APW Happy Hour


Feels time! It's feels time

by Stephanie Kaloi

man and woman clinking glasses

Hey APW,

Funnily, here on APW we generally caution against getting married young… unless you’re me or Maddie, who both got married in our early twenties. The reason for that is obvious (I think): marriage is work, even in the good times, and doing that work when you’re in your early twenties and married to someone who is also in their early twenties? That can be a raw deal.

But you know what else? If you can make it through that period of growth with your marriage scarred but not destroyed, you’ll find yourself in a pretty sweet and rewarding spot. My husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary yesterday, and I continue to be happily surprised that he still induces butterflies and makes me origami flowers and listens to me when I’m expressing how I feel, and explains how he feels so well. I mean, if you ask me, I’m going with “Phrasing it as an ‘I feel’ statement” when answering this question.

Here’s to ten more years, and what will hopefully be a super fun anniversary trip to Iceland that we have coming up soon. PS: If you have tips about Iceland, I would love to hear them them… becausebeing surrounded by ice and glaciers is not exactly my wheelhouse.

xo,

Stephanie

P.S. We’re doing the first photoshoot in our new offices today, and you can follow along on The Compact’s Instagram. Come virtually hang out with us, please! Comments very welcome.

Link Round-up

Idaho lawmakers have voted to remove climate change from their K–12 curriculum.

Federal ICE agents arrested a twenty-three-year-old DACA-eligible man near Seattle.

Immigrant mother takes refuge in Denver as deportation threats loom.

The lives of children who have severe disabilities are now at risk in Texas.

You can sponsor a student subscription of the New York Times if you want to.

Small political action: get a library card.

Woman that we love right now: Dolores Huerta.

These organizations help immigrants find free/low cost legal aid, Please Consider donating:

Causa Justa Just Cause

Centro Legal

Immigration Advocates

Immigration Law Help

PSJD

American Immigration Lawyers Association


The Info:

Photo by Renée Film

Stephanie Kaloi

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

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • CMT

    Happy anniversary, Stephanie! I have never been to Iceland but I am surrounded by ice and glaciers, and I’d suggest waterproof boots you can wear extra socks with.

    I’m about a month into my new job and solidly in the phase where I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and that me being in this job must be a giant mistake on everybody’s part. I know from past experience that this phase will pass and I know that challenging myself is a good thing! (Also, I’ve already got my first paycheck from this job and that was great.) Ugh, I’m just glad it’s Friday. TGIF!

    • Suzy

      Well done and definitely keep hold of this mindset- this phase will pass! Enjoy the weekend :)

  • Katie

    Celebrated 1 year marriage anniversary!
    In all other aspects, life sucks. Everything I touch turns into crap. Car needs a lot of repairs now, glasses got chewed up by my pup (and they’re the only ones I have. And I can’t see anything without them), so on, so on… I hope everyone’s week has been awesome though! At least somewhere, there’s happiness

    • Kate

      I just got some frames from the online store EyeBuyDirect and they’re awesome! You can also pull up coupons for 20% off on Google. Mine were $28 for super cute frames, single vision prescription lenses, and shipping. They could’ve been even cheaper but I sprung for fancier lenses.

      • Katie

        Thank you! I get mine from ZenniOptical. I just should’ve got 2 pairs, one being a spare one. Oh well…

        • CP2011

          I second Zenni! I don’t wear glasses but my husband does and theirs are really good and unbelievably affordable.
          EDIT- i just saw that you are the original poster…never mind!!

    • gonzalesbeach

      happy anniversary!

      • Katie

        thanks!

    • louise danger

      happy anniversary! <3 the rest shall pass, but that anniversary is something nice to hold on to!

      • Katie

        thank you! I sure hope so :) It’s a rough patch I’m going through, lots of changes, so something’s bound to go wrong. It’s just that too much is going wrong :(

  • Brooke

    Happy anniversary, Stephanie! I can’t believe that in one week, we will be preparing to do our wedding rehearsal and have dinner with our families and bridal party. Yesterday our programs arrived (they produced an awful amount of stress for awhile, because I wasn’t quite sure how to phrase ‘bridesman’ in a way that didn’t sound like a made up word – but we just went egalitarian and said ‘wedding party’ for all) and our EcoFlower bouquets and boutonnieres also arrived. Everything is paid in full, our head count is submitted (and of course, we got a late RSVP the next day) and I got my hair and makeup trial complete. On Valentine’s Day, my fiancé and I were eating dinner and everything just hit me very, very suddenly that OHMYGOSH we are getting married. Soon. Real soon. Next weekend soon. That said, the nerves are starting to build a bit, but I’m so happy to know that in 8 days, we will be married and sipping some beers at our reception! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

    • stephanie

      Thank you! <3

      I hope the wedding is super lovely!!

    • Totch

      Congrats!! In case you don’t have time to show up to HH next week, good luck it’ll all be great!

      Good call on using wedding party. Our surprisingly stressful gender move was not needing flower girls and asking our nieces to be ring bearers. Should be fine, right? Ring bearer is already gender neutral! No, because weddings are weird.

      • Brooke

        “Ring bearer is already gender neutral! No, because weddings are weird.” – this is so unbelievably true. In the strange world of weddings, it seems almost like no real world rules apply!

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, solidarity! Our daughter was really our ring bearer, but we just called her our flower girl (occasionally hyphenated flower girl/ring bearer) for the same weird social conventions.

        • Totch

          Yeah! We’re really not being subversive. Our nephew is too old to be a ring bearer, and the girls are honest to god wearing sundresses covered in pink flowers. If we were trying to make a statement and put them in little Blue Ivy suits that’d be fine too… but really we just needed ring/vow bearers more than flower girls. Still got a couple requests just to call them flower girls.

    • Jess

      Happy T-1 week!!

  • Suzy

    My driving confidence lesson was a success! I tackled (UK speak here) roundabouts, gears, dual carriageways, bridges, tunnels, parallel parking and being beeped at without panic attacks or tears, and the instructor told me I was a perfectly good driver who he would be happy to accept a lift from. I feel soooo relieved and optimistic… This fear has held me back from feeling like a ‘proper adult’ for years.
    Thanks to those who gave support in their comments on Wednesday, it made a huge difference to my confidence going into the lesson. Next step is to get insured on my fiancé’s car and do a little bit of driving every day, then get my own car once I can afford it. I’m actually looking forward to it :)

    • Jessa

      I have driven on the left side of the road once in my life and it was harrowing. You should be proud of yourself!

      • Suzy

        Thanks! Can’t even imagine driving on the right haha

    • scw

      yay! good for you!

    • driftless

      Hooray! You’re awesome. And yes, a little bit ever day is what worked for me!

    • toomanybooks

      Awwww!! I wish my driving instructor had told me he would be happy to accept a lift from me. Driving was incredibly stressful for me. In my county the popular thing to do was enroll in a driving school taught by police officers (scary), and the driving test was notoriously so hard that no one ever passed on the first try. On the second try my driving-test-giver said I was getting my license but barked at me that I “seemed nervous.” Of course I did!

      • Suzy

        That does sound terrifying!

        • Inezchickson

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj109d:
          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
          !mj109d:
          ➽➽
          ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash109HomeListGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj109d:….,…..

  • Jessa

    I got accepted to go to a conference in Chicago! It’s hard to find a conference that relates to my specific field in health care, AND some of the costs of flights and hotels are covered. I also got a ticket to go to the restaurant Alinea which I am probably more excited for than the actual conference, haha. Has anyone else been? Also, any Canadian travelers who have been to the US recently? I’m a little nervous about traveling to the US even though I’m sure I will be fine. Lastly, what should I eat/see/go to in Chicago? I’ll be there for a couple days just for fun after the conference. I definitely have Uniqlo and deep dish pizza on the list and I would love other suggestions! Thank you!

    • Sara

      John Hancock building! Better than the Sears Tower in my opinion, there’s a bar at the top with great views (and overpriced drinks obvi). And you don’t have to pay to go up there if you just want to look at the views and come back down.

    • Emily

      The Art Institute is really beautiful and is easy to get to from other stuff in the Loop. Giordano’s is the BEST deep dish (imo). Also if you like beer there are some great neighborhood breweries

    • AmandaBee

      I love Chicago! Recommendations off the top of my head:

      1. Art Institute! It’s sooooo good. And if you buy tickets one day but don’t make it all the way through, I think you can either use them the next or get tickets the next day for half off….or something like that. Look it up, because when I went for a conference I used that policy to drop in on two days in between sessions. It was a great place to decompress from conference craziness.

      2. John Hancock Building has a bar at the top – the cost of a drink is about what you’d pay for a ride to the top of the Sears Tower, it’s almost as high up, AND you get a drink. ALSO – randomly, their women’s bathroom has one of the best views of the city. Definitely go to the bathroom.

      3. Everyone will tell you to go to Giordano’s. Do it if you haven’t had deep dish before. I don’t even like it that much but I think it’s worth trying, haha.

      4. If you can make it out of downtown, take the Blue Line down to Wicker Park and hang out. It’s a super cute neighborhood, they have fun restaurants and shops. There’s a pizza place called Piece that has live band karaoke and it’s super fun (also, pizza, but not deep dish). http://www.piecechicago.com/

      5. If you have time in the evening and like comedy, see if you can catch a Second City show.

      6. The Lincoln Park Zoo is fun, and IIRC it’s free? And it has a great view of the city, though we had an adventure getting back.

      …that’s what I remember from my last trip.

      • Jess

        I grew up in the suburbs (with parents that were oddly ok with me hopping on a commuter train and going into the city as a high schooler)

        1. The Art Institute is awesome. Highly recommended.

        2. I love the John Hancock – the bar is fantastic. The women’s bathroom – you HAVE to go. Even if you don’t need to pee. Just go to wash your hands or touch up your lipstick and stare out at the city.

        • Sara

          Everyone always recommends the women’s bathroom at the Hancock, and I find it to be the most hilarious recommendation regardless of how many times I hear it.

          • AmandaBee

            Our waitress told me to go to the bathroom when I was there. I had no idea until then, and I’d been there before. But it really WAS an awesome view.

            I have a photo of it framed in our bedroom, except cropped so you can’t tell it’s a bathroom. And no one else was in there when I took it, obviously.

          • CMT

            This is making me want to go to Chicago just to check out this bathroom!

          • Sara

            The last time I was there a guy in the elevator was complaining that the best view was inaccessible to him and was urging his wife to go right away so she could take pictures. That was the first time I had even heard that lol.

          • Jess

            It *is* ridiculous. But so worth it.

          • rg223

            The men’s bathroom has a WALL! (My husband reported back to me)

        • Jessa

          This is hilarious and if I make it there, I will definitely go to the washroom, haha!

          • Lisa

            It is sooooo worth it! I highly recommend this to everyone.

      • Jessa

        Thank you so much!

      • Lisa

        The Zoo is free! We used to go there a lot when my husband lived in Boystown. Also, he and his groomsmen went to the zoo the morning of our wedding while my sisters and I were getting ready.

    • Sara

      I want to add – I prefer Lou Malnati’s deep dish or Pizzeria Uno’s to Giordano’s. Lou’s crust is the best! (bonus tip – there’s Pizzeria Due right down the street that’s the exact same restaurant, so you can see which one has a shorter wait :))

    • Emily

      I live in Chicago! Let me know if you need a tour guide or any advice :)

      • Jessa

        Thanks so much! How’s the weather at the end of March usually? Cold/snowy?

        • Emily

          Usually it’s still pretty cold and miserable, but lately it’s been so all over the place (tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the 60’s!) so who knows.

    • Mari

      Congrats – that sounds like a great opportunity! My husband and I are going to Chicago in the spring, so I’m following this thread…

    • Engaged Chicago

      OH MY GOSH. How did you get an Alinea ticket? That’s amazing!!! I live nearby and stare longingly at it. HA.

      Walk the lake front path.. the most beautiful. Agree with visits to Wicker Park. Lakeview for Wrigley is something different too.

      • Jessa

        I’ve been stalking the reservation website and dutifully saving money for it (because, let’s be real, it’s NOT cheap). Eeeeeep!

      • rg223

        My now-husband lived in Lakeview while he was in grad school and I LOVED visiting him. Jessa, Threadless has a bricks and mortar store there that is awesome! And there’s an ice cream shop that is phenomenal – Bobtail Icecream! I could go for their Cubby Crunch right now…

    • Lisa

      I’m so jealous of your Alinea reservation!! If you need another great restaurant, I highly recommend Girl & the Goat. Also, you should try a Chicago Dog, and Garrett’s popcorn (Chicago mix) is something I have to get every time I’m in town. I also love Do-Rite donuts if you’ll be downtown for the conference.

      • Jessa

        I love a good donut! Thank you!

      • They have vegetarian Chicago Dog’s too (at America’s Dogs), and I second the Chicago mix of Garrett’s popcorn. Got some at O’Hare when passing through over the holidays. Yum.

    • Lisa

      If the weather is nice, the architectural boat tour is totally worth it. It’s great to be out on the water and Chicago has such fantastic architecture that it is fun to learn about it. I also love the Art Institute (which seems to be a common theme here), and the Field Museum & Museum of Science & Industry are also great if those are more up your alley.

      And if you haven’t read Devil In the White City (it’s about 10 years old now), that’s a great book to read beforehand. The chapters alternate between getting Chicago ready for the 1893 World’s Fair (which really explains how the city came to look & be what it is today) and a serial killer preying on people who came for the fair. I always enjoy reading books set in the place I’m traveling to; it helps me learn more about the city/country and feel more connected to the culture.

      • rg223

        Oh yeah, I did that boat tour – it was really fun!

      • Jessa

        This is such a great idea, thank you for the book suggestion! Will check my library ASAP.

    • nosio

      Ooh, I second the Hancock recommendation – while you’re up there, go into the ladies restroom. It sounds weird, but seriously, it has the best views!

      Other things to check out: the Art Institute (a great place to eat over there is The Gage, right down the block); a show at Second City (if you like divebars and want a beer beforehand, Old Town Ale House is right across the street and one of my favorite places in the city); and Pequods or Art of Pizza for deep dish.

    • rg223

      Also the original American Girl Store is there, if you’re into that (which maybe you are not because it sounds like you are Canadian??? Very curious as to whether American Girls are popular in other countries).

    • Lou Malnati’s for deep dish. My fav is “The Lou.”
      ETA: I definitely prefer Lou Malnati’s to Giordano’s, and I’ve had lots of both over the years I lived in Chicago. I’d say Lou’s first, then Giordano’s. Because you can never have too much pizza. :)

    • anon_chicago_lover

      Chicago native here (anon for privacy reasons). My deep dish suggestion would be a smaller place that I think blows the more well-known ones out of the water: Bacino’s. It’s a little trek from downtown, but not too far, and in a nice neighborhood near a park and also just a short walk away from the zoo (which AmandaBee below correctly pointed out is free).

      The Art Institute is vast and incredible, so if you even remotely like art, so I’d really recommend that.

      I’d also really suggest going for some improv or comedy — my recommendation would be for the former. There are a variety of pretty cheap and really fun shows at Improv Olympics every night of the week (they run their classic improv game “The Harold” every night, I think), then there’s also the more famous Second City, which does scripted shows that I tend to think are not always that good for how expensive they are, but it varies.

      Another really unique and amazing theater experience is going to the Neofuturists, but it’s only on late at night on Fri/Sat and Sunday evening, it’s not in a very easy-to-get-to location, but I can hardly recommend it highly enough, experimental theater, where they do 30 2-minute plays (give or take), and it’s often amazing/hilarious/poignant/heartrending. If I have people visiting over the weekend, I pretty much insist that they come with me to this and I go every time I go home for a visit. Honestly, it’s probably my absolute favorite thing to do in Chicago.

      And, if it’s nice weather, the 606 is a pretty unique and nice city walk (they revamped an old elevated train line into walking/running paths), but in fairness it is just a walk.

      • The Neofuturists Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is a great suggestion! I’ve been twice and both times were fun. What’s neat about it is (like you said) that the mini plays can be fun, moving, serious…it’s a mix. And the whole roll the dice to see how much you pay aspect is fun and ordering pizza (when they sell out?) is fun too.

        • anon_chicago_lover

          Yep, they’ve got some pretty fun and quirky “traditions” ;) (For anyone reading, to prevent confusion: The show by the Neofuturists that we’re referring to is technically no longer called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind because there was a spat of some kind with the founder over copyright things, they’re now calling it These Thirty Plays, but the concept is exactly the same)

  • louise danger

    guys i have a conundrum and i’m hoping y’all can help.

    my little brother (with whom i’ve hardly had a conversation for ~8 years) is getting married at the end of may, about 2k miles from where he and my whole family live. i work in academia and so end of may is not a great time for me – commencement, wrapping up the end of the academic year, all that good stuff. and i told my mom this several times, that i wouldn’t be able to make it to the wedding.

    little brother apparently offered to pay for my family’s flights out to the venue. i told mom it made no difference (see above, re: job). got the invitation from little brother about the same time that i got a text message from him saying “mom says you can’t make it because of job stuff, i’m going to send you a check for plane fare, please don’t feel obligated to come, but we’d like you to be there if you can. you can feel free to use the money for something else instead if you want.”

    i sent the no rsvp about three weeks ago. yesterday, a check arrived in the mail for $1000, with the memo line “plane tickets,” dated a week ago. there’s no way that my rsvp didn’t get to them before the check was written/mailed.

    what do i do with this money? i’ve been nothing but firm/polite/clear that i can’t go. my matron of honor suggested donating half of it, keeping the other half; mr engineer suggested just letting the check expire/not doing anything with it.

    help?

    • Sarah

      donate to some cause he’d approve of, consider that his wedding gift

    • Sara

      Maybe use it for flights when you can go see them? Like maybe a few months after the wedding?

      That’s weird and very generous though.

      • louise danger

        i don’t have any contact with him, though, and i’m not interested in establishing it (bad sibling-open-warfare blood). it feels so passive-aggressive: “you said no but here is a lot of money in case that changes your mind” (just after reading on the invitation “we don’t have a registry because we’re fortunate to have already combined two households but contributions to the honeymoon, destination and date tbd, would be appreciated if you’d like” – ???)

        • stephanie

          OMGGGG this would bother me so much. I’d mail the check back if you don’t have contact/don’t want it. I have estranged family and would be very, very upset if they did something like this.

        • Ashlah

          I also thought it sounded pretty manipulative, but was trying to give him/them the benefit of the doubt. If you think it is, it probably is. It’s a really weird thing to do.

        • Sara

          Ooh in that case, i would either mail the check back itself with a note like “You must have sent this before the RSVP was received! Thanks but no thanks!” OR cash it and just give it directly to their honeymoon fund.

          • Totch

            Yeah, unless you want to be open about this feeling manipulative, I’d go the route of “My RSVP must have crossed paths with this in the mail! Oops, have it back.”

            If you want to make more of a statement, I could see giving 1k to the honeyfund as a way to clearly refuse their money in a way that’s not as hostile than mailing the check back.

        • Jessica

          Mail it back! That is a weird thing to do, and you have no reason to accept this money.

        • K.

          That’s a horse of a different color! Definitely send back with as gracious a note as you can muster and move on without feeling weird (because he’s being the weird one).

        • K.

          Also it sounds a bit like a possible power play then? If so, that’s really not cool. You’re definitely in the right to ignore any other attempts at baiting you.

          • Jennifer

            I think in estranged relationships money with ‘ties’ is always a power play of sorts. It is in my family.

        • Jess

          Ah. Knowing there is some bad blood here changes my answer a bit.

          I support you in sending it back, if you would like to.

        • Jennifer

          I have estranged family as well and have just been tearing up/throwing away checks. But it’s probably more reasonable to just send back with a very kind note. :) I’m not good at being the bigger person.

          • louise danger

            i usually am, but i have this weird inability to be a grown-up when it comes to little bro. literally the only reason i’m inviting him and his fiancee-they’ll-be-married-by-then to my wedding is because my mom would completely lose her mind and i’ve had plenty of that already even without this bro-wedding stuff in the mix.

            i think i can muster a polite note, heh.

            also, /sibling-difficulties solidarity high five

          • Jennifer

            actually my estranged family is my mother – but my lil bro is getting married in November and we’re going. basically I am going to suck it up and we’ll only go for the day before and the wedding and then spend a week someplace else in that state because I miss it but I am NOT going to let my family drag me into a vacation with them.

    • Ashlah

      Oh wow. I would feel really weird cashing that one, I think. Could you send it back with really nice “thank you, but no, and also congrats” letter? Or cash it, then send them a $1,000 check in their wedding card! I like Sara’s idea of flying out to see them at a better time for you!

    • StevenPortland

      I would send a nice Thank You card to your brother. It was very nice of him to extend this money to you. Although MAYBE he would like you to spend it on something else, I wonder if he really hopes that it will convince you to buy a plane ticket. In your Thank You letter I would explain how being in academia means you can’t travel in May although you really wish you could. I would explain how thoughtful the gift was, but that you’ll be voiding the check so that he is able to apply those funds to his newly married life. Then send a thoughtful gift to the newlyweds for their wedding. I know, I would REALLY want to spend the money, but I think it is more thoughtful not to. And while well-intentioned, I don’t think donating a portion of it helps resolve this issue.

      • EF

        i second all of this so hard.

        it’s totally possible that someone outside of academia just hears ‘academia=low pay=airfare must be the problem’ rather than truly understanding the difficulties in timing. even if you told your mom, brother may not have gotten the message, so including that in the note back is truly taking the high road out of the awkward situation.

    • Emily

      Tbh, I would try to make it. I work closely related to a university and I get it, but not every staff or faculty member works commencement and final exams can be graded and posted on the plane or while you’re gone if need be. Obviously your relationship is not close, but it sounds like your brother is trying to change that, or at least give you both a place to start from.
      If you’re really not going to go though, I would not just let the check expire–send a gracious thank you and donate the money (maybe to a cause the newly weds are connected to? or in their name?) Good luck!

      • AmandaBee

        This was my thought too. I was hurt when my siblings skipped my wedding, though we’re not close. He’s really going out of his way to have you there, so barring any other reasons we don’t know about (abusive/traumatic family stuff which I totally get), I’d think it’s worth it to make the effort.

    • CMT

      Send it back. Or just try really, really hard to make it work and go.

  • Mary Jo TC

    Congratulations on the anniversary, Stephanie!
    Husband and I got together super young but married in mid-twenties. So that means that this spring we will hit a point where we’ve been married for a longer time than we dated. And we dated a long-ass time (as is often necessary when you meet at age 19). Makes me feel old. But I went to the salon Wednesday and covered my gray hairs so at least I look my age and not a decade older anymore.
    Tomorrow we’re taking the toddler boy to see Lego Batman! That’s my excitement for the weekend.

    • stephanie

      Lego Batman is a Very Big Deal in our household – we’re also planning to take our 7 yr old this weekend. He can’t deal.

      • StevenPortland

        I took my kids (5 and 9.5) to Lego Batman last week. None of us loved it. It is just too much visually going on that all 3 of us had trouble actually liking the movie much. I much preferred a movie like Moana. But still, it is a Lego movie, and all kids want to see it. And now my kids really want to see Boss Baby when it comes out and I don’t know if I can stomach that one.

        • Jess

          I fully support parents not taking their children to see movies that seem terrible, for the record.

        • stephanie

          We super loved Moana! We all cried. :)

          My son also wants to see Boss Baby, and I’m just.. whyyyyyyy,

        • toomanybooks

          Am I the only adult who maybe would watch Boss Baby? I guess what I’m saying is I feel like I could ironically enjoy Alec Baldwin playing a 90s stereotype of a boss who is also a baby.

    • stephanie

      Also, thank you!! :)

  • Fushigidane

    FH’s “furbaby” had to be put down this week. It’s hitting me pretty hard, even harder than when my dog died a couple years ago. It’s hard working on wedding things that need to get done since we’re at the weeks/days stage as opposed to months. I was really looking forward to seeing pictures of him with his cat. We picked out a bowtie for him and we had told the vendors to make sure to include the cat.

    • CMT

      Oh, no, I’m so sorry!

    • MC

      Oh, I’m so sorry. Maybe have a picture of the cat somewhere on your wedding day so you can be sure to include them?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ohhh, I’m so sorry. What about putting his bowtie on the bouquet (assuming there is one)? Memorials on bouquets is totally a thing.

    • gonzalesbeach

      oh im so sorry, RIP little furbaby

    • Jennifer

      When my husbeast’s cat died, it was so much harder on me than I expected too. I agree with the idea of the bowtie on your flowers, also find a good place to display a picture of him somewhere during the ceremony and/or reception to feel his involvement. I am sure he is looking down from the Rainbow Bridge. <3

    • Katie

      awwwww I’m so sorry! Sending you hugs <3

    • Eenie

      I’m so so sorry.

  • Danielle

    I will be starting a new job next week! Am excited because it seems like a good cultural fit, and the people I interviewed with were kind and professional. I’m spending a little time reading and looking into key topics the hiring manager has mentioned, so I feel a bit prepared next week.

