy than 100% committed with a deadline.

          • Cellistec

            Ahahahahaha. Excellent point.

    • Kalë

      I’m feelin ya here lately. Not sure if its the same for you, but I’m finding it SO HARD to focus on inane stuff at work when there is insane stuff going on in the world. And it seems like its something new every hour. Just, ugh.

    • Sara

      When I feel really burnt out, I take a day off to reset. I don’t know if that’s possible for you, or maybe you can call in sick, but I find taking an unscheduled break to be helpful. Weekends are always full of schedules and obligations, so its not really a ‘break’. Taking time off when everyone else is working and you’re doing nothing of note is very cathartic.

      • Cellistec

        It SO is. I’ve done it a couple times in the past year and it helped 100%. Strangely, having less time to do my work (from taking a day off) also motivates me to focus when I get back to the office. It’s that deadline energy phenomenon so many college kids rely on, and it’s real.

    • Essssss

      Also struggling. News has me distracted and grieving. Some strategies that have helped me in the past (and I probably need to implement):
      Going outside multiple times a day. Walk to work if you can. Take a stroll around the block or building on coffee and lunch breaks (or even during a phone call). Helps me ground and reset on a daily basis.

      Writing down all the to-dos and deadlines in my calendar as soon as they get made. I can’t remember things unless I write it down. I have my calendar and then each AM I make a list of things that are most urgent to do, and try to prioritize those. I usually am more proactive but now its like, what’s the next deadline people will be yelling at me for? Do that.

      I recently learned about the pomodoro technique and it is helping me focus on a day-to-day basis. Basically you work in intervals. Turn off wifi and just do what you need to do for 25 minutes, with a timer set. Then, take a break. Repeat. Important to focus and take the breaks. For me, the success of focusing for the first 25 minutes helps me to keep going and not get distracted/disconnected/down through the day.

      • Ashlah

        I’m intrigued by the pomodoro technique. I am constantly distracted by my phone, by the internet, by whatever. Maybe if I had built-in breaks to do that stuff, I could stay focused for scheduled chunks of time like that.

        • Jessica

          I do something kind of similar, where I lay out my tasks for the day within time goals. For instance:

          By 1pm: Email x, y and z; type up document; edit thisorthat
          By 2pm: Draft newsletter, update calendars
          By 3pm: Edit newsletter, send to proof readers

          Etc. That way if I finish something early, I can goof off, but my goal list resets every hour. If something takes long than anticipated, I get less goof off time in the next hour.

          It doesn’t work as well with big projects (grant writing, ugh). For those I promise that if I have X% done by a specific time I can treat myself to a latte or chocolate bar.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, I’ve been distracted by hate-reading the news, so that’s part of the problem for me too. And I used to have a timer on my computer for rationing out my mental breaks but I deleted it…time to track that down again and see if it helps me focus.

    • Lulu

      I was talking about my total lack of focus and motivation and my comically aggressive procrastination with my therapist yesterday. (Mine is a combo of not being engaged at work and having a lot of non work-related anxiety.) She suggested starting with a little self-reflection when I catch myself doing it: What am I feeling? What do I need? Is my self-care tank running on empty? Am I being kind and compassionate to myself (instead of self-shaming)? Her point was that feeling disconnected is likely a symptom of something bubbling under the surface, and acknowledging whatever the source is will help illuminate next steps.

      • Cellistec

        Oh, your therapist is good. I’ve been venting plenty (to friends and family, not colleagues, obviously), but not actually reflecting on anything. This is a great way to re-frame the situation.

      • Essssss

        Yes on compassion! Sometimes I get so mad at myself for not being productive that it is the only thing keeping me from being productive again, and if I’m just able to sit with curiosity and compassion and I wonder how it will be working on this today, it feels a lot lighter.

    • Megan

      Change your routine in a way that doesn’t allow you to be complacent. I got to a similar point a couple of years ago and decided to start going to the gym at lunch time. Every day. It jumpstarted me out of my rut and helped me focus better in the afternoon, when I was having the most problems staying focused.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, this is key–I run on my lunch break almost every day and it’s a total reset for the afternoon. Now I just need it on a bigger scale so I don’t have to wait 4 hours every day to reset….

    • Gaby

      This was me all of last year (wedding planning was partly to blame). I second taking mental health day, but I’d add to set aside some time that day to make a game plan for getting back on track. When I was behind so often I’d get… task paralysis? from feeling overwhelmed and wouldn’t know where to start until I really sat down and broke it down to individual tasks.

    • Lisa

      I’m definitely feeling this at my job. I was in charge of interviews for a program at Badtown U, and this morning on my way to set up breakfast, I realized I forgot to e-mail to confirm the students who were coming to meet the applicants. I’m going to have to read through this thread later.

    • toomanybooks

      Prescribed Adderall lol

  • Bsquillo

    Speaking of getting sh*t done, I’m going full-throttle this February. Found out this past week that a conference presentation proposal I had submitted on a whim got accepted- that makes 2 for 2 so far this year. Also, a board I serve on is interested in “promoting” me to vice-chair. My band is headed into the studio to work on our first full-length studio album next week, and I’m hitting the ground to rustle up some sponsors for the project. I also pitched an educational fundraiser concert for our local school district, and got the contract to move forward this week. And I’m playing this fancy jazz club for the first time tonight.

    Meanwhile, I continue to call our dumb senator on at least a weekly basis, I’m looking for orgs to start donating to as we build more charitable giving into our household budget, and I’m trying my best to stay informed in this whirlwind of political garbage.

    #Sorrynotsorry about bragging, but it’s my birth month…and for my birthday, I like kicking ass.

    • Congrats! Sounds like you’re getting stuff done!

    • Jessica

      #youremyhero

    • Her Lindsayship

      So impressed. Happy birth month and keep getting sh*t done!!!

    • Yael

      Yay!

    • Jessa

      All of those things sound so cool! It’s my birth month too, cheers to the best Feb ever.

  • Kaytlin

    Just want to throw out in the spirit of this Happy Hour how important and wonderful it has been over the course of my two and half year engagement and season of pre-engagement to have a forum to engage with the political and practical realities of relationships/families/engagements/weddings. It’s helped me hold on to my sanity a little in this process. And, also, my unapologetic love of glitter.

  • Kaitlyn

    1. I need a hibiscus margarita ASAP
    2. Shout-out to the people who added a couple of more tips to picking a wedding photographer last week. I loved the, “pick someone who you’d be friends with” thing, and I want to be this photographer’s BFF. I know our wedding photographs will come out amazing.
    3. Spoke with a flower farm yesterday that also does floral design for weddings and I’m obsessed with the owner. I’m still waiting on a quote for what it’ll all cost, but I’m kinda like, “Screw the budget, I love her” (which is kinda what happened with the photographer oops, but not by a lot).
    4. I’ve had the new Cold War Kids song “Love is Mystical” on repeat all day and I recommend you do the same
    5. Real talk: I am trying to lose weight prior to my wedding in April 2018, not as a “I need to be petite bride pretty” but more like “I’ve put on 40lbs in the last 5 years, I don’t look like me and am horrified by photographs, and this is good motivation to finally get my shit back together”. However, I have a hard time seeing the long-term goal in the mundane day-to-day. I tend to have a mentality of, “Eating half a box of Cheez-its isn’t reallyyy going to derail me” (yes it is), but I have a hard time talking myself out of it. I know this is going to take a while, so any tips and tricks to help me keep the goal in sight would be helpful!

    • Ashlah

      Re: #5, I find tracking my food to be helpful. I usually do it for about a week to remind myself just how much even a small portion of something is adding to my intake, and that’s usually enough to make me at least re-consider the cost/benefit of indulging in my cravings for a little while. When I start snacking a lot, I track again. The trick is actually tracking every little snack you eat, instead of saying, “Eh, this doesn’t really count, I won’t add it.” :) I also weigh myself daily, which is horrible for some people, but great for me. I use the FitBit app for both, but lots of people love MyFitnessPal.

      • Kaitlyn

        I ‘m actually following Weight Watchers, which has worked for me in the past, but only when ya know, I track haha I definitely need to start doing the tracking every little thing, cuz I do do that. “Oh I’m sure this is only like 2 points”. Nope it’s like 12 haha

      • Sara

        I second tracking food – I ‘count calories’ but I’m really just logging my food everyday to curtail my snacking. Its easy for it to get away from you. I find when I entered it in my app (I do use MyFitnessPal, and its super easy) that I think more before I eat those cheezits. My problem is free work snacks and honestly it really helped me break the habit (for the most part. Today I had some chips).

        • Kaitlyn

          Ugh we have free work snacks too. Literally 10 of those lbs had to do with a new job with free snacks and a new commute that required zero walking. I’ve gotten pretty good at deducing which snacks are worth it and which ones aren’t haha

          • Sara

            My first job, my cube mate went on maternity leave and her desk became the ‘food desk’. I literally gained like 15lbs in the 8 months I was there. I try to have a blanket ‘no free food’ rule at work now, but I slip up.

        • Ashlah

          I was literally eating a free donut while I typed that comment.

          • Lisa

            I’m taking home a plate of brownies that were left over from lunch catering today. And I ate two of the smallest one (one whole one?) while catching up on the comments.

      • Katharine Parker

        I like food tracking, too. Knowing I’m going to enter something into MyFitnessPal helps me keep a balanced diet. I also weigh myself daily, which works for me and not for everyone else. I find the daily gratification of how I’ve lost weight since I started, even if I’m up a little bit from yesterday, is motivating.

        Generally, eating a little bit less/moving a little bit more is what works for me. Nothing drastic, nothing too restrictive. Mostly, it’s less mindless snacking.

      • CMT

        Tracking food is really the only thing that works for me when I feel like I’m losing control of my diet and weight.

      • I found it helped tracking weight as part of a period app, rather than a fitness app. It becomes a different part of ‘looking’ after myself when it’s on a graph alongside body temp and mood swings.

    • Amy March

      I’m also trying to lose about the same amount of weight, and I’m really liking Weight Watchers. I know for sure I am not sticking with a very restrictive diet, and it will take a while, but I find it helps me keep the big picture in mind and helps me focus on making healthy choices not beating myself up when I don’t. So yes, I did eat half a bag of chocolate and honey covered macadamia nuts this week, but I tracked them, I know exactly what they cost, and that is motivating me to suck it up and eat the boring yogurt for breakfast instead of saying screw it and eating a bagel.

      • Kaitlyn

        I’m on WW too! I was on it when they switched the program and had a really hard time, so I gave up on it. But now I feel like I have a pretty good cadence going, but I find the weekends hard to stick to. I also have a fiance who is incredibly supportive, but at the same time, I’ve picked up a lot of his bad habits since we moved in together. I’m trying to remind myself to check the Connect section, since I find that really motivating.

        • Amy March

          Weekends are the absolute worst for me too! I’ve started writing them down on a post it stuck to the back of my phone. So I see, constantly, that I am going out tonight, to a party tomorrow, and to a Super Bowl party Sunday, so no, this is not the weekend for bagels, it is the weekend for oatmeal and soup. And yes, Connect is disturbingly supportive.

          • Kaitlyn

            Oh I love that idea! I’m having the same sort of weekend (dinner with a friend tonight, out for a friend’s bday tomorrow night, and SB party) and I tend to just throw in the towel rather than work with it. Def gonna try that this weekend.

    • Jessica

      I lost about 40 pounds last year after putting it on after my wedding. It can be difficult. I recommend seeing a nutritionist and doing a controlled elimination diet to start. If there are certain foods messing with your gut (dairy, gluten, certain grains or meats), it’s a good way to figure out what will make you feel best so you can focus on that.

      I have a friend who recently did this and realized how poorly she reacted to tomatoes and pork. I cut out grains, and can feel how much they affect me if I have bread or a bowl of ramen now. It helps you learn to listen to your body.

      • Kaitlyn

        Woop that’s awesome! I never thought about an elimination diet, definitely something to check out!

        • Yael

          I’ve up and down with weight for years as I go thru various life stages and sports related injuries, plus I am a major stress eater. Since I stopped earlier gluten (gluten intolerant!) and moved to Europe I’ve lost inches (I don’t have access to a scale so I measure myself). My broader point is it may take a complete lifestyle – not just diet – change to make progress and make it last. I was back in the US for a month and gained some of it back because I was just hanging out on the couch doing work and driving everywhere instead of walking my usual several miles a day. The no gluten diet has really helped, but it would have taken much longer to see progress.

    • Natalie

      I read an interesting article about exercise motivation & lifestyle change recently, but can’t find it to link to… It was focused on research into the attitudes that increase the likelihood that people will stick with exercise long term. Basically, it said that people who embrace lifestyle changes because of the immediate benefits they offer rather than longer term benefits (like weight loss) tend to stick with them. It’s not about having different goals per se, but about having a different focus for your day-to-day motivations. For example, I know that exercise *dramatically* improves my mood and helps keep my runs-in-the-family mental illness at bay (or reduces symptoms, or whatever). I have a long-term goal of losing 15lbs and being healthier overall, but the thing that actually gets me out of bed 45 minutes earlier to exercise? It’s knowing that I’ll feel happy and less stressed out the rest of the day. Likewise, I feel like crap after eating an entire bag of chips or huge piece of cake. Knowing that helps me dole out a more reasonable portion to myself and not get seconds.

      Other tips: put your exercise schedule, big goals, and any other motivation on your fridge, mirror, or somewhere you look at all the time. Have grab-and-go healthy snacks available. I’m more likely to eat crap on days when I’m tired and starving and there’s nothing healthy that I can eat immediately. So keep your favorite raw veggies chopped & ready to eat in the fridge, as well as your favorite fruits, healthy yogurt in single-serving containers, etc. Keeping pre-washed salad in my fridge instead of a head of lettuce increases the probability of me eating salad on any given day by 28937%

      • Kaitlyn

        I love that about the motivation for the day-to-day. Sounds exactly what I need to keep my hands away from the Cheez-its (and the subsequent stomachache haha). Definitely will try with the goals on the mirror/fridge too!

        • jammers

          Yesss reminding myself how bad certain foods make me feel cuts the craving right away. Yes, those nachos at the bar look amaaaaaazing but when I think about how they’ll make me feel in a couple hours, my appetite vanishes

        • Jennifer

          Also, think SMART goals – Specific Measurable Agreed upon Realistic Time based. (also Smarter goals – https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.php) and think about that in the context of wellness.

      • Ashlah

        That’s a great point! I run in the morning because it makes me feel better all day, and I know I’ll feel crappy if I don’t. I’ll also add on that goals specific to whatever exercise you’re doing can be a better day-to-day/week-to-week motivator than long-term weight loss. For me, signing up for 5K races and trying to improve my time is my main one. Now that I’m pregnant, I’ve backed off on speed training and it’s made it harder to stay motivated to run, even though I know it’s good for me. It’s more fun working towards a goal.

    • sage

      I had a similar realization to you about weight 2.5 years ago. I had never before been able to actually lose weight no matter what I tried. I managed to drop 25 pounds in 2 years though, which is maybe slower than you are looking to lose weight, but it worked for me. I picked one new healthy “habit” to do each month for about 1.5 years and really just focused on one thing at a time each month (I could drop the previous month’s habit if it was no longer working for me). It’s hard to get rid of the Cheez-its if you are also trying to run 3 days a week and eat breakfast every morning and pack your lunch for work… but if you pick just one at a time it becomes a little easier to layer new ones onto old ones that are already working for you and make you feel good. Not sure if this makes sense, but this approach totally worked for me (as opposed to all or nothing).

      Also, I found tracking my food to be helpful at the beginning, to help get an understanding of how big an actual serving is and how many calories those are for certain foods.

    • Christina McPants

      5. I am a big HAES person and someone who wants to encourage everyone to be happy the way they are and all of that jazz. Part of HAES points out that calorie restrictions don’t work long term and that you’ll eventually regain the weight.

      I also wanted to lose weight for my wedding and lost a bunch in about 6 months using Weight Watchers, which is caloric restriction. People exist on a spectrum and I decided I wanted the selfish short term goal. True to form, I gained all the weight back over two years. Then I got pregnant and gained a bunch of weight postpartum, because I was on a quasi-legal drug to increase supply that everyone told me to take with a meal but no one told me was a stomach emptier! Plus, I buried postpartum anxiety under grilled cheese.

      So, present day. I’ve lost all of the postpartum weight and a little beyond that going paleo and doing whole30s. I’ve always been somewhat active (I did zumba at 37 weeks), but lately, the workouts are weightlifting and swimming. I really like the way I feel on that program, I don’t feel like I’m calorie restricting and I’m rarely hungry. Dropping carbs and focusing on healthy fats has been really good for me. It’s been difficult to cut out breads and sugar completely, so I haven’t, though I’m starting to think I should. I don’t seem to be the kind of person who can do everything in moderation.

    • Grace

      Obviously YMMV, but what worked really well for me was just being conscious of how satisfied I was while I was eating. It was really surprising how much I would put on my plate, and how little of it I would eat before I would think, “You know, I could stop eating now. I’m not hungry anymore.” I lost about 25 pounds in 3-4 months, and haven’t gained them back in the past year.

      ETA: The nice thing about my plan was I could eat the things I wanted. I just had to decide when to stop. Still ate ice cream, but maybe a bite or two, instead of a cup. Start eating a muffin, decide I’m done halfway through and stop. It’s hard to train yourself at first, but it doesn’t take too long to change your mindset.

      • Katharine Parker

        This is how my parents are, especially my mother. It always confused me growing up why they would order a child’s scoop of ice cream. If something is good, why wouldn’t you want more of it? Now that I am an adult, I get it. I recently couldn’t finish a small ice cream. It was too much! I only wanted half! And my transformation into my mother is complete.

    • JC

      Not to get super graphic, but I’ve been more successful losing/maintaining weight over the years if I focus on my digestion. (My digestion is terrible, for the record.) If I’ve been gaining weight/eating lots of sweets/not drinking water/not sleeping enough, I can feel it in my gut, and it feels terrible. It’s changes on a day-to-day basis, so it’s a lot easier to keep track of than a long-term weight loss goal (for me). When I don’t feel bloated at the end of the day and I wake up with a healthy gut, I know that I’ve been making good choices and it’s helps me make good choices that day too.

      • Booknerd

        I’m with you there! I have diverticulitis and some food intolerances and after the holidays especially I needed to do a cleanse of everything white from my diet for a few weeks before things felt back on track. The feeling that I am are literally hurting yourself with the food choices I was making was kind of a wakeup call..

        • JC

          Yes, definitely! I have IBS and arthritis (which is helped by an anti-inflammation diet, so I get a two-for-one). It’s nice to say at dinner, “These vegetables taste great, and I’m going to feel SO good in the morning.”

    • cml

      Another supporter of tracking your food here. My fiance is trying to lose some weight before the wedding and he has been using a food tracker. It has REALLY helped him – even when he has a cheat meal, he knows just how much he has cheated and is more motivated to get back on track that way.
      I’ve been tracking my food on myfitnesspal because I want to eat healthier, though I haven’t been as dedicated as him (and, shocker, I’m not seeing results as good as his lol). But even that little bit I’m doing has really helped – it’s huge for me to SEE what I’m doing.

      Also, I love the suggestion someone else had to set small goals and then build on them. My gym’s “fitness challenge” for the month is small, weekly goals. Whatever the goals we set, if we implement them well we can stack another one the next week. If we weren’t so successful, we will take another week to focus on just that goal.

    • LadyJanee

      Re #5 – making small lifestyle changes will eventually add up to achieve the long term goal .I always think about whether the snack is ‘worth it’. As in, is this packet of chips/store bought whatever better than having a homemade cookie for dessert tonight? Or if there’s morning tea at work I either have none or I only have something that’s homemade. I also read about the ‘rule of first bites’ – have the first bite of something and really saviour it. Then decide if you want more. If you do, saviour each bite and only keep eating until it stops tasting as delicious as the first bite (which for me with most things is after the second or third bite, then it’s just eating for the sake of it).

