APW Happy Hour


In which we bring back all the things!

by Stephanie Kaloi

hello beautiful sign

Hey APW!

I wanted to jump in today with a quick, super fun note. We are bringing back all the things (well, okay, two of the things) that you guys have consistently most requested: Wordless Weddings and Two Cents (heyyyyo!). I KNOW, I KNOW. I AM REALLY EXCITED, TOO.

Here’s a quick rundown in case you aren’t super familiar with one/both. A Wordless Wedding is what it sounds like: instead of offering up all the super juicy details you get in our How We Did It wedding posts (like this one), the Wordless Wedding will give you many, many photos and a handful of details at the bottom. Still fuzzy? Here’s a great example. While we still totally want your How We Did It submissions (I personally love them), we wanted to open this option back up for couples who aren’t feeling that wordy, or photographers who just want to send over photos and be done with it. Also related, we’re about to start publishing a whole lot more weddings a week, and it’s going to be excellent.

Two Cents is a whole different ballgame. This is the advice column that you, the readers, get to answer. Past example questions have been about everything from Christian wedding hymns to negative vendor reviews to feminist porn, so truly, it runs the gamut. If you want to send in your own questions, just email questions (at) apracticalwedding (dot) com, and we’ll add them to the queue!

Besides that, we’ve been having a lot of conversations about The Compact this week (so keep telling us what you want!) and things are getting exciiiiiiting. Speaking of, are you following us on IG yet?

Okay guys! Over and out.

XO,

Stephanie

Link Round-up

Gloria Steinem and Chelsea Handler said the one thing most white feminists are reluctant to hear.

Are swimsuits getting worse? (Yes, they are.)

Some VAs are dropping veteran caregivers.

These teenage journalists investigated their new principal, and she ended up resigning.

More than forty companies will no longer advertise on The O’Reilly Factor.

How citizen organizing is both defense and offense for Democrats and progressives.

Why I don’t like going into bars as a disabled person.

Thousands of adoptees are learning that they aren’t U.S. citizens.

Stephanie Kaloi

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

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Brooke

    The last week has been incredibly hectic with work. After nearly 2 years at my current position and endless frustration with feeling like it is going nowhere (really, basically doing the same things as day 1), I am training on new things! It’s outside of my current department and way higher-level than my current tasks, but I’m finally feeling a bit of relief that there’s some hope for progressing at work (although this training in no way guarantees any sort of promotion or new position). Post training on these new tasks, I’m wanting to have a candid conversation with my boss about chiseling out a more clear-cut path for my future within this company, without sounding like I’m threatening to leave. Has anyone had a similar experience or conversation with a manager/supervisor? I’m really wondering how to approach the topic without sounding desperate or like I’m ready to up and leave.

    • Emily

      I had to have this same meeting with my supervisor’s boss because every time I tried to find something new or creative to do my supervisor would feel that I was power-grabbing (super unhealthy dynamic, do not recommend). I made three lists: things I had accomplished in the last 2 years, the things I was currently working on, and things I thought would/should/could be future projects. This part was integral to my confidence in the meeting. I contacted the person I needed to meet with and just casually emailed : Hey, I have some things I would like to run by you–any time this week?”. In the meeting I started with how I was really happy to be in my position because I had so much room to grow but that the dynamic in my department was becoming stifling and then I kind of just presented my list… Got a promotion 2 weeks later. YOU CAN DO IT!

      • Les

        Plot for next Disney movie?

    • Les

      I think if you come in with ideas about what you want to do in the near and far future at the company, and you ask them to give you feedback on how to get there, will be clear to any level-headed boss that you are invested in the position and the company. I would say, give them a heads up a week ahead of time what you want to talk about, so that they can start thinking about what they can contribute- this way you are having a discussion instead of just a request. Good luck!

  • Mary Jo TC

    My 3 year old is super inquisitive, and he’s started asking “Why?” about everything! It’s adorable, and it’s something I want to encourage, but it can get exhausting! Especially because he questions definitions in a circular way and asks me about his own motivations. And I’m not allowed to say I don’t know. Like:
    Why is this called milk?
    Because it came from a cow.
    Why did it come from a cow?
    Because people like to drink it, so they milked the cow.
    Why did they milk the cow?
    I just told you, because people like to drink it.
    Why do people like to drink it?
    Because it’s sweet. Don’t you like milk?
    Yes. I like milk. Why do I like milk?
    I don’t know, why do you like milk?
    You gotta guess!

    • LadyMe

      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=milk
      Apparently the word milk has roots from a word that meant to stroke or to wipe off, i.e. the motion used to milk an animal. Also milk shake is first recorded 1889, for a variety of creations, but the modern version is only from the 1930s.

      Sorry, I really like word questions!

      • Mary Jo TC

        I need to call you up for etymology then! I’ve tried that route a few times when I knew that answer, but he doesn’t get it that approach unless it’s about a simple compound word or something, like doghouse. But this morning it was “Why is it called a reflection?” OMG kid, I don’t know!

        • LadyMe

          “Re-” means back and the “flection” comes from a word that means to bend. The light bends (bounces) back off the thing that’s reflecting it!

          (Side note, my favorite etymology is “drawer” – you *draw* it out from the cabinet. So straightforward and yet it had never occurred to me to think of it like that.)

          But it’s definitely a hard approach with a toddler and especially when you don’t have internet access readily at your fingertips. Sometimes I think it’s easiest to become Calvin’s Dad: How do they know how much weight a bridge can support? They put a bunch of weight on until it breaks and then they rebuild it!

          • penguin

            Haha yep my Dad used to give up and go that route, and just make up something. Lots of interesting and fun stories emerge that way.

      • Jess

        Thank you for all of this. I love etymology.

    • afew

      do you have a smart phone or ipad or amazon echo or something that you/he can ask the questions to? I heard that some people were giving their kids the ipad/iphone to ask siri when they had a million unanswerable questions! Could be fun for him to just keep asking siri questions until he gets bored.
      ex:
      Kid: why is the sky blue?
      MJTC: I don’t know, but I can help you find out! Let’s ask siri and see what the answer is!
      ~gets out phone and asks siri. hands phone to kid for next hour, gets ‘me’ time~

      • Mary Jo TC

        That is a great idea! It might be funny to see him talk to Siri. Sometimes I think he’s just asking questions reflexively to keep the conversation thread going, and doesn’t really care what the actual answer is, as long as he can flip it into yet another question…

        • afew

          probably just bored and trying to engage, or super curious. if he doesn’t actually want an answer, you’ll be able to tell right away, then you can just give him bs answers until you are done with the conversation or try to distract him with other things.

        • Rowany

          Just keep him away from Amazon’s Alexa! Don’t want to end up with all the legos in your bedroom or something.

        • rg223

          Yeah, at 3 it’s really for the attention/keeping the conversation going as long as possible because it’s a cool new thing you learned you could do. Enjoy :)

    • Jess

      I love stuff like this. I remember a podcast talking about using the phrase, “I wonder…?” for circular questions to encourage kids to start imagining too.

    • E.

      I always flip it back on my students- “why do you think?” It works about 50% of the time :p

  • Lisa

    Yay for the return of Wordless Weddings and Two Cents! I personally loved Wordless Weddings and how the music the couples chose really affected the lens through which I viewed their photos and–by extension–their weddings.

    We had a bit of an off-shoot thread about this earlier this week, and I thought I’d bring the discussion into HH: how close do you get to your co-workers? What’s the right amount of distance (or lack thereof)?

    The first office where I worked was staffed by people who were cordial but not overly familiar. We knew about each other’s lives and chitchatted, but we weren’t friends on Facebook or outside of the office. Second office was waaaaaay too close; it was one of those toxic situations where people cling to each other like “family” because they’re the only ones who understand the crazy nuances of the situation.

    My current office is staffed by normal people, but one of my co-workers is a Chatty Cathy with inclinations to oversharing. I get the impression that she wants to be closer than we are or to use me as her emotional support, and I am not interested in that. I’ve managed to get her to stop talking to me as much by not asking her questions or shutting down her overtures at conversation with one word responses. Personally, I’d prefer a relationship more like my first office, but this co-worker is of the “give an inch, take a mile” variety.

    I’m heading out in a little while to go backpacking (fifth backpack is a charm and won’t leave me with bruises?), but I can’t wait to see any responses that come around in my absence. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

    • penguin

      This discussion dovetails nicely with one of today’s posts over on Ask a Manager!

      • Lisa

        Oh, did I miss one? Or is it in the open thread?

        • CMT

          One of the links to questions she answered elsewhere!

        • penguin

          It’s one of those where she re-answers 4 or 5 old questions from the archives

          • Lisa

            Ah, I think I only read the first answer! I didn’t get into the others.

    • Kelly

      I think every office definitely has its own vibe, and like you’ve done, you just have to feel out each one. I’ve had jobs where there would be people I would spend time with outside of work and others where a friendly emotional distance was kept because there was just a lot going on with that group. I err on the side of not hanging out outside of work, until I get a feel for how that person(s) is at work, so a few months usually.

    • Amy March

      I’ve made some really close friends at work! Like, actually some of my closest friends were just co-workers to start. I don’t have a blanket policy on it, but when you meet someone you think could be a friend I don’t shut it down because of work.

      • Lisa

        Totally agree, it’s just happened that most of the people with whom I’d be interested in having a friendship have been my managers so naturally the distance should be observed. Current co-worker is not someone I’d want to be friends with outside of work; nothing exactly wrong with her, but she really rubs me the wrong way.

      • Eenie

        Yes! When I knew my job was short term, I basically only had work friends. And a lot of the time we spent talking about work (which can get old after a while).

        Now that we’ve started to put down some roots, we’ve met all of our current friends through my husband’s job. One of his coworker’s is very outgoing and built a solid friend group that we have now joined (only three in the group of 8 work together). It would have been way more work to secure this kind of friend group without the coworker beginnings.

    • Brooke

      I don’t have great connection with any co-workers, but I am also the newest in my department (after almost 2 years here) and there really aren’t a lot of young-ish women within my company. I work in a supremely male dominated field (accounting) within another male dominated industry (agribusiness). This isn’t to say that I don’t have work friends, but I don’t hang out with them outside of work, although I would be open to becoming closer with them in the future.

    • Ashlah

      Oh man. I work in a really small office (I have 5 co-workers, including my bosses), and they’ve always seemed really close, so I feel like I have to make an effort to be chatty and friendly, but the thing is…they just…aren’t my people. They’re all perfectly nice people, but we come from very different backgrounds, our senses of humor don’t line up, our opinions often don’t line up, and I just find them hard to talk to a lot of the time. I do make an effort, I make small talk, mostly when they initiate, to be honest, but even after 6 years, I wouldn’t consider any of them friends. I’m always a little paranoid that they think I’m unfriendly. I really don’t think I am, but I definitely feel like the outlier as far as social norms in the office. It doesn’t help that I work in an office a little out of the way of everyone else, so I’m often not included in the regular engagement and chit-chat that comes from working right next to someone. I’m mostly happy to stay in my office and interact very little during the day, other than feeling like the office weirdo.

    • Vanessa

      I had a coworker like that at my old job, and it was a real challenge. I’m open to being friends with coworkers if it develops naturally, but my coworker was exactly the way you describe your Chatty Cathy. In the end I had to be a lot more distant/arms-length with her than I typically am with anyone, and even then any “progress” I made would be immediately wiped out if I so much as smiled at her in the morning (ie she would come into my office to chat a dozen times that day, staying for no less than 15 minutes each time). I’m sorry I can’t offer you more but I hope you get some good suggestions!