    But… I was fired by my last job (while pregnant) and have spent the last 4 months unemployed. That has not been good for my self-confidence. My last boss also said some really mean things to me at the end about my work output, which caught me off guard but I do recognize a grain of truth in them. She ignored a lot of good things, but that’s another story.

    My question today is: How do you heal from past work trauma? I want to go into this new job feeling good, and ready to handle whatever they throw at me. And similarly, are there good work habits you have developed that help you succeed at your job?

    Thank you in advance, Kind Ladies of the Internet.

    • AmandaBee

      I know it sounds cliche, but I think that a therapist could be really helpful if it’s an option for you.

      When my husband lost his job, he struggled a lot with self-esteem and it really affected his performance at a job he got after that. I think seeing a good psychologist really helped him process that – we also talked about it of course, but someone who has no investment in your employment might be helpful for processing. There are a lot of emotions and identity issues that get wrapped up in our work.

      Re: good work habits – one thing I do is track projects as I complete them. So I have my own record of work output, which I bring to meetings with my supervisor to make sure that a) my effort is aligning with team priorities, and b) my output is documented and forms the basis for our reviews. I don’t keep a super formal log, just an Excel spreadsheet of major things I’m working on which has tabs for “in progress” and “complete”. And I don’t do that for every little thing, but any major projects get tracked. Also, every quarter or so I go through my list of upcoming projects and we talk about priorities, which also helps circumvent any concerns about output.

      • Jess

        That tracking projects thing also really comes in handy for year-end reviews and bad days when you need to recognize that you have, in fact, gotten some stuff done.

    • flashphase

      Jeez, unemployment can do such a number on your self-worth. I think separating ‘being unemployed’ (temporary state) from your value as a person. I like Jess Lively’s podcast/blog, it might be helpful here. And be patient with yourself, it will take time. But this internet stranger thinks you are going to be great!

    • Jess

      I am in process of recovering from work trauma (manipulation, lying, taking credit for my actual work, etc.) after which I really felt like I’d never be a good employee again. It’s been over a year since I changed jobs in my company and I wish I had found my give-a-shit a little earlier. Advice I would give myself:

      1) Make a tangible list of the good stuff you know you do well. Own it and do it. Do you run good meetings? Volunteer to run meetings and think to yourself: “I am such a boss for running this meeting. Nobody runs meetings like I run meetings.”

      2) Think about the grain of truth and see if there is something actionable. For me, I have a hard time making progress with extended, self guided projects. This year, I am putting together time management tools to stay on track. I’ve got project charts with “Next steps” so I don’t flounder once an action is completed, I block of time of my day to work on certain things, and I am scheduling check-ins with my boss to hold me accountable.

      3) Find something to be excited about. When you talk about work, make that what you talk about. For me, complaining about work is a bad cycle that ends with the aforementioned not-giving-a-shit. So pick a project a part of your job to be excited about, think and talk about that.

      • Danielle

        Thank you for these thoughts, Jess. Especially with your 2nd point, I think I get easily distracted with super-detail-oriented, time-intensive work, and need to implement tools like Pomodoro to keep me focused for a set period of time.

        As for #3, yes, we complained a lot at my old job. It was a toxic work environment that many people felt stuck in, and the only thing we felt we could do was complain. That lowered morale, which did not help my productivity (see above).

        Also, was your boss my boss? (Super manipulative, stole my ideas, etc.)

        • Jess

          I hear they have a secret evil boss convention just before performance evaluations!

          Yeah, I really struggle with time management, so even just using a semi-pomodoro technique of “from 2-4, I’m going to write up this report” and putting on good music helps me a lot.

          • Danielle

            Music helps me too! Sometimes I’m like, “No music, it will distract me!” but then I need a little bit of outside distraction to help me focus (if that makes sense). Even white noise can do the trick…

    • gonzalesbeach

      Ya new job! For going into the new job feeling positive: preparing like you’re doing(awesome!), being curious and asking lots of questions, remembering your strengths and that others recognize those too – they chose you!, and we all have things we can work on – it’s opportunity to grow and develop – seek out assistance in addressing areas you’ve identified for growth. eg if it’s speed or volume, ask your colleagues for their tips,& your new boss for guidance, too. it’s most important that an employee wants to learn and get better – a good manager will see this! you’ll do great!

    • emmers

      Work trauma sucks. Like someone down thread, I also like productivity tools- I use rescue time. It tracks the time you spend on various websites & it can also block distracting websites for a focus period. I found a 50% off code, and it was $36 for the year, though I know there’s are also good free tools out there! I also like taking brief walks or getting coffee when I’m feeling unproductive. And honestly, time helped heal my past job wounds, and knowing that this job was a fresh start& clearly these ppl wanted me. Congratulations on your new job, and all the best as you get settled!

      • Danielle

        Thanks, emmers! Rescue time sounds interesting, I will check it out. Distractingly good websites (cough, APW, cough) are definitely a problem for me.

        I find in general taking a short walk or going outside for coffee or lunch helps me return to work with a fresh mind. I will try to keep these good habits in mind next week and beyond <3

    • Antonia

      Something to keep in mind: In my experience, your supervisor’s opinion of you and your work can be rather… arbitrary?

      Was at a job for close to three years and was a miserable failure. Couldn’t do anything right. I finally quit only because I knew I was close to getting fired. It sucked, and my self-esteem took a major hit.

      My next job, I worked for a driven, no-nonsense, high-achieving (three Ivy League degrees, Fulbright scholar, self-made millionaire) middle-aged woman with a reputation for being a terrible supervisor. However, I knew the job was mine if I wanted it and it was for a non-profit organization with a fantastic mission, so I took a chance. Guess what? SHE FRIGGIN’ LOVED ME. I could do no wrong, and she thought the sun shone out of my backside.

      I was the same person with the same capabilities, strengths and shortcomings at both jobs. One just worked, and the other didn’t. Who’s to say why?

      • Danielle

        That’s a great point — and your 2nd boss sounds pretty amazing!!

        I just did not click with my last boss. I tried to communicate and make things work, but she was very controlling and did a lot better supervising younger people just out of school. I was roughly her same age with a lot of work experience/opinions, which I really enjoy sharing! But that’s not what she wanted.

        This next boss seems more reasonable and easy to talk to, and it will be within a larger company with certain standards/structures in place (and like, HR!) so I hope it will be a more professional and respectful setting. The last job was at a small family firm where awful behavior was tolerated among managers… I’m so over that.

        • Antonia

          “a small family firm where awful behavior was tolerated…” BEEN THERE. A different not-so-great job, for that exact reason. I suspect you’ll be GREAT in your new position!

      • Katherine

        Seconding this. Different supervisors have vastly different opinions of what good work product looks like. In my current job, I’ve taken on projects from different divisions to get feedback from different points of view, but I understand that this isn’t possible in everyone’s workplace. However, if you have the opportunity to do so, I would highly recommend it.

    • Eenie

      When I was in a bad work environment, I had my husband hold me to three good things/one complaint per day. Made me focus on the positive.

      Good luck with the new job! Remember – they hired you because you are competent and they wanted you working there.

    • EF

      so happy you asked this danielle, as i’m in a similar (though not pregnant) situation. shall be watching the replies closely.

      • Danielle

        Ugh, I’m sorry :( I hope you find something good soon.

  • AmandaBee

    Questions: who here buys their own insurance, and any tips for doing so?

    In between finishing my PhD in (hopefully) June and starting my new job in August, husband and I would like to take some time off to travel, actually see each other, and also move halfway across the country. This would involve quitting my full-time job, which provides us with our health insurance, and we’d need to buy our own insurance for 2 months.

    What with the political drama around the marketplace, I’m a little worried about what health insurance options will be in June. We can probably take care of most standard medical needs before then, but we’d need some type of insurance in case one of us had an emergency.

    SO that’s all to say – any tips for signing up for non-employer health insurance? Can I buy insurance in the middle of the month or do I need to buy it for all of June? Anyone willing to share, ballpark, what they pay for basic insurance?

    Where does one even get info about this stuff? I tried the federal gov marketplace website but didn’t really get answers to my questions there.

    I went without insurance as a child and it was the worst, so that fear has almost kept me from leaving my job early but I really do think I need the time to recover/regroup before the move.

    • Fushigidane

      I would think about travel insurance to supplement. My health insurance card says it’s only valid in my state.

      • AmandaBee

        Good point! Between traveling and then moving, we may not be in our current home state for…most of July.

    • StevenPortland

      I don’t know anything about it, but do you have the option for COBRA coverage of the health care you are giving up when you leave your present job?

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        COBRA is *massively* expensive.

        • sofar

          Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever gone the Cobra route. I might if I had kids/an expensive condition. But as a (luckily) healthy, childless person, I always looked at the Cobra premiums, had a hearty laugh and bought a junk individual policy on the open market with a $10k deductible.

          … Our healthcare system is so fucked.

          • AmandaBee

            Yeah, if I’m estimating right COBRA would eat up any/all money we have to actually eat/pay rent for the summer, much less go on a honeymoon. Ahahaha.

    • Alex K

      I am not sure if this situation would qualify, but I would look into COBRA benefits which allow you to extend on your current plan.

      • AmandaBee

        Just looked it up – I think I could but my current plan is very expensive without the employer contributions. And we wouldn’t really use it, so reluctant to shell out that much money. But it’d be better than nothing!

        • Amy March

          Do some googling about retroactively electing COBRA. If you don’t think you will use it that might work well for you.

          • StevenPortland

            I heard about this once as well, where you leave your job and insurance. Then if you turn out to have a need for insurance, you can retroactively pay for the COBRA (expensive) coverage. But if you don’t need the coverage then you don’t need to pay anything.

          • Not Sarah

            This. If you’re traveling out of country, I would combine this option with travel insurance for while you’re out of the country. It is sadly much cheaper than regular domestic insurance usually.

          • Em

            Yes – I would be suggesting using that time to go travel (and or live) somewhere super cheap – like SE Asia – and rely on travel insurance instead!

          • SLG

            Yup. A few years ago I went without health insurance for just under two months (literally it was 57 days or something) between the day I quit my horrible, no good, toxic job and the day I got married and thereby got on my husband’s insurance. At that time you could sign up for COBRA retroactively within that 60 days — like if anything had happened and I had ended up in an ambulance, ER, etc., I could have signed the COBRA paperwork and it would have retroactively applied to everything from the day I quit my job forward. I was healthy and I was willing to take the financial risk. In the end nothing happened and I didn’t have to use it.

            I’m not sure if COBRA still works like that, but it might be worth looking into if you’re pretty confident you wouldn’t use it anyway.

    • Christina McPants

      COBRA that stuff. Be prepared for it to be expensive.

      • doublegus

        When my partner (and subsequently me and our daughter) had a coverage gap between jobs, about 2 months, we kept our Cobra paperwork with us, but didn’t sign up for it and lived without health insurance. It would have started covering us immediately if we needed it for an emergency, etc. I’m not sure if all Cobra works that way, but we had the option to immediately sign up it for up to two months with just a phone call. For any regular appointments, we agreed we’d pay out of pocket since that was drastically cheaper and we were living on savings. We decided it was a risk we’d take since we’re all healthy. Thankfully, we didn’t need it and the 2 months fell between months when our daughter needed regular checkups/immunizations.

    • jp

      this also REALLY depends on what state you live in (and where you are moving), as different states have different health benefits exchanges. Also, if you’re unemployed you might also be eligible for significantly cheaper insurance, but again, that depends significantly on where you live. COBRA tends to be pretty pricey. I’ve gotten healthcare on the open market for $125/mo (which was crap and I never had to use it). I know “it depends” isn’t helpful. I’d google for “healthcare navigator” and your state to find someone who can help you enroll (they should be free – if they want $$ then it is a scam)

      • jp

        ah – this is what I used for short term health insurance: https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance

        If you don’t have major issues/pre-existing conditions, I think this is the way to go (but also load up on your healthcare before the good insurance expires – get your eye exam, teeth cleaning, any prescriptions, etc.)

      • AmandaBee

        Thank you! I didn’t know that “healthcare navigator” was a thing. I’ll look that up for sure.

        And yeah, we don’t necessarily want to use it – we’re going to see if we can get a 3-month refill on my husband’s prescriptions and other than that we don’t really use our insurance for a lot in a short period of time like that. So mostly we need it in case something happens.

    • Emily

      I’m not positive about the particulars but you can get short term (3-6 months) insurance for pretty reasonable rates. It might be a good option if your new job will also have health insurance when you start.

      • AmandaBee

        Yes, that’s what we’re hoping to find – once I’m back in my job in August we’ll have good insurance under that. So we just need to bridge the gap.

        • Essssss

          I’ve used the ACA to bridge gaps many times- a qualifying life event allows you to get coverage. Be warned though that its a lot easier to get coverage than to get uncovered- had to spend a bit of time on the phone for that when I got my new job benefits.

          • AmandaBee

            Good to know!

    • MC

      My understanding is that if you have a “life circumstance” (getting married, turning 27, or changing/losing/starting a job, etc.) you can apply for the ACA exchanges whenever that occurs. I do think it usually starts at the beginning of a month. Also, the ACA is in place at least until the end of the year as long as the federal government doesn’t totally implode (not out of the question). As for the price, it totally depends on your income level & age. My husband was on an ACA plan for a bit and I think he paid around $150/month as a mid-twenties male with no pre-existing conditions.

      • AmandaBee

        Yeah now that I think about that’s what my husband paid when he had his own insurance for a bit. It was an awful plan, but we don’t need a great plan. I do worry a bit that the gov’t will implode and take the ACA exchange with it. Seems unlikely, but who the hell knows these days.

    • Eenie

      I looked into this last year when I quit my job. You can either get an ACA compliant plan on the open market or just get a disaster level insurance. From what I understand, you can retroactively pay for COBRA up to several months later as well. You could ask your new employer about negotiating health benefits starting early. Does your school provide any health insurance for after graduation? Have you tried calling the number for the health care exchanges in your state?

      The ACA gives a three month grace period so you wouldn’t pay a penalty (this would only include FULL months without coverage, so if you quit on the 1st that month doesn’t count towards the three).

      Please anyone correct me if the above information is inaccurate!!

    • NolaJael

      I know some people who RV full time (and therefore don’t fit well into state-based healthcare plans) use something called short term health care? It’s like for six to twelve months at a time. If you sniffed around RV forums you’d find some info, but I’ve never done it. Just a thought.

      • NolaJael

        Okay, @jp was on it!

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks for the tip, I’ll look this up!

        • E.

          Just as a word of warning, my fiance works in health care policy, and says that you need to be very cautious with short-term health insurance policies, as they are not regulated by the policies of the Affordable Care Act in the way that all other insurance (employer-based coverage, healthcare.gov coverage, Medicaid/Medicare, etc) is.

          This NPR article has a bit more information about it: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/10/28/241411054/short-term-insurance-skirts-health-law-to-cut-costs

          One alternative to short-term insurance policies for you and your husband may be enrolling in HealthCare.Gov coverage through a “Special Enrollment Period.” Basically, the short-version explanation is that most Americans have to sign up for coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period, which ran from November 1 through January 31 this year. BUT, if you have a unique life circumstance that happens at sometime during another part of the year (like moving to a new place, getting married, having a child, or losing/leaving a job), you qualify for a special 60-day special enrollment period. Meaning that in the 60 days prior to of immediately after that event happening, you can sign up for coverage through Healthcare.gov. That healthcare.gov coverage, while more expensive month-to-month than short term insurance policies, is also going to be more reliable, with more consumer protections.

          In terms of cost, it depends on a few factors: Your age, where you live. The ACA provides subsidies on a sliding scale, which — depending on your income — you may or may not qualify for. You can use this link to answer a few quick questions and browse your options. And, as others have suggested, it’s probably worth looking into finding local help through a navigator entity where you live.

          https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/

          • AmandaBee

            This is a good point – I’ll have to check in on what the caveats of short-term coverage are. I don’t think we need great coverage since it’s only 2 months and we can handle most of our medical needs beforehand, but I don’t want to be up a creek in the event that something happens, especially if we’re travelling.

            The snag on our end is that our June-August looks like a lot of shuttling between different states, so I don’t actually know where it makes sense to get the coverage! But I guess that’s a good question for a navigator :)

  • MC

    Happy anniversary Stephanie! Husband and I are celebrating our 12th dating anniversary next weekend (we started dating as teens, only married two years ago) and I have been feeling so fulfilled in our relationship and that fact that through all the good and bad and periods of growth we’ve created a happy, healthy, amazing relationship. Cheers to that!

    On Monday I’m going to my state’s Planned Parenthood Lobby Day at the state capitol and am so excited – I’ve been getting more involved in local politics during this (state) legislative session and it has been really awesome to see the process up-close and actually functional. And obviously I’ve got a lot of love for PP!

    Oh, and thanks to the thread about accomplishments earlier this week, I decided to apply for an emerging leaders program in my sector – I was hesitant at first because I don’t really think of myself as a leader, but I read all of the requirements for the program and I meet all of them, so I told my brain to shut it :) So thanks APW!

  • Kalë

    Iceland! I went a year and a half ago with some friends. Best tips are AirBnb and cook your own food because the restaurant prices are ASTRONOMICAL (although the noodle place is cheap and freaking awesome), definitely rent a car, and go to every possible thermal pool! Some of them are more spa-ish, others feel just like awesome public pools. It’s great to get the whole gamut. Hope you guys are spending some time there – we were there for 6 days and it didn’t feel like enough. I’m hoping to go back with a few girlfriends next year for my bachelorette!

    • Cellistec

      Yes to both counts! Though some restaurant meals are worth the splurge, such as a lunch in a lighthouse that was to die for. (Fish and the most delicate boiled potatoes, prepared by a one-armed chef, and we were the only people in the place. What?)

      We planned to drive the Ring Road but my husband wasn’t up for all the car time, so we used Reykjavik as our home base and did day trips from there. Biking around the city is fun, though the weather might be off-putting. Walking is just as fun, in my experience. The Keflavik airport was a disaster in terms of security wait time, so on your trip home, get to the airport early so you don’t have to sprint to your plane like we did. Overall, Iceland is fantastic! A++ would visit again.

      • Kalë

        OMG that airport is the bane of my existence. I’ve been through it… ten? times to fly back and forth from Europe and EVERY TIME it’s crazy ass lines, no food except sandwiches, and way too short of connection times. I just don’t think it’s set up for the volume of people that it’s been handling lately.

    • Lisa

      Yay Iceland! Saegreifinn restaurant in Reykjavik is not too expensive (relative to Icelandic prices) and you can choose your own fresh fish skewers from the refrigerator. We did parts of the Ring Road (north to Snæfellsnes Peninsula and south to Hofn) and both directions were amazing and offered really varied landscapes. The Golden Circle is also a very accessible half day trip and is definitely worth it! We just rented a tent in Reykjavik and a car from Sad Car Rentals to save on costs. We also stopped at a grocery the first day and bought basics so we didn’t have to worry about breakfast and lunch every day. Those things allowed us maximum flexibility; we could stop whenever we wanted or hit the road and we didn’t have to worry about accommodations, etc. Seconding recommendations to hit as many public pools as you can; each town has one and they’re only a few dollars and are amazing! Skip the Blue Lagoon – it’s a tourist trap. If you decide you must, make sure you buy tickets in advance.

    • CP2011

      I’m so excited to read this thread! We have booked a trip to Iceland for late August.

    • I loved the noodle place. We went there multiple times. Also agree with thermal pools. All so great.

  • Christina McPants

    Well, I totally jinxed it posting here – found out I didn’t make it through the next round of applicants for the position I was interviewing for. It’s weird to get rejected for a job you were a) heavily recruited for and b) ambivalent about.

    • gonzalesbeach

      that sounds like an odd situation for sure! sorry it didn’t work out, even if you were ambivalent. there must be something better coming from the universe

      • Christina McPants

        Yeah, this fall / winter has been a real experience for me. First, I had my first real instance of workplace sexism (applied for an internal position, a man without direct experience in the field got hired over me) and that took three months. During which I was getting heavily recruited for this job, which has kept me on the hook since November… Well, to compound the weirdness, I got an email this morning from an old colleague with another job lead. Problem is that one is two hours away and none of us want to move. IDEK.

        • gonzalesbeach

          eep two hours would be a lonnng commute! are you just being recruited or on the hunt in your town too? boo re: the internal work position situation. that is sadly not surprising – ugh

          • Christina McPants

            I’m not actively on the hunt. My current job has insanely good benefits and a decent salary, but I’ve also been here for a year and a half. I have itchy feet, so I either need to move on or lean in and super commit for a while. I wanted to keep it internal and move to a different position in a related department to stay in for another 3-5 years, but that was the job I didn’t get and dependent on what else opens up.

          • gonzalesbeach

            Interesting – I know the feeling of itchy feet – and it’s also usually around the 2 year mark. serious universe vibes going on though!

  • Alli

    Oh the mention of Iceland reminded me about that Women’s Day Off thing coming up on March 8th. Has anyone heard anything about it? For some reason I’m not feeling too great about it, it feels a little privileged and rushed to me. I’d love for it to be a big thing that is impactful (like it was in Iceland in the 70s) but I don’t see it right now. Is any group taking ownership?

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, I feel a little weird about it occurring shortly after the Day Without Immigrants. I don’t know, though. I’d be curious to hear what others think of it.

    • CMT

      I have the same reservations you do. I don’t think I’ll participate. I had no idea about the women’s strike that happened in Iceland, though! Now I’m off to go google that!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’m not feeling it. I work for a small office of 3 women, all of whom are equally horrified by our current situation. If I were to call in sick or take a personal day last minute on a normal day, I would be making their lives more difficult. If I do it on a Wednesday, like March 8th, doubly so, because on Wednesdays there are generally just 2 people in. I suppose planning a vacation day would give them an opportunity to prepare, but still likely leaves 1 person handling the office alone. So I would be making things difficult for other women who are already in agreement with me about everything that’s going on, and cheered for me when I went to the march in D.C. So…why would I do this?

      • Lisa

        I feel similarly. I have a major work event that I’ve been planning for the past four months on March 8th, and all of the other people tied to the project are also women. Theoretically, if we all took that day off, it would mean that the event could not even happen. Much as I want to support and take part in these efforts, I really can’t justify taking that specific day.

    • Cellistec

      I totally agree about Women’s Day Off feeling privileged. I don’t plan on taking the day off, and I haven’t heard of other women in my office doing so. Good to know I’m not the only one.

    • Alex K

      Yeah.. I just don’t think it makes much sense for me. I work a team of mostly women (and lead by female rockstar) who all agree that things are scary, so I am not sure what it would do other than make other people (women) work harder?

    • AmandaBee

      IDK about it either. I thought the Women’s March was great and impactful, and so is getting women involved in contacting their elected officials/running for office. But this seems a bit – repetitive I guess?

      I guess the point is to show how fundamental women are within our society, but if I don’t go to work that just screws over my team.

    • BSM

      Wow, surprised to see so much negativity around this. The women in my 30ish person office are pretty pumped to spend the day in the streets.

      Of course not coming into the office is going to make more work for our other colleagues, but isn’t that at least a byproduct of and often kind of the point of a lot of civil disobedience/protest?

      • Alli

        Are there protests connected to it? Me having a day off literally wouldn’t affect my company at all (my whole team could honestly take off and life would be fine. Nothing we do is so time sensitive that we can’t take care of it the next day). I’d be a bit warmer to it if I had something to do other than sit at home, where apparently I’m not even supposed to do chores.

        • BSM

          The organizers of the Women’s March are coordinating actions for the day. There is a planned protest in my city. Other than attending that, the other women in my office and I will be volunteering together.

        • CMT

          I could also take a day off with no impact. I feel uneasy because it seems like the women whose missing labor would have the most impact on society in general are the ones with the lowest-paying, least secure jobs, like retail work or health care aids or things like that. And they’re probably not really in a position to be able to just not go to work.

          • Cellistec

            Well said.

          • BSM

            While I agree with you, is that not true of every strike?

            Like, yesterday was A Day Without Immigrants where a huge number immigrants chose not to go into work or open up their businesses, even though many of them also hold relatively insecure jobs. On the other hand, the Mexican restaurant by my office (owned by immigrants) was open. I think participating or not is fine (everyone has their own circumstances to contend with), so why wouldn’t it be the same way for a strike focused on women?

          • CMT

            Yes, but other strikes are much more focused on a singular cause or event or piece of legislation. I guess that’s ultimately my problem with it.

          • BSM

            I think that’s a fair criticism.

            We all have work commitments and responsibilities to our bosses, colleagues, and companies, but I find it really frustrating that “inconvenience to others/ourselves” seems to be a big reason for people to refrain from supporting this protest and protests in general.

            Of course, there are extenuating circumstances surrounding everyone’s lives, but how can we expect anything to get done without some upheaval?