      I also wanted to lean out a bit for the wedding and during the week I was fine because I would take food to work and have healthy dinners, small dessert and it was easy. But weekends I knew I struggled with so I set a reminder in my phone to go off every Saturday and Sunday to remember my goals. That really brought it to the front of my mind on the weekend and I made choices that were more inline with my goals.

  • Kalë

    Sooooo we had our first premarital counseling session this morning! And it was fun! I’m hoping we can work on the tough stuff (communication, family-of-origin stuff, finances) and celebrate the good stuff, since we have a pretty solid and happy relationship. Our counselor has a PhD, purple hair, and an office dog, plus was really easy to talk to, so we’re calling it a win.

    My dress also came in! It is drop dead gorgeous… on the hanger. It is beaded, open backed, and non-white. It is perfect in every way… except that on me, it isn’t quite so stunning. The tactful way to say it is that the dress isn’t “figure flattering”. But you know what? My body is what it is. A “flattering” dress isn’t going to make me suddenly become a tall and willowy fairy princess model. And I love the dress, it’s incredibly “me”, and it cost $340. So. It’s staying, and I’m hoping alterations/not eating hot Cheetos every day will help it look a little more “figure friendly”. But if not… well, this is what my figure is. And this dress is magic.

    • macrain

      I thought premarital counseling was fun too. I think we were expecting to only focus on the tough things, but we came away feeling just so appreciative of each other and our relationship. I loved our counselor to begin with, and then it came out that part of her work is with trans children and I loved her even more.
      So glad you are having a great experience. Another plus is that once you’ve established a relationship with a counselor that you love, the door is open any time you need to revisit them. Also, my husband had never been to counseling and was feeling iffy about it, but now that we’ve been it’s just established that this a thing we can do! And that we have done since we got married.

      • Kalë

        This is a really good idea! I’m optimistic that we’ll be pretty good to go after six sessions, but you’re right – it’s never a bad thing to have a relationship with a counselor, especially ones that specialize in relationships.

      • Arie

        This was our experience too! It was very affirming and helped us feel more confident in ourselves and our relationship. I think one of the best reasons to go is that it establishes the resource, like you’ve said. I like knowing that if we ever need to go back, we have that established relationship and it’s just an email away.

    • raccooncity

      alterations ARE magic. My dress fit well when it arrived and I thought “meh, why do alterations”

      But I did because there were cosmetic things I didn’t like (like rhinestones), and it made a massive difference. The shape was suddenly more flattering than I knew possible. Seriously, magic.

      • Totch

        I loved my dress the first time I tried it on, then at my most recent fitting it had all the major alterations completed and I just couldn’t believe what a difference it made.

        To some extent I was like… Wait, I thought it looked good before???

    • Sometimes pretty dresses just suck on specific body types. I purchased & returned a beautiful on-the-rack dress like you mentioned, because one that gave me the illusion of curves looked better than the beautiful, embroidered lace, structureless BHLDN gown. ‘Probably could’ve made up for it a bit with shapewear…but I also wanted to be comfortable. Who knows.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        You know, as someone who has photographed a handful of weddings, I notice how happy the bride (who happens to be in a dress) looks more than the dress itself.

    • Katharine Parker

      Congrats on finding your dress! I think you get to decide what you want your figure to look like at your wedding. If you love the dress, that’s what matters.

    • Jessa

      YAY for your dress arriving! Alterations can also be magical things but so is body acceptance and self-love. Good on you :)

    • Eenie

      Did you try it on with proper undergarments? I got a dress that was not really very forgiving, but buying some actual spanx and these boob petals (IDK, they are little silicone stick on things) made me feel like I made the right choice. If you don’t want to go that route though, you don’t need to!

      • Kalë

        I didn’t! Or with shoes! I think that might help. And alterations, too – it’s street sized, so it’s too big in some smaller-than-average spots, and a little tight in those larger-than-average parts. I just love this dress, so I’m happy either way :)

        • Definitely take it to an underwear store and play dress up – spanx, longline bras, corsets, try it all. Some clothes are designed with certain underwear in mind. Can you figure out what the model is wearing under it on the website?

          • Kalë

            It’s open backed, so… nothing? Or a sticky/low back/newfangled contraption. I’m hoping a good sticky bra will help, and alterations in the shoulders – it’s quite loose fitting in the chest area, and it would look a lotttt better if it weren’t.

          • Eenie

            How low back? I struggled with this. If it’s as low as my dress, you won’t have luck finding a fancy bra that works. Because of the material, I couldn’t get cups put in either. I went with these:
            https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TFE5K4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
            They worked pretty well, but I didn’t need any support and was mostly just worried about nips showing.

            This was my dress.
            http://www.bhldn.com/product/avalon-gown

          • Kalë

            It’s even lower than that, actually. I think I’m going to go with one of those sticky bras or petals like you showed. I’ve used them before and don’t need much support anyways. PS – beautiful dress!

          • AmandaBee

            For what it’s worth, I had my seamstress sew in cups so I could skip the bra while she brought in the bust. Was totally worth it – much comfier than a strapless bra or sticky cups.

        • Eenie

          Alterations will help for sure! I recommend following @mssolo:disqus ‘s recommendations for undergarments, and then take those with you (tags still attached) to wherever you get your alterations done. If you still don’t feel like you’re happy with where it will be after alterations, return the stuff and start the search for another dress!

        • jammers

          Shoes and undergarments make a huge difference! So do hair and posture!

          • Laura

            YES. the first time i went dress shopping i was running late, it was winter, and by the time i got to the salon all i could see in the mirror was my rudolph red nose and messy ponytail. not good.

        • Shoes could change the way you stand, which could alter how the dress looks on you as well, so maybe try it with shoes similar to what you plan to wear and see how you feel?

    • Amy March

      Does it have to be your dress? There are so many out there, maybe keep looking for one that is gorgeous on you instead of the hanger?

      • Kalë

        TBH, I might. But right now it’s my dress – I love it enough to never want to let it go, but it was inexpensive/is informal enough that I would be happy hanging onto it for a different occasion. We’ll see. But also… I’m feeling very body-acceptance about it. I like it because I like it and it’s “me”, not because it makes my body look like someone else’s body, if that makes sense.

    • Call Me Penny

      Our counselling sessions were a really nice surprise for us. I think we went into it not expecting too much, but wow were they eye opening! So so helpful for us. And an office dog!! My dream.

    • jammers

      Question! How does premarital counseling work? I’ve only heard of doing it with a priest, and we’re not religious, so your reference to PhD made my ears perk up– is this something you can do thru a regular therapist? Does insurance cover that kind of thing?

      • Kalë

        I’m not sure about everyone, but its covered for us through my Employee Assistance Program, which is part of my insurance. Yes, it’s non-religious! She is a family therapist who also sees couples at all stages, including premarital. Basically we are going to talk about our communication, family origin, finances, future-parenting, sex, and anything else that we see as a potential pothole in our relationship. To paraphrase from our counselor, “we’re here while you’re happy to make sure you know how to deal with things when you’re not happy, so you don’t have to see me in 20 years when you’re on the verge of divorce”. Today was a more informal “getting to know you” session. I know a lot of therapists do this kind of thing, and at least some form of counseling is covered under some insurance plans. Definitely look into it!

        • Mari

          We also did non-religious pre-marital counseling with a therapist in our area, and she said the exact same thing to us! Our counseling ended up being a highlight of our wedding planning process, and left us feeling even better than we already did about getting married (which seemed hard to do because we were already quite ready and happy to tie the knot.)

        • JLily

          I found someone through my EAP too, and we went once. My now-husband was super apprehensive about going in the first place, and it was very uncomfortable. She is a family therapist, but she asked us very few questions and pretty much rambled on and on about not treating each other with contempt and not like, rolling our eyes at each other?? It was weird. We never went back, but I think it would be good to do some newly-wed counseling (since we missed the pre-marital boat)! Any advice on how to actually find a good counselor through EAP?

      • CP2011

        Outside of Employee Assistance Programs, most insurers will not cover personal relationship counseling since it is not accompanying a mental health diagnosis. Even in the instance where they can find a reasonable code to bill it under, it’s really complicated to split insurance and billing between multiple patients. So basically, don’t count on it being covered.

      • Even without insurance, a lot of family therapists have sliding scale pricing for couples and pre-marital (among other issues) counseling. In the Bay Area, we were seeing about $180 for a 1.5 hour session. There’s also often group pre-marital counseling around that’s cheaper.

      • Em

        We did three sessions with my regular psychologist (who I love and have seen on and off for about 5 years) – she says she loves doing it and would happily do it full time if she could! So yes – I think at least some regular therapists will do it!

    • toomanybooks

      My dress is fitted across the tummy which I never go for in a dress because I always feel like my belly pops out too much. I decided it was fine, then tried it on with Spanx and decided that actually it really would be fine because that made such a difference! I’ve also fiiiinally given up sweets, which I’ve been meaning to do because it’s my only real vice (like, eating dessert at every meal, and APPARENTLY my 26 year old body can’t handle that as well as my 24 year old body could so now I feel like like my youth has passed me by LOL). I think the dress really does look great, it’s just a thing I’ve always been self conscious about, but the shapewear is going to ease my worries.

  • CDN

    Hey APW – can I get a perception check??

    My lovely people are hosting a bridal shower for me tomorrow; my mother was adamant that we invite my brother’s girlfriend with whom I am not close (they have quite an unstable relationship and while she’s seems perfectly nice, she also bizarrely accused me of drugging her at one point soooo I’m not really into making much of an effort), I wasn’t stoked, but whatever – big girl panties, right? Then they broke up a few weeks back, so I figured that was that. Not so, apparently. My mother noted in passing today that she was picking up this women and when I brought up the fact that “um, didn’t they break up??” the response was, that was just my brother’s perception and thus, she will be attending. Huh?? His “perception” of breaking up with his girlfriend seems pretty relevant to me! I feel very, very awkward about this – why on earth would she be attending?! – but more so because my mother seems to be completely oblivious that there would be anything odd about it!

    Realistically, it’s probably not a hill I need to die on, and I’ll simply be polite and move to the next person – but am I being childish here? Am I getting this wrong? Is this super bizarre, or not at all??

    • Jessica

      Your mom and this woman need a perception check. It’s weird.

      Can you call her and say “It was my impression that you and [brother] broke up. I’m sorry, he doesn’t feel comfortable with you being a part of the family wedding festivities and I’m going to back him up on that.”

      And then tell your mom the same thing.

      • flashphase

        Yeah, or “it seems they have some things to work out, and I don’t want to get in the middle and make it seem like I’m taking her side.”

      • CDN

        I don’t even have contact information for her, but I will likely steal that wording (cause, somehow, I don’t think “this is f*cking weird!” comes across so well…)

        • Jessica

          THAT IS FUCKING WEIRD WTF MOM?

    • Amy March

      Oh it’s super weird!! Enjoy watching it unfold.

    • Natalie

      Um, no way would my sibling’s ex-girlfriend be coming to my bridal shower, especially if she had a history of bizarre accusations against me. But that’s me.

      Also, RE: refusing to accept being broken up with: that’s behavior I associate with abusive relationships. My husband’s GF before me was unstable and emotionally and physically abusive, and she refused to accept him breaking up with her for months. To the point that he slept on the roof of his friend’s house because it was the one place he knew she wouldn’t look for him. I’d advise reaching out to your brother and making sure he’s doing ok right now, and offering any support he might need.

      • Sara

        He slept ON THE ROOF?

        • Natalie

          Yup. It was an adobe-style house with a flat roof, the type you could easily turn into a roof-top patio, so not quite as nuts as it could have been, but yeah. His reaction to the whole situation was not the healthiest.

          • Sara

            That’s taking avoidance to a different level for sure :)

          • Natalie

            Yup :-)

      • CDN

        Yes – that also something I’m concerned about, as it’s not the first time they’ve broken up only to have her show up like NOTHING was amiss – thing is, my brother *also* acted like all was good at the time. Christmas was weeeird, let me tell you.

        Regardless, though my brother and I aren’t particularly close, I will be checking in with him.

        And I have to echo Sara – THE ROOF?!

    • Ashlah

      Uh, not that’s really bizarre. Had they been together long enough that she’s considered part of the family? We have one ex-girlfriend in the family like that. Otherwise (and perhaps even still, depending on the breakup–and considering her weird behavior towards you!), it’s usually understood that partners are invited as the guest of the relative. If your brother considers them broken up, they’re broken up, and she isn’t invited.

    • Sara

      That’s…nuts. I’m sorry. If my brother and his GF broke up, there’s no way in hell I would say it was from ‘his perspective’. I don’t understand what your mother’s point is here. I’d definitely talk to your brother about that if you’re close.

    • Abby

      You are not being childish or crazy. Everything about this is super weird. Hoping for your sake it’s a big enough shower you can mostly avoid her, but don’t for a second think that you’re the one with the problem here.

    • Katharine Parker

      That’s bizarre. Is there a reason your mom is insistent that this woman is attending and that she’s still your brother’s girlfriend?

      • CDN

        My brother’s got his own mental health issues, and they have been on-again-off-again. I’m not super involved in their relationship so I don’t know the intimate details; from my (again – outside) perspective it does seem like he wants to break up with her, and has tried, and it’s just not taking (or perhaps – she’s not taking it)… It seemed pretty final this last time, so it’s kinda REALLY concerning to me that my mother’s not taking his word on this. He and my mother have their own struggles, so it may be a case of my mother not being able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak but come on – it’s his life… have some boundaries, woman!

    • idkmybffjill

      You’re not being childish but I say you call your brother. I think this should ultimately be his call.

    • idkmybffjill

      Adding to this – does your mom super love her? I had a relationship that ended, and his parents kept calling me because they were sure “he was just going through the typical Their Last Name cold feet, all the men had it! You should still keep xyz family items and come to upcoming events.” I had to be like… that may be but he is not my boyfriend and I’ll be giving those family items back to him, sorry.

    • Booknerd

      I would totally die on this hill… but first I’d contact your brother to see what his perception is, if he says they are broken up, then end of story, she’s not coming. How weird that your mother would be on the girlfriend’s side and not her sons… please update after the shower I am so curious about this!

    • jammers

      Probably not a hill to die on, but that is super bizarre. Can you talk to your brother?

    • Lexipedia

      It’s super weird that she’s coming. But also, how many people are coming to your shower? If it’s, like, 15 then she won’t even be noticed. I’d do all of the things other posters have suggested, but if it comes down to it is she the kind of person that would make a scene or would she just be one of many attendees?

    • toomanybooks

      Um, you are not wrong, this is bonkers!

    • JC

      Take copious notes, maybe set up a few hidden cameras, and then submit the story to a blog or a podcast.

  • Brooke

    3 weeks out and a few minor freak out moments happened for the first time this week. But, we just got home from getting our marriage license and I’ve got a bridal shower this weekend. Everything is starting to feel really real! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da16b5718d8d250f470e839778b9da4c216f6775e7dad5225829da2e2d8ba319.jpg

    • Katharine Parker

      You look so excited!! Yay for your marriage license!

    • Kalë

      You guys are the cutest!

    • MC

      Congrats!!! I loved picking up my marriage license with my now-husband; we made a little lunch date out of it and it kind of felt like a mini elopement. And made it feel very real!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      You are both glowing. What a great photo, and congratulations!

  • Jessa

    Thank you for the recent love and encouragement! I recently had a car accident where my bumper, fender, and 1 headlight were damaged and it was causing me so much stress. I just wanted to share how proud I am that I fixed it with LOTS of help from my brother and YouTube! I sourced out a new bumper and fender from a pick-and-pull parts place, ordered new headlights from eBay, painted them, removed my old bumper/fender/headlights, and installed the new parts. It even looks better than before because my headlights are brand new and so clear/bright. I also can do my own oil changes now without any help or guidance and I’m damn proud.

    My husband and I had a great heart-to-heart this week about where we want to live and the direction of our lives/careers, and I’m going on a little out of town trip this weekend to celebrate a dear friend…so life is MUCH better right now. Thank yous and gratitude this week goes to: people on youtube who post DIY car tutorials, patient brothers, truth-seeking journalists, yes – Terrace House! <3

    • Olive

      Superstar!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      *fist pump!*

    • louise danger

      i miss having a car tall enough that i could do my own oil changes, RIP high school jeep wrangler :'(

      congrats to you for your big accomplishment! car maintenance DIYs are so rewarding, no matter the scope of the project. “LOOK I DID THE THING” every time you go grocery shopping, or commute, or or or :D

      • Jessa

        Riiiiiight? It’s so nice to know how to do it and have physical reminders of accomplishments!

    • AmandaBee

      Badass!

  • sage

    Hey folks, I’m freaking out because of an on-going family health crisis that’s gotten bad. My cousin (who is 27, my age, we grew up together) was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of last year. After intensive chemo and a bone marrow transplant in December, the cancer seems to be cured. But there have been viral infections, pneumonia, and other complications that sent him to ICU yesterday. In just a few hours yesterday he went from having a good day to being put on a ventilator and his oxygen saturation levels plummeted to point they thought he would die last night. He made it through the night and is gradually starting to improve, but he is far from out of the woods.

    Not sure what I’m looking for by posting this today (good thoughts and prayers are certainly welcome). I couldn’t sleep last night, I’m just so scared and angry… he and my aunt have been through hell already the last few months. I just can’t believe we still might lose him, after all the progress he had made and he was so excited to announce to everyone that he was cancer free after the next scan

    • Ashlah

      I am so sorry, that sounds so scary! I’ve also had a cousin go through leukemia diagnosis and treatment at a young age, and it’s terrible. I can’t imagine going through this on the tail end of it too. Sending hope and strength for a quick, full recovery.

    • Katharine Parker

      I’m so sorry. Cancer is horrible, the complications are horrible, and I’m so sad for your cousin and your family and you.

    • Katelyn

      Huge bear hugs, hon. My sister in law is battling brain cancer and I know all too well what you’re feeling right now. After surgery and treatment, her MRI came back clear in January! But she’s still taking pill-based chemo and has had a horrible week – not eating or drinking, extreme lethargy, the works. They might admit her to the hospital this weekend. It’s been such a punch in the gut to feel like we’re starting all this up again. I feel guilty that my fiance and I have gotten engaged and bought a condo and are on top of the world while their lives are falling apart. I feel mad that I let my guard down and thought the worst was over. I’m sad for my two young nephews and niece and that I haven’t been there for them as much as I was last fall. I’m frustrated with having made so many commitments and plans and can’t rush down there instantly to help.

      Anyway. Feelings. Lots of them. I don’t really have much advice other than let yourself have them, both the good and bad ones. And you have full permission to lean HARD on your friends right now.

      Sending love and hope your way. <3

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Awwww, fuck leukemia.

      • sage

        My thoughts exactly.

    • rg223

      I’m sorry, this just sucks. Sending good thoughts to you and your cousin!

    • cml

      Ugh, ugh, ugh! I am so sorry to read this. My future in-laws were hit hard by cancer this year, and it SUCKS. (I also had the experience of being the same age as future BIL as he battled, and it kind of hit me weird.)
      Praying that he turns a corner and gets to celebrate being cancer-free so soon.

  • Olive

    I had my first etsy sale this week! I’ve been making greeting cards since I was a kid and putting the “Olive Gold Crown” on the back and opened up this shop a couple months ago. There isn’t a lot in there, but it’s so rewarding/motivating to have made a thing that someone else enjoys, and hopefully the recipient will too. Card making is literally my love language.

