APW Happy Hour


Pssst... we're having a sale

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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HEY APW,

If there’s one good thing that’s coming out of this dumpster fire of a year, it’s that I’m seeing more folks doubling down on supporting businesses that support their values (and kicking businesses to the curb that don’t). Which is pretty much all APW has ever been about. And having been on both sides of the aisle, if you will, what I can tell you is that having professionals who actually care about you and your wedding by your side on your wedding day matters. (Just ask me about the time I was a bridesmaid and the wedding photographer was very clearly channeling Austin Powers. It was… not a good scene.) And working with clients who value what you do? That matters too.

So, in the spirit of connecting good businesses with good people (because look at the picture above! That’s what happens when y’all get together!), we’re offering a pretty-much-never-happens 20% off sale on all vendor directory listings from now until February 22nd! Know someone who should really be working with APW couples? Or just getting their business off the ground and in need of advertising? Or did you have great vendors at your wedding you loved working with but you didn’t find through APW? Send them our way right now, and make sure they get an awesome deal on an APW listing. (Tell them they’re welcome to pass on the savings to the cause of their choice—whether that’s a social justice organization, a massage, or a stiff drink.)

As always, we’re so grateful for all the awesome folks you send our way. Working with our advertisers pays APW’s bills, supports (often female-owned) small businesses, and keeps us online producing feminist wedding and marriage content for you year-round.

Cheers,

Maddie

LINK ROUND-UP

Hey J.Crew, Why Don’t You Want My Plus-Sized Money?

How to Be Disabled, According to Stock Photography

The Elusive Erykah Badu

Twitter users are trolling Sean Spicer’s Venmo account

Shonda is turning I’m Judging You into a cable series and we are HERE FOR IT.

Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns

Toddlers shot more people in the U.S. than Muslim Terrorists in 2016.

The White House: “We’ll say ‘fake news’ until you report what we want you to.”

Supreme Court nominee calls Trump’s attacks on judiciary “demoralizing.”

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Mary Jo TC

    My highlight of the week: the day after the DeVos vote, people in my state started a facebook group dedicated to defeating our Republican senator in his 2018 election. Already up to 4500 people. So far it’s mostly just a lot of speculation about who would be a worthy opponent–it’s tough because there are very few Democratic politicians with statewide name recognition, and there is lots of understandable ambivalence about celebrity candidates. But on the other hand, did you know Tim McGraw is a Democrat? ;-)

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ohman, I’m starting to see all sorts of people talk about throwing their hats in the ring and running for office. It’s exciting! We have a whole new generation of people going, “Whelp, I guess it’s up to me.”

    • BSM

      That’s awesome! Big high fives to you liberals in red states – y’all are crushing it.

      Did you see protesters in DC who prevented DeVos from going on her first public school visit as EdSec (and likely, ever)? Amaaaaazing.

      • Emily

        Omg, I started laughing hysterically when my very Conservative boss came in this morning OUTRAGED that Betsy couldn’t go to school. Like I probably am not getting a raise I was laughing so hard. Also, being from Michigan and having slight personal contact with other Amway heirs, I can tell you that woman can’t even sell laundry detergent.

      • Kalë

        I read that the teachers at the particular school in question all wore black in protest of her visit. YAAAAS.

  • CMT

    I am loving all the jokes on Twitter about Trump’s “SEE YOU IN COURT” tweet. But, of course, I also continue to be horrified by everything his administration is doing.

  • Ashlah

    Been thinking about the little things people say and do that feel sexist, but fall just short of egregious enough that it makes you doubt your perception. Like, helping a client complete a wire yesterday, the bank teller on the other line called me “young lady” and had this weird super cheery, kind of sarcastic attitude about how correct I was about the info I was confirming. He was being overly nice, but it felt really condescending and I couldn’t help but think he wouldn’t use that same attitude with a man.

    And then I was thinking about when my boss “joked” (because he’s clueless) that I’d “better not go do that” when my co-worker was pregnant, compared to my husband’s boss telling him recently that he should really have kids. Coincidental based on the individual bosses? Or patriarchy at work? Assumptions about who will take leave are certainly at play. It pisses me off to no end that parenthood is a professional detriment for women and a professional boost for men, and that just felt like an example of it at work.

    • JC

      Ugh. Yep. Boyfriend’s dad called me this week to “check on me.” I’m an adult, I’m fine. Sorry you’re getting the brunt of this this week.

      • BSM

        Ugh. I haaaaaate this. We had my SIL (who’s 21) house sit for us for a few days, and her boyfriend came over because he “didn’t want her alone in the house.” Both sexist and insulting?

        • Lisa

          My dad does the checking-up thing, but he’s done it with less frequency since I got married because (though he hasn’t outright said it) I have a man to take care of me now. It drives me absolutely nuts.

          • Wait, my parents call to check on me if I haven’t talked to them in a week or so, just to make sure I’m still alive and such. They do it less that I’m married now because I live with another person who would presumably notice earlier if I was in trouble. (They also did it less when I lived with a roommate than when I lived alone). I’m not sure what the problem with that is?
            Although I could definitely see it being something that people could say in a way that would make it insulting, but generally when I think of it, I think about it as being something that people do with people they care about.

          • BSM

            I think that’s the crux of the issue Ashlah brought up: are people doing this stuff because they’re being friendly/they care about you or (and?) is there an underlying twinge of sexism in their actions?

            Like the situation I brought up: would my SIL ever say she didn’t want her BF housesitting for someone by himself? I can assure you with almost certainty that she would not.

          • Yeah that SIL one made a lot of sense to me. I got a little confused about parents, but I think that’s probably just me imagining my parents and forgetting that not everyone’s parents are the same as mine.

          • Lisa

            There is a lot of other infantilizing or emotional blackmail from my dad that I didn’t go into here. My mom will call or text to chat if she hasn’t heard from me in a week or so, but it’s different coming from my father. He’s made it abundantly clear that men are safer in society (sadly true in many cases) and can take better care of themselves and others than women.

          • JC

            Yeah, the term “benevolent sexism” was made for this situation. Of course he cares about me, which is why he called in the first place. But he didn’t call because we haven’t spoken in a while and he wanted to see how things were going. He called because my boyfriend is out of town and therefore I must be having a hard time taking care of myself.

        • When I was 20, I’d have to go home and babysit my 18 year old brother because my parents didn’t trust him around his friends. Not quite the same thing, but it can happen in the other direction…

    • Margret

      I get this constantly from clients. I get called “Darling,” “Dearie,” “Missy,” (okay, Missy is outright sexist), and earlier this week, “Margret, Margret, Margret.” And lots of it is this benign sexism where the guys don’t even realize they’re being sexist, but I promise you they don’t have cute nicknames for their male defense attorneys.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        My boss likes to call us (mostly women on my team) ‘kiddos’ and he is several years younger than me. The last couple times he tried it, I called him Daddy, and he got super embarrassed.

        • Jess

          I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

        • emmers

          That made me snicker. Good job.

        • Jessica

          A+, wish I was that ballsy.

          But all the people who call me kiddo at work are volunteers.

      • Another Meg

        “You didn’t say you were hot on the phone.”

        GROOOOOOOOOSSSSSSS.

        • Margret

          Right?!? And that’s not even the grossest or most inappropriate thing I deal with.

        • toomanybooks

          “That’s because it would have been very unprofessional!”

    • Totch

      Posted last week about a knock down drag out fight I had with my fiance when I was trying to talk to him about work clothes and he laughed at the word “hose.”

      Ultimately it came down to him saying “I should be able to say whatever I’m thinking around you” and me saying “so should I, including being able to a) have a god damn normal conversation about professional attire without it being a joke to you, and b) call you being sexist in a way that I often can’t/don’t do with the rest of the world. Put that way, he got it. But I’m just feeling so tired lately and I have no fuse left at home.

      • Lisa

        Yes on (b). I’ve stopped putting up with even joking racism or sexism and call my (straight, white) husband out on anything that toes the line. If I’m not going to tell him, no one else will.

      • Ashlah

        Yes! Good for you. We had a bit of a similar argument recently, and I couldn’t quite voice why his reaction to a word I used bothered me so much. It was exactly this. I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable talking to you or like I need to censor the language I use because it isn’t language you’re used to/exposed to.

        • Totch

          Right, I had consciously been calling my hose ‘tights’ for part of the convo because I know he doesn’t know the difference and TBH, it shouldn’t be but it’s an awkward word. I just wasn’t in the mood for it, so I made an effort to call them sometime they weren’t. I let hose slip one time and he laughed and I just couldn’t do it.

    • Natalie

      UGH. I was offered a (tenure-track, faculty) job recently, and when I asked about their maternity leave policy, the dean started by saying “yeah, this is just one of those problems we have to deal with now…” and went on to explain that when female faculty have babies, their colleagues cover their classes for a week or few weeks until they recover enough to come back to work. I politely declined the job offer, but was thinking “ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME?! Babies are ‘problems’?! You don’t have an actual maternal leave policy (not to mention parental leave…)?! You expect new moms to get back to work as soon as they’re physically able to stand?!”

      • Ashlah

        Woooooow. Have to deal with “now,” as in, “now that we allow women to work?” Gross. Definitely sounds like the right choice to decline that job, I’m sure that was just the tip of the iceberg.

        • Natalie

          Yup. I think he meant “now” as in, “now that women are actually being hired as science professors,” but he could have meant “now that it’s illegal to fire women for getting pregnant,” or “now that we have to obey the family/medical leave act.”

      • I went to Gonzaga, and I have to give them props. They just updated their parental* leave policy. If you gave birth right now, you’d get the rest of this semester off, and the following semester. Which is fall, because summer is optional. So you wouldn’t have to go back to work until next January! I’m super impressed, since they’re Jesuits and preists aren’t exactly known for being super knowledgeable about babies/maternity leave.

        *I think it’s for either parent, but it could just be maternity leave.

        • Natalie

          That is awesome. I accepted a job at a school that gives one entire semester off at full pay, but offers flexibility to take two half-semesters instead (so if you have a baby in the summer & would rather work part-time for a year). And it’s a parental leave policy, so if both parents work there, they each get the leave. I was pretty impressed with that, but Gonzaga has that beat!

          • I’m not sure what the pay is like when on leave, and I know that the policy is different for staff vs faculty, but I was thrilled to hear it! Especially because Spokane is pretty conservative, so a lot of people think you should just stay home after having kids.

          • Caitlyn

            Thank you for pointing this out. Faculty and staff are not treated equitably and it’s BS. Faculty need to stand up for staff more! (especially since issues of class, race, and gender play into who works as faculty and who ends up as staff!!).

          • Natalie

            Yeah, that’s something I asked about at the schools I interviewed. It sounds like the more prestigious places (read: schools with more money) have already moved to offer full time staff the same benefits that faculty get. But most places definitely give staff much less desirable benefits than faculty.

            I was impressed with my postdoc institution because they treat postdocs like full time, permanent staff/faculty in terms of health care & retirement benefits. Meanwhile, my husband’s postdoc institution gives him crappy student health insurance, which requires him to use the student health care center for all non-emergencies, even though he works remotely and lives thousands of miles away.

          • Caitlyn

            Good for you for asking! It’s amazing to me how often faculty don’t realize that staff don’t have quite the same sweet deal they do :) Even just asking questions like that during interviews can make the Administration understand that how staff are treated can affect their faculty recruitment (let’s be honest – that’s all they care about) – so that can make a real difference. Thank you!

          • Natalie

            :-) I have worked with fantastic staff, who made my job easier & helped me do my job better. I’ve also worked with really bad administrative staff who made my job harder, caused me to lose grant money, etc. My college paying staff well & providing good benefits means they’re more likely to attract and keep great staff, which directly benefits me as a faculty member and the college as a whole.

        • Another Meg

          That is fantastic.

          And I have to say, out of the different kinds of priests in the world, Jesuits tend to be my fave.

      • Uuuuuuuuuuugh.
        Also, this is why I like to dig through benefits policies and be pleasantly surprised.

        It’s one thing to not have the money to properly handle maternity leave, it’s another thing to be a sexist asshat about it.

        • Natalie

          Yup.

        • Eenie

          The job I interviewed just sent over their benefits policy and I was floored at how good it was! Full 12 week paid maternity leave. Plus lots of other good stuff. Health insurance so good my husband would maybe join my plan.

          • Looks like I get a semester off at full pay, and can take another one off at half pay. Plus you throw summer semester in there…Not bad.

      • Lisa

        That’s awful. I was talking with my boss in Chicago about this, and she told me that one of our professors at the university had had her first child in the mid-70s, and the next week she was back at school, lecturing, with her baby in the stroller in a corner of the classroom because she was afraid she’d lose her job otherwise. It’s disturbing how little some places have progressed in the intervening 40 years.

        • Natalie

          UGH. Yeah, I know some older generation female professors who did similar things.

          I recently read Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, a female science professor. In it, she talks about how her department banned her from working in her lab while she was pregnant because they were worried about her safety (like, they were worried she would faint, not that she worked with carcinogens or things dangerous to her/baby’s health). Pregnant women scared the men in her department, so they made her stay home. She sneaked into her lab late at night to work until she had her baby, then looked for a job at another university that wasn’t afraid of fertile women.

          • Lisa

            That is so awful! One of our professors has a sign on her lab door that says “Caution: Mixed Gender Lab. No falling in love or crying permitted” on it (like this), which we thought was funny until she explained it to us. Apparently there was some old school scientist who complained during a big talk about having women in the lab because they’re distracting and full of emotions, and there was a major pushback in the scientific community.

          • Natalie

            I remember when that went down. Colleagues and I posted photos of ourselves doing science (in full body PP gear, wearing Antarctic field clothes, etc.) to twitter with the hashtag #distractinglysexy. Hilarious hashtag, frustrating sexism issues.

          • Lisa

            Yes, she showed us some of those! So funny and sad at the same time.

      • Another Meg

        That is terrible!

        I’ve been prepping for maternity leave with my HR rep, and my company doesn’t offer paid leave. They’re also SUPER insistent on reminding me that they don’t legally HAVE to offer me FMLA because I work remotely in another state. It’s kind of gross for a company that hires an awful lot of women in their twenties and thirties.

        My husband, on the other hand, asked during his job interview about paternity leave and at the time they didn’t have it, so he negotiated an extra 5 days of PTO. The next year, they started offering it. So he’s taking 4 weeks off, paid, when the baby comes. I’m taking 10 unpaid. It’s crazy.

        Side note, if one more person wants to know if MY salary will cover daycare, I’m going to scream.

        • Eenie

          My husband’s work just upped the paid paternity leave to 4 weeks (was 2 weeks before)!! Blew my fucking mind.

          • Another Meg

            That’s awesome!

            Something I read here- One of the ways to help close the wage gap is for dads to take family leave and be willing to leave early to pick up their kids, etc. That was one of the reasons why I asked B to always bring it up during job interviews.

            I really hope this is a trend. My BIL didn’t take the two weeks of leave offered by his company (in which he is a partner) because he’s “not a pussy”. I can’t even.

          • Ashlah

            Omg. The anger I feel towards your BIL is intense right now.

            We’re planning/hoping for my husband to take a month off after my leave (both unpaid), and I can’t help but wonder if his boss would have suggested having kids if he knew that. Shared leave is so so so important.

          • ZLMT

            I found it kinda galling that my husband got 2 mo. paid leave and I got unpaid 3 months (FMLA). BUT it was also so great to be together during that time and it left both of us feeling comfortable about doing childcare. I think it contributed to greater equity between us also, as compared to friends whose spouses only had a couple weeks.

          • Another Meg

            I feel you in the annoyance. It sounds awesome! I’m happy that my husband is taking my last week, then the first two weeks I’m back at work so he gets alone time with the kiddo. We’re definitely hoping it will kickstart egalitarian parenting.

          • Eenie

            Yup. He’s really been pushing at his very large corporation to get better benefits (more vacation, work from home, etc) since the company has been struggling with giving out raises. He’s on board to take the full 12 weeks available to him through FMLA (6 unpaid). Hopefully (I know his work allows this) we will be able to stagger them a little bit so we each get some 1:1 leave with the new kid.

            Plus, if I get this job I’m interviewing for, he’s now well aware he’d have to do 75-100% of daycare dropoffs and pickups and be the default parent for calls and such if we stay in the area for more than five years. It wasn’t something that crossed his mind, but I explained that if my commute is 70 minutes each way and his is 20 minutes, when we have a kid or kids, he’s probably going to end up doing a lot of the daycare pickups and dropoffs. Which caused him to pause and think for a little bit. And he admitted that made a lot of sense, and that he still wanted me to interview for the job if I wanted it. I love/hate it when he has these little realizations. Another example is this car he was wanting to buy down the road – a two door coup. I asked him if he really wanted to deal with car seats in the back of it every day.

          • BSM

            My husband’s former employer, a huge multi-national corporation, offers dads 1 day of paternity leave. For the day their child is born. They’ll comply with state laws, but, other than that, you have to use your vacation time.

            WTFFFFFF

          • Eenie

            Standard bereavement leave is longer than that! Honestly though, my brother got zero paid leave so he had to use all of his vacation time. It sucks. He works for such a family friendly company otherwise (free passes to the zoo, museum, etc.). Sigh. We are so so so so so thankful for his company’s change of policy and honestly, it’ll be the reason he sticks around for another five years.

          • toomanybooks

            *chomps cigar* “Look, ya gotta be there for the birth or *the wife* won’t be too happy. But after that? You belong to us, pal. You’re gonna thank me when that baby is crying”

            (this is how I imagine that conversation going lol)

        • Lisa

          Ugh, that was one of the things that bothered me so much about my awful non-profit job. It was a local branch of a national organization that supports women, and it was literally the only local branch without some form of paid maternity leave. When I brought this up as part of a discussion about staff morale (for a staff of 35 with 33 women), HR told me we were lucky they even offered FMLA protection because, since the staff was so small, they technically didn’t have to.

          AT A NON-PROFIT DEVOTED TO EMPOWERING WOMEN.

          HULK. SMASH.

          • Ashlah

            Raaaaaaaaage

          • Natalie

            W.T.F.

          • AP

            I have a close friend who worked for a national religious denomination on maternal and reproductive health social advocacy, and they DID THE SAME THING TO HER. She was denied mat leave, but they offered her leave without pay, as if that made it all better. Hulk Smash is right.

          • Lisa

            Whatever happened to walk the walk? That’s what I said in response to the HR woman.

          • AP

            NO KIDDING. Not to mention the whole “get the plank out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s.”

          • Lisa

            Seriously. Also, I pointed out that it is SUCH a small thing to offer someone in terms of money for the added benefit of being able to say that they have it. If they offered 8 weeks of paid leave, they might have to double pay a position once a year (so like $2500-4000 total, given our salaries there) if they even hired anyone else at all. (The one woman who took unpaid leave while I was there was gone for 8 weeks before returning at 25% and then quitting because it wasn’t worth it.)

            What an easy and cheap way to show you care about your employees.

          • toomanybooks

            What!!!!! The irony….

          • toomanybooks

            I get the impression (from fiancée and many friends) that non-profits can be kind of nightmares to work at in ways you wouldn’t expect given their noble missions. Sigh.

          • Lisa

            It depends on the non-profit. I’ve been told larger, national organizations are much better structured and run more like corporations. I’d consider working at a national level in the future, but I couldn’t go back to what I was doing before. The level of dysfunction was awful. There’s an expectation that because you should care about the mission that you should make yourself a martyr for the work. I have as big of a bleeding heart as the next millenial, but I have enough self-respect not to be totally taken advantage of again.

    • ” Coincidental based on the individual bosses? Or patriarchy at work? ”
      Why can’t it be both?!

      yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

    • Jess

      Argh… I have so many. So. Many.

      A few weeks ago, I was sitting getting ready for a yearly safety training meeting, and an older man sat behind me and said, “Oh I really wish I had pigtails to pull”

      He repeated it when I asked him, shocked, “What!?”

      I then responded, “What an odd thing to say.”

      I was very proud of myself, but felt very strange about the whole thing.

      • Fushigidane

        I’ve had coworkers joke about cutting my long hair

        • Jess

          Yeah, it’s odd.

          Oh also, comments I frequently get all the time about being so. young. Ok, I get it, I look 17. Thank you, let’s move on and let me do my job now?

          • ART

            I did make a complaint to HR about a (male) coworker who incessantly made comments about another (female) coworker’s youth. They had a chat.

          • MC

            Ugh, yes, I was interviewing a college student for a volunteer position at my org and at the end of the interview she asked how old I was & when I said 27, she was like, “Wow, you look a lot younger.” 1. How is that an appropriate question to ask at an interview?, and 2. Even if I was younger, I would still be your supervisor if you volunteered with us so it doesn’t really matter!

            (I actually get this more from women than from men but it always seems like an internalized misogyny thing…)

          • Ashlah

            Oh yeah, my boss (67, the clueless one mentioned in the original comment), laughed at me when I pointed out how young college football players are for all the pressure they’re under. Because I’m 26. I understand that’s young compared to 67, and that I’m the youngest in the office (ugh), but that football player literally graduated high school last year, and I have worked as a professional in your office for 6 years.

      • lildutchgrrl

        Immediately thought of the scene in Into the Woods where the Baker says, “Oh, I would love a red cloak like that.” and Little Red responds, “You’d look pretty foolish.”

        • Lisa

          +100 for the ITW reference.

      • Totch

        Once had a boss who loved my hair and talked about it often, and got angry at me when I came back from a trip with it 10 inches shorter.

        • Ashlah

          Some folks take other people’s hair so personally! It’s ridiculous! Some of the responses I got to my buzzcut…ugh. I just wanted to shake people and shout, “It doesn’t affect you!!”

          • Totch

            I nearly screamed that at a stylist a couple months ago when she refused to cut my hair the length I wanted because the length she put it at would be ‘sexier.’

            Got my hair cut at a new place this week, where the stylist went “since you’re fine buzzing the nape of your neck, you might want to try a bit of an undercut next time for cleaner lines.”

            Take my money.

          • Kara

            I visited a friend (who was living and working) in one of the biggest towns/cities in West Texas a few years ago. I needed a haircut (I don’t particularly care or stress over my hair), so I went with my friend.

            The stylist, a woman, asked if my husband was okay with me cutting my hair….WTF??? Like it matters???

            My friend was so grateful to move away from that place, and I was so grateful to have her back in a big city.

          • Lisa

            Ugh, I know Texas is a land unto itself, but this definitely falls in the category of “Things I Dislike About the South.”

        • louise danger

          i had a boss who pawed at my ponytail once when he walked past. i spun around in my chair and told him in no uncertain terms that if he did it again, i wouldn’t be responsible for what happened to him.

          he looked suitably cowed and wandered away. officemate (another dudebro) collected his jaw off his desk before giving me a cautious thumbs up.

      • toomanybooks

        Ewwwwwwww also applause to you for responding

    • Her Lindsayship

      I had a guy who works for the facilities division here in my office to look at a bunch of our outlets. They had blown because we were running space heaters – everyone in our building was using space heaters because they were keeping it so cold and refused to give us control over our own space. Anyway so this facilities guy comes in and asks me “which outlet is it, honey?” Sigh. Fine. I point it out and he gets to work. A few minutes later, he comes into my office, checks the outlet behind my desk and says “Looks like you’re gonna have to put on a sweater, honey.”

      Long story short my boss completely ripped him a new one and spoke to his boss about it, and he was apparently mortified when his boss (a woman) explained to him why we were offended. And then me, my boss, and his boss sat in my office for a few minutes sighing about the fact that he literally had no idea that what he said could even be interpreted in a way that would offend.

      • Abby

        I have had more than one feminist ragespiral about the fact that offices are kept at a comfortable temperature for men in suits so that offices are too cold for women, requiring us to deal with space heaters. Glad you have a boss who sticks up for you!