            Sorry, not really directed at you CMT, but I’m really, really over people’s excuses.

          • AmandaBee

            I think this is what bugged me about it too, though I couldn’t articulate it as well. I get the idea of “show them why we matter” but not everyone has the choice to just up and not go to work. And many of the women who don’t have the choice are the ones that really impact our society in unseen ways.

          • Natalie

            Also, if women in health care professions – home health care aids, nurses, etc. – all take the day off, people literally die. There simply aren’t enough male health care workers to make up for them. So there’s the double whammy of those women not having the financial resources to take time off, but also being unwilling to knowingly put their patients’ health at risk for a protest.

      • Amy March

        To me it feels kind of forced? The women’s march worked because so many women were fired up about it. And, frankly, because it was on a Saturday and women are generally pretty committed to taking care of their responsibilities. I know no one who plans to take part.

    • There was another day off not that long ago in Poland to protest a change to abortion law that also worked, and an Argentinian one that got a new law introduced addressing violence to women. I don’t know much about the planned US one, but I think the concept works best when it’s opposing a specific act or law, and therefore has a specific demand (like any strike). It also requires women who work in the home to strike too, to make visible the unpaid labour. I think the US Women’s strike in the 70s didn’t move equality forward very obviously because it didn’t present a set of specific, achievable demands.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        YES to the specific-thing-being-protested thing. This feels amorphous.

        • Alli

          Amorphous is a good word to describe some of the concern I’ve been having but been unable to articulate. The women’s march was very good at getting us all riled up, but I figured the next steps would be a little more focused?

          • Danielle

            The Women’s March organizers do have more focused next steps, like the 10 actions in 100 days: https://www.womensmarch.com/hearourvoice/

            Perhaps this strike is unrelated to the women’s march or larger organizing efforts?

          • Alli

            I like all the town halls on there! FH is pushing us to go to some in the next couple weeks. I’m nervous but I’ll go as long as I don’t have to do the talking! He’s been coming up with questions to ask.

          • Kalë

            Please go, if you can! My state’s senators are cowards and not responding to the deluge of constituent requests for town hall meetings. So. Frustrating.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I also feel ambivalent. I’m a teacher, so it would only penalize my students if I didn’t show up, and that’s not fair to them and goes against what I would think this cause stands for.
      For the Day without Immigrants this week, several restaurants were just closed, and posted notes telling customers about why. I think this has a much bigger impact than just a few people calling in sick, which I agree only penalizes coworkers. I would think that in some cases where an office is all women or the bosses are in solidarity, closing the whole place down for a day might be the way to participate. Explain to customers/clients the reason and maybe delay projects/deadlines for a day. I’ve been in education my whole career, so maybe there are reasons I don’t know about for why people act like this isn’t an option?

    • MC

      Honestly, I think part of the reason the Iceland strike had such a big impact is because the population of Iceland is (and was) TINY, so it’s much easier to organize 50+% of the population striking on the same day. Strikes are most effective when the majority of whatever group is striking and that is so, so hard to do in the US nationwide. It’s probably more effective to organize those strikes on a more local level, even though I love the idea of nationwide movements.

    • Katie

      In Russia this day is a national holiday. Although marked as “International Women’s Day”, it’s weirdly not celebrated across the world. Is it gonna be a thing this year? I’ve not heard about it!

  • Shirley Schmidt

    Guys, Sweden is great! We have just finished our 5 days in Stockholm and arrived in Uppsala this lunchtime. Everyone is universally friendly and English is spoken so widely that I feel embarrassed for my monoglot nation and more embarrassed that everyone thinks I’m Swedish (tall, blonde, blue-eyed, go figure) and I can’t say more than the very basics.
    Favourite part of Stockholm? Gamla Stan (the old town) and its beautiful yellow-ochre-orange-peach buildings.
    Favourite site? The Vasa Museum. Incredible 17th century warship that sank in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage. The detail of the wood carvings! The sails!
    Favourite food? Any and all fika buns (cinnamon, cardamom, semla…). Also the INCREDIBLE meal we had at Ekstedt (Michelin star restaurant where everything is cooked using wood). Best food I have ever eaten!
    Tomorrow is Viking Day and then we go to Gothenburg!

    • Cellistec

      Oh, that makes me want to go! We’re planning a trip to Copenhagen this summer…maybe I can shoehorn a jaunt to Sweden into the itinerary….

      • Shirley Schmidt

        Do it! SAS fly between Copenhagen and Sweden (we are flying back to London via Copenhagen from Gothenburg) and I think there is a train between Gothenburg and Copenhagen.
        Also want to go to Copenhagen though, ever since I watched so much Borgen in one go I convinced myself I spoke Danish. Have you seen it?

        • Cellistec

          No, I’ve never heard of Borgen! We’re mostly going for the biking, though I’m mostly looking forward to the smorrebrod. ;) I love the idea of the train…thanks!

          • Shirley Schmidt

            You should check it out if political drama/strong female characters is your thing: it follows a woman who accidentally becomes Danish prime minister. Lots of Copenhagen shots! It was shown on the BBC so there should be subtitled versions floating around the internet.

        • Oh, now I’m curious to check out that show.

        • swedish_swede

          There is indeed a train from Gothenburg-Copehagen, it’s about 3 hours and goes over the 2nd longest bridge in the world, which is neat. It’s also only 20 minutes to Malmo if you want a slightly shorter jaunt. ;)

    • Alli

      Sweden is on my very long list of places I want to visit, mostly because I’ve been in an Ikea at least once and enjoyed it. How long is your trip overall?

      • Shirley Schmidt

        10 days overall: 3 full days in Stockholm, 1 full day in Uppsala and 2 full days in Gothenburg with the rest spent travelling. We flew into Stockholm and are flying out of Gothenburg so with a couple of trains it’s easy logistics-wise!

      • swedish_swede

        If you do end up going: go in the summertime if you can so you can enjoy the light and the archipelago, either in Gothenburg or Stockholm. (The winter light is pretty special in its own way, but you’re not going to enjoy the archipelago in the winter time) Going out and spending the day swimming, sunning, and picnicking on a tiny, rocky island covered in pine trees is pretty much the best of Sweden.

    • sofar

      Been wanting to visit Sweden for a long time now. This post is making me want to bump it up on my places-to-visit list.

    • I am commenting basically to bookmark your comment for honeymoon planning, because oooh Ekstedt.

      • Shirley Schmidt

        It was beyond indescribably good! Really chilled and cosy ambiance too, not at all pretentious. This is my favourite course: hay-flamed dairy cow, wood-fired oven baked cabbage and salsify (plus some kind of delicious black garlic emulsion). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f77bad518fe0f2f67bb6b409c8ddfd5493cfd8c7010c771ce41991c141738c3.jpg

        • Oh that looks fab. We definitely want to get a michelin restaurant into the honeymoon if there’s time/money. We’ve just spent a few days in Rome (we have our annual holiday in janfeb each year to get over the post Christmas slump) and we went to Enoteca de la Torre, a michelin starred restaurant there, for valentine’s. We booked like English people (an hour earlier than anyone else!) and had the place to ourselves for ages, which was fun. I feel like a lot of michelin restaurants are actually less pretentious than you’d think because most of their customers are one off visitors there for a special treat, and the staff like playing into that. Wannabe Michelin restaurants, however, are often snooty af.

          • Shirley Schmidt

            That sounds perfect! Bookmarking it for a future Rome trip. We live on Jersey, which somehow (because rich people) has 3-4 Michelin restaurants. One is horrendously pretentious but Ormer, where we eat faaaaarrrr too often, is really chill and relaxing so we picked Ekstedt in the hope of a similar ambiance.

          • Lisa

            This is so good to know! We’re going to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay next month, and I am so excited for the experience.

    • swedish_swede

      Lucky you are there for semla season, it’s only about a month out of the year :) (before fat tuesday)

      If you like Gamla Stan in Stockholm, definitely spend some time walking around Haga in Gothenburg, lots of cute shops and cafes, and if you find the hill in Haga (there’s only one, it’s behind the university buildings if that helps) and walk up to the top there’s a really nice view over a good part of the downtown.

      It will very likely be cold/rainy/grey but the boat tours are also kind of neat, Gothenburg’s canals were built by the Dutch and it’s a pretty interesting history.

  • Rose

    I have a skype interview for a postdoc I really, really want in an hour. Everyone I see today has been telling me how fancy/good I look (we are not generally a formal bunch), which has been helping, but eep! It’s the first time I’ve had an interview for a position I really wanted since I started grad school, and then I didn’t know enough to know what to be nervous about.

    • CMT

      Good luck!

    • AmandaBee

      Aah, good luck!

    • Jess

      Good luck!!!

    • AGCourtney

      Good luck!

    • Totch

      Good luck! Ask lots of questions!

    • Eenie

      Good luck!!

    • Jessica

      Congrats and good luck! Yesterday Zana posted on the “opportunity to brag” post about how she got a bunch of on-campus interviews after doing skype interviews, and shared her blog with tips. I thought this post was great: http://byov.blogspot.com/2017/01/faculty-jobs-remote-interviews.html
      (Most important tip: look AT THE CAMERA on your computer, even if you have to block your screen slightly to remind yourself to look at the camera and not at the screen.)

      • AmandaBee

        I will add to the camera trick – I shrunk the Skype screen so it covered the top half of my monitor. That way when I looked at their faces, I was looking at the top half of the computer (so, closer to looking at the camera). I could NOT make myself look at the freaking camera the whole time, but this was a good second option!

        • Rose

          Ah, I will do that next time! I kept thinking about the post Jessica linked to up there and trying to look at the camera, but I just couldn’t keep it up. That’s a good plan.

          • You literally have to put a post-it note with an arrow pointing to your webcam to make looking at the camera even remotely possible. I did it for all but one of my interviews, otherwise I just would forget all the time.

      • The Professor Is In, which I mention constantly in those posts also has a bit of advice on these things: http://theprofessorisin.com/2011/10/31/thephoneorskypeinterview/

        The other super useful tip is to put your webcam at eye level with you so your interviewers don’t get a bizarre perspective of you. I often do this with a cardboard box, but some laptop stands kinda do this naturally.

        …but really, these visual perception things are meaningless if you haven’t prepared concise responses and elevator talks for common questions ;)

    • Rose

      Thanks everyone! I think it went well overall, although there was a technical issue with skype contact requests not going through–I’m 99% sure it wasn’t my fault, but I don’t know if the professor interviewing me did. Anyway, other than that I think it was good!

  • Alex K

    Has anyone ever used a career counselor? My husband found one he would like to work with and I’d love to hear about people’s experiences with them!

    • gonzalesbeach

      I took advantage of the career coaching (I think possibly a bit different from counselling) – she was more about asking questions and helping you to see possibilities (or roadblocks), versus reviewing my resume or that type of support…anyways, it helped me focus my energies and feel empowered to make the next leap. so if it’s something available to you and/or husband (ideally you too!!), I’d say yes, try it out!

    • Emily

      Ooh this is great. I really think I need to see one – the career rut is only getting deeper.

    • Mari

      Yes! Totally recommend it. My college offers alumni something like 4-6 free hours of career counseling at a nearby company. A year or so after I had graduated (it was the beginning of the recession, was working a low-paying dead-end job, had liberal arts degree) I signed up. Due to distance/schedules, I couldn’t meet my counselor in person so did had all our sessions over the phone, which actually worked fine. She had me take a few questionnaires, do some “homework” assignments, and she also listened a lot. I had ideas about what I wanted to do (farmer! sex therapist!), but doing some research, self-reflection and talking helped me hone in on my skills, interests, and to separate things I like from things I actually want to make a living doing. It was supremely helpful.

  • AGCourtney

    Hi, everyone! I’ve had appointments the past two Friday afternoons, so it’s nice to be back for this, haha.

    I’m in a really great season of kicking-ass-and-taking-names right now. I had an interesting moment today where my jobs crossed paths: a woman came in to meet with one of the partners at the CPA firm, and I had a nagging sense I knew her. It finally hit me before she left – she was the mother of one of my tutoring clients. So I said hi and she told me that her son has a 100% scholarship, which is really exciting in his own right, and she turned to the accountant and enthused about my tutoring. Said account has a teenage daughter, so as soon as the client left, she asked me about it. So, I may have to officially figure out the paperwork for tutoring solo!

    I finished my dental work!!!! For anyone who remembers when this “saga” started around this time last year. I got ~19 crowns done. I still have some on a 0% APR credit card to pay off, but it’ll be done by this spring. I’m really, really proud of my hustling to get this done. I feel a thousand times more confident.

    And finally, the kitchen is pretty much done. The contractor actually just arrived to finish up the trim and whatnot. So I should be able to share a picture next week.

    • Totch

      Congrats on everything, but especially those damn teeth!!!

    • Jessica

      Are you going to the next Hamiltunes?? https://www.facebook.com/events/1773752882890376/

      • AGCourtney

        Yes! I signed up to sing That Would be Enough. Are you going? If you are, I’ll be easy to find – my daughter will be wearing her Angelica Schuyler dress, haha. She’ll sing Angelica’s part during Reynolds Pamphlet. Thank you for telling me about it!

        • Jessica

          I can’t make it this time, but PLEASE take a video of your adorable daughter!!

    • Cellistec

      Congratulations on finishing your dental work! You’re a champ. I only had to get 2 fillings last month and I was being a baby about it. Enduring 19 crowns deserves an Adulthood Medal.

    • Eenie

      I’m so happy for you and your teeth!!

  • Totch

    Happy anniversary Stephanie!

    I posted about this in the in-laws thread yesterday, but we just did some shifting of reception schedule. On Wednesday my future SIL asked not to give a toast at the wedding, which we have a lot of feelings about that I’m just gonna skip past.

    Practically, we have no bridal party so our plan for toasts was that immediately after the ceremony my dad would give a toast announcing us as a couple to kick off the cocktail hour. Then, halfway through dinner fiance’s sister and my brother would give toasts in lieu of best man/maid of honor (followed by thank yous and whatnot from us).

    Fiance doesn’t have anyone else on his side he wants to ask and we feel like having 2 toasts from my family and none from his isn’t fun, so we’ve asked my brother not to give a toast. We’ve swapped things so that immediately after the ceremony we’ll toast/thank our guests to start off the cocktail hour, and then my dad will give a toast during dinner.

    So, uh, logistically we’re good! Just gonna keep swimming!

    • Jess

      Logistics High Five! Sounds like you’ve managed to navigate that whole mess of feelings very well and found a solution.

  • Cellistec

    Any career-changers in the room? I’m contemplating a big change–from midlevel nonprofit development to (at first) entry-level healthcare. (Specifically, getting certified as an EMT, as a stepping-stone to nursing.) I’d love to know if anyone else has pivoted their career in a drastic direction, and what advice you have. Or if you’re doing it now, or thinking of doing it, solidarity!

    • Kalë

      I’m toying with the idea of making the switch from state government to the nonprofit world… definite solidarity. Even the idea and just perusing jobs has me feeling a little bemused. Why does everywhere want 5 years of experience in nonprofits?! Where are nonprofit entry-level positions?!

      • Essssss

        You can probably make a good case for state government experience being equivalent to nonprofit experience. After all, governments are not for making profit. You might have grant writing or budget management experiences that would translate. Non profit entry level activites are often done by volunteers!

      • Cellistec

        Hey, I can talk to you nonprofit careers if it helps! And yeah, the experience part is baffling in healthcare too. Some community college nursing programs require healthcare experience, and I’m like…that’s what I’m trying to get from your program…?

        • Kalë

          I think you are smart to start with EMT! Another good option is CNA, too, although where I live, they make less than EMTs… but upon graduating from nursing school, jobs will basically be yours for the picking with a combo of *actual* medical experience AND a brand spaking new BSN. (source: sister just graduated nursing school, previously worked as a CNA, now has a bomb brand new nursing job making $$$)

          • Cellistec

            Ah, good to know! I did look into a CNA program, but it’s daytime only and I need part-time school so I can keep my day job for now. the EMT program is part-time and requires no healthcare experience, so boom! Decision made for me.

      • NolaJael

        “Where are nonprofit entry-level positions?!”

        Volunteering. But you have to be careful not to be too good and dutiful of a volunteer or you’ll be the “always a bridesmaid” of the non-profit world.

      • LadyJanee

        This is the same switch I want to make! I’ve started putting feelers out for volunteer positions with organisations I am interested in. The UN also coordinates volunteer positions online which has been so great – I’m currently assisting an NGO design organisational charts (I currently work in HR so it was a good crossover of interests). I’m hoping that through volunteer work I can create some connections that will lead to paid work in the future. Good luck!

    • Lisa

      One of the applicants to my program today used to head a non-profit here in town, and she went back to school to get a chemistry degree. She used to work with the mentally ill and felt like her efforts were a bandaid on a bigger problem so she wants to move into medical research. I had another friend who saved up a bunch of money from her big deal job at a for-profit to do a bachelor’s equivalency program that prepped her for med school. I think these kind of changes are becoming a lot more common among our peer group!

      • Cellistec

        Interesting! Thanks for the examples.

    • RNLindsay

      Me!! Bachelors degree in poli-sci, worked as a paralegal for 2 years with the goal of law school. I hated it! I took night courses for all the science pre-reqs for nursing school (cause I hadn’t taken a single science class in undergrad) and went back for my master’s in nursing! I’ve been out of nursing school for 5 years now and work as an ER nurse. I’ve never looked back!
      Although being an EMT is great, I’m curious as to your reasoning? It is not necessary to have a medical background before going back to nursing school (in fact, there are many many programs out there that emphasize accepting non-medical backgrounds). Unless you really want to be an EMT, I feel it’s just a lot of extra time, money and schooling to do that first? When you could just jump right into an RN program. There are a lot of BSN programs that are <2 years.
      My other recommendation would be to definitely get your BSN vs. an associates degree. Very few places are hiring associates anymore – really only nursing homes and rehab centers (unless of course you want to work in those places). Associates programs are usually 2 years as well, so if you're going back to school anyway – go for the bachelors. Feel free to ask me any other questions!

      • Cellistec

        Wow, great to hear about your positive paralegal-to-nurse journey! As for the reasoning for becoming an EMT, it’s mostly because getting the certificate is a good fit for me right now. I’d love a second-bachelor’s BSN–I have a BA and an MS–but the only offerings in my area are like $40k. No can do. Nursing programs at the community college require proof of healthcare experience (paid or unpaid), which I also don’t have. I could volunteer first in some capacity, but I haven’t found anywhere that will take healthcare volunteers with no training. By contrast, the local EMT program is part-time and affordable, and requires no healthcare experience. I heard a podcast by second-career nurses who started out as EMTs, and it clicked for me. Was your nursing school full-time or part-time?

        • RNLindsay

          Yeah, it’s really hard to find healthcare volunteer opportunities. I don’t think the EMT path is a bad thing – EMTs are so knowledgable and you’ll learn a lot! Just wanted to suggest you weigh the time and money aspect too.
          My program was full time. We were instructed not to work during it, which was the right suggestion. Between classes and clinical – it’s a lot of work

          • Cellistec

            Good point about juggling work and study. Luckily the local EMT program has a part-time track, but I’m guessing my future BSN program would be far more demanding. All the more reason to keep my cushy desk job as long as possible and save up more $$$.

        • doublegus

          I volunteered with a non-profit hospice organization that did not require any prior healthcare experience. They gave us a few days of training and sent us on our way. We volunteered in the hospice center or did home visits. We weren’t allowed to do anything medical, but we were given some basic care instructions for when a client needed it. I think this helped my nursing school application somewhat as it was at least in a medical type setting.

        • CP2011

          I’m not a nurse but I know a lot of nurses and work in healthcare and at least in this region and where my family is, hospital simply don’t hire RNs without a BSN. At my mom’s hospital, they are even requiring existing employees to obtain a BSN if they only have an ASN.

      • RadNurse

        Hi there! I made the transition from the non-profit word to nursing – just graduated with my MS in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I also second a BS over an associates (and an RN over an LPN) and there are AMAZING scholarship programs out there through HRSA (a government agency) that will cover tuition and provide a stipend in exchange for a commitment of at least two years in a high need setting of your choice – I live in NYC so almost anywhere qualifies, and you can also choose rural options etc – it’s super open. I did an accelerated BS to MS program (I have a prior BA and MA in unrelated fields). Absolutely no health care experience required – though my program needed several pre-reqs (though not all programs do). I love my field, I love that I transitioned and I’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have!

    • I work at a University (in healthcare), and I have quite a few coworkers that chose admin jobs while completing prerequisites for nursing school, etc by using the tuition reimbursement benefit. I always think that’s pretty brilliant. Just another avenue to consider if you want to keep using some of your skills while prepping for nursing/healthcare coursework.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, I initially looked for jobs in healthcare admin, since I enjoyed being a medical secretary in the past. But I want to work with people instead of computers, ultimately. I like the idea of using admin as a bridge though!

        • NolaJael

          Yeah, I know quite a few EMTs and I would be concerned that the nature of their shift rotations would not be a good fit for taking classes to move to another level. I’d either stay where you are and take classes now or move to a stable med admin job that would allow for classes in the future.

    • doublegus

      I went to nursing school, though I’m not working as a nurse right now. The shifting hours of an EMT might be difficult to handle with the coursework required. There were only a few people in my class who had rotating shift work and they either quit or took extended time off during the most difficult classes. One just got very little sleep. A lot of my classmates took the CNA certification classes before starting nursing school and worked those jobs while in school. The pay is terrible, but you get the training in the first one or two classes in nursing school if you don’t do it beforehand. I ended up working as a (paid) caregiver for a family member with dementia and other complicated health problems while finishing school.

    • EF

      i trained as an EMT many years ago. some quick advice: if you can, just do a program at a local community college, as they are cheap. all that i know of require ride-alongs with local emergency services, but don’t require a ton of hours. but they also don’t limit hours. do as many hours as you can.

      also be aware that the majority of EMTs are unpaid, volunteer positions. check with different services in your area to see which are paid and which are not.

      if you have any qualms with people touching your body, or touching other people, you’ll need to get over them before training. a lot of it involves practicing on each other/roleplaying, and it can be awkward and embarrassing. but going in with a determined attitude is really helpful in overcoming the awkwardness.

      be aware of what your stressors and triggers are. did someone close to you ever have a bad car accident, for instance, which left them injured? be prepared to face that injury. if you know a lot of people in the area, be prepared to have to treat people you know.

      and just as a side tip pre-training — i had the hardest time learning to take blood pressure without a cuff. but i also figured it wouldn’t be common and didn’t take it that seriously. very first night on the job, we got called to an old man who could not take a cuff, and I was asked to take the systemic blood pressure. I choked. Don’t be me. Learn the small things, too.

      • Cellistec

        Super good intel…thanks so much! I just applied for the local CC program over the weekend, so fingers crossed.

    • Danielle

      My hubby is currently in nursing school, after many years in food service. His first step was to get an Associates degree in Surgical Technology (it’s what interested him, and was his entry into higher education – no prior Bachelors).

      Since he is getting his BSN, it’s about 4 years of pretty intense schooling. We are going into debt for it, which I’m not thrilled about, but whatever at this point. Other programs may be different, but his is fairly traditional-focused, so he’s in classes with 19-year-olds, which is a very different demographic than he’s used to :)

      In general, health care seems like a great industry to get into because there will ALWAYS be jobs (aging population, etc). There can be some pettiness and hierarchy in the field (like doctors treating nurses poorly at times, and then nurses taking it out amongst themselves or towards those lower on the totem pole) but overall once you become a nurse there are many directions/specialties you can go into, and it seems really rewarding.

      • Cellistec

        Thanks for sharing your husband’s story! I agree, I’m dreading going deeper into debt for a BSN in the future, but I’m convinced it’ll be worth the money over time.

  • Jessica

    What a week.

    I had social stuff every night this week, and again tomorrow. Most were really cool things (the Alternative Fact Tacumentary Tuesday, where we watched Jurassic Park, a Galentine’s Day party with Night Brunch, and a truly awful modern ballet–but I had a margarita beforehand so that was nice). Today my mom is in surgery (right now!), and I’ll be going to see her after work. My husband has come home every night and has been working on getting help (which is so freaking complicated and bureaucratic it’s like they don’t even know how harrowing that is to someone who is experiencing a depressive episode). When I called my dad earlier I found out my husband was at the hospital and was going to hang out with my dad for a couple hours during surgery. Which just melted my heart.

    I’m kind of angry I can’t be there right now, but it’s a grant due-date and I need to wrangle volunteers’ signatures and make everything pretty. It feels like this week is a lot of up and down, with the median line being a general positive–so that’s good!

    • Jess

      Night Brunch sounds like the best sort of Galentine’s Day plan. We had a morning brunch, but nothing captures my heart like breakfast for dinner.

      High-five to your husband on this week! Him visiting with your dad is adorable. I hope your mom’s surgery is successful and she heals well.

    • gonzalesbeach

      sending positive healing wishes for your mum!