    I also sent out my (homemade) postcards to my senators and representative this week, and decided to get more involved at the local level by e-mailing my state senator and rep. I live in the capitol city, so I’m excited to find more ways to get involved and get to know them.

    Have a great weekend, awesome people. I’ll be livin la vida loca in my lab, hopefully finishing reading Hidden Figures and seeing the movie, and cleaning my art studio so I can take better photos of my work to post on Etsy and get more sales!!!

  • Booknerd

    We just got back from 9 days in Maui with my husbands entire family. It was supposed to be the time when we went on our “real” honeymoon, but couldn’t swing both off from work so our “real” honeymoon is likely never gonna happen and our mini moon got more official. I’m a little sad that my husband has now planned a guys trip to vegas (8th freaking time) instead of prioritizing a couples vacation for us but even after telling him how I felt it didn’t change his desire to go to vegas and while we were talking about it I just was so over arguing with him I told him just to forget about it and go on the trip. I don’t want to be resentful but when I see money we are saving going to a trip for him instead of something for us it does make me sad but I feel like I am all argued out over this issue.

    • Amy March

      I’m sorry, that really sucks.

    • Jessica

      I’d be pissed and hurt by that.

      • Booknerd

        Yeah and I expressed that to him but somehow in the conversation I ended up just acquiescing because I was partially tired of arguing and at the time it didn’t seem like that big of a deal anymore. Its contingent on if we can actually afford it though so there’s still a chance he won’t make it, I feel kinda guilty I’m hoping it doesn’t work out just for spite. Thank god for internet strangers to vent to! Focusing on the vacation we are planning after for now.

        • CMT

          Just because you acquiesced in the moment doesn’t mean it’s closed to conversation for good! You might want to try bringing it up again because it’s still bothering you. Maybe the end result won’t change but it could make you feel better?

    • Lawyerette510

      This sounds really hurtful, and also inequitable. If you’re saving money as a couple to do something together, but then he gets to spend it on something that excludes you and hurts you. Are you loosing out double just because he’s more stubborn than you are? Or is there somewhere that you’re getting to indulge yourself in some ways too?

      • Booknerd

        To be fair to my husband, he told me his plans in November, and I didn’t bring up how hurt I was until I had kind of been rolling it around in my head for a few weeks and realized how upsetting it really was to me.
        His initial proposal was to have him go on a trip and then I could go on my own trip, which is fine but with us trying to have a kid and buy a house I knew that wasn’t going to actually happen. We try really hard with our budget not to say “if you do this I get that”, instead we take expenditures on a case by case so we aren’t spending for spending’s sake.
        If we do get pregnant between now and October the trip is not going to happen, although we have stopped trying for now until I’m a few months into my new job starting next week.
        The problem we keep running into is he sees the world in such black and white terms, with so little wiggle room, and while he is incredibly kind and giving, he doesn’t seem to always have empathy towards other’s feelings. I know he’s not a selfish tool but sometimes his reactions to the feelings of others is so enraging.

    • PeaceIsTheWay

      If this is his 8th guy trip to Vegas, it sounds like he may consider going to be a commitment to his friends. I completely sympathize with being argued out over a specific issue, but could there be a way to discuss overall annual budget goals without debating the merits of his Vegas trips? I think committing as a couple to an annual couples vacation (or fancy outing, or special occasion, etc.) is an amazing idea. I can see why a couples vacation and a guys trip could be seen as ‘competing’ priorities, since they are both vacations. But thinking outside that box might help change the convo? Good luck!

      • Booknerd

        How we ended the conversation was him acknowledging my hurt feelings that he chose a guys vacation over “us” time, where his perspective was we had vaguely been talking about our next trip but because I wasn’t concrete enough it didn’t occur to him that he should factor that into his decision making. He apologized for my hurt feelings, I acknowledged that I still had some bad feelings about Vegas but he had my blessing to go. It was a step forward in how we communicate, just took a really really long time to get there. So if he does go I will be still a little peeved, more at the situation than him, and hopefully in the future we both speak up more when something is important!!

        I really really like having a community of intelligent women to talk about this stuff to, I don’t really like airing our personal grievances with our close friends as I don’t think it’s their business but having an anonymous forum and hearing other perspectives is really helpful!! Thanks APW <3

  • Her Lindsayship

    Wedding stress dream thread anyone?? I had a screwy one this week, brought to us by dress shopping last week and finding a dress that I love that is a little above budget. So in the dream I’m just walking around and chilling in my dress a couple days before the wedding (logical). I notice there’s a stain on it and decide to take it to a cleaner. The cleaner is basically a dude in a street food stall. I hand over the dress and he puts it somewhere, and then tells me it will take at least three days to clean. I say oh, nevermind, wedding’s in two days I’ll have to take that back. He goes to get it and can’t find it. The whole rest of the dream is me having a complete meltdown, screaming at this guy, crying, and just utterly not being able to deal.

    In retrospect I find it pretty hilarious, but I woke up PISSED that morning. The wedding nightmares just don’t stop.

    • PeaceIsTheWay

      Haha, I remember one terrible dream I had pre-wedding, in which I was late to my own wedding and desperately trying to rush to get ready, sloppily throwing on dress and shoes. I completely agree these are hilarious only in retrospect :)

    • Katie

      I had my second wedding stress dream this week! My fiance and I were just sitting in a normal church service and then all of a sudden, the pastor is calling us up to the front and all our friends and family and people are there and it’s a SURPRISE WEDDING! I was wearing this really bizarre all black leotard outfit and immediately started searching all over the church to find my wedding dress to no avail! I think I spent the rest of the dream/night just searching for the dress.

      • Her Lindsayship

        *insert laugh/cry emoji* This is what most of my wedding stress dreams are like. I keep having variations on it where suddenly the wedding is happening Right Now and we don’t actually have any vows written to say, or I didn’t actually get a dress yet. SURPRISE WEDDING! – ridiculous.

        • LadyJanee

          This was the subject of most of my dreams too! One I remember vividly still was one where we just decided one day that it was going to be our wedding day and so we just had the ceremony and then in between the ceremony and reception we were running through my hometown (where our wedding was IRL) trying to find food for the reception because we realised we had no catering. So my reception food was platters from the deli at my local supermarket. I woke up HORRIFIED!

    • Totch

      I’m 2 months out and they’ve started up for me! It’s all similarly mundane stuff (not that a stain is no big deal… but these aren’t the most dramatic nightmares).

      Last night it was the day of the wedding and we were getting ready together, and I realized that we’d planned to get together apart then do a first look. But here we were in the same room and the photographer was nowhere to be found, and how could I put on my dress!?!?!

      Honestly, if that happened on the day I don’t think I’d blink. As a dream? Somehow the most horrible.

    • Katelyn

      I had a dream where it was the day before the wedding and I was lounging about, relaxing and having a good time (probably with alcohol). Anyway, my sister strikes up a conversation about the wedding day timeline and I just casually say, “oh, I didn’t make one. I thought we would just figure it out as we went.” As a seriously Type A person, this is NOT like me at all! So I’m pissed at dream-Me already.

      THEN, we realize we never took care of getting table settings. Dream-Me says “Oh that’s ok, my friend Britt will pick up some paper plates at Costco on her way over tomorrow morning.” Then we realized that Costco wasn’t open at 6 AM, because apparently we were getting ready at 7 AM, and the rest of the dream is spent with dream-Me trying to shuffle around logistics so paper plates and plastic silverware could be obtained.

    • Gaby

      The last two months I kept having dreams that the ceremony kept getting postponed by an hour, then another hour, and another until it was like 10pm and everyone just had to leave. It’s funny the next day but you’re still left feeling kind of “off” afterward for a few hours haha

    • Lexipedia

      Oh gosh, I totally get the waking up angry because of something that happened in a dream. We’re “pre-engaged” but were talking about house shopping last week and I suggested that we wait and put new dishes on a registry vs. buying them now. We don’t need a ton of stuff, but I figured we could wait on nice matching dishes and let somebody buy them for us. Then I had a dream that I was at a bridal shower, apparently mine, with a ton of people I didn’t know or that I know and dislike. I opened a box that had the ugliest splotchy brown dishes that I thought must’ve been a mistake. Then I look and see that somebody has apparently gone and changed everything on the registry to completely awful things like puke green towels and monkey lamps that we would both hate. And then I realize that SO did it as a joke and I wake up really upset.

      • Totch

        When we were preengaged I had a dream that fiance proposed to me in front of (literally, because dream) everyone we’d ever met. I was so mad when I woke up that I couldn’t speak to him for hours.

    • Yael

      I keep dreaming that Trump shows up in place of the rabbi. I still have two years to go before the day.

      • toomanybooks

        My dreams (nightmares) involving Trump are so scary that I won’t even post the contents. Thankfully they have nothing to do with the wedding.

    • CP2011

      I had wedding stress dreams for at least a year following my wedding!

    • toomanybooks

      I kept having dreams that it was the wedding day but I’d only planned as much as I had in real life (so, not a lot). Now things have really come together – before I’d sent out my invitations I had a dream that no one came to the wedding! And now my invitations were sent and received and I’ve gotten a bunch of RSVPs, so I haven’t had another stress dream about the wedding… yet…

      • Her Lindsayship

        I think that’s basically what’s happening here too. I have about six months to go, so there is in fact time to do the things, but some part of my brain seems to think the wedding could just happen at any moment and why aren’t we ready yet???

        Side-note: congrats on RSVPs coming in! :) That must feel awesome.

    • nutbrownrose

      I had had only 1 wedding stress dream in my life (in which the notoriously late best man caused my groom to be 8 hours late), and that was months ago, until last night. I am blaming you ladies for last night’s “beach wedding in a castle and I’ve got these giant boots with pointy-ass heels and all the bridesmaids are supposed to hold these super complicated fans I’m putting together without directions 5 minutes before the wedding and no one will help me, and then I’m late to my own wedding and the bridesmaids are fan-less and wearing crazy colors.” Alright, you, Say Yes to the Dress and the large huckleberry margarita combined are probably equally responsible, but still. :)

    • cml

      Hah, oh man. The latest dream I had, I forgot a BUNCH of the little things I had planned for the wedding that don’t really matter, but still kind of bummed me out because I’d made an effort for nothing. (Framed signs I’ve made, markers for the guest book, and a few others.)
      Then, the hair stylist was late. I’m not sure she ever showed up, actually.
      Then, I realized I’d forgotten to buy a new sticky bra (strapless/backless) for under my dress, and I asked my bridesmaids if anyone could run out to Target to buy me one since I was already in my dress. How I was already in my dress but hadn’t realized I didn’t have a bra, I don’t know, but I digress. One of my bridesmaids then lectured me on how I was using the wrong word for the type of bra I wanted, instead of helping me, and was just an overall B. I woke up SO ANGRY at her lol.

  • Katelyn

    Thanks to all for the feedback on wedding colors earlier this week! The wedding decor is becoming increasingly exciting in my mind’s eye, which is something I had been struggling with. Hope all the feedback-ers get a chance to see this!

    Here’s the (potential) venue again:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2aa533ab1acdca1ccebdb8a03d4031341000a4de0f94765a6e64ce985d1dc26d.jpg
    (Definitely need to go with non-white linens, as the white makes the walls look really dingy and old. I think ivory and grey are on the short list.)

    And here’s a couple color schemes I put together –

    Winter:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da8342045366897c58a8cd5dbf7cbe86721d908b94283a621ee618f043047582.png
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0cec4d7ae3624085de0946765dfbfbadc76ef1c232346f1924f04b2a7c5073c.png

    Summer:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e83fb895c2506b4afd0a0c3639a269aa1196b99457c3238d0315b6fad5cc50a.png
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0e8886a00da6b24d45c726a52a0d734b3bcd00b1cef4732c13f4bbc3f3408ebd.png

    I love the idea of lots of greenery and candles – found this inspiration on Pinterest! Can do a lighter green for summer or a darker green in winter.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b08a9206e4365c1aa5217742fd535c72ff02fcb936bcda3421bc54f8f57b02a.jpg

    I also found a company that has worked with the venue before and it looks like there’s a lot of potential for dressing up the stage! We’re getting a live band so the stage is going to be a big focal point.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b2427d997f94a71e5202594ef79f7cbae66a164ceed2421759f99916acce985.jpg

    WHEE for the fun parts of wedding planning!

    • Lawyerette510

      This venue is gorgeous and I love those colors!!!

    • Hayley

      Beautiful!

    • Essssss

      I really enjoyed the threat you were on about this earlier this week, and I love the colors and ideas you’ve come up with since then! FUNNN. I love all the color palettes and especially the summer ones.

    • S

      I love the summer one with the orange in it! Looks so good with the bits of orange at the venue!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I love your venue, and you cannot go wrong with any of those color combos!!

    • So wonderful! I think your all of your color ideas are great! And I was thinking before and now that blue could work well in there; your dark blue is nice, but I bet a brighter one could maybe work too?

  • Jessica

    Good news on Operation Help Husband!

    Last weekend was a huge turning point for him. He came home every day of the week, he communicated with me, he came out for my birthday celebration (!!!) and took the dog for walks. Tuesday and yesterday he went to the doctor, was prescribed an anti-depressant, got a full physical (about fucking time), and is working to get his FMLA paperwork lined up so he can do a more intensive recovery program aimed at veterans.

    He still freaks out and has panic attacks, and I was worried he wouldn’t make it home last night. But he did come home.

    I really want him to go into the intensive program, because that is where he will be able to find ways to express himself and his feelings in a constructive way, and they encourage family members to come. We would be able to talk about my pain and what I’ve been through in the context of healing, without him reacting and leaving (as has been the pattern so far). This is good stuff!

    [FYI background: my husband has been going through a depressive episode for months, won’t talk to anyone, has spent most nights not at home/riding public transportation all evening, and has stopped communicating with his family. He also cheated on me, and has been a hot fucking mess for a long time.]

    • Eenie

      Yay! This is such a great update :)

    • Kalë

      Oh my gosh, this is huge! I am so happy for you and your family. It is a long way forward, but sounds like a great first couple steps.

      • Mariedbell

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    • Jess

      OMG YES.

      I am so glad that he is being able to take major steps. Going out with a group INCLUDING you? Getting onto a pharmaceutical? Identifying a program that would also involve you?

      I am still hoping hard that the general trend is up, even if there are missteps (freak outs, panicking) along the way.

      • Jessica

        As long as there are more steps forward than backward, I’m good! It’s the no steps anywhere that was terrible.

        • Jess

          Agreed. As long as there’s some attempt at progress, I always feel much better than when we’re just spinning wheels.

        • I am glad to hear he has made some positive actions and has prioritized you (especially on your birthday!). Thinking of you and hoping things continue to improve…

    • NolaJael

      I just teared up. So happy for a little light shining into this darkness.

    • rg223

      I’ve been thinking about you a lot – this is a great update! Hugs!

    • nosio

      This is so wonderful to hear – sending you lots of happy hugs!

    • Kira

      !!!!!!!!

    • Vanessa Evans

      This is great news! I was rooting for him to get help from your last posting. My husband also suffers from the double whammy of depression and anxiety and was in denial over it for months! kicker: he was lined up to take over primary parenting when I went back to work (Cdn Mat leave split 7:5 months). He got help – feels way better – and had the best time for our first week in switched roles.

  • We saw the lactation consultant on Monday and discovered that Phi had both a lip & a tongue tie. No one had ever looked at her mouth, they just saw her latching and said she was doing great. We decided to get her ties revised and she’s nursing way better now, and gaining weight well! I’m so relieved that we got this taken care of early.

    In sucky news, my grandmother passed away last week, and her funeral is tomorrow. I really wanted to be there but with Phi being so young, my mom really didn’t want me to go, and I really didn’t want to be away from her for ~36hrs (I’d have to fly to the funeral). I’m also so sad that my grandmother never got to meet my baby, when we last talked on the phone she was so excited to meet her. My only comfort is that my grandmother is no longer in pain and is in a better place.

    • Eh

      My daughter had tongue and lip ties too. I’m glad you were able to get them revised so quickly and that she is nursing and gaining weight!

    • Jessica

      I’m so sorry about your grandmother, and that you won’t be able to attend the funeral. That must be really hard.

      I’m now googling what a lip & tongue tie are.

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother <3

    • Lawyerette510

      Condolences about your grandmother. Sending internet hugs.

    • raccooncity

      So sorry for your loss. My grandparents died a long time ago (actually we have no living grandparents between Mr. RC and me) but I am still sad on a regular basis that my little guy won’t ever meet them. Kit is named after one of them and I try to tell him stories about them when I can, even now when he’s only a newborn. Oral history is so enriching to babies and children (and adults!) and talking about family history is a great topic. Tell your little one lots of grandma stories this week.

    • AP

      So sorry for your loss. That’s tough <3

    • Danielle

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Eileen

      Glad you got the nursing issues worked out—I hope they hadn’t caused much stress.

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m sure even just the announcement of the birth brought her joy. It’s hard to not be able to be at an event like that, but at least it’s for such a wonderful reason.

    • Essssss

      I lost my grandma six months before my wedding and take a lot of comfort in the fact that she knew it was happening, and that I was happy. I’m sure your grandma felt that way about the baby, too. Condolences and internet hugs. Maybe there is a way that you could honor your grandma at the same time as the funeral, like lighting a candle or writing down memories? Or someone who could video the service for you?

      And I’m so glad the LC helped you out!!

    • Mary Jo TC

      My boys had tongue ties! I’m so glad you got it figured out. It made a huge difference for us too.

      And I’m so sorry about your grandmother. :-(

    • rg223

      I’m sorry for your loss – I agree with the others who suggested you could do something on your own at the same time to honor her, that might bring you some comfort.

    • louise danger

      i’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother. if you’d like, i’ll say a prayer for her at church on sunday. and if not, i’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

      i’m glad little phi is doing better! hopefully the trend will continue! :)

    • AGCourtney

      Glad you were able to get that figured out! My daughter was born with a tongue tie as well. Luckily, though, hers was caught the first day. I hurt for a week from that first nursing, though! Props to you. I’m glad to hear nursing is going better for you and Phi now.

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandmother.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so, so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m glad you’re comforted by the fact that she’s no longer in pain; that was my only comfort when I lost my grandma last month as well. Hugs to you.

  • flashphase

    I also want to shout out Meg for calling attention to the fears felt by Jewish and Holocaust survivor family members. There’s been an uptick in anti-Semitism since the inauguration (and election… and campaign…) that is truly frightening yet not getting a lot of attention. Sometimes I worry we are being left out of the conversation about religious persecution. Thank you for being a voice for Jewish women and Americans.

    Despite all the bad news this week, I felt a little cheered by all the resistance I’ve seen and participated in. I try to remember that when I’m feeling discouraged.

    Also, we might go into contract on a house next week (fingers crossed)! The only downside is probably postponing our honeymoon. If you planned/postponed a later honeymoon, how did you make sure it actually happened?

    • Kalë

      Yes, thank you Meg!

    • toomanybooks

      Yeah, especially after Trump made a speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day and didn’t mention Jewish people/anti-Semitism at all???

  • POCFem

    My FH isn’t the most woke person but before the current climate it wasn’t that big of a deal since he is a good person to everyone and the only* time I had to actually call him out on something was when he thought that it would be best, for its own sake, if our hypothetical child wasn’t a white male. During the election and right now though, he can’t understand why I’m scared. He thinks everything will be fine since we’re in a diverse area near a major city. Earlier this week, he took some initiative and actually read some articles on white privilege and he doesn’t think he has any. Apparently he thinks that the discrimination the “rednecks” (which he is not) somehow invalidates the whole premise of white privilege. It was also a bit strange that he only came across articles by white men. This is starting to worry me. I think he senses there are certain advantages of being a man since when I vent about certain things he makes quips about it being because I’m a woman. He just can’t wrap his head around the race thing. I just don’t know how to get through to him. I think he just has a reflex reaction to the word “privilege”. He knows that there are disadvantages that other people experience but he doesn’t think that leads to him having “white privilege”. I even pointed out ways in which I’m privileged and he still didn’t want to consider he might be. I don’t even know what lead to him reading articles on “white privilege” since I have never used the term around him.