    • Alli

      My boss once told me that me purchasing my house is a “distraction” and that when (excuse me, when?) I have kids, “they’ll be a distraction.” Then he went on a weird rant about breastfeeding and how he believes that babies should only be breastfed and if my husband is anything like him, the baby will cry in the middle of the night and I’ll always have to be the one to get up to feed it so I’ll be super tired all the time.

      He’s a charmer. I write down the shit he says but I’m not sure what to do with it. From what I hear he’s gone through sensitivity training multiple times so it seems pointless to bring it up to HR.

      • ART

        I might bring it up anyway, in case they are building a record on him for any future purpose.

      • Danielle

        I would keep writing these incidents down, and saving them at the very least. They may come in handy at some point.

      • Ashlah

        Good lord, what a piece of work.

    • ART

      This reminds me, my husband got me to watch the first episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, and I hadn’t read the books but was given the first three a while ago, so I read most of the first one the next day. There are three children: 14/f, 11/m, and infant/f. In the show (so far), the girl holds the infant in every scene – the boy is never shown holding her. I thought that was kind of weird, but then I read the book and in the scenes depicted in the first episode, THE BOY HOLDS THE BABY 3 out of 4 times baby-holding is even mentioned. WTF NETFLIX. Then the book has all this really creepy stuff happening around the girl, like men being creepy with her. So I don’t feel very jazzed about continuing with either version, except to see if the boy ever holds the baby in the show and if he doesn’t, I’m writing a letter to NPH about it. I bet he can get shit done.

      • Totch

        Omg, I spent that whole series thinking “Is she really holding that baby? How long are they able to film with her holding that baby? For a girl her age, she is really good at acting and holding a living human child securely!” I’m sure sometimes it’s a doll, but a lot of the time it’s the actual Sonny(s).

        Never once did it occur to me that Klaus doesn’t hold Sunny, but you’re totally right.

        Also, Violet does a lot more inventing in the book than the show, which is really exciting to my niece. But you’re definitely right that there’s some grossness in the way Olaf and other men interact with Violet. I’m glad she looks so young in this series, because it makes things like the wedding scene just as scary as they should be.

      • Angela’s Back

        just want to say that I watched the first episode and noticed the girl holding the baby thing too and was like really…? ARE WE NOT PAST THIS YET? oy vey.

      • Caitlyn

        Seriously it is SO bad. My husband and I joked about it for a while… but finally we just stopped watching because it just wasn’t funny anymore.
        The other story line that just killed me was Aunt Josephine being so brave and bold… as long as she’s in a relationship. But husband dies and she immediately becomes a basket-case. And that gave me prickles of discomfort, but I understand how losing a loved one could make you fearful so I was trying to give the writers the benefit of the doubt. Until they show her coming back from the market and suddenly she’s ready to be fearless and bold again… because she met a man. Only having a man in her life can make her brave. Really this story line profoundly upset me – it was just so egregious.

      • S

        I feel like this is a CLASSIC example of times when you’re not sure if something’s sexist or not and your intuition is telling you that it is, but you keep thinking of ways it couldn’t be anyway because of ~society~. Because my first thought when I read your post was, “That sucks! Klaus should hold the baby more! Ugh!” and my second thought was, “This could be one of those things though where the actress is older and stronger and more experienced with babies than the boy who plays Klaus, and so in scenes where the baby has to be held for a longer period of time it makes more sense for her to carry her.” Seriously so much happens behind the scenes of shows and movies, I’m constantly reading the reasons for bad decisions in imdb trivia like, “Oh, that pivotal actor wasn’t available for filming so they had to change the script so that they were dead” or “X actor was allergic to Y so couldn’t do Z pivotal thing.” etc. Maybe the boy who plays Klaus is a baby-hating brat, or something. But again: IT’S PROBABLY JUST SEXISM AND MY BRAIN IS MAKING UP EXCUSES.

        • Lisa

          You are so right though about there being a million reasons why things get changed in movies. I’m a big HP fan, and a lot of my friends were mad that Hermione’s Yule Ball gown was pink instead of blue. They thought it was because the costumers were trying to make her more traditional girly, and having worked a little with film, I told them, “No, it’s actually more likely they made it pink because the whole set was blue/white so it made her standout more to wear a warm tone.” So yes, possible sexism or possible logical explanation… or even some of each.

        • ART

          I even thought of that, like, maybe the actor is very young and smallish and not physically able to but…work some movie magic, come on!

    • Fushigidane

      My parents don’t like me driving places but they’re perfectly ok with someone else driving me, even people that they haven’t met before. When I was younger, I was only really allowed to drive after my dad started working night shift and my mom wanted someone to drive her places. I am not the worst driver in my friend group.
      They were also surprised when I drove my fiance’s car and when he said I was a good driver when they expressed their surprise.

      • Totch

        We just bought our first car, previously we’d been splitting a car with fiance’s mom so he did all the driving because he was on her insurance. We’ve had the car for like two weeks and DRIVING IS WEIRD AND WEIRDLY GENDERED.

        • Eenie

          I do all the driving because I love driving “my” car. He will drive most of the time if we take the truck because watching me park it is painful. I absolutely love being his chauffeur since he typically drove his manual car when we were dating (once again, I can drive it, just not pretty).

          • We each ‘have’ cars even though we share ownership– I drive my car (which was my car before we met) and he drives the car we bought together. I am definitely the better navigator of the two of us though.

        • Jessica

          When my husband came back from deployment I had to assert my right to be the driver at least half the time. There was a moment we were in Madison–where I have lived and know the streets really well but he does not–that he got in the driver’s seat and said “Ok, where am I going?” for about the fifth time and I just exploded and said he shouldn’t assume the driver’s position.

        • CharlotteJ

          Yes to driving being weirdly gendered! I do all the driving because my boyfriend doesn’t have his license. He doesn’t need one, we live in a very walkable area – close enough to his office that he walks to work, we can walk to the grocery store and most other important places, and it doesn’t bother me to do the driving when we do need to drive somewhere (I actually love it). But wow, the judgement he gets from his family and from mine. And then the side-eye I get separately… “He doesn’t have his license? Can’t you talk to him? Isn’t it about time?” Ugh.

        • toomanybooks

          Yup. My dad drives like a monster (I seriously get carsick every time I’m in his car) but gets so mad when my mom says anything like “oh there’s a car coming over there” or pointing out something like that. But of course he’ll say the same sorts of things to my mom when she drives.

          My fiancée recently came on a long-ish drive further into the “country” for lunch with my family and we all convinced my dad to let her drive on the way back. I helped navigate as is ny wont and my mom was shocked that I got away with it and I was like “Lol Fiancee likes when I’m helpful while she’s driving!”

    • Transnonymous

      My gender identity realizations in the past couple of weeks have really opened my eyes to how many minor sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments get made in my office – sadly, mostly by my female co-workers. I mentioned this week that my husband and I don’t want to have biological children, and one of my female co-workers was absolutely aghast. Plenty of people don’t have children, either by choice or by circumstance. It made me very uncomfortable.

      It also made me realize I may subtly be carrying around some male privilege because of how I dress and act, even at these early stages. I wear my hair short, only wear pants, etc. and have realized lately that I’m not subject to nearly as much sexism as many of my co-workers. it’s fascinating (and somewhat depressing).

      • EF

        i feel you on the sexism thing and passing. (note: i identify as agender)

        i have gotten catcalled ONCE in my life, and it was kinda exciting that time. i almost never get comments about children or hair or anything, and i think it’s probably because of how i look and dress and talk. it’s also one reason i started to feel less connected to women or ‘womanhood’ overall — i simply don’t experience a lot of it.

    • ebtree1151

      Ugh I know what you mean about the little things being sexist at work.

      I have recently been running a reoccurring meeting at work. I don’t do it every time we have this meeting, but only when the coworker that usually runs the meeting cannot make it . Every time I host, I get thank you emails from our chief scientist and chief engineer. I know that they are actually grateful and happy that I step up, but I know for a fact the NEVER thank you email any of the other people who substitute lead the meeting. (Important note, I am the only woman on the team)

    • AP
    • toomanybooks

      I find that I most often encounter things that are just bad enough to pick up on them but are subtle enough that I feel like I can’t flat out say “that’s kind of not cool to say!” Probably people generally know not to say the Obviously Offensive Things most of the time but their prejudices and learned misogyny/etc come out in more casual ways.

    • AGCourtney

      Ugh, one time my husband and I both happened to be by the front door when the doorbell rang, so we were both in the doorway. The salesman immediately turned to my husband and asked, “Are you the man of the house?” …we did not buy anything.

      • Jessica

        I personally love getting calls (at work, because landline) when the marketer asks for the Head of the House and I just keep asking what they mean since marriage is a partnership. The poor kid usually gets pretty flustered.

  • Totch

    Good morning! I was home yesterday with a migraine, it broke in the evening, so then I stayed up until 4 making a photo book for our wedding guest book. It’s super awesome and prominently features photos from our trip to make our wedding bands with APW vendor With These Rings.

    How’s everyone’s sleep hygiene? Mine sucks lately.

    • Jane

      Terrible! I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep for hours. Am a total zombie today.

    • CMT

      Mine has been not good lately, either. I’ve been doing masters swimming for about a year now and in the last couple of months I’ve just been not doing it consistently. I set my alarm and then wake up and just . . . don’t go. It’s really bumming me out, and I don’t know what my problem is. But, all that is to say that I sleep so much better when I am working out consistently and when I have a consistent sleep schedule, which was a lot easier to do when I knew I was going to be waking up at 5 in the morning.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Hi, I have a baby and a 3 year old. Last night it took an hour and a half to get the baby to bed, and he was up screaming at 12 and 3, an hour to go back down each time, split between husband and me. At 3 I couldn’t go back to sleep until 5 because I was too busy worrying about if he was sick. My alarm is set for 5:30. And two nights ago the 3 year old was coughing all night and woke up with a poopy diaper for the first time since Christmas (we thought he was mostly trained…). The crazy thing is I remember feeling even worse and more sleep deprived when my first kid was a baby, but maybe I’m really getting about the same amount of sleep and the difference is that I’m somehow not as pissed off about it this time.

      • Ashlah

        Woof. I wish I could gift you a nap.

        • Mary Jo TC

          I hate to be the mom saying “Kids mean I win the contest for most tired forever” but last night really was particularly bad. And yet I feel more ok about it today than I did 3 years ago with only one kid keeping me awake. Weird the things you can get used to.

          • Totch

            Yeah, but also, sometimes kids do mean you win most tired. Totally fair.

      • Totch

        Wow! Wishing you and the whole family lots and lots of sleep.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Pretty terrible, since you mention! I have trouble falling asleep, or I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. The solution seems to just stay up too late, which isn’t all that much better. And I’ve been clenching my jaw in my sleep. I’m considering getting one of those mouth guards you boil and then bite when it’s warm so it fits your teeth.

      • Yael

        I have a dentist-made mouth guard (yay using up health-savings!) but it definitely helps. I can’t say for sure that it’s cut back on the headaches or if they have disappeared because I no longer work for that horrible boss, but since both my parents have cracked teeth in the past, better safe than sorry! It does take some getting used to, and some nights I know I’m stress-grinding my teeth because I dream that I’m chewing a big wad of gum (I haven’t chewed gum since high school).

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I used to have ones that fit my teeth and were supposed to keep them nice and straight, but I had braces and head gear and you-name-it for something like 7 years as a kid, and stubbornly refused to use them once all the hardware was removed. My brother grinds his teeth in his sleep, and his dentist made him a special bite plate to wear at night. This usually isn’t a problem for me, just the last month or so, so I’m hoping I can get away with a DIYer.

        • Ashlah

          Heh, I’m tickled by your gum-chewing dreams. I’ve had occasional teeth dreams ever since I started Invisalign (finished now, but still wear the retainer at night), but they’re usually weird and disturbing, so the idea of your dreams is so pleasant!

          • Yael

            It was amusing at first, but now I get annoyed because I’ve spent all night not being able to spit out the damn gum! (and then I wake up and realized what has happened)

      • LadyMe

        Make sure you get one meant for sleeping. They’re less bulky than a sports mouth guard. My dentist told me to sleep with one of those to make sure I could handle it before spending the money on a dentist-made custom guard but the over the counter one has mostly worked fine on its own.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Noted! Thanks for the advice, I was already looking at sports ones online.

          • emmers

            Target has some– I’ve bought the Dentek one a few times. It’s one of the boil and fit or microwave and fit kind. I actually prefer those cheapies to the dentist-made one I got a few years ago. They don’t last as long, but the dentist one I had was expensive and made of a hard material, so it sometimes chafed my mouth. The cheapies are usually flexible.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I’m hoping the problem goes away, so hopefully a custom one isn’t necessary. Are they in the pharmacy section?

          • emmers

            I think so! And even if it’s not as temporary, they still work. I lost my custom one a long time ago, so I’ve been rocking the Dentek (or some other similar brand) for years. They usually seem to last about a year. They do get kind of stinky, so I either brush them (let’s be honest, I don’t always have the time), or once a week ish…. I’ll put them in denture cleaner– target also has tablets for that :)– they fizz and clean.

          • LadyMe

            I found mine in the pharmacy section of my local grocery store. Was like $20

      • Lexipedia

        I’ve tried those boiled ones and it was awful (I kept waking up and feeling like I was choking because it wasn’t formed well), but I refused to pay a couple of hundred dollars my dentist. Then I gave in and found out that I could pay $65 to get a custom one online from “Sporting Smiles” – which is awesome and way cheaper.

      • LadyJanee

        I have a dentist made guard for teeth grinding and I have noticed a huge difference. I’ve had it for nearly 10 years now and the nights I don’t wear it (if I’ve forgotten to pack it when I go away or fall asleep before I put it in) I wake up with an incredible headache/jaw ache. My teeth were also shifting because I was grinding so much so it has helped keep them in place which is an added bonus!

    • Kaitlyn

      Ugh my sleep sucks. I’ve always slept terribly but my fiance rolling around all night doesn’t help things haha I told him we’re getting one of those mattresses where you can’t feel your partner move haha

      • Ashlah

        We switched to one (also a bigger size), can confirm it’s the best.

        • Abby

          Which brand did you go with? We just got a Tuft & Needle but I’m not 100% sold on it yet and still open to other options.

          • Ashlah

            We got the Casper, and we’re really happy with it. I was worried it would be too firm for me, but it hasn’t been. We actually had a mold issue with it, and they sent us a brand new one and arranged for disposal of the old one at no charge, so I’m really impressed with their customer service too.

          • Abby

            Thanks! I laid on a Casper at West Elm for about 3 seconds and it was super soft for me but maybe that’s because it was a floor model at WE? I was leaning towards the Loom & Leaf but then a friend of ours who claimed to be really picky about mattresses recommended the Tuft and Needle so we just went with it. Our trial period is almost up and my husband seems happy with it but I’m sleeping really hot and having some weird back issues too so I’m trying to weigh whether those are worth the hassle of returning/trying a different brand.

          • Ashlah

            Sleeping hot is definitely something we’ve contended with too. Unfortunately, it seems like one of those things you have to deal with with a memory foam/latex mattress (from my understanding, at least–maybe some are better than others). It got a lot better for us when we switched to 100% cotton sheets and duvet cover. The polyester was making me sweat like crazy every night.

          • Mer

            We’re also on the hunt for a new mattress. I was looking at Aviya, which I think is a bit more expensive than Tuft and Needle, but same sort of business model. Are you considering any other brands?

          • Hayley

            I don’t know how soft a bed you like, but I like a soooft bed and I love my latex/memory foam by Lucid. It was super hard for me to find one of those bed in box beds that wasn’t “medium firm”. But I don’t know what level of firmness you like. :)

          • toomanybooks

            Oooooh. My fiancee got her mattress in 2012, used, and I hadn’t been able to get comfortable on it… but we just got a Lucid memory foam mattress pad and the bed feels luxurious now. So I’m inclined to think Lucid is pretty great lol. Which one did you get?

          • Hayley

            Sorry this took so long. I have the 16″ Natural Latex and Memory Foam Mattress. I love it. You would think it would be hard to find sheet since it’s so deep but deep pocketed sheets are the norm these days apparently. :)

          • We bought and returned a Tuft & Needle. Then we bought and returned a Casper. All those medium firm mattresses are awful. But we landed on a ‘Love Bed’. Aside from having a stupid name, it’s absolutely delightful. The soft version is more luxurious-feeling than most hotel beds.

    • Vanessa

      I was at work until 1am last night, so I only ended up getting 4 hours of sleep. Boooo

    • Lisa

      I’ve started a new routine and got a new alarm clock so I’ve actually been doing really well sleep-wise until this week. I’ve had an awful cold since Sunday so I’ve been falling asleep on the couch with Forensic Files playing on Netflix in the background and waking up ever 45-120 minutes. Last night I only woke up three times so it’s steadily improving!

      • Totch

        To be honest, I talked it out with my fiance and just gave myself permission to sleep on the couch with the dog (and the TV) once or twice a month. Fiance can’t fall asleep with the dog in the bed, but I sleep really well with her around.

        On its face, it seems pretty unhealthy. But knowing that I can just choose to take a night on the couch cuts down on couch naps and “accidentally” dozing off with the dog right around bedtime. It kind of balances things out.

        (Also, feel better!)

        • NolaJael

          I don’t think it sounds unhealthy! Forcing yourself to always sleep in the way that cultural pressure says couples should is definitely less healthy than admitting that your relationship will not be ruined by a little variation. :)

          • Totch

            Yeah, the unhealthy part is more that I fall asleep with the TV on, sleeping on a 2 seater couch where I’m scrunched up. The dog and the variation cancel those out though 😋

        • Ashlah

          When my husband takes a day off of work, he likes to stay up late and fall asleep on the couch. While there’s a tiny part of me that’s like, “aw, I’m going to bed alone,” another part of me is stoked. He keeps the cats out with him too, and I get the best sleep ever in an empty bed/room. No guilt.

    • CP2011

      I sleep well in that I fall asleep and stay asleep BUT I have these marathon ultra-vivid detailed dreams ALL night every night. It’s happened ever since I started on my antidepressant, and it’s unpleasant. I’m trying to take the pills in the morning but not seeing much difference.

    • Alyssa

      Awful, and I’m relieved I’m not the only one! Mine is usually due to dehydration or hunger, but lately it’s just been flat-out anxiety (for no reason I can think of)… I continually wake up around 1:30 or 2 and toss and turn until 4 or 5.

    • Meredith

      Oh the sleep hygiene. Since I’m unemployed at the moment (planned- but have been out of work for 3.5 months), my sleep is pretty good. I realize now that when I’m working full time I am definitely not sleeping enough. I thought 7.5 hrs was fine for me, but now that I can go to bed and wake-up when I feel like it, 8.5 is definitely my default. My workouts feel so much better. It’s gonna be rough when I finally go back to work. eeek.

      • Ashlah

        I’ve realized 8.5 is what my body wants too, and if I didn’t get up an hour early to run, I would get it! And yet I find it impossible to go to bed earlier. The evenings are already too short! Which, incidentally, is why I started running in the morning. If work started an hour later, life would be a dream.

    • Em

      My sleep sucked particularly bad last night – period pain so bad it woke me up at 4am, and I couldn’t get back to sleep until it passed (maybe 1.5 hours later). Does anyone else have this issue? I’m pretty sure I don’t have endometriosis (from what friends who do have it say about their symptoms) but I don’t know anyone other than my mum and my sister who have period pain this bad. (The waking up in the middle of the night thing happens most months, but normally only once a month – the first day, normally.)

      • Mer

        I get this. My cramps are the worst the first 12-36hrs after my period starts. My method is 3 ibuprofen every 4 hours, and sometimes that’s not enough. For sleeping, I’ll take either the 3 right before I go to bed (generally I try to time it that way) or I’ll take 1-2 depending on when the last dose was. That generally holds me over for at least 6 hrs. Sometimes if it wakes me up I’ll take some more ibuprofen in the middle of the night along with a heating pad. I can usually go back to sleep within 40 minutes (that’s how long it takes for ibuprofen to take effect for me). That’s a lot of drugs, but it’s for only about 24-36 hrs once a month so I don’t really worry about it.

      • I hate being woken by cramps. I’m usually too groggy to even figure it out, so I’m really confused about why I’m in pain for half an hour before realising i could make it go away with paracetamol. Considering the timing, I think it usually kicks in when my blood sugar drops overnight, but that’s entirely speculative.

      • Yael

        I used to have cramps so bad that I would have to skip school/work and lie down on a cold floor and breathe like I was in labor. I also never knew when they were going to happen because I was SUPER irregular – sometimes twice a month, sometimes not for several months! Taking BC is what finally helped me, but it took a while to find the right prescription.

      • Totch

        Not the same, but the migraine I had yesterday was my premenstrual migraine. Once a month, I’m knocked on my ass for a day or so. I’m only recently exploring options for treating/ameliorating it. I’m planning to switch to an IUD later this year, but first I’m going off hormonal birth control for a few months to see if that helps the migraines. If it does, I’ll likely go for the copper.

        • Jess

          I take my HBC continuously because of migranes. On the one hand, I would prefer not to have to take it, but on the other hand, I have no interest in becoming pregnant.

          I’m still trying to figure out if the IUD is right for me, in part because my uterus tilts backwards. Lemme know if this course of action helps.

          • Totch

            That’s the thing, the migraines get worse as I get older and we’re not sure if that’s just the nature of things or if it’s related to almost a decade of hormonal BC. Nervous about an IUD for many reasons, but the migraines are def one. Feels like it’s all just guesswork that you try to build into data.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Yeah, mine get so bad the first day that I’ve taken to slamming some ibuprofen to try to head them off at the first inkling. I’ve definitely had to take a hot shower at 3 a.m. to quell the pain before. It blows.

        • Violet

          I think that’s actually recommended- to try get a flow of ibuprofen in your bloodstream a bit in advance. Only works if you have a regular cycle and can anticipate, of course.

      • Lexipedia

        What meds are you taking? For years my family doctor (male) told me I should be fine with Aleve – no way. Then he told me I could take Aleve and Tylenol at the same time, staggered, which was better but I was still curled up with a hot pad and entirely unable to function. Then I got a new female doctor and she gave me a script for something really strong to use for that one bad day, which cuts the pain entirely, and I was pretty much ready to propose on the spot. My family has a serious resistance to painkillers, which was probably one of the factors that fueled by dad’s addiction after a car injury. When you need more, you take more, and then…

        A Mirena IUD has entirely eliminated my periods, which is glorious, but that lady doctor was my fairy godmother before that.

        • Em

          Normally, some sort of combination of paracetamol, a drug called Ponstan (which is over the counter in Australia but seems to be prescription only here in the UK where I’m living temporarily) and ibuprofen/codeine – not all together, obviously! Paracetamol and Ponstan are my mainstays – ibuprofen is terrible on my stomach (which is sensitive at the best of times) and codeine makes me super groggy. Heat packs are basically my best friend during this time though. I will need to see a GP soon to get a prescription for Ponstan, and I might ask them what else they recommend. I’m also seriously contemplating going back to the pill for the first time in 10+ years – I hated the mood swings and weight gain while I was on it the last time, but I have big scary grad school exams in June and I could not handle having my period during one of them…:/ ugh. Sometimes being female really sucks.

          • suchbrightlights

            All the sympathy here. My doc thought I had a classic case of endometriosis based on my symptoms, and did a laparoscopy to confirm. Turns out that’s actually not the case. What I actually have is pelvic congestion syndrome, which is essentially varicose veins in the pelvic region. That got aggravated by my period and was causing debilitating pain such that I had to be on narcotics to walk.Severe cases can be treated with embolization, although in the long term, because it can be associated with ovarian cysts which ALSO appear to be a problem I have, an oophorectomy is going to be in my future. For now, my symptoms are almost totally controlled by living on depo-provera, which, in addition to stopping my period, has also been shown to reduce the size of the varicose veins. If you’re interested in pursuing further diagnostics, this might be something to ask your doctor about.