  • lmba

    I need somewhere to celebrate! A partner and I recently got the news that our proposal for an exhibition on the themes of mothering/the maternal has been accepted by a gallery. Both of us are at-home mothers to tiny kiddos with limited capacity to focus on our studio practices, so it has been a big hustle to put together the show proposal and get our work ready. So excited and motivated to get going on everything. ALL THE YAYS.

    As a side note, we also married young! <3 10 years together, coming up on 7 married.

  • DetectiveMunch

    Lady advice wanted! I’ve been off hormonal birth control for 12+ years, but because of increasingly heavy (girl, HEAVY) periods, I think I want to get back on just to make them lighter (or get rid of ’em completely). But since it’s been so long, I’d love to hear what people recommend. Mirena IUD is apparently a favorite, but since I haven’t been on hormonal stuff for over a decade, I’d hate to go through all the invasiveness and pain just to end up having to get it yanked out a few months later because of a bad reaction. Those of you who have been off hormones for a long time but then went back on, any advice you want to pass on?

    • CMT

      I have a Mirena IUD and it has not stopped my periods. They are considerably lighter, but they’re still there. Honestly, my favorite form of contraception has been the pill (and I was able to completely skip periods with the pill), but I got the IUD because it’s just so much easier.

      • Eenie

        Ditto. I put up with much worse cramping and chin acne for the simplicity of not needing to worry about take a pill. Our long term solution is to have my husband get a vasectomy, and I can take hormonal BC without the stress and anxiety of missing a pill/taking it late resulting in a baby. But for now, the mirena works. I won’t get a second one though because by the time this one comes out we need to start trying.

    • Anon

      I think Mirena is a major dice roll no matter what. I had my first for 5 years (after ~6 years of various hormonal bc pills and Nuvaring ) and had no adverse reaction, zero symptoms of pms, and no period for the full 5 years. I got a new Mirena ~2 years ago and have had a (very) light but regular period and (often quite bad) monthly PMS symptoms ever since. I kept the 2nd Mirena because I am lazy and it’s quite reliable, but I am baffled by my body’s DRASTICALLY different reactions. Also, it really sucks to have it inserted and removed. Don’t believe the lies that it’s just a little pinch and cramps.

      • AGCourtney

        Aww, I’m getting my Mirena replaced soon and while I’ve had a perfect experience so far, I’ve been nervous about whether that will be different next time, so I guess it’s good to know it really could be. I naturally get my period about once a year, so I’ve had no period on the Mirena as well.

        I will say, for me it really was just a pinch and cramps, but I’ve also given birth, which is likely an important factor.

        • CMT

          I’m on my second IUD and it was just a pinch and cramps for me too, and I haven’t given birth. But it seems like for this procedure more than any other, peoples experiences vary so much!

      • Jessica

        I just had my Mirena replaced in November, and my periods went from a light 4-day breeze to a 7-day blood fest.

        I’m annoyed. Glad it’s not just me that experienced differences between the 1st and 2nd IUDs

    • Shirley Schmidt

      I loved my Mirena and the total absence of periods after about 6 months! If I remember correctly, I didn’t have PMS symptoms or cramps on it either and I didn’t feel a loss of libido. Sadly did not love the hormone imbalance it seems to have triggered, which I am still investigating years (and the lower-dose version of Mirena) later. For me that meant cystic acne (which disappeared after o had it removed) and unwanted body and facial hair. I’d have another in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for that though!

    • Antonia

      Anyone have experience with progestin-only BC pills (the “mini-pill”)?

      I used the Nuvaring for a decade and LOVED it, but can’t use estrogen-based BC anymore because of a blood-clotting disorder. I had the Paragard but I don’t want another IUD because insertion was so painful. Our daughter is 14 months old, and while we’re 80% sure we’re “one and done,” we’re giving ourselves till the end of the summer to make a final decision (at which time husband would undergo a vasectomy).

      For those who’ve used the mini-pill, how long did it take your fertility to return after you went off it? Did you have any negative side effect, e.g., weight gain?

      • Alex K

        I went on the progestin-only birth control pill and hated it. I basically was constantly “spotting” and sometimes it was pretty heavy. I was told that this might improve with time, but I only lasted 6 months. With that said, I know it works fine for some friends of mine, so maybe my body just needed estrogen?

      • Eenie

        I heard you really need to take them at the same time every day to avoid spotting.

        • emmers

          And I think to avoid pregnancy- so check on that!

          • Eenie

            Haha yes probably! Back when I was taking it it wasn’t for pregnancy related reason!!

        • jammers

          Yes– and to avoid pregnancy.

      • doublegus

        So my experience isn’t the norm, but I got pregnant on the mini pill. And I took those at the same time every day religiously (had an alarm set on my phone). I had a terrible stomach flu for three days and must not have absorbed enough of the pill during that time to stop ovulation for that month. I found out later that it’s slightly less effective than estrogen containing pills, so a back up method of birth control wouldn’t hurt if anything seems off or you get sick, need antibiotics, etc. I can’t take estrogen containing ones now, though I did before being diagnosed, because they don’t control my endometriosis well enough. The mini pill did get rid of my periods altogether after a couple of months, but it added some intense PMS of increased appetite, irritability, acne, and mood swings for me. I still prefer it to the Depo-Provera shots that included all of the above symptoms plus tanking my libido and causing major vaginal dryness (that year was hell).

      • gonzalesbeach

        I was on it for several years – five maybe, before stopping last year for ttc. On mini pill, cycle tended to be a bit longer – maybe 35-40 days, with a pretty light, and sometimes absent period. and yup, as others say- if you forget a pill, you take it as soon as you can (even if it’s like ‘doubling up’) and must use backup protection for a couple days. or if you don’t take it on time (it’s about a 2 hour window). also need to use back up if illness, using other medications for something, or let’s say travelling and going through time zone changes. I did not experience any significant side effects like change in libido or weight changes or pms. I am feeling my hormones now that im off it. even though I didn’t have any issues, I don’t know if I’d go back on but just because I’m not sure I want to mess with my natural hormonal state anymore. so maybe I’ll end up with like 10 children. eek

    • flashphase

      No advice but I told myself/H I would go off the pill soon to get my body used to no-BC (it’s been over 10 years!) before we start trying. Um, I’m terrified??

    • E.

      This is late, but I went off hormonal birth control because of bad side effects, and then went on the mirena for my periods and it was amazing. I had 0 side effects and a super light period, though it did take a couple cycles. The first 1-2 were really rough as my body adjusted

  • Karen

    This is my first time posting here, I just need to vent:

    My Fiance and I have been engaged for over a year now and started planning our wedding last summer. In Chinese tradition (I am Chinese) the Grooms side pays for the wedding. In western tradition (My fiance is Croatian) the Bride’s side pays for the wedding. Early on we decided to avoid any family drama and decided we would be paying for the whole our wedding ourselves.

    The last year has been plagued with family drama. This started with my cousin planning her wedding in the same lunar month as my wedding. This is an issue because in Chinese Tradition, no two good things can happen in the same month and so I am forbidden (along with my family) to attend her wedding and she (and her family) will not be attending mine. My family does not care for the superstition but according to my grandfather, if their marriage ends and I was at their wedding or they attended mine I would be at fault. This was only frustrating as my cousin and I originally worked when our weddings would be so we would not clash but she decided to change her mind last minute.

    Then a few weeks ago my parents decided to tell us that there is traditionally a 50 point list of items that my fiance has to gift to them as a bride price. They said they don’t need all of it but they do require the traditional cookie cards. The cookie cards is a bunch of gift certificates to a bakery that the bride’s parents gift to all their friends to celebrate their daughter getting married. It is also paid for by the groom. Although I was not pleased with the additional cost we had to add to our already overflowing budget, me and my fiance decided we would gift them the cookie cards as a parents gift instead of calling it a bride price (I flat out told them i would not be part of any bride price). My mother got upset thinking we meant we didn’t want to give them the cookie cards at all and said that she is upset we can spend a few thousand dollars on our honeymoon but not a few hundred dollars for these cookie cards. We have since cleared up the issue but I am still pretty upset and frustrated.

    Thanks for listening!

    • scw

      this sounds really stressful, especially the thing with your cousin’s wedding. can your grandfather attend both? any kind of family drama is hard during the wedding process, but I feel like it must be much more difficult when it deals with cultural traditions. you wouldn’t want to make it seem like you don’t respect your grandfather’s beliefs. and it sounds like you handled the bride price issue in the best way possible, but I see why that was frustrating for you. I hope things are a little easier from here on out!

      • Karen

        Thanks so much! My grandfather lives in Hong Kong and will be attending neither of our Canadian weddings. My cousin is having a second banquet in Hong Kong since she grew up there and my grandfather will be attending hers.

        Unfortunately my grandfather is very traditional and believes in the patriarchy. Every time we have dinner with my family in Hong Kong I sit with his daughters and their kids at the kids table while his sons and their kids sit at the head table. My mom (who is his oldest daughter) and my dad also get to sit at the head table along with my younger brother. So I guess I’m kind of glad he isn’t coming

        • Totch

          Sorry this has gotten so fraught for you! It’s really a shame about your cousin’s wedding. We’re dealing with similar relief (and some guilt) about a family member in HK who isn’t coming to Canada for the wedding. Weddings are a lot. Hope yours ends up being what you want it to be.

    • Amy March

      Those cookie cards sound stressful, sexist, and like the best wedding tradition ever.

      • AmandaBee

        I am also angry for you about the cookies. But I do really wish giving people cookies for weddings was A Thing for weddings here. Can we just start giving out cookies instead of save the dates? Who likes save the dates better than cookies? No one.

      • Fushigidane

        Most chinese traditions are super sexist depending how traditional you’re getting.

        • Totch

          My fiance went into the planning process wanting a very Chinese wedding. We’re both atheists, so we were planning on skipping a lot of stuff from my Catholic background in favor of the stuff he really cared about.

          Then we take a second to research, and most of the stuff he wants is just as religious and/or sexist as the traditions from my side!

          Weddings, man.

          • Fushigidane

            My hard no moment was when they were discussing the solji party which I thought was a meet and greet type party between the families before the wedding but is actually 2 separate parties to celebrate the wedding(mom seems to be really bad at explaining these things to me). One with the brides family and one with the grooms. This would be whatever but then I find out that both sides of the couple aren’t present since we’re operating on arranged marriages type thing. So for my side, the groom’s side sends a representative with the bride price. Then for his side we send a representative with I think a suit of clothes for the groom. I was sort of going to concede to a purely symbolic bride price thing but if that was the way they were going to do it, nope.

          • Totch

            Basically the same hard no: I’m not walking down the aisle. It’s always bugged me that before the ceremony the bride get shuttled off to a side room and is hidden from her guests when she could be out greeting them and celebrating.

            I get folks who want the big moment of drama a procession gives, or to walk with their dad, etc. But to me it feels isolating in that same way of “what do you mean we have to have 2 separate parties????”

    • NolaJael

      Sorry that this is stressful for you, but how interesting! I’d never heard of the lunar month thing. Or the cookie cards. I’m sure there will be more of these little surprises along the way, but it sounds like you guys are handling them as best you can. Good luck!

      • Karen

        Thanks so much! There are so many Chinese superstitions that its hard to keep track of them! I remember when I was picking out my wedding date my parents were being super critical about picking it on a lucky day (which apparently there was like 10 of in all of 2017 that landed on a weekend). We both wanted a Saturday wedding so we decided to not bother with the lucky days. It will be lucky because I’m marrying my best friend :)

        • Totch

          We asked my future mother in law if she cared about it being a lucky day, and she said “no of course not!” Then we booked, then the next week she went “Well, what was the date? Can I just check?”

          Since we’d already booked things, she settled for the fact that it wasn’t actively inauspicious.

    • Fushigidane

      I hear you on all the weird traditions. I’m in a weird situation where my parents want to be traditional but my grandparents don’t want to bother with anything. This might possibly be because I’m a girl though so my grandfather doesn’t care as much.
      The cousin thing is a bit surprising though since in my family 2 people can leave the family or 2 people can come into the family but you can’t do one of each since it would be like one is pushing out the other.
      Mom couldn’t understand why I was so upset about the bride price thing when she brought it up to me. Since grandparents don’t care about doing anything, luckily that was dropped. The cake cards were never stated as being part of the bride price though. Personally I refused to do the cake cards since we would have to give 300 or 600(?) cards and they’re like $5-8 each. I was going to just have a pile of 300 small cakes (tricolor cookies since fiance is Italian) at the wedding but the bakery we liked is using a different recipe than they used to so that got nixed too.

      • Totch

        My fiance’s mom kind of goes back and forth about how traditional she hopes the wedding will be, and it makes it hard in the same way that your parents vs. grandparents situation does. I think we spent 3 or 4 months trying to figure out if she cared whether or not I wore a cheongsam. Good luck!

    • Totch

      I’m white/American and my fiance is chinese/Canadian. We’ve been picking and choosing traditions in a way that feels blasphemous to all sides! Both are mothers are disappointed with some of our choices, but I’m hoping we won’t get a surprise like last minute cookie cards!

      Traditions are hard regardless, but I really feel you right now. Sunday is our tasting appointment at the restaurant. Fiance’s mom is coming, and this is the first time we’ll be running through our whole plan with her and the restaurant. She’s heard it before piecemeal, but I’m just bracing myself for her to object to something.

      We’re skipping cookie cards since my family wouldn’t care, but are doing a Chinese wedding banquet so we decided to get the roast suckling pig to serve with appetizers. Hella sexist but super delicious?

      The wedding is immediate family and godparents, grandparents only, so we’re doing the tea ceremony in front of everyone during the reception… so far no one is mad? We also don’t want to insist that my side bring us money in order to participate (they’re physical gift kind of people), but don’t want to water it down too much and have it be meaningless for fiance’s family. We decided to slip my mom a stack of red envelopes with small denominations that she can give to anyone who wants to participate. Just hoping no one (on either side) freaks out.

      Also, since this seems to be the thread: where are people at on door games?

      • rg223

        Solidarity to you and Karen – I’m a white lady married to a Burmese/Chinese man, and our wedding was also a pick-and-choose of traditions. We also did the tea ceremony during the reception! We handled it like this: my husband’s cousin did a bit of an explainer as we did the exchange with both sets of parents. We didn’t do an exchange with the aunts and uncles, just because I had far more aunts and uncles sets in attendance than he did (8 to 1) – we just had each person stand up and be acknowledged. I told my husband I was writing this and he just said “We did the very white version of a tea ceremony,” haha, but both sides were very happy with it in the end!

      • Yet another Meg

        Much solidarity and sympathy. My husband is Chinese-Canadian and we also played pick and choose for our wedding. We ended up doing a tea ceremony at the Chinese style banquet we had the day after our ceremony and reception. We included all aunts, uncles and grandparents from both sides of the family, and my relatives really seemed to appreciate being included. Of course , we also sent out an informational email beforehand explaining what was going on and my in laws picked up a stack of red packets for my parents to distribute. We opted for absolutely not on the door games.

        Aren’t traditions fun? And it never ends. The current debate in our family is over the first grandchild (due in June! ) and the fact that the hundredth day falls right around my brother in law’s wedding. See the argument that you can’t celebrate two good things at the same time. Also us not wanting to take away from the wedding. I’m staying out of the discussion because not my traditions, but am a little concerned since MIL has announced publicly that she’s more excited for the baby than the wedding.

        • Totch

          Ack! Come on, MIL!!! That’s shitty no matter what background you’re from. Folks keep telling me they’re excited for my wedding because my niece turns one a few days before and she’ll be there. But that’s just true. She’s great.

          I have to admit, though, as a lapsed Catholic who won’t be getting future kids baptised: I’m glad to be able to say well be having mun yuet.

    • rg223

      I’m sorry this has been frustrating, but it sounds like you are handling it very well! Good luck!

  • sofar

    Just got back from UAE and India!

    And, guys …. congrats because we are officially “That Country.” I hadn’t given much though to traveling abroad in the age of Trump. But, wow, the questions I got and the conversations I had. Everyone, it seemed, had the same thought: “I am sending my children to study abroad, but NOT in the U.S. It’s not safe for muslims/minorities/brown people there right now. Also, everyone has a gun there. People shoot up entire schools.” USA! USA! *cries*

    The other interesting thing is that my MIL brought our wedding album to show family in those countries. Our wedding was pretty “basic” and the quintessential “normal” American wedding, so it was interesting to see which things my husband’s relatives thought were odd. They included:

    -“Your dress is so plain/simple! Where is your veil? *squints eyes* You aren’t wearing much jewelry, are you?” (All questions my MIL asked, too, while wedding planning!)

    -“You didn’t get married in a church? You got married OUTSIDE? What priest agreed to that? Oh, you didn’t use a priest?” *furrowed brow and heavy look at MIL and FIL*

    -“Why are people making funny faces?” Turns out photobooth photos and “silly” wedding-party photos are not so much A Thing everywhere.

    But, seriously, everyone was so welcoming, we easily ate 8 home-cooked meals a day, and I feel officially welcomed to my husband’s family across the world.

    • Alli

      I wish more people knew what other countries thought of us right now. I love this country but OH MY GOD how do people think we’re the pinnacle of freedom and morals?

      • sofar

        Right?

        I think the most revealing thing is that so many Americans are TERRIFIED of Muslims. Like, automatically scared when they see someone in a head scarf.

        Meanwhile, people in the Middle East are like, “Wtf is with Americans and guns? Now that shit is scary!”

      • Kalë

        Most dumbfounding moment of 4 months of travel this past fall: a Bolivian alpaca herder, way in the middle of nowhere in the mountains in Bolivia, telling us he was very sorry about Senor Trump and he would be praying for us, our safety, and our country.

    • Alex K

      I love the comments from your extended family, too funny! My husband’s grandmother (who is like 90 and a bit senile) could not be convinced that there wasn’t something “wrong with us” because we did not get married by a priest.

      • sofar

        Like, my fiance and I picked a friend to our ceremony, not even thinking it would be A Thing. But when family started finding out, we learned that it was, indeed, A Thing for many of them. My MIL was the most upset, but, on our wedding day, she teared up at the beautiful ceremony our friend did. I am 99% certain they were happy tears.

    • Mari

      Thanks for sharing about your trip. I imagine this sentiment is common all over the world now. But I’m glad you had a great time getting to know your husband’s family!

    • When my husband and I started traveling internationally, we were blown away by how many sympathetic comments we got! Like a ton of “wow you’re from America? They treat Black people like shit there, sorry!” We especially got that in the UAE.

  • Her Lindsayship

    10 years!! Congratulations, Stephanie!

    We did our engagement shoot this week. It was outside in Boston and I was wearing a skirt and tights, so it was freezing, and also my cheap eyeliner melted into my contacts so that by the time I got home I basically had frosted-glass-effect contacts and couldn’t see anything. But it was kinda fun, and hopefully we’ll get really cute pictures out of it!

    I’m picking up my dress from David’s Bridal this weekend. When I got the notification that it was ready, I immediately made an appointment for alterations and then freaked out for 24 hours about whether that was really a good idea, then canceled the appointment. I’ve heard lots of bad reviews of their alterations for one thing, and that makes me nervous, but for another, our wedding is late July. I think I’d rather get the dress altered closer to the date.

    Finally, our next planning item is finding an officiant. How did you folks go about this? It would be great to have a friend or family member do it, but we don’t have anyone in our close circle who would be well suited for it. So given that we have to find a stranger to do it, and we’re going for a secular ceremony, what’s the best way to find someone worthy of the job of marrying us??

    • Jennifer

      We found our officiant through our wedding planner, but it is very possible to find a non religious officiant affiliated with the city/venue you’re having the wedding in. Also, I believe there are some good ones in the vendor archives here.

    • AmandaBee

      We were in a similar boat. We went on weddingwire, thumbtack, etc. and contacted some options, then went with the most experienced person who was available. You might want to meet with a few people to see who you like best, since they can have really different personalities. We would’ve done that if we had more lead time.

    • RNLindsay

      Also a Boston area David’s Bridal bride! I was scared of the DB alterations too, so I used Hranush in Watertown. She is excellent! Yelp will tell you too –
      https://www.yelp.com/biz/bridal-alterations-by-hranush-watertown-2
      She books up though. I saw her about this time for my July 2014 wedding. Depending on what types of alterations you need, you don’t want to wait too long. They take awhile!

    • Lisa

      I’m glad to hear the engagement photos went well! Did you end up getting drinks at the beginning then? :)

      • Her Lindsayship

        No! We didn’t have time – we were originally going for Sunday afternoon, which would’ve been so much easier and more pleasant – but had to reschedule for Tuesday afternoon. So we both came from work, and my fiancé had to go straight back to work afterward. It was hilariously stressful, and I’m hoping that won’t show in the pictures!

    • jammers

      I think city hall/secretary of state has a list of JPs

    • EF

      bostonian tailoring. right off school street, on province street downtown. the tailor’s name is richard, he’s armenian, and he works magic. tell him his favourite starbucks barista who now lives in england sent you.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Whoa there, hello previous Boston Starbucks barista – I am also a previous Starbucks barista! Bonkers. My career there never led me to a great tailor unfortunately, but it’s funny the connections you could make. I appreciate the recommendation. :)

  • scw

    my husband just took a glance at my computer screen mid-sentence and then whispered “oh it’s happy hour, I’m so sorry” LOL we take apw seriously in this house

    • AGCourtney

      Haha, I love it! My house is the same way. My daughter knows Mommy has her “Friday thing” on the computer, and on my husband’s occasional Friday off, he treats it with the same respect.

    • Cellistec

      Now if only my coworkers would do the same. *frantically switches back to spreadsheet*

      • Kalë

        and my boss…

  • sage

    I went wedding dress shopping last weekend and fell in love with this dress in ivory/champagne: http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_beaded-venice-lace-trumpet-wedding-dress-swg723

    The only problem is I have a large bust and NEVER go without an underwire bra. After days of researching and mildly panicking about what to do for the very low illusion back (tape my boobs?!), I purchased what is by far the most expensive undergarment I’ve ever bought (luckily the dress was under budget so it more or less balances). It’s a backless bodysuit, and I just got it in the mail and tried it on an hour ago. It fits! And holds everything even while I jump around! I’m going to get to wear a backless dress at my wedding!!! SO EXCITED!!!

    • Amy March

      Do you have a link to this magic bodysuit. Asking for a couple of my girls.

      • Sara

        I’m not sure if you meant it the way I read it, but I just laughed out loud

        • CMT

          Ha, I’m going to guess she definitely meant it that way ;)

      • sage

        Ender Legard. They make a few different backless, plunge, and strapless options that go up to pretty large cup sizes.

        • toomanybooks

          Going to check this out… because I only let myself look at dresses I could wear a normal bra with (aka ones that don’t exist). I did just get my own ivory/champagne dress at David’s that has cap sleeves and a back so I shoooouuld be ok.

        • nosio

          Ooh, thank you – I’m going shopping for my dress in 2 weeks and so far I’ve only really liked backless styles, and I’ve been wondering how I could pull this style off.

    • scw

      I love your dress! and as far as wedding dresses go, it’s kind of a steal.

    • BD

      Indeed! Please tell us of this magic body suit (says the busty lady who wanted a backless wedding dress for her wedding but didn’t even bother because gravity).

      • sage

        Oops, I thought I had posted the link… it seems to have disappeared.

        It’s Ender Legard. They make a few different backless, plunge, and strapless options that go up to pretty large cup sizes.

        • BD

          Awesome, thanks!

        • Hannah B

          OMG THANK YOU. As a bridal stylist i am constantly thinking about this for my brides and it sucks that some of my busty gals can’t wear the backless things…life changing!

    • Totch

      Gorgeous! Bravo on going for it with the backless dress. Glad the bodysuit works!

    • Zandra

      Gorgeous dress! Huzzah for magical undergarments!

    • MrsRalphWaldo

      That dress is beautiful! So excited for you!

  • nutbrownrose

    I’m having such a good week! I recently changed my birth control from Nuvaring to Mirena IUD (for cost and annoyance reasons only), and, holy smokes, I have a libido! I forgot that was a thing (crazy, because all through high school and college I was horny af all the time) when I got depression, and then like, it’s hard to notice you don’t want something when you don’t want it. There has been more sexytimes in my apartment this week than like, 3 whole months last year. AND MIL wants to completely take over rehearsal dinner planning, calling, etc, and I’m like “Here, take it, take it all. I don’t want it!” AND FH finally has a best man! We won’t have a groomsmen-free wedding with 5 bridesmaids!

    So this is my PSA for the week. Think about the sexytimes you’ve been having and if that’s more or less than normal. And then maybe think about getting different birth control if it’s not enough or not as much as it used to be. Because while having no libido certainly does prevent babies, that’s not how I think most of us want it to go….