    (*besides when he said he hated feminists to which i told him he was marrying one. don’t really blame him since he’s exposed to teenage girls at work who can be a bit extreme.)

    • Ashlah

      He knows that there are disadvantages that other people experience but he doesn’t think that leads to him having “white privilege”.
      Would it help to frame privilege as simply the absence of those disadvantages?

    • BSM

      This sounds so hard, and I’m sorry you’re going through it in this awful environment.

      I think the way to address it depends on 1) your desired outcome and 2) what kinds of things move him.

      1) Is the main thing for you that you want to hear him say he understands that he some privilege? Do you want more than that – like having him do the work of dismantling the system white supremacy? Something else altogether?

      2) Is he data guy? There’s toooons of good data out there about how people’s names on their resumes help/hurt their chances at getting an interview for a job. More apt to hear emotional stories? Perhaps reading some books written by POC about their experiences would help. More visual? Try watching 13th together.

      Unfortunately, I think for most people, coming around to the idea of their privilege is not something that happens overnight. I’m 27, mostly white, and only really had things click for me a couple years ago. I’ve been working on feminism with my husband for 6 years, and he only really got it in the last 6 months. It’s a sustained effort with shitty, incremental progress to be sure. I always think of Rachel’s tweet, which I think someone mentioned last week: Behind every woke man is an exhausted feminist you need to thank.

      Best of luck!

    • MC

      A common starter essay for understanding white privilege is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: https://nationalseedproject.org/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack. It’s not perfect but I found it really accessible when I was a baby social justice activist to consider the smaller ways my whiteness benefited me (band-aids are the same color as my skin!) as a foundation for realizing the bigger ways that it benefits me. That and just seeking out and listening to perspectives of POC.

      • emmers

        The bandaid thing is an accessible fact that has helped me start to explain privilege to people new to the idea.

    • JLC

      A way to frame privilege which I’ve found really helpful is: If you have the privilege of not experiencing a certain situation, you are likely to be underestimating how difficult it is. I think this helps get people a little “unstuck” from the place of — are you just telling me I’m privileged so that I feel guilty about it? What good does it do to know that I have privilege? (Well, for starters, it helps you re-examine your own perspective on the world.)
      But actually, re-reading your comment, it sounds like he does acknowledge racial privilege? You said “he thought it would be best, for its own sake, if our hypothetical child wasn’t a white male” — was that a typo? Did you mean if it WAS a white male? Anyway, it sounds like that would have been an entry to a conversation about how some groups do have it easier than others.
      Otherwise, maybe a way to get him to think about privilege is to envision life as a stay-at-home-dad vs a stay-at-home-mom. In certain areas, SAHMs have privilege — they can watch their kid at the playground without being suspected of being pedophiles, they can meet lots of other people in the same position as them, etc. How would he feel if he was complaining about how hard it was to make friends as a stay-at-home-dad and a SAHM told him, “oh just go to the playground and try harder!” Wouldn’t he be like, “woah, you are not understanding the ways in which society makes it harder for me?” In other words, he’d be pointing out the SAHMs privilege.

      • POCFem

        No that wasn’t a typo. This was pre-Trump running and his train of thought was that white men are going to have it rough in the next few years with people being too politically correct. Which is why I had to call him out on it. It was awkward since we were in the middle of a restaurant with some friends so I couldn’t get too into it. So far our debates just circle back to him saying that people think he’s a drug dealer or something because he has long hair and me telling him he can change his hair though whereas I can’t change my skin color. He then says he shouldn’t have to change his hair and me telling him just because he doesn’t want to doesn’t mean it’s not a choice he is making.

        • JLC

          Oh. That is…not an ideal starting point for a conversation about privilege, to say the least.

        • toomanybooks

          Whoooooaaaaaaaaa noooooooooooooooooo nooooooooo he thinks white men are going to have it rough because of “PC Culture”???

          Red flaaaaaaaaaaaaag

          Also what is up with a bunch of white dudes deciding they’re salt of the earth, men of the people who get discriminated against as if they’re just discovered Marxism, but actually they’re just reeeeally reaching for ways to think of/market themselves as not privileged?? I do think white guys often hear “privilege” and think it means like, Gossip Girl-level wealth, and they think the word doesn’t apply to them because they’re not privileged **for a white man**, financially, or whatever.

          Currently, I have no time for people who are okay with Trump (and, following that, the “alt-right,” Nazis, white supremacism, etc etc) or think that politics aren’t that big a deal and don’t affect anyone and people should stop complaining. It seems like a fundamental lack of understanding and a fundamental lack of empathy. And it feels like people are supporting a modern day Hitler. Maybe I’m just lucky because I’m a lesbian and generally queer women are also pretty liberal. But if this is important to you… if you feel strongly about these things and he not only doesn’t care, but belittles them…? I feel like that’s not great.

          I mean, it doesn’t look great to me, but I’m a total outsider to the situation and you are engaged to him, so I’m assuming… the good outweighs the bad?

    • POCFem

      Coworker just told me about a basketball game in his hometown being disrupted by the people in the bleachers shouting “build the wall” and calling the african american “ashy knees”. This was a predominantly latino/black team vs a white team and it’s about half an hour from where FH lives. This is scary guys.

      • Jess

        Yes. That is scary. Very very scary, and unacceptable.

    • raccooncity

      Ok, just to be devil’s advocate here, my mom dated a guy who had these sorts of opinions at the beginning and I found it difficult to be around him but she didn’t mind not sharing political opinions with her partner so I disengaged from that area while I was visiting her.

      Over time, for whatever reason (maybe the political climate, maybe feeling more comfortable that he’d ‘won’ in some debate because everyone stopped engaging with him) he became way more radicalized. The intensity of his beliefs became sort of scary. I know that those people to be engaged with on some level in order to change, but I also did not want it in my personal life. He thought other races were ruining our country and the “better off not being white” comment could have passed his lips easily. He also had a weird obsession with Nazis. Many many red flags. He also asked my mother to stop hanging out with her friends who he thought were too left wing. I don’t think everyone is like that, but I see a lot more than just your partner being simply uninformed in what you wrote.

      • POCFem

        That sort of possibility is what’s worrying me and we’re getting married in a few months. His reaction to the whole political atmosphere is the only thing that tipped me off to there might being a problem.
        In casual conversation he’s talked highly of various women in his life/work and certain ones being better than their male counterparts. He has a mixed group of friends he likes to hang out with every week. When friends asked him what “his type is” he went on a whole spiel how there is no such thing as type and if you believe that then it’s just the hottest person who happens to be into you. He was one of the few guys on the dating sites that wasn’t bothered by me having a higher degree than him. Him identifying as more “egalitarian” than “feminist” was never an issue for me considering I’ve encountered more than a few male “feminists” who were anything but.

    • Kate

      Well a good starter would be reading something other than the white experience from white voices. I think until he understands that other people’s experiences have not been the same as his experiences, it’s gonna be real hard to wrap his little dude brain about WHY his experiences have been different. Also, I highly doubt “extreme” teenage girls are to blame for his casual misogyny. If anything, I wanna give those girls some high fives.

      • POCFem

        TBH I was really put off by feminism when I was in college. I took a women’s leadership course and it was too extreme for me with it’s wanting to change history to herstory, saying calling our breast mammaries made us akin to animals since they’re mammals, and nude female self photographers.

        I really need to look up articles. I don’t understand how the only ones he came across would be written by white men. He is the one who brought it up as a possible issue since otherwise I would have never known he had only read articles by white men.

        • Laura

          why don’t you print out some articles from apw? there are plenty of kick ass articles here, written by diverse women. and he should read ‘black like me’. it’s a short, simple read about a white journalist who used medication to darken his skin in the 50s to experience life as a black man. it is a true story, and electrifying – if your husband reads that and still shrugs about injustices minorities face…then it’s not ignorance, it’s wilful blindness.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I could have written this. Sigh. What helped last night was telling him to separate the way he reacts to me from the actual (political) content of our discussion. So if he thinks that liberals are over reacting to this regime, he still shouldn’t tell me I’M overreacting because that’s minimizing my feelings. He still gets stuck because he has a hard time being supportive of me without feeling like he’s agreeing with my opinions–and even if he could pull off that trick I’m not sure I’d let him because I want him to agree with my opinions, dammit. My husband resists the rhetoric of “privilege” even though when I break it down and take away that word he generally agrees with the ideas behind it. He says he doesn’t like it because he sees liberals use it to shut down discussion. His example was an activist saying that white men aren’t allowed to have an opinion about race or something. Which, I think I understand where that person was coming from, and maybe they could have put it better, but I wish my husband had the humility to listen to that person for a while instead of getting so offended and butthurt. Solidarity, sister.

    • RNLindsay

      My husband rebels agains the word “privilege” as well. I’ve said this on here before, but I just keep quoting Rachel Wilkerson Miller (former APW writer, has her own blog therewm.com where she posts great articles that might be useful for your partner to read) – “behind every woke man is an exhausted feminist you need to thank”. It IS exhausting! But my hope is that all the conversations, all the little pokes and prods and sending of articles will slowly over time reshape his frame of mind.

    • Totch

      Last week I was talking to my (generally cool about this stuff) fiance about the outfit I planned to wear for my most-important-work-day-of-the-year. I was talking about what color of stockings to wear, and when I called them hose he laughed.

      It turned into a knock down drag out fight about how I hate when, in the middle of a normal conversation, I am reminded that I’m a woman and that’s different/funny. When I said it’s shitty that he’d giggle either because ‘haha sex workers’ or ‘haha girl clothes are funny,’ he got angry and said that he should be comfortable saying whatever he’s thinking around me and I should know his intentions aren’t bad. I replied that I should be able to say what I’m thinking too, and that includes being able to have a serious conversation about professional attire like goddamn pantyhose. That, he understood.

      Make it personal if you need to. If he can’t process it at that level, just check in on how that relates to your priorities.

    • http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/the-pencilsword-on-a-plate
      I think this comic is amazing & really illustrative.

    • cml

      Thank you for writing this. I was trying to figure out how to say something similar about my FH. He has actually acknowledged his privilege before, and he really is such a good guy, but it’s so HARD. He just…doesn’t care…because it doesn’t really impact him. We got into it the other night over this and I just don’t know how to talk to him and be productive. It doesn’t help that he is largely surrounded by family and friends who are total assholes about all of this stuff – and when compared to them, he is a lot more open-minded and progressive. hah.
      I just keep telling myself that he’s grown so much just in the 3 years I’ve known him, and he’s bound to keep growing and learning and waking up. At least he doesn’t like Trump. :/

  • Call Me Penny

    I was on my way to a friend’s bachelorette weekend this afternoon when all of a sudden was more sick than I have ever been before. Completely out of nowhere so I think it must have been something I ate, though I generally have a strong stomach. I’m feeling a lot better now and might try to get there tomorrow, but a last minute trip at this stage is likely to cost a fortune. My husband is out of town for the weekend too so I’ve found myself with an unexpected weekend of downtime ahead of me. I’m sad to be missing the chance to celebrate my friend and get some quality time in with her as well as meet some
    of her other friends, but I’m going to try and make the most of it. Even if that means staying in all weekend in my fluffy robe and doing absolutely nothing!

    • Olive

      Feel better soon! I kind of love when I’m home alone…hope it’s so relaxing!

      • BSM

        Same haha. I love/hate SATC now, but that episode about Secret Single Behavior really resonated with me. Also, alone time is amazing.

      • Call Me Penny

        Thank you! I tend to travel at the weekends a lot more than my husband (all his friends are local, mine less so!), so it’s rare that I find myself completely on my own. I think the last time was two years ago, apart from the few days I had here just before our wedding which were there own special kind of chaos. Now that I’m feeling a bit better I’m starting to look forward to it!

  • Kat

    I’ve been looking forward to Happy Hour all week because I had a big breakthrough in my relationship and couldn’t wait to share with people I knew would get it! (wall of text incoming, sorry!)
    In true APW fashion, this article (http://apracticalwedding.com/how-to-get-engaged/) last week, as well as the discussion that followed in the comments, really resounded with me and what I have been feeling lately. My BF and I have been together for 5 years, we own a home together, we discuss all the big decisions in our lives, etc. etc. But earlyyyy on in our relationship, he made some comment about not understanding why people want to get married. His parents have a very strained marriage and he has definitely been affected by it. I’ve carried that comment with me for years, and somehow in my brain it turned into “I have to convince this person to marry me” (this is all part of bigger issues of mine which, yes, I have addressed in therapy and will probably continue to need to address…forever.) Every once in a while, my mom or my best friend will ask if we’ve discussed marriage and I’ll say “yeah, sort of, he knows what I want, blah blah blah” but the truth is we haven’t. Not really.
    Sooo. I read that APW article and something finally clicked. I spent a week basically writing a script of what I wanted to say and building up the courage. On Wednesday while we were cooking dinner I finally took a deep breath and told him I wanted to have a Grown Up conversation. I’m sure I mostly babbled and I ended the whole thing by shouting “And…Feminism! The Patriarchy!” but it was so worth it because then we were able to discuss his feelings about marriage (he doesn’t remember ever saying he never wanted to get married, and YES he does want to marry me), what that timeline looks like for us (years, not months. 1.5-2 years seems to be the sweet spot), what goals we need to accomplish before that happens (specifically, we both have some debt we’re hoping to have a better handle on), and what we need the other person to do to help get to that point together (me: stop panicking and ignoring money stuff, face it head on and him: keep me in the loop on his plans because I don’t want the trajectory of my life to be a surprise to me).

    I am so so grateful for this community and their support and wisdom. I feel about a million times better about how much control I have over my life. I told my sister and a couple of my friends about the conversation and while they were happy for me, they didn’t understand why I don’t want to have a surprise engagement.

    TLDR: I had a Grown Up conversation with my BF that was a long time coming and we are definitely in the pre-engaged category now!

    • Lawyerette510

      Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BSM

      YAY YOU!!!!!! That is seriously awesome!!

    • Kalë
    • Her Lindsayship

      “…they didn’t understand why I don’t want to have a surprise engagement.” I don’t understand THEM. Congrats for having that very important discussion and taking some control over the situation! Soooo much better than waiting and wondering. Especially considering you guys own a home together – obviously he’s not that opposed to commitment, because that’s a big one! Hope it continues to go well for you two.

      • Kat

        Lol I agree. My best friend was like “I’m happy you feel better but don’t you want like a big elaborate surprise proposal”
        Me: “OMG NO please don’t suggest that to him. NO.”

        The house thing freaked my mom out a lot. It’s kind of hard to explain. We’ve always been very committed to this relationship. He’s my person. Neither of us is going anywhere. But actually being married is an important part of it to me, and I wan’t sure he was on the same page. He’s not one to rock the status quo, and I can imagine him being like “this is fine, why would we need to be married.” But turns out I was wrong, he’s just trying to get his life together to a degree he’s comfortable with first.

    • Ashlah

      Way to go! I’m glad you got it all out in the open, it sounds like a great conversation.

    • Gaby

      That’s huge, congrats!

    • Jess

      1) GO YOU
      2) I’m relieved I am not the only one to end a conversation with my significant other by yelling “FEMINISM! THE PATRIARCHY!”

      • Kat

        I feel like this is how I end a lot of conversations these days.

        • Evelynbjohnson

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj127d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !mj127d:
          ➽➽
          ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash127HomeVisionGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj127d:….,…….

    • Sara

      I am very happy for you! It takes real bravery to face an issue head on.

      But off topic, I clicked the link that you put in there and it went to the best ‘page not found’ I’ve ever seen.

    • toomanybooks

      Oh yay!
      I once dated a girl who early on expressed disdain for marriage and immediately I was sad because I knew we would eventually break up. (After that I was sad because she was a total jerk to me and I knew we would eventually break up. Eventually, I broke up with her. It made me so happy to be the one to do it. But all this is really beside the point lol.)

      Anyway, the topic (in theory) of marriage came up with the next girl I was dating and I made it very clear that marriage was important to me. I don’t really remember what she said. But she and I are currently getting sooo close (well, four months!) to our wedding date! And she was suuuuper excited/ready/hyped to get engaged and is so excited to get married.

      • Christina McPants

        Solidarity for being the dumper! I once had a feeling that the guy I was dating was on the verge of ending it. He had been absolutely horrible to me throughout the relationship and I was not going to let him be the rejecter as well! So literally the first thing I said when I saw him after “hi,” was “I don’t want to do this anymore.” He was the dumpee. My one victory in that relationship.

        • cml

          I once dated a guy on and off a few times, and when it finally ended for the last time, I was 99% okay with it being done but 150% pissed off that he dumped me before I dumped him. lol So I totally get the victory feeling!

    • Kira

      Awesome!!!

  • BSM

    I took a new job in August, and so far things have been going well. I’ve gotten great feedback about all my work thus far and am enjoying being at the company.

    However, I found out through backchannels that they restructured how bonuses are given out, and I will now only receive a 5% bonus, when I was told at the time I accepted the offer that bonuses are typically 10-15% of your salary. This was important because I had an offer from another company for more money, so I was able to negotiate a better salary and was assured that with the 10-15% bonus, I would actually be making more at the company I’m currently at.

    Other perhaps useful info: I think this partly because the company has developed a more rigorous “grouping structure” defined by capabilities you should demonstrate to be at each level. I’m guessing I’ve been placed in the lowest level because I’m an EA, even though I really should be in the next one up based on the capabilities listed. So they aren’t even following their own guidance around that…

    I’ll get this info from my managers next week. How should I address my disappointment? I’m planning to bake it into a larger conversation around how to get a promotion during our next round of reviews in the summer, but I’m not sure how hard (or not) to press on this.

    • Essssss

      Do you know you’ve been placed in the lowest grouping structure or are you assuming? For me this would be the place to push, especially if bonuses are based on grouping, because you can have a very evidence-based discussion about how your qualifications line up with the groupings. Unfortunately, I’ve often found that you have to be overqualified to get the minimums and such, but its a good place to point something out based on facts rather than feelings. If bonus ranges were listed in your offer, or negotiations in writing, that could also be a point to press. I guess I’d say press, respectfully and professionally, once you’ve heard everything from the front channels. And try to express your disappointment in a constructive/action-based manner. “I’m feeling disappointed because I was expecting x,y,z based on conversations a,b,c. While I understand that company policies change, how can I continue to get compensation I was expecting? When can I expect to see an increase in my bonus or a promotion? What specific things would need to happen?” Get things in writing too to refer to in other years. If they can’t give you what you expected, can you push for an increase to your professional development budget, annual leave, or something else?

      Two books that always help me: “Women Don’t Ask” about advocating for ourselves and closing the pay gap, and “Getting to Yes” about negotiating from interests rather than positions, a sometimes more constructive and less confrontational way to go.

  • Katharine Parker

    Does anyone have advice on what to look for in a day of coordinator? I spoke to one person on the phone yesterday and I have two more phone calls lined up next week. I want someone else to deal with stuff on the wedding day, like if the bus to take people from the hotel to the church doesn’t arrive.

    The person I talked to yesterday seemed to have mostly corporate event experience and I think she wants to move into wedding planning, so her quote was roughly half of other, more experienced planners’. She was fine, but not inspiring. I’m hoping talking to the other planners will help me feel out someone I gel with, but another part of me is like, you just need an event manager; take the best price. Advice??