            In the meantime, your drug regimen sounds similar to what worked for me (although I used oxycodone by prescription) but if you’re not doing this already, heating pads are awesome. ThermaCare (a US brand) makes long-lasting one-use hot packs that strap around your waist. They’re marketed for back pain but they’re a godsend for period pain too, since you can wear them under your clothes and no one at work needs to know you’re having a problem.

            If men had to deal with this shit every month, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion about birth control.

    • Yael

      Not my sleep hygiene (mine is also terrible, but for different reasons), but my fiancé’s – does anyone have experience with getting sleep apnea (or just really terrible snoring) diagnosed? He snores extremely loudly if he’s on his back (and I’m a light sleeper). I’ve read that feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep is a further sign, but he never gets sufficient sleep (he’s a teacher) and frequently works late.

      • Lulu

        Yes! My husband’s GP had to refer him to the sleep clinic. They then gave him a fancy sensor thing to wear during a night at home. Once it showed that he was in the sleep apnea range, they had him come in for a sleep study there to calibrate a CPAP machine. Once they knew what machine would work for him, a medical device rep came to our house and set it up. It has honestly been kind of a challenging adjustment, but he’s way less sleepy during the day than he used to be. (Like, he would fall asleep at stoplights.) Sleep apnea can have implications for other realms of health too, so it is very worth investigating.

        • Mer

          Yes! That was on a sleep questionnaire that my dad took (Do you fall asleep at traffic lights?) and my dad was like “yeah of course. that’s not normal?” No Dad. Not at all. Once he did a sleep study and got a CPAP his sleep has improved 100x. After a few weeks using the CPAP he said “I didn’t know I could feel like this. This is amazing”

          • Yael

            I really feel like this would probably happen, except he is one of those annoying people who can function on very little sleep, so he just kind of doesn’t notice until I pointed it out. But, we don’t live together most of the year (I’m in Germany for grad school), so it’s harder for me to notice things these days.

      • Kara

        My parents have sleep apnea. They both had to go through sleep studies (have him ask his primary care physician). My dad found out he was waking up every 5 minutes (though he didn’t remember) because his sleep apnea was causing him to quit breathing.

        His poor sleep is becoming your poor sleep because he’s not doing anything about it. For his health, and your’s he needs to check into this asap.

        • Yael

          First I have to get him to get a doctor! Especially now that the car is dead :(

          • Kara

            Good luck! It can change your lives for the better (health and sanity), if he needs a CPAP machine.

            I’m a light sleeper too, and I invested in an alarm clock that also doubles as a white noise machine. This helps me sleep, so I don’t hear every . little . noise. My husband doesn’t snore though.

      • Ashlah

        Absolutely have him ask for a referral to a sleep study! My aunt has been using a CPAP machine for a couple years and won’t sleep without it. My father-in-law was just diagnosed with pretty severe sleep apnea and got a CPAP machine. I haven’t heard an update yet, but I don’t think the sleep study itself was as bad as he thought it would be. He was able to get wired up and then sleep at home for the study.

      • Eenie

        Have you tried the breathe right strips? These really help with my husband’s snoring. And if you plan on doing a sleep study, my dad waited until the end of the year (November?) to get his done, and then he had to rent his CPAP for three months, which means he had to split the cost over two deductible periods. Assuming you’re in the US and have health insurance, now would be a great time to convince him to do it! You’ll get to have all the medical expenses hit this year.

    • emmers

      My sleep hygiene has been terrible this week! Some of it has been cuz of staying up late to watch Shameless episodes, but the past couple nights have been due to anxiety. Here’s to a better next week!

    • Hmm… I get up every 2-3 hours most nights. But I have done that literally my whole life, so it doesn’t really bother me that much, as long as it isn’t because there is some loud thing keeping me from falling back asleep (but that is more of a problem in summer when the windows are open). I just get to spend a lot of time awake appreciating how comfy my bed is. (But it is a problem when I have anxiety issues because then it is harder to not focus on them, but when my mental health is ok, lying in bed awake doesn’t bother me.)

    • Eenie

      We got separate twin duvets for our king bed and I’ve been sleeping like a baby all week. I’ve even moved up my wake up time to 5:30 so I get to enjoy some morning time with my husband :) He’s been ready 20 minutes before usual all week too so he’s appreciated the productive boost.

    • CommaChick

      I finally took my coworker’s suggestion and got f.lux on my computer. It changes blue light to red light after a certain hour because blue light makes your brain more awake. The first night I thought it was kind of weird and thought I might change it back, but by the second night I was used to it.

  • accidental_diva

    So… I think my boyfriend and I breaking up – or broke up. He’s being an ass right now and I don’t know what to do – I love him – he’s the guy I wanted to have this life with and I was teasing him on Tuesday about Valentines Day and he said “yup can’t deal with you any more today” and I haven’t heard from him since. I’m pissed and sad and hurt – more than anything I’m hurt that the man who I love and who said he loves me has become this guy. That the man who gave me tiny diamond studs for v-day last year, who’s birthday I planned, who has fixed my family’s cars and sinks and who has done whatever he can for everyone is also the guy who has shut me out for more than 72 hours and I’m freaking out.
    Until today I was looking to see if I could get him a valentine’s present from etsy in time and now its like the bottom has fallen out. I’m sitting at work – typing this – and trying not to scream or cry.
    I hate that he’s doing this especially when I don’t know what I did to cause it.

    • Amy March

      Ummm hold up you did nothing to cause it? I get the self-blame impulse but fight back on that talk.

      • accidental_diva

        When I said “cause” I mean what he thinks I did/meant to make him mad – not that I deserve this or that he’s acting appropriately. The only thing I can think of was that I was pressuring him about what he wanted to do for Valentine’s Day next week – mainly if he wanted me to make plans or if he wanted to handle it – and then was teasing him that he set himself high standard after last year (diamond studs). I’m more worried something happened to his mom/grandma and he’s shutting everyone out because of it including me.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’m sorry, this whole things sucks. I’m just gonna throw it out there that you are not the cause of a grown adult’s actions or decisions.

    • Ashlah

      I’m with Amy, you did nothing to cause it. Your (ex?) boyfriend is being a right asshole by ghosting you. That is cowardly and rude and insensitive and there is nothing you’ve done to deserve it. He’s being a child. I’m very sorry you’re going through it at all, especially so close to Valentine’s Day. Sending hugs.

      • Ashlah

        I feel like I might’ve gone a little overboard here talking negatively about someone you care about, even if you’re rightly upset with him. I know it’s not as simple as that, and I’m sure he’s a complex person who obviously has mostly positive attributes, otherwise you wouldn’t be dating him! So sorry for that. Ghosting just gets my hackles up.

        • accidental_diva

          I appreciate it – :) I’m more pissed about him ghosting than about him wanting to break up.

    • Jess

      Yeah, you did *nothing* to cause this. He’s being an ass, full stop.

    • ep

      Oh, my heart hurts for you. I know what it’s like to be freaking out at work and trying not to cry while you type out a desperate post on APW Happy Hour. It sucks. It sounds to me like the problematic behavior here is his, not yours. I’d encourage you to focus on yourself–go for a walk, get a manicure, get dinner with friends, etc.

    • I accidentally upvoted this when I meant to click reply. Anyhow, I just wanted to see how you were doing and let you know I’m thinking of you.

      • accidental_diva

        I’m okay- Friday was rough but the joy of living at home still is that I have my people around me. Also he finally responded so I’m still done (ghosting for 4 freaking days is not kosher) but I want to see him and try to figure out what’s going on with him. I want him to be happy – I just know that I can’t make him that way.

        • I am glad you have your people around you. If you do see him, make sure you take care of yourself. And remember that sometimes there just aren’t any answers that make any sense…and sometimes the other person doesn’t have any more (and sometimes less!) insight into their own actions/motivations. Sometimes people grab at any reason or complain about a minor “flaw” (e.g., “you listen to music the wrong way”) to try to explain a choice to leave that is completely illogical.

  • JC

    I need to write this out to take stock of what feels like a really weird week. To start, my boyfriend has been gone all week for work, and I thought I was really looking forward to the quiet, but it’s been lonely and stressful, plus I’ve come across several articles/interviews about cheating partners which are hard to shake when I’m alone. I’m not really physically feeling well this week, I can’t manage to sit and read a book no matter how hard I try, and I can’t bring myself to pick up even though I was looking forward to a week of tidying everything. It’s feeling like a hamster wheel, no progress anywhere.

    On the other hand, my best guy friend just told us he’s dating a new girl and she’s coming to visit, and I’m so thrilled that he’s dating again I can hardly contain myself. I had a great phone call with the friend (I told you all about several months ago) whose wedding I’m not in, even though I was hoping to be, and it kinda reestablished our relationship. We’re each other’s practical friends, practical through and through, and we spent half of our conversation talking about how she and her fiance are going to combine their finances. The incomparable Michael Eric Dyson started following me on twitter because I asked him a question. I got my tax returns. I don’t actually know how to feel about all of these things, so if you have had a similar week, I’m here for it.

    • Emily

      It does feel like a weird week. I’m blaming the full moon, comet, eclipse situation. Also, I am NEVER productive when my dude is gone all week. I always have great intentions and then it’s Thursday at midnight and I am in the same yoga pants I’ve slept in all week with LaCroix cans everywhere.

      • Katie

        are we the same person? I can sit for HOURS watching music videos although I had been planning on cleaning the house/doing crafts/working…

    • Jess

      I always seem to have issues when I’m home by myself – I want to be productive, but I really just end up eating pasta and watching NetFlix. Sometimes I put on very red lipstick and drink wine, which I highly recommend for that fourth/fifth night of being alone in a row.

      I too have had weird ups and downs this week, which have left me feeling both too much and nothing all at once.

      Such as: I got together with friends and my brother for climbing this week, I had a full work-up for kidney function including an IVP where I had to take magnesium citrate with less than one days notice and have yet to hear any results, I feel about a hairs breath away from sobbing for no apparent reason (aka because of depression), I managed to get some stuff done at work instead of my persistent self-sabotaging but am also about to have to admit to not doing some stuff I said I did, R and I are having vague sex issues in which neither of us is feeling desirable, I booked a flight to go visit my long-distance-best-friend in a few months, I have not called my parents in weeks because she’ll pressure me to let them come visit but really I don’t want to see her at all and also because I don’t know how to talk to my mother when I’m depressed, in a contrasting statement R’s parents are coming next weekend and I have no idea what we’re going to do with them but I’ve already arranged to go for a run with a friend at any time I need to get out of there. I also signed up for a new sport that has a “learn to sport” session instead of just dropping into a sport where everyone else is athletic and I have no idea what I’m doing and screw stuff up for everyone, so I’m excited to actually be supported in a new activity instead of being afraid I’ll fail!

      Oof. Writing it all out there… is a lot. Here’s to next week being better?

    • JC

      Update: I went home from work. Definitely have a fever coming on. Warning signs: Trouble walking at my normal pace this morning, aimlessly wandering the frozen food section of Trader Joe’s when they didn’t have what I was looking for. I’m now reading all your comments with about 50% mental capacity.

  • Kaitlyn

    Hey friends!

    So the honeymoon is the only thing I find overwhelming because the world is literally our oyster and there’s so many possibilities and I need help haha I envision a honeymoon as a big trip somewhere fantastic that will be hard to get to once we have kids and I don’t want to wait 25 years to get there haha The ultimate dream is one of those over the water bungalows in the South Pacific, but I recently realized we’re probably not winning the lottery before April 2018 haha

    So any suggestions APW? We’d be going after the wedding in April ’18, probably 10 – 14 days, and both of us just want to lay around on a beach the majority of the time with the option of water sports and local sightseeing. All-inclusive would be pretty sweet, but is that possible to find outside the Caribbean? We’d be flying from Boston if that helps any. :)

    • Jess

      Mexico has lots of all-inclusives, from what I understand! I have a few friends that regularly go down there, though I’m not sure exactly which resorts.

    • Amy March

      Australia? Indonesia? Nicaragua? “Cheaper” South Pacific options- maybe Vanuatu and not over water, or Borneo if you want some adventure too, or Zanzibar can be affordable, or Madagascar?

      • lamarsh

        I’ve also had friends get good deals in Thailand.

        • savannnah

          2nd Thailand! If I had not lived there for 2 years we would def be doing that!

          • Kaitlyn

            Any specific spot? I’ve never been and only have really heard about Phucket

          • accidental_diva

            My brother & sister-in-law did Bangkok and one of the islands that was more beachy.

          • savannnah

            Skip Phucket- Koh Samui was my fav but there are tons of other smaller islands. Do BKK for a day or 2 only if you’re really looking for relaxing and then take an overnight train or flight directly to one of the islands. Great beaches, white sand and fab food.

          • Alex K

            We went to Koh Samui and Chiang Mai for our honey moon. It was great. Keep in mind Phuket has a monsoon season (as does a large part of Thailand) during the summer.

          • Lexipedia

            I worked in Thailand for a year or so, so I’ve done a lot of places.

            Phuket is the pretty standard beach, but reaaaaaaally touristy. I’d try Koh Samui instead because it’s more accessible than some of the smaller islands but also more relaxing than Phuket. If you have two weeks I’d fly to Bangkok and spend three days there (one to acclimatize and two to explore), fly up to Chiang Mai for three days, which should be about 2 hours and under $100 for the flight, and then fly down to a beach for the other 8 days – again a reaaaaaally cheap flight.

            April will be hot, but it shouldn’t be Monsoon Season yet. However, if you’re interested in snorkeling/diving check the ideal times of year for the beach you want to go to. Depending on which side of the country it’s on it may have a bit different weather and some times of year it’s not safe to do water sports except in more isolated coves because the waves are rough. For instance, in Phuket-area swimming in June is questionably safe.

          • Kaitlyn

            This is fantastic! After the Thailand suggestion, I think I’m really leaning that way after doing some research about Koh Samui. Thanks for all these suggestions!

        • Lisa

          I have heard great things about many of the SE Asian countries. Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia are all very cheap once you get there.

          • Cassidy

            From Boston, Emirates has some (relatively) reasonable fares to Thailand and other cool locales. I don’t know if that will still be the case in 2018 since I think it’s part of their push to expand this market.

        • Thailand has aaaaaaaaaaamazing beaches. AND RAIN FORESTS.
          Although, so does Costa Rica…

      • Kaitlyn

        Zanzibar looks heavenly

        • Amy March

          If you want the all inclusive luxury just raise a flag at your beach chair to get a cocktail, I think all of these suggestions are going to be $$$$ but if you’re just looking for nice beaches, good food, and a pretty hotel so many options!

        • Plus, how fun would it be to say you went to Zanzibar for your honeymoon?

      • Natalie

        I LOVE Borneo and Tanzania (didn’t make it to Zanzibar specifically on my trip). I’d say Tanzania is way friendlier to westerners if you go off the beaten path, but if you stick with tour companies/resorts it doesn’t matter much. Both are fantastic places to travel if you want a bit of adventure and/or incredible wildlife.

    • Alyssa

      I’ve heard fantastic things about the Maldives, from various couples who have honeymooned there!

      • RNLindsay

        heading there in March and cannot wait!!

        • LadyJanee

          We went there for our honeymoon in December and it was AMAZING! Exactly what we had hoped it would be. It was expensive for us (coming from Australia) but we don’t regret a single cent we spent on it. The all inclusive package made it so stress-free!

    • Alex K

      So this is totally the Caribbean but a little different (maybe)…I just got back from Cartagena, Colombia and it was AMAZING. It was an easy flight on JetBlue down there from Boston and we hung out in the city and then spent a week at a nearly all inclusive resort on a remote island snorkeling, diving, and hanging out on the beach. The exchange rate is pretty good so we had an easy time staying with in budget.

      • lamarsh

        That sounds amazing. Cartagena/Columbia has been on my to-visit list for a while — glad to hear a good review.

      • Kaitlyn

        Definitely different! I’m trying to decide if I want an easy flight or if it’s worth it to spend a day traveling somewhere, but I like the idea of being able to go straight from Logan. Do you mind sharing your resort name? I have a Pinterest board going of promising places hahaha

        • Alex K

          We stayed at an apartment in Cartagena and Punta Faro on Isla Mucura.

      • NolaJael

        It’s good but really sticky hot and humid almost year round. Just a warning!

    • Brynna

      Oh we had this issue, too! Choice-paralysis.

      Can I suggest a cruise? We’ve been on one and are planning on another and it’s seriously the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever been on because: 1) you pay in advance (all-inclusive), so there are NO money worries on the trip 2) you don’t get decision-fatigue because you can choose from like 4 on-board restaurants for each meal (no scrolling Yelp to find the best/closest/cheapest meal) 3) it can be as active or as relaxing as you choose to be, day-by-day. 4) You’ll make great ship-friends and everyone will be super nice to you because it’s your honeymoon!

      After planning a wedding, the last thing I want/need to do is plan a super-involved “vacation.”

      Anyway, I thought cruising was lame, but then we did it and now I’m in love. We like Celebrity Cruises.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        So, PADude looooooooves cruises, but I kind of hate them, and I would caution against trying one for the first time on one’s honeymoon, which comes with extra pressure to be a perfect vacation. I offered this same advice to my cousin and his wife when they were planning their honeymoon, and they did not take it, and found out the hard way that they are not cruise people, and I was kinda bummed for them.

        • Kaitlyn

          I’ve actually been on three as a teen (#spoiled haha) and while I love cruises, I think I want something more adult oriented. J’s never been on one though, so it is on our to-do list for the near future.

        • Brynna

          Yes, I guess that style of travel is a little polarizing!

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          Yes, this! I’ve been on a bunch, but my husband has not, and I know he wouldn’t like the idea of being ‘trapped’ on a ship, even if it’s as big as a city.

    • Kalë

      We are planning to go to Bali! Ballpark budget in the $5,000-7,000 range, for three, maybe four weeks, one of which we plan to spend at a villa with a private pool. If you’re hesitant to head somewhere TOO far away, we had an amazing trip to Costa Rica last winter. Calm, deserted white sand beaches, learned to surf, great food, and lots of options for jungle adventures too, if that’s your jam. Not sure if there is too much in the way of all-inclusive there, though.

    • NolaJael

      I’d check out Airbnb, too, if you’re trying to save money. Not the same as all inclusive, but there are some amazing deals where you can have a whole place to yourself.

    • Eenie

      I know this probably won’t persuade you, but we didn’t want to put pressure on our honeymoon to also be our first international trip ever. We drove to Savannah and it was lovely :) International trip planned for later this year.

      I’ve heard great things about Jamaica! I know three couples who have gone and loved it.

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t have wanted the Honeymoon to be a first international trip ever. International trips can be stressssssful. Especially if you’re not expecting that small amount of extra effort it takes for every.single.transaction.

        • Eenie

          Well, first international trip for my husband. I’ve lived abroad. We’ve hardly ever traveled together though since we’ve lived in different places for so much of our relationship. But yeah. Honeymoons do not need to be huge and extravagant (though for some people this is the only way to excuse using lots of PTO at once).

      • jammers

        Savannah honeymoon is my dreammmmmmmmm. Would it be too hot for a summer honeymoon?

        • Amy March

          Yes. Way too hot and sticky.

          • jammers

            Maybe we will just have to go there on a plain ol vacation, then…

          • Eenie

            April was gorgeous time. Georgia in June/July/August/September is…not. Even outside of that you can get well into the 90’s.

          • Lisa

            Can confirm. I went with my family over a spring break as a kid and loved it. I cannot handle the South’s heat and humidity in the summer.

          • Eenie

            I’m so enjoying the 60 and 70 degrees right now because I know it’s about to end :'(

          • Violet

            Agree with Eenie. Savannah is amazing… in the spring.

      • Alli

        We decided the same thing, we would LOVE to go to Spain as our first trip out of the country but it would have been a lot of planning and worrying about being so far from home. So we’re going to Vegas, which we’ve been to before and I imagine we’ll go there again, so there’s no pressure to “see all the things!”

        • Oh man. Southern Spain. Yes. Do it someday.

          • Lisa

            Or just All of Spain. I miss that country so much.

    • NolaJael

      Have you tried out the Kayak “Explore” feature? You put in your home airport and it shows you good deals on tickets anywhere in the globe. You might find someplace surprising that you’d both enjoy that way.

    • Kara

      The Pacific side of Mexico has all-inclusives–many near Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas :).

      I went to a Puerto Vallarta all inclusive back in 2004 and had an excellent time. According to Google, peak travel time is Dec. – Apr., the rainy season is more in the summer months (July – Sept.) so you can find better deals normally. Oh, and when I was there (during August), we’d have afternoon showers and then by dinner, clear skies.

      • Natalie

        I LOVE Puerto Vallarta & the surrounding area. It’s got something for everyone – beaches, snorkeling/SCUBA diving, whale watching, clubs, great restaurants, jungle adventures, etc. You could go and do nothing but eat, drink, and lay on the beach, or you could do pretty serious wildlife watching & hiking the entire time. I went with my husband & in laws, and the diversity of activities made it perfect that that sort of family vacation.

        • Kara

          It’s beautiful there :). I would go back in a heartbeat. The sunsets were beautiful, and the beaches were divine.

    • Mari

      We spent 10 days on Kauai for our honeymoon and it was perfect. (I think flights from the East Coast to Hawaii may be quite a bit more expensive, though.) Our wedding was lovely but exhausting – lots of out-of-town family and friends, several events, etc. I was also overwhelmed by the idea of planning a honeymoon at the same time as a wedding. We looked at several international locales, but the cost and amount of planning involved just kind of shut those options down for us after a while. We ended up thinking about our honeymoon not as “the most amazing trip we’ll ever do” but as “a really nice, relaxing trip during which we just want to do a lot of lying around, reading, and napping, and not feel like we have to go do and see things”. We ended up deciding on Kauai – we live on the west coast so it’s close, tropical, and still part of the US. We booked flights and lodging way in advance, then did nothing else until we started packing the day after the wedding. It worked out really well for what we wanted.

      • Brynna

        That’s how we ended up looking at our honeymoon, too. At first, I thought it had to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but the planning piece ended up being too overwhelming, so we took the same approach as you.

      • Check out Costco Travel for Hawaii trips…they can have some good deals on hotels at the very least, but they also offer packages which reduces decision making somewhat.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        We did the Big Island and Kauai and had zero regrets. We rented Jeeps and basically didn’t talk to anyone for ten glorious days.

    • Set a budget, pick a couple ideas, and see what you can get for that price!

    • Sara

      I’ve found Apple Vacation to have great customer service (for me and my friend that used it). They have a ton of all-inclusive (w/flight!) deals on their site. You can use that as a starting point!

  • HappyAnon

    Y’all, I just wanted to share that my husband made an appointment to see a doctor about his depression and anxiety!!! I am so thrilled, I feel like I could fly!

    Longer version: My husband has suffered from mild depression for as long as I’ve known him. But over the past three years, the episodes have gotten longer and more intense. He’s very smart (multidisciplinary PhD smart), so I think he put a lot of pressure on himself to solve his own problems and think his way out of the problem. Needless to say, it was not working. It was making our home life HARD. He was stressed out, I was stressed out, even the dogs were stressed out. So finally I made an appointment for myself to see a friend who is a social worker / therapist. She was willing to give me resources and recommendations. It took a lot of courage, but I talked to my husband about how I thought it was time to call in reinforcements, because we needed help. And he agreed! He said that as soon as I articulated it, it made sense. He was open to looking into medication and that we’ll just try things one at a time until we find something that works.

    Thanks to all the APW people who’ve shared depression stories here, it’s been really helpful when I was feeling like we were so very alone.