      • Lisa

        This is basically how I ended up dealing with her. Last summer I put her on a talking ban in my head where I stopped asking her questions like how she was doing or what she did on the weekend. I slowly tried to incorporate some of these pleasantries back in, but after getting burned with a couple of 45 minute conversations, I cut them out again and looped in my manager in case my co-worker complained that I wasn’t being friendly anymore.

        ALSO, I was waylaid from posting this comment for ten minutes by co-worker’s said chitchat, which could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t admitted that my manager told me some of the details earlier. (Co-worker has a tendency to tell really long, rambling stories to each person she encounters throughout the day.)

      • afew

        I have 2 of these co-workers and they are both actually named Cathy (and Kathi) fun times. just deal the best you can and attempt to look busy when they come around. put on music, start typing, read emails, shuffle through paperwork, etc. give short answers and bring it back to the work (I would love to talk, but I have a lot going on today, I really have to get back to doing xyz now, etc.) You can’t be besties with everyone, and some people just like to create drama and re-hash everything with everyone. ugh.

        • Lisa

          I can’t actually listen to music while I work because I find it too distracting, but that does not stop me from wearing headphones 24/7 in the office.

          • afew

            that is my co-workers strategies with our Cathys – wear headphones and ignore.

          • Vanessa

            And similarly, somehow the wearing of headphones never stopped my coworker from trying to talk to me all damn day. Neither did telling her I had to get stuff done! Some people do not pick up on social cues or even directions like “please stop talking to me about this!”

          • Lisa

            Yes, I’ve tried to redirect to work conversations or say things like, “I need to get X done,” and that usually just leads into a conversation about all of the things she needs to do/that have been happening.

          • Vanessa

            Ugh, solidarity. Maybe this wasn’t the best coping mechanism but I eventually bought myself a bag of valrhona discs and would treat myself to one every time she was driving me nuts.

          • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

            I am addicted to ambient-mixer.com for that reason! Right now I’m listening to a lake atmostphere, with gentle waves and bird calls. It did double duty of keeping me feeling sane this winter, and drowning out work noise.

    • laddibugg

      My rule is we can’t be close if we work in the same department. I don’t want you or myself to have to decide between keeping your job or throwing me under the bus.

    • Alyssa

      My work-friend-making philosophy is: if it happens, it happens. I always become friendly with people at whatever job I have at the time (I usually come back to these people for work references) and I have one friend that I made at a previous job that I am still friends with, but otherwise I like to keep my work-life and life-life fairly separate.

    • Sara

      I usually make one good friend at the office and keep my distance with the rest of them. I have two good girlfriends that I made from being cubicle buddies (one who I’m going to a show with tonight!), and a couple of facebook friends from other jobs. But for the most part I pick and choose what I share with co workers (yes to dog stories, no to dramas) and people generally get the hint. They don’t even ask me to go to happy hour with them anymore (the department next to mine is like a sorority of older women and I just can’t.)

      • Lisa

        I think the choosing what to share is the important part. I get that we might naturally share a little more with one another over time, but my co-worker has always been of the “tell you all about my family drama” variety, which may be one of the reasons I prefer not to talk to her.

        I did make a good friend at my last job, and we kept hanging out for a while after I left. Eventually though, I got frustrated with her cancelling 50% of the meet-ups (with me initiating all of them) so I decided it wasn’t worth it anymore after she cancelled another last July.

        • Sara

          People LOVE to tell me their drama. I don’t know what it is, or if they’re oversharers in general. But I seem to get a lot of people asking me for advice on crazy things and I just don’t want to be involved.

          • Lisa

            Same! I really don’t need to hear about how on your twelfth anniversary weekend your SIL called out of the blue to ask your husband if he’d ever contemplated an affair and he told her yes. That is not a co-worker-level appropriate work story.

          • penguin

            Wow!

          • NolaJael

            Same. Especially my bosses. Sometimes I feel more like a therapist than a worker. :-/

    • sage

      Interestingly, I made several close friends at an old workplace. It was a very tightknit, kind of forced-family type workplace, but I did meet some fantastic people there and we all still hang out even though most of us have moved on to different jobs.

      My current workplace is very different. It’s a polite, cordial, but not all that close-knit environment. I don’t have a single facebook friend or even a friend that I regularly go grab lunch with at my current workplace. This has happened for a variety of reasons, and at first I found it very lonely. By now I’ve gotten used to it though and it doesn’t bother me.

      I think work friends happen or they don’t… and it depends on a variety of circumstances like how you were introduced/integrated into your job, past experiences, personal preferred level of socialization, how busy your office is, and whether there are a lot of people on your same level in the job hierarchy.

    • Jane

      My office has a number of weird social dynamics because it is basically 10 small offices with matching heirarchies. Each office has one boss, one assistant, and two workers. The bosses and assistants are basically in this for the long haul and are mostly in their 50s-60s, but the workers, who are usually young professionals, are just there for one or two years at a time.
      The workers are my peers and I now have some really good, hang-out-outside-of-work friends in the overall group. And I think that’s pretty common. And also has been a huge help because I didn’t have a lot of local friends when I got to this city. There are a few workers (really just 1) I don’t really like, but I can avoid most of them most of the time.

      What’s really hard is if you don’t get along with the other 3 people in your office. My co-worker issue (from earlier this week) is with the assistant in my office. Overall, I love her. But she overshares SO much and asks SO many really personal questions about my life and about my wedding planning. Sometimes I don’t mind, but I also don’t want to give a 20-minute update on wedding planning to my co-worker several times a week. And when I’m less willing to be chatty, she seems hurt. I don’t like making other people feel bad, but I would also love boundaries.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I generally like fostering a close relationship with coworkers (over time – I’m an introvert so it’s certainly not overnight). However, we have one student employee in my office who has (hopefully temporarily?) kind of ruined my sociability at work. She has some issues with boundaries, and when she first started working here, she latched onto me immediately and acted like we were BEST friends. I liked her, but the extent and swiftness of her attachment really took me aback. I don’t know how to describe the situation without going into all the little things she’s done over the years that have overstepped my boundaries, but long story short, I have become a much more private person because of her. I don’t like sharing anything about my personal life at work when she’s here, because it fosters a feeling of closeness in her that I do not share. I tried early on telling her I had to be her boss first and our relationship had to be professional, but it didn’t have any impact on her behavior.

      Just today I overheard one of my other student employees saying she showed up at their house uninvited with mimosas one morning this weekend and stayed for hours, so I guess I’m better at boundary-setting than some! :(

      • NolaJael

        I’m a slow and steady friend-maker who sets good (initial) boundaries also. I’ll partake in small talk and reveal tidbits about myself to warm things up, but nothing that is too personal. It took me two years to get to the point where I had a close work friend and for me that just meant someone I could show silly videos of my pets to and chat about real life.

    • Margret

      My current coworkers are some of my best friends. We hang out outside of work at least weekly, and frequently on the weekends. We have holidays together (Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Easter, July 4) and have crazy long group texts about everything. We’ve all cried together, we pet sit for each other, we dig each other out in blizzards. We’re planning a surprise destination birthday party for my boss’s upcoming milestone birthday. This works because we all genuinely care for and like each other and we keep any personal shit that might be going on out of the office. I consider myself indescribably lucky.

    • Katherine

      In my current workplace, my closest friends are the ones I’ve made at work. However, they aren’t the folks who work in my division (and, in fact, none of our group works in the same division). Nothing against the coworkers in my division though, it just kind of worked out that way since everyone in our group started around the same time and is pretty close in age.

    • CommaChick

      Most of the people in my office went to school together and were in the same club, and they keep referring other former classmates from that club. They spend time together outside of work and are involved in one another’s lives. As one of the few outsiders, I feel left out sometimes, but I know it’s easy to unintentionally exclude someone who hasn’t been part of your group as long as everyone else has.

  • Megan

    This was a REALLY eventful week for me! I got Lasik on Monday and have been recuperating all week. I applied for a super awesome rotational program at work and found out I made it to the next round on Monday night and had a phone interview yesterday… It went really well (I think) and I find out more in a couple of weeks. Getting into this program would turn my life upside down (in a good way!). We’d move abroad for at least two years and I’d become the sole breadwinner of our family for the foreseeable future. Scary but exciting!!

    • Lisa

      Good luck with the application process! How did you feel about Lasik? I keep thinking about getting it done, but I can barely let my optometrist touch my eyes. (Usually, I get a 50-60% read on the glaucoma machine before the nurses give up on me. I cannot control my body’s reaction to shutting my eyes and jumping away!)

      • Megan

        I found the actual operation to be a lot scarier than others made me think. I’ve been putting contacts in without issue for almost two decades so I thought it would be okay but I kind of freaked out. I can give you the gory details but i’ll try to put them after the jump….
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        First they give you a valium. Definitely not a lot of valium as it just took the edge off of my anxiety.

        Then they bring you into the lasik room where you lay on chair. They put a bunch of drops in your eyes that numb them. Then they use some sort of clamp on your lids to keep them open and tape that on. I didn’t see the clamp nor did I feel any of this.

        You’re looking up at a set of lights above you that go in and out of fuzzy focus. They’ll tell you to not move multiple times (which freaked me out – I wasn’t moving! if I’m currently moving then I have no conscious control over it!!! I really worried that I was screwing up the procedure and would end up blind…).

        Next comes the machine that makes the flap that everyone talks about. What they don’t tell you is that is clamps down on your eye socket rather hard (you lose all vision in that eye for a moment… I think it presses on the optic nerve?) and makes a very loud noise (like a dentist’s drill). This was terrifying for me. I think if I had prepared for it in advance I wouldn’t have been as scared but I didn’t know it would be like that….

        Then the doctor takes a little instrument and moves the flap out of the way. This looks like someone brushing your eyeball with a tiny squeegee- which is very strange because you can’t feel it. Even while they are squeegee-ing your eyeball they keep telling you to keep still and look at the lights.

        Next comes the actual laser. This part was a lot of crazy lights and a terrible burning smell. I was not prepared for the smell. It was scary but not as scary as the flap machine.

        Then more eye squee-geeing

        Then they take the clamps off and bring you to a dark room to recover.

        Recovery has mostly just been dry eyes and has been relatively easy.

        • penguin

          Wow! That sounds terrifying, and it’s too bad that they didn’t mention any of that ahead of time. I’m glad it turned out well though! I’ve been in either contacts or glasses since third grade, so sometimes I think about Lasik, and then get freaked out.

        • CMT

          I kind of wish I hadn’t read that.

          • Her Lindsayship

            I kind of told myself not to read it and scrolled past the dots and read it anyway

          • Megan

            Sorry, I tried to hide it for people who are squeamish.

          • CMT

            Oh, I know! Curiosity got the better of me and I chose to read it.

          • Amy March

            Happily avoiding it- nicely done!

        • Lisa

          Yeah….that description made me feel sick to my stomach. I started to get panicky at the clamps and eyelid tape. Maybe I should accept that I’m doomed to a life of contacts/glasses wearing because I cannot tolerate anything to do with my eyes.

        • janie

          I had to have emergency retinal repair two weeks ago and it was really similar to this, but surprisingly un-traumatic. I think that if I were forewarned with this information it would actually have been worse for me emotionally (and I usually like to know all details ahead of time) because having it done was nbd. Because it was “emergency” I didn’t have a chance to google.

          Of course the retinal repair literally took thirty seconds. It took me longer to read the consent form than for the doctor to do the surgery.

          • janie

            Also as an aside – I recently (finally) read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and it has made me super intense about reading consent forms before medical procedures. Just me?

          • ssha

            I want to read that! Do you recommend it?

          • Vanessa

            It’s SO SO good.

          • ssha

            It will go on the never ending booklist!!

          • Kat

            My freshman year at FSU they had a school-wide initiative to encourage everyone to read this, and it is sooooo good/interesting! It really stuck with me.