    • Vanessa

      We’re not quite yet to this stage so I’d love to see any advice you get too!

    • ZLMT

      I think it depends on whether feeling connected with her is important to you. It is nice to like the people you hire, but if it won’t stress you out to have someone newer to wedding planning/the price is way better then maybe she would be fine. I liked my DOC a lot, and felt like it was important that we had the same vision/were on the same page about things. Moreover, I had confidence that she’d be able to do what I needed her to do. On the other hand, my caterer was super competent and her food was delicious but I found her kinda cold and not as responsive as I wanted. I don’t regret hiring her, but it was definitely a source of stress and resulted in a lot of carefully worded emails.

  • Jessica

    Is Disqus acting up for anyone? It won’t post new comments, I have to refresh the page. Sometimes it’ll eat a post, then I refresh again and can find it.

    • penguin

      I’m seeing the same thing

    • Gaby

      Same

    • Ashlah

      It’s been like this on and off for me for weeks, but today has been the WORST. I’m honestly sitting here raging at it.

      • BSM

        SAME.

      • Jess

        same.

      • Eenie

        Just let me participate in happy hour Disqus! Please!

      • Jessica

        I’M SO MAD AT IT RIGHT NOW

      • Totch

        Thanks, I thought it was just my internet!

      • Olive

        SAME.

    • raccooncity

      Same

    • Ahhh! I’ll pass this on to our developer! We’re in the middle of a rework of the whole site, and hopefully that will address this. Hang in there with us!

  • Vanessa

    Rant time: someone stole my dry cleaning this week and it’s going to eat up a decent chunk of wedding savings because I now have to replace 3 suits. I have to wear a suit every day this time of year, and I get my cleaning picked up and dropped off from my apartment building because there are no cleaners near me open past 5. Apparently it was taken out of the entrance to our building before the dry cleaner got there to pick it up, so someone literally stole my dirty laundry.

    • Jessica

      wtf? That really sucks!

    • idkmybffjill

      omg I would die, I am so sorry. What are your feelings on credit cards? I have a banana card and the rate is fairly low and the sales are unbelievable. This might be a moment to put those on credit and then pay them off once the wedding is done?

      • Vanessa

        I have a kind of rocky history with credit cards so it’s not the route for me, sadly. I’ve worked really hard in the last few years to turn my finances around and I’m proud to say that I have the money, I just don’t want to have to spend it this way :(

        • Amy March

          Do you have renters insurance? My policy would cover this. Assuming you rent that is.

          • Vanessa

            We own, and I think the deductible on our homeowners’ insurance would be high enough to make filing a claim not worth it :(

    • BSM

      Ugh! I’m sorry that happened! Last year we were renovating our bathroom and had to buy an extra box of tile separately from our original order, and someone stole it off our front porch. It felt like we were just spending money hand over fist to get our house ready to sell at the time, so I totally feel you.

      Is picking out new suits a small silver lining? That sounds kinda fun.

      • Vanessa

        Yeah, it hurts to add a line to the budge “replace stolen property”.

        It’s a liiiiittle bit of a silver lining, but I try to buy my clothes secondhand, mostly on eBay. That means that the selection is a lot more limited, and I may have to wait a while for the right size/cut/price to be available, and in the meantime I guess I just have to wear like 8 times more deodorant bc I’ll be wearing my few suits left a lot more frequently.

        • Eenie

          Ugh. If it’s the underarm area that is the biggest concern, you can put pantyliners on the area that gets gross. I do this so I don’t have to dry clean my interview suit as often. May help as a stop gap measure until you can replace them. That just really sucks overall.

          If you’re worried about the same thing happening in the future, some grocery stores offer pickup/dropoff service for dry cleaning.

          • Vanessa

            Oo that is a good idea with the pantyliners. Thanks!!

        • KK

          Not sure if you’ve already heard of it, but thredup.com is an online consignment shop that I’ve had a lot of success with (great prices, everything I received was like-new quality) But they seem to only offer blazers and dress pants, not matching suits, so not sure that would work for you.

          • Vanessa

            Oh yeah I’m all over ThredUp. But you’re right it’s tricky with suits because of the matching. I’ve found all of the stuff I’ve gotten from them is great, but sometimes their measurements and colors are a little off.

            In general though I’m so so glad to see some of these resale/secondhand sites doing so well!

    • Emily

      I would be so furious! I had this happen to me once, luckily my renter’s insurance covered it. Will you still have a deductible if you have a police report (I obviously have no idea how home owner’s insurance works)

  • Lawyerette510

    I’ve been really struggling the past few months, but I finally feel like I’m getting unstuck. I’m perpetually grateful to this site and the community to be somewhere I can come to share, and feel empowered, and sometimes escape into glitter and other people’s wedding plans.

    As for the getting unstuck piece:

    Last weekend was a three day meeting for a project I’ve worked on for a long time with a professional organization, I got to spend three days with some really awesome fellow professionals working and laughing, and it really reminded me why I love my work.

    The spin bike I ordered for home came while I was out of town attending a training, I arrived home last night and Mr. Lawyerette had it all set up, so I was able to ride this morning before jumping into work. It is amazing how much better cardio makes me feel, and I’ve pretty much taken down all the barriers to do it now that the bike is here.

    I’m actively seeking a therapist (anyone with recs in Oakland, Emeryville or Berkeley, feel free to leave them here) I have preliminary calls schedule with two potential therapists next week, one of which accepts my insurance.

    I attended a really great three day training on conducting Title IX investigations on college campuses. I’ve been investigating workplace conduct for a long time, but the sexual misconduct of Title IX is new to me. I learned about a trauma informed approach, including signs of trauma, and it further emphasized how right of a decision it is for me to start counseling. Also, it has made me see I can do the Title IX work, although I’ll need to engage in a lot of self care to do that.

    Anyway, that’s the update from the Lawyerette.

    • Katherine

      Fellow lawyer here taking a moment to gush over good trainings. A lot of CLE can be so dull, but the good ones make me feel empowered to do what I do and like I’m providing valuable services. Very exciting that you’re looking into Title IX work, and I’m glad you’re keeping up the self-care to make it happen.

      • Lawyerette510

        It’s so true, a good training makes all the difference. I teach CLE at a week-long training institute once a year (that according to the feedback from participants is a great week and I enjoy teaching because it’s like summer camp for investigators), but to get to attend a really great training as a student was so refreshing. What area do you practice?

        • Katherine

          Broadly, administrative law with a specific focus on education law. Practically, I do a little of everything – contract review, administrative hearings, rule review and revision, and the occasional civil trial (currently prepping for one that hopefully won’t get past summary judgment, if it even gets there). It’s also likely that I’ll handle a criminal appeal for the state sometime in the next year. What about you? I feel like you’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t remember.

          • Lawyerette510

            Wow! I really admire those who practice with such breadth. I am nearly exclusively focused on impartial fact-finding investigations for the workplace, usually related to equal employment opportunity issues but also some other issues as well (mix of private-sector, public-sector and nonprofit employers), with the goal of incorporating Title IX investigations. I also conduct workplace harassment prevention training for employers. I like being in a more neutral role.

  • Rebecca

    Question time for all you knowledgeable folks! We’re having our wedding in 3 weeks (eeeeee!), it’ll be about 66 people all up. It’s at a private house which has two bathrooms, one accessible from outside, and one right inside, along a corridor. I would rather just have the former available to people – half the bathrooms to worry about, no heels on the wooden floors etc – but I’m worried that it won’t be enough and people will end up queueing.
    How many bathrooms do I need for that many people? It’s in the Australian bush so some of the men will undoubtedly pee behind a tree when they need it, but do I also need two bathrooms available?
    Thank you!

    • Jessica

      Sometimes, especially with booze flowing, two bathrooms in my house are not enough for a party of 20ish people. You will need two bathrooms.

      • Rebecca

        Alrighty, thanks guys!

    • Amy March

      You definitely need both those bathrooms available.

  • Katie

    Hi guys!

    So interesting to read everyone’s comments in this thread. I wish I could comment on everyone, but I’m at work (and sneaking to APW anyway). My week has been very not interesting: trying to keep up with my work, studies, gym and puppy. Sadly, one of my jobs has been… taken away indefinitely (I was in charge of publishing on the blog and making newsletters; they said they would rebuild the website and stop publishing newsletters altogether). Otherwise, everything else is pretty fine. Have a good weekend everyone!

    • rg223

      Sorry about your job!

      • Katie

        oh no, I’m fine. I mean, losing that extra income (which was not a lot, anyway) sucks, but I had been feeling like a fraud already – I knew those newsletters weren’t effective but continued to make them anyway. So, in a way, it’s a relief. Thank you so much!

  • Laura C

    I’m trying to decide how far to go in a little conflict with my MIL. The other day, she sent us an email asking about something first thing in the morning, then called my husband and asked about it (pretty aggressively) within 20 minutes of him getting home from work that evening, then sent us another pretty abrupt email first thing in the morning, at which point I responded that we would get back to her, but the pressure was not particularly helpful. She responded that she was upset by my tone and hadn’t been pressuring us. Right. 24 hours, three contacts. No pressure!

    I took 24 hours, then wrote back that I thought it was important to respond but I stood by my tone, which had not exactly been verbal bomb-throwing, and that I would ask her to revisit the timeline, particularly considering the time zone we’re in. Her response was that my irritation came through and I snapped at her at Christmas and she had in no way pressured us (with details completely rewriting how it went down). (Yes, this is happening by email. Yes, that is a good idea. If this was on the phone, there would have been raised voices and hanging up by now. I am giving myself a chance to cool down and choose my words carefully and try to filter out the resentments of the past from the current discussion as much as possible.)

    My dilemma is whether, after addressing Christmas (I was on the edge of a hysterical meltdown from lack of sleep and food, among other things, but I really am sorry) and the current issue (no, really, you were pressuring us more than you’re admitting to in tone, content, and timing), I want to get into the bigger issues: that she wants a more intense relationship with me than can really stay surface polite — i.e. I can try to give you the kind of closeness you want, but sometimes you’re going to see sharp edges, or we can be more arm’s length and there’s a better chance I can be detached from conflicts and never let strain show — and that she expects, and gets, more deference from her sons than my parents have expected from me since I was a teen, while habitually speaking to them in tones/volumes that are in my experience reserved for the most extreme, couple-times-a-decade blow-ups. It’s hard to listen to the latter and a challenge to deliver the former under any circumstances, but especially under the circumstances of her screaming at my husband on a semi-regular basis.

    FWIW my husband has read my email draft and is fine with it, though certainly apprehensive. But I’m not sure saying it is worth the blow-up it will provoke to say any of this, especially since there’s a lot I would still not be saying and since it’s a guarantee that her version of this going forward would be sharply divergent from our version, even with most everything in writing. (Witness the fact that she claims in her conversation with my husband the other night she made clear that she didn’t care what our answer was on the thing she was asking us about, but he had her on speaker so I absolutely know that she did not say that.) But I also do feel like we’re at this point where … yeah, just the kind of relationship she wants from me (we’re super close and talk all the time and yet neither of us ever shows our considerable sharp edges, largely through me giving her her way an awful lot) is not possible and she has to decide which way she wants to go. And I want to say, I’m totally committed to her having a relationship with her grandson, and I will always try to make room for that, and her and me being close is not a precondition for that. But I’m not sure she’d believe me, even though literally as we’ve been exchanging these brittle emails I have continued sending her videos and pictures of him with comments on what new aspects of his development they show.

    • raccooncity

      “I want to get into the bigger issues: that she wants a more intense relationship with me than can really stay surface polite — i.e. I can try to give you the kind of closeness you want, but sometimes you’re going to see sharp edges, or we can be more arm’s length and there’s a better chance I can be detached from conflicts and never let strain show”

      Wow. this is EXACTLY what I’m coming up against now that we have a baby. Suddenly my MIL wants to visit super regularly and be really close, when before we had a pretty friendly but ultimately non-intimate relationship. When she visited after the baby was born she KISSED ME ON THE FOREHEAD. Like, this is someone I sent occasional hello e-mails to on a roughly bi-monthly basis. I appreciate that she has good intentions and wants to be closer now that she realizes grandbaby is included in that closeness, but that also means I’ll want to tell her to eff off (metaphorically speaking) sometimes.

      I mean, she might be looking at my mom thinking “wow, RC sends her pictures of the baby every day and they talk daily about the little guy” but a) my mom loves ME as well as my baby and b) my mom and I fight hard.

      Anyway, no good advice on which path to look down aside from that the closeness with sharp edges path isn’t really open to me because no one in Mr. RC’s ultra passive aggressive family works that way. I still might end up choosing it, but seeing as I’m not that keen on achieving the closeness, I probably won’t.

      • Laura C

        “I mean, she might be looking at my mom thinking “wow, RC sends her pictures of the baby every day and they talk daily about the little guy” but a) my mom loves ME as well as my baby and b) my mom and I fight hard.”

        YES YES YES. Although I send MIL about 90% of the pictures I send to my parents. But otherwise, exactly.

      • toomanybooks

        lol my FMIL said “I love you” to me way too soon (now I know where my fiancée got that from? LOL) but she is very sweet. My fiancée and I did however have to have a phone conversation with her at 8 am on a Wednesday morning in which she suggested we change how we’re doing our hotel recommendations, rehearsal, and where we are staying – we are local to the venue and booked a really cool historic b&b room for our wedding night – but she wants us to stay in the same hotel as her and fiancee’s family the whole time they’re here for the wedding (she lives in the bordering state to our city, so it’s not like she’s coming from across the country either – the way my sister is, for example).

    • Amy March

      I think this will not help. At all. I completely get what you are saying, but you know she never will. It’s not a relationship model remotely in her comprehension, and her read of this email is going to be wow my son married a brat who hates me wor is me life is over. And I think you know that too.

      • Laura C

        I do know that (or something like it; I think it will be a different word than brat) will be her read, but I’m fairly sure we’re going to hit a point where that’s her response to *something* I do or say, no matter what. I’ve spent the last several years hoping that if we set boundaries one by one on specific situations, eventually she’d figure out that there was a more comprehensive boundary in place. We’ve gotten better and better at setting boundaries but she hasn’t gotten better at recognizing them, and certainly hasn’t taken a broader lesson from it. Instead, we’re in these constant issues, and it’s not sustainable. I’m not allowed to unilaterally disengage because, as I said in response to someone else just now, if I try it becomes a major issue. But if I don’t, I will lose my temper sometime. Not lose my temper in the sense of I took a sharp tone when Christmas dinner got cleared while I was putting the baby to bed, which I had to do in the middle of dinner because it started 45 minutes late and he was melting down, but in the sense of years of unresolved resentment pouring out because I have been sitting on myself way too hard to keep the peace. (I realize I do nothing but complain around here, but that’s partly because I am working so hard in real life to be productive.) And when I lose my temper I STILL won’t be yelling as loudly as she did one time when my husband had to reschedule dinner, but it will be a nuclear event in our lives.

        So I really do not know what to do. The current state of things is unsustainable. All the ideas I can think of would just provoke a blow-up. Between a baby and Trump and living in a place I hate, my ability to manage stress is already overtaxed. My major hope at this point is that when the blow-up comes it is not in a way that makes me too ashamed of myself.

        • penguin

          It sounds like it may be time for a come-to-Jesus talk with her. What’s your husband think? If the talk is going to happen eventually, it may be helpful to have it calmly written out ahead of time (like you have) instead of off-the-cuff rage-induced yelling.

        • Jess

          So, something my social anxious self needs to pose sometimes to gain insight, which makes me feel stronger about what I know I need to do, that I offer up to you. Feel free to ask it of yourself and spend some time thinking it through.

          What is the worst that happens if she blows up because you are enforcing a boundary you and your husband agreed upon?

          • Laura C

            It’s a question I confront regularly. The answer isn’t comforting.

        • Rebekah

          This is not a real solution, but I know you live in SF. Can I offer you a night of free child care? If yes, I have your email and can get in touch.

    • Kelly

      I really don’t think anything good or productive or helpful will come from sending that email. She’s not going to change, and disengagement might be the best way to save your sanity.

      • Laura C

        I agree that disengagement would be the best way. Trust me, I have tried to do that. But here’s what happens now when I try to disengage: it becomes a big issue. She gets upset about why I’m mad at her, which she knows because I didn’t want to chat on the phone in social fashion. She gets angry at my husband because … reasons. She comes up with a dozen gifts and a dozen proposals of things we should do or talk about, and I have to respond to all of them. If I don’t want to talk to her about [stressful thing], can’t we at least just call to chat? Why don’t I want to wish her a good trip before she goes to visit her parents? Etc etc.

        • penguin

          Ugh that sounds really frustrating and exhausting. No advice, but good luck!

        • Jess

          Wait, though. Why do YOU have to be the one responding to all of them?

          Just because she gets mad at him? If she’s mad at him, and won’t ask him questions, you are not her backdoor into his life. That’s between him and her.

          Just because she asks you out of habit? Then make him be the one to respond to her questions.

          Because you are the designated communicator? Then you don’t have to respond 100% of the time. After you’ve said once, “We’ll let you know on Tuesday,” just don’t respond about that thing until Tuesday. Let her be mad about it, you let her know what to expect and it’s on her for not managing that.

          (ETA: This is probably why I do not have good relationships with parental figures)

          • Laura C

            She does a certain amount of trying to make me the designated communicator etc, but what I’m talking about here is specifically about our relationship, not planning or logistics. She wants to talk to me because that shows that we have a good relationship, in her eyes. Therefore, if I try to disengage from the kind of relationship she wants, whether by not wanting to chat socially or whatever, she gets upset at the insult/rejection, and she responds by frantically trying to get me to give her the kind of contact she wants, while taking it out on my husband. I can say “you need to talk to him about X event” but I can’t say (through word or action) “I just don’t want to have the kind of relationship where we talk on the phone and try to have an independent relationship not mediated by the person we have in common.” It’s the cost of keeping the peace, so far, and I want to keep the peace because I don’t want my husband and his mother to have a major rift. I don’t feel close enough to her to want to be her buddy, but I want her to have a relationship with her grandson. But an in-between is currently not on offer.

          • Jess

            I’m definitely speaking from the other side of this, where I chose not being that person, but in my case R and his mom have a reasonably decent relationship on their own.

            The current keeping the peace is not very peaceful at all for you. It doesn’t sound like you can keep going on responding to her needs while she bulldozers straight past any of yours.

            Relationships are not things we can give to people. Relationships are built by two people working to respect and bolster each other.

            Right now, you can give your MIL access to her grandson, but you cannot give her a relationship with him. Whether her relationship with your husband is good or bad does not rest on your shoulders – that’s between how she treats him and how he responds to her. You are not responsible for her actions and choices in her relationships with other people.

            You don’t have a relationship with your MIL right now. She demands, and you give, and give, and give and now you have nothing left to give her.

            You can sit down with your husband and talk about what kind of relationship you want to have with her, regardless of his relationship and your kid’s relationship.

            He can help you decide whether or not that kind of relationship is possible, and figure out how he can support you in getting to that relationship.

            You can talk about how you can support each other if your MIL continues to reject having a relationship with you both by tearing down your boundaries.

            You cannot go on being the relationship keeper for your family. I have tried to be that person, and it is not tenable.

          • Kelly

            “An in-between is currently not an offer.” So it sounds like you don’t want to have any personal, one-on-one contact with MiL at all.That sounds like something husband is going to need to mediate. It also sounds like someone is currently feeling hurt/upset/uncomfortable no matter happens in the current status quo, so there really isn’t any peace to be kept. But I don’t think sending the email will help move anything forward.