    • Emily

      I went off BC six months ago and this EXACT same thing happened to me. The weird thing is that I didn’t even know it was missing, but when it came back wow it really made itself known. Not that my fiance is complaining ;)

      • nutbrownrose

        Right? Like, how did I not notice I had no interest in the sexy parts of books, or jumping fiance weekly like I used to? My only defense is that depression was like, attacking my brain on the daily. But that’s medicated now.
        Hormones, man. They’re fucking weird.

    • macrain

      Nuvaring totally killed my libido too! I didn’t even realize until I went off it.

      • Totch

        So I would normally have inserted my nuvaring 2 days ago, but I’m going off! You two have me really excited about my decision.

    • Olive

      Depression is such a killjoy. I also used to be horny all the time, and grad school has killed my libido. I also have a hormonal IUD and unfortunately still no libido. Here’s hoping I graduate soon!

    • Katherine

      Yes yes yes to your PSA. Looking forward to finally getting off of hormonal birth control completely by late May/early June.

    • Totch

      I’m going off the nuvaring this month! We’re moving to barriers for a couple months to see what my body is like off hormonal birth control, but planning to get either mirena or a copper IUD later in the year. Glad to hear that mirena is less rough on your libido than the nuvaring, because I’m really looking forward to wanting sex again.

    • coffeeplz34

      I’m on the Nuvaring too and I’m so glad to hear other people have a similar libido-killing experience. I was worried something was maybe wrong with me, but the ring absolutely shot my sex drive to bits when I started taking it. :(

      • nutbrownrose

        Switch! I was unaware of the libido-killing nature of it, just wanted birth control that would last me through the current administration and wouldn’t need updating if my insurance becomes an issue (I’m 24, on my parents plan, and don’t have a FT job. FH also does not have a FT job, and has horrid insurance through state exchange because we’re broke). But holy mother of side benefits!

      • nutbrownrose

        OMG get off! and if you’re currently insured and looking to avoid pregnancy long term, maybe think IUD (I mean, obviously I don’t know your life, so maybe not an option, but for me it’s even less effort than very-little-effort-ring was, and going to last me through this administration.)

  • JC

    I just had a serious discussion with my team about professionalism at work and how it contributes to our relationships with clients. I think I successfully shut down the potentially-erotica-themed writing club that was starting in our company chat room. I think I did not yet achieve getting someone to wear shoes while in the office, but hey, progress.

    We bought a Washington Post subscription for Valentine’s Day and watched The People vs. OJ Simpson and it was perfect and nerdy. The fifth Valentine’s is the best, by far.

    We’re finally going to Tahoe this weekend, and my soul needs a ride down a mountain so bad. I can’t believe I’m even saying that, because I’m terrified of pretty much everything, but snowboarding is probably the single best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m going to concentrate on that and not on the fact that we’re going with some of boyfriend’s friends, one of whom I just don’t like, no matter how hard I try. I wrote in my journal three times this morning “I am strong and kind” because it’s true and it’s what it will take to be gracious this weekend.

    • Essssss

      Oh my. Those are some interesting situations to talk with your team about. Wow.

      • JC

        Sure are! Friday fun times!

    • Kalë

      So like, no one on your team wears shoes at the office? Or one person, specifically, is unshod? Asking for a friend

      • JC

        Most people do, some people do not. Of those some people, the majority are the tech folks, so the extra casual dress code is normal. (And we work in Berkeley, so everything is more casual.) But we work in customer service, so the same standards don’t quite apply. I can’t make him wear shoes, and I can’t even tell him that I think he should wear shoes, but I can over time help him see that in administrative office culture, shoes are a good choice.

        • Kalë

          “I can over time help him see that in administrative office culture, shoes are a good choice.”

          I’m sorry, this just killed me laughing. Insanity!

          • JC

            Management is a whole new ball game! I will try to contribute such gems in the future, as well.

          • AmandaBee

            I am also laughing really hard. I’m sorry you have to deal with this but I’m sure glad you shared these gems with us.

          • Danielle

            Yes, I should send this quote to any woman who ever wonders, “Does this blouse match with these shoes ok?” so she feels better about herself before work interviews <3

        • CP2011

          Out of curiosity, why aren’t you as a manager able to tell him that he should be wearing shoes? That type of dress code request seems within your scope to me.

          • JC

            Yeah, it’s a really good question, and I don’t think I have a great answer for you. I asked, when I was in the process of being promoted and knew he was coming to my team, if I could say something about the no shoes. The suggestion was that I could make a joke out of it once or twice, and I’m not really comfortable making passive jokes like that. If we were at a different organization with a different culture across the whole office, I would definitely have standing, but in this office it really falls into the category of “personal habits” and not “dress code” or “company handbook violations.”

          • rg223

            That… is extremely odd. Not just the shoes, but also that your supervisors would suggest a passive-aggressive joke!

          • JC

            Agreed. The suggestion came from a supervisor who is more comfortable with a teasing relationship with employees. She can poke fun at them without hurting feelings. I can’t pull that off, and I’m not convinced it’s a good strategy overall.

        • rg223

          I have a lot of questions about this. He’s coming into the office and taking OFF the shoes he is wearing, right? Or does he never wear shoes period? I’m a New Yorker, I don’t understand these Cali ways.

          • JC

            He wears shoes to the office and then removes them. And if they were flip flops I’d call it a CA thing and let it go, but he’s in dress shoes with brightly colored sock!

          • rg223

            … is he Bert Cooper?

          • I definitely maybe do this if I have to be at my desk for >30 minutes (which is something that does not occur every day)… although I do put my shoes back on if I leave my desk/stand up in any way for safety reasons. (It’s maybe a California thing for me?) I also often don’t even notice that I have removed my shoes.

        • CommaChick

          If you didn’t work in Berkeley, I would think you worked at my office.

    • JC

      Update! The shoes are on!

    • Lisa

      I really enjoyed The People vs. OJ Simpson when it was on FX! John Travolta is hilariously not up to par with the rest of the cast, but it was well done. I learned a lot since I was on the young side to know or understand anything about the trial when it took place.

      • JC

        Yes! Agree about Travolta, but I’m so thrilled to finally be watching Sarah Paulson in this role. I also wish they wouldn’t keep highlighting the Kardashian kids. David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian is really great; I don’t need the constant reminder that he’s Kim’s father. I don’t remember the trial at all; in fact, we were watching and both of us remarked that we had always assumed that OJ was driving the Bronco, had no idea the full picture of that chase. It’s beautifully done so far.

        • rg223

          Yeah I am just watching this now too, and I think it’s very weird they keep showing and referencing the Kardashian kids… they don’t have anything to do with the plot and it keeps taking me out of the story!

    • LadyJanee

      Erotica themed writing club in the company chat room?!

      • JC

        It was a writing club chat room, but at least one person writes erotica. So yes. Yes indeed.

        • LadyJanee

          I bet that’s a conversation you never thought you’d have at work…

  • Lulu

    Is there any hell quite like the hell of waiting for a doctor to call with test results? I’m 8 days into the stimulation phase of IVF, had a pretty discouraging ultrasound this morning, and am expecting my doctor is going to decide to cancel the cycle. I am steeled against the disappointment, but the not knowing is driving me absolutely batty.

    • Jennifer

      Basically. Not similar at all, but I am waiting for doctor to consult with the genetics team at JH about changing my diagnosis (which I’ve had since high school at least). I wish there was a way to speed up the waiting period.

      • Lulu

        I hope you get answers soon!

        • Jennifer

          Thank you. And I hope you do too.

    • BSM

      Not the same level of effort going on on my part, but my husband and I are TTC, so I can somewhat relate. I ovulated 6 days ago, my period is supposed to come in 5, going a little crazy over here too!

      Sending good vibes your way.

      • Lulu

        Oh man, that flavor of crazy is still very real. Wishing you the best of luck!

    • StevenPortland

      We went through 3 egg donation cycles and so I remember how stressful the waiting is. Good luck!

      • Lulu

        Oh man, bless your Job-like patience. I have been extremely lucky in terms of hurdles and delays thus far, but it is still so much waiting. My nurse just emailed, and we’re not canceled yet, so hooray for that!

    • toomanybooks

      Alison Rosen talked a LOT about IVF on her thursday podcast, which is super fun! (And has a happy ending as she just gave birth, not really a spoiler because it would be the first thing you’d see lol)

  • Mari

    Thanks to everyone’s suggestions a few HHs ago about non-wired bras! I tried out a few from Gap and found one I liked that I’m going to get in a few more colors.

    Along those lines… my favorite pair of leggings has at least two holes thanks to my cats springing off my lap with too-sharp claws. The company doesn’t sell that style anymore so I’m for now I’m still wearing my beloved holey leggings while searching for new ones. What are your favorites?

    • louise danger

      (i really like lula roe and have fallen into the deep end with them even though i just asked like two HHs ago about them. >__> highly recommend and they come in all kinds of goofy patterns and not-so-goofy ones.)

    • Amy March

      Zella Live In Leggings. And you get to support Nordstrom instead of a multi level marketing business.

    • toomanybooks

      Honestly I’ve always really enjoyed Old Navy leggings (very comfy and then their pull on pants are excellent jeggings). I got a decent pair from Target recently with a very wide high waistband. And if you are looking for leggings that can be worn as if they are just black business pants nbd then I recommend the ones from Ann Taylor.

    • A single sarah

      Uniqlo heattech (prolly the extra warm variety).

  • Kalë

    Killed it on the wedding planning thing this week! My dude can need some “reminding” at times (REFUSE TO CALL IT NAGGING) to do stuff he told me he would do, but we are actively dealing with that already… and he called our top choice caterer this week and she will email him a quote over the weekend! And said she will definitely be able to meet our budget of $3-5k. She owns a restaurant locally, and makes AMAZING Mexican-Korean fusion food, but designs completely custom menus and can make all kinds of food. Food is a Big Deal to both of us, and meeting our budget while getting unique food we already know is bomb is a huge win. He also contacted an acquaintance who has an events company about chairs and is waiting to hear back about pricing.

    Part of me (and people that I’m dealing with!) feels a little bit like “why are we doing all this now, we aren’t getting married for over a year, slow your roll hold your horses chill” and part is like “OMG have to do all the things THIS SECOND MEOW”. Kind of a weird combo.

    • sage

      I’m the exact same way with absolutely no chill for letting things roll out slowly, even with our long engagement. Part of it is I am happy to make a decision and then never look back or think about it again.

      As an example, I just signed the contract / paid for our wedding cake today and the wedding isn’t until next January. Like WTF!… but I enjoy checking off the boxes and being ahead of schedule. I’m sure future sage will appreciate the work I’m putting in now :)

      • Kalë

        CHECKING BOXES MAKES ME SO HAPPY! I’m definitely just going with it; at least I can rest easy knowing that things are taken care of rather than looming over my head. I mean, I’m an obsessive planner by nature, and it’s not like that was going to change because I’m getting married… *side eyes 17-tab spreadsheet*

        • Totch

          I love a good spreadsheet! We’re 1.5 months out so I’ve got everyone’s flight info, etc. You should see the level of detail on the schedule spreadsheet. Thing of beauty.

    • Totch

      I was in your spot last year, booked everything more than a year out. We made our wedding bands exactly 1 year before the wedding. I bought my dress and sent save the dates 11 months out (STDs so early because destination wedding). Planned absolutely everything I could.

      If you follow my pattern, you’ll have a really productive period followed by 6-8 months where everyone tells you not to call them. At first I was stressed by not having anything to do, but then it was great! We got a summer vacation from wedding planning, and then got back in touch with all our vendors again in November-January. Now we’re back in a frenzy of planning, but it works because theres actually a lot to be done.

      Try not to just spin your wheels, if all the vendors are telling you it’s too early to make a decision let that be true. But if you’re a year out and have stuff you can do to make everything easier, do it!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Honestly kind of jealous of your getting-it-done abilities! Anybody trying to throw shade at you for getting it together early on is kind of an idiot. There is literally no downside to having it done. Unless, of course, you’re the type who will fill the extra time later with more and more projects just because you feel like you should still be doing something. But as long as you don’t overdo it, why not?? Good job. :)

      • Totch

        That’s the key! Get it all done, and then stop when it is.

      • Kalë

        Oops… “more projects because you feel like you should still be doing something” might become my mantra over the next year. But I’ll try to fight it!

    • Katherine

      I couldn’t get past “Mexican-Korean fusion” because I started drooling. This food is going to be amazing.

      • Kalë

        We’re thinking beer-battered halibut tacos, banh mis, mango/sticky rice quesadillas, and some kind of steamed buns… any suggestions for other mains and sides welcome and appreciated!

        • Kat

          Ok so if you could just share the time and date i will be there plz and thank you

          Honestly this menu sounds amazing. I get so sick of the same old wedding food.

        • Cellistec

          You had me at steamed buns. I can’t focus on other mains and sides because I’m thinking about hum baos.

        • Katherine

          Steamed. Buns. AND Banh Mi??? This is off the charts.

        • Ooh, mango sticky rice and steamed buns? Yum.

      • toomanybooks

        Saaaame omg

  • Julia

    I’ve been dying to tell someone this all day, because it’s making me crazy: I had a dream last night about an ex-boyfriend (from 6 years ago), and now I can’t stop thinking about him. In the dream there was all sorts of we’ve-been-serendipitously-reunited sexual tension, which is giving me those tiny “what if…” whispers in the back of my mind. We haven’t been in touch since a few months after splitting, and I’ve been married for four years…but today I was googling EVERYWHERE for some odd trying to find a photo or mention of him, and naturally, he has zero online presence/social media (probably for the best). PHEW. I needed to get that out. This is normal, right? I’m not about to drive four hours and knock on his door or anything, but the occasional dreaming-of-an-ex thing is normal, right?

    • Cellistec

      Been there. It’s crazymaking for a bit but it does fade.

      • Julia

        Thank you allllll. This makes me feel so much better. I have always had *vivid*, nonsensical dreams, but having this particular person pop up really threw me off. Sheesh.

    • CMT

      Oh, yeah. Absolutely normal.

    • Alex K

      Been there. I have only been married 6 months and I recently had a sex dream about an ex. Made my day really weird.

    • Amy March

      Last night I dreamt that a coworker died, that I became a Jew and moved to Israel, and that I invented color changing eyeshadow. Dreams are weird, and that weirdness is perfectly normal.

      • Jess

        Ok, but can we make this color changing eyeshadow real?

      • gonzalesbeach

        last night I had a dream that my sister’s neutered Chihuahua impregnanted a pug andthere were all these pug Chihuahuas popping up, and then my sister texted photos of snoopy with an erection to the pug’s owner instead of actual messages ‘my dog got your dog pregnant’. weird.

      • AP

        I had a dream last week where I was just hanging out with all the Supreme Court Justices, and I asked them to line up in order from worst to funniest sense of humor. They obliged, and Chief Justice Fozzie Bear was unanimously voted the funniest. I woke myself up laughing.

      • lamarsh

        Last night, I dreamt that I was visiting my home state and it was an election, so I decided to vote since I was still registered there. Then I got home, and the DOJ was coming after me for being a fraudulent voter and I was all like WHY DIDN’T YOU THINK THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS YOU ARE SO DUMB. That was followed by a dream that I had gotten back together with my rotten, no good, very bad law school ex and my friends and family were horrified. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well last night.

        • gonzalesbeach

          yikes! lol dreams

    • Mari

      Yep. Once in a blue moon I have a sexy dream about an ex.

    • Jess

      This is 100% normal. I have sexy dreams about exes, weird dreams about exes telling me how happy they are for me, bad dreams about R being a jerk.

      Dreams man. They are weird stuff.

    • gonzalesbeach

      very normal

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Totally normal, as are the waking thoughts after the dream!

    • Katie

      Dreamt about putting my (gorgeous) wedding dress I’ve never got a chance to wear and marrying an ex-classmate I once fancied. Ugh. Dreams are just dreams!

    • NolaJael

      Ha, yes! I had some weird (not fun) dreams last night about exes and boys I used to know; woke up, told my husband about them and his response was, “You can cheat on me in you dreams if you want to.” LOL. I don’t want to. I want to *not* have dreams where I’m distressed and crying and only have exes around to comfort me!

    • louise danger

      i had a sexy-ish dream about our priest (the one who’s doing the wedding)* so, i’m gonna go ahead and say: yep, totally normal brainfarts.

      *he’s young and kind of handsome in a boyish way, reminds me a little of Tom from Call the Midwife

      • Natalie

        If my priest looked at all like Tom from Call the Midwife, I’m sure I’d be having sexy dreams about him.

  • Ashlah

    There’s a voicemail on my phone that reveals the sex of my fetus! I’m waiting to listen until I’m with my husband later today. We’re not planning to tell people until much later on, so keeping the secret this long will be challengin…but we’re both antsy to know! What I DO know is that no chromosomal abnormalities were detected, so yay!! Comparing this to my mom’s pregnancy, during which she didn’t even have a single ultrasound, is blowing my mind. My anxiety would have been through the roof back then. Science, you guys!

    • Totch

      Yes science! I spent the week binging a podcast called Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure that’s all about IVF. I am like 5-7 years from when we plan to have kids, and somehow in such a deep dive about reproductive science.

      Good luck keeping your secret!

    • Lisa

      Huzzah for no chromosomal issues! And come back and let us know! :)

  • Fiona

    CW: Police brutality…







    Last night, at a peaceful protest against the ICE raids, we were pepper sprayed and people were pushed to the ground by the police – including old women. We were peaceful. They were not. I am shook. This is not my America. This is not normal. This is not ok.

    Note: I am not posting my pictures of when the police got violent to protect the victims of police brutality. I have sent my videos to ACLU Arizona already.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b85676843c6cc07b210393ee9c55954ffa3cc0dd849b31d0255d3139f209e53.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c71e50821c6b9c84090c38c1bfdd8730cdb34b461bfed85ba783fa54b1dea7b2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4c393d590a0e2a01562e94e4a1dc72d75d1a52fec700459eb1d7b9eb04b6157.jpg

    • BSM

      Thank you for protesting. That’s so fucked up; I’m glad you have videos of what happened to send to the ACLU. I’m so terrified for my undocumented neighbors and friends (and my brown and black citizen friends!) these raids have been making me ill.

      I hope you’re doing OK today, emotionally and physically.

      • Fiona

        I’m a little bunged up emotionally and physically (eyes burning from pepper spray and a little skittish), but I’m ok. Thank you for asking. I would not hesitate to do it again. Download the ACLU app! It was great.

    • Essssss

      UGH. Thank you for protesting.

    • Jess

      Thank you for protesting and for sending this in to ACLU.

      This is not normal and it cannot become normal.

    • Mary Jo TC

      OMG I’m so sorry.
      A couple weeks ago, there was a protest in my Southern city in support of immigrants and at the end of the protest as people were leaving, they were crossing a busy street in a crosswalk following traffic laws, and someone drove through them. No one was hurt, but when the cops came, they took the driver’s side, even calling him the victim on the official report. Now, in the state legislature, there is a proposed law to make someone like this driver have no civil liability if he injures or kills a protester. It’s scary, y’all.

      • Danielle

        WHAT.
        Sorry.
        Rage. Sad. Hurt.
        Can’t believe this country right now….

    • Danielle

      I’m so sorry this happened. Thank you for protesting and sharing this news, and for contacting the ACLU.

      You are a true American!

    • Katherine

      Agreed that this is not normal or okay. Thank you for protesting and speaking up. Take care of yourself.

    • AP

      That is terrible. Sending you love and strength and courage. <3

    • K.

      Thank you for protesting and I’m so sorry that happened to you.

    • Hi fellow Tucsonan, thank you for your courage and for contacting the ACLU. I am so frustrated with our city’s police (not that this is remotely the first time this has happened).

      • Fiona

        Hello! It was out of character for recent protests in Tucson, though I know it’s not the first time the police have gotten violent.

    • Alynae

      Thank you for protesting. Thank you for documenting. I am sorry this is our America right now. It is not normal. It is not okay. We will continue to resist.

    • This is awful, are you ok? Was most of the crowd minority participants? One thing that has been noted is the police response to BLM or immigration protests, vs the women’s march last month which was mostly white women. It seems like the police are much more brutal and reckless with the “undesireables”.

      • Fiona

        It was an immigration protest, and the speakers were immigrants who spoke in Spanish and English, but no, the racial composition wasn’t noticeably different from say, the women’s march we had here in Tucson. There were older folks and families there too. A total “picnic” protest.

        We’re within 100 miles of the border and it was a protest for the protection of immigrants (though not the first by any means). ICE had a vehicle there. I’m still so confused. There were brown berets there, and the first person arrested was a brown beret.

      • Fiona

        I am fine because I only got a mild amount of pepper spray in my face. I gasped, so I inhaled a lot, but at this point, my throat is just a tad scratchy. I’m feeling really skittish and concerned for those who sustained injuries.

    • EF

      good on you for filming and taking pictures. here’s hoping that the police see some sort of punishment (unlikely, i know) from it.

      but also: assuming you aren’t an immigrant, THANK YOU for being out there. i’m attending a big immigration march on monday in my country-of-residence, and am always just slightly hesitant, because if anything happens, my visa can be revoked and i can be put in a detention center. but not enough non-immigrants get out there to march even though it’s safe for them. i’m encouraged by seeing more and more people protesting, though.

  • thebluecastle

    The absolute best resource I found for traveling in Iceland is this blog. http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/ Its written by an Icelander in Reykjavik and its wonderful. I went on her walking tour when I visited two years ago and loved it. I highly recommend it!

  • gonzalesbeach

    happy anniversary Stephanie! I’m eager for spring to come. Winter has taken forever. And we had snow in February, which is unheard of. In relationship news: partner and I sat down and had a let’s agree to get married one day conversation! he felt the marriage part unnecessary since he’s totally committed and we’re common law. blah blah. and he seemed to have a weird idea that I wanted a hoopla, which is so not me. Could be years off I don’t know – we’ll have more conversations about budgets and timing but in principle, one day. In work news, it’s been frustrating and crazy, but I’ve been honest with myself that one day, and possibly in the next few years, I want to get a second masters – nursing – (even though I don’t think it will give me any immediate career advancement) and have started looking at schools that I can do it online/part time. Oh and I bought a line of very natural facial products and I’m really into them so far – making more movement to get weird chemicals out of my life. happy happy hour all!

  • Engaged Chicago

    After years of reading APW, WERE ENGAGED! Had the biggest surprise Ever on Saturday! Three of my best friends flew in and we partied all night with 40 friends! Doesn’t feel real..

    ..except somehow need to plan a wedding for 250-275! On a budget. And also byo vendors would be great because we’d love kosher food ?

    Meanwhile my mom says “you can still plan a summer wedding!” It’s all beginning and I love it!

    • Engaged Chicago

      For the record.. NOT planning a summer wedding.

    • gonzalesbeach

      congratulations!

    • Engaged Chicago

      ETA: I gifted my bff the Practical Wedding Planner for her engagement last year and she returned the favor right back. It’s so refreshing to read after looking at bridal mags all day.

      ALSO: I thought APW posted about a photo booth company a few months ago – it was priced at like $499. I can’t find it anywhere on the site, though. Does anyone remember this?

    • Katie

      congrats! that sounds very exciting. Do you want a summer wedding yourself?

      • Engaged Chicago

        Thank you! Ha not especially. I laughed and told her NO! She is just enthusiastic having had two 5-month engagements herself. We already have 8 weddings this summer and fall so are actually leaning towards January or February 2018.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations! I think someone was talking about using the VFW in Chicago because it was cheap and allowed them to bring in their own vendors? Usually I’d recommend Kitchen for this, but I think their capacity is more like 100. Honestly, for the number you have, you might be better off with an all-inclusive somewhere outside downtown (assuming you’re getting married in Chicagoland?). It’s going to be pretty difficult to find a space otherwise for that many people indoors.

      • Engaged Chicago

        Thanks! Yeah, we have a few suburban venues and hotels on the list to check out for the space reasons. it will be a Sunday wedding so I feel for our city guests who have to trek out. (Trying to pick MLK or President’s Day weekends when Monday is off). It would be really nice to find somewhere special and also to not have to pay per head for alcohol, too.

        My friend was talking about wedding at Revolution Brewery today. Was that you or someone else who got married there?

        • Lisa

          idkmybffjill is the one who got married at RevBrew! We looked at it, but they were already under contract for the dates we were considering unfortunately. We got married at St. Vincent de Paul and had our reception at the Hubbard Inn down in River North.

          As far as looking at three day weekends where Monday is off, I don’t think it’s very common to get President’s Day off outside of the school system. I’ve worked mostly in higher ed, and I’ve never had it off. My friend and I were just talking yesterday about how that doesn’t seem to be a thing! MLK seems to be much more common though my sister’s company doesn’t offer that day off either.

          • Engaged Chicago

            Ya it’s so funny how those work. A few of friends /family have those Mondays off and a few don’t – some tech friends don’t but they also have unlimited vacation days :)

    • Katelyn

      Also planning a wedding in Chicago. For 225. On a budget. For early winter 2018 or summer 2018. Want to be friends??