        • sofar

          Thank you for posting this! I am totally an “I need to know all the gory details so I can come to terms with them” kinda person. Everyone I know who’s gotten Lasik won’t tell me anything. I appreciate this description so much, as someone one the fence about getting lasik.

        • BSM

          As I’ve recounted here, the first time I had Lasik done, the technician input the WRONG PRESCRIPTION into the laser machine, causing them to way overcorrect my eyes. Even though it was repairable, it fucking sucked. Now I tell everyone considering Lasik to ask their surgeon what processes they have in place to prevent mistakes like that from happening.

        • K.

          Omg. My fear of eye doctors are the same as a lot of people feel about dentists, so I’m probably not a good candidate for this even though I’ve badly wanted it for years :-/

        • Les

          Thanks for this… I appreciate it being demystified. Now, to decide to spend my hard earned money on it…

        • justme

          I am strangely happy to read that someone else found the procedure to be worse than they were expecting. I have a very high tolerance for pain and can handle most sickness and gross things with no problem. Lasik was much worse than I expected. I think it was a combination of 1) taking xanax for the procedure – I had never taken it before and I think it made me really anxious? and 2) being awake and completely and totally out of control. Again maybe stop reading if you don;t want to know. . . .

          It is true that nothing hurt at all. The thing I found really disturbing was when the eye flaps are open and they kept telling me to focus my eye on this red light above me. But I couldn’t see the light at all and I felt like crying because I couldn’t see anything and they were getting mad at me for not looking at the light. Plus it is really disturbing to have looking at a light directly above your eye suddenly feel like the hardest thing you have ever done. And the whole thing felt like being on an alien spaceship. For me it was very traumatic. I also had really bad eyesight which might have made it worse?

          But now its two year later and I don’t need glasses. But I do still use eye drops maybe 3-6 times per day.

    • BSM

      1. Congrats on Lasik! I got it last year (had kind of a rough road with it, but am now super satisfied), and not wearing glasses is amazing. I notice it most when I’m on the freeway – the landscape looks like it’s in HD (I guess because it is, ha).

      2. More congrats on your interview! Living abroad is such an amazing experience – fingers crossed for you! Do you mind sharing where you’d be?

      • Megan

        I actually have no idea. I work for a very large global corporation with offices everywhere. The program rotates you into different types of jobs in different locations. If I get in I’ll get a list of roles and the locations they’re in, then I rank my top 5, then they place me in one of those 5. So it could be anywhere from Brazil to Japan to Norway or anywhere in between. EEEEEE!

  • penguin

    FMIL drama: The Saga Continues
    (warning, super long, sorry all)

    (adding some details that I put in comments last week, and an update)

    We thought this was settled/mostly settled last Friday, but it wasn’t. Fiancé finally got a hold of his grandpa, and he didn’t want to observe here (he is a lot more observant/religious than we knew). The original wedding date is also apparently his birthday, and he said that they were going to be having a big party for him, and asked us if we could change the date.

    The grandfather in question is actually my FIL’s father, which is partly why it’s so surprising how upset my MIL is. FIL was refusing to speak to my fiancé at all (fiancé called to talk to him and heard this from his mother). MIL is refusing to speak to me at all, or respond to any emails (we had been talking several times a week before this whole thing). Somehow this all blew up, and we were sitting there with a contract in hand trying to figure out if we should sign it.

    We decided to at least try and change the date, even though we didn’t think it would be possible. I asked the venue for any other October Sundays, and then asked our rabbi. We were hoping to get October 8th so people may have the Monday off, but our rabbi wasn’t available. Thankfully the venue AND the rabbi both had October 15th available, so we’ve changed the date.

    Here’s the kicker – while we were literally in the process of trying to change the date, my fiancés parents just went off the deep end. His father sent an email detailing how every decision we’d made for the wedding was wrong, and how it was going to be a terrible wedding. If the groom wears a suit instead of a tux, no one will know who the groom is, especially vendors, and that will “waste precious seconds” on the wedding day. People will give up looking for the groom and just move on, skipping special events (??). If we have a buffet instead of a plated dinner, the food will be overcooked and dry, and food will go to waste, and there will be a line, and no one at all will like it and they will complain. If we don’t have assigned seating, no one will speak to each other. Every one will get bored, and go home early.

    Fiancés mother yelled at him over the phone, said we are disrespectful and selfish, and that if it was my family with the conflict she bets we’d change the date. She also sent this really long, horrible email to my fiancé, detailing how much we’d hurt his parents, and his grandfather, and his grandfather is old and this will be so hard on him, and on and on. It breaks their hearts, she had never seen her husband cry before this day (yeah right). Her email was really unbelievable and over the line. She also included gems like saying that my grandmother agreed that we would absolutely have to change the date (100% false, my grandma and I are very close and she told MIL that the wedding date was up to me and my fiancé). It also included bits about how she hopes I don’t treat my grandparents this way (excuse me?), and how she “isn’t sure about me anymore”. They uninvited us from family Passover dinner this weekend because they “just wouldn’t be comfortable with us there”, although we definitely weren’t going to go after this whole mess.

    After we got the date changed, fiancé called his grandpa, who was very happy. Even before we’d changed the date, his grandpa had said he would figure out a way to be there, and would just come up that morning. Fiancé sent his parents a one line email to let them know that we changed the date. They replied, pretended that nothing happened, and asked if we would be at Passover on Saturday (definitely not). FMIL is still refusing to speak to me, and is apparently blaming me for this whole debacle. Fiancé and I are still pissed off and hurt at their ridiculous behavior. We had a meeting with our rabbi last night (she does some pre-marital counseling) to talk through everything, and she was really great. We agreed that fiancé will talk with his parents first (without me), and let them know that the way they handled this was unacceptable (and a bunch of other things). Maybe eventually we’ll be able to move on from this, but I don’t see it happening soon.

    Thanks for reading – ranting at APW happy hours help get me through haha.

    • Angela’s Back

      …this is like a whole new kind of crazy. I am so sorry you had to go through all this, I take back all my own date-changing angst because it was nothing like this.

    • Emily

      Ughhh this kind of overreaction is the worst. Real talk: I have a family member (mother) who I haven’t spoken to in 3 years over treatment like this. She never did come around and apologize about her behaviour. I wish you the best in figuring this all out but remember, you are worthy of being treated right. I know there are people who say “but its faaaaamily” but you are allowed (in the eyes of this internet stranger) to put the kabosh on people treating you badly however you see fit.

      • penguin

        Thank you so much. I am mostly estranged from my own mother (lots of reasons), and it had been so nice to start getting close to a “mom” figure. So to have all this happen, and now she isn’t even speaking to me, brings up a lot of things. Family is tough, and I’m glad my fiancé and I are on the same side in all this.

        • Emily

          My husband always says “you and I are in a foxhole, and it is only big enough for two” – I think its a comforting analogy to me. Glad to hear your fiance has your back – that is the most important part as you begin your journey of marriage and it sounds like you are off to a great start :)

          • penguin

            I really love that phrase, probably going to start using it. APW people are the best.

        • Yael

          Internet hugs. I’m so glad that your partner is on your side in all of this. My ex-fiance (not to be confused with current fiance, who is the BEST) and I experienced something similar to this level of crazy (and same kind of comments from his mother and father), except he didn’t have my back (hence ex-fiance). It really makes all the difference. I’ll also add that as someone whose own family sometimes acts similarly, only change as many plans as you are comfortable with FOR YOU. changing things for them, giving in, won’t ultimately make things easier, it just reinforces the pattern of bad behavior. Hopefully your in-laws will cut this out after this (everyone gets a little bit of crazy), but if not, practice good boundaries! Best of luck!

      • flashphase

        Too many people use the word “family” as a cover for “you have to accept my abusive treatment of you.” That’s not the definition.

        • Emily

          And if you feel like printing that on a tea towel and sending it to my mother I’m game ha!

        • Yael

          so true!

    • Ashlah

      Oh. Oh my. This is a new level of ridiculous that I cannot possibly comprehend.

    • Emily

      Unbelievable. Sorry that they’re being lunatics. Glad that you were able to get a new date and at least resolve with grandpa!

    • NolaJael

      Damn.

    • CMT

      Holy shit.

    • Whoa. I hope you two can do something this weekend to take care of yourself. I’m glad you found another date that works better and your fiancé’s grandfather seemed to take everything in stride. But wow. I hope the conversations to work through this go well… It all sounds so very hurtful.

    • Lisa

      Whoa, they went completely off the deep end. Why hit the nuclear option before everything has been explored? I’m so sorry that you have to deal with their craziness!

      • penguin

        The nuclear option is exactly how I was thinking of this! They skipped right over “a calm discussion where we say what’s important to us, and ask if changing the date is a possibility” and went straight to “let’s burn down our whole relationship with our son and his fiancé over a wedding planning detail”.

        • Lisa

          Exactly! Asking to schedule a phone call to discuss their concerns was the most logical next step, not sending dozens of e-mails laying out every atrocity you’ve committed against them ever and casting aspersions on you.

          https://giphy.com/gifs/S3fc12Dcn7idq/html5

    • AGCourtney

      Holy shit.

    • emmers

      They suck. I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this. Only plus side- amazing stories about crazy-ass relatives! (better with wine and time)

      • penguin

        Right! One of my friends got married last year, and swapping wedding planning and crazy relative stories with her has been really cathartic. There was some comedy video about wedding planning that she showed me that was really hilarious too, but I don’t have the link.

    • BSM

      WOW. That is absolutely insane. I am so sorry you’re dealing with that.

      My mom and I have a somewhat strained relationship because she’s always flown off the handle a bit, but she really outdid herself during wedding planning. She was a complete monster, and we did not speak for 9 months before the wedding (except for some threatening texts from her on the morning of, so lovely) and probably 3ish months afterwards.

      She has apologized for how she acted and has done some work on herself to be more flexible about life in general, and our relationship is much better now, so things can improve. But, yeah, it totally sucks to be dealing with crazy family or in-laws when you’re trying to put on a huge, expensive event that everyone will enjoy. Oh, and that you might like, too.

      Lots of wine and ranting about it with my husband and friends helped. And here.

    • Natalie

      Wow. That’s awful, and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Do your in-laws have a history of overreacting like this to other things? Is this a side of them that your fiance has seen before?

      • penguin

        No history that I’ve seen, and my fiancé was blindsided too. He said the only other time he’s seen her even approaching this was when he was in high school, and she thought he needed to get a job. But he said that was mostly her being stubborn, but not as nasty.

        I forget what APW thread it was on, but someone mentioned viewing people’s negatives as something they are good at (I’m badly paraphrasing). Now I keep thinking – wow, look at her crossing those boundaries like it ain’t no thang! Damn, that’s a really thorough guilt trip! And so on, haha.

        • emmers

          lol

        • Natalie

          “wow, look at her crossing those boundaries like it ain’t no thang!” ROFL

          You’ve got a good sense of humor about it.

    • Arie

      I think it’s time to put on your fuck it pants. You’ve moved everything around in an attempt to accommodate, and now you’re done. I think it would be super helpful to put up a mental barrier right here, where you are. Moving a wedding date is damn serious business, and incredibly stressful. No more! Have your buffet and make whatever other decisions you want, then plan to imbibe and support FH while he takes a front line in dealing with the cray-cray. Godspeed.

    • louise danger

      Your new date is the same weekend as ours (we’re the 13th), holler!

      Also I feel you on the inlaws thing. Mr Danger’s mom silently threatened (we heard from Mr Danger’s dad) to withhold a one-week $100 “can i borrow this so i can pay to install the new furnace so we don’t freeze and/or die of CO poisoning” loan because we had asked her brother, not A Priest™ to officiate our ~alleged wedding~ which at the time was planned to happen in a (den of heathenism) state park, rather than A Church™. Wouldn’t you know it, the moment we changed venues – not because of her, but because we both fell in love with our parish at Christmas – suddenly it’s “how’s the wedding going” and “we can’t wait” and “how can we help.”