          • rg223

            I agree with this. I know it’s so tough, but I think the boundaries have to be set by your husband, and communication has to go through him. You say below it’s going to cause a rift, but it sounds like their relationship is not super healthy anyway, and it’s not your fault if they have a falling out over your MIL not respecting your family’s boundaries.

    • Lawyerette510

      Oh this sucks. Do you think the physical distance right now is making things better or worse? If it’s further complicating things, maybe a softer email about how you’ve noticed the distance taking a toll and that give time zones etc it doesn’t seem feasible to keep trying to talk as much etc as when you were back east, but that you look forward to when you’ll get to resume interacting as you did when you were in the same time-zone/ area/ etc? Then when you get back, it could be an opportunity to hit the reset button in a way, and say what needs to be said, a lot of which is the part about how what you can give her is either closeness, but that will involve you being yourself and interacting with her as two adults which might mean directness, abruptness or sharp edges because that’s how life is, or that you can be softer but you can only have that softness with a little more distance in your own relationship while being happy for her to be as close as feasible with the baby and her and her son being responsible for their own relationship?

      I don’t know, as it only kind of halves the issue and delays it.

      You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and it does seem like if not sending the email now, this is going to have to be communicated and confronted at some point. I guess the question is, is now the point to do that?

    • Jess

      I have close-parental-relationship issues in general, and this very much shows up in my relationship with my MIL. So, tons of solidarity for having this issue.

      I think it does really disappoint her, but I have to also be very honest with myself and when I am getting irritated by the amount of texts/questions/literal physical contact. I have to step back, mute conversations and e-mail chains, and allow her actual child, R, to do the communicating. We had some practice runs where it didn’t quite go right, but the more we enforce it, the more she goes to him and keeps it to asking a question once and waiting for an answer.

      Personally, I try to not keep arguments going or lay down ultimatums, but I do try to change what I do and behave consistently in the future. Push back once, then model the behavior I want, basically. So, if you want less contact with her, maybe have your husband be the one to send grandson updates and videos. If you are usually the one to record them, send them to him to forward on.

      The relationship she hopes for (dream of talking all the time, never being angry) is flat out unrealistic, for anyone. People snap when they are super stressed (see: Christmas this year, me yelling at my MIL and storming upstairs. I did not apologize and remain embarrassed but not really sorry because I was trying really hard to enforce personal space boundaries before that). People who say, “We will let you know tomorrow” mean “We will let you know tomorrow.” and don’t appreciate having that be taken as “We’ll let you know sooner if you keep pushing us.”

      I’m not sure what kind of relationship YOU would like to have with your MIL, but I think that’s an important one to ask. There’s a lot of what she wants in your post, what you want from this relationship matters more for how you proceed from here.

      • rg223

        Seconding this last paragraph! I am wondering too what kind of relationship you want to have with her.

  • Transnonymous

    I wanted to drop in real quick to say thank you to everyone for your outpouring of support last week. I’m continually impressed and blown away by the community that’s been cultivated over here at APW. No real news this week, but I’ll probably drop in from time to time with updates on how things are going.

  • I’m doing a project management MOOC at work, and the project I’ve picked for it is the wedding. It’s been really helpful (we’ve instituted monthly wedding catch ups), and I’m geekily loving RAGging the budget and the timeline and I’ve made a gantt chart. What it has really brought to mind, though, is how big a project planning a wedding is. It’s rare for a work project to involve so many different outside vendors, so many key speakers, such detailed guest requirements, decorations, a complex timeline, (outfits!), all done with such a small team, who aren’t even being paid or given extra hours to do it in. It’s kinda insane. We’ve got an event coming up at work, and there are five of us to decide the agenda, contact the speakers, invite the guests and record RSVPs, book venues and catering, and no one’s even asking us to pick colours. I’m gonna be a project planning whizz by the time this wedding is over. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/59f1469ded7ac669f2735eec801b11e3b779d91ffdabf153b1ac5294bd7cdc60.jpg

    • Call Me Penny

      I left an event management job just before we started planning our wedding, and this really stuck out to me too!

    • penguin

      OMG a Gantt chart for wedding planning! You’re my hero.

      • It’s a slightly half arsed one – a lot more of the activities can be done simultaneously, and picking ushers is longer than bridesmaids because I’ve asked bridesmaids and OH hasn’t asked ushers yet. Really, most of the categories need breaking down further to actually get sequential tasks (like booking a registrar is really – pick date – check availability of venue’s local registry office – pay deposit – give notice a local registry office – tell other registry office – pay balance – pick wording – confirm licence info – day of activities) but I’d already unpicked every single task in a different activity and a 150 line gantt chart seemed excessive. Like I said, a wedding is kind of insane as project managment goes!

  • Mrrpaderp

    I ended my engagement. We were a little over 90 days from our wedding. My ex-fiance (wow that hurts) is a sweet, kind, outgoing person. When he’s sober.

    I’d had concerns about his drinking throughout the relationship, but it never seemed like an insurmountable thing. He can have one or two and stop. He doesn’t drink every day or even every week. He doesn’t NEED to drink. But every once in a while, if something, anything, is weighing on his mind, it will come out in a big, unpleasant way when he’s a few deep. It started with passive aggressive behavior, like refusing to leave a party. It developed into name-calling. A few months ago it escalated to ripping things off the wall and forcing open the locked bedroom door I retreated behind. I told him he could only stay in the home if he got treatment. He agreed. He didn’t get treatment. Four months later, three months from our wedding, he had another violent temper tantrum. And now the wedding’s off and he’s moved out.

    He says he wants to get help. I don’t believe him. It’s been two weeks and he hasn’t seen a doctor or therapist or attended an AA meeting. I talked to his family. Apparently there is a history of alcoholism (which I knew) and violent outbursts (which I didn’t know). They think I should stay. He’d never really hurt me. My mother thinks I should give him another chance. Right now I’m just looking for my new normal because for today, and the foreseeable future, it doesn’t involve him.

    • raccooncity

      I’m sorry you had to do this, but you absolutely are doing the right thing. Internet hugs.

    • Katherine

      I am so sorry and I want to let you know that this choice is absolutely valid. You did what was best for you, 100%, and it doesn’t matter what his family or your family says.

      • Gaby

        Seconding this, good for you for prioritizing your own well-being.

      • Yes. Your choice is absolutely valid. You don’t want to wait until he physcically hurts you to leave. If he shapes up and gets help, then maybe you can consider things, but your current choice in the moment is valid.

    • Kat

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this but also I’m glad you had the instinct to do something about it and went with that instinct. “He’s never really hurt you” is not a good enough reason to stay in a potentially dangerous situation, because god forbid he ever did cause you physical harm. Also, violent behavior and language and name calling IS abuse, regardless of what other people might be saying.
      Stay strong. <3

    • Jessica

      I’m so sorry, that is really hard, both for what is happening to your life and what is happening to someone you love.

      Your wellbeing was in danger, full stop. He may not have hit you, but he was violent towards you and is not taking the steps to be a better person, to be a person worthy of your time and affection and commitment. He left rather than get help. That is a problem.

      Be brave and please take care of yourself first. It can be hard, but it’s necessary.

    • Ashlah

      I am so sorry. You made the right choice, and your family and his should be ashamed for trying to make you feel guilty about it. I hope he gets help, whether it leads you back together or not. Take care of yourself.

    • Amy March

      I’m so sorry to hear all this, and so glad you are taking care of yourself. And I hope that includes distancing yourself from people who are not supportive of your need to not be unsafe, like his family and your mom. He already hurt you, deeply and profoundly if not physically.

    • Jess

      I’m so sorry. I am glad you were able to make the decision you needed to make for yourself. I hope it’s supportive to tell you that words and causing fear still count as hurt, even if he didn’t touch you. It still counts as hurting you, and it contributed to your decision.

      I hope your mom comes around to support you in that decision, and that you have lots of other people who can drown out her voice.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m so sorry, but also internet-stranger proud of you for your bravery,and I hope that’s ok to say. Sending strength and hugs

    • Eenie

      I’m so sorry.

    • AP

      I’m so sorry. All I can say is that I wish so much that I hadn’t ignored those instincts when making the decision to marry first husband, whose alcoholism eventually evolved into even more dangerous and destructive behaviors. You’re doing the right thing. Don’t let others pressure you to stay with him- you have a right to own your life. Have you been to Al-Anon, for family members of alcoholics? I found it incredibly helpful during the worst of everything. Sending you strength.

      ETA: I feel like this needs to be said, because I needed to hear it over and over when I made the decision to leave my husband- you are *not* selfish for choosing your health, happiness, and sanity over a relationship that jeopardizes all of those things. <3

      • Danielle

        Seconding al-anon.

        I also broke off an engagement because my ex was an alcoholic, and I didn’t want that in my life. It took extreme actions for me to realize that.

        Take care of yourself during this difficult time. I also advise cutting off contact with his family. They are trying to normalize his behavior, and it’s not
        normal. You need support right now.

    • Totch

      I’m very sorry. And everyone else is right: you already have been hurt, and your mother’s reaction is not OK.

    • Mrrpaderp

      Thank you all so much for this outpouring of support. This community is awesome.

    • Essssss

      I’m so sorry, and so proud of you. I think you are doing exactly the right thing. It sucks to be receiving pressure from other people, but you are protecting yourself from future struggle and danger. I hope you reach out to a therapist or a domestic violence support group if you need reinforcement from the pressure you’re facing. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical in order to be damaging. Calling names and violence towards things around you totally qualify, and I am horrified that others would suggest you stay in those circumstances. INTERNET HUGS, courage, compassion, and support no matter what comes.

    • Lawyerette510

      I am so sorry you are having to navigate this, and that some of the people around you aren’t confirming your assessment of the situation. You know yourself and the situation the best, and if you need to remove yourself from it, your decision is important and to be honored. Sending internet hugs and love.

    • mui

      I’m so sorry that happened, I applaud you for standing up for your safety, sanity and spirit. That’s not okay what he did and he did hurt you. You are making the right decision. ::hugs::

    • Laura

      listen to your gut. you know things others don’t. there’s a reason that you called it off. it’s unfair and unsafe for other people to say anything but ‘there’s a reason you made this choice, you deserve to have a present, healthy partner and to feel SAFE’. here’s the thing – if you’d said to him 6 months ago ‘do you think you’d ever get violent, angry and force open a locked door if i was hiding for my safety?’ he would almost certainly have said ‘no’. and yet… trust your yourself and your choices. people do what they can get away with – you didn’t let him get away with it. good for you, you showed him that you value your health and safety and that love doesn’t look like drunken intimidation.

    • toomanybooks

      I’m shocked that people who know about this say you should stay with him and give him another chance. This is so scary. You’re so lucky to have made this realization a few months before the wedding and not a few months after.

      The excitement of a wedding and assurance of a marriage dims when you realize you’re signing up for a lifetime with someone who won’t be good to you. Even if he’s sweet 90% of the time and only a mean, violent drunk 10% of the time, 10% is too much. I think back to the girl who angrily shoved me out of a doorframe so she could get through it faster on our second date, and I can’t believe I didn’t walk away at the first red flag.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. And congratulations for having the courage to end the engagement. When you’re in a situation where you feel like you aren’t in control, it feels so good to take control by ending it.

    • Kira

      Sending solidarity across the internet — my family has a history of alcoholism and violent temper outbursts, and I grew up with in a household where those temper tantrums were normal. They’re not normal, and I think it’s incredibly courageous of you to leave and take care of yourself.

    • CommaChick

      I know I don’t know you, but I am so proud of you. If my best friend or a family member were in your position, I would tell her I’m glad she prioritized her safety, to practice self care and to change all of the locks/make other changes you’re supposed to when a tenant or roommate moves out.

    • up_at_Dawn

      I’m so sorry. It’s a really hard thing to do. You need to feel what you are feeling right now and take care of you. You did what you had to do to take care of you and your future.

      I called off an engagement (for different but also valid reasons) in late 2015. I promise it gets easier with time.

    • cml

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. Good for you, though, for knowing what you need to do and doing it. You made the right choice for you and you are saving yourself from a lot of hurt – and hopefully this can be the wake-up call he needs to get help, as well.

      I am so sorry that your families are pressuring you to do something that is not in your best interest. That is so hard and awful.

    • Nic.

      Darling I have been in you shoes, leaving that man was the best decision of my life. Kuddos and hand in here.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Sending you supportive hugs and strength.

    • LadyJanee

      I’m so sorry. Take care of yourself first and foremost. I have an ex who would have similar tantrums while drinking and when I broke up with him my family couldn’t believe it. They never saw him that way so couldn’t understand what I was going through. But deep down I knew I wasn’t safe and didn’t want to pretend to be anymore when he wasn’t willing to get help. Good on you for having the courage to leave.

  • Janet Hélène

    So, infrequent commenter, but I am looking for some (non-partisan) work advice.

    I’ve been working in an admin role for about 6 months at an academic institute, which I am hoping is an entry role into some of my real interests in health research. The director’s executive assistant is my boss, and I have been frequently been asked to go get the directors lunch. When this first started, I was surprised (aka work contract doesn’t say “getting lunch” as part of description), but told that “Oh it’s just during the summer.” Well, here we are 6 months later, and now I am getting his double-espresso too.

    TL; DR: Is getting someone’s lunch and coffee when you are not hired as their barista/waitress 1) worth being upset about, and 2) worth bringing up as an issue at work ? And if so, tips on how to do it ?

    • Eenie

      Hmm. In a non university setting I used to coordinate with the on site admin for any lunches for meetings or visitors. Do you otherwise get valuable work and feedback from the EA and the director? Or is this one portion of an overall feeling of not being valued and given the appropriate work for the position? If it’s the former, I’d let it go. If it’s the latter, you have some bigger questions to ask yourself.

    • Totch

      If you aren’t comfortable saying “I’m not doing this anymore” can you try codifying it instead?

      Right now if sounds like it happens regularly but spontaneously (you are asked to get the coffee/food when it’s needed which probably makes it easier for them to see it as casual). Is it possible to say “This wasn’t part of my job description, and when I’m asked to do it it cuts into X, Y, and Z. If this is going to continue, I’d like it to be included in my job description and put together a schedule of what’s expected of me that works around these regular errands.”

    • Emily

      I agree with Eenie below–if you feel overall like your job is errand-runner than it might be worth mentioning. On the other hand, I know quite a few people in both academic and business settings who spent their first few years being low on the totem pole and doing a lot of personal errands. Is it right? Probably not. Still, I’d check with some peers and see if they’re in a similar situation.

    • JLC
    • Sara

      Do you have other duties that relate to being more of an executive assistant? It sounds like the EA is delegating tasks that she has to you (As an EA, I’ve had to make reservations, run for lunch, order meeting food). I might ask her about it, but not as an issue but more as a “hey, can we clarify what exactly my role is here?’ type of talk just so you two are on the same page.

    • CMT

      Do you get to do health research-type work as well, or is your role purely admin? It doesn’t really sound out of line to me for an admin role, but I can’t quite tell from your comment if that’s the kind of role you’re in.

  • Katherine

    My husband’s vasectomy is officially on the calendar! We will, as I suspected, be paying for it out of pocket since it’s the beginning of the year, but it is inexpensive enough that savings will cover it. He received his information packet in the mail this week, and the whole process seems like it will be very easy – local anesthetic, no scalpel, etc.

    I have to be honest though, it makes me a little frustrated how easy this whole setup has been. All he had to do was call, give a date of birth and insurance provider, and boom! On the calendar. We’re both in our mid-20s, and if I had tried to set up a tubal ligation, I suspect I’d be getting a lot more flack.

    • Cellistec

      Yay for it being easy to set up! Boo for the certainty that female sterilization is a lot thornier to obtain. #doublestandards

    • Rebecca

      Awesome! If you want some nitty gritty of exactly what it’s like going through it, I recommend the Reservoir Dad blog – I think he even filmed it!

      • Katherine

        I guess I’ve found what I’m doing with my evening. Thanks for the rec!

  • Kalë

    One political piece for this week: we just need ONE MORE Repub senator to turn on DeVos. If you’re from a Republican state, please take 5-10 minutes to call your senator and strongly oppose, especially ESPECIALLY if there is already an effort within your state, your senator is up for reelection in 2018, or they are known for being moderate. It’s super easy, there are many scripts out there, and I’m happy to provide mine if anyone wants it. Calling my senator was difficult, because she was getting so many calls that her voicemail was full – one day I had to call 24 times before I finally got through to a person. But so, so worth it. She changed her position and is one of two Republican “no” votes!

    • Kalë

      Here is my script, for ultimate ease:

      Hi, my name is _____, and I’m a constituent of Senator ____ and a public school graduate from _____, _____ zip code ____. I have a message for the Senator and don’t need a response. I am strongly opposed to the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. I will be remembering Senator ______’s position on this appointment next election. Thanks for your hard work answering the phones!

      • Kat

        This is a great script re: being friendly to the poor soul answering the phones who’s probably working harder than they ever have in their life these past few weeks. Lol

    • CMT

      Murkowski’s decision was totally political. If she really opposed DeVos, she would have voted no in committee. Now she gets the best of both worlds and honestly, I bet that’s what she was planning the whole time.

      • Kalë

        I’m inclined to agree with you, sadly : BUT, I think if she had not received the volume of calls, emails, even protests outside her Anchorage office, I think she wouldn’t have flipped her position at all. I’m choosing to believe that it makes at least a little bit of a difference and maybe, just maybe, another R senator will get the same amount of pressure and cave. Maybe?

        • CMT

          I wonder why Dan Sullivan doesn’t get the same attention that Murkowski does. I guess he’s more conservative and less likely to change his mind?

          • Kalë

            Yep, exactly. For this specific issue, he already spoke out and said he was planning to vote for DeVos and he knows how much she cares about kids blah blah blah. For most others… yeah. Murkowski is known to be an actual moderate (sometimes accused of being a RINO) – she supports PP, has supported some environmental regs in the past, etc. Basically, she’s a reasonable, true-moderate Republican, whereas he’s an ultra right wing, evangelical Christian 20-tens Republican. Totally different animals.

          • CMT

            He is pretty much the worst. I think Murkowski has gotten more conservative since she was originally appointed, or at least less likely to break rank. But, she’s still better than Joe Miller!

          • Kalë

            Like the rest of the Republican party, sadly :(

      • Amy March

        And? She’s a politician. They’re supposed to be political. I think all the pressure is part of what makes this politically beneficial for her.

        • CMT

          I’m seeing a lot of my Alaskan friends applaud her for what was not really a big deal.

          • Ashlah

            I completely understand what you’re saying, and I would be frustrated by the praise too. At the same time, this is the outcome we’re looking for by asking people to call their reps. So it’s a win, even if it’s completely political pandering.

    • BSM

      YES thank you for mentioning this! I signed up for a free trial of one of those e-fax services, and (even though I’m in CA), I faxed something similar to your script to every Republican senator in Congress. If you’re actually a constituent, please please please try to contact them about this.

    • Eenie

      Ugh, I’ve been calling my two senators all week and haven’t been able to get through OR leave a message. I did call both last week and told them my position on DeVos. It’s so frustrating to not be able to call!!

      • Kalë

        soooo frustrating. i am lucky enough to work mostly independently, so i’m able to make calls during breaks at work. and that has meant sometimes-incessent redialing like, over and over, to get a person on the line.

        • Eenie

          I’ve called at all times of the day. I get busy signals, or I go to voicemail and it’s full. I finally broke down and submitted a message through their online portal saying I had been unsuccessful with my calls thus far but wanted my voice heard.

      • CommaChick

        Those in my state have made headlines because the phone lines are down, and they’re refusing to see anyone without an appointment, which has to be made by phone.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      LET ME TELL YOU about all the faxes I’ve been sending to this jackass: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/858978ac449180d8b127540031c9ab0fbbbbd301cbe05cda652e76980f0b4581.jpg

      • Emily

        This is everything.