      Here are the BYO vendors that I know of (courtesy of a redditor):
      Moonlight Studios
      Ovation
      Floating World Gallery
      Dank Haus Cultural Center
      Kitchen Chicago

      Right now we’re pretty seriously thinking of DANK Haus – it’s in Lincoln Square and has this huge vintage ballroom (you can creep my Disqus profile). Trying to keep catering really casual because of $$$$$.

      I just spotted a kosher barbeque place if you’re looking for caterers! http://www.miltsbbq.com/

      • Engaged Chicago

        Omg no way…that is awesome! Seriously, be my friend.

        Thank you for the list! Sadly, we’re a bit too big for some of those places (why, Ovation, why?!) but I hadn’t heard of Dank Haus. What a cool option! I can’t wait to look into it. Thanks!
        It reminds me a bit of the NAISHF (niashf.org) which I want to look into too.

        Also – Bottom Lounge can hold 230 and though it’s a bar, when going back and forth with the owner, she said she’s so flexible to accommodating all kinds of budgets. I’ve heard good things in case you were interested. We’re also trying to keep catering simple; maybe even a buffet of pasta/ fish (no chicken or steak) or kabobs/ falafel/ Mediterranean fare.

        BTW colors – I think ivory and green plus metallics like gold, silver and black would be very cute. I want my “colors” to be mixed metals :) Ha

        Also love Milt’s – they have a brick and mortar in Lakeview restaurant that I recommend!

        Looking forward to hearing the progression of your wedding!

        • Lisa

          Those colors sound beautiful!

        • Katelyn

          I’m putting my email address in this comment and then removing it so hopefully you have email alerts on and can get it! Let me know if it doesn’t work.

          katelyn.swartz@gmail.com

          • Engaged Chicago

            Got it, thanks!!

    • Kara E

      Highland house in Highland park? Just attended a wedding there. You may need a tent too for those numbers, but it was pretty and functional (and budget oriented). Family brought in a ton of decor and they apparently could use whatever caterer they wanted – given the neighborhood, I’m guessing they’re used to dealing with kosher too.

  • ICameFromAAM

    In one of the open threads on Ask A Manager, someone recommended APW as a place to get good input on something I’ve been struggling with.

    My husband and I always planned to start trying to have kids now-ish (really, a few months ago. I had an IUD removed right before the election). We’ve both always wanted kids, but we’ve always said that we would be happy if that didn’t come to pass. I’m in my early 30s.

    But ever since the election, all I feel when I think of having a kid is fear. Fear I won’t be able to get a kid the medical care it needs. Fear about being able to be steadily employed, which I’ve never had before (my husband and I are scientists, I’ve always assumed 1 of us would be able to find a job). Fear that a child would have a less free life than I have had. I’m just not excited about having a child anymore.

    I’m feeling like trying to have kids is a now or never sort of thing. I worry about waiting 4 or 5 years for chaos to pass and then being older and having it be harder to have a kid (if not harder to get pregnant, just harder because I’m older. I’ve watched my aunts have kids at 20 and at 40, and there seems to be a drop off in tolerance for sleep deprivation in the late 30s in my family). So just waiting for the fear to pass (if it ever will!) doesn’t seem like a viable option.

    I’m also coming from a privileged position: my husband and I are white, and I’ve always assumed that kids of ours could have lives reasonably similar to us and our parents. I had always assumed that my kids would grow up not fearing their government. I realize that that is a privileged position. At the same time, because of our jobs, my husband and I are surrounded by a multicultural group of people, including many immigrants who are likely to be targeted. This is, in many ways, the first time I’m watching the government ruin lives from up close. My close friend and colleague is too afraid to visit his ailing grandmother in Iran, and he’s struggling with what it means to raise two brown muslim girls in the US right now (his wife is Black and from the US). And, yeah, my hypothetical kids would have an easier time than his girls are having, but I’m still afraid of what could happen. And seeing friends already suffering make it very clear to me that, before too long, that could be me, too.

    I know I’m not being super articulate, but I’m hoping someone else here gets this. I don’t want politics to prevent me from having a family. But at the same time, all I feel is fear when I think of having a child. My husband doesn’t feel that as intensely as me, but I think some of that is that trying to have a kid means, to him, have a kid in a little less than a year. For me, it means *growing a person inside my body.* There’s no “this baby is coming later” but rather “this baby is growing, now.”

    So how to I find the courage to go through with having a kid, despite my fear? Or is it really not fair for me to have a kid when I’m not sure I really want one?

    • Amy March

      It sounds to me like you are sure you want a kid, and you also have fears about it. Which is kind of what being a parent is. People have kids during wars, during crisis, with no money, with no resources, with worries about security all the time. They always have and likely always will. In general, I think if fear is keeping you from doing something you want, that’s a good time to check in with a therapist to explore what’s behind it. Maybe you conclude yup, world is screwed, I am not bringing a child into this mess. Maybe you figure out a way to be both fearful and hopeful. But either way you know you did some solid thinking on it.

      • ICameFromAAM

        My therapist isn’t super helpful on this issue. She’s muslim, and seems to be on the “The world is ending” train, so she basically validates my fears without helping me move forward on this issue.
        But just because people *do* have kids in hard times doesn’t mean I want to, you know? And I’m much less sure about wanting a kid now than I used to be, though I’ve always been in the camp of “Having a kid could be great! So could not having a kid!” with my husband more in the camp of definitely wanting kids. So I feel like is unfair to him to let my fears–which I don’t think he totally gets–dictate whether or not we have kids. At the same time, I’m terrified of carrying a pregnancy I’m not sure I want.

        • Eenie

          1. It sounds like you should start looking for a new therapist.
          2. You can have kids that aren’t biologically related to you.

          • scw

            agreed that it might be time to reconsider the therapist (or maybe seek other support options?)

          • ICameFromAAM

            1. My therapist is great for a lot of other stuff (as in, I don’t know if I would have finished my dissertation without her)
            2. I guess that eliminates the being pregnant concerns, but I don’t see how it addresses my fear of raising a child? My husband is also pretty dead set against adoption (for reasons I don’t want to get into here, too much. Basically, he doesn’t think infant adoption is worth the effort/waiting/$$ and doesn’t think he could handle a foster to adopt situation with an older kid who may have experienced trauma)

          • Eenie

            I’m really glad your therapist helped you! If that’s no longer your main reason for therapy though, and you’re having trouble combatting the fear you feel right now with her help, it is something you should consider.

            It doesn’t erase that fear, but I don’t think anything really ever does. I think it’s valid to not want to go through the emotional/financial/time frustrations of adoption or fostering, but I think it’s equally valid to not want to be pregnant.

          • ICameFromAAM

            I also should have added before: She’s great at helping me cope with my anxiety in general. She’s helped me since the election, too, by helping me find ways to direct my anger/worry in productive ways.

            It’s just the “do I have a kid thing” where she’s not that helpful.

            And someone mentioned it above, too, but I find it very, very hard to talk about possibly getting pregnant with friends. It just seems so private, you know?

          • Eenie

            Yeah I hear ya. I’ve discussed it with friends though. The discussion was framed more about expanding the family vs TTC. It’s just a point where most of my friends are in the now, later, ever decision process. My husband doesn’t mind either which matters.

        • scw

          it is a lot easier to be sure about kids when they’re still in the future. it’s ok if it turns out that this isn’t really about politics at all and that you just don’t want kids. I was sure I wanted kids right up until the point it would have been ‘normal’/’appropriate’ for me to have them, and then suddenly I was not so sure at all. it is a hard spot to be in and I wish you luck figuring it out.

          (and, truly, I really do think you have a little more time to figure it out. I hear your concerns because I feel them too, but I wonder if you’d be able to get a clearer view of your wants/needs if you take away some of the “this decision needs to happen now” pressure.)

          • ICameFromAAM

            Thanks for this. It makes sense that lots of people would change their minds when having a kid goes from being a “someday” to “now” thing. And for my husband, I think the idea of me getting pregnant doesn’t quite cause that same shift for him–pregnancy means a kid is still months away for him. Now that I think of it, I am about 90% sure my husband would have these same concerns, but only if/when I got to 38 weeks pregnant!

        • firstly, it sounds like you need a new therapist if this one is reinforcing your anxieties by bringing her fears into the sessions rather than helping you manage them. Secondly, depending on your field have you considered what jobs are available abroad? Is there anywhere in the world you’d feel safer raising a kid (anywhere you’d like your kid to have citizenship for some day)?

        • NolaJael

          We’re in a similar boat. Thinking about trying, but also concerned about world turmoil outside our control (global warming, anyone?). But humans are resilient. They can and do live through all kinds of crazy things. You said just because you could raise a child through wars or catastrophe doesn’t mean you’d want to, which is fair, but also there is absolutely no guarantee that you or your kid would have a great life regardless of the political / economic climate. Bad things happen to good people every day. Job loss, cancer, car accidents. Something I’ve found comforting during this time is the newly rediscovered emphasis on community building. THAT is something I can get behind as a hopefully-someday parent.

        • toomanybooks

          Here’s what I like to think: imagine how terrible the world will be when babies born during this administration grow up if the only people having them are the ones who are happy about Trump. We need more good people :)

          Also, the actual kid isn’t going to remember Trump, he’ll be out of office soon enough (well, not soon ENOUGH, but you know what I mean)

          • Lisa

            Ha, WBEZ, our Chicago NPR affiliate, did a campaign about this a few years back that was “Listeners, go make babies!” Apparently liberals/progressives are less likely to have kids (or more of them) so the year’s pledge drive also included a mandate to have sex and make future contributors to public radio. I like the idea/joke of encouraging smart, well-informed people to bring up the type of people they want to see in the world!

    • Mary Jo TC

      I had a lot of the same thoughts after the election. It’s tough. But it sounds to me like you do want a kid, just maybe not in this particular political environment.
      Having a kid is an act of hope. It’s an affirmation that, even in scary times, life is worth living and family is to be cherished. It can also be an act of defiance. You’re saying to all the people making you scared that they cannot control you, that you will keep on living and loving regardless of their hate and bigotry. That makes it a way to take back power, and one of the things making you scared is probably the feeling of powerlessness.
      That said, I’m considering waiting until after the 2018 election to have another kid. It’s probably only putting it off a few months past when my (overly detailed) plan would have said ‘time to conceive’ but I think if Democrats are able to sweep both houses of Congress we will all feel considerably more safe. Or if 45 gets impeached before then, which seems more likely this week than it did last week.

      • Kat

        “Having a kid is an act of hope. It’s an affirmation that, even in scary times, life is worth living and family is to be cherished. It can also be an act of defiance.”

        I totally agree with this. My parents voted for 45 and shortly after the election I told my dad “I hope you weren’t wanting grand kids anytime soon, since you so easily voted against their well being.” (not that I’m even close to having kids right now, regardless)

        But the silver lining I’ve seen the past few months is how people who were not particularly politically active are suddenly making more of an effort, not keeping quiet, taking steps to protect those around them. I’m personally ready to fight tooth and nail if necessary to preserve my rights. And bringing another person into the world, and having the opportunity to raise them to be accepting and loving and kind….that’s suddenly an act of defiance.
        I still have moments (multiple times a day) of sheer terror and frustration. But they are usually followed closely by “Ok, time to fight back”, which is my mantra from now on.

      • CP2011

        I’m with you on the waiting until the 2018 election. That was basically already our plan pre-election, but now I just feel like I want to wait for my own peace of mind.

    • ZLMT

      I’ve had similar thoughts as well as has my husband. We already have one kid, and we would like him to have some company. So at some point we hopefully will. I don’t have any great advice, except if thinking about kids only brings you fear right now, it might be helpful to take TTC off the table for X amount of months and give yourself a break.

    • K.

      Pregnant lady here (18 weeks). We found out about our pregnancy 2 days after the election, 1 day after our first protest against the new administration. I’m 99% sure that my first pregnancy symptom was having a complete banshee-like meltdown with screaming and crying as I watched the results come in, especially since I knew I was going to take a test in the next few days. I’m normally even-keeled in even the worst circumstances, but it was like something primal (and hormonal!) took over. Even though I didn’t know I was pregnant, I cried for my dream that I would be able to watch the inauguration of the first female president, hopefully with an in utero child in tow. I ended up having the in utero child, but with vastly different, scarier and more uncertain circumstances.

      And on top of all that, we *are* a biracial couple. My MIL and many other members of my husband’s family are documented but not citizens – there is serious panic about how Trump will handle that, since if it looks like an autocrat, talks like an autocrat, signs executive orders like an autocrat…you get it.

      So I think I have an idea where you’re coming from!

      I’ve had moments of total panic and I’ve even made my husband come up with a contingency plan for where we could live if we needed to suddenly leave the country. (And my poor husband regularly has nightmares of violence against him and our child, where he’s then heartbreakingly told me that he hopes our kid is on the “whiter” side of the spectrum, for their own protection.) (If it wasn’t clear, I’m the white one, not him)

      But even with all of our fear, we don’t regret getting pregnant for a second. Our child will be the future. They will hopefully be instilled with values of inclusivity, love, acceptance and righteous indignation, and they will be part of a growing generation that does not tolerate this bullshit. Sometimes I feel like us millennials are stuck in-between and, for those of us who want to have children, it’s our responsibility to help the next generation break through to the other side of this quagmire. We hope and hope that our child will be another voice of light and goodness in the world, which we so desperately need now, and we will try our damnedest to parent with that intention in mind.

      There’s never any certainty in parenting or this life at all, but the fact that you care and think about these things means you’re on good footing, if you don’t mind me saying.

      (And of course, if you feel paralyzed at the moment, take the time you need. There’s nothing wrong with that either.)

      • hey nonny

        Gorgeous. Really appreciate your thoughts and so heartbroken for your family. Sending you a heart hug and so much gratitude for your courage and grace in the world.

      • Laura C

        My husband’s family are all citizens (as far as I know; maybe a couple still on green cards?) and even so he worried when his mom was coming back from India, even though it was before Trump signed the Muslim ban. So I know what you mean. We’ve talked about what numbers I need to have in my phone if he ever gets detained just because brown guy/foreign-sounding name (although if you know thing one you know it’s a Hindu name, not a Muslim one), all sorts of stuff like that.

        And … yeah, we’ve had conversations about how our son’s pale skin will benefit him. (Because wow is that kid white, considering.) It’s not something we celebrate, but we know that realistically it will likely spare him some trouble at different points in his life. Also likely mean that people will say racist things around him thinking he’s white and won’t mind, but …

      • ICameFromAAM

        Thanks for responding. I appreciate your perspective–that you have fear, but no regret.

    • hey nonny

      Thank you for posting this because I am very similarly struggling and I don’t feel like there is really anybody to talk to about it which is hard. We live in a pretty rural area with very limited counseling opportunities. And I don’t feel that I can call up my mom, sister, close girlfriend and announce “We’re thinking of procreating, but man, the world seems to be on fire and I’m having some doubts. One reason, that’s all I’m looking for…” And for what it’s worth, you sound pretty articulate to me, I haven’t been able to find the words, or maybe courage, to put this up. Props to you, babe.

      • ICameFromAAM

        “And I don’t feel that I can call up my mom, sister, close girlfriend and announce “We’re thinking of procreating, but man, the world seems to be on fire and I’m having some doubts.””
        Seriously. This is a big thing for me–it’s hard to talk to friends about it. A lot of my friends are childless and not looking to procreate any time soon and when I’ve tried to talk to a super close friend about it, all I got was “wow, that sounds really hard.”
        And my friends with young kids are all colleagues, and it seems super weird to discuss possible reproduction with them. It also seems a bit cold to complain about my fears as a white US citizen, when my colleagues are mostly non-white and about half immigrants.

    • flashphase

      In the same boat, and also don’t have as much time as we might like to put off having kids. I have days where I look at my friends with kids and I’m like, they are in this boat and are figuring out a way with a kid, and then days where I’m like, mayyyyyyyybe I’ll wait another month before I go off the pill. But then there are moments when I realize that we have to go on – after all, if the resistance doesn’t create the next generation, who will?

    • Essssss

      Its funny, I kind of find myself in the opposite position. After worrying about how much worse things could get and worrying about climate change futures that a child might live to see for the past several years, I decided this January that I really want babies in the next year or two. Something about shoring up my own world, I guess? And wanting to appreciate all the good there is? And make more (probably/hopefully) liberal babies?

  • Eh

    I am currently in a car (husband driving) to go to a place without snow! Where we live got over 50cm of snow earlier in the week. We are visiting my friend who had a miscarriage scare last weekend for her husband’s (hubby’s cousins) birthday.

    I am on vacation next week but this week a few things were dropped on me – there was a last minute 2 day PD opportunity that was well worth it but then I was told I am going on a business trip Feb 28th and need to prep a presentation. I am supposed to be off the whole week but I am going back on Friday to make sure I am prepared for the business trip. The PD seminar was great though. It was about the challenges of being promoted to management.

  • accidental_diva

    So last week I was here crying over probably breaking up with my boyfriend – well I did it and I feel so much better. So much more myself and I feel better. I started up a new program at my gym and I am doing me (and flirting on the dating apps). My friends brought me out on Saturday and my cousins (the 11 of them and my 3 siblings) got me chocolate covered strawberries on Valentines Day. It was a good week :)

    • Jess

      Congratulations on doing your thing! I love your friends and cousins.

    • AmandaBee

      Congrats on figuring out what would make you happy and going for it. Breakups can be hard/scary even when you know it’s needed, but that relief afterwards means you did the right thing.

      • accidental_diva

        At my weight watchers meeting I had lost 2.8 lbs and when the weigher said that I said “huh, I thought it was going to be 350”

        • Totch

          I laughed out loud in my office. Glad you’re doing well.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      *fist pump*

  • Kelly

    Can barely concentrate- flying to Madrid tonight. Yay for vacation!

    • Lisa

      ¡Que te diviertas! I love Madrid/Spain so much. It’s one of my favorite places. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

      • Kelly

        Thanks! I went once about 8 years ago, so I’m excited to go as an adult :)

    • Cellistec

      Jealous! Eat churros con chocolate for me!

  • NotAHater

    I know I may sound like a Nazi. But. Hear me out please. I just can’t sympathize with illegal immigrants. I can’t! I’m an immigrant myself, and hoops that bureaucracy makes me jump through are insane. I struggle every day. Immigration was hell but I did it for the person I love. And I just can’t feel bad for people who live all around me – who let their dogs roam the streets. Who abuse their pets. Who throw trash and chicken bones on their front lawns for my dog to pick up. Who never watch their kids. Who drive recklessly, not even looking around, with their silly music blasting. I just can’t!

    Heard an immigration lawyer on NPR recently, she was telling how she was advising her clients (illegal immigrants) to lay low, not to drive without a license, etc. Is it normal, to say on a national radio, that she was basically advising to keep breaking a law?

    I know this platform is liberal, and I respect everyone’s opinions. But please tell me how mine is “fascist”.

    • CMT

      If you’re aware of this site, you know what people are going to tell you. Why would you come here and troll like this?

    • Eenie

      Just because somebody is a bad neighbor does not mean they deserve to be removed from one country and shipped back “home” to a country they don’t remember or haven’t seen for years. There’s lots of issues with the current US immigration policy, but I fervently believe fixing these issues is the way forward – not rounding up people who have joined our communities.

      • NotAHater

        Separation from family is awful. So if a person who was born in the US loses a mother who illegally immigrated here, I feel awful for that person, and their mother too. But if someone lives here because they just don’t feel like living in their own country? (I know plenty of those people – nope, those are not only my neighbors, and they’re not all Hispanic or Muslim in case other commenters think I only mean them. Nope. Plenty of white people who have it so SO much easier than me). I don’t think living here is a right – it’s a privilege, which US officials made damn clear for me, through the immigration process which was HELL. It might be my own hurt feelings speaking. My life is hard. So is everyone else’s.

        What issues do you think they are? I legit wanna know, because I want to think logically here. What can be changed. Which side to take. What I can personally fix. Thinking bad thoughts and good thoughts doesn’t really change much. Volunteering might be a good idea (I volunteer but not for immigration organization). I do not support Trump and his raids. My feelings are purely personal, and yes, as Jessica mentioned, it might be a class difference, not a race issue or anything else (btw, I’m NOT a rich white lady in case some think so).

        • Eenie

          I don’t think I really have a great solution to any of the issues. I think one of the biggest issues, which you’ve experienced, is the unfairness of the process. If you look up one of the most recent Planet Money podcasts, they discuss different “pie in the sky” immigration policies. I’m not sure exactly what you can do personally, but volunteering seems like a very good first step.

          I also just want to mention that immigration and refugees and very different things. Refugees are literally fleeing for their life. They are vigorously vetted with three to five in person interviews. The US can turn almost anyone away for any reason. You didn’t personally mention anything about refugees, but I often see the two lumped in the same category, and they really shouldn’t be.

          • NotAHater

            Thank you, in any case. Yes, I do recognize the difference between immigrants and refugees, I was not lumping them in the same category.

          • Meg Keene

            I’m not sure there is any sort of clear distinction between immigrants and refugees, other than how the words make people feel. Many of the undocumented folks in this country are here because they’re fleeing from violence. Given that we turn down 90% of Asylum claims, it’s often hard to stay here legally and the option is to be returned to certain death.

            I don’t want to go to deep with you, because this is so personal for me, and the fact that you’re not able to see the humanity of these folks, and you’re willing to stereotype based on some people you know, is really a problem for me.

            I have people in my life that are scared of their 70 year old grandmother getting deported, or their dad getting deported, or getting deported themselves and ripped away from their two year old baby… even though they were brought to this country as children. These are basic human rights issues for members of the community that I live in, and our policies are barbaric.

            I hope you take some time to educate yourself on the issues, because your stance right now is horrific. Choosing not to educate yourself is a problem.

          • JLC

            I do just want to reiterate here that there is a specific visa process for refugees, separate from other immigration visas. There is, of course, overlap in that they sometimes draw from the same groups of people, but when Trump banned refugees that only applied to a specific group of people with that visa, not people coming in with different visas or without any paperwork and then claiming asylum.

          • S

            I also feel it’s VERY important to acknowledge the very, very clear distinction between immigrants and refugees! I have a parent who is an immigrant, but they didn’t leave their homeland because they were afraid for their safety. I think it’s a bit dangerous to conflate the two as being the same.

    • K.

      Oh god, come on with your fucking stereotypes as though that represents all undocumented immigrants. If you wanted to have a real conversation, you wouldn’t have started like that.

      Can a mod step in here?

      • NotAHater

        How should I have started? I want a conversation. I want people to tell my why they support illegal immigration instead of throwing rotten tomatoes at me, because I just never hear anything but “You are a HATER”. No, I don’t want them deported. I don’t report anyone like some of my Facebook conservative friends suggest by posting a number of immigration department. But my natural feelings are not sympathy, and I want to change that.

        And “stereotypes” are facts about people from my neighborhood, most of whom are not legal immigrants. I cannot say this about every illegal immigrant, so please don’t get me wrong.

        • CMT

          Facts? Their music is silly is a fact?

          • NotAHater

            Their animal abuse is. The loud parties past 1 am is. I’m not a fan of any loud music past that time.
            Just tell me how I can delete this whole conversation I started to regret. I did not come here to troll, but rather change my opinion, because it’s not a popular one, and all I get is hate thrown at me. There’s one person who said about people being torn from their communities, and it’s certainly an argument. I wish I got more of that instead of accusations of being a hater.

          • Jessica

            They are people. There are good people and bad people. Plenty (SO MANY) natural-born natives of the US are also animal abusers, also throw chicken bones into yards, also listen to music much too loudly, also break the law on a regular basis–but they are American.

            It seems to me that there is a class difference you need to think about–not necessarily an immigration issue.

          • Jennifer

            Right? And if they were Deaf (well, you might have figured it out), but you’d definitely be hearing their music through the walls. Although in our case, most people are shocked by how quiet a Deaf household is.

          • Eenie

            If you wanted a discussion, you should have left the stereotypes out of your question.

            How I would have written it:
            “I went through the US immigration process and don’t understand the current support for illegal immigrants. For example I heard a story on NPR telling illegal immigrants to follow the law. This does not make sense to me, does anyone have a different perspective they can share?”

          • NotAHater

            You are right. That sounded fucking awful. I recognize I might be hurt from hearing stereotypes about myself all the time, and it just seeped into my brain.
            On the other hand, I’m afraid I’d get the same response even if I had left out stereotypes. But yes, that was not anything I’m proud of, and I should’ve phrased it differently. I apologize to anyone I hurt.

          • Amy March

            In general, if you have to start with “I may sound like a Nazi” just don’t say the thing you were about to say.

          • NotAHater

            Good tip. Again, I am sorry to anyone I offended here or anywhere else. I don’t feel entitled to a horrible opinion, I want to change that opinion. I don’t want to be a Nazi in any way.

          • Eenie

            Do you actually know anyone else who immigrated to this country? If you really want to change your opinion I would look into volunteering for an organization that helps people immigrate to this country.