      I am very sorry that you are going through this, too, and I wish you strength as you keep going. I am really glad that Grandpa is going to be able to make it, though – he sounds like he is willing to make things work for you all.

      • penguin

        Wedding weekend buddies, holler! Solidarity on your in-law troubles, it’s weird what other people will focus on as A Very Important Thing.

    • Abs

      Wow. These people are being completely insane and horrible and I’m so sorry you have to deal with it. Especially as it sounds like you’re doing everything right.

      • penguin

        Thank you! We tried so hard. In January, before we even looked at venues, we asked his parents for any dates we should cross off. Then we asked his grandpa, and crossed off all those dates. We found the venue, got a date, confirmed it didn’t conflict with anything on our list, and asked his parents AGAIN. It was only after they’d known the date for almost a MONTH that this nonsense started. I really think that sometimes you just can’t win.

        • lottie

          That’s especially nuts. My mom, who would probably care about a wedding the day after Yom Kippur, would have put that on the list immediately because she is always looking at the calendar for even the smallest of things. If you don’t care enough to list it immediately, well…

        • LadyJanee

          I was already thinking that you had been far more gracious than I would have been about changing the date but when you’d already asked them and his grandpa and no one raised it, I would have just been like NOPE TOO BAD. If it’s so important to have a major hissy fit over, it’s important enough to mention when you’ve specifically been asked for input.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      O_O WAT. Is this all because you chose Grampa’s birthday as your wedding date?

      • Lisa

        I think there was some issue with the wedding being the day after Yom Kippur originally so the ILs were concerned about people not being able to travel for the wedding.

      • penguin

        It was mostly because it was the day after Yom Kippur, the birthday thing was just an extra bonus issue. Fiancé’s parents aren’t observant/religious much at all, so we didn’t think that his grandpa would be observant enough that he would refuse to celebrate anywhere other than his own temple.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          At least you’re walking into your marriage knowing what kind of people your in-laws are. Adult tantrums! For fun and profit!

    • sofar

      You are a MUCH bigger person than I am, for changing your wedding date. They should have NOTHING but gratitude for that.

      Good luck with all this. I agree with @disqus_O3uvyucfVg:disqus below — you have gone above and beyond to be accommodating, and, having given them this victory in the wedding-date battle, you get to have everything else your way.

      And for the record, we got some blow-back for doing buffet. But our caterer got all 200+ guests through that thing in under 30 minutes, and I had people coming up to me and saying how good the food was and how much they loved having it “hot” and getting to pick what they want.

      • penguin

        Our venue has done buffets before, so I’m optimistic that it will go well. We are also only inviting about 85 people, and we’re expecting a good number of them not to come (distant elderly relatives), so I think it’ll work out.

        And thank you! At this point if they throw a fit over anything else, my response (either thought or spoken, depends) will be “we already changed the wedding date for you”.

    • Les

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Deepest sympathy.

    • Jess

      Oh. my. goodness.

      I am glad that you were able to have the flexibility to change the date, but this is some absurd crap to wade through, up to and including your future MIL saying she “isn’t sure about you anymore.”

      Congratulations on being flexible and surviving this mess.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Yikes! I can’t believe those emails they sent. I’m so sorry they’re making everything more difficult than it should be. Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is!

      I really hope fiancé has strong words for them about this behavior. Props to you guys for those problem solving skills.

    • CP2011

      That sounds so awful. All I can offer in the way of encouragement is that during my wedding planning, things got really tense between my mom and me, with her constantly berating me (even on wedding day) and being completely unreasonable. Things were hard for a while after that but now, a few years following, we are on really great terms. I know it’s different when it’s your partner’s family and not your bio family, but still I hope it gets easier over time.

    • OMG are they horrible, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. And I volunteer my services if you need someone to curse them out for you.

    • I wonder if some of this is them feeling guilt over either not being more observant themselves, or worrying they’ve offended grandpa by not noticing it earlier and guilt they aren’t closer to him, and going nuclear because it’s easier to be mad at you guys than mad at themselves. Honestly, you guys are handling this so gracefully – they’d have had a full capslock email from me by now that reads “YOU HATE OUR WEDDING? DON’T COME!”

      • penguin

        That was what our rabbi thought too! Apparently around big things like weddings a lot of non-observant people suddenly get very into This Is How It Must Be Done and are suddenly really concerned with religious things. I’ve been refraining from emailing his mom at all because I don’t want to make it worse. She sent me a half-assed “apology” email on Saturday, where she never actually said she was sorry. I haven’t responded.

    • Mrs H

      Oh my god! They sound like awful, awful people. You were so good to even change the date. I just want you to know that you are absolutely allowed to cut yourself off from these people for as long as you need. I’m so sorry this is happening xx

      • penguin

        Thank you! I’m definitely distancing myself from them now.

    • suchbrightlights

      Wow. Just wow.

      Is this a thing your parents-in-law do on a regular basis?

      After all this, I’m glad grandpa was being reasonable but HOLY COW. What a completely over the top reaction.

      Props to you both for handling it so calmly.

  • Angela’s Back

    Question for the group–anyone currently live in or from the Albany, NY area who could give me some pointers on good places to live? I got a swanky (for my field, anyway) new job offer yesterday (ahhhhh still freaking out!!!!) and it is amazing, but I have zero knowledge of the area so any tips are much appreciated :D

    • BSM

      I know nothing about Albany, but congrats! Swanky job offers are so exciting!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the job offer!!

    • zana

      Congrats!
      I’ll be moving about ~1 hour from Albany in June, so no pointers yet ;)

      • Angela’s Back

        high five for moving to Albany/Albany area!

    • Anna

      I have a ton of family/friends in the Albany area. I think it just depends on where you’re working & what you want your commute to be. Like are you working downtown? In Saratoga? It varies. But that’s awesome, congrats!! :)

      • Angela’s Back

        Woohoo! I’ll actually be working in Castleton-on-Hudson and I definitely want to keep the commute under 20 minutes so based on my cursory Googlemapping, I was thinking closer to downtown rather than out on the west side.

        • Anna

          I would stay on whatever side of the river you’re working (looks like east side?), just to keep the commute simpler. So like Rensselaer/Troy-ish would probably work, it just depends on how far out you want to be. :) Best of luck!! If you want more specifics, I can totally reach out to my family/friends (or you can email me: irishbookworm25@yahoo.com)

          • Angela’s Back

            That is very lovely of you and I may take you up on that, thank you!

          • Allison

            I live it downtown Troy if you want suggestions. I like that I can walk to all the restaurants and bars, but I also can walk to work so that’s really nice. My email is flecka@rpi.edu if you want to email me!

    • cam

      Hi! I missed Happy Hour on Friday as my fiance and I were traveling for the weekend…but I live in downtown Albany, and have done so happily for a bit more than a decade. Our neighborhood of choice for quite some time now is Center Square. Beautiful old brownstones, lots of character, walkable to restaurants/parks/bars, etc. Parking can be tough, but you figure it out. Albany and Troy have distinctly different personalities, so it really depends on what type of experience you value. My best piece of advice is to not limit yourself to your city/town of residence. The Capital Region is such a great place to live with SO much to do within easy driving distance. I’ll leave my email here for a little bit if you want to chat: merrill.caitlin@gmail.com. All the congratulations on the job offer, and best of luck making the move!

  • AGCourtney

    Well, I cut the stitches out of my hand myself on Monday night. My hand looks simultaneously more normal and more weird. This is my hand now, haha. My planner has been recovered and I scheduled a follow-up in Minneapolis on Monday. Apparently in Minnesota you have the right to some independent nurse care coordinator-thing through worker’s comp, so I’m meeting with her next week? I’m a little leery about it, but we’ll see. I’m starting to get my energy back and catch up on the backlog of things to do. I love this job at the CPA firm, but I’ll be glad to get my days back once tax season is over.

    For those who recall my husband’s credit card fiasco (a few months ago, I discovered he’d racked up ~3k on his credit card), an update. I’ve been lightly, occasionally suggesting we check in about it sometime over the past several weeks, and as I suspected, it has ballooned. We finally talked about it on Sunday night. He’s been avoiding telling me because he was worried I’d be angry/leave, but really, it’s basic math. He started doing Herbalife to pay it off – there’s a physical storefront in town, a shake shop, basically – and that night, I was allowed to say “I told you so” one time about MLM’s. He’s sunk a lot in costs (on the credit card he’s trying to pay off, of course) and he’s not making as much as he thought he would due to all the fees, etc. I honestly think he’s just going to be stuck with this for years.

    And just before that, I tried out for that musical I mentioned last week. I had my song down perfectly just before I left but I got panicky during the audition and I don’t think it was my best. (But hey, I have a recording of that last runthrough before I left home!) It was about 1/3 of the way through learning the dance combination that it occurred to me that I have not danced in six years, what’s-going-on-crap-wrong-hand-augh-why-am-I-here. And we started with dance and then sang, so that probably accounted for a good deal of the panic, haha. But still, it was fun! I’m glad I did it.

    • Cellistec

      Super impressed that you tried out for a musical! Way to put yourself out there. I’m glad it ended up being a good experience overall.

    • Eenie

      Hey, the nurse case manager is good for you! It means a medical professional is explaining stuff to your WC claim adjuster. It’s a good thing.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, I was wondering if you knew anything about that! Okay, thanks.

        • Eenie

          You have a complex claim – the NCM is there to help coordinate your care (make sure the appointments are made, you show up to appointments, the course of treatment is working for you, etc). A good one will make you feel like you really understand what’s going on with your treatment plan, will be able to answer additional questions about treatment, and can even attend appointments with you. I’d show up to the meeting with a list of questions, concerns, and worries. She/he knows more about the WC process and should be able to answer some/most of them.

          (I actually popped by HH specifically to see how you were doing! Even though I hate handling WC in a professional setting, I’m aware that it’s a confusing process and I possess this weird amount of knowledge. My best friend is a WC claims adjuster as well, which is why I know about NCM.)

          • AGCourtney

            I just realized I’d never responded – thank you so much for checking in and sharing! It just feels a bit odd to just be getting an NCM now. It would have been nice a month ago, but now I’m pretty much done with the medical side of things… I had an appointment at HCMC yesterday and they said it looked great, I don’t need to come back, and I’m clear to go back to work on May 1st.

  • K.

    Any dog whisperers in the APW house? I’m 25 weeks pregnant and struggling with our 1.5 year old pup. He’s a sweet, affectionate, energetic, awesome dog who we adore, but he’s been having increasing anxiety over the past 6 months or so.

    We have him working with a trainer (and spending boatloads on it) and we have a dog walker who comes every day to give him the exercise I can’t provide anymore as I’m just starting to waddle more than walk, but nothing seems to help with his more compulsive behaviors. He’s strongly reactive with strange dogs, pees in the house even after he just went outside, resource guards, and straight up bounces off the walls even after exercise that should completely exhaust him.

    He’s also a small toy breed known for snuggles and being named after Hollywood icons (http://bit.ly/2oh0hT6 ), so not like we’re dealing with a bored Border Collie here.

    I would be heartbroken to rehome him (like, I sobbed earlier today when someone on another site mentioned it) mostly because I love him, but also because I do think this is a reaction to all the changes happening and the fact that he’s still an adolescent. But we have a 5 year old of the same breed too and I remember adolescent craziness – admittedly, this is beyond that, into compulsive anxiety. And, of course, we also have a baby coming in ~3.5 months, so I need to do SOMETHING, for both my sake and his. [My husband is obviously involved, but I work from home and will be on a 6 month maternity leave so I do the brunt of the dog care.]