    • Ashlah

      So happy to hear this! I hope he gets the help he needs, and that you see an improvement at home!

    • Jess

      Hooray! It’s so encouraging he’s taking steps forward.

    • Jessica

      That’s huge! I’m so happy for you!

    • Lisa

      That’s so wonderful! I’m so happy for you both!

      I’m not sure if your husband is in academia (although you said he had a PhD), but mental health is such a pervasive problem in the academy. It’s so stigmatized and everyone feels alone because no one talks about it & the pressure to go above-and-beyond is immense. I just read this helpful article (targeted at graduate students) the other day: https://smallpondscience.com/2017/02/01/lets-talk-about-mental-health-in-academia/

  • savannnah

    One of my bridesmaids has BPD and I love her a lot and its been really difficult lately- people keep asking me what my bachelorette plans are and I find myself having no interest in planning or thinking about it. I’m actually dreading the idea of getting everyone together since she is fighting with two of my other bridesmaids and it will be a big blow out no matter what I do and I just want to not be thinking about her or anyone else for a while. I thought long and hard about not having any bridesmaids at all but I really liked the idea of a community of women etc. and she and I are very close but I think I was too optimistic about it all and its kind of all a mess now-and it feels shitty to feel that way about my wedding/wedding prep.

    • Alyssa

      I’m so sorry to hear about that. Social dynamics with people with BPD is so, so hard sometimes.

      • savannnah

        Thanks! we’ll see how it goes

    • Could you have, like, a bacherlorette week, where you spend a night each with your girls doing something they’ve always wanted you to do with them? It loses the community element, but you’d get to connect with everyone. Maybe end it with a low key night out somewhere that limits forced interaction, like the theatre (can’t fight once the lights go down!).

      • savannnah

        I could try that but the bridesmaid with BPD would be upset and hurt and angry at the two women she is in a fight with if I modify the concept too much. It’s tricky.

      • Jess

        I really love this idea for local (or even do a series of visits for non-local) friends that don’t get along/don’t know each other.

    • Yael

      I have close family like that – one who I genuinely believe is BPD, and one who just has a lot of anger issues. Rarely is all of my family speaking to each other at one time. My fiancé is super close with his siblings and so we decided to go with all siblings for our attendants (meaning they’ll carry the rings and ketubah, that’s about it) but…. I would not be shocked if one or more of my close family was not speaking to one another at my wedding. And that’s not including my divorced parents. I have no solutions for you, only sympathy. And I really get wanting to have that community and being disappointed because those are not who your people are, as much as you love them.

      • savannnah

        Yes to all of this. Its hard because at some points my friend can be super supportive and fun to hang out with but there a whole other side that’s immensely difficult- the hardest part being the connotative dissonance around her own actions impact on others and a communal sense of reality. I was hoping for the best but its kinda a surefire way to get my heart broken so I’m just in limbo right now.

        • Yael

          I know. The worst is when they’re being fantastic and all you can think is ‘why can’t you be like this all of the time?!’ Or maybe the actual worst is when they are being the worst and you think ‘why can’t you be like other people?’ I have so many feelings about this topic.

    • Vanessa

      FYI outofthefog.net is an excellent resource for people with a loved one who suffers from a personality disorder. Lots of helpful guidance as well as message boards where you might find more expertise/experience with that side of the equation.

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  • BSM

    Ugh guys, not sure if I mentioned this here, but my pup was attacked by another dog in our office a couple weeks ago. She’s completely fine (physically) (thank god) because me and my boss jumped in to pull the other, much larger dog off of her, but, in the tussle, both of us were bitten by the other dog. Luckily, neither of our injuries were too severe – my arm had some superficial cuts and a hematoma from the impact, but urgent care bandaged me up and got me on some antibiotics.

    Other than a very tender forearm, I was healing great. BUT NOW, gah, I’m having a hives flare up as a result of taking augmentin, which apparently is pretty common? I have tiny red bumps all over my body and am sooooo itchy. It’s very uncomfortable.

    And yes, for anyone following me at all, I had botched Lasik in November, a horrific experience having my IUD removed in December, was bitten by this dog in January, and am now covered in hives in February. After this, I should be in excellent health for the next 10 years, right?

    • Ashlah

      Jeez, what horrid luck! I hope the rest of the year (nay, the rest of your life) is uneventful! Glad your pup is okay at least! I hope the other dog will no longer be allowed in your office?

      • BSM

        Thanks! Yes, better me than my dog – I know not to lick open wounds :)

    • Vanessa

      Seems like you’re due for some good luck. I hope you feel better soon!

      • BSM

        Thanks! I literally wore leggings and a sports bra to work today because the worst of it was the rubbing from my regular bra and the waistband on my jeans. At least I’m very comfy (if still itchy)?

        • Alex K

          Did you call to confirm with your doctor that this is the right/only option for you? I work with patients at a hospital and I know the staff I work with would definitely want to know someone was having a reaction.

          • BSM

            I actually finished taking all of the antibiotic on Sunday, and the hives sprouted up on Tuesday afternoon. At first I thought I was having a reaction to laundry detergent because we recently switched our wash-and-fold service to a new place. When they hadn’t gone away by Thursday morning, I went to the doctor, and she said this exact thing is pretty common amongst people who’ve recently taken Augmentin (what I was on), and this reaction commonly occurs a few days after completing your dosage.

            Not much to do now except wait for it to go away in the next couple days and maybe take an oatmeal bath.

          • Violet

            Hives are my body’s way of saying, “Eff you, Violet, you’re working too hard and are too stressed.” So I deal with them a fair amount. I recommend not taking showers that are too hot; lukewarm is best. And Benadryl is good (though it makes you fall asleep) plus some Zantac along with it.

          • ART

            I love Benadryl…I try not to travel without it and Alka Seltzer.

          • Violet

            I’ve always got two Benadryl on me, at all times. You never know!

        • Vanessa

          Also fwiw I tend to get hives a couple times a year and I’ve found shea butter and jojoba oil to help with the itchiness.

          • BSM

            V helpful – thank you!

    • Cellistec

      OMG. That’s rough…all of it. I’ve been considering Lasik myself; it seems so commonplace now but I guess anything can be botched. Hope things settle down for you ASAP.

      • BSM

        I was luckily able to have it corrected and would definitely still recommend the surgery because not wearing glasses is awesome.

        In my case, the technician literally typed the wrong prescription into the machine, so my eyes were overcorrected. Now I just tell all my friends considering it to make sure to ask what processes the doctor/facility has in place to make sure there aren’t any mixups!

        • Cellistec

          Good tip! Just out of curiosity, what does having one’s eyes overcorrected mean for your vision? Do you have to wear glasses to re-correct the effects? Or is it mild enough that you hardly notice?

          • BSM

            By “overcorrected,” I mean that I previously was pretty mildly nearsighted (couldn’t see far away, mostly used my glasses for night driving or watching TV, etc.), but after their screw up, I was farsighted (couldn’t see close up). They were very severely overcorrected, so much so that my vision was actually worse than when I initially came in for Lasik. I noticed it immediately when I went back to work – had migraines from looking at my computer screen and extreme sensitivity to light. Also super jarring because your vision usually declines slowly over time vs. significantly in one afternoon. It was very shitty.

          • Cellistec

            Wow, that’s crazy. And terrible. Has the Lasik office offered any, I don’t know, restitution? Apology?

          • BSM

            I appreciate that they were very forthright about admitting their mistake, and they were apologetic. They (of course) offered to redo the surgery once I’d healed, but, for obvious reasons, I wasn’t comfortable doing it with them again.

            I’m in the process of submitting a formal complaint to them to ask for some financial restitution, at least for the cost of the surgery there and the second one I needed to fix it.

    • Natalie

      That sucks. I’m sorry.

      Do you mind telling me about what made the IUD removal so bad? I’m planning to have mine removed soon, and thought it would be way easier than the insertion.

      • BSM

        I think generally removal *is* easier than insertion. I don’t know wtf the gynecologist was doing, but she pulled on it and it got stuck/wouldn’t come out. I have a pretty sensitive cervix (fainted when I had it inserted), so it was very, very painful to have it hanging out in uterine purgatory. Like, pain I’ve never felt before. Also, my heart rate dropped dangerously low! So I had to lay there in the stirrups for 40 min or so while that came up a bit, whimpering the whole time. They ended up needing to give me a general anesthetic (shots in my cervix!!) and dilating it in order to remove the IUD.

        I recently went to a new gyn, and she noticed that my cervix points down and to the left (ha), so I think that may have had something to do with it…

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          My cervix has just crawled so far into my body that we may never see her again.

          • Natalie

            I may never let anyone approach that entire region ever again.

        • Cellistec

          Nope nope nope nope. Now I’m staying on the pill until menopause.

        • Natalie

          OMG, that’s horrible.

        • lildutchgrrl

          Wait, the injected anesthetic and dilation wasn’t part of the original plan? No wonder it hurt! Yipes.

        • mocat

          I feel your pain. My IUD strings disappeared (?), so after an hour of digging around with various implements (which was not awesome to say the least), they announced that they would have to bring me to the operating room. Ultimately took 15 minutes and they completely knocked me out because of how stressed/terrified I was, but I’m SO glad it’s gone. I gladly recommend IUDs to most people, but holy shit not for me.

          • BSM

            Jesus!! I was in more of an outpatient facility, but I wish they had knocked me out at that point.

            The whole thing took 2 hours (during which I was in the same excruciating pain, mind you), and afterwards they suggested I try another form of birth control next time. Yeah, I think I agree.

        • Jessa

          I definitely read that as “I recently went to a new *gym*” I was very confused as to what kind of physical activity you were doing…

  • Vanessa

    I have a good news update! Last week, I told you my dry cleaning was stolen, but it turns out the dry cleaner just picked it up and lost it. But! They are going to replace all 3 suits with brand new full price versions!!! I am bowled over by this move, particularly because I bought the suits used, and could definitely not afford to replace them with new versions myself (for context they were by Theory and I paid ~$150 each on eBay, but they are probably closer to $700 each brand new). It was such good news I thought it was too good to be true but after a couple phone calls with their loss manager, I am just convinced they are really good at customer service and want to keep me as a customer. It has been an exhausting week at work so it was great to get this good news. For anyone in the Denver area I wholeheartedly recommend Revolution Cleaners!

    • CMT

      Oh, good!!

    • Kalë

      Holy jambalaya, that is an amazing surprise!

    • Emily

      YAY!

    • Eenie

      Wah! That is some fantastic news. You have a silver lining now :)

    • Lisa

      That is absolutely amazing! I am jealous of your good customer service; I went to the dry cleaners in Badtown for the first (and only) time last year. They got spots all over my white coat, and when I pointed it out and asked for a refund, they told me they could try cleaning the coat again (unconvinced that they’d caused the spots), but that I would have to pay for it. I wish I could use your cleaners instead!

      • Laura C

        That’s been closer to my experience — one time a dry cleaner put one of my skirts in with a pen and ruined it, then demanded a receipt for the skirt before they’d reimburse me for the cost. Like I still had a receipt for a skirt I’d bought months before and worn several times!

        • With the Internet and online shopping…this is becoming easier to do. ONE DAY, I’LL GET YOU, DRY CLEANERS.

      • Vanessa

        Ugh I would be equally skeptical if that happened. I’m so sorry!

        • Lisa

          I left their first Yelp review (with one star) and continue to feel vindicated by all of the other 1-2 star reviews people have left on there in the intervening years. (But seriously, why not just listen to me instead and find a different dry cleaner, people??)

          • Vanessa

            This is a weird phenomenon that I heard about on a podcast (or maybe NPR?) a while back! The story was about how products with exclusively BAD reviews actually sell more than products with NO reviews. Humans are weird.

          • Lisa

            How odd! I usually read through bad and good reviews and make a determination whether the complaints are something that would bother me, but even then, I don’t pick places that have exclusively awful reviews.

    • Totch

      That’s so great! Your story last week was just such a kicked-when-down moment. Glad they’re replacing them, and that you get to look for new suits instead of the long-term eBay search you were planning on!

    • Yeah. Most dry cleaners are not…great. They’re keepers!

    • BSM

      Yay!!!!!!!!

    • emmers

      That’s so wonderful. I’m really happy for you. That’s a roller coaster from the pits of despair to the height of happiness. So great!

      ETA– and def do a good yelp review or something if you haven’t. So excellent!

      • Ceceliajbauer

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj108d:
        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
        !mj108d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash108MediaBookGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj108d:….,……

      • Dianeehixson

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj126:
        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
        !mj126:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash126HomeNetGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj126:….,……..

      • Margaretethomas

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj145d:
        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
        !mj145d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash145DirectSearchGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj145d:….,…….

    • Yael

      yay!

    • Lawyerette510

      I wish I lived in Denver just so I could use that dry cleaner!

    • KK

      Yay that is great! And, I AM in the Denver area! I’m not a regular dry cleaner user, but I have a pile of sweaters that really need to be cleaned… I will check them out!

  • NotAnImposition

    Need to keep reminding myself that my wedding is not an imposition. All my relatives seem to do is complain about how far away it is. My wedding is centrally located less than 2 hours from everyone. I have to travel to them 1.5 hours every holiday if there’s no traffic. It’s more like 3 hours during Thanksgiving. My aunt is complaining about me having it all the way north, when she’s the only relative that far south. Everyone in my dad immediate family is complaining about it not being in the city or at a Chinese place, when they’re the only ones in the city. His cousins are spread around the state. No one has anything nice to say about me getting married and ignore my mom when she wants to show them the pamphlet for the venue or engagement pictures. This was once each so it’s not like they’re tired of her trying to show them things.

    • CMT

      I’m sorry, that really sucks. But your wedding is definitely not an imposition! My mom’s side of the family all lives in the same state, a few thousand miles from where I grew up. I’ve visited for more vacations, graduations, and weddings than I can even count and the only relative from that side of the family who has visited my home state is my aunt. It just plain sucks.

      • Totch

        Absolutely! It might not be the most productive thing to tell your family (not that you said you have I’m just cringing about when I did), but reminding yourself that you regularly make longer trips for smaller occasions is valuable.

        Or, at least, it was for me when I was feeling like an imposition.

    • NolaJael

      Distance is such a relative thing (no pun intended…). I know it’s not fun, but try not to worry about it. Focus on the other details and share with those who are excited for you.

    • Vanessa

      This all sounds more than reasonable to me.

    • Jess

      How are you hearing about all of these negative opinions? Because if your mom is passing that on to you after she tries to get them excited, she needs to stop like… yesterday.

      All things said, your wedding is NOT an imposition, and I hope you also have friends telling you how excited they are for your wedding.

      • Totch

        My mother passed some things on to me that she’d been hearing about the bridal shower my future sister in law is throwing. I gave SIL the gift of not passing them on to her.

        Seriously, people.

  • Danielle

    LOVE the articles about (the lack of) plus-size clothes by J. Crew and (the lack of diverse) representation of disabled people in stock photos. Both writers have snarky and awesome tones of voice!

    Irrelevant side note: Now I want a sack coat, too!

    • MC

      I know, I read that article and immediately wanted that coat. Alas, the only colors they have left are a little too extreme for me!

      • AB

        If it makes you feel any better for missing out, I have the coat and the zipper is terrible, cheap, and broke within a couple weeks of purchase.

        • Danielle

          Bummer! Although I’m guessing it’s relatively (?) inexpensive repair at the drycleaner/tailor?

          • Cellistec

            Depends a lot on the tailor…sometimes it’s cheaper to replace the item than to repair the zipper. I’ve had sticker shock big time from that.

          • Danielle

            Bummer x2. Tailoring in general can make such a difference with clothes, too bad it can be so expensive :/

          • Cellistec

            Right? I got a sewing machine for Christmas and am going to try my hand at some basic alterations…hemming, mostly. Suck it, overpriced tailors!

          • penguin

            I want to learn how to hem too! I have my grandma’s old sewing machine and learned some basic sewing, but I still haven’t hemmed anything.

          • Ah, being able to hem (as a short person) is game changing! I remain very thankful my dad taught me (years ago) how to hem by hand. And when I got a sewing machine about 6 years ago and learned how to that, it became way easier. So nice to be able to adjust clothes to make them fit better. Go for it! I hope you love it too!

  • Alyssa

    Spent this week stuck in the mountains because the CA storms caused various mudslides, fallen trees, etc which blocked us from going to work Tues-Thurs. On the one hand — awesome! It was great to have three days off and spend time with my honey, lounge, care for his parents’ chickens and check out the mudslides/walk in the woods (when it wasn’t raining). On the other hand, that’s 3 days I don’t get paid and we need the money!

    In other news, since moving in with his parents, it’s been quickly apparent that fiance’s parents are “meat and potatoes” people. I’ve been having stomach problems with the constant, heavy food and on a personal note, growing up my mom was (and still is) vegetarian, so it’s a little foreign to me that their complete veggie repertoire is iceberg lettuce in a bowl and they eat a different animal every night. I’m thinking of contributing to dinner cooking by roasting veggies, making vegetarian options as side dishes — that way, at least fiance and I can get some veggies in. But so far, any time I make something I like, his parents say “oh, she’s just eating something healthy” or have been easily hurt if fiance and I try to make something different than what they’re making.

    Living with the in-laws can be hard sometimes, y’all! And I’m sure mine is a pretty mild issue by comparison.

    • I think making your own veggie side dishes and embracing the “Yep! I love to eat healthy” persona might be key here.

      Also. You can lighten up lots of things with a good salad base. If they are literally making meat and potatoes…you can put that on a bed of romaine with some green peppers and cucumber. One of my favorite salads ;)

      • Alyssa

        That’s what I was thinking of doing! Thanks for the tip :)

        OOH and that salad idea sounds awesome. I will have to try that! My mom is a master salad maker, so iceberg lettuce in a bowl totally stumped me. Because of her, I typically throw dried fruit, nuts, chopped veggies, etc on top, and when I did that last night, his dad was like “what is this crunchy stuff in here? Interesting.”

        … at least his dad likes to be adventurous food-wise, so I’ve got that going for me :)

    • NolaJael

      I think having a set day or way that you help with meals would go a long way both towards helping them out with shopping/planning and introducing variety! Don’t be shy, embrace it. :)

      • Alyssa

        Yes I like this idea and have been toying with it. The thing is that we’re gone from 6:30am-6:30pm on weeknights so what we eat is subject to what they’ve made since we’re usually both exhausted and get home after they’ve eaten, but I’ll suggest that we cook on Saturday or Sunday nights for them. That way we can introduce some veggie variety!

    • Eenie

      My inlaws refuse to cook food that I can safely eat. After being sick after every visit, I just bring my own meals. His mom thinks I’m “on a diet” and “don’t like her food”. Yup. Sure. That’s it. I just cooked up a whole bunch of food for the one night stay with them this weekend :)

    • Totch

      Aggressive compliments can also help! We don’t live with my MIL (not yet, I expect she’ll move in with us in the next decade), but we do weekly family dinners and she’s also prone to showing up at our place with surplus food.

      She worries a lot about how her food is received, and falls into the Asian auntie stereotype where if you don’t gorge yourself she assumes you’re sick or you hate her. Heavily complimenting the stuff I love helps ease that worry, and means she makes it more often. Try positive reinforcement?

  • Cellistec

    So after that scary thing I did a couple weeks ago–auditioning for a string quartet company despite never having auditioned for anything–I got in! And they didn’t even ask for the sight-reading Skype interview portion of the application. I’m excited to get to play chamber music again, and it’ll be interesting feeling like the old hand among all the teenage and college-age musicians that make up most of the group. Ambition win!

    • CMT

      That’s so cool! Congratulations!

    • Ashlah

      Neat! Way to go!

    • Lisa

      Yay, congratulations!

    • rg223

      YAY!

  • Laura C

    Apartment-shopping from the other side of the country is hard.

    • Alyssa

      Seriously. Where are you looking? Are you still in the Bay Area?

      • Laura C

        We’re in the Bay Area now and looking to buy in the Boston area in time for our move back in late summer.

        • jammers

          Ah! I feel for you! Buying in Boston was scary enough living in Boston! Can’t imagine doing it from across the country. If you need a realtor rec, mine was absolutely fantastic and APW-esque. Good luck!!!!

          • Laura C

            Recs appreciated! A family friend was supposedly going to give my dad a rec for us, but I am in favor of doing due diligence on more than one possibility.

          • Alex K

            What part of Boston/Boston area? I My husband and I just bought in Somerville and worked with a great realtor- but she only really does Cambridge/Somerville. Apparently this is pretty common in our area to really specialize.

          • jammers

            Woooo also recently bought in Somerville. Definitely an adventure!

          • Alex K

            So true!

          • Laura C

            Cambridge/Somerville is exactly right. I really just want to be back in Porter Square…

          • Alex K

            So we worked with Alex Georgeady and she was great! She tuned right into what we were looking for and super quickly helped us find the perfect place (we made one offer and it was accepted no bidding war). I would definitely recommend her.

          • Laura C

            Thanks!

          • jammers

            Jen & Lynn @ Thalia Tringo!! They mostly focus on Cambridge/Somerville.

          • Laura C

            Thanks!

        • Her Lindsayship

          Yay back to Boston!! :) Apartment hunting in Boston is stressful even when you’re *here*. I second the AirBnB idea, or maybe even renting a place month-to-month if you can. Otherwise the compounding difficulties may pressure you to buy a place you don’t really like. Whatever you end up doing, good luck!

    • Mer

      I just made the move from Boston to San Diego and we rented an AirBnB for 1 month. It’s a little more expensive than what you’d pay monthly on a lease, but the owners of the AirBnB offered a 50% discount if you stayed for a month. That then gave us a month to find a place and we could actually go and look at places and decide what neighborhoods we liked. Plus, peace of mind of knowing we weren’t going to be scammed on Craigslist and had recourse options was worth it.

    • We did this from East Coast to West Coast. It’s tricky…but Apartments.com worked alright, at least for the Bay Area. I’m a little nervous about finding a place back on the East Coast though, if we don’t get faculty housing…

    • We found a three month sublet on Craigslist while we looked for a home, which was cheaper than Airbnb. We ended up subletting an apartment from some PhD students doing their field research out of the country for the summer. I went to grad school in Boston, and I know a ton of students/professors would sublet their place out for the summer, so I imagine you’ll be able to find something!

    • Katherine

      Six months later, I am still mad about having only one bathroom in the rental house. One that requires going up and downstairs no matter what.

  • Natalie

    I recently accepted my dream job (tenure-track faculty position at a liberal arts college). I’m so happy and relieved to be off the insane academic job market, and now get to turn down other offers & interviews. I’ll be moving across the country this summer and we’re planning to buy a house(!!!) in our new town this spring. House prices are super low in this area, so we’re limited more by availability than budget (which I recognize means we’re hugely privileged).

    Do you have house-buying tips for the first-time home buyer? We’re looking at a bunch of places, and none is “perfect” – there’s always a tradeoff between being close to work, right in the middle of town/walking distance to all the places we want to be, house size, yard size, niceness of kitchen, etc. What tradeoffs have you made in choosing a home, and why? What things do you wish you had done differently? What things are super important in hindsight that a first time buyer might not think about?

    • StevenPortland

      The location of the house and the “bones” of the house are important. Anything else that you don’t like can be changed. I wish I would have realized this before we bought our first (and second houses). If you look at a house and it is really great BUT has a dated bathroom, fireplace, kitchen, etc., remember that those things are really easy to have fixed.

    • StevenPortland

      I give high priority to being able to walk places, especially to a grocery store.

      • Natalie

        I do, too. My husband loves the idea of living in the woods. It’s a small town, so “in the woods” is still only 2 miles from the grocery store, and everything would be less than 6 miles from work. But to me there’s a huge difference between being able to walk places and having to get into a car to go somewhere.