          • NotAHater

            Yes, and unfortunately, a lot of them are here “just for fun” but they somehow get around and live better than I do. These are exactly the people I don’t want to talk to. And people in my neighborhood are.. not exactly friendly, and most of them don’t speak English. Volunteering might be a more feasible option. It’s just…

          • NotAHater

            sorry, forgot to finish this. I mean to say, it just feels a bit hypocritical, like, Oh yeah, I care about all these people in this organization, meanwhile I can barely tolerate my neighbors who are immigrants (illegal and legal both) because they have awful habits and are never friendly. This is something that bothers me in general – I see a lot of hypocrisy around, because whenever some people voice their feelings, unpopular in a particular environment, they are shamed for being xenophobic or racist. I want to change the inner me, my own sometimes xenophobic feelings, not just pretend that I care about everyone.

          • Amy March

            It’s just that despite your pretty words you have no interest in listening, learning, and not being hateful? Seriously. Just stop. It is not worse to be “shamed” for being racist and xenophobic than it is to actually be racist and xenophobic.

          • NotAHater

            I’m supposed to love people who work the system while I’m getting fucked by the system? That’s what I meant by not wanting to talk to them. I know enough about them already. I would LOVE to hear from my neighbors, their stories, I wanna see their side of things. I’ve tried, I failed, I wanna change that. I also have my own shit I have to deal with, my own immigration, and it’s NOT making things easier.
            Why are you being hateful to ME? What did I say just now to offend you? Please. I apologize. But don’t just shut me up when I’m listening and trying to learn.

            As for “it’s just…”, I accidentally posted the comment before I had a change to finish the sentence. Please read below.

          • JLC

            I honestly want to know what benefits you see people getting from living in the US without going through proper immigration procedures that you aren’t getting as a legal resident. My husband came to the US as a student and I sponsored him for his residency after we got married, and while the legal immigration process is obnoxiously long and expensive, I can’t think of any ways it would be better for us if he were living here without a green card.

          • NotAHater

            before anyone jumps in calling me a hater again, I recognize that people in the neighborhood might be “not friendly” because they’d rather be in their own circle than talking to strangers. Yes, that’s a possibility. And not knowing English is not some fault I see with them, it’s an obstacle for me to initiate a dialogue because I don’t speak their language. Just clarifying, because I know how words can be twisted.

          • Eenie

            I feel pretty confident stating that those people are not the norm. Most immigrants (legal and illegal) are here for better working opportunities, fleeing gang violence, following family, dragged here by family, or trying to give their children a better future. I’m tapping out of the convo but wanted to leave you some links of some really great podcasts that might give you a glimpse into what some other immigrants go through.

            https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/609/transcript
            http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/08/514152963/episode-436-if-economists-controlled-the-borders

            These are just two that I’ve listened to recently that came to mind.

          • NotAHater

            thank you. I LOVE podcasts! I’m probably tapping out of the convo, too, because it’s just too. I don’t regret starting it because I got so many good responses from people like you. But it was hard, stating “I am in the wrong and want to change that” and hearing “Yep, you suck, get outta here”.

          • Eenie

            Good luck with trying to gain some understanding of a different point of view. I think the other comments were justified based on your initial post, but I’m glad to hear you’re owning up to them and trying to change – that’s a difficult thing to admit, even anonymously online.

          • Kelly

            “They somehow get around and live better than I do.” Literally everyone knows someone who appears to “get” more than we think they “deserve.” Feeling resentful is a human nature issue, not an illegal immigration issue.

          • Eenie

            I really don’t think you would have. The reactions you’re seeing here are to the stereotypes. It’s a complex issue and I don’t think anyone could effectively argue what systems we have in place are fair and effective for everyone.

          • Alynae

            I want to say I see and hear you. No, this wasn’t phrased in a way that was kind. But I am going to choose to believe your intentions to learn and see things you haven’t seen before. If possible, (and truly I think you have shown grace and patience already) try to understand the anger which is coming from a place of defense and protection, similar to why you said its from hurt and your own attacks and stereotypes. Please do keep asking questions.

          • Amy March

            I disagree. I think anyone who starts by calling herself “notahater” and says she knows she might sound like a Nazi knows full well she’s being horrible and doesn’t deserve much sympathy. Her question was not just “not kind” it was full of hateful sterotypes, so I’m saving my sympathy for anyone reading and recognizing them self as an immigrant whose status “notahater” is questioning. To those people I see you and hear your silence and I’m sorry that such angry views were foisted on you in this community that I cherish so much.

          • K.

            Not an immigrant myself, but I have many family members who are. They did not all do it the “right” way, but does not take away from their goodness and most importantly, their humanity..Thank you for writing this.

          • NotAHater

            Ok, I hear you. I’m sorry for “foisting such angry views”. I want to change these views. That’s why I’m here; not to troll or offend anyone.

          • Alynae

            I agree about the offensiveness of the question and the stereotypes. Completely. And I hope my comments show how I feel about the people who are hurt by these words and assumptions. But I also home my comments show that I am trying to see the best of possible intentions and a willingness to dialogue because people change and will usually do better when they know better. I don’t validate the words or stereotypes or assumptions. But I do value trying to learn even when the question isn’t asked well. And also I see and value your opinion in disagreeing.

          • stewart

            Follow the law? I thought the entire point was how the NPR story was advising immigrants to hide from the law?

          • Eenie

            Follow the law re don’t drive without a license not turn yourself in. I was just trying to summarize the original post without the stereotyping, defensiveness, and name-calling. I didn’t actually listen the the specific NPR story.

          • CMT

            There is absolutely no way you can be certain of these peoples immigration status, though. You just can’t. So you’re making racist, classist, xenophobic assumptions. Stop making those assumptions and people will stop calling you a “hater”.

          • stewart

            Where are you seeing the racism in the OP’s comments?

          • K.

            84% of undocumented immigrants are from Latin American countries. Trying to divorce race from stereotypes about undocumented immigrants is disingenuous.

          • gonzalesbeach

            maybe a verbal conversation with people with varying perspectives, or talking with a immigration resources centre might be a good place to learn more on the issue at hand? if you want to delete the history of the conversation from discus, I think you can remove individual posts, but don’t give up on trying to learn more and analyse and critically reflect on your perspective on this. good for you for seeing that you have an opinion to challenge (admitting we can be wrong about things is hard!)

        • Fiona

          My understanding – as someone who works in immigration and had to jump through a million hoops and spend thousands of dollars to get her spouse here – is that the system is wildly unfair and penalizes poor people. Not passing inspection or violating immigration status *is* illegal, but the law is not fair and separates families. When I protest, I protest the unjust laws, like people did during the civil rights movement.

          • NotAHater

            Immigration is certainly a tricky issue. Separating families sucks. Thank you for giving me some other insight.

          • Fiona

            Thank you for being open to multiple perspectives. I see that you did not come here to troll, but to understand. There are many, many ways to fall out of status and many ways to violate immigration status (Milania Trump violated labor law when she came here on a tourist visa – one of the more serious immigration status violations), so I would be cautious to generalize communities too much without understanding those individual perspectives.

            I would not wish mine and my spouse’s *legal* immigration nightmare on anyone. We were separated for almost two additional years and he was not permitted to work for 13 additional months while I struggled to make ends meet. That’s not right.

          • NotAHater

            I think it might be a mean way to express my “I went through hell, why should they bypass it”, which is, I think, a normal human emotion which doesn’t make it a good thing. It’s an awful feeling I get out of spite. I don’t want to feel spite. Because yes, it was a fucking nightmare, and it still is.

          • Fiona

            I understand that. It is hell. It’s actually hell. And no one should have to go through it. We’re just lucky that I had a job with benefits and we were able to scrape by before he could start working. :(

            Be angry at the system, not the victims.

          • NotAHater

            “Be angry at the system, not the victims.” – YES, thank you. I’m already angry at the system because of what I had to endure, but I understand many, many people have it much worse.

        • K.

          Maybe with a characterization of MILLIONS OF PEOPLE that isn’t just based on your neighbors? And also, uh, isn’t completely dehumanizing and racist?

          The way you speak about other humans is why people won’t engage with you on this topic, if (big if) you’re actually sincere. It’s why I’m certainly not.

        • Alynae

          It sounds like you had some resources that helped you through the immigration process. And you know how tough the situation is. Now imagine that without the resources.
          One argument supporting undocumented immigrants is that they were either brought here as children before it was a choice or were literally fleeing for their lives with no other option. One specific example because humanizing a situation can help. A friend was brought here at three. Has been here their whole life. But its almost impossible to apply for legal entrance once it is proven you have been here undocumented. They can only work cash/under the table jobs. They can’t fly. They can’t access benefits. But they also don’t have any other “home”. So they try not to drive. They do every thing they can not not interact with law enforcement. They have no options.

          • NotAHater

            Thank you. This certainly helps. Gosh, that is awful. I’ve personally know people who came here to have fun, and that was their personal choice, but nothing horrible like the situation your friend is in. I’m so sorry for him/her. Kids don’t choose it, and adults they become are blameless, but the system does penalize them. In general, I wouldn’t say USA is friendly towards any immigrants, but neither is my home country.

          • Alynae

            Globally its a hotwire issue. There is a lot of fear and also fear mongering. And it seems like many countries want to close their eyes and borders. It sounds like you have your own immigration story that would certainly be interesting to hear and I can absolutely understand the frustration of going through a system legally and feeling like other people are just getting around it. Its the human reaction of “its not fair” which I know I have far more than I want to admit as an adult! I think if you truly want to understand and potentially change your opinion (which huge bravo to you for trying to change your views. its hard and painful and challenging) the more you get to know people and their stories the more the humanity of it will help you consider different perspectives. And absolutely there are people abusing our system and flaunting the laws and benefiting from a broken system without paying into it. And those people suck. But the majority of undocumented immigrants would take any path to legal status they could access and afford safely.

          • NotAHater

            Thank you for recognizing my wish to change my opinion. I made a mistake of not making it clear in my first post, along with inserting a lot of mean stereotypes which were actually characteristics of my bad neighbors which makes them just that – bad neighbors (although some of them are illegal immigrants, which makes it very easy to direct my anger with their habits into “illegal aliens are bad!” attitude. Which is awful! And I legit wanna change that. That’s why I’m looking into 1) humanizing the situation 2) immigration process as a whole

          • NotAHater

            I think I’m really just mad at this notion of “freebies” given to people who abuse the system and flaunt the laws. Because I know some of those people. And it’s just so easy to lump all undocumented immigrants with them. That feeling of “not fair”

          • Alynae

            Totally valid and human feeling in my opinion, especially when you know people who this is true for. I think the more you can separate out those feelings from the “all undocumented immigrants are like xyz” the better.
            There is an inherent unfairness and sadly our immigration process seems to most benefit those who least need the help. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I hope this conversation serves as a starting point to considering things from a slightly different point of view. I hope you keep seeking out ways to humanize and understand. For me, this conversation has pushed me to recognize ways I am closed off to other peoples’ perspectives and to start asking more questions.

          • NotAHater

            I’m very thankful for all your comments here, Alynae. I came here with my initial post exactly because I knew my opinion would be challenged, and that’s what I wanted (certainly didn’t expect a lot of hate, but that’s understandable). It is so tricky, to not be closed off to other people’s perspectives! We revolve in a certain circle, and forming our opinion is easy but changing it is hard. Thank you for recognizing it.

          • Jess

            Alynae, I want to thank you for your comments! I really struggle to explain my position (I’m not rooting for people to bypass the system completely, but I have lots of problems with the way the system is). Your words have given me a way to express that feeling much more eloquently.

          • Alynae

            I’m glad! Thank you :)

          • stewart

            Very interesting discussion. It seems difficult in many ways. But what from the OP led you to conclude they had “resources” ?

          • Alynae

            It is certainly just an assumption but the phrase “I did it for the person I love” leads me to conclude that they immigrated by choice and also with the sponsorship of a citizen spouse. While that doesn’t make the immigration process easy by any means it can be a starting point that other immigrants don’t have (especially undocumented immigrants who were brought here as kids) when going through the process.

        • Alynae

          And to answer your direct question. I support illegal immigration because our country has made it nearly impossible to immigrate if you aren’t wealthy. I would prefer immigration reform to illegal immigration because everyone deserves the access to the legal system, legal protections, and benefits. We have an immigration system that is hugely broken, all the way back to birthright citizenship which was necessary at the time, but now causes even further complications. But people who fight to be here, who fight to be a part of this country, who fight to protect themselves and their families, I think they should have a path to citizenship or other legal status that simply doesn’t exist. Imagine how hard/impossible life must have been that they are willing to risk everything to be here…..

          • EF

            i just wanna add to this thread, as an immigrant (usa to europe) that a)basically everyone violates some immigration rule at some point along the way. lots of students aren’t supposed to work, but take cash jobs. i wasn’t supposed to work full time during grad school, but started full time work 2 days before i was legally supposed to. lots and lots of people have tiny violations. i think once you accept that fact, it’s easier to see the entire system as a sham, and why so many people are undocumented.

            b) once you’ve done something that is really fucking hard (like emigrating) it is so easy to judge and be like BUT I DID IT SO YOU CAN!! but this is just not the case, especially with immigration, because every case is treated differently. most of us are just a box-tick away from facing deportation, ultimately. that is a stressful life to live. that doesn’t mean you pull up the ladder behind you.

            c) my most annoying neighbours for the last year (well, school year) have been the american students who are studying abroad and live in a house around the corner. terrible neighbours come in all shapes and sizes.

            (but anyway, no surprise, i mostly agree with amy march on this whole thread)

        • SLG

          I know you’ve taken a lot of heat in this thread, and it sounds like if you were to post your original question again you might rephrase some of it. That said, it takes guts to be willing to be criticized on the internet, and I wish more folks were willing to express openness to changing their views. It’s especially brave to admit your own (very human!) feelings that it’s not fair — and in that you’re right: it’s not fair, to you or to others. The entire system is deeply f’d up.

          I don’t have a large body of knowledge on immigration to share, but here are some thoughts as someone who’s changed my own views pretty significantly on some big topics…

          – Always question the universal statements you hear, from both sides. If anyone starts with “all undocumented immigrants…” or “XYZ always happens…” or “most people from ___” or “undocumented immigrants don’t want ___,” consider it immediately suspect. Reality is more nuanced than most of us are willing to admit.
          – Find thoughtful folks who hold views you disagree with and read their stuff / follow them on twitter / invite them out to coffee and ask questions.
          – Find neutral ways of posing your own questions. This gets you more thoughtful answers because folks respond to the question itself rather than to the feelings they may perceive / assume that you have. “What led you to the views on immigration that you hold today? How do you think we should deal with XYZ situation? Why do you hold that view? How should a normal citizen / a police officer / a congressman / a judge / the president respond to XYZ situation?”
          – Most of all, be as specific as you possibly can. Immigration is a deeply charged issue, and has been for all of human history. It’s incredibly easy to make broad summary statements that everyone on one side of the issue can agree / disagree with, and very very hard to make actual policies that help the greatest number of actual people. For instance, try rephrasing “illegal immigrants” in the most specific way you can. Who are the people you’re talking about? What specific places did they move from and to? why? how old were they? did they have control over that situation? what information did they have, and when did they have it? were their lives at risk where they were? what options were they given / do they currently have? what are the actual consequences, good or bad, of their presence in the community they’re currently in? what’s their family situation right now? what are the likely consequences of the rules / enforcement currently in place? I think you’ll find that even the phrase “illegal immigrants” is effectively meaningless, both because it’s vague and because it raises strong emotions for lots of people.

          I wish you the best as you think through all this, and thanks for your courage in asking for the folks here to change your mind.

    • BSM

      You’re right; you do sound like a Nazi.

  • Vanessa

    Some very generous friends are throwing a small engagement party this weekend for my fiance & I, along with 2 other couples in our friend-group who are engaged. It’s great! Except, they invited a guy who our whole group had a big falling out with last summer, and who we are not inviting to our wedding. No problem, I thought, we are having the smallest wedding out of the 3 couples, surely one of the others is inviting him. Turns out, nope, none of us 3 couples are inviting him to our weddings. I’m normally pretty averse to talking about the wedding with people who aren’t invited, but the party is only 14 people, including us 3 engaged couples, so not big enough that we can really avoid him, and I suspect we’ll end up talking about the wedding some as it is a party to celebrate our engagements. I warned the host, but I just feel like it’s going to be so awkward. Anyone have any advice?

    • Alex K

      Just mention that your wedding is small (and really that is relative…we had a 125 person wedding and told some people it was small) and then get on with the fun details that you want to talk about with your friends . People don’t (or shouldn’t) expect to be invited to a wedding, but I think it really cuts down on expectations when it’s a *small* wedding.

      • Amy March

        They do, and should, expect to be invited to a wedding when they are invited to an engagement party though.

        Unless your wedding is really small or he is really horrible (then why is he invited to the party at all) I think you should invite him.

        • Alex K

          I don’t know. I think it depends on the style of the engagement party and who is throwing it. A friend of ours planned an engagement brunch (like 12 people eating a table) for us and basically invited a whole group of people we casually hung out with at the time. We were close friends with a few people, but not all of them. I don’t think everyone expected to be invited to our wedding because they had brunch with us one morning.

        • Vanessa

          Our wedding is small (inviting <80) and the falling out we all had was him being a huge asshole to all of our friends and throwing a series of tantrums which he has refused to apologize for or acknowledge any wrongdoing (despite nearly everyone meeting up for various happy hours with him to talk it all out). Since then he has gone on a spree of posting passive aggressive and thinly veiled insults about our group of friends on fb. Generally I agree with you re: people invited to the e-party expect to be invited to the wedding, and I really really wish our friends had asked us about the guest list before they invited him. I imagine it was an olive branch on their part, but part of the problem is that part of the falling out was over him feeling like an outsider in our group (which is a legitimate problem to bring up with your friends but he has just handled it SO poorly) and I can't help but think this whole situation confirms his otherwise histrionic complaint.

          • toomanybooks

            Oh gosh I sympathize and you absolutely do not have to invite him to your wedding and I genuinely wonder how he got invited to this party and if there’s a way out of it. (I believe etiquette states somewhere that you can cancel the party and then reschedule it and not invite him to the new party, but idk how set in stone the party is.)

            There was a guy like this in my fiancée’s friend group when we met and another dude invited us to a party and was like “ohhhh, this guy is invited too though, it was before the falling out and I didn’t want him to feel even more socially rejected” except that like, this dude had become unwelcome in the group for being sexually creepy to girls in the group in ways I won’t get into and I kind of feel like in that instance it absolutely would have been fine to uninvite him from something although it would’ve been scary enough that he already knew about the event?

            But anyway, if the falling out was big enough, like scorched earth and you aren’t worried about hurting his feelings, I personally think it’s fine to find a way out of him being there.

      • SGL

        As Miss Manners says, the definition of a small wedding is “any wedding, when you are talking to someone who is not invited.”

    • gonzalesbeach

      it will be awkward no matter what. what is the least awkward way for him to find out he’s not coming to the wedding? and I don’t think that the engagement party host’s mistake means you have to invite the guest. If it was me, I’d start the honesty party early and either you or fiancé phone/contact the guest to tell him (before he is there in person finding out that he’s not going to any of the weddings), that you look forward to seeing him this weekend, but you wish to prevent any misconceptions about your wedding guest list, because you were not asked about this weekend’s guest list… your wedding is small and he is not invited… yup awkward, but perhaps less so than his finding out at engagement party?

  • Anon Anonymous

    I’m about 6 weeks pregnant. It’s not my first rodeo, but while I remember *having* nausea last time, I don’t remember what I did about it. I feel like I’m not eating enough to live on! Not because I can’t keep it down, just because . . . ick, food. Suggestions?

    Also, it looks like I may be actually throwing up this pregnancy, which I didn’t last time. How do you navigate that at work? We don’t have private bathrooms. And I don’t work by my boss, so it seems like it would just involve everyone else on the floor figuring out what’s up before I tell her, and that doesn’t seem like the right order. (At least when I was pregnant with my son, I kept it quiet for 12 weeks, then told my boss and HR, then the rest of my coworkers when opportunities presented themselves, which just seemed like how it should be done.)

    • BSM

      I’ve never had morning sickness, but I’ve heard that constant eating (snacking on crackers, bland cereal, toast every hour or so) can help fight the nausea. Good luck!

    • Katherine

      Never been pregnant, but when I get a stomach bug, I generally feel worse with an empty stomach, so I keep a sleeve of saltines and gatorade close at hand. Congrats!

    • Jennifer

      Also never been pregnant, but had a friend who was when we worked together and she managed by having saltines/bread at her desk at ALL times and lots of water. Also, she ended up with a lot of protein drinks and very simple meals because food was icky to her too.

    • My SiL had to reveal her pregnancy early because of the morning sickness; she was actually off work with it for over a month because she was being sick too often to get there. Ginger biscuits helped her a lot – ginger is good for nausea and the sugar and fat helped her keep up with calories and keep her blood sugar from dipping (which triggered the nausea).

    • macrain

      Unless you have some really nosy co-workers, I always found that people aren’t watching you as closely as you think they are. I would just go about your business and pretend like it’s all fine and when you need to barf, go barf! If you don’t make a thing of it, other people won’t either.
      And hey, if someone catches on, just deny it. I had someone ask me point blank before I had even told my own mother because they noticed I wasn’t drinking. I was just like, “nope.” Of course later she probably figure out I was lying, but I didn’t care. If you are going to ask me information I don’t feel comfortable sharing yet, I will be lying to you.

      • Amy March

        Agree. People who ask are rude and should be ignored, lied to, or stared blankly at.

        • Jennifer

          ha! yes, the *I have no idea what you are referring to* stare.

        • Alynae

          I’m a fan of responding with a blank stare and then “Do you want to rethink that?”

      • NolaJael

        This is a YMMV thing. If you work in a younger company or in a party city (*raises hand*)you might want to out yourself so that people don’t assume you’re coming to work hung over on the regular.

        • macrain

          The thing about sharing early is that when you tell people, they often tell others, even if you explicitly tell them not to. That feels awful.
          Sure, she could get hauled into her boss’s office or HR if they really believe she is hungover each day, but that misunderstanding can be cleared up easily between her and her boss, without having to share with all of her co-workers.

      • Anon Anonymous

        Yeah, I’m not concerned about people noticing me running to the bathroom, just about the ones in the stall next to me when I’m puking my guts out! I’m picturing a scenario where I just step out to wash my hands and smile politely, as if nothing unusual at all had just happened, but that will never work!

        • Eenie

          You could cover the barfing with a flush? I hope most people go by the societal rule of ignoring sounds in the bathroom. Some may ask if you’re OK but you don’t owe them anything more than a “Yes.”

        • toomanybooks

          I feel like people generally Don’t Want To Know who is performing a loud function in a bathroom stall and will give them time to leave before coming out of their stall or leave before they do? Or you time it so that you don’t come out until the coast sounds clear?

          I’ve been both the vomiting person (not pregnant, just persistent nausea issues) and the vomit-hearing person, and nobody ever found out who anybody else was.

    • gonzalesbeach

      congrats :) if you’re feeling that icky, you might need to tell boss earlier than you planned to, noting that you wish to keep it quiet from the rest of the office for now, given that it is early to share news. I had to do this mostly for other reasons, and I didn’t regret telling my boss earlier, and her reaction was ‘thought so, but was waiting for you to say something’ and very supportive, flexible with my needs and all the appointments etc. good luck!

    • Alexandra

      You might have to just fess up to your workplace. Which sucks. I couldn’t keep my pregnancies a secret because my head was in the toilet the whole time and I showed almost immediately.

      As for nausea, if things get really dire and you’re not opposed to it, try some Unisom and Vitamin B-12. Just unisom can actually help a lot on its own. Benedryl is the same thing as unisom. It does a lot of things, including aiding sleep. I had a lot of sleep issues during my last pregnancy and took unisom off and on at night. I’d wake up the next day groggy but magically without nausea. Asked my OB about it and she said it’s used for morning sickness in addition to helping with sleep. Doesn’t affect the baby. Obviously it’s a drug (OTC), so ask your doctor, but it’s helped a lot of people, including me.

    • K.

      Ask your doctor about the combination of unisom and B6. It’s category A or B, but I still would never recommend you take any kind of drug without talking to an OB. It’s been a miracle worker for me (I had mild hyperemesis gravidarum; if a “mild” version exists). It didn’t work for all my friends though, so YMMV. If it gets really bad, you could also potentially get a Zofran prescription but even I didn’t get that because of the “mild” designation.

      I carried around dog poop bags to vomit into from weeks 7-10. Seriously.

      Oh, also consider taking your prenatal at night before you go to bed with any kind of snack you can keep down. I also switched to a liquid prenatal that I drank with juice and that helped a lot. And ask your doctor if you can switch to one without iron for a bit. Nothing made me vomit like the iron content in my prenatal pills. But iron deficiency is common in pregnancy, so don’t do that unless you have the doctor’s okay (if you can’t keep it down, they’ll usually give it to you because it’s more important to get folate earlier on, but still ask)

      I also lived off every kind of simple carb imaginable. Ginger didn’t do shit and I kind of resented anyone who recommended it to me like I’d never heard that ginger can help with nausea.