    Would a short-term round of anti-anxiety meds help take the edge off or am I being totally insane for even thinking along those lines? Is there a way to help him relax that I’m totally missing here? Our dogs are our family so we don’t want to just give up on him.

    • Amy March

      Absolutely ask the vet about solutions to this, which I think could totally include anti-anxiety medication.

      • K.

        We have an appointment set up for this week, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being looney tunes.

        • Alyssa

          A former coworker of mine had to get his dog Zoloft for what his vet called “Puppy OCD” and it seemed to help. It doesn’t hurt to ask, anyway!

          • Vanessa

            Yep! My vet prescribed my cat Prozac for a while, several years ago. It definitely helped.

    • emmers

      I dog sat a family whose dog was on anti anxiety pills (we called them “calm down” pills), and that seemed to help their small dog.

    • Eve

      Definitely not insane for considering anti-anxiety meds. My family’s rescue boxer has been on anti-anxiety meds off and on for the last three years and her anxiety ebbs and flows, but having the meds means that my dad can have tissue boxes in the house with reasonable assurance that they’ll last more than a day. He’s also considered (but not tried) the compression t-shirts, but have heard lots of positive things about them from other dog parents.

      • K.

        Thanks! He really badly wants to please us, but it seems like he’s got some kind of internal roadblock going on. We don’t expect miracles or the pills to be a solution in and of themselves, but something that could help take the edge off and make him more receptive to training and exercise. The poor guy can’t even settle down on the couch with us right now.

        Oh, and he had a MASSIVE freak out on a plane (the worst 6 hours of my life…and probably the other passengers’ too) which was our first sign that something was amiss, since he used to be perfect on planes. On the way back, we got him some temporary anti-anxiety pills (not sedatives) and while he wasn’t perfect, he was way, way more manageable so I think he’s a good candidate.

    • louise danger

      what does your vet say? you mentioned a trainer, a dog-walker, and a lot of other things, but nothing about the vet. also, what does the trainer think? have you been able to consistently do the things the trainer recommends?

      a compression t-shirt (usual brand is “Thundershirt”) is a great idea for a lot of dogs. with all the changes in the house and family (pending new baby, which presumably means New Stuff, New Routines, an entire room is changing, etc), it’s possible he is just overwhelmed. does he have his own space in the house – a crate, a special bed, etc – that is His and is not changed? a dark/dim, quiet space where he can retreat if he needs to is wonderful for many dogs and often helps them to relax in stressful situations. a crate with a blanket overtop is a good way to create this space if you don’t have one yet. leave the door open all the time, feed him in there, etc, so that he knows it’s his spot and no one will bug him there.

      good luck.

      • K.

        We have a vet appointment to talk about it in full, but when we’ve gone they’ve said it’s adolescence or situational (like the plane issue I mentioned in another comment). But at this point, it’s been increasing to the point that we can’t ignore it.

        Luckily, I work from home and I’ve been able to keep up with the trainer’s recommendations each day, but he only seems to do well when he’s in “training mode” if that makes sense. He’s great when he does the exercises, but then falls apart shortly after (and we can only do active training with him once an hour). And he’s obsessed with his crate, so he always has that. Important especially for when the baby comes. We’ll try making it dimmer and darker for him too.

        Thank you!

        • louise danger

          something else that you can do (and your trainer might be able to help you ID when to cue it or do it) is rewarding him for being quiet/good/normal. so if he’s just laying around being a couch potato? BOOM party treat yay good dog. if he’s doing something that you normally work on in training – like, say that you’re training him to sit and wait politely for his food at meals – without you specifically asking, PARTY HOORAY BIG DEAL. he’ll start to put together that acting civilized is something he can do even outside of his formal sessions and that it’s rewarding – with food, treats, or just praise and scratchies – even if he’s not specifically being asked to do it. :)

          • Alyssa

            Yay for positive reinforcement!

    • another prego (former)

      could be the pregnancy, too. my dog acted super weird and protective of me during the end of my pregnancy. he also acted bad and anxious after the baby had been around a few days and I was gone or the baby was gone. could be the situation and impending changes, too.

      • K.

        Yes, I do think he’s hyper-sensitive to my pregnancy. Has your dog adjusted since? Having dog-meet-baby is one of my biggest concerns, even with my older, much calmer dude.

        • another prego (former)

          yeah, he’s fine most of the time with the baby now. he was good at the initial meeting and was just ‘protective’ the first few months (would be in the same room with us all the time or would sit really close to me while feeding baby, etc.) he still occasionally gets antsy and eats things that smell like the baby or that the baby plays with (toys, clothes, diapers) probably because of pent up energy or jealousy. We have considered taking him to a doggy-daycare place a couple times a week or going to dog parks at night to help with that. he is older and is generally good around kids, so he usually just sniffs him for a minute or tries to get the baby to pet him, then ignores the baby or goes to another part of the house if he doesn’t want to deal with him. just do what you can to help the dog adjust and put him on meds if it helps with his/your sanity. at the end of my pregnancy, the dog would constantly want to be around me and would sniff and scratch at my belly. it was kinda cute and protective, I thought. then, we just made sure to train the dog to go on his bed on command so that we could get him away from the baby if we needed to. We also have to keep the doors closed and baby stuff away from the dog so he doesn’t get into it when we are not around. good luck!

    • laddibugg

      26 weeks is…roughly 6 months, right? No advice, but …idk if it’s a myth or not but I have to wonder if it has to do with your pregnancy ….if anything you *are* acting different even if you don’t realize it.

      • K.

        Yeah, I’m thinking it’s not a coincidence! But obviously if he thinks my PREGNANCY is a big change, he’s got a big shock ahead of him. So that’s why we want to be especially proactive.

    • tempy13

      I’ve heard people who use a “weighted shirt”, which is akin to a thunder vest, have massive success. It’s like swaddling a baby. For some beings-the vast emptiness of the space around them is very anxiety inducing.

    • Cha

      Anti-anxiety meds can be a super helpful addition to training. We dealt with severe separation anxiety with our then-three-year-old rescue pup and while our original prescription for Prozac didn’t seem to do much for him, when we tried meds a second time and put him on Elavil it totally took the edge off of his panic so that his brain could actually internalize our training. I definitely recommend talking to your vet (and your trainer) about including meds as part of your training work. Good luck!

  • emilyg25

    Omg, swimsuits these days are INSANE. Actually, a lot of clothes are, which is challenging for a person who basically just wants crew-neck tee shirts and regular jeans. Does no one think about tan lines??

    • Essssss

      Right?! I sourced some good swim suit help in a recent HH thread, and got some good input but this was majorly my struggle. I don’t want spider web tanlines all over my back. Also, anything with more than one strap is impossible to get on when I’m not 110% caffeinated!

    • Emily

      You could just be like my skin cancer afraid self and slather yourself with SPF 50+ and sit under an umbrella. Doesn’t help your other problems but would help with the tan lines issue…. My dad had melanoma in his 30s so my personal concerns are warranted.

      • Abs

        I’ve been seeing a lot of rash guards and long sleeve bathing suits (like this: https://www.jcrew.com/ca/p/G3906 ) around lately, which makes me hopeful because a few years ago I developed a chronic condition where the sun is no longer my friend. But I’m wondering–what are you supposed to wear with the rash guards? Because I get how it’s fine that your legs are exposed in the water, but just sitting or walking on the beach–do you wear shorts over top? Also, aren’t they hot?

        Does someone just make, like, a really cute SPF 50 caftan that I can swan around in? Because that’s what I’m looking for and it doesn’t seem to exist.

        • Hmm, I would wear rashguards with boardshorts when I go to the beach for extended time periods and just wear both of them in the water*. (Haven’t since teenage-years though, since I no longer live by the beach/don’t spend days there regularly all summer).

          I don’t remember them being particularly hot–and if there is, you can usually fix the problem by running into the water. But, I’ve also never been one for just sitting on the beach–if I’m at the ocean, I want to be in the ocean–so I’m not sure if it would be more of a problem for reading on the beach, etc.

          *(Also helps with waves knocking around bathing suits–that way you can be much less pick about how secure your bathing suit is/wear a two-pice which is much easier for bathroom).

          • quiet000001

            Yeah, I need bra-sized swimwear for support, and it works well for me to do a bikini top of some kind (I usually go with what I can find on sale since it’ll get covered up) and a rash guard and then I have a few different pairs of water-friendly bottoms (boy shorts, board shorts, I have even seen leggings and Capri leggings these days) so I can pick what suits my activity. Makes it easy to go to the bathroom when you need to also.

        • Jess

          I have done board shorts (both dude’s and shorter women’s inseams) w/ rash guards & normal bikini tops. Highly recommend. Usually sun hits my shoulders/chest much more than my legs, so I can get sunscreen on the legs and go with the rash guard for the top.

          Light color rash guards are not super hot, and are usually really breathable, but the dark ones can get steamy in sunlight.

        • Amy March
          • Abs

            This literally changes my whole summer plan.

        • Kara E

          Abs – yes, check for a burkini or an orthodox women’s suits! I’ve seen them at our local pool. I do what Jess does (below) and wear a normal bikini bottom with a rash guard top (bikini under) and then swap out the rash guard for a normal cover up (longish) when I”m out of the pool. I put my kiddos in long sleeved rash guard and board shorts for the outdoor pool (last year, she was in boys swim trunks because I couldn’t find “girly” ones small enough). The difference in coverage between boys and girls swim stuff (we’re talking for 2-3 year olds!) infuriates me!

    • BSM

      YES. I just want to buy some goddamn normal, cotton tshirts that aren’t going to fall apart after 2 washes and don’t cost $60. Why does this not exist?

      Also, why are bathing suits like minimum $100? They’re like 3 triangles of scuba material!

      • sofar

        If you’re looking for some nice, high-quality t-shirts at a steal, have you tried ThredUp? If needing to try something on is important, may not be the best. But I just bought several high-end gray and white cotton T’s from there for summer for like $8 each (originally $40+ retail price). You can shop by brand, too.

        • BSM

          That is a good idea. Are they still in like-new condition? I’m always nervous about quality when buying stuff second hand.

          • sofar

            I have had AMAZING experiences with ThredUp. Even the clothes they say have “minor wear and tear” look new to me. I’ve bought dresses, purses, shirts, scarves and more.

            The only time I had to return stuff was because it just didn’t fit me right — nothing to do with quality.

          • BSM

            Good to know! I actually send some of my stuff into ThredUp, so I have some experience (and possibly some store credit) with them. Thanks!

        • Alyssa

          Good idea. I sometimes even scour Goodwill stores in swanky areas, since rich people seem to donate a lot of brand new clothing items without using them.

          • sofar

            YES. I love going to the fancy-area Goodwills for jeans and athletic wear. Very clearly a lot of rich people buy a ton of work-out clothes in January, never wear them and bring them to Goodwill with the tags still on.

          • Alyssa

            Buying workout gear from Goodwill in Jan/Feb is a BRILLIANT strategy.

        • Emily

          Second your experience with thredup. Substantially all my work shirts came from there.

      • Alyssa

        Everlane has decent quality items — they’re online only and focus on being transparent with ethical production processes, but they have some basic tees that are reasonably priced!

        • afew

          hopefully they are not actually transparent!

          • Alyssa

            Ha! Yes — to clarify: *ethical* transparent shirts (like what are the factories we work with, what are the wages we pay, etc.), not *physically* transparent shirts (at least that I know of) :)

        • Alyssa

          Also — I was just hunting for bathing suits too, and Backcountry.com (kinda like an online REI but with more selection) has bathing suits that are decently priced — and I think they have a 20% off coupon right now.

        • BSM

          I do like Everlane! When I got my new job, I splurged on a pair of their loafers, which I love. My only issue is I want to be like 6 tshirts, and $100 on tshirts seems crazy to me. Maybe I should just start with like 2?