        • Ashlah

          My husband and I have both talked about wanting to live outside the city as kind of our “dream” home, but I’ve lately started realizing that I do really value living close to everything, and would really love to live somewhere where I can walk more places. We’re not looking for a house (particularly not a dream house) right now, but I have a feeling this is going to be a tough one to figure out. Because I still love the idea of living away from everything too! I want it all!

        • Lisa

          Are bikes an option? I would consider 6 miles in the “bikeable to work” category as long as it’s safe. I’m totally with you on limiting my need for a car. When I took my new job, I was thrilled that I’d be only two miles from work so I could walk or bike every day.

          • Natalie

            Definitely. I’ve found that 3-4 miles tends to be the max distance I’ll bike to work regularly. I currently work at two different locations depending on the day of the week – one is 3 miles from my house, and the other is 5 miles with awful traffic. I always bike the 3 miles, except when it’s below 20F, and almost always drive the 5 miles, except when the weather is perfect. Any of the houses we’re looking at would have a completely safe, low-traffic bike commute of 2-6 miles. I know I’m too wimpy/lazy to bike 6 miles regularly, but 2-3 I would do in all but the worst weather. The downside is that closer to work is farther from grocery stores, restaurants, farmer’s market, etc., so we’ve got a big tradeoff between a commute I always do by bike vs. being able to walk everywhere other than work.

        • toomanybooks

          Ugh, and I love the idea of living like, in the woods in the middle of nowhere in theory, but my fiancée and I are no-car people and will always have to live in a downtown area near public transit.

          • Natalie

            That describes me exactly. The thought of being surrounded by trees and birds is lovely, but needing to drive to buy eggs when I decide to make brunch? Um, no thanks. We have one car, and I really want a house in a location where we would not need a second car.

        • This post on the cost of commuting solidified my desire to live within walking distance of work: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

          • Lisa

            Yes x 1000

    • MC

      We bought our house a year ago, and the one thing I heard over and over is that location is the only thing you can’t change about your house, so prioritize that. Husband & I decided we’d rather be in a house that is close to things that benefit our lifestyles rather than close to our jobs, because our jobs could change – so we’re close to a bike path that takes us downtown, easy access to the interstate for when we drive to visit family, etc., (We live in a small town so Husband’s “longer commute” is only 7 miles each way, so I could totally see that advice being different for folks with actual long commute considerations.)

      I’m also glad we bought a house on the smaller size of what we were looking at, because buying furniture has taken a long time & been more expensive than we realized, and I think if our house was any bigger I’d be stressed out about how to furnish more space. It also helps curb our impulse to accumulate more stuff since we have limited space.

      Oh, and we really prioritized having a house that was easy to heat/cool, because after living in two places with really inefficient heating systems and freezing in the winters we were ready for forced air heating and lower ceilings.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      We compromised on the size of the bedrooms and lack of a fireplace in order to have a kickass piece of property. It’s a little further from work, but we love the house itself.

    • emmers

      Check to see if you’ll be a part of a Home Owner’s Association by default (neighborhoods sometimes have them, but also sometimes condos/apartments). They often have rules, things like what kinds of holiday decorations you can display, if you’ll have a flag how it must be displayed, sometimes pretty ridiculous things. And sometimes they have dues!

      • Natalie

        wow, good point.

      • SLG

        Seconding this. Also, if you decide to buy a home that does have a home owners’ / condo association, READ THE HOA DOCUMENTS before signing the contract for your home. I’m the president of my condo association (in an effort to keep it sane), and I’m continually amazed at how many people don’t read a thing and then are surprised at policies, expenses, what’s allowed / not allowed, when it’s all clearly outlined in those docs. Not understanding what’s in there can be super expensive in the long run.

    • Congrats! I’m also moving across the country for a TT faculty position at a liberal arts college! It’s exciting!!!

      • Natalie

        Congrats!!! Yay!

    • emilyg25

      Be honest about your resources for renovations. We always wanted a fixer-upper because we’re project people, but we bought when our son was an infant. It was so nice to have something move-in ready.

      Also, people are right when they say location, location, location. You might want to consider renting in your new area for a year so you can really get to know the place before you buy.

      • emmers

        Plus one to the renting before you buy if possible. We rented our actual house, so we really knew the area when we bought. Obvi that usually isn’t possible, but especially if it’s a place you haven’t lived, it can be helpful to get to know the area, though I’m sure other faculty will also have good tips about neighborhoods.

        • Natalie

          Yeah. In general I think this is great advice, but we’re really wanting to buy. If we rent for a year & then move into a house we buy, we will have moved 4 times in 4 years, and I am *SO* sick of packing up stuff and moving it. Also, interest rates are going up right now. And we’re moving to a very small town in a rural area. Our location debates aren’t so much this neighborhood vs. that one as they are living in town vs. in the middle of the woods.

          • emmers

            That’s totally fair. Sometimes it just makes sense for life to go ahead and buy! It’s going to be so amazing when you get to not-move. It’s such a great feeling after doing the rental schlep. And congratulations on your job- really amazing!

          • Natalie

            omg, yes. I’m 33 and have been living in dorms or rentals since I was 17, moving an average of once every 2 years. I am *so* sick of moving.

          • KK

            We recently moved and originally planned to rent to get an idea of neighborhoods but also hated the idea of moving again in a year. So we just bought right off the bat, and I am so glad we did! So far, no regrets (3 months in).
            In terms of renovation, we love projects and did a lot at our previous house which helped it feel like OUR house. But we didn’t have to touch the kitchen, which was nice. In our current house the kitchen is very functional and has lots of space, but we want to update it in a year or so, after we’ve lived with it a bit, but before we have kids.
            Assuming your house will have 2+ bedrooms and baths, we found that all our projects could be compartmentalized – i.e. use the hall bath while we work on the master bath. Use the living room as a temporary office while we add board and batten to the office. Etc etc. It helped that the house was way too big for just the two of us.
            Overall, we loved doing projects as long as we could do them on our own schedule and not feel like it HAD to be completed ASAP. Frozen/broken pipes did not fit that description and sucked haha

          • Natalie

            That’s a good point. We’ll likely do some minor renovations, and definitely will be repainting things to fit our tastes. The last renovation I experienced was my mother’s kitchen remodel, which definitely takes over your house and your life and makes everything harder. But you’re right; remodeling bathrooms and bedrooms are much smaller projects that need not be stressful if you like projects.

          • Did you buy and then make the move? My husband and I are thinking of doing this but I’m trying to figure out the best way to make this work logistically.

          • KK

            We had a bunch of contingency plans, but the way it worked out for us was:
            1. Decide to move to Denver suburbs, fly out for a weekend, meet with a realtor to see houses in various areas, drive around on our own and explore –> decide on specific neighborhood.
            2. Put house in PA on the market, get an offer in 1 week with a 60 day closing.
            3. Make a trip to CO, put an offer on a house, offer rejected.
            4. Feel discouraged that we wasted a whole trip and a bunch of money
            5. See a new listing online, make our agent do a video tour, put an offer sight-unseen, then make a trip the next weekend for the inspection. Decide we like the house despite bad smell and pet stained baseboards! Negotiate price again.
            6. Wait for about 1.5 months and hope that the buyers don’t back out.
            7. Move all our stuff into Relocubes and send them to CO- live with my parents in PA for a week. Close on the house in PA on Tuesday, sign papers remotely for CO house on Wed.
            8. Drive to CO and meet our relocubes at the new house!

            Admittedly a lot of stuff fell into place for us… it all happened as fast and as smoothly as I thought possible! Also we didn’t have to worry about job start dates or anything like that. Considering it’a a crazy market in CO to buy, I really can’t believe it all worked out!

          • tenuretrackhsgtenure

            I’m in a similar situation (about to move across the country for my partner’s new tenure track job) and I’m wary of buying right away because housing prices are nearing bubble highs again. It depends where you’re going and what the housing market looks like, but you may want to factor in the risk of a market correction in your decision.

      • Natalie

        Yeah, we’re both project people, too, and I like the idea of remodeling a house ourselves, but I’m nixing fixer-uppers. We’re planning to try for kids soon, and starting a new career stage, having babies, and going up for tenure seem like plenty to have on my plate for the next five years. I don’t need to live with a torn-up kitchen for months while trying to do all those other things.

    • Eenie

      Layout. We were rushed into buying our current house but we really miss the lack of a mud room and a second lounge area. Our living room is too small to seat as many people as we’d like. We prioritized bedroom size, but in reality could have made due with smaller bedrooms and a bigger living area. This isn’t our forever home though, and we didn’t buy it with that intention.

    • Alli

      I’d say location and size are the most important. I had 3 towns I wanted to move to because they’re super walkable, close to a train that goes to the city, and have tons of community events. I could have gotten something much nicer outside of those towns but that specific area was super important to me, you can’t very easily pick up a perfect house and move it to the perfect location.

      Size wasn’t an issue for me because I just wanted at least a tiny yard and 1000 sq feet but if you want a big yard and buy a house with a small one you can’t really make it bigger.

      • Natalie

        “if you want a big yard and buy a house with a small one you can’t really make it bigger.” Right. If we have a big yard, we can remodel/add on if we have the money, but no amount of money will turn a tiny yard into a big one.

        • Eenie

          But maintaining a big yard is a pain! I loathe mowing our law even though we have a riding mower and 60% of it is trees. So, if you don’t like doing that stuff, don’t go too big. We will never again buy a house with this much yard lol.

          • emmers

            Or be prepared to hire someone. We have a neighbor kid cut ours, which makes a huge difference. Before we did that, I was spending 3 hours every other week cutting our yard (~1 acre) in the summer with a pushmower, which was the worst (though it was great exercise, and my ass looked awesome!).

          • Eenie

            We didn’t have a lawnmower the first summer so we paid it out. It was just a lot of money. And my husband really cares about how it looks. I do not. So I get it cut. He goes back and edges and stuff like that. We do not live in an HOA, this is one of the many perks – our lawn can look like crap and no one cares.

          • Natalie

            Yeah, mowing a huge yard sucks, but we are definitely yard-project people. I want space for a vegetable garden and, if at all possible, fruit trees. We currently have both in our rental house and I *love* them. If we buy something with a big grassy lawn, though, we will be re-landscaping to make the lawn small and turn most of it into self-sufficient native plants, flower beds, and vegetable garden space. I am too much of a hippie to pay for watering, fertilizing, and mowing of a bunch of plants that serve no purpose but to fulfill a weird cultural obsession with green grassy lawns.

    • Vanessa

      Street noise & guest parking availability at different times of day, whether the house is in a floodplain, property taxes, average energy costs, tree maintenance/care (can be surprisingly expensive). Read reviews on inspectors – some are good & some just to rubber stamp everything. Also if you are TV people – lots of homes are staged without TVs because there’s not a great place for it, and it took us a little while to notice that. Otherwise I think it’s knowing yourself – I would so much rather live in a smaller house than spend 2 hours a day in my car, but lots of people would prefer the reverse.

      • Natalie

        These are all useful things that I haven’t been thinking about much. Thanks!

        • Jenny

          I second the inspector comment! When I bought my first house I went with the inspector my real estate agent recommended, but in retrospect I would have hired and interviewed my own guy, they person who did the inspection when I sold it just 5 years later ended up finding things that were almost certainly issues when I bought it, but that I then had to pay for before I sold it.

      • Sara

        I nixed places because of guest parking. I like to entertain! I don’t want my guests to park too far away!

        • Vanessa

          Yes! And particularly my friends with little kids/babies are never going to come over if there’s nowhere within 5 blocks to park.

        • Natalie

          Yes! I love entertaining, too. I will definitely be asking my realtor about street parking regulations/availability.

    • Sara

      1) Location is most important! Even if you never plan on having kids, a good school district matters for resale later.
      2) Don’t let yourself make a decision while being burnt out on home buying. Its a long and sometime unfun process.
      3) Ask A LOT of questions during inspection. How to turn stuff on, the inspector’s opinion of how much longer it’ll last,
      4) Outlets in bathroom. I don’t know why, but some places didn’t have them. Check for outlet placements.
      5) Be prepared for closing costs.
      6) Ask around for realtors! Don’t work with someone that frustrates you. You can always switch realtors – I wish I hadn’t worked with mine, she didn’t really get what I was looking for, and then kept asking me to rate her on Redfin.

      • Natalie

        Re: 2) I can tell that my husband is already getting burnt out on home decisions, and all we’ve done do far is look at places online & discuss. I need to figure out how to keep him from getting to burnt out so he doesn’t push to just get the decision making over with as quickly as possible.

        4) weird. Not something I would think to look for, but something that would annoy the heck out of me once I lived there!

        6) Good to know. I was worried about picking the best possible realtor for my first house-hunting trip, but realizing I can switch realtors if I don’t like him relieves some stress.

        • Sara

          This might be terrible to say, but Realtors should work for you. I don’t mean be obnoxiously demanding, but if they’re not showing you places that work for you, dump em. My bff had a fantastic realtor who would do a bit of research and rule out homes that she knew they wouldn’t like or wouldn’t work for what they wanted. Mine always seemed surprised what the property was when we showed up to a house and couldn’t answer any questions if it wasn’t on the MLS sheet (which I also had, so I knew those answers)

          • Eenie

            Yes. Our realtor looked at our list and flat out told us she refused to show us any homes in a certain county because their school district hadn’t had accreditation for 12 years. She said if we still wanted to buy a house there, she would recommend some other realtors to us!

          • Alli

            My realtor was awful too! She kept directing us to their online search tool instead of helping us find houses, which was never updated (and when we pointed it out to her, she suggested that there were no new houses in our criteria, even though we were finding new ones ourselves every week). We did all the searching, and she wouldn’t give us advice, the only benefit of having her was that she knew the seller’s realtor which I think may have helped whenever the nightmare seller was freaking out and accusing us of trying to rip her off.

          • Sara

            Did we have the same realtor? ha, mine did the same thing. Except she was less than helpful during the actual sale. Thankfully the mortgage person at the bank was immensely helpful and walked me through things with a lot of hand holding. The questions I emailed her must have been so dumb. I had no idea what I was doing.

          • Alli

            Mine wasn’t an issue with the actual sale, we just decided to have an attorney handle the details of it, so having her there was kind of pointless? The attorney was amazing though, worth every penny. He gave us a discount for being friends with a family member but he should have gotten all the money the realtor ended up with!

        • StevenPortland

          It only takes an electrician about an hour to install a new outlet. So don’t worry about whether one exists currently. Just make sure you plan to have one installed shortly after you move in. (Says the guy who doesn’t have electricity in the garage and so has to use extension cords from the house to the garage in order to operate any type of power tool.)

        • Sara

          Oh and this is a little silly, but I highly recommend replacing your shower head immediately after moving in. Its not a big thing, and generally easy to do, but it made a world of difference! I felt accomplished right away and also felt sanitary (because who knows how long those have been there)

          • We actually change our showerhead in every rental apartment, too. It’s a good idea for errrrrbody.

          • Eenie

            I remember fondly walking to the local hardware store to buy a wrench big enough to replace the showerhead in our first rental together.

          • Lisa

            We have two different showerheads in our rental. The ones that came with it were awful, and the ones we have make everything so much better!

        • reller

          I would highly suggest you start going to open houses … even if not for homes that you would buy. We went to open houses in a variety of areas to get a feel for what was “normal” in each neighborhood and for how far your money goes … but it’s also super helpful to see the differences between how a house feels in person and how a house looks online. There was one in particular that my husband was practically ready to buy sight unseen & then we walked through it and almost immediately crossed it off the list! You will definitely start to be a lot more discerning when looking at online listings

          • rg223

            Just be careful about this – I’m not sure if this varies state by state, but in our state, whoever shows you the house is the one who will represent you when you make an offer, so if you went to an open house by yourself and wanted to put in an offer, the seller’s agent would also be your agent and can’t really advocate for you to get the best deal. And if you are working with a realtor and go without them, they lose their commission (my mom accidentally did this to a realtor and still feels bad to this day).

        • Kara E

          You can’t necessarily switch realtors mid-stream. Check your contract with them first. You can, however, interview and select the realtor.

      • emmers

        Yes to location and schools- I forgot about that. And definitely pay for a home inspection, as Sara said. They can spot things that might be a problem down the road. If you can make sure that they’re a good inspector by getting a recommendation from someone, that’s helpful too.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I’ll note that realtors (at least where I live) are legally not allowed to speak to the quality of the local school district, so you’ll probably have to do some research on your own.

          • Mary Jo TC

            As an education policy watcher, I actually think that is a good rule. And one that is definitely not in place where I live. Hearing what the realtor says about the schools might be an easy way to tell if you have a racist realtor…

          • Natalie

            oh god, I hadn’t thought about that.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I told mine that I wanted to avoid a specific school district (because they have much higher taxes, and are kind of awful, and could affect resale), and she respected that. Zillow makes it easy to see what your local schools are and how they rank, so I didn’t need her to perform that function for us.

          • Mary Jo TC

            Zillow ratings are terrible for equity in schools. They’re based on standardized test scores, which are measures of parent socioeconomic status more than anything else. They create vicious spirals for “bad” schools and virtuous cycles for “good” schools which reinforce each other, as affluent (usually white) people move into school districts with high ratings and those who can’t afford to live in those places are stuck in places with bad ratings. Everyone (especially needy kids and schools) would be better off if those ratings didn’t exist.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I’ve been marinating on your comment for about 24 hours. I never really thought about where those rankings come from, and agree that standardized tests are not a great way to rank anything. As someone who doesn’t plan to have kids, I avoided the lowest-ranking school district in the area, primarily because the taxes are twice those of other districts, and in part because I want to be able to resell my house easily and for a good price if I ever need to. My friends who do have children avoid the same district because they want their children to have the best opportunities. This particular district is notorious for being one of the most underfunded in the country, struggling with violence and other behavior issues, and the kids who come out of the system are years behind their peers in terms of material learned. Surely it would help for more parents with the means to be involved in their kids’ education to move to that district, but for the life of me I can’t see why they would choose to, if they have the means and opportunity to move into a district 20 minutes away that doesn’t have the same problems. What’s the solution?

      • JSK

        Was just typing up the outlet thing above. And overhead lighting. It’s annoying to HAVE to have a lamp in some spaces.

        • Eenie

          Oh and ceiling fans! Like yeah, you can put them in yourself, but if the house comes with a fan in every room? Yes please. This is one of our current house’s redeeming features.

      • Natalie

        Good point about the school district. It’s such as small town that there’s only one middle school & one high school in the area we’re looking at, but there are several elementary schools, which I’m guessing vary a bit in quality.

    • We bought a house just as my partner was planning to start medical school (our city had cheap housing because we were hit really hard by the real estate bubble), which meant the biggest goal for us was “move-in ready.” We both love projects, but we knew we were coming into a time in our life where required-house-project would be too much stress. Now, we’ve done a lot of stuff in the house– built shelves, completely re-landscaped the backyard (which was just dirt when we bought it), painted, etc. But we got to do all those things on our own time. For us, it’s the recognition that this is our first house, not the only-house-we-must-ever-live-in. It’s walking distance to two grocery stores, our city’s river-loop trail/bike path, and the local university farm, which is awesome. It’s also a little farther from work than I’d like and has a really ugly telephone pole/utility box combo in the front yard. For us, the decision priorities went: 1) Price, 2) Move-in readiness, 3) Location, 4) Aesthetics. Yours might look a little different.

      What worked for us was going on a bunch of home tours with real estate agent and then ranking all the houses we saw on those criteria. We also only toured homes within 5 miles of my work, which I considered my “acceptable commute.” Our current house won because it was a foreclosure (cheap) and recently built (no major renovations needed).

      • Natalie

        Right. I need to remember that while we’re planning to settle in this town, we do not need to buy the house we live in until we retire/die. If we end up not liking the tradeoffs we make, we can move a few years down the road.

    • guest

      For a 1st home, I would 100% sacrifice space for location. I would also encourage you to find a realtor who you communicate well with and feel like you can trust. It made a huge difference for us.
      My other main pieces of advice are:
      1. Don’t spend up to your max, especially if your down payment is not huge. It makes it more difficult to save up for things like home improvements … and the down payment on your next house or other larger purchases (speaking from experience as someone who lives in a rather crazy real estate market). On this same note, make sure to consider insurance, taxes, and utility costs when you are looking at budgets.
      2. Buy something live-able. Our realtor really stressed this when we were 1st time buyers. The home we bought had a 1950’s kitchen and bathrooms, but they were pretty much what we had been renting and totally functional. Unless you have a lot of capital saved up, it’s pretty difficult to tackle major renovations at the outset. And believe me, they will always be more expensive, take longer, and be more disruptive than you ever anticipate. *on a related note, it is SO HELPFUL to have more than one bathroom. Especially if your bathroom might need to be renovated.
      3. Also – neighborhood research! Some areas have much more stringent building/permit processes than others. I believe you can normally call into the city office to pull permit history on your prospective house & also request any special terms for the neighborhood. (we didn’t buy into a Historic Preservation District, but it turns out that our neighborhood has much more stringent policies than the general city and some renovation plans have to be approved by a design review board!)

      Two big trade offs for us were a car port instead of a garage, and a long flight of stairs to our front door. Closets and bathrooms were also on the smaller side … but living room was huge & we get lots of natural light. We honestly don’t mind the stairs much, but will most likely insist on a garage in any future house (storing tools, bikes, hobby stuff, etc is so much easier!). On the flip side, I could totally deal with less square footage.

    • Anon

      A couple things, ask your real estate agent for recommendations for painters, plumbers, handy men, electrical work etc. Especially since you are new in town.

      If you are thinking of having work done, call some of them to get ball park estimates. It was only when I went to make some changes to my house when I was going to sell that I discovered it was much cheaper to redo the bathroom and kitchen than I thought, and it way more expensive to have a water line put in to reach the fridge so my fridge ice maker/water thing could be hooked up.

    • Kara E

      Hope this isn’t too late, but make sure you know about the MECHANICALS and structure of whatever place you buy – don’t lose out by the “pretty.”. Plan to pay for a good inspection and be willing to walk away if needed. I agree that the location is probably most important, but be aware of the trade offs in terms of “niceness.” Gorgeous kitchen, but 20 year old roof and 15 year old water heater? Great location, but wet crawl space? A leaky roof and new furnace will far outstrip any thing you “save” by buying a nice kitchen. And even then, there may be trade offs in any of those things that tips the balance (for example, we’re on a busier street than I would have liked, but have a fenced-in double lot in the city).

      • Kara E

        Oh. Overall layout. While it’s easy to change cosmetic things, moving walls and floors is $$$$$$. For example, if you’re planning to have kids, are the core bedrooms easily accessible from each other, or are you going to have to jerry-rig sleeping arrangements until your kids are older? If, for example, the main bedroom is on the ground floor and the smaller ones are upstairs, you’re going to have to figure out how to sleep nearer each other because a little one wouldn’t be able to get out in the event of a fire. [Still can’t understand why the people who bought our last house did – they were expecting a little one and you had to walk through the ENTIRE house to get from the master to the other bedrooms. We would probably still have the kid in the master with us.]

  • Eenie

    Thanks for all the well wishes last week! My phone interview went well, and my in person one is scheduled for next week :)

    In other news, I pulled the plug on new duvet & cover and curtains (thanks for everyone’s help on that one post!). The picture doesn’t really do them justice – they are coral. The inspiration for the color was from Design Seeds. Probably need to get a piece of artwork for the wall, but I’m really happy with how it looks/functions. Plus, the cats LOVE the new duvet and covers which is all that really matters. I was going to take a more “posed” picture, but one puked on his last night, so boo. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f820f111012ec3889dbd4d966d2fd3c06c9bd8ff96f58862c152d81dbf7c6f4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e10b88c8626294e5c0f492f9be0cc5d9ff2abdd5528a899e8440b384a563dcb5.jpg

    • Jess

      THE COLORS!!!! I love them!!