      • Anon Anonymous

        Thanks for the prenatal suggestions, especially. It was the vitamin that precipitated this morning’s vomiting, right as I was on my way out the door. If I can avoid that happening every time, I don’t think I’m at the point of needing medication, although I’ll ask my doctor what her guidelines are for when it’s indicated.

        • K.

          Yes, the vitamins can be the worst! Switching to liquid and especially to taking it at night was a life changer for me. In the morning, your stomach acids are going crazy and that’s when nausea can be worst–apparently one of the reasons why it’s called morning sickness even though it often becomes a misnomer.

          And if it’s mostly about the vitamin, you might even be okay without the liquid or reducing iron content then. But since you’re 6 weeks, the nausea/vomiting might just be getting started, sorry to say; I really, really hope that’s not that case for you though!

      • Ditto on the unisom + B6, it was the only thing that kept my nausea at bay, along with eating in the middle of the night. I spent 6 weeks having a PB&J sandwich every night around 1AM but it was worth it to not have all-day nausea the next day.

      • toomanybooks

        Oooohhh I wonder if that works with non-pregnancy nausea? I have had such persistent nausea issues that I have a Zofran prescription just as a layperson who is not pregnant or recovering from surgery (like most people who are taking it presumably are). Ginger chews worked for me for a short period of time and then not anymore.

  • Y’all. Seventeen months ago i started as a temp at a new company in a new state in an entirely new profession from the one I left in Florida. Ten months ago they promoted me to full time. This past week we found out that my supervisor is leaving the company and the VP of our department has recommended me as his replacement!

    AHHH! It’s going to be a huge jump in responsibility but I am looking forward to the challenge. I met with our CEO (a very unusual circumstance for a middle management position) and the word is that he was very impressed.

    Literally eighteen months ago, I was crying in our empty apartment and cursing Manperson for dragging me up to this godforsaken place.* I feel better now.

    *We just got over 30 inches of snow in the last week so I’m not really loving the place right now.

    • Danielle

      Yay! Congratulations!! How wonderful. It’s amazing how things can turn around in a relatively short amount of time.

      FWIW I am reading a book called “The First 90 Days” about starting a new job or getting a promotion. It’s very business-y but I’m finding it helpful… you may too.

    • Congrats!!!! Good for you! So fun how things can improve so much in a relatively short (thinking big-picture) amount of time…

  • Jess

    The In-Laws Are Coming.

    This week has been a whole lot of shitty interactions with R because I’m stressed and he feels like it’s his fault (it’s not, it’s 75% brain chemistry 25% childhood trauma). Including almost all of Saturday not talking to each other combined with some crying. But we have also had a lot of talks and apologies and stuff, so it netted out ok.

    I have about two days of the In-Laws being in our apartment. I explained to R how not having a plan makes me more stressed, so he made a plan and is buying all the food and generally taking care of the things. I have pre-arranged to run with a friend, so I have an automatic get-out-of-there-free card. I am doing my Learn-To-Sport class tonight for two hours, coinciding with when they will be arriving. I have lots of books on my kindle, and coffee, and ingredients for scones that I can make and keep busy if it becomes dire.

    It’s gonna be fine!

    • Jessica

      Solidarity. I have to go camping with my in-laws every summer and they don’t plan any sort of activity, just kind of hang out and say things that make me want to crawl into a hole (nothing personal, just US cultural differences). I always try to plan something in the small town near the camp site–which then makes my husband upset that I don’t want to spend 48 hours straight with his family.

      So. Best of luck. Pretend to have intestinal problems in a dire situation.

      • penguin

        48 hours straight with anyone would drive me bananas. +1 to having escape plans as needed

      • Lisa

        I like my in-laws, but I much prefer it when they visit us here. When we go to their place, I’m cooped up at the house for 7+ days and made to feel guilty for not wanting to spend 24/7 with them. At least when they come visit us, I get to go to work all day and then enjoy dinner and a few drinks in the evening.

        • Jess

          Agreed. I can say “oh, I always run with friend on Saturdays”

          • Totch

            When my fiance visits my family, “allergies acting up” is both true, and also a great way to go hang out alone in a cat free room or to leave the house.

            When we visit his extended family, I keep knitting next to me at all times. Knitting: not as rude as staring at your phone, better than sitting there doing nothing for a week.

          • Natalie

            +1 for knitting as method for dealing with extended family visits. I half-joke that knitting constantly keeps me from stabbing anyone with my knitting needles.

          • Totch

            Stealing this! (I’d ask permission, but then it’s not theft)

      • Jess

        Thanks, we have definitely had Talks about how I don’t dislike them, I just cannot sit in the (literal) dark for hours and do nothing without getting quite crabby.

        So, many one person outs and prearranged plans when they visit is is key!

        • Jessica

          I don’t understand why it’s A Thing to feel offended at this fact–when things were good I could barely spend 48 hours straight with Husband, much less people I have very little in common with.

      • I worry that my husband thinks this about my family vacations–camping and then sitting around hanging out all day. But my family is perfectly fine with people going off and doing their own thing (which he doesn’t believe because HIS family is not as cool with that–although they do have heavily (poorly) planned activities on their trips)

    • Kat

      My BF’s mother and sister spent 5 days with us in January and his mom spent 80% of her time telling us all the things that are wrong with our new house and “suggesting” all the things we need to replace (mostly things I brought into the relationship, amazing how she could pick them out) and generally just chipping away at the facade of adulthood I had built up. After we dropped her off at the airport his sister bought me a STRONG drink. Godspeed.

      • Jess

        I’m convinced there is a MIL superpower, in which they intuit what your opinions and tastes are, and then state preferences exactly opposite.

    • Laura C

      My MIL is coming this weekend but luckily she doesn’t stay with us. But my husband has a big work deadline so I’m not sure how that’s going to go, both because I’ll end up with her more and because she is not historically super understanding that he really does have to work.

      • Jess

        Good luck!

        • Rebekah

          Seconded, especially since you’ve been open with us about some of the less-than-amazing conversations you’ve had to work through.

    • Rebekah

      It is. It’s totally gonna be fine. My in-laws were just here for 8 days, and it turns out I actually don’t enjoy talking to anyone in the evenings and would rather do my own thing. Unfortunately, I was a bit terse the first few days, but it all turned out fine and they’re gone now.

      Huge thumbs up to advocating for your needs and for R stepping up to take care of his people (and you).

      You got this.

      • Jess

        Thanks! :)

    • SLG

      Oh man thumbs up for having a get-out-of-there-free card. Mine is, “This has been SO fun. I’m gonna go take some introvert time now, and I’ll be back in a bit! Can’t wait to _____ with you later.”

      (The middle sentence is not a lie. No comment on the other ones.)

  • Cdn icecube

    What. A. Week. I’m so happy it’s Friday. Between someone close to me disclosing their very dire financial status and asking for a loan, the man friend forgetting (?) Valentine’s Day and finding out I didn’t get into the school I wanted for post-grad I’m just over it. Hopefully next week is better.

    • toomanybooks

      How does one… forget Valentine’s Day? (Also, like, I know that it’s *President’s Day* on Monday, but V-day really gets shoved into our faces)

      • Cdn icecube

        I work nights, he works days. A long discussion was had prior to it that we would do *something*, but plans never materialized. Normally I would take the lead and plan something myself but lately I’ve been feeling a bit like i’m doing all the ‘work’.

        • I’m sorry things aren’t feeling reciprocal right now. That’s the worst… And I’m sorry about the situation with your friend and school.That sounds like a super hard week. (And about the loan; someone once told me to never loan anything with the expectation of getting it back. I’ve never been in that kind of situation though; it sounds like a super difficult place to be put in, whatever choice you make…)

  • Megan

    Is it super dumb to have a ring warming during my ceremony when I have 150 people attending? I REALLY want this but it seems not feasible. Any other ideas that would get our rings warmed in a short amount of time? Ideas I’ve come up with so far include: Have people warm them as they come in to get seated. Have the officiant start it off before we even start the ceremony. separate the rings so you warm one ring instead of both? These all sound terrible to me, I’m not sure what to do.

    • NolaJael

      My best friend had the ring warming the night before around a campfire with mostly just the wedding party. You might consider doing it during the rehearsal dinner if that would be a more intimate crowd.

      • jammers

        That sounds so romantic!

    • Cellistec

      I agree, that’s tricky. Our solution: just our parents/close family members (about 8 total) warmed the rings as a friend played piano at the beginning of the ceremony. It took only a couple of minutes but accomplished what we wanted.

      • Amy March

        I think that’s a really nice solution!

      • Megan

        I like the idea of interactivity in the ceremony, though. As a regular ol’ wedding guest I don’t usually do anything during the ceremony. Just sit and watch. I feel like having our families (who are almost all in the bridal parties) do it would be more performative than participatory. Does that make sense?

        • Cellistec

          Totally makes sense. I’ve been at a couple of ceremonies where the rings were passed among all guests, and it did feel more special than just being a spectator. I hope someone else has a creative solution for you!

          • Megan

            Thanks! I’m wondering if I can do a hybrid thing where people warm the rings as they come in to sit down and then we pass them through the crowd again during the ceremony for anyone who missed doing it in the beginning. (With explanation of course, so people who already did it don’t do it twice…) Too complicated?

          • Amy March

            Too complicated.

          • Jess

            That seems a little complicated to me, but maybe you could have a point in the ceremony where you give everybody a chance to mentally add their thoughts to those given before the ceremony if they missed it?

          • AmandaBee

            That’s a bit complicated, and also awkward for the people who missed it before (they’ll feel like they’re holding up the ceremony, I bet).

        • Lulu

          If you’re open to other forms of participation, we had our guests do a pledge of support where our officiants asked things like, “Will you form the community of support that surrounds them, offering them your strength, counsel, and comfort?” The chorus of “We will!” was super fun.

    • Meg

      I’m not familiar with the ceremony, but could it be done during a song to take up the time?

      • Megan

        Essentially you pass your rings around to your guests so they can infuse them with their positive vibes/prayers/good wishes. I love how it gets everyone in the ceremony involved, it’s interactive, it’s thoughtful… But if someone takes 30 seconds with the rings, it will take 75 minutes to get through the whole group.

        • Kelly

          30 seconds is a looong time. Most people would have them for 5-10, and you could have someone “following” the rings to keep things moving, help pass across the aisle, etc.

    • Alynae

      What if you explain the right warming in the program and have the officiant start the ceremony with greeting/blessing, explain the ceremony and then immediately passing the rings? You mentioned having the officiant start it but not liking that option, what is it you don’t like that maybe you could work around?

      • Megan

        I guess it feels less ceremonial to me? I read the APW book ;) and my wedding thesis has three aspects to it: joyous, community oriented and ceremonial. So I guess the ring warming ticked two of those boxes and each of the solutions I thought of got rid of the community aspect (by not having everyone participate) or the ceremony of it (by making it a more informal thing that isn’t incorporated into the “official” ceremony)

        • Alynae

          Love that you have a wedding thesis. I’m putting on my project manager hat here…how long is your ceremony and what is the general flow? For example I’m thinking a Catholic ceremony with communion could incorporate the ring warming into the communion when everyone comes up anyways.
          Would it feel like it isn’t ceremonial if the officiant starts with their own blessing into a ring warming and that was the first part of the ceremony? (you could also ask them to mention the logistics of time). Or…if the officiant gives a blessing and asks everyone for a moment of intention so the long thinking/blessing can all happen at the same 30 seconds and then the physical passing of the rings might go a bit more quickly?

          • Megan

            Ceremony is 20 minutes. original plan was:

            Processional

            Greeting

            Start ring warming

            Reading #1

            Ritual (drinking wine – should take less than 3 min)

            Reading #2

            Song

            Vows

            Exchange of Rings

            Pronouncement

            Recessional

            I think my concern is that we can kick it off with the ring warming but a reasonable estimate of time is 15 min in the audience (is audience the right word?) which doesn’t leave enough time.

            I do like the idea of everyone taking a moment of silence to send good wishes all at one time and then we can have everyone touch the rings… :) Let me ruminate on it.

          • Cellistec

            It seems doable to start the ring warming before the first reading and get the rings back before the exchange of rings. In my experience, people don’t take 30 seconds per warming. It’s more like 5 seconds, which is around 13 minutes total. So if it’s during the readings, wine drinking, and songs, would that be enough time? Would it feel ceremonial enough if guests are essentially “multitasking”–that is, listening to something while warming the rings?

          • NolaJael

            Yeah, if your crowd isn’t that hippy dippy spiritual type the rings can turn into a kind of hot potato! Also, in a crowd that big I’d have an usher follow them around and keep them moving. That way the officiant could keep and eye on where the usher is and there is a designated person to bring them back up front.

          • Jessa

            Our whole ceremony took 40 minutes and we did a ringwarming in the middle. I would estimate that it took about 10-15 minutes to pass it amongst the 65 guests, if that helps you at all. I guess it probably even took less time than that because the rings were back in place and we never had to pause to wait for them. we had allotted 2-3 songs to be played by the string duo while this happened and were able to repeat verses or cut songs as needed. I did find it stressful to try to estimate how much time was remaining. I would suggest starting it ASAP (right after processional?) to give yourself more time…

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I like the idea of doing it as people come in. There’s always a wait for all the ceremony participants to arrive anyway.

      • NolaJael

        If you tied them to a pillow at the door way it could be like Catholics dipping their finger in holy water. ;)

    • E.

      If you can somehow do it while other things are also happening, like the coming in idea. I went to a wedding when I was in high school and it was lovely, except it was standing in a field and there were a lot of people and they did a ring warming and it took foreeeeevverrrr. I think I left the circle to sit on a log and play with some little kids haha

    • Poppy

      We did it with 120. Our officiant started off the ceremony thanking people for coming and explaining the ring warming. We started passing the rings right then. One of our attendants was in charge of keeping an eye on the rings to make sure they were moving throughout the ceremony and right before the exchange of rings, she nabbed them and brought them up to us. It turned out that the rings got through everyone by the time we did vows, even with our relatively short ceremony, but we weren’t sure that would be the case so we figured we’d just have as many people warm them as possible.

    • CP2011

      I’ve been to a large wedding where they did the ring warming while people were being seated, well before the procession.

    • Have it happen while music plays and/or even while the celebrant is talking? I think it’d be feasible as long as other things are going at the same time…

    • Kelly

      We did a ring warming for 100 before the ceremony started. My sister welcomed everyone and explained the ring warming, then people passed the rings around while music played. Once the rings were warmed the procession started. It was lovely! People enjoyed a few minutes of company and togetherness and laughter, and it created a wonderful sense of community and love to walk into. Things that helped make it lovely: 1) an comfortable outdoor setting with a beautiful view 2) people had drinks in hand 3) there were lots of groups of friends and family who knew each other and were happy to sit and hang out together. Some of my most favorite photos are candids from the ring warming.

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour | Wedding Adviser()

  • E.

    Just want to share a little adulting win from this week. We usually clean on the weekends and then throughout the week stuff just kind of accumulates until the apartment is a mess and we have to do a big clean again the next weekend. I’m not sure where I got the idea from, but D and I started this week every night we put on fun music and set a timer for 2 minutes and tidy. It has made a HUGE difference. It’s Friday and our apartment is clean!
    This week I also had an observation in my classroom that went super well, ran into my sister’s friend from college who just happens to work at a school I’m really interested in and told me to set up a time to visit, and it’s my birthday tomorrow!
    oh AND my wrist has been bothering me since early December, so I couldn’t lift weights, which is the only workout that is even a little bit interesting to me right now, but this week was the first time I did it pain free!

    • CMT

      Happy birthday!

      • E.

        Thanks! Started the day reading Happy Hour in bed, then fiance made me breakfast :) Off to a good start!

    • NolaJael

      My mom was a big fan of the “set the timer for 15 minutes” method of cleaning. It’s AMAZING how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes and it really doesn’t take that much away from your evening free time. I’m impressed with your 2 minute progress, that’s great!!

      • E.

        Yes! I think the 2 minutes really helps with the mental aspect, it seems much less daunting. And we also made a conscious decision that anything not done after that time is ok so it was less stressful, we just got to it the next night nbd

    • Jessa

      This sounds like an amazing idea and I’m going to try it! Thanks!

    • LadyJanee

      I’m totally going to start that tidying method! We both get home late most nights and it’s all too much and then the weekend comes and we have so much tidying to do that we often do a half-baked job of it. But a few minutes each night sounds doable!

  • Happy anniversary Stephanie! :-)

  • anon today

    I’ve been debating posting about this, but I can’t stop being annoyed by it, so… My sister in law decided that the whole family should go on a Disney Cruise for my in-laws’ 60th birthdays. Both of my sisters in law have kids, we are currently trying to have kids (have been for a year and a half– long story) and considering adoption. The cruise would be in 2019, but they brought it up so that we could book it now and start paying for it as soon as possible. For the rest of the family, this is not a huge expense, apparently, but for us, it really is. We don’t want to go on a cruise (especially one meant for children, potentially with no children), we don’t want to spend the thousands of dollars that it would cost, and we have no idea what our life will look like in two years. Add to that the fact that they didn’t even ask us what kind of vacation we think we should all take (because obviously the kids are more important than anything…) or whether a Disney Cruise would be prohibitively expensive for us… OK, I’m more than annoyed. I’m offended too, because they either didn’t consider the realities of our life (ie. we work our asses off and our combined income is a small fraction of all of theirs, and our reproductive future is a bit fraught and very much unpredictable) or they just don’t care whether we come or not (I’m hoping it is the latter)– except they are trying to convince us by saying “you can start paying now! It’s not that expensive–only $1000 per person, plus flights!” I am extra sensitive, probably, because his sister and brother in law never miss an opportunity to treat us (the only couple with no kids, who chose to live abroad rather than have kids in our late twenties) as immature and ignorant (if I hear “you’ll understand when you’re a parent” one more time… please, people, never say this to anyone, but especially someone you know lost a pregnancy recently!)

    I don’t think anyone should be affected by our life choices but us, so if they want to go on a cruise, by all means, GO. BUT, we are getting pressured to join this trip because they have this fantasy of having a big, happy family adventure. So my husband and I are gearing up to have a conversation with his parents about how we love them but we really can’t commit to this cruise and we would love to suggest some alternatives that would be less costly, or celebrate with them in another way.

    Oh, and I was very careful to let my husband react before I gave him my opinion, since this is his family after all, but he feels the same way I do.

    Are we being selfish? Am I overreacting because of previous issues? I have lost perspective…

    • Not Sarah

      You are not being selfish. It is not your responsibility to fulfill their fantasies. Just like it isn’t my fantasy to fulfill my parents’ fantasies of all of us being happy on a vacation together even though it also really sucks saying no. If you do say no, be firm, yet polite, make sure they know it isn’t that you don’t want to spend time with them, and stick to your decision. Good luck!

      • Cdn icecube

        Furthermore, it’s really hard for *most* people to plan something two years in advance. What if something happens to one or both of the parents and they are suddenly unable to travel or their mobility is restricted? That would be a big red flag for me and my parents are on the younger side of things. I agree with above posters that no one has the right to tell you (and your husband) how to spend your hard earned money. PLUS! If the children are so dang important why not look into an all inclusive closer to the date? Plenty of all-inclusives have deals for children AND depending on where you are flying out of you can find deals for +/- $1000 per person including flights for a week.

        But I’m more on team “we’ll see” and then “you know, its just not going to work for us. But we look forward to hearing about it when you get back.”

      • AmandaBee

        This, exactly. Their fantasy is their problem, they clearly didn’t think to check that it was something you’d enjoy, and I think you have very good reasons for saying no.

        So say no if you want, or say you’re not sure if you’d like to hold off on it. What level of explanation you give depends somewhat on your closeness to them. If you’re not close, I think just saying “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that financially” or something to that effect is just fine.

        Also, can you suggest an alternative family event in lieu of or in addition to this one? Perhaps that would help soften the blow and communicate that you DO like the idea of a family vacation. Maybe something like camping or a family reunion weekend somewhere affordable?

    • emmers

      Do you have to book it now, or can you delay deciding on this? I had a miscarriage, and I would probably not be all about this either, both for the fraught kids reason but then also having to spend lots of money for something that would be hard for me. But I could see waiting a year & seeing how I felt. If that’s not possible, it doesn’t sound like they’d be receptive to a private “hey, just FYI this is hard for us for multiple reasons,” comment, but if they were I’d say that. Otherwise, I’d either keep it vague “oh, we’ll see!” or just say something like “that sounds like fun, but I don’t think we’ll be able to join, unfortunately, cuz reasons.” Don’t feel like you have to go to something that will be rough for you.

    • rg223

      You are totally not being selfish. Just the fact that they didn’t ask you guys what kind of vacation you would want to take is enough justification to not go, in my opinion. I think finding another way to celebrate with your in-laws is a good idea. Good luck!

      • Alynae

        Agree completely. You aren’t being selfish at all for one, but also, your money and your emotional health are things to be selfish about!! No one else gets to decide how to decide how to spend your money. Full
        stop.
        And I’m sorry there is such a lack of empathy, compassion or even
        basic decency around your lost pregnancy and the emotional turmoil of
        trying to start a family. You owe them no explanation and if you decide
        to celebrate differently with your husband’s parents then that isn’t
        information you owe anyone other than his parents.

    • Amy March

      Just say no. No excuses, no explanations, no alternatives. “That doesn’t work for us.”

  • clarkesara

    Did anyone drastically diverge from their wedding colors or aesthetic or what have you in the immediate lead up to their wedding? We are having a teensy backyard wedding and planning everything ourselves. It’s 100% a la carte and DIY-ed. I got so sick of looking for paper plates and napkins in colors like rose gold and midnight blue, or with the celestial theme that our invitations have (stupid pinterest and their lies that things are actually available in the colors you want) that I snapped and just picked whatever looked nice. I have officially run out of fucks to give that some things are rose gold and other things are just regular gold.

    Also I may have spent $40 on cute paper cake plates and again, no fucks. I hope everyone frigging loves their cake plates.

    • Alynae

      mixed metals are a thing! Whatever gets the job done. My reminder to myself the last month “No one knows what I had in my head except me. They will only see what they see”

  • Inezchickson

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj109d:
    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
    !mj109d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash109HomeListGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj109d:….,….

  • Jenni

    I love Iceland!

    I’m not sure when ‘soon’ is, but if you’re going in March (or for anyone who goes in the winter), try to view the aurora. The weather office has an aurora forecast site: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/ Higher numbers are better (0-2 low chance, 4-5 is pretty decent chance, 6-9 is holy cow go outside hurry). The real trick is hoping for the clouds to go away when the magnetic storm happens. Our hotel would give us a wake-up call if they saw the aurora, which was very helpful.

    If you’re basing yourself out of Reykjavik:
    – do the Golden Circle tour (Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park). Every tour company will pick you up from your hotel. This is the major tour to do in Iceland, not to be missed.
    – You can also do a tour (or drive yourself) all the way down to Jokulsarlon (glacier lagoon) and back in one day; along the way there you will also see Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, and the black sand beach at Vik.
    – Food is expensive, but the seafood is incredible. I adored every single coffee shop in Reykjavik.
    – Pay the couple of bucks to go up to the top of Hallgrimskirkja (the big church in the middle of Reykjavik). Great view of the town.
    – The first time I was there we did a walking tour, it was a great way to combat jet lag and learn about the history of Reykjavik. At the end we had the fermented shark and the Brennivin shot.
    – Most things are closed on Sunday.

    If you’re driving the Ring Road (and you really should):
    – Give yourself at least a week! There was so much more we wanted to do. Some favorites:
    – Akureyri is the second biggest city, off a fjord in the north. We stayed at the cutest guesthouse, Skjaldarvik, with a hottub overlooking the fjord and the mountains across the way. One of the best meals of the trip was at Strikið in Akureyri. Ugh I want to go back so badly.
    – Seydisfjordur is a picture perfect little town in a gorgeous fjord on the eastern side of Iceland. Most of the restaurants were closed when we were there in April, it picks up more in the summer, but I loved how sleepy and peaceful it was. Also: blue church!
    – Langoustine (kind of like lobster) at Hofn, fresh off the boat and cooked at restaurants right next store.
    – Remember, Iceland is the land of ice and *fire*. That’s particularly clear near Lake Myvatn, with the Hverfjall volcano visible for miles around, and the Hverir geothermal field to the east.

    Bring waterproof boots if you can; even if you’re not hiking on top of a glacier, the weather can change quickly, even between locations on the Golden Circle tour that are pretty close to each other.

    Finally, if you are going soon you might be able to go into a glacier ice cave before they close for the summer; otherwise you can go into a lava tube instead!

  • gtanhdash