          • Alyssa

            Maybe — or if you don’t mind buying second hand, I’ve had great luck with finding Everlane (and other good brands for basics like James Perse) on Ebay too. I’m currently trying to buy less but buy high quality so I’d personally maybe start with 2 and built up, but it’s up to you! But yes, $100 for a tee shirt is totally ridiculous!

          • BSM

            Yeah, that is much more practical lol.

            I’m also at a tough point because I’ve really needed to refresh my tshirt stash for awhile now, but I’m 2.5 months pregnant and not sure if now’s the time to really invest in a ton of new stuff (other than the necessary maternity things I need to clothe myself).

            So difficultttt, but I think I will pull the trigger on a couple tees from Everlane!

          • Alyssa

            Yeah, I’ve heard about some of those pregnancy/clothing woes. It’s like you know you need the clothes eventually, but the timing’s off! I know some women who decided to take advantage of the opportunity fashion-wise and bought themselves 1-2 Free People Tunics (since they’re so oversized) that they never would have worn otherwise and played with a whole new style while pregnant… plus, you can wear them afterwards without them being strictly *maternity* clothes.

            Yay for pulling the trigger on Everlane! Oh, I’ve also heard that Tradlands is good too, but is more expensive (and not as many options). Just thought of it and thought I’d throw it out there!

          • BSM

            Tunics! Another good idea!

            Yeah, I’ve already purchased a few faux-ternity items (stretchy maxi and midi dresses mostly) that I can hopefully get some use out of postpartum, and I’m planning to scoop up a couple oversized oxfords next time J.Crew Factory has a good sale, but tshirts have been kind of tough to navigate. Hopefully sizing up in Everlane will get me a little extra wear while pregnant and just look a little extra flowy later on.

      • Bsquillo

        American Giant sells made-in-the-USA basics that I believe have a lifetime warranty. They have nice looking t-shirts that aren’t cheap, but aren’t quite that expensive. I haven’t bought those myself yet, but have been really impressed with a zip hoodie and joggers I got from there.

        • Alyssa

          I’ve been so curious about American Giant! I will have to try when I decide to upgrade my tees.

        • Eenie

          My zip hoodie from them has two holes in it less than a year into wearing. I love it, but I was very disappointed with the wear durability. I wonder if I should email them about it.

      • Megan

        OMG American Apparel is going out of business and I bought all the Tri Cotton Blend women’s t-shirts in the store. Literally. I now own 15 of them. It’s a struggle.

        • BSM

          I *think* I saw that there are still available on Amazon… Going to investigate.

      • Michelle

        Super late to this, but have you tried H&M Basics? They are super affordable and hold up really well (in my experience).

    • penguin

      Right, where are the normal clothes that aren’t see-through, and don’t wear out within a couple months?

      • Julia

        Speaking of see-through clothes – I HAVE to share these jeans! A woman in my local FB parenting group actually ordered them and recorded herself trying them on and modeling them – funniest thing ever. But yeah, lots of current fashion is WTF. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/topshop-clear-knee-mom-jeans/4619337

        • AGCourtney

          wtf? who comes up with this stuff?

        • BSM

          LOLLLL

        • ART

          WHAT?! WHY?!

        • Essssss

          Oh my.

        • Lisa

          I just…wat…WHY.

        • penguin

          Ooh those risqué knee windows… haha fashion is insane.

      • Jess

        I just want to wear one shirt. Why does fashion think I want to layer three in order to not expose myself?

        • Bsquillo

          THIS HAS BEEN MY SAME QUESTION FOR YEARS. F*ck layering.

        • penguin

          And each of those three shirts still costs full-price!

          • ART

            I laughed out loud at Old Navy’s recent ads showing women wearing two different colors of denim jackets, layered. No one does that, Old Navy.

        • Natalie

          Preach.

    • sofar

      Aaaand this is why I often wear bikini bottoms and rash-guard to the beach.

    • Kate

      I WAS JUST THINKING THIS EXACT THING!

      Am I the only one who sees these ridiculous, complicated, strappy, spangly, tassely monstrosities that look good for eight seconds while you take a picture and immediately thinks “Those tan lines are gonna be fuuuucked”

      • Kara

        And then the crocheted ones too???? All I can think of is “you can’t seriously get that wet, you know, right?”.

        • CP2011

          Does anyone remember when velvet bathing suits were popular? Terrible idea. My primary memory of Disneyland in 1998 was just having a rash from a velvet one-piece.

    • Her Lindsayship

      omg I thought it was difficult finding a swimsuit a couple years ago because I really require a bra-like top. Now I wish for those days! Not only is it still ridiculously difficult to find those, but everything else is… side boob?? whyyyy

      • sage

        Haha same! I’ve actually been so removed from swimsuit trends for the last few years since I discovered Lands End does bra-size bikini tops.

        The side boob look is weird to begin with on a model… it would be disastrous on me!

        • kara e

          Yes! And lands Ends does tall AND plus-sized tall!

      • quiet000001

        My boobs would run for the hills in those side boob ones.

    • JennDee

      I got an awesome suit last year from LLBean! High School Jenn was totally judging, but I’m not one for those crazy tan lines or taking 45 mins+ to get in/out of something, plus my chest needs *actual* support, and the suit I got from them is ahhhmazzzing!! I ordered one more for this summer in a fun print–definitely worth the $80 as it seems to be wearing extremely well (I wore it daily for 6 weeks at beaches/lakes last summer and use the same suit to swim 2x week in a chlorine pool and it’s still going strong!).

      • tempy13

        As a proud Mainer, I must brag about how LL Beans stands behind all their goods. They will refurbish or replace anything that breaks/wears out/rips etc. They had to tighten their policies because people were really abusing their warranties, but it’s still amazing what the company has for a warranty standard.

    • Les

      Ok, the swimsuits in the article are horrifying. I actually found that department store swimsuits were getting better though- I felt like there were way more exciting colors and designs for one-pieces last year. My go-to is Badgley Mischka via Amazon (there are some for $40, I swear) because of colors, sizes, support…

  • Vanessa

    APW Hive Mind: We just scheduled our engagement photo shoot, for the last week of May, here in Colorado. Not being particular fans of the “hug each other in a field” or “hold hands in front of this colorful wall” or “make out in a public place where we would not normally make out” e-photos (no offense if you dig this style! just not us) we want to do something a little more active, but we’re struggling with ideas. For example, some friends had their e-photos taken on a sailboat and they looked amazing.

    Originally we had talked about going bowling, or for a hike, or on a bike ride, but I’m now seeing downsides/challenges to all of those options (bowling alleys are dark, May is mud season, I don’t really want to wear a helmet in my e-photos). Our photographer suggested our home but it’s not a particularly photogenic place (tiny dark garden level condo).

    I’d love to hear any ideas people have for nontraditional e-photo settings or activities! Bonus points for any specific recommendations of spots within a couple hours of Denver.

    • emmers

      Drinking at a brewery? I remember CO’s amazing beer scene. I like hike though, if you can find a non-muddy place. Or just with cute rainboots or something!

      • Vanessa

        Yes we do have an active brewery scene! They’re all packed on Sundays though – is it weird to have other people in the background? How do you get over the self-consciousness of doing a photo shoot in a very public place? Is it clear yet that I am overthinking this? (ha!)

        • CMT

          Hmm. I used to work as a barista in a pretty photogenic Seattle cafe and I remember people coming in not infrequently for engagement and wedding photos. But it was always pretty dead on the weekends so I don’t think anybody ever had to worry about having strangers in the background of their photos. But the public part was not at all weird. If you buy coffee or a beer or whatever.

        • Lisa

          Even right at opening? A lot of breweries are pretty dead for the first hour or so. Maybe you could schedule to go before anyone else gets there?

        • emmers

          I don’t think it’s weird to have other people around. If you really wanted to be wild you could do it at a couple of breweries or something and at the second maybe you could reserve a table for some friends, and they could be in your pics/in the background. But that may be over complicating things :)

          I’m just picturing you two, beer, and big pint classes and maybe even a nice fireplace!

        • Abs

          We had ours in a park, but it was freezing so we ended up finding a nearby bar right at noon, when they opened. it was totally empty even on a Saturday, so we just hung around near the window doing some day drinking. It was very nice!

    • Lisa

      We went to our favorite bar and played pool! Afterwards, we went for a walk along the lakefront.

      • Vanessa

        Jealous of your waterfront opportunities!

    • CMT

      You mean you *don’t* regularly schedule field hugging time? ;)

      • Vanessa

        Hahaha I can just see suggesting that as a date night activity

      • Jess

        I’m feeling very self conscious about our weekly field hugging date. (sarcasm)

    • Ashlah

      We went to an aquarium! It was nice having something to do/look at.

      • Vanessa

        Ooo that’s a good idea!

    • BSM

      I’m not sure if you have a photogenic/fun downtown area that you frequent, but we basically had our photographer follow us down a cute main drag in our city while we stopped and drank mimosas, got ice cream, grabbed a couple beers, went into flower shops, just walked, stopped in front of beautiful craftsmen houses, etc. I think it turned out great, and it also felt super comfortable, since we do that walk a lot. Bonus: everyone we met along the way was *so* excited for us and kind of honored that we were taking engagement photos in their cafe/brewery/shop. Highly recommend!

      ETA: After our walk, we took our dog to a park over by a marina and got some cute shots of the whole family running around with the water as a backdrop. Also recommend!

      • Vanessa

        oo this has me brainstorming a couple spots around town… thanks!

    • Rose

      May is hard around there, especially up towards the mountains, it’s just so unpredictable. I’ve seen some really cute photoshoots of couples doing fairly low-key things like getting ice cream, in a bookstore, etc. Are you farmer’s market people? I don’t think I’d recommend the Boulder one, it’s usually really crowded, but Longmont or something, maybe?

      Some parks, etc, have more groomed paths that might matter less for mud–Garden of the Gods is a place that comes to mind, but I don’t know how they are about photos. I think you can take photos in the Denver Botanic Gardens if you pay a fee, but I’m not sure about that. They have a neat indoor conservatory too. And they have that prairie garden now, too, right? If you wanted somewhere a little more natural to walk around. I don’t know at what point that turns into the “hugging in a field”, but if walking around looking at flowers appeals, that could be nice.

      If you’re art people, there’s a sculpture garden in Loveland, it might be an interesting place to visit if they allow photos). I haven’t been there in years, so I don’t have the best memory of it, but it might be nice?

      • Vanessa

        These are great ideas! Thank you!

        • Rose

          Also, I hope I didn’t sound snarky about the “hugging in a field”, I really didn’t mean to, I just wasn’t sure how active of a thing you were looking for.

          One other potential place that just came to mind is Cleer Creek History Park in Golden–it’s also been years since I was there, but they have some outdoor spaces and historic buildings and exhibits, it might be a good place for you to have fun looking around and get some photos. http://www.goldenhistory.org/museums/cchp/

          • Vanessa

            You didn’t!

    • LazyMountain

      Just a note on going for a hike: We did this (actually was more of a “snowshoe”) a few weeks ago, and it’s a good idea to not do a for-real hike if you want your hair to not be a giant pouf or have some nice visible sweat stains happening. Our photographers understood this, while we did not- they gave us a list of locations where we could drive to higher elevation and do some easy walks to places with great views. I literally showed up with a fully-stocked backpack and trekking poles- these definitely weren’t needed! We also were really flexible on timeline because of weather, which helped in getting an afternoon/evening free from snow or rain.
      The results were pretty dang awesome, felt like us in their woodsy & mountainy-ness, and were much less painful to obtain than anticipated.
      Best of luck!

      • Vanessa

        That’s a good idea! Thank you!