      • Eenie

        Me too! The blinds/curtains keep out just enough light but also make this really pretty glow when the sun shines through. I plan on getting a fitted sheet for our box spring with a bit of the color and buy some lamps for each side of our beds. Trying to decide what kind though? My side has space on the night stand, but the orange kitty sleeps on his (he’s spoiled rotten). I’m leaning towards mis-matched ones to give a little more character.

        • Essssss

          Ooh maybe you could paint nightstands in some of the other colors in that awesome beautiful color palette?! Or lamp shades in those colors?

          • Eenie

            Yes to the lampshades! I think I need to find the artwork for the wall first – then whatever else I get can coordinate with that – finding the right shades of colors was really hard. I would have preferred a more muted color for the curtains but it was tough! I’m thinking of a pretty blue orange sunset photo or painting for the wall. Haven’t found the right one yet.

          • Essssss

            Oooh fun! You could even do like an abstract color-block weaving or fabric wall hanging, if you didn’t find the right sunset. My aunt has this thing where she first buys a throw rug or tapestry for a room and then builds the colors/decorations around that, which I find inspiring.
            Also, I just dove into etsy and there are so. many. sunsets. In every style. How overwhelming can you get.

          • Eenie

            Oh yes! That’s so true. The lovely people over at One House Love actually recommend doing the same thing with the rug. In hindsight I think I would have gone with finding some wall art I really like and going from there. This is my first time trying to make our house actually look put together. Or put together enough to sell in three years.

          • Essssss

            I’m a totally random throw it together person, myself, no pressure here! That said I’m distracting myself this afternoon and there are some pretty sweet wall hangings on etsy :)

    • Jessica

      The curtains match your cat! Yes!

      • Eenie

        May have been part of how I sold them to my husband :) He has an undying love for both our cats, but the orange one is so very clearly his.

  • Kalë

    I’m feeling a little frustrated professionally lately. I adore my work, although it is admittedly high stress, and I have a great boss – like best ever boss. But there isn’t any upward mobility (I’m an assistant in a two person office – assisting my boss), and since it’s a state government position, no way that I know of for my boss (or her higher-up’s) to restructure my position or give me a raise or anything, because the positions and corresponding pay are spelled out by the state. I already do way more than my job description entails, and have been here almost two years but still only make just enough to make ends meet… Basically, I want to keep my job but make 15-25% more. I’m not sure how or if it’s even possible to make this happen in a state government-type environment.

    • CMT

      I do not think it would be easy, especially given our budget situation. Have you talked to your boss about what options there are? There are so many intricacies to state employment, maybe your boss will have an idea of what you could do. I know that the longer I’m here, the more I find out I don’t know about working for the state.

      • Kalë

        I know, sadly :( I’ve talked to her briefly, but it was about six months ago and there hasn’t been any movement. The big crux of it is that she’s not really a manager, and doesn’t know much if anything about how state employment works. I think I’ll just bring it up to her next week, after we’re done with the giant stressball we’re working on right now.

    • Essssss

      I have worked for state and federal government a lot, and it may be different state to state but, I’ve always had the situation that each position had a corresponding pay range, and you could get raises at least within that pay range. I’ve brought it up successfully at annual reviews. It maybe be challenging depending on the fiscal situation but there should at least be room to grow within your pay range, based on cost of living increase and merit, even if it is an administrative headache for your supervisor. They may also have the power to put in a new position in their budget requests to the state and then you could apply for that, but it might have to be a competitive hire, ie no guarantee like a promotion. Maybe there are also other things they can do with special HR approval like give you more annual leave. And if there are professional development funds to go to a conference or take a training, take advantage of that, especially as it relates to getting skills/networking for your future!

      • Kalë

        So weird/happy coincidence – my boss literally just emailed me to say we need to reassess my classification and pay scale, because she thinks the work I am doing is above and beyond! (maybe she reads APW…)

        • Essssss

          YAYYYY

  • macrain

    I had an interesting experience at the pediatrician’s office today. We live in Brooklyn and our pedi is housed on the first floor of a residential apartment building. I was meeting my husband and son for his appointment and arrived a full 30 minutes early. I signed in at the front desk and then decided to sit down on a window ledge in the lobby to wait for them rather than go straight to the office waiting room. Within minutes, a staff member from the pedi’s office appeared and told me I was not allowed to wait in the lobby. In that instant I did remember that is their policy; when my son was really little over the summer we were waiting for an Uber and wanted to stay out of the heat. We were told the same thing and were forced outside.
    So, just to recap- an apartment building in one of the most family friendly neighborhoods in Brooklyn does not want children, or parent/caretakers, in their (usually deserted) lobby. It makes me wonder how that happened- was it built into their lease? Did residents notice children in their lobby and complain? Are there laws about this sort of thing? If I lived there, I suppose I could see not wanting sick children in my lobby, just for fear of my own child getting sick. But even then!
    I don’t plan on fighting city hall on this one (the fight in me is currently on reserve for other, more pressing matters), but- it really did give me pause. And I’m just curious to know more.

    • Amy March

      I guess I don’t see why this is weird? I wouldn’t want random people hanging out in my residential lobby because they are visiting a commercial tenant, and I’d think a lease provision that says “people cannot be hanging out in the lobby waiting for your business” is probably pretty common. I especially wouldn’t love kids being there because there are already children everywhere in Brooklyn.

      • Emily

        This, and also I wouldn’t want random tenants or visitors hanging out watching me and my (hypothetical) children going in and out of the doctor’s office.

      • macrain

        People who live in my own building don’t seem to love having my kid there, so- that’s not a sentiment I’m unfamiliar with.

    • StevenPortland

      Perhaps the apartment building wants to avoid issues with loitering. Maybe in the past there have been sick kids running around the lobby, or maybe the loitering had nothing to do with the peds office. But since the staff is very attentive about it, there must be some animosity between the office and the apartment building.

      • macrain

        Yea, I think part of what felt startling about it was how quickly it happened. I think you could be right this is probably a contentious issue between the office and the building.

    • rg223

      Could it be a fire safety thing too? I can see them making an overall rule to keep it from getting too crowded.

  • Eh

    So yesterday was a crap day all around but today things are looking up. Yesterday my best friend was worried she was having a miscarriage, a coworker was trying to pawn off work on me that she agreed to do, and part of our project team (that is in a different city) told us that we aren’t going to meet our deadline for the project (only because my supervisor pressed them about the deadline, after mentioning that the deadline effects other projects we are working on). Today my best friend had an ultrasound and the baby has a heartbeat (yay!), my supervisor told the coworker that she is going to do the work (and then the coworker replied that part of it is already done), and my manager is unimpressed with the people in the other office not flagging the issue earlier (he only found out today when we told him) and is going to talk to their manager about the issue (and working more like one team instead of two).

    • LadyJanee

      So glad your friend’s baby is ok! I just found out that my friend miscarried yesterday and it’s so sad :(

      • Eh

        Sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. My friend had a previous miscarriage and a high risk pregnancy after that so she has been on edge this whole pregnancy (and will be probably until the anatomy scan in two months).

        I had a friend who lost a baby (he was born very early) and ever since then I always send a “thinking of you” card and flowers or a gift card to a restaurant or something like that when someone has a miscarriage or loses a baby.

        • LadyJanee

          Thank you. I have sent her some flowers. I know it won’t change anything but at least she knows people are thinking of her and are here for her.

  • Lawyerette510

    The good: I started therapy this week and have ridden my spin bike more days than not. The bad: the suicide of family friend earlier this week. He had struggled immensely for the past decade or so. My heart aches for his parents, and I want to send them a note but I have no idea what to say in it.

    • Violet

      Oh man, I’m sorry. Your note can say, “I wanted to send you a note, even though I have no idea what to say.”

    • Laura C

      I’m so sorry. And yeah, like Violet said, I think the note can admit to not knowing what to say — or can just be very generic kind of sympathy card language. The fact of sending it is the thing, at least for many people.

      • emmers

        I think this is key. Even a sympathy card where you just write that you’re sorry and thinking of them will let them know you care.

    • Jessica
    • Abby

      Since this happy hour reminded me of Empathy Cards, this one seems fitting: https://emilymcdowell.com/collections/empathy-cards/products/no-good-card-for-this-sympathy-card. Hope therapy and exercise help with everything.

    • Vanessa

      I’m sorry, that’s devastating. I know these are kind of polarizing phrases, but I avoid anything like “everything happens for a reason” or “he’s in a better place”. I usually try to share a good memory or story, like “one of my favorite memories of X was when he …”

  • Ive been reading HH lately but haven’t had a chance to post. My baby girl is 9 weeks old, and the sun is out. We still have 2 feet of snow on the ground. I am so over this winter.

    I started making a plan for child care for when I really return to work next month. And, I think I might have found a perfect solution! The mom of one of my past brides, who has raised 4 kids, was a nurse, and has worked as a nanny before is done with her past family and might be able to work with us. I’m hoping it all works out, because between that and my husband flexing his schedule one day a week, and nap times, we should be good through the summer. Fingers crossed!

    • macrain

      Figuring out childcare was one of the most stressful things about new parenthood for me. I was just so nervous about making the right choice and so terrified to leave him! I hope your nanny lead pans out or you find something else you love. We went with a nanny share and we love it.

  • MC

    Two small good things this week:
    1. I was asked to apply to be on the Board of Directors for an org that I love and have been volunteering with for 3+ years! I’m super honored to be considered and I’m 98% sure I’m going to apply. I already work full-time for another nonprofit AND volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters so I’m a tad worried about committing myself… but post-election I’ve been feeling like I want to be more involved in my community but feeling a little directionless about that, so I feel like this opportunity came at just the right time, and could be great for increasing professional skills!
    2. I started using Milk of Magnesia as deodorant AND IT WORKS! I have never never been able to find deodorant that worked before and it has been so great to not be smelly at the end of the day.

    • Jessica

      Congratulations! Also thanks for the deodorant tip.

    • CMT

      Tell me more about this deodorant!

      • MC

        I literally just bought Kroger-brand Milk of Magnesia and use a cotton swab or my fingers to apply some to my pits in the morning, and then wait for a minute while it dries. I still sweat but there is no odor, it’s amazing!

  • Jessica

    This week has been a mix of truly awful and some dots of brightness.

    My husband continues to take his meds and come home every night, but this morning he had a screening call for a PTSD treatment program for veterans and they said they can’t start him until he has an Alcohol screening of some sort–he was supposed to start on Monday and his therapist is out of town today. So he was freaking out about that this morning and it took awhile to calm him down and convince him that this wasn’t rejection–it was just another step and it was one that we can handle.

    On Wednesday though, my mom visited me at my office and told me her breast cancer is back. After we talked for a while I immediately ordered Empathy Cards and a pin from Emily McDowell, and my neighbor served me several alcoholic beverages that evening. Yesterday I saw a flight deal to Stockholm, called my dad and asked if he wanted to go to Europe in the fall and his response was “YES! Can your mom come?” (of course). Then I called her and asked the same thing and she said “Oh my gosh, yes! Can your dad come?” Which was really sweet. So then I impulsively bought tickets to Amsterdam for my parents and myself to go over my mom’s birthday in November. I think we all just need something to look forward to.

    FYI tickets to Amsterdam from MPLS are less than $400. Get it.

    • Ashlah

      Wow, what a roller coaster. I’m so sorry to hear about the return of your mom’s cancer. I hope treatment is swift and successful. That trip sounds amazing, as does your relationship with your parents.

    • Lisa

      So glad that you’ve got something positive to look forward to!! And that is such a great flight deal. I would be all over that if I lived there.

      • Jessica

        I’m sure there are good flight deals out of your state http://www.thriftytraveler.com/

        • Lisa

          Unfortunately not right now! We’re also not sure where we’ll be come fall so I’m trying not to plan anything too far in advance until we’ve made some decisions. We took advantage of the Delta sale over Thanksgiving though ($400 RT US->Europe), and we’re going to London over my husband’s spring break and Paris/northern France at the end of April for him to play in a music festival with his string quartet. I’ve got some good international travel coming up! :)

          Do you also follow The Flight Deal and Secret Flying? I’ve got notifications for them set up on Facebook so I don’t miss anything.

    • Abby

      Big hugs, lady! Glad you’re making bright spots for yourself– sounds much needed.

    • Jess

      That is a lot of ups and downs. Booo for cancer being back. Hooray for trips and having things to look forward to! Hooray for steps forward!

    • Sara

      Your parents are adorable! Ha.
      I saw tickets from Chicago to Amsterdam and Paris in August for LESS than $400. If I had any money, I’d have bought them!

    • Vanessa

      So glad to hear about some forward motion with your husband, and sorry to hear about your mom’s bad news.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Happy Friday!! Looking for any advice you lovely folks might have on 1) interviewing a potential DJ and 2) doing an engagement shoot in the dead of winter in the city. Mostly I don’t know what to wear for the engagement shoot – for winter shoots I see a lot of couples go the full-on cozy flannel/sweaters route, but that’s not really us. We’d like to go slightly dressy because that’s more our style, but I feel like most of my dressy options are either too summery or too dark! Got any outfit inspiration for me??

    • Kalë

      On 2) – we just did engagement pictures in Amsterdam, in 20-degree weather. At least it wasn’t raining? We, like you, wanted to have dressier outfits (at least, I did), and ended up buying a dark floral skirt, light pink sweater, and coupling those with a leather jacket, tights, and black booties. Seasonally appropriate but still fancier. That said, I was freezing. Like horrifyingly cold. I brought a big duffel jacket to throw on in between shots/locations, but my legs were still numb by the third set of poses… The pictures are gorgeous, but in some of them, you can tell how freaking cold we are. So, note that.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thanks for the advice! I may need to go shopping tonight to buy some nice looking gloves so at least my hands don’t freeze. And your outfit sounds like perfection.

    • emilyg25

      We did a family photo shoot on a very cold fall day and both wore nice jackets. You could pair your jacket with a skirt, boots and cute scarf.

    • Lisa

      We did winter pictures in Chicago. Here’s a link if that’s helpful!

      • Her Lindsayship

        So awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

      • flashphase

        You guys look so beautiful and happy :)

        • Lisa

          Awwww, thanks so much! I’m having fun going back through them and remembering this afternoon. :)

    • Eenie

      If you have a cool warehouse turned shopping center you can get some cool architectural shots without being full on out in the cold. We did our shoot in winter, but it’s Georgia so it was 60 and we wore a sweater and a button down, jeans, and boots.

      • Lisa

        Yes for an indoor location, too. We went to our favorite bar in the city, and it’s fun to have photos in a space that meant a lot to us when we lived in Chicago.

        • Her Lindsayship

          I loved the start-with-a-drink idea so much that we’re stealing it – might try to get some boozy hot chocolates at Max Brenner right beforehand to warm us up!

          • Lisa

            I love it! That would be adorable. I think, after our engagement session, our photographer started recommending this to several other people because I started seeing it pop up in his engagement shots after us. It was really a great and relaxing way to start off because it was a space that was so familiar to us. (Plus the beer solved the “What do I do with my hands??” problem.)

    • Totch

      I second Eenie on looking for cool indoor spaces, and would also suggest taking a few shots at home if you can swing it.

      I know you said you’re dressier people so it sounds like you’ve got a more formal look in mind, but we shot for like 10-20 minutes at home and they’re some of my favorite photos. We’ve never really taken a lot of photos of the places we lived, and I’m excited to be able to look back on where we called home during this big life transition.

    • Jess

      I am personally a sucker for a good wool trench coat and suede heels. Full skirts look adorable under open coats, can be worn with tights.

      I have a very classic-preppy aesthetic though.

      Skirt:
      This is a little more girly than I am, but I love how it turns out in pictures: https://c7.staticflickr.com/1/338/31302467894_f05039853a_b.jpg

      Trench over dress:
      https://c8.staticflickr.com/6/5340/30759008415_96fb404867_b.jpg

    • Vanessa

      You could check out Rent the Runway. There are a lot of women who have rented outfits for engagement photos, and you can filter for long-sleeve but still dressy items and see photos that might be helpful!

    • Zandra

      We did our engagement photos in December during a particularly cold/snowy period. We did take some photos inside, because we wanted photos of us relaxing at home, but for our outdoor photos I wore a black peplum pea coat, which definitely wasn’t warm enough (but is much fancier than my parka) and accessorized it with a bright red plaid blanket scarf and leather gloves. We took our photos at a local waterfront park and the scarf really stood out since the background was so muted. Maybe you can brighten your outfit up with fun accessories or even props?

  • CDN

    Hey y’all – update on the weird shower/brother/maybe-maybe not girlfriend situation from last week for those wondering… She came, spent most of the evening in the basement with my cousin (also a friend of hers), it was indeed weird but fine. Apparently she and my brother got back together again, though it seemed… less than enthusiastic on my brother’s part; I let him know he needs to do what’s best for him and that I’m here if he needs to sort through whatever – short of saying “Dude, your GF is a bit cray and maybe a co-dependent relationship isn’t the best idea right now?” I can’t do much more – it is his life to live.

    On another, way better note – my wonderful friends threw a Stock the Bar wedding shower and can I just say – THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA. For those of us who have been living in sin for quite a while now, it’s great to get stuff that will *always* be used (assuming you have some place to easily store it all – we have a nice cellar) and I particularly loved the fact that you can’t generally tell the $10 bottle of wine versus the $100 bottle of wine. It seemed really… democratic (?) which was awesome as I was feeling kind of squicky about the numerous gift-giving occasions that seem to go along with weddings. I loved that people could spend what they were comfortable with and not have the obvious stand mixer vs salt shaker dichotomy going on.

    • Cellistec

      a Stock the Bar shower is a fantastic idea. I wish we’d thought of it! Instead I bought our drinks at a grocery outlet, was stingy with the money, and yet was somehow surprised when we ran out of booze mid-reception. Don’t be like me, kids.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I am all for this type of shower. Was it co-ed?

      • ART

        I saw this comment out of context and had a little spit take moment.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          *waggles eyebrows*

    • Sara

      I love a stock the bar shower!

    • Caitlyn

      Never heard of this – what a great idea!

    • anachronismsarah

      Our friends did a stock the bar/stack the (lingerie) drawer couples shower and had a blast. It’s awesome!

    • Kat

      I love the Stock the Bar idea and totally want to steal it one day….but I just had a good chuckle at the thought of telling my southern baptist, teetotaler mother that I want my shower guests to bring alcohol. Lol maybe a stock-the-bar bachelorette party…

  • Yael

    So, I’ve posted before about being unsure about having a wedding celebration, because of everything terrible going on (I have no doubts about being married, I just can’t get excited about a wedding). And I was telling this all to my fiancé who has the patience of a saint, and he reminded me that we (Jews) have been here before, and that we got married, even in the ghetto, because without love there would be no hope, and without hope, there would be no point in fighting. And for the first time, I guess I really heard him saying that (he has said it before). At the same time, we were debating between two final ketubah designs, and in part because of what he said, we settled on one inspired by a ketubah found in the Mantua ghetto. So, we’ve got that out of the way at least!

    • Lisa

      That’s wonderful, both on the ketubah and finding a little inner-peace regarding the decision to celebrate during this awful time.

      I’ve also been struggling with this a lot recently, and if we weren’t so far along in planning I think I wouldn’t have agreed to hosting a wedding now. I wish there wasn’t such a disconnect between wedding planning articles & the current political situation. It’s added to feelings of incongruity & dysphoria and made it difficult to find resources & have discussions about it. Making decisions like you did with your ketubah has also helped us a lot. Finding vendors that give back, supporting Black & LGBTQ business owners, finding community & strength in our wedding party, donating every chance we get, etc make us feel a little more comfortable. But it’s hard. If you ever want to brainstorm or chat, please hit me up.

      • Yael

        Wedding planning has been a nice distraction, but there is definitely some dissonance with feeling so ambivalent about the party. One of the things I am super excited about is our wedding will be MLK weekend as well as Tu B’shevat (Jewish Earth Day), and I want to reference both, although I’m not sure how.

        • flashphase

          That was our wedding weekend this year! First of all, I’ve been where you are, and my now-husband said to me, “he doesn’t get to take away our joy and our dreams. If we give him that, he wins.” That really helped. And I tell myself that joy is an act of resistance. And I think our community really needed the celebration, and it was important to everyone to have it.

          A friend read one of the sheva brachot with an added MLK reference. Our wedding wasn’t on Tu B’shevat, but we went to synagogue for that and the rabbi talked about how you can celebrate by eating multiple fruits on Tu B’Shevat – maybe you could incorporate that?

          • Yael

            “Joy is an act of resistance.” That is beautiful and perfect.

            We seriously considered hosting a Tu B’shevat seder for either Friday or Saturday night, and we may still do something like that if we find the room in the budget. Certainly we will feature a number of fruits and nuts at the wedding. What was the additional text your friend added in honor of MLK? Do you mind if I borrow that idea?

          • flashphase

            Borrow away! I think he just used a quote? Honestly I don’t remember and we haven’t looked back at all the ceremony contributions yet.

        • Lisa

          MLK & Tu B’shvat wedding? That’s so much fun! I have ideas!

          You could have the decorations reflect Tu B’shvat (artfully laying out pomegranates, grapes, wheat, olive branches, etc on the tables) or you could have the 7 species as part of your cocktail hour. Depending on your ceremony requirements, you could do a tree planting unity ceremony. Or somehow incorporate the four types of wine. You could also do something with favors, whether they are seed packets (or printed things on seed-paper) or donations to environmental groups or to plant trees. Other decorations/favors could be live plants that guests can take home or can be donated (like succulents or potted flowers), perhaps with a little note attached discussing Tu B’shvat values & how it relates to you & your fiance.

          MLK – We are donating to Black-led social justice organizations, and giving our wedding party shirts/books/etc that support causes we & they believe in. Again, depending on the ceremony, you could also include readings by MLK (or Heschel, if you wanted to go that route). Two that have paragraphs on love are I have decided to Stick with Love: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=2131 and a sermon on Aristotle’s levels of love: http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/levels_of_love_sermon_delivered_at_ebenezer_baptist_church.1.html You could also incorporate things like this as quotes written on things at the reception.

          Also, invites can be printed on recycled paper or seed-paper, and if you use an online registry you can include donations to your favorite charities or products that reflect your values and the holidays. Sorry – I went way overboard here. I got a little excited.

          • Yael

            Hahaha I love it! We actually were considering olive branches as part of the decor, and apples and pears and clementines, and I want to feature them on the stationary as well. We can’t do much with grains (I can’t eat gluten) but we’ll probably feature some sort of whisky/bourbon cocktail because alcohol is fine. Thank you for the readings and the ideas!

        • Danielle

          Tu B’shevat is my favorite holiday! Happy birthday of the trees, for this year!

          I went to a Tu B’shevat seder yesterday and it was very nice – we drank the 4 cups of wine and discussed the meaning of each type of fruit.

          Part of what I love about the holiday is that it is rooted in nature/mysticism rather than G-d or religious texts (I’m not a very religious Jew). So incorporating nature or mysticism in any way in your wedding seems to align with the principles of the holiday.

          I agree with your fiance and the commenters who say joy and love are part of the resistance, and would add that many people will probably appreciate any reason to celebrate now! Mazel tov <3

          • Kara E

            My preschooler’s version of Tu B’shevat is that it’s “the Birthday of the Trees” too! Not really wedding theme related, but there’s something really adorable about going around singing happy birthday to the trees and giving them birthday hugs. It’s made my week.

      • Totch

        Wedding planning right now is strange. We’re less than 2 months away but the date has been set for over a year. It’s hard to know what everything will look like 7 weeks from tomorrow, except to know that I’m getting married that day, and that everything (honeymoon included) is booked so I’ll have to find a way to reconcile it all.