      • BSM

        This is amazing. 10000000x better than my polite form letter!

      • Jennifer

        Dying. Thank you. I’m Deaf and have an interpreter friend in your state who is SO MAD at him. It is encouraging! (I am from a strong blue state but we sent our Senator early valentines.)

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          He is such a goober. Our attempts to get his attention were covered by Rachel Maddow, which is somewhat vindicating.I love the idea of sending valentines! I should totally send one to Governor Wolf.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I’m despairing. People everywhere are putting pressure on all the Republican senators, and more and more of them are releasing statements in support of DeVos. Corker, Toomey, Portman were all on the fence and decided to keep the party line in the past 48 hours. I don’t think there are any “moderate” Republican senators left to pester for their vote. This is so discouraging, to come this close and lose by one vote.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Guyyyyyys my high school age Girl Scout troop is earning their Dinner Party badge this month and our theme is:GALENTINE’S DAY! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af7ece36b876d4ea92a5905538008178ab9a369657bd763f372bf64a151d9814.gif We were going to break up into teams and have each group plan and prepare a 3 course meal for 4, and then everybody try everything. BUT because we’re doing a Friday night over-nighter instead of a normal Wednesday evening, only about 6 girls will be there in addition to me and my co-leader, so they’re all working together as one group. This week they did some menu planning and gave us the list of ingredients they’ll need. Day-of we’ll go grocery shopping as a group, leaders will provide some light snackage while they prepare, they’ll decorate and cook and serve. They also have the option of requesting everybody dress a certain way, if they want to, so maybe we’ll all get fancy.ALSO! Also. Galentines Day calls for little presents, so I am making everybody favor boxes, and have finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of purchasing one of those 10 packs of Lipsmacker lip balms. They’ll include notepads and candy and pens and probably rubber duckies and they’ll totally think I’m lame but secretly maybe it’ll make their day and I am so excited.

    • Jessica
    • Gaby

      My alma mater is having a lecture next week titled “The Audacity of Knope” that’s all about the feminism in Parks and Rec and it makes me SO happy: https://www.unlv.edu/news/article/audacity-knope

      • Ashlah

        I SO wish that were near me! I’d be there in a heartbeat.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        AMAZING.

    • Kat
    • toomanybooks

      Omg, that sound amaaaaaazing.
      Also, I used to be obsessed with Lipsmacker lip balms (now it’s mostly Burt’s Bees and Blistex) so that totally is a dream.

    • Olive

      1. YAY!
      2. Tell me about your girl scout troop! I was a lifelong girl scout and have been wanting to get involved somehow as a 26 year old, married, non-mother grad student. I emailed someone at my local council to apply to be a gold award mentor, as mine was a grad student and I thought that was really cool, but no one ever got back to me. I guess I could call…#millenialprobs

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Right! So, I was a Brownie and a Junior, but my troop was pretty awful. The older girls were kinda mean to the younger girls, it was cliquey, I never felt like I had any friends, and the closest we got to camping was sleeping in a tent between two RVs once. They sent me home early because I had a rash, and i was not sad about it.Fast forward to a few years ago, a friend I met in college starts co-leading a couple troops at her church, where she herself was a scout as a girl. She and another women our age lead the brownies and the Seniors/Ambassadors. She keeps filling me in on all the cool stuff they’re doing, and I keep threatening to get involved, because A) it will be redemption for my disappointing experience as a girl and 2) I want to actively support the kind of troop that actually DOES the stuff GS is supposed to do.This past summer she was giving me the update on how the girls earner their Photography Badge, and how their big trip for the year is Disney, and on that trip they’re going to meet and talk to a woman who photographs professionally for Disney, and I’m again all, “Dude, I need to get in on this.” And she goes, “Well, now would be a good year to do it!” Turns out her co-leader had a baby who is now a toddler, and she doesn’t have it in her to lead both of the troops she’s been working with, so she’s taking a step back from the older girls. (I’ll note here that I’m not always sure what to do with smaller kids, but once they hit middle school and high school it’s a lot easier to talk to them.) So, I jumped in!Our troop takes the high schoolers from a couple different troops. We have 17 girls on the books, but each week we see between 8 and 12. In August we had an over-nighter to get to know one another. In the morning everyone grabbed a blue pen and some yellow stickies and wrote down all the things they wanted to do this year, and stuck them on the wall under Service Projects, Fundraisers, Big Trips, Small Trips, and Things to Try. We voted on everything suggested, and worked out an approximate schedule, which we fine tune a couple months in advance. Our trip at the end of the year will be shorter, one night in NYC. So far we’ve done some upcycling, some camping, knitting, baking, we visited an animal shelter (and brought them the treats we made), and threw a Christmas party for a bunch of single moms and their young kids who are working with a halfway house kinda program. Later we’ll be doing an escape room, an etiquette dinner, camping and hiking, some gardening, some paddle boarding. This weekend we’ll be serving dinner at a men’s shelter as a service project, in addition to our Dinner Party Badge overnighter.

        • Olive

          My time as a girl scout started out like yours…luckily my mom moved me to a different troop nearby that went camping a lot and did awesome trips (like how I sold a shit load of cookies one year and paid for me & my mom to go on a Hawaiian cruise with my troop). But my junior troop was also run by some recent college grads who were one of the girls’ big sister and her friends and it was so fun!

          This sounds so awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’m not sure if I have the time to lead a troop right now with grad school going on, but I’m definitely going to try to talk to someone about the gold award mentor thing.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Hawaiian cruise?! That’s a lot of cookies. Also, crazy cool trip. I wasn’t in long enough to do any silver or gold awards, so I don’t feel qualified to lead anybody on them, but I’m here to cheer you on!

        • cml

          I just want to say this is so cool. I was a girl scout (Brownies up through graduation) and it was a great experience. I hadn’t thought much about it lately, though, until one of the financial advisors at my company approached me to go to a hockey game with some girls in a troop here in our city. Apparently he’s been involved with this troop of girls whose mothers are or were incarcerated. He’s not a leader, per se, but he’s been very supportive and has been teaching them about financial responsibility. It was SUCH a cool experience seeing these girls and what girl scouts is doing for them that it is making me want to be more involved again.
          No real point to this comment, other than to say GO YOU and I also love the Girl Scouts. haha

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Ahhhhhh, that troop sounds awesome! BUY ALL THEIR COOKIES.

  • AF

    I asked a few weeks ago how you guys decided how many people to invite when you and your partner have different ideal sizes. I want a medium to largish wedding (40-90 people) so I can invite my hometown friends, college friends and grad school friends, he wants immediate family/friends who are basically siblings only (in our case this works out to ~15 people). Well we’ve ended up heavily favoring his ideal, mostly because it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to enjoy himself if we invite more than that. He hates big parties and crowds, is very uncomfortable being the center of attention and has a habit of “hosting” any gathering of more than 4 people instead of participating. With that in mind, logically I agree that the small wedding is a worthwhile tradeoff for his comfort and happiness but I’m still bummed about everyone I can’t invite/aprehensive that it’ll be awkward that we aren’t inviting the friends I currently spend the most time with. Any ideas on how to process feels surrounding this topic?

    • Amy March

      Why is his comfort and happiness more important than yours? It sounds like you haven’t compromised, in that he is getting exactly what he wants to avoid any discomfort or effort on his part, and you are getting nothing. I don’t think it’s time to just accept things and process yet.

      • AF

        You’re right its not a “compromise”, and we haven’t made any final decisions yet. But I’ve watched him go into “host” mode and dragged him to parties he’s not thrilled to be at for 9 years now and I think his ability to feel relaxed and comfortable at his own wedding is the most important thing. If we can figure out a way for him to feel that way with 40 people that’d make me very happy but it seems unlikely.

        • Amy March

          But has he tried? Has he seen a therapist? Practiced some CBT? Done some solid self talk? Thought about what being the host at a full service catered venue means?

          Idk, maybe this is totally fine and you’ll aggressively drink tea and be genuinely cool with it, which is thoughtful and loving and generous of you, but I would be heartbroken to only be able to invite 15 people to my wedding, and I think that heartbreak (if you’re feeling it) is every bit as important and valid as his emotional well being.

          • AF

            If I was heartbroken I’d agree with you. I have a roil of emotions around marriage and actually spending money on a wedding, but currently all I’m feeling over the possiblity of a tiny guestlist is meloncholy. This would be good to bring up in pre-marital therapy so thanks for that suggestion.

          • Cbrown

            We initially thought family only with one key friend before realising my husband’s family is massive, and my family is overseas and tiny and I’d be so sad to feel like we were hosting a his family reunion. In the end, we split the guest list 50/50 and ended up with loads of my friends and colleagues, and all of his family – 60 in total.

    • Eenie

      Host a rager after party/celebration weekend where you invite your friends. Build this money into your wedding budget. It’s not the same as a wedding, but it might make you feel like you’re giving up less. Also depends on if your friends get the small wedding thing you’re doing.

      • AF

        Yeah he’s suggested that and we haven’t ruled it out. It makes me uncomfortable to ask my friends to fly across the country for “not a wedding” but I’m still processing my feelings around it.

        • Eenie

          Can you fly to them? I hope you find a solution!

        • Totch

          Don’t count it out. When I told my friends they wouldn’t be invited, they said that they had mentally set aside resources for 1 trip to see us for our wedding and could they plan a group vacation to see us another time instead?

          Not all of them will end up coming, but some are planning on earnest.

    • Essssss

      I guess I’d echo Amy and ask are there qualities of a slightly larger gathering that could help manage his comfort. Like, a private ceremony with just closest friends and then a slightly larger reception. No entrance, no toasts, no first dance or whatever makes that uncomfortable center of attention thing kick in? Ways to make sure the hosting is taken care of by others so he doesn’t slip into that role? Or a small ceremony and meal, and then a bigger afterparty out on the town? No pressure if you feel comfortable with a small wedding, but it seems like there could be other avenues for compromise that meet both of your interests!

    • Totch

      I was the person who wanted a really small wedding, so thanks on behalf of me and your future spouse. But we didn’t cut down to my wedding vision until my fiance genuinely wanted the same (we spent 4 months planning a 25 person wedding and an 80 person wedding before we felt confident enough to choose). If you’re not really on board, you’re not doing anyone any favors and you may end up fighting it out later. There were several times during those 4 months where we thought we’d made a choice only to realize one of us was biting our tongue. You might need to keep talking.

      That said, we are inviting no friends and even as the small wedding person it still makes me incredibly sad. I was a bridesmaid in my two best friends’ weddings, and now I feel like I’m letting them down by not completing the triangle. I just tried to be open and honest about why they weren’t invited, and they’ve been kind enough to support my planning a ton anyway.

      Yesterday, one of them told me that her husband just scheduled a hair cut for my wedding date and she instinctively yelled at him that he couldn’t because it conflicted. She said she wasn’t sure what she was thinking, as if they’d just sit in their house at the appointed time and think about me? Silly and wonderful and heartbreaking.

      Just make sure you’re confident in the reasoning behind your choice, because that’s what’s getting me through.

    • same same

      This was our exact situation, my idea of small was about 60, his was 10. We made a few small compromises, including inviting some aunts and uncles to fill out the party a little. Our final wedding dinner had 21 people at the table, including us and our minister, and I love it, and so did our guests. It was especially heartwarming how meaningful it was to my grandparents to really be able to enjoy themselves and not be overwhelmed, which they would have been at a larger party. We also know that everyone that was there will always be in our lives.

      We are a little bit older, both were 31 when we got married, and most of the friends I would have invited are already married and have explicitly expressed wedding fatigue to me. I know a few people were bummed to not be invited, and I was a little bummed to not be able to indulge as much in pre-wedding stuff like showers and stagettes because no one was coming to the wedding.

      Like I said, i advocated for family that has been meaningful to me, and a best man and a best lady so that we each had a buddy to hang out with day of. In the end I have zero regrets about the whole thing. Worth noting I guess is that neither of us are wedding people, and we pretty much don’t go to any wedding we are invited to if we have to travel, which is most… so not everyone you are sad about not inviting will that that sad about not going. I guess the main thing is to really reconcile what about the guest list matters to you. I had to explain that I really wanted one bridesmaid, because I have one “best” (ugh) friend, and all the wedding prep day-of like hair and makeup would be more fun with a pal. He got to go golfing and definitely appreciated he had a friend for that. I also had to explain my relationship with aunts and uncles was closer than his, and why I wanted them there.

      Don’t completely sacrifice what you want, but spend some time figuring out why the list matters. Husband and I are both pretty solo people, I have a lot more local friends than him, so a bigger wedding would have been all my people, so not only would it have been bigger than he wanted, he would have felt like an outsider at his own wedding. I wouldn’t ask that of him, so I picked what things would really have made me feel bad to not have the day of.

      • same same

        I would also add that my actual advice to anyone who would ask is “have a really small wedding.” Obviously not if you’re an extreme extrovert who loves a party, but if the wedding is the first and only party you are throwing, make it align with any other party you would have, which is to say, probably somewhat intimate.

  • Gaby

    I feel like I’ve already said this before but maybe it was to IRL friends, the one big personally positive outcome of this apocalyptic political atmosphere is that I’ve gotten very good at prioritizing my time. Everything just seems so important now, be it activism, staying fit, making time for friends I don’t see as often, it ALL matters. It feels good to have a grasp on what matters to me go full speed ahead at it. I am a cornball and really do repeat the mantra to KICK ASS to myself all the time now.

  • Ashlah

    Just a quick whine–Ta-Nehisi Coates is giving a free talk at a local arena today, and I was dumb and didn’t think the tickets would sell out. They did, so I’m missing it. I have an appointment this afternoon anyway, so it would have been stressful to make it, but I have serious fomo rn.

    • Katharine Parker

      On the flip side of that, how cool is it that Ta-Nehisi Coates can fill arenas?

      • Ashlah

        Yes! So cool!

    • BSM

      Luvvie Ajayi was in SF this week, and I tried to get tickets too late, too :(

      • Ashlah

        :(

    • AGCourtney

      ahhh I hate when things like that happen. Sorry, Ashlah. :(

  • Katharine Parker

    Do people have fun news to share? In our current political hellscape, I’ve found planning my honeymoon to be a nice distraction. This week we booked flights, and I’m so excited! We’re going to Croatia and Montenegro, and I would happily accept any advice that people have for either place.

    • Kat

      I only spent one day in Dubrovnik on a cruise a few years ago but it is easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever been! Also my sister and I took a Game of Thrones tour, if you’re into that sort of thing. They also filmed Rogue One there so there’s probably a whole new round of nerdy tours now. It’s great. You won’t regret Croatia a bit.

    • Jessica

      Some friends of mine have occasionally hosted a “Tacumentary Tuesday,” where on a Tuesday we will order tacos from somewhere and watch a documentary–usually food related.

      For Valentine’s Day I will be hosting an ‘Alternative Fact Tacumentary Tuesday,’ in which we order tacos and watch Jurassic Park.

      I’m excited for this.

      • Ashlah

        That’s amazing. I wish I were part of your friend group!

        • Jessica

          Move to MN and I can hook you up xoxo

          • Jess

            :: frantically googles “jobs in MN” ::

      • Jennifer

        OOOOHHH I wish I lived near you. This is so cool. Pretty sure I could start it up here in MD though.

    • Lawyerette510

      Ohhh Croatia is so high on my “want to see” list.

    • Anon Today

      My FH and I are secretly going to get married 6 months early because he’s in the military and – apparently – the military & fed gov’t care soooo much about families that it/they will pay him extra every month if he’s married.
      (The military thing also makes it really hard for him to be politically active.) So we decided that we are going to take that money and spend it on other types of families (e.g. refugee, immigrant, queer) that the fed gov’t is not as big about supporting.

      Enjoying the links for places to donate!

    • BSM

      Small stuff that is bringing me joy:

      -I’m baking a chocolate cake for the Super Bowl party we’re going to on Sunday, and I’m really excited to eat it.
      -I finished ALL MY RETURNS left over from the holidays. So now I have a little more $$ back in my bank account.
      -I used some of that extra money to buy this tshirt. Can’t wait for it to get here haha: https://www.thankuobama.us/shop/a-message-to-malia-tee

      • Abby

        Yay for Super Bowl cakes! We got gifted a helmet-shaped cake pan a few years back and we now make opposing helmets every year (except when our team is playing, because obviously then that is the only cake that matters). It’s a great tradition, though we’re getting pretty sick of making the Patriots logo…

    • Essssss

      I bought the classy mens/vintage pajama set after much fantastic APW advice last HH. Thanks guys! I love them

    • Totch

      We just booked our honeymoon (France and Belgium) last week. I also cashed in on my luggage’s lifetime warranty and got a brand new set!

      I’m actually quite proud… Reported damage on a backpack and a large roller suitcase (Dakine has an excellent warranty program), and the money they gave me to replace them stretched to: new backpack, new suitcase, new toiletry bag, and a little stashable duffel. … I did spend $16 on shipping.

      Am I more excited about a good deal than my honeymoon?

    • I finally booked my tickets to go visit my sister in Germany in April. I’m so freakin excited. Plus the tickets cost half as much as I thought I’d have to pay, and I get a layover in Iceland.

    • nosio

      Ooh, Croatia is on our shortlist for honeymoon locales (my fiance’s grandpa always talked about the Dalmatian coast being the most beautiful place. Gorgeous beaches, seafood, and lots of history? Sold.). I have no advice, just envy!

    • JC

      My boyfriend’s coworker is trying to start a resort in Greece, and we’ve been asked to come for a test run!! We still need to find out how feasible it is (Are they paying for our whole stay, and we just have to get there? Are they not paying for anything? Somewhere in between?), but just the thought of wine tasting in Greece is getting me through this gloomy day.

    • AGCourtney

      Today I bought tickets to see Wicked in Minneapolis this spring! My daughter is really excited about that.

  • Jessica

    Has anyone ever ordered leggings from Society6? I want some fun leggings that gives money to the artist, but I read one review that said the leggings were see-through.

    Other sources of fun print leggings from cool companies are welcome!

    • LP

      Never ordered from Society6, but I love Lularoe leggings. It’s weird, though. You buy them from consultants on Facebook and they have limited amounts of the prints they sell. It’s really hard not to impulse buy.

  • CP2011

    I really needed to read the link you shared about staying sane while resisting, Stephanie! I feel like I’ve been turning to alcohol too much in the last couple weeks which is not a good lasting solution :/. In other news, I’m having a hard time focusing on reading the happy hour because there’s a guy in my office break/lunch area who has gone from calling someone who apparently just “pulled the plug” on their comatose adult child following an advance directive, and now is debriefing the call with someone else. It’s very sad and seems timely given that we are doing our will and advance directives this weekend #getshitdone.

    Now the topic has switched to the best way to schedule conference calls?? Who is this guy talking to?

  • Essssss

    If you’re looking for an action to take politically today/ this weekend, I just got this from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    We just learned that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security is
    taking calls about Steve Bannon’s appointment to the National Security
    Council (NSC). We’re told that they’re tallying calls. You might get a busy signal but try, try, try again all this weekend. Leave a message if you get through to voicemail. The number: 202-224-4751. Be sure to tell the committee that you believe no individual whose
    primary responsibility is political in nature should be allowed on the
    NSC or authorized to attend its meetings. Partisan politics have no
    place in our national security.

    Please also email the committee: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/contact

    I was able to leave a message this AM.

    • nosio

      Thanks for sharing! I called just now and left a voicemail. I read somewhere earlier that for these types of calls, it’s helpful for the people doing the tallying if you state in the message that you don’t need a return call, you’re just calling to state your opinion on X issue, and leave your name, zip code, etc.