    • CW

      Red Rocks, any park with the Flatirons behind it. You could even try something like a walk around City or Wash Park, or along the Platte River (some sections have paved trail, you just need to scout for what kind of backdrop you’d like- downtown, mountains/trees on the south side off Mineral). Sometimes in the early summer college campuses can be nice because the lawns are well kept, not many students around, interesting/historic buildings.

    • zana

      Mud season sounds fine! Wear your hiking boots and/or rain boots!

    • Les

      Public library or other stately building exterior/interior like on a campus? Someone else’s house? Just sitting on a nice leather couch together somewhere? In front of some trees or a nice bush in park or yard?

    • Katherine

      If you’re willing to drive a little bit, come up to Cheyenne. Since this is Wyoming, nothing is ever busy. There are a couple of really cute breweries and coffeeshops you could do photos in (in fact, the one my husband works at has a back patio next to the train tracks, which would make for some cool shot).

    • JSK

      I’m super late here, but we did ours around a bunch of abandoned buildings in an old factory part of our town. They came out super cool and moody. Haven’t been to Denver in 8 or so years, so don’t have any specific spots to recommend.

  • Jenny

    Hey all, I’m looking for some activism inspiration/kicks in the butt!
    For those of you who were dismayed by the election results 6 months ago, what have you done since then to take action?

    I have subscribed to the NYT, WaPo, and local newspaper, continued our contribution to NPR.
    I started a weekly newsletter to friends that provides some action items, calling and otherwise that we can engage in. It has grown by 100% and now goes out to friends/friends of friends/ family.
    I’ve called and called and called a lot, but I need to get a little more consistent about it. I was trying to call my MOCs once a day and my local reps once a day, but now I usually alternate.
    I’ve written several postcards, but I’d like to write one a day.
    I’ve started using https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php and resistbot (text resist to 50409) to fax my members of congress when I’m not feeling up for calling, or not able to call.
    I went to my local democratic party meeting and signed up to volunteer on a couple committees.

    • Kate

      This book has been the biggest thing that helped me. I’ve been trying to listen more to people I typically would have written off or ignored. I don’t think anyone is going to get anywhere until we learn to talk to each other.

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052FF7YM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

      • Mary Jo TC

        I’ve read that one, and it does explain a lot. Another one that I’ve read recently is Don’t Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff. Very short, about how to communicate progressive values. It’s from 2004, so somewhat dated, but in a way that gives perspective.

  • savannnah

    Good things this week: I am about to go away for 5 days to celebrate Passover with my extended family at a rented lake house in Vermont. Passover is my favorite holiday and feels esp. important this year as we celebrate liberty and freedom from slavery and tyranny and are commanded to remember that while we celebrate freedom, we also remember those who are not yet free.
    Bad things this week: My fiance’s aunt and grandma are threatening to boycott our wedding because we won’t invite his white brotherhood affiliated uncle. More insidious is my fiance’s family insisting that he can’t come because its a Jewish wedding, instead of insisting he cant come because hes a Nazi. It makes me sad but also secure in my fiance’s support of this issue.

    • penguin

      Yeah I think “is actually a Nazi” is an excellent reason to exclude someone from a guest list.

      • CMT

        Any guest list, really. Even if it’s not a Jewish wedding.

        • penguin

          Right! Even like, a brunch guest list. Straight up do not invites Nazis.

      • toomanybooks

        Seriously!!!!!

    • Kelly

      What? Why would you want to invite racist uncle?! In what universe is that remotely a possibility?

      • savannnah

        No Idea- but it makes me feel like they might put up with him if there weren’t any minorities around…which is just ugh and also complicates my identity with them- like they have a hard time understanding that I am white, with all the privilege that comes with it and also that there are some minority politics they have to be mindful of as well. Hard for them to grasp the idea I have special social rules that go along with me and my family and am still white.

        • ssha

          That’s tough. I hope you don’t get burnt out too soon from all the explaining and that your fiancé understands as well as he can and takes your side- it sounds like he does! :)

  • BSM

    House progress!

    We got our construction plans approved by the city yesterday, so, once we finish nailing down the budget with our contractor, we can start work! We did not anticipate getting on “over the counter” approval because they’re relatively unusual. Typically the city needs to review your plans and provide notes on any changes you need to make, and they’re so backed up that the review usually takes 8-10 weeks, so we’re obviously thrilled.

    In the spirit of two steps forward, one step back that is so common in housework, we are having our exterior fence replaced next week, and one neighbor we share it with has got AWOL and the other is trying to threaten us with some (I think) faux legal requirements we need to meet before starting work. Ugh. The fence is in bad shape and the cost to each of these (commercial) neighbors for the replacement is super minimal, so it’s really annoying that they’re dragging their feet on it.

    Also, we are telling my in-laws I’m pregnant tomorrow. I’m feeling pretty anxious about it but am having a hard time verbalizing why. Some combination of: I don’t like being the center of attention, it feels really personal, I get stressed out dealing with other people’s opinions/expectations, I think. My husband is really excited though, so I’m trying to put on a happy face for him. And once it’s done, we don’t have to do it again :). Anyone else have a similar experience?

    • Kaitlyn

      Not with pregnancy, but I found telling people we were engaged incredibly stressful and emotionally draining because of other people’s expectations/emotions. I was trying to process this very exciting but HUGE change and all of a sudden, I was inundated with questions and emotions and phone calls and I just found it draining. I’ll probs feel the same way too when I’m pregnant haha So not advice other than to go home and take a hot bath after to relax haha

      • penguin

        That’s how announcing our engagement was for me! Literally right after we started getting the questions. When’s the wedding? Where will it be? Do you have a date? I wanted to be like, no I don’t have a date, I just got a fiancé!

        • Kaitlyn

          Omg the amount of people that made the joke, “So is the wedding next weekend?” was insane. Like how did that many people find the same bad joke amusing haha

          • penguin

            My favorite was “What’s the rush? Do I have an impending niece/nephew/great-grandchild/something on the way?”. As if the only reason to get married is because I’m pregnant! Although with my family history (including my own parents) that isn’t a totally unfair assumption…

      • BSM

        Yes, I found announcing the engagement the same kind of stress for the same reasons! OK, so maybe this is just a thing for me lol.

    • Ashlah

      I definitely found it stressful to announce our pregnancy pretty much every time we did it! But also simultaneously a relief, especially at work. We told my in-laws like 2 days after our positive test because of holiday drinking, so it was still so new and weird. I really struggled with the fact that we couldn’t even keep this as a secret for the two of us for a week. Other than that, like Kaitlyn mentions with engagement, the thought of other people’s expectations and the questions made me dread it. Overall, though, it was definitely scarier in my head than in reality, and it was also super fun to share in people’s excitement and joy. :) Good luck!

      • BSM

        I think I’m definitely overthinking it, but it’s nice to hear that the stress isn’t totally unique to me.

      • Eenie

        We’re not currently trying, but anytime I skip drinks for a few outings in a row my one friend asks if I’m pregnant (through text, not in front of the group). I know she means well, but now I purposely don’t drink some nights because I don’t want that to be the signal that we’re trying. I complained to my husband about how asking if someone’s pregnant is basically asking if you’re having unprotected sex, and he very much disagreed with me. But it is!

    • Jenny

      I hated sharing my pregnancy with people, and my husband couldn’t stop, he was so excited.
      In retrospect I think I had some prenatal depression/anxiety, but also I was mostly physically uncomfortable in some way for the majority of my pregnancy (nausea then heart burn then just huge and pregnant). I just didn’t feel overjoyed the way people wanted me to, so telling people that I didn’t know super well felt like a performance (when I already wasn’t physically feeling well).

      • BSM

        Yeah, I feel you on the performative portion of things.

        I’m also the one navigating the doctor’s appointments and insurance bullshit (found out earlier this week my insurance pays for almost nothing despite describing prenatal care as “no cost;” don’t even get me started), so I think being in the weeds with the logistics of pregnancy/childbirth plus feeling like garbage has kept me from being really excited about being pregnant. I’m not worried about it and know that at some point (might be after s/he’s here) I *will* be overjoyed about it, but, for now, I’m kind of just in get shit done mode, if that makes any sense…

        • Jenny

          Yeah, that sounds very similar to me. I never felt all that happy about being pregnant. At first it was like oh it just hasn’t sunk in yet, and then it was like well I’m feeling like vomiting all day, how exciting is that? Then it was like why do I have an acid pit it my stomach, is this normal (oh that’s heartburn, huh ok). And then it was uncomfortable to move. Plus it was money stress/school stress/what if something’s wrong stress. After I had my son, I mentally felt so much better that it was clear in retrospect I was probably dealing with some mild anxiety/ depression during my pregnancy that I just felt was related to other stuff. And if I get pregnant again it’s something I’ll know to watch out for and talk to my health care providers about (though who knows what that pregnancy will be like- I know they are all different). I never really felt overjoyed about it, but I did feel like “myself” again almost immediately after giving birth. And I did spend a lot of time with my husband talking about how our baby was the best and the cutest and aren’t we the luckiest because seriously -mushy gushy gushfest. So yeah, if you don’t feel overjoyed about the actual being pregnant part, solidarity.

          • BSM

            Thanks. That helped a lot.

        • toomanybooks

          If you DO want to get started, I’d love to know what the deal is with “no cost jk it’s all the costs sorryyyyyy”!!!

          • BSM

            Ha, I am happy to complain about this because it’s completely insane, and I hope my “mistake” helps someone else. Sorry this is kind of long.

            Since my husband and I had been thinking about TTC, I of course checked my insurance (which my husband and I have through my employer) to see what the coverage is like. I’ve attached a screenshot from the summary of benefits re: prenatal/postnatal care and delivery (the “no charge” column is for in-network providers; the “not covered” one is for out-of-network). I know that I have a high deductible plan ($5k) and that that can affect getting the 0% coinsurance for the delivery, but I also have an HSA and was fine with it.

            Had my dating ultrasound a couple weeks ago (where they check to see if your embryo is the right size given your last period, make sure it’s in your uterus, and can sometimes see if it has a heartbeat – basically answering the question, “is this a viable pregnancy at this point?”) and got a surprise bill for it yesterday. $500. Um, what. Finding out if you have a viable pregnancy seems like the most basic prenatal care available.

            Call my insurance company, and they tell me that all that prenatal care covers are checkups with my doctor where they check my vitals, weigh me, and measure my stomach. Not ultrasounds, urine tests, or blood work – those fall under other buckets which, of course, insurance won’t pay for until I hit my deductible. Also, genetic testing isn’t covered at all, so it will be out of pocket if we want to do it and won’t even go towards meeting my deductible.

            Obviously, I was enraged by this, starting crying on the phone, the whole thing. I know insurance companies are garbage and that I have a high deductible, but the prenatal care not including essentially anything I need to receive prenatal care seems so egregiously misleading, I can’t believe it. Also so frustrating because my husband got a new job in January, so we could have looked into the insurance provided by his company had I known my coverage was bullshit. Now it’s too late to switch.

            The silver lining is that I do have an HSA that will cover probably all of my out of pocket costs, so we will be OK. But I still was and am really pissed about it.

            If you are planning on getting pregnant any time soon, definitely call your insurance company to clarify what “prenatal care” means!

          • BSM

            Sorry, here is the screenshot.

          • Ashlah

            Ugh, that sounds like such bullshit. I hate insurance companies so much. Regarding genetic testing alone, a lot of the companies offering NIPT/cell-free fetal DNA testing have relatively low cash prices for patients whose insurance doesn’t cover it (which is pretty much anyone under 35 without family history of chromosomal abnormalities). The companies obviously want it to become standard, so they’re incentivizing patients to get it done. When we did ours through Progenity, it was $99. (At least, that’s what we’re expecting to see on the bill. Haven’t actually received one yet).