        Also, it’s on April Fool’s Day so I’m really looking for lightness.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I’m super irritated about trying to change my name. On the marriage certificate, I changed my middle name to my husband’s last name to have a common name between us if we have kids (he didn’t want me to change my name at all, but I wanted something in common), and I was able to change it with no problem at Social Security. However, when I got to Secretary of State, the woman told me I’d need to go through a full name change. Apparently, I can go from “Margo Jane Maiden” to Margo Jane Newname, Margo Jane-Maiden Newname, or Margo Maiden Newname. Margo Newname Maiden is right out.

    I’m just super salty that I can give up all instances of my birth surname to take my husband’s name, but the mere mention of changing just my middle name to his last name had three SoS employees all aflutter.

    • Yeah, this actually sounds about right. It differs from state to state, but the state I was looking at had a similar thing. Changing just your middle name is a full name change. It’s weird and outdated. I just dropped that idea because it’s not worth the effort/money to me.

      Not sure what the rules for men are for changing their names.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I also just want to drop the whole thing and keep my birth name, but I signed the marriage certificate with the new name and got a SS card with the new one (even though apparently a middle name isn’t technically part of the legal name), so I don’t know if I should remain in limbo or go forward. I know I need to research it more, but urgh.

        • StevenPortland

          If you do end up needing to go to court for a legal name change, you can do it yourself without an attorney. The day I changed my name, there were about 20 of us at the court doing it at the same time and only one person was represented by an attorney. In California, I just had to fill out a form with my original name and new name, file it with the court and pay a fee. Then on the day of the court hearing I found out that the judge had already signed everything and I didn’t even need to see him.

          • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

            Ooh, thanks for the peace of mind!

          • That’s pretty much the process in MN too, except I did have to talk to the judge for a few mins, and bring 2 witnesses.

      • Alyssa

        My fiance and I are combining/creating a new last name — for many reasons, but I think partly because he figures if I’m going through the trouble, then he wants to go through the trouble too… but it also has me curious if there are different rules for men changing their names.

        • Ashlah

          Largely depends on the state. Where I live (Oregon) name changes based on marriage for men and women are the same (free!), but they do have limitations similar to what was outlined above, as far as what changes you’re actually allowed to make. Brand new last name would be a full name change through the courts.

        • Katherine

          In the state I currently live in, I could have changed my name immediately upon marriage (I did not). My husband has to wait two years, then file for a name change and have it published in a newspaper. It’s actually bonkers.

          • lildutchgrrl

            Two years?!?!

          • flashphase

            oh, right, the newspaper thing! My grandma changed her first name in the early 2000s and she told me she had to do that!

          • Alyssa

            Whoa, publishing a name change in a newspaper?! That is straight-up old school!

          • CP2011

            When my husband changed his name they had to post a written notice at the courthouse for 30 days first!

          • Abby

            Yeah, this is pretty standard for name changes not covered by (antiquated) marriage laws. The Irish Echo is apparently the easiest place to publish a name change if you need to.

    • Alex K

      I tried to change my name to Alex Maiden Newname and was told could only change my last name with my marriage certificate and had to go to court (!!) to change my middle name. Ridiculous (so I kept my name).

      • lamarsh

        This is what I’m going to have to do and I am already dreading it. On the bright side, my fiance’s legal name is a nickname and he has always been annoyed by that and wants to have the full name (e.g., Rob –> Robert), so we are going to do it together. But yes, so inconvenient and so outdated.

      • LadyJanee

        Ugh this is what I want to do (and my husband is also going to take my maiden name as a middle name) and I am dreading it. i contacted the department that manages births, deaths and marriages to see if we could do it by common use or if we’d have to actually change our names and have had no response yet.

    • Question: What are you getting changed at Secretary of State (mostly because I’m a little concerned I skipped something?)

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Changing my name on my license!

        • a few

          for our state (WI), I was told, you can write whatever you want on the license and change your name to whatever you want (doesn’t even have to be the same) later on with social security and it is fine. weird how that differs state to state.

      • Vanessa

        The state agency that handles this varies a ton state-to-state.

    • Eenie

      States are so weird with name changes.

    • flashphase

      Yup. I want my husband to take my last name as his middle but he will have to go to court to make it happen! PATRIARCHY SMDH

  • ART

    We visited my in-laws last weekend and the first thing that happened after we got there was that my FIL backed into my car. On the outside I was like “oh, it’s just stuff, accidents happen, we’ll get it fixed!” but on the inside I was like “MY CAAARRRR!” – but it’s all getting worked out through insurance and it will be fine. A good story in a few years.

    I started watching Juana Inés on Netflix – it’s a miniseries all in Spanish (with subtitles) and it takes place in 17th century Mexico City in New Spain. I don’t know how much license they are taking with the history of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, but the show is pretty fascinating, if sometimes a little hard to follow and maybe somewhat melodramatic. But the hairstyles alone are worth it.

    • Eh

      My MIL backed into my BIL’s car when he was parked in her driveway. Now we park on my FIL’s side of their driveway, and years later we still talk about it.

    • Lisa

      I completely understand how you felt. My wedding band has this T-lock that connects to my engagement ring. The day after our wedding we went to a beluga encounter at the Shedd Aquarium, and my MIL offered to hold the ring set in coin purse even though I was planning to put it in my wallet in the provided locked. From putting the ring in the coin purse in the pocket, the set came undone, and the T-lock was damaged so that I couldn’t wear the wedding band with the engagement ring the day after the wedding. I tried to play it off cool, but I was so tired, hangry, and stressed that I’m not sure I succeeded well.

      I want to start this series. We learned about Sor Juana when I studied Spanish literature, and I think the show would be fascinating to see.

    • Cellistec

      Thanks for the heads up on the Sor Juana series! Adding it to my queue asap.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Guess who has two thumbs and tickets to see Lady Gaga in September? THIS GAL! They were super expensive but I think it’s gonna be super fun.

    • Alli

      Jealous! I saw her back in high school with my mom and I was so blown away by the performance. Seeing her at the superb owl brought me back. She knows how to put on a great show!

      • penguin

        I had a moment of trying to figure out what the Superb Owl was (an awesome concert venue? An event I hadn’t heard of?) before I realized you meant the Super Bowl. Now I want there to be something called the Superb Owl lol.

        • Alli

          Hahahah sorry for the confusion! I saw a comic calling it the superb owl on xkcd and now that’s all I can call it

  • Katherine

    Between craziness at work, my husband having to work Valentine’s Day, and rolling my ankle earlier this week, the weekend cannot come soon enough. Tell me about your Valentine’s, Galentines, or other upcoming plans since I love this goofy, sappy holiday.

    • CharlotteJ

      I hear ya! Very ready for the weekend. For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I are staying in and making heart-shaped pizzas with pizza dough and topping from Trader Joe’s. For Galentine’s Day, my ladies and I are going to Dame’s Dinner, which is this crazy thing they have at a few restaurants in my city – every Wednesday night, ladies get a free three-course meal. All you have to do is buy a drink (it doesn’t even have to be an alcoholic drink) and the meal is free! Wild. And perfect for Galentine’s.

      • Jess

        I am all about this Dame’s Dinner thing.

        • CharlotteJ

          It is the BEST.

    • Cellistec

      Fondue dinner at home, our V-Day ritual. Last year I discovered a prepackaged cheese fondue at the grocery store, which I love, but my husband misses all the old-school cheese-grating because that’s about as much cooking as he knows how to do.

      • Ashlah

        Man, I wish my husband didn’t hate melted cheese! (Seriously, I love the guy, but what in the fresh hell is this?)

        • CMT

          I’m sorry, what?! Is he human?

        • lamarsh

          …….there are people who don’t like melted cheese???

          My heart breaks for you.

        • Eenie

          Chocolate is the better fondue anyways.

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, that sounds like a dealbreaker to me.

          • Alli

            Hey now, it’s only a dealbreaker if it means you can’t eat all of the melted cheese on your own.

            Source: FH hates any “weird” cheese which means I usually inhale a quarter wheel of brie on my own

        • More for you!

        • BSM

          My husband and I both… don’t like cheese at all*.

          *Exceptions are parmesan, feta, cheese on pizza.

        • Lisa

          Whoa, wait. Is that a thing? How is this possible?

        • Where I live there are microwaveable individual serving fondues made for one person. They are my preferred brand too, and I think they’re tasty.

    • Em

      My fiance and I tend to have a nice dinner at home on Valentine’s Day itself – this year we’re doing ribs, mashed potatoes/some form of veg, and I think I’m going to make chocolate truffles (which we’ll have with strawberries, I hope?) And because we need any and all excuses for a date night right now, we’ll be headed out for dinner on Saturday (we prefer to eat out in advance/after Valentine’s Day to avoid the set menu/mark up that often accompanies it) – we’re off to a nice, semi-fancy Japanese place nearby, and hopefully a wine bar before or after for a drink!

    • ART

      I bought little boxes of Penzey’s spice/herb mixes that I was planning to give to a few people for Galentine’s day. I’m basically not going to see my husband for the next week due to work schedules, but he’s taking my smushed car to the estimator on Valentine’s Day while I’m at work, so that’s sort of romantic?

    • Ashlah

      We usually stay in for Valentine’s Day. This year husband is making lobster tails, and I think I’ll surprise him with a key lime pie from Trader Joe’s (he’s been pining after frozen key lime pies for weeks). Maybe some flowers too, I like to surprise him with flowers.

    • macrain

      Valentine’s Day is so universally hated, I almost forgot we are allowed to like it.

      • Eenie

        Haha, I forgot it was this week. We do not celebrate it.

    • Essssss

      My hubs is out of town this year :( but I’m getting fro yo with a few of my lady friends as a galentines day alternative. Maybe we’ll watch a movie. I was bummed to spend Valentines day apart from him because we have a nice tradition of eating at our favorite restaurant, so we did that this week instead, and I’m looking forward to the girl time.

    • Jess

      Galentine’s Brunch on Sunday, with like 10 of my newish girl friends who are mostly single. There will be mimosas and loads of good food and lots of fun. I will be making these adorable strawberry scones: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/01/sprinkled-strawberry-coconut-milk-scones/

      Valentine’s Day: Typically a crap shoot on whether or not I’ll be in town (2017 is still a maybe). R is a romantic gesture person, which totally freaked me out my first year with him, but we’ve established a really good balance of gesture and being at home by putting together an extra fancy menu and cooking at home. The first year, he sent the whole menu in fancy typeface while I was flying home, did all the shopping, bought me flowers and a small, sweet gift. It was truly adorable.

      This year:
      Prosecco, Spinach & cheese stuffed mushroom caps, gougeres
      Sous Vide Steak w/ herb butter, fig & bleu cheese pasta w/ pecans
      Unsure about dessert yet, maybe another round of creme brulee like we did last year, maybe something else.

    • Vanessa

      I just put the last of my Valentine’s cards in the mail. I send them to all of my girlfriends, and treat V-day like Thanksgiving For Friendships.

    • emilyg25

      I wasn’t planning on doing anything, but then I heard an ad for MeUndies matching underwear on the Things You Missed in History Class and just had to.

    • Valentine’s Day is also our monthly date night date (we do date night on the 14th cause we got married on the 14th). It’s my turn to plan and I really just wanna do Lobsterfest at Red Lobster & also take the baby with us.

    • CommaChick

      I get up early the morning after Valentine’s Day and buy all of the great chocolate that’s now on sale.

    • emmers

      For actual vday we’re going to try a bunch of Ina Garten recipes, like some pasta with blue cheese, a green bean gremolata, and pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting (topped with Heath bars!). So I’m stoked about that.

      And today I’m going to a girls’ night with fancy restaurant + ballet! Lots of good things.

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Valentine’s Day will be spent in Stockholm! Fiancé and I fly out on Monday for a 10-day mini tour (Stockholm, Uppsala and Gothenburg) and have booked ourselves into this amazing-looking restaurant where they cook everything on open fires/using fire. No modern cooking methods allowed!
      We’re normally more chill though: last year was mostly an obscene amount of French pastries in bed!

      • EF

        i *love* gothenburg. i went on holiday there by myself a couple years ago, and just walked the streets, saw the museums (viking ship!), and drank a lot of coffee (love me some fika). have a great time!

        • Shirley Schmidt

          Thanks! It sounds like you had a really good time. I am so looking forward to fika and Viking things!

  • Katie

    I BOUGHT A CAR. Despite it not having a working light and a back window that’s stuck in the middle (I put some cardboard in the hole), it’s my childhood dream car – a convertible beetle. To Do: pass my driving test, inspect the car, get insurance, pay taxes, register the car. YAY!

  • toomanybooks

    Fiancée texted me this morning “My mom wants to visit us this weekend, also she wants to invite 3 of stepdad’s friends to the wedding.”

    I was like “Lol you know the answer is no!! We overinvited, we can’t add people, we’ve talked about this!”

    She said “I told her I had to check with you about RSVPs” because of course I’m the one who has been reading the emails with RSVPs and telling her when they come in. Meaning if we had enough No RSVPs we could invite them, I guess? But we haven’t gotten any lately and the ones we did are generally Yes. i said now I would look like the bad guy because she said she had to ask me, when really what she should have done was just say no because she KNOWS we can’t invite more people.

    She asked me to give her numbers (invited guests/venue capacity) and I did, along with the point that I had checked it out and found that 70% of those guests were her invites, and only 30% were mine.

    She also said that if space opened up because of people not being able to come she didn’t want to invite her stepdad’s friends anyway, she would use it to invite the DM of the Dungeons and Dragons game she started playing last month. !!!! Whereas when I got to see some friends from high school recently and she found out they weren’t all invited to the wedding later, she was surprised and I was like “where would they go? Who do you want to not invite to make room for them??”

    I’ve been careful about keeping my guest list down and editing it down to the people it was most important to me to have there, and I feel like she’s been much more casual about inviting people and doesn’t see a distinction between inviting her best friend, her dissertation advisor, someone she hasn’t talked to in years, a friend she just made, etc. I went through the list before we sent invites and asked if some of them definitely had to be invited and she said yes to all of them.

    It went ok (so far) – I communicated to her exactly how I felt about the whole thing and she texted her mom back with a good response that didn’t implicate me at all and reminded her that most of the people invited to the wedding were her & her husband’s family. I wish my fiancée was a little less of an absentminded professor about wedding stuff we’ve literally talked over and decided together. And now that we are getting closer and invitations are already out my FMIL has been making a lot more “demands” (she never really was before and in all fairness she is very sweet but we haven’t really been involving either of our sets of parents in wedding planning except where necessary) and I hope I’m not going to see a lot more of that before the wedding… She also apparently asked my fiancée a second time what my parents were contributing, even though my fiancée already answered the first time that they were not paying at all because they were not financially in a place to do so. My fiancée reminded her of this (and let her know that actually my dad has since offered to pay for alcohol) and FMIL apparently was a little judgey that my parents weren’t paying more for “their daughter’s wedding.” (FMIL is paying for our honeymoon, up to a certain amount.)

    Ladiiiiiiiiiiies, this sort of stuff is not exclusive to women marrying men. Lol.

    • Katie

      oof, that sounds rough. I hope you figure out the guest list with as little pain as possible! I totally get that you might be hurt. That’s how I would feel about my possible wedding, too – my husband has a huge family he feels he HAS to invite, and all me relatives live in Russia and I don’t have that many people to invite anyway, but I would cut down even on them because 1) small wedding 2) money.

      • toomanybooks

        Oh yeah! I mean we already finalized the guest list and at this point we’ll probably just have to keep plus ones under control and see how much space we have once everyone’s RSVP is in. I just hope we don’t get more requests from FMIL to do things we weren’t planning to do, especially when it’s kind of too late to do those things.

  • Brittany

    Question from tax noob. Husband and I got married this year and I’m not sure if we should file jointly or separately. Our taxes are super simple, but the one thing mine affects is my student loan payment since I’m on income based repayment. We were planning on filing separately to avoid it jumping up a lot, but I’m also not sure what the benefits of filing together would be. Any insight?

    • ART

      I would recommend filling out forms both ways and then deciding. I love using the free forms from http://www.excel1040.com. We did this and it was much better to file jointly in our case. I don’t know what would make you decide other than the final number (not saying there isn’t anything – I just don’t know of it).

      • Brittany

        Ooooh thank you!

        • ART

          Oh and I misread your question about student loan payments. I am not sure that your filing decision is what would decide that, though…I would think they would wise up to that and ask for household income? That would be a question for whoever your loan is with.

    • Eenie

      However you are filing, you should do it both ways and see which saves you more money! I think it’s rare/unusual to end up filing separate as the cost saving way. And when you say got married this year, do you mean 2016 or 2017?

    • C

      I don’t know all the specifics, but you lose out on all or part of a bunch of credits and deductions (for instance, the student loan interest deduction) when you file separately, and I think the brackets/rates are such that you may end up with a higher overall tax rate (especially if you have significantly different incomes). Definitely run the numbers both ways to determine which is ultimately better for your situation.

    • emilyg25

      Most couples are better off filing jointly, but yes, try it both ways before deciding.

    • jspe

      So, while there is a penalty to doing “married filing separately,”, we decided that for our financial situation it was worth it, because they use your tax returns for recertification. It’s not against the rules. Another fun loophole (this feels weird but is a legal thing!) is that you can amend your returns up to 3 (or 5, I forget) years later. SO! You can file separately, use the tax return for IBR, and then amend the returns later and get the penalty $$ back.

      You do have to have your returns go to bank accounts explicitly in each of your names (ostensibly you are filing separately because your finances are separate). I am not a lawyer or an accountant, but this is the advice given to us by a well respected tax professional in a major east coast city.

      My spouse has both IBR and public student loan forgiveness, so keeping her monthly payments low is well worth it to us.

    • PeaceIsTheWay

      My husband and I agonized over the same thing this year! I assumed we should file separately so as to avoid being pushed into a higher tax bracket, but we agreed we’d try it both ways and see what the numbers were. Turbotax made it way easier to “test” both options (filing singly or filing jointly) than I expected. Basically you input all your forms for both spouses, and then can toggle back and forth between “filing separately” or “filing jointly” and your cumulative refunds will update in real time. Our combined incomes were too high for me to deduct interest paid on my student loans, however, filing jointly still gave us a substantially higher refund overall. This surprised me and I still couldn’t explain the math, but it was a pleasant surprise! Good luck with your taxes:)

    • emmers

      I have friends in a similar situation who file separately to I think keep her Ibr payment low. I know their actual taxes are more expensive, but I guess they’ve done the math & it makes sense? So it is definitely a thing.

  • Essssss

    Anybody watching Victoria on PBS? Highly entertaining and pretty costumes. Good follow up since I finished the Crown.

    Also I know things with politics continue to be horrid but I feel like its worth celebrating some of the successes this week like Chafez withdrawing the bill to sell of public lands, and the court order keeping the stay on the ban in place. I know other bad things continue to happen- terrible bills, terrible cabinet, increased ICE raids, and we can’t slack off with making noise and staying aware. But also, YAY, we are powerful and our voices are big and #shepersisted

  • louise danger

    hey y’all :D been a pretty excellent week or so

    there’s been a lot going on (i pick up my dress tomorrow! i have acquired a LOT of lula roe leggings: sofffffft! i think we’ve figured out a wedding bands solution that won’t break the bank!) but there are two main things i wanted to share this week:

    – mr danger and i went to a gigantic wedding expo last weekend. we sampled cake and caterer-food, fended off salesfolks from all manner of vendors, made (tentatively) an appointment with the tuxedos-and-suits people for mr danger, and he was standing around being grumpy next to me during the fashion show pre-show until he got so awful that we just left. in the car, he said he was grouchy because he hates salespeople and pushy sales tactics. i told him, “thank you for tolerating three hours of what my entire engaged-lady existence has been for the last 10 months.” he got friendlier after that.

    – i think my boss is afraid to find out what my full capabilities and skills are. i’m always so Nice™ in meetings and around my institution, and we had a conference call where being Not Nice™ was required, and afterward he was kind of tiptoeing around me a little. that was a good feeling.

    • I’m with you on the LulaRoe leggings! There was a big event this past weekend with a lot of sellers so I finally got my hands on some leggings and now I see what the fuss is all about.

  • flashphase

    There is so much post-wedding stuff to do and I just… don’t have the energy? Like I can’t even think about thank you notes for another month or so. (Please tell me other people waited at least a month or two!). Also, I want to sell some of the candle holders and signs I bought for the wedding – is ebay/craigslist my best bet or are their other places? Where did you buy/sell decor and wedding items?

    • Nicole

      I wish we talked more about the post-wedding stuff that often has to happen and how it’s harder and more time consuming than it seems. I thought after the wedding I’d have immediate release from the wedding to do list, but it went on for a few more months. Also, totally okay to take up to a year on thank you notes I think! Give yourself a break.

      • No, people have up to a year to give you a wedding present. I think you have about 3 months in which it’s “okay” to send thank you cards. But, yes, better late than never, certainly. A year later is better than never.

    • Natalie

      I would try Craigslist first, because if that works you don’t have to bother with shipping costs, packaging potentially breakable things for the mail, etc. If you don’t care about making money, just want to get rid of stuff without throwing it away, freecycle.org is a good place to offer it up to someone else who would get use from it.

    • You might have a local Facebook wedding group available to you. Some locales also have a semi-annual wedding flea market. TheKnot discussion boards also have a place for selling items, not as structured though.

    • ART

      I tried to sell some of my decorations on Craigslist, but didn’t get any takers…eventually I just wanted it all gone, so I offered it up to local APWers, and one drove down and got it and used it in her wedding! That made me really happy :)

  • Fushigidane

    Speculating about doing the March for Science and contemplating wearing a pussy hat. I get anxious in crowds sometimes but science…

    • Totch

      I think the science march is a great idea so I don’t mean to steal your comment. But whoever runs the Twitter account is… not my favorite.

      What I want from a science march is for the organizers to be posting about evidence-based policy that’s in danger. We need scientists and engineers rallying behind birth control and harm reduction and bike paths, etc. And a path for actions that professionals can take to support policy in their fields, as well as the community as a whole. Their social media presence feels like it has more Star Trek jokes than science sometimes. They’ve started doing themed fact days, but they just state what policies do rather than explaining how they might be at risk or what we can do. It feels very apolitical, in such a frustrating scientisty way.

      • Fushigidane

        I don’t look at twitter at all so I didn’t even realize. Taking a look at it, the content is a bit odd. Especially all the owl stuff for the superbowl.

        • CMT

          I know it’s been done to death, but I will never stop calling the Super Bowl the Superb Owl. It will always crack me up.

        • Totch

          Yeah, it’s not make or break… But they’re have a lot of flowers and it seems like they should be using their platform as an actual platform.

        • Totch

          I meant followers, but I’m leaving it.

  • AP

    Came across this brilliant Ask Polly yesterday, and thought I’d share for all of you exhausted sisters out there dealing with a less-than-woke significant other: http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/02/ask-polly-men-arethe-worst-and-im-married-to-one.html

    • Ashlah

      Haven’t even finished yet, but I’m dead:

      Remember, too, that every straight married woman has a day of reckoning on which she must come face-to-face with her obviously stupid decision to marry a man. This is not specific to men, necessarily — choosing to eat hamburgers every day for the rest of your life might feel stupid simply because hamburgers are not roasted chickens or steaks or pizzas. So part of it is just the nature of marriage. “This is all I get? This is the obnoxiously simple flavor profile I’ll be savoring UNTIL I’M DEAD?” you ask yourself, quite naturally and healthily, a few months or years into your marriage. “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?”

      • AP

        Sooooo many gems:

        “It’s an uncomfortable time to be a white dude who knows that he’s privileged…Our president is a living, breathing model of what’s wrong with white male privilege, and there you are, formed in his image? Not fun.”