      • Essssss

        Thanks for calling!

  • Gina

    “if you have a platform and you’re being silent, you’re still telling people something.”

    This was basically the theme of my week, so thank you. It’s the reason I decided to finally get political on facebook, to take the bait. So I shared a link to a blog post I’d written about how my conservative Christianity required me to support refugees and oppose Trump, and it went a little bit viral (well for me, in the tens of thousands of hits), and I am pretty sure my family is not talking to me. But whatev.

    • Ashlah

      Sorry about your family, but that sounds pretty badass.

    • Lawyerette510

      Welcome to the “my family isn’t talk to me because I oppose Trump” club. There are lots of us! That said, brava for speaking your truth, as that is so very powerful!

    • Em

      Can you share a link to your piece? Would be keen to read it! (For what it’s worth – I think conservative opposition to Trump is going to be really important in the coming days/weeks/months/years – it means that opposition can’t just be written off as ‘liberal complaining’. )

      • Abby

        Following! Definitely want to read this piece.

    • A single sarah

      Yes link please! Searching is getting to many prayer breakfast hits.

      • Gina
        • penguin

          That was beautiful and moving, thank you <3

        • mtn

          Thanks for posting this. I live in Colorado too and appreciated reading your viewpoint. Thanks again for sharing.

        • Ant

          This is a powerful piece and the voice of reason I am missing in so many current discussions. Thank you.

          PS: You are fighting the good fight. In the face of right wing parties rising all over the world, those who resist are looking to the US for hope and inspiration (ironic, yes, but we do).

          • Gina

            Thanks for the kind words. <3 it's going to take everyone fighting this fight to get through!

        • Em

          This is great. Thank you for sharing – and keep writing! I’m also a lawyer, and have historically considered myself to be pretty moderate politically. I have been terrified of Trump for months. But I protested this week for the first time ever, because one of the scariest things we’ve seen this week has been the complete and utter disregard for the rule of law (and to a lawyer, that is incredibly scary).

          • Gina

            It’s beyond terrifying. We’ve seen this playbook before, and it doesn’t end well!

        • Jessa

          Thank you for sharing that. It was encouraging to hear that not all conservative Americans support Trump.

    • whitlizflem

      Thank you for writing this. My good, kind, Christian parents chose to vote for Trump, and while my mom at least has been vocal since about opposition to some of his policies, I’m still struggling with how to talk with them. My husband and our child are black, and it’s been particularly hurtful that my parents were unwilling to prioritize the wellbeing of people of color and other vulnerable populations in this election. Thanks for being a leader among conservatives and braving negative reactions. This is not politics as usual by any means and we all need to stand together regardless of political positions.

      • Gina

        Ooooof, it’s so hard to reconcile who you know these people to be with their political positions. I’m sure it’s infinitely harder when those positions hurt your family. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. <3

  • nosio

    Wedding shit is getting done! Our Save the Dates arrived this week and I’m kind of in love with them; we finally settled on definitive reception plans; I came clean with my mom about how her meddling was really harmful; I emailed bridesmaids with some dress shopping guidelines (after being told “Whatever you want!” was not helpful); and we got our contract from our photographer last night. Yesterday was also the 7-months-to-go mark, which was a bit of a “whoa” moment for me – despite this being the world’s longest engagement, this wedding is actually happening!

    Also, I love the discussion down-thread on books. I’m adding all of them to my reading list, because being glued to the internet 24/7 these days is not helping my sanity.

    • Totch

      Congrats on the progress! And props for accepting that “whatever you want” isn’t helpful and rolling with it!

    • Ashlah

      Yes, I really need to get back in the habit of reading books. I got a bunch for Christmas, but I’ve just been glued to my phone, and it’s not healthy for me.Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy getting sucked into a book when I haven’t done it for a while.

  • Kate

    So my partner and I are going to his high school buddy’s wedding and I am experiencing some serious sticker shock. It’s my first wedding in a long time (I guess my friends are just the live-in-sin type) and I did not realize how quickly airfare and hotel adds up. Plus we are invited to the Friday night rehearsal dinner (partner RSVPed yes without checking with me first) so we can’t save money by flying in the day of the wedding or even taking a later flight on Friday. I’m also a little confused as to why we are invited to the rehearsal dinner, I thought they were for closest friends and family? I’ve never met these people before and I’m pretty sure my partner has not kept in great touch with the couple since high school. They also have one of those online registries where the couple can cash out when people buy them imaginary gifts, which just makes me judgey. I’m in graduate school and my partner has a not-well-paid faculty position, so we’re not exactly rolling in it. What’s the deal with rehearsal dinners these days? Should I be less judgey about registries?

    • lamarsh

      In many places, it’s customary to invite all out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner. So, they’re probably just from one of those places.

    • Emily

      A lot of people (at least in the Midwest?) open their rehearsal dinners to out-of-town guests. In my neck of the woods, it would be really rude to invite you, make you fly etc, and then not feed you Friday night.

      • Kate

        Okay this makes sense! In my community it’s really more of an immediate family/wedding party thing. People certainly host welcome dinners and other events, but not often under the “rehearsal dinner” label. Also, the out-of-town thing didn’t occur to me because we currently live in the bride and groom’s home town and a lot of people must be flying from here to the wedding (in a major city several states away).

        • RNLindsay

          Rehearsal dinners/welcome gatherings also tend to be more casual so I really don’t think it would be incredibly rude if you guys decided not to go and apologized with a “We really appreciate the invite but because of flights/scheduling/days off work we realize we can’t swing getting there in time Friday night. We can’t wait to celebrate on saturday though!”

    • penguin

      Could you change your RSVP on the rehearsal dinner now? It sounds like you guys aren’t that close to the couple, and if you don’t want to go then you certainly don’t have to.

    • Rehearsal dinners are often for all out of town guests. I think it’s an old school thing that isn’t done as much because people try to spend money on other things. I think we’ve also, as a society, been spreading out further and further, so out of town guest numbers have been increasing.

      There’s mixed judgment on the tackiness of the Zola weddings…but it’s also partially tied to changes in society about when people get married (everyone’s got all the stuff they need) and changing attitudes about financing weddings and the like.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I’ve been included on rehearsal dinners when I’ve traveled to get there. I think the assumption is that you’re probably coming in the day before, so they’ll feed you for your troubles.

        • Yes, that’s exactly why it used to be common. I think it’s less common now because larger portions of guests end up traveling for weddings…and this could turn your rehearsal dinner into a second wedding reception (it would have done this for us at our wedding).

          • Jane

            Same. Because like 80% of my side’s guests are coming from out of town we aren’t inviting everyone to the rehearsal dinner. But it is a common enough thing in my social circle that you do invite all the out of town guests that I feel kind of guilty about it.

        • flashphase

          Same, I felt bad that people were flying across the country to see me for 5 hours, only 3 min of which we would actually be chatting. Also gave my out of town friends a chance to meet each other, which is great for people who won’t know anyone else at the wedding.

    • Laura

      we did a rehearsal dinner for all out of towners – i don’t think it’s super common, but it’s done. and i feel you on those registries – we did one this summer and got all psyched that we’d bought the couple a fancy full day cooking class on their honeymoon, and then were VERY annoyed to find out that no, actually, we’d just gifted them $$$$ and we should ‘print out the certificate and put it in the card’. what? no. also…we heard about their honeymoon – no cooking class mentioned. i wouldn’t call it tacky, but i felt misled, and then what can you do? cancel it? nope, we were stuck.

      • CMT

        I think it is pretty common. Every wedding I’ve traveled to, there’s been a day before get together for out of town guests.

    • anon

      Just want to respectfully say, yes, you should be less judgey about the registry. My husband and I paid for our wedding out of pocket, and while we saved as much money as we could, it was still incredibly expensive, as weddings are. We did a Zola registry and let me tell you, every single donation to our “honeymoon fund” was so incredibly appreciated, but we felt like we couldn’t say like, hey thanks for the cash! Our thank you cards ended up being like, “your generous gift helped us enjoy a fancy dinner in Rome!” which, while we did take some of the honeymoon fund gifts on our honeymoon with us (probably about half of the funds), it’s just as likely that their specific donation went towards wedding-related expenses. But that doesn’t mean it was any less valuable to us!! If anything, we appreciated the people who gave us money with no strings attached — whether stated or implied. If it’s REALLY important that your gift be an actual physical gift, buy the couple something and physically bring it to the wedding. I’m willing to bet that *most* people appreciate the gesture more than the gift itself, whether it’s wine glasses, a cooking class, or cash.

    • Amy March

      I think you can judge away the registry all you want, but really you’re just annoyed with yourselves that you committed to attend without figuring out the cost. That’s not their registry’s fault. I hate honeymoon registries a lot, but they aren’t that hard to cope with. Decide how much you want to spend on a gift, and either have one shipped to them with a receipt or write a check.

      • Kate

        I don’t mind honeymoon registries too much! I just give side eye to the ones where people assume they are buying the couple the actual physical gift but really the couple is getting some cash and are on the honor system to buy the physical item.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I figure I won’t judge online registry for gifts, same as I shouldn’t be judged me for going off registry. :P

  • LP

    Week one of my new job is complete, and I’m so happy with my decision!! It’s been crazy. I had to fire somebody on day two… but all in all it was the right move for me. Thanks so much for everyone’s advice last week! It all helped so much, I really appreciate it!!!

  • louise danger

    in the spirit of this week’s theme, finding good companies is hard, y’all. i mentioned last week that i had two interviews coming – one that day (aaah), and one this past wednesday.

    the one on friday was really weird – what kind of an interviewer says “this is not really a thinking or problem-solving position” and “there are a staggering number of dishes to be washed every day, and you’ll be making coffee a lot of the time” for an administrative assistant position? i also wasn’t given the opportunity to ask any questions (even as part of the conversation), no one introduced themselves at the start, they couldn’t figure out what room it was supposed to be in…. it was a mess. (the other one was fine but i have some reservations, especially in light of my recent review where i am now.)

    in happier/wedding news, my dress arrived! mom is coming up from north carolina next saturday, and i’m going to go pick it up. fingers crossed that my veil arrives in time (it was supposed to ship today) – i scheduled a hair appointment for the night before, and i’m thinking of going to ulta that morning so i’ll have “the full picture” right off the bat. mom’s also going to go to mass with us next sunday morning to see the church – should be an adventure.

    are any of y’all into lularoe/lula roe/however it’s spelled? i am only just starting to dip my toes in and i sort of don’t understand the hype – i think maybe i’m not #coolgirl enough, though the seller i’ve found is pretty chill.

  • toomanybooks

    Sooooo. I just noticed that my venue has added some more guidelines to their information page in the update of their website for the new year. One of them is that DJ or live band has to be insured (this wasn’t there before). I, of course, have already booked these things and have no idea if they’re insured (I didn’t go through a Wedding DJ or Wedding Band Company to find them). We have a hard copy of the information packet we got when we reserved the wedding and signed the contract last year that makes no mention of this – and we have already booked these people (not to mention, we are VERY excited about them). What do I do? Do you think the venue contact will stop them from playing at our wedding??

    • Amy March

      I think your first step is calling your DJ/band and asking them! Step by step.

    • Eenie

      It’s generally a good idea to have insurance as one of these vendors. If this is something they do for a living I would bet they have it. Call and ask! Our venue required the same thing, but it was in the contract when we signed.

    • You have a contract with your DJ? That usually mentions insurance. They often have it to protect their gear and themselves from liability law suits. Ask the DJ.

    • louise danger

      your vendor most likely carries liability insurance (which is 99% of the time what a venue wants to see) – give ’em a call on monday and ask. it’s usually just a matter of the vendor faxing/emailing a copy of their insurance certificate to the venue. happens all the time, a totally normal question to ask.

      if they say they don’t have insurance, look at the contract you signed for your venue. is the insurance requirement in that paperwork? because if not, then you really shouldn’t worry too much – the contract you signed doesn’t stipulate. (calling the venue to confirm this probably wouldn’t hurt if you’re someone who will worry about it without a definite answer.)

      good luck!

  • nutbrownrose

    I feel like I’m not doing things quickly enough, but also too fast, because it’s February and I only just nailed down the catering today, but also shouldn’t I wait before doing things like flowers and I just want the invitations mailed like now but the wedding is in mid July.
    FH is also having idk what issues. We’ve been engaged since Sept of 15, and he still hasn’t asked his groomsmen. And I was ready to nail down catering last month, but he was avoiding it. I know it’s not that he doesn’t want to marry me, he’s just always been the kind that needs to be dragged to a decision about anything and everything, including planning things. Let’s just say his mom has lots of sympathy. But it’s making me crazy!

    • Jane

      That would make me crazy too.

      But a positive thing is that his mom is sympathetic to you instead of a) thinking her son is perfect or b) assuming you should be in charge of the wedding and not understanding why her son is involved.

      • nutbrownrose

        She does assume I’m in charge, because I am, and she’s in charge of her family, but actually reminds me to ask his opinion frequently. I think she’s starting to see how similar he is to his dad, who is similarly hard to nail down. But No Way No How will FH become as bad as FFIL if I have any say whatsoever.
        (I would love to back off the emotional labor, but it’s not in the cards right now. Too many mental health issues to sort first.)

    • My OH is still failing to ask groomsmen. I think it’s because there isn’t a lot of cultural narrative around men asking other men for emotional support, so groom’s can feel a bit in the dark about how to do it. I know my OH is waiting for the right moment, but he isn’t working to make that moment happen (I’m not sure he knows what that moment looks like), so I’m kinda flailing around here being like “you just ask!”.

      • Jane

        My FH asked his groomsmen via a WhatsApp group they were all a part of. Not exactly a formal or extremely personal method – but it worked. They said yes. So, really anything works.

        • OH is very clear he wants to ask in person, alone. Which is sweet, except I can’t think of a context in which he and his groomsman-to-be would be hanging out alone these days, because we live in different cities and most meet ups are parties or group outings.

  • Fushigidane

    I was originally going to keep my name but with the current climate I might feel safer taking my husbands white name

    • Just Me

      I’m sorry, it sucks that you are having to make that choice based on world events.

      Could you add on your husbands name officially but put off the decision of how you will use it socially vs. professionally vs. legally for a little while longer? I have 4 names, technically they are classified as 1 first name, 2 middle names, and one last name. In reality, the last two are both last names and if I wanted to, I could use either one socially/professionally even though the last name is my legal last name.

  • anon

    **TW: Talk about being on a jury for a rape case***

    I want to work for a company like APW and a boss like Meg so badly!

    I need to talk with someone about this…
    My husband spent this week on a jury for a rape case and it ate him up. He didn’t tell me until yesterday (when the case was finished) that it was a rape case. Every day he would come home and tell me that he’d thought a lot about me during his day. At the time I didn’t know how to take that, but now I understand it is because we’ve talked a lot about how victim’s are blamed, how it’s often someone a woman knows, how many unreported assaults there are, etc. In the past I think it was mostly talk for him, but this case and watching the other jurors during deliberation made it very real for him. He said that there were 4 who at first were on the fence and 3/4 were women. The common statements were made: “I’ve made mistakes before; how do we know this wasn’t consensual?” (He felt the forensic evidence was overwhelming). Ultimately the jury did go guilty on all counts which was a huge relief for him.

    It’s sad that it has taken this event for him to understand how difficult this is, even when there is solid evidence. It sucks… for him, for me… for all of us.

    • rg223

      Ahh, that’s rough. I’m glad the jury went guilty. I hope you guys indulge in some self-care this weekend.

    • RNLindsay

      So encouraging to hear the jury went guilty and I’m proud of your husband for you (even if it took this terrible thing) to start looking at this subject in a new light.

  • Kira

    In the vein of not saying (or doing) anything being a statement in and of itself, I started a project offering super-discounted-to-free last minute wedding photography for couples who have changed their wedding plans due to #notmypresident.

    emergencytrumpweddings.com

    I started this project after photographing a wedding in November for two dear friends of mine who moved up their wedding over two years and planned everything in ten days because they were scared they’d lose the chance to do so if they waited, or that their parents would be deported before they could get married.

    While I don’t think wedding photography is going to save the world, this small gesture means a lot to me — my partner and I rushed to get married so we could share healthcare in 2008, right before Prop 8 passed in California, and while it was most important that we got married, we don’t have any photos of our wedding (literally none; camera phones were not a thing quite yet).

    Reading APW over the years has taught me that weddings matter because people and our relationships matter, and the folks whose wedding plans are being disrupted because of… everything right now, really, are most likely to be told by this administration that they don’t matter, that their stories don’t matter, and that’s crap. So! I’m hoping that this small gesture can help push back against that attitude and make things a little bit more joyful for folks who find themselves getting married right now for reasons beyond their control.

    If you know of anyone who would benefit from this, please pass it on. <3

    • Yael

      I think what you’re doing is wonderful and if I was in the Bay Area and had a budget for photos I’d definitely try to hire you to support your work!

    • LadyJanee

      This is a really great thing that you’re doing!

  • Mariedbell

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj139d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !mj139d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash139HomeTodayWeb60GetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj139d:….,….

  • up_at_Dawn

    Thanks to some encouragement from my lovely boyfriend, I have an interview for my dream job on Feb 17! (Okay so it’s part-time…but I’m only part-time at my current job anyway)

    He encouraged me to start applying to the jobs I want (even though I’m not finished with the additional courses I need for it), and then he encouraged me to email back the manager and explain my progress with the course and my interest in working for them!

    I am so excited! I used to feel so stuck and I have to say that I don’t feel stuck anymore.

    • Yael

      Partners who encourage us to reach for our dreams are the best!

  • Holy shit. I was offered a new job this week.

    With a RAISE. A big raise, a big responsibility boost, I’d get to be part of something amazingly innovative, in the school district I’ve wanted to be in, in a job I’ve been seeking for a long time….but the hitch: I’d have to leave my current job in the middle of the school year (I teach high school)….they’d give me about 6 weeks before I had to leave, which, in the private sector is a LONG time, but in public education, it’s not–so I’d be saying goodbye to amazing students in April….ahhh, and not finishing the year with them.
    I have had a million and one conversations with friends, family, other peeps in education, and the overwhelming consensus seems to be, “You’d be an idiot to turn this down!”, but I just have that guilt…I love my students…I didn’t in any way anticipate not ending the school year with them, but I also am trying to do what is right for me as a professional and for my career….ahhh…any other school/teacher/education folks out there who can offer some ideas?
    –Em

    • Kira

      Congratulations!!!! Regardless of what you decide, it’s awesome that you were offered the position!

      Also! I’m not a school/teacher/educator, but as an internet stranger who only knows the context of your situation from the post you’ve made, I say go for the opportunity!

      The only other thing I can offer is my memories of two high school teachers who left their positions mid-year for different reasons; though it was really sad to see them go — both were great people and great teachers — they both had lives outside of teaching me and the big picture of my life was definitely not impacted by their decisions outside of a few weird substitute teachers, while the trajectory of their lives was hugely impacted for the better by their choices, if that makes sense.

    • suchbrightlights

      I don’t know if this comparison feels apt to you or not, but from your students’ perspective, how is this different than if you were leaving on maternity leave or sabbatical? Long-term substitute teachers are valuable for exactly this reason. :) Several of my teachers in high school ended up having to take long-term leave for a variety of reasons, and we were fortunate to have great substitutes who were passionate about their subject area. We still benefited from an excellent education and our teachers lived their lives.

      If you’ll be a part of something amazingly innovative in an exciting school district, it sounds like your work will still be valuable to the students you care about. Maybe not these kids specifically, but you’d still be doing good work for their cohort’s benefit.

      Congratulations on the opportunity!

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  • Evelynbjohnson

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj127d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !mj127d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash127HomeVisionGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj127d:….,……..