        • AP

          Ooh, and this one:

          “Let me just add that the people who taught me to unpack my own privilege the most were people who simply owned who they were, and didn’t apologize for expecting me to catch up and figure it out, and didn’t slow down to educate me on things I should obviously know already. You don’t have to convince your guy of things or be punitive with him. You can just focus on what’s important to you. Get in the fight, align yourself with like-minded people, and let him catch up by watching you in action. Trust that he will catch up.”

    • Jessa

      THANK YOU FOR THIS. I am crying (90% laughing-crying 10% truth-crying)

  • I loved the ‘disability according to stock photos link.’ I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately about what it means to be differently-abled, especially as it goes with invisible disability. I’m not sure if I would fully claim that label yet, but given the condition I have, it is likely I will end up there, perhaps even visibly-disabled in coming years. I’ve found myself struggling a bit with how vocal to be about it in this current climate. On the one hand, I’m privileged that I’m not affected enough to have to talk about it, but at the same time, I know that accessibility is a big issue and post-election it feels especially important to talk about these things. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

  • Ebbers

    Guys please help me. Please. I am having an anxiety attack from yesterday morning onwards (its saturday morning here) after finding messages my partner sent to someone outlining a sexual encounter with a stripper which I’m almost certain happened during our relationship. He is out of town going for job interviews and last night I packed up all of my stuff and went to my parents. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I keep throwing up or hyperventilating. Help me please.

    • Alli

      I’m really sorry you have to go through this.
      My mom went through the same exact physical reaction when she found out my dad cheated. We binge watched crappy tv and I brought her soup and toast and we cuddled a lot. Let your parents and friends know whatever your needs are, I’m sure nobody will mind helping you get some self care.

      • Ebbers

        Thank you. I’m sorry about you dad cheating. I have certainly been relying on my friends and family. I called my best friend for two hours straight after reading the messages and have been in contact with someone for the majority of the time. My cats are also being really concerned too which I find funny. I packed up all my dvds into boxes so I don’t have access to them or my books. I may go round to a friends place to borrow books to read. I finished the one I was reading at 3am (it’s nearly 8am).

        • Alli

          Cats are the best <3

    • Em

      Do you have a book, tv show, album/genre of music or movie that you associate with being safe + things being okay? If so – go immerse yourself in that as much as you possibly can, at least until you can sleep + eat. If you can bring yourself to exercise, I would recommend that – the endorphin high from running or something really intense like boxing will also help you feel better, I promise. Sending many hugs.

      • Ebbers

        I don’t really have much of my stuff with my. My friend has books I can borrow from her. I have a puzzle book, like cross words but it’s called codebreakers.

        I could go for a run. I have workout plans but I’m not close by to my gym right now. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

        • Em

          In that case, I would recommend something like sudoku or straight forward and engaging online games (like that 2048 one from a couple of years ago) to help keep you calm then – v easy to find for free online and can be done on phone/computer. Anything to keep your mind off things + get you to a place where you feel okay-ish in the moment (recognising that it might be a long time before you feel actually okay). And a run sounds like a good move – just try to run out your emotion! Would also recommend a warm bath if you have access to one – always soothing.

          • Ebbers

            Thank you for this advice :) I am in a calmer place. Not okay yet, but feeling much closer than I was on Friday/Saturday.

          • Em

            Oh, I’m so glad to hear this. Hoping you continue to feel better day by day! :)

          • Ebbers

            I’ll try and do a full update in the next happy hour if I can. It’ll be interesting to see how much happens or changes from then to now.

    • Jess

      I’m so sorry. I’m glad you were able to get to your parents, and I hope they are taking care of you.

      Things that help me when I’ve got really nasty physical sides of my emotions are: cleaning, running, playing Sudoku, listening to scary podcasts or watching high-adrenaline movies (because I can blame all my fear on the movie), holding warm cups of tea over my heart, and sitting in a hot, hot shower to cry.

      For some reason, heat on my chest is really helpful to calm down.

      • Ebbers

        I will try the tea. I just managed to eat a bit of cucumber and I’m hoping it stays down. It’s a family tradition for nauseous to eat cucumber. My dad just found me a bucket so I can sit in the living room, he’s a bit clueless but given tasks like that he can manage. There have been warning signs before so my mum has already accepted this and just wants to help me. I will go for a run soonish after a cup of tea. If it wasn’t so early I’d watch a movie (my parents have bad internet so the only way to watch movies is on their tv which is outside of my mum’s room.

        • Jess

          Dads, amiright? :)

          I hope the tea helps, it’s my go-to for panicking at work.

          • Ebbers

            Tea is my go to for everything! That might be because I don’t drink coffee though.

          • Jess

            It’s the smell and the heat. I swear, there is a tea blend to fix everything.

      • kaar

        Yes, I also find heat on my chest really comforting! When I feel anxious, I have a heating pad that I can throw in the microwave, and the heat and weight of it on my chest help me to feel grounded.

        Also breathing exercises-I like to put on either calming classical music or white noise and breathe in through my nose for 3 counts, hold my breath for 4, and out through my mouth for 5.

        I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! I’m glad you are able to reach out to your family and friends.

        • Ebbers

          Thank you. I will be going for a fast walk – I’m hoping that does the trick with breathing. I have plenty of things to try here too,

    • Essssss

      I’m so sorry to hear all this. And you know what, reacting the way you are is totally normal. This is a shock/grief thing and our bodies just do unhelpful uncomfortable things when that happens. I understand just wanting to not feel a shitty anxiety attack (and I’m a big fan of benedryl, wine, crazy exercise, dumb TV, etc.) but also, it’s NORMAL to feel the way you’re feeling right now given the circumstances. Big hugs. I recommend guided meditation or other breathing exercises, visualizing the space where you feel safest and calmest, and being spooned by someone who cares about you. (((hugs)))

      • Ebbers

        If only our bodies didn’t get in the way like this. Like I want to say to it “Dude chill, anxiety is to stop me dying, I am not in danger of dying unless you keep stopping me from functioning”. I’m on antidepressants so I think I might avoid alcohol. I am trying breathing exercises, not ready for meditation. IF I could keep my mind clear I think I’d sleep. Thank you for the support, I really do appreciate it.

        • Essssss

          I hear you. For me, I get so frustrated with myself when my body gets like that, but just having some compassion for myself can go a long ways and calm down my anxiety from that secondary frustration. Sending compassion to yours, too. I hope you can sleep soon, everything feels a little harder when you’re tired.
          Here are two sleep tricks I have appreciated:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRPh_GaiL8s (7-4-8 breathing)
          http://cupofjo.com/2016/06/sleep-with-me-podcast/ (most boring podcast company noise)

    • ART

      I have been there. Pretty much literally that. If you would like to talk, I can give you my email here (let me know…I’ll delete it when you have it) and we can start there…

      • Ebbers

        Sure, talking is good right now. I’ll watch for your email

        • ART

          arhthomp at gmail dot com

          • Ebbers

            Got it you can take it down

          • ART

            Sounds like we are in different time zones, so feel free to shoot me an email and maybe we can find a time to chat in one way or another, or if you just really want to start by writing a long-winded letter to someone that will read it, go ahead <3

          • Ebbers

            I sent you a beginning email. I love letters and right now talking to people allows me to make sense of everything going on in my head.

          • Packing up your stuff and getting out to stay somewhere where you feel safe with people who love you was an excellent reaction. Good for you for taking care of yourself. The not being able to eat and sleep and vomiting, etc.: totally normal physical reactions to trauma. Grief is incredibly physical. Please try to take care of yourself as best as you can in these brutal days… Try to eat something, even if you aren’t hungry. The first days and weeks after your world falls apart are brutal. Do you have legal ties to your partner? If so, perhaps arrange a meeting with a lawyer. And please get tested for STDs as soon as you can. (And maybe don’t drive a car for a while, if you can avoid it. During times of trauma, it appears we are more likely to be clumsy, drop things, etc., because our body is doing so much work trying to care for itself emotionally that it is less attentive physically.)

            If you want another email friend, you can send me a message through the message thing on my blog (which you should be able to link to through my name). I’d be happy to email and also recommend some resources that were helpful for me (when my then-husband left me for another woman out of the blue), if you want. Thinking of you…

          • Ebbers

            No legal ties, we did live together but no shared finances, hardly any shared objects. I coincidentally saw my doctor the day I found out so she gave me std screening paperwork I can get filled out whenever.

          • Hi Ebbers, that’s good that you already have the paperwork from your doctor. And the no legal ties and few shared objects make the logistics less complicated at least, even if that doesn’t change the difficulty of the emotional journey. And if you find there are things that help you feel some peace or make you feel better about yourself during the coming months, I’d encourage you to do them. In my own process, I found painting my nails made me feel more better about myself and sitting outside near water during my lunch breaks helped me feel calmer.

          • I process verbally too.

    • emmers

      I second the tea recommendation. Peppermint tea has helped me with anti nausea in the past. I have also found playing silly computer games good for distraction from tough times to calm down. I haven’t tried this one, but they have classic games like Mario it looks like for free: http://www.supermarioonline.net. Ps, I’m sorry.

      • Ebbers

        Thank you. I have been eating a few things and slowly returning to normal. I have been distracted by a few things but will try super mario.

    • LadyJanee

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

      • Ebbers

        Thank you. Better to know than not.

  • penguin

    I have a little dress search update. I had my appointment at David’s Bridal this Wednesday, and unfortunately it was an awful experience. I’d had a pretty good experience at Alfred Angelo’s before this (good selection in my size, very helpful/kind consultant, just didn’t find a dress I wanted to buy) so I had a general idea of what I wanted. They weren’t ready for me at all, even though I’d had the appointment for a few weeks. The consultant assigned to me didn’t seem to know what she was doing, and was weirdly standoff-ish/judge-y (at least it felt that way to me). I wanted to see colored dresses, so I said I’d be willing to look at bridesmaid dresses as well as bridal. Her response: “You aren’t looking at bridesmaid dresses” (?!)

    We ended up wandering the aisles of bridal gowns while she just went “Do you like this one?” over and over, even though I told her what I was looking to try on when I got there (fitted top, A-line or ballgown skirt, sleeves preferred). Also, most bridal dresses look the same to me on the hanger. She kept pulling size 8 dresses for me even though I’m at least a 20, and I told her that I didn’t want to try on anything that far away from my size. She also didn’t help me into the dresses, which meant I spent a lot of time fighting with dresses that didn’t fit. Overall I felt very discouraged, and walked out halfway through my appointment.

    From what other people said on the David’s Bridal APW article, it sounds like that varies a lot by location, so ymmv.

    Side note – I’m very self conscious about my (large) upper arms, so I asked to try on dresses with sleeves. I also said I’d be willing to try on strapless dresses if they had a cover-up or jacket or something I could try on with it. They had some cover ups, but literally nothing that fit on me except for this scarf/shawl thing which I had to go find myself. Sorry for the novel, I just had a really lousy experience and wanted to commiserate.

    • Lisa

      I know there’s a lot of love around here for DB, but I have nothing good to say about them or the quality of the garments I’ve seen/worked with. I refrained from putting it on the sponsor page because I know APW needs the $$, but your experience is not out of sync from what I know of them.

      • CMT

        Are they franchises? I wonder why people seem to have great or terrible experiences there.

        • Lisa

          I’m not sure, but I have issues beyond the customer service. The quality of the product is problematic as well.

      • Jess

        I mean, I bought my dress at DB, and like, the quality was fine given the price. The service was fine, but they were both pushy about just picking something already and left me to my own devices where I just pulled dresses off their racks and they helped my try them on.

        • Lisa

          And that’s fine. You definitely get what you pay for. I don’t go to Old Navy expecting to get the quality of Banana Republic. For me, I can’t justify it after seeing the way they’re constructed.

      • penguin

        Thanks Lisa! That makes me feel a little better. I’m going to look at non-bridal stores as suggested on the other dress thread. Also, APW is great for finding people to talk to about random things.

    • It is a random crapshoot. My DB was alright, although I felt a little pressured into a decision.

      I think the “You’re not trying on bridesmaid dresses” relates to the purpose of the appointment when you book it online? Maybe? Who knows.

      • penguin

        That could be, I just remember being surprised in the moment and not really responding to it, which I wish I had. It’s nice to know I wasn’t alone in a weird/not-great DB experience.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I’ve ordered bridesmaid dresses from DB twice, and I definitely don’t understand the love for them! My experiences weren’t bad, per se, and the prices weren’t horrible, but I definitely never felt like I was getting a good experience, or a good product for the money.
      Honestly, the best that I can say for them is that I feel like they’re the Olive Garden of the WIC. As in, you can usually find better in any town, but you can find one pretty much anywhere, and it will probably be sort of alright (as in, you know it won’t be $$$$$$$, and you’ll get a product that’s at least decent-ish).

      • Yes, the Olive Garden of the WiC. This works quite well. I mean, some people LOVE Olive Garden. And some Olive Gardens have terrible service. But in general, the product is the same relative quality.

  • NotMotherTheresa

    Honestly, I had a kind of bad day earlier in the week. Not in some horrible, tragic “my whole world is collapsing” sense, but just a general feeling of depression about my marriage. We were having a blah day, that had been surrounded by dozens of other blah days, and it dawned on me that nearly every serious couple who was at our wedding six months ago has since broken up. Somehow, that just felt like a bad omen, if that makes sense.
    I don’t know. Honestly, I’m still sort of working through those feelings. There’s nothing horribly wrong with my life. My husband and I aren’t fighting all of the time, or on the verge of homelessness, or dying of cancer, or anything. We’re just kind of…stagnant. Our lives are okay, our marriage is okay, we just aren’t going anywhere. Our careers, our finances, our social lives, our relationship–nothing is even inching forward. I feel like this is a time in our lives where everything should be moving ahead, and it’s not, and I don’t really know how to fix any of that.

    • Katie

      *hugs*
      I know what you’re saying, sometimes I feel like I’m in that boat myself. But what do you mean by “moving ahead”? Maybe you have the power to make it happen, be the one who moves ahead, and your husband will follow? Or try putting it in another perspective – nothing bad equals good. Sometimes life is just that way, no ups or downs, and compared to tragedies, that’s way better!

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Aww, thank you so much! I guess what I mean by not moving ahead is that nothing is improving–we just kind of work mediocre jobs and live in a mediocre house and have mediocre dinner parties roughly twice a year with friends who we don’t really feel close to and have mediocre date nights with one another that aren’t particularly fun or romantic or interesting. We occasionally talk about moving to some new place with better job opportunities and more to do, or going on a proper vacation together, etc., but inertia (and the boring practical realities of life) always seem to get in the way.

        Honestly, I’m mostly just being whiney. It really is a good life, and I know it, I’m just kind of going through an angsty “Is this all I have to look forward to in life? Is my best case scenario another 50 years of date nights at Applebees and twice a year dinner parties spent discussing the weather?”-phase.

        • What about if you tried out something new in your life? Like a new hobby you’ve maybe considered but never done anything about… I started taking ballet as an adult and it was invigorating to try something new and scary, and I discovered I love it! I’ve made new friends and discovered a new part of myself that I didn’t know was there! Maybe if you (and possibly your husband) tried something new it could add just enough “newness” to make things in general feel fresh? You’d also have new things to share with each other about what you’re learning and doing! Or you could do new adventures together; you could make a list of mini-adventures to try (hikes, picnics, pottery classes, repainting, refinishing a piece of furniture, new restaurants, whatever) and work your way down the list… Good luck finding some fun ways to inject a little new-ness in your life!

          • Em

            Seconding Jenny’s suggestion – one thing that I’ve also found helps a lot with friend-ruts (eg you have the same conversations every time you see people) is shared experiences – so rather than always meeting for a meal, meet to go to an art gallery or a show or even just for a hike or a picnic or something different to what you usually do? Better relationships are bred from shared experiences, I think. But the other flip side of this is that if you don’t love the friends you have – going and trying new things might be a way to find some ones you like more!

    • april

      For what it’s worth, I think everyone has these sorts of stagnant periods in their lives – and that’s ok! I can be hard when you look on FB and it seems like everyone you know is getting a promotion or having a baby or buying a house or moving on to that ‘next big thing,’ but that’s just because no one really posts about their life when they’re just kind of … living it.

      Bottom line, this may not actually be something you need to “fix.” If you’re still having these feelings a year from now, then you many need to reassess. But for now, maybe just try to enjoy what you’ve already achieved.

    • anon

      I know I’m so late to this, but just wanted to say, GIRL. I feel you. I feel like I literally could’ve written this myself. This first year of marriage (well, 9 months so far) have been weird in the exact way you’ve described. Just kind of, blah. I felt like I was all alone, and everyone always gushes about ~newlyweds~ and this being the Happiest Time Of Your Life and the whole time I was feeling so stagnant in our relationship. Not good, not bad, just… there. I definitely found myself taking it out on my husband and picking a lot of fights/asking for a lot while not giving very much to him in return and it made everything worse. A couple big changes recently (we both got new jobs, his in an entirely different field), putting some trips on the calendar, plans to move to a new place in June, and making a daily conscious effort to just be nicer and more giving towards him have all kind of helped me shake off the rut a bit. But just know you’re (and anyone else feeling the same!) not alone!! Hugs.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Thank you so much for your kind response!!!! Yes, this whole Happiest Time of Your Life thing is killing me!!! Like, it’s not an unhappy time, per se, but it sure isn’t anything to write home about! And I am totally guilty of taking it out on my husband…we don’t pick fights, but we both just sort of passively aggressively ignore the other person’s wants and needs. We constantly do nice things for one another, but most of the nice things we do are self-serving, and have way more to do with being able to mentally check off the “being a good spouse” box than ACTUALLY taking care of the other person.
        I’m so happy to hear you’re getting out of your rut!!! Just hearing that I’m not alone, and that the rut doesn’t have to be forever gives me soooo much hope!!!! Sending hugs and congrats your way!

        • anon

          Ah, I’m so glad you got my response! It seriously made me feel SO much better just to read your comment and know I wasn’t alone. Time to get real, but I was having all these feelings of like, did I make a mistake? is this the right thing? am I still even in love with this guy? is this it?? so it TRULY helps to just know I’m not alone, and I hope it helps you too! I have a sneaking feeling it might be more common than we think, but people (at least, speaking for myself) feel like it’s still a very taboo thing to talk about.
          I totally feel you though, we were definitely in the rut of just doing things for each other (like washing the dishes or whatever) just to kind of check off the box of “being nice,” rather than *actually* wanting to do something nice for each other. I’ve gone out of my way this past week especially to do little special things for my husband to make him feel happy *without* expecting anything in return (which, in the past has been hard. I’m very obsessed with fairness. It’s a whole thing haha) and it’s truly made me feel so much better. I hope you get out of your rut soon too, and know that it won’t last forever!! I don’t know how long you’ve been with your husband grand total, but I’m coming up on 10 years and I feel like it might just be one of those down times between the ups. I hope things get better for you really soon too!!! xx

          • NotMotherTheresa

            Oh my goodness, are you my life twin?!?!?! Because for real, it’s a little freaky how identical our situations are sounding! We literally celebrate our ten year anniversary next week!

            And yesss, I have been dealing with those exact feelings!!! Like, “What did I do?!?! Why did I do this?!?! Is this all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life–date nights at freakin’ Applebees and buying my own chocolates on Valentines and listening to 9,728 complaints per day about stupid things like traffic?!?!?!? What possessed us to make such a lackluster relationship permanent?”

            I feel like such a horrible, ungrateful person whenever I have those feelings, because at my core, I realize that I’m married to a very good man, and that we have a very good relationship. But ugh, that doesn’t make those feelings any less real or any less painful! And you are so right about how that’s such a taboo thing to talk about! Some days, there’s a tiny piece of me that almost wishes my problem was like, a fight with the in-laws or some other concrete Thing That People Talk About, just so I wouldn’t feel so weird and alone. I’m so thankful that I don’t have any genuine crisis going on at the moment, but by the same token, people TALK about crisis. People talk about serious fights and toxic in-laws and things. People don’t talk about blah, and how crushing it can be, and how much it can make you slowly question everything about your life.

            I’m so relieved that this is making you feel better, too, because it’s helping me so much more than words can express! Knowing I’m not alone in this is such a great feeling (even though I obviously hate that you’ve been having to trudge through this, too)! Thank you sooo much!!! :::All of the internet hugs:::

          • LadyJanee

            I know I’m late to this discussion but you both have basically just described my life. I had to double check that I hadn’t written those posts…!

            This is our first year of marriage and it’s just been a bit blah. My husband is alone wonderful man but he deals with chronic pain which leaves him little energy to want to do fun things, so between that and the sheer monotony of life I’ve been so worried that something is wrong with us and maybe we made a huge mistake but after reading that other people feel these things too I feel far less alone!

  • Laura

    had my first week at my new job, and it was fantastic – amazing sense of community, everyone was really welcoming, and the salary is 20% higher than i thought (!!!), literally 100% above what i was making previously and today i signed up for my matched pension. 2017 is the year of meeting and exceeding my financial goals – and i am so excited about that!

    • I am in the process of trying to start saving for retirement. (Thanks again for the book rec, @disqus_ShkBoOhlEN:disqus ! A Simple Plan to Wealth by JL Collins, so good!) It’s been a week of doing the research, reading reviews, getting over my fear, signing up and doing paperwork for the DIY discount brokerage I chose. But it feels going to finally be beginning this thing that’s been on list for a couple years now. So 2017 is also my year for achieving some financial goals!

  • Suzy

    I finally got a new job offer yesterday! I’ll be a Graphic Design intern at a local college- it’s the next step on the way to my dream of setting up my own design/illustration business, and weirdly I will be working with my twin sister! We were freaking people out at the interview :) It will be a bittersweet moment leaving my job at a secondary school I’ve worked at for 3.5 years. They are such lovely people but I was bored out of my mind and had no way of progressing.
    But the thing that feels huge to me is that I can finally draw a line under the bad memories I had of that place from a pretty soul-destroying relationship I had with a colleague when I first started there. Since that ended in a horrible way three years ago it has been HARD WORK to go back everyday with all those memories surrounding me, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that I only ever took one day off and pushed through it to make a success of my work (and pretty soon afterwards met my wonderful fiance!). After being off on long-term sick for a year my ex finally handed his notice in before Christmas, and with my new job now I feel like I can at last put that all behind me and start a new chapter in my life :)

    I’ve never commented before so just to say: hello everyone, I’m Suzy, I live in the UK and will hopefully be joining in on these discussions from now on instead of just lurking. I was too excited not to share this time!

    • Welcome to commenting! :)

    • And congrats!

    • EF

      congrats on the job! and woohoo, someone else in the uk on here!

      • Suzy

        Thanks! Whereabouts are you?

        • EF

          london, zone 2 :-D

          • Suzy

            Ahh I’m all the way down in Devon :) you’re not anything to do with the language school EF are you?

          • EF

            uhh…nope! why? that seemed sort of random but weirdly particular…

            i visited devon a few times for my last job. pretty countryside, even better cream teas!

          • Suzy

            Haha sorry I used to work for them and wondered if you were one of their staff in London. Yep I love it here, especially the cream teas!

  • Bewbs

    After many years of my mom saying things about my boobs being small or weird looking, it’s nice to know that lesbians like my boobs*. I informed FH of this and he just says “What lesbians?! What am I supposed to do with this information?” To which I replied “When we met you kept telling me how your ‘demographic’ is gay guys, why can’t I have lesbians appreciate me?” That shut him up ;P

    It’s also fun putting on a super push up bra and then realizing it doesn’t make any noticeable difference before taking it off lol.

    *went to do a boudoir shoot and brought my friend and her partner along. apparently before she knew my name she referred to me as the girl with the nice boobs

    • Amy March

      Srsly mom? Wtf

    • Jess

      I distinctly remember the day that I realized my boobs were actually fine! Such a great feeling.

      Moms say some weird stuff about their daughters bodies.

      It sounds like the boudoir shoot was awesome!

  • Ceceliajbauer

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  • Margaretethomas

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