          • BSM

            Yes, I called Sequenom (who does the MaterniT21 testing), and they confirmed they could offer a discounted rate of $200, which isn’t bad at all and will probably be what we do.

            Did you get other NIPT testing or just do cff DNA testing? I’m definitely not going to do the 2 blood draws + the NT now that I know how expensive it will be (and, comparatively, how cheap and more accurate cff DNA testing is), but, if I’m understanding the materials my doctor gave me, the test also look at other stuff like open spina bifida and abdominal wall defects. Any insight?

          • Ashlah

            When I called the MFM office, they just scheduled us for an NT scan and said we would discuss blood work at the appointment. I didn’t have access to much information beforehand. If I had known the cost of the ultrasound and that the cff DNA testing was testing much of the same things, we probably would have skipped the NT ultrasound (although it was of course great to see our little fetus, and you’re right that they look at other stuff too). Despite doing the NT ultrasound, the MFM specialist did tell us not to bother with the other blood test that usually accompanies it (I think this is the quad screen?) because the NIPT is more accurate, and would be next in line if anything were found on the other test anyway. Maybe you can you discuss with your doctor whether they believe the ultrasound is worth it for other anatomical screening alone? Or if they would be comfortable suggesting you wait for your anatomy scan?

          • BSM

            Thanks. That’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow at the monster blood draw appointment ?

          • a single sarah

            Solidarity on insurance and tears of frustration. I just had a full on meltdown in Walgreens parking lot (and then mini-one in Walgreens) over meds to treat my stupid ear infection.

            I have good insurance! but ended up paying full price. And gearing for a fight for reimbursement. Bleck.

    • sofar

      CONGRATS!!

      And, yes, anxiety about people’s expectations ruined our engagement for me and I am doing my damndest to not let them ruin buying a house. I envy my husband whose excitement never seems to be drained over this.

      • BSM

        Same! I wonder if part of it is that both events (even though they involve both of us pretty equally, *eye roll*) are traditionally bride/mother-centered (in hetero relationships), so everyone comes to me with their questions and opinions. Maybe I should try directing as many people as possible to husband this go around?

        • sofar

          Auuughhhh yes. So many arguments during wedding-planning started with me yelling at my husband, “Why the fuck is your mom/aunt texting/emailing ME about all this shit???”

          • ssha

            Emotional labor!!!

        • ssha

          “Actually I have no idea, Spouse is in charge of that aspect!” *smiles sweetly*
          ETA: this probably doesn’t work as well with pregnancy as it does with weddings, but good luck!

          • BSM

            Lol @ picturing responding to people asking “how far along are you?” with “actually, I have no idea, spouse is in charge of that!” Kind of love it.

    • Knonymous

      I have such a hard time telling people I’m pregnant! It feels so awkward to just walk up to someone and make an announcement about yourself, and I’m also not really into the cutesy “announcement” stuff. Last time I was pregnant, I told my boss and HR at work, and then . . . waited for an opening with everyone else. But since no one was every like, “Hey, I see you’re looking a little heavy these days, what’s that all about?” I went weeks without ever managing to bring it up. Finally someone mentioned that there would be drinks at a work event one evening and I was like “NO BEER FOR ME!!!” and was so relieved it was finally out there, even though I was the most awkward person in the world announcing it.

      This time, my husband and I work together, we each told our respective supervisors, and I was so relieved to have someone walk up to me today and say, “Hey, I heard you’re pregnant.” I’d much rather it just get around than have to announce it to people, especially since I don’t know many people at this job very well yet.

      Meanwhile, while it’s making the rounds at work, I haven’t told most of my family because I’m waiting for an opening again, and it feels too awkward to make announcements about myself to even the relatives I’m closest to! A lot of it is about not wanting to be the center of attention, I think. But I can bring it up when there’s a reason. I had no problem texting one cousin that I need her to return the maternity clothes she’d lent me.

      Telling my in-laws tends to be hard for a whole different reason, which is that they never seem quite as happy for us as one would hope :-/

      • Knonymous

        *The maternity clothes *I’d* lent *her.* I was not demanding the return of something that didn’t belong to me in the first place!

  • Essssss

    I have some real long work drives coming up this month and need some good podcast recommendations, please! I’m part way through S town, and sad about coming to the end and still having more miles to drive. I subscribe to a lot of other podcasts but would love some fresh things to listen to. Some of my usuals are This American Life, Reply All, Radio Lab, 2 Dope Queens, Women of the Hour, On Being, The Moth, Selected Shorts, Invisibilia, Death Sex Money… what else do you guys listen to?

    • Angela’s Back

      I always enjoy RuPaul and Michelle Visage on What’s the Tee, so if you like drag queens you should definitely check it out :)

    • CMT

      You Look Nice Today

      • CMT

        Oh, and if you happen to be an economist or just like econ, Econ Talk is really good.

    • wannabee

      I love true crime–My Favorite Murder and Casefile are reliably excellent.

      • Lisa

        Do you like Sword and Scale, too?

        • wannabee

          It’s hit or miss for me–love some episodes, some get a little long and unwieldy.

          • Lisa

            Thanks for the recommendations! I enjoy some of S&S’s podcasts but agree that some are a bit much. I look forward to checking out the ones you mentioned.

    • Wait wait don’t tell me! Also, I’ve started Planet Money recently, and I really like it. And I scroll through all the Fresh Air ones and sometimes listen and sometimes not–I get a lot of my book recommendations from there. (Basically all I do is listen to NPR).

      • Emily

        If you like stuff about money you might like “Money for the rest of Us” its done by a legit dude who used to be a head PM at an institution with a pretty big AUM. Also he’s adorably nerdy…

      • Lisa

        Wait wait is the best! I got to go to a live taping while Karl Castle was still the score keeper, and it was amazing.

        • Anyone who visits me from out of town and is here on a Thursday night gets to go. Because it’s the best.

        • ssha

          I am so jealous!

        • Eenie

          I have his autograph and stayed for a picture :)

          • Lisa

            Oh, we definitely have a picture with him!

    • emmers

      I like Katie Couric’s podcast. It’s pretty current eventsy, and she’s funny, but they cover a lot of good stuff. It’s her and a guy named Brian who knows more about politics.

    • saminrva

      I loved More Perfect, which is about the Supreme Court by the Radiolab folks. My friends at work talk up My Favorite Murderer all the time, but I haven’t listened to it yet. On my list!

    • Vanessa

      Call Your Girlfriend & Another Round

      • MC

        These are my FAVES!

    • ART

      LOVING Snap Judgement lately. Also Freakonomics Radio.

    • Jenny

      Ah, I was writing my post and didn’t see this. I’ll post it here! Same wavelength!

    • LadyMe

      If there’s anyone in the engineering/tech crowd, who likes gadgets and hardware and arduino type stuff, I really enjoy the Embedded.fm podcast. The host Elecia is really great about bringing on diverse voices, including lots of females, and including artists, makers, start-up people, people from established firms, etc.

    • Lisa

      All of my podcasts: Awesome Etiquette (done at the Emily Post Institute), Dinner Party Download, Wait wait… don’t tell me!, Savage Lovecast, Dear Sugar Radio, In the Dark (short series like S-Town), Sword and Scale, Longest Shortest Time, Stuff Mom Never Told You (now just back episodes). You might also like Snap Judgment if you like storytelling podcasts.

    • Essssss

      This is an awesome list, Thanks y’all!

      PS I’ve heard good things about Sporkful and the New Yorker podcast, too, but haven’t checked them out yet!

    • Sara

      Personally I prefer comedy podcasts, so my recommendations are How Did This Get Made, Spontanenation and Comedy Bang Bang. But I do love The Moth (I just got their book!) and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

    • Jenny

      Political:
      NPR politics-discussions of the weeks news, listener questions.
      Pod save America- partisan discussions of the weeks news from former Obama staffers, smart and funny, definitely biased :).
      Pod save the world- discussions about various foriegn policy. Much more wonky, less immediately news relevant, I always learn something.
      Politically re-active- I listened to them before the election, and then caught up on them after the election, they just started the new season. I like that they bring a fresh “outsider” few to discussing politics (as in they aren’t politicians/political journalists) and they aren’t white dudes talking to other white dudes, which seems to be a rarity in political podcasts.
      More Perfect: a mini series done by radio lab about the supreme court. I want all podcasts to be just like this. I want more. I LOVED IT!
      The economist: the week ahead- It’s not really conservative, but I feel like it helps me a bit hear about things in a way I don’t usually and get slightly out of my bubble.

      Non-political:
      Pop culture happy hour- NPR podcast talking about new movies/music/books/theater.
      Radio lab- just starting this one but sort of like this american life but for pop science.
      Lore- talking about how different myths/folklore came to be.
      Code switch- Conversations about race and identity.
      One Bad Mother- hilarious/real about the nitty gritty of parenting.

      • Em

        Loooooooove all the Pod Save America/Pod Save The World guys + their little crooked media empire – so glad to see some love for them here! My fiance and I listen to their stuff together quite often (while one of us is making dinner, etc or while we’re travelling) – so funny but informative and smart. Pod Save The World is wonky but SO great – I always end up learning so much!

    • Antonia

      In the Dark, The Worst Bestsellers, Unresolved, The Longest Shortest Time, Freakonomics, Love + Radio, Revisionist History, Serial season 1 (duh), You Must Remember This, Someone Knows Something, Presidential (Wash Post reporter devotes a podcast to each U.S. president and it’s fascinating!)

    • Jess

      Not listed in your round up:

      Non-fiction: Call your Girlfriend, In Our Time, Dear Sugar, Longest Shortest Time, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim

      Supernatural Stories from the Real World: Lore, Spirits, Astonishing Legends

      100% fiction: The Bright Sessions, ars PARADOXICA, The Magnus Archives (totally amazing if you’re into being creeped out but not into jump-scares)

    • Gaby

      I’ve been trying to get the word out about Latinos Who Lunch because it’s the first Latino podcast I’ve heard and they’re from my city! (Vegas). They’re kind of pop-culture but cover so many topics including immigration issues to Rupaul’s drag race.

      • Gaby

        But my other regulars are Comedy Bang Bang, The Room Where it Happens (a Hamilton pod), The Stuff of Life, Anna Farris is Unqualified, Stuff You Should Know. I also really like Pete Holmes’ You Made It Weird for the most introspective I have ever heard my favorite celebs get, but I don’t normally listen if I don’t know who the guest is.
        ***Also I have to notify everyone that TOM HANKS was on a podcast this week. Listen to the most recent ep of Sooo Many White Guys and be delighted.

    • Natalie

      I love Stuff You Missed in History Class. Hosted by two women, ostensibly focused on people, events, and cultures ignored in typical Western European and American history classes. So, women, people of color, most of the world. They do many episodes on details of specific events or people mentioned in high school history class, but about which/whom you didn’t learn the full story. I really enjoy it. They do great mini-series on things like Civil War Spies, or women pirates, etc. My favorites, though, are their history of science episodes. Like, who figured out that dirty water was making the people of London horribly ill, and how did he do it?

    • LazyMountain

      How I Built This (NPR) is my current fave- essentially a spin-off of the TED Radio Hour, which I can take or leave depending on the topics. HIBT is much more intimate and I really loved the ones on Kate Spade and Patagonia and Crate & Barrel. Slate’s Working is in the same vein and right now is doing a series on occupations that are threatened by the current administration.
      Judge John Hodgeman (Maximum Fun) is the freaking best. It can take a while to get into but he delivers charming insightful advice and some of the disputes are especially hilarious.
      Ask Me Another (NPR) is also pretty damn delightful- more difficult quiz show than Wait Wait and also very funny.

      I love me some good long road trips- enjoy!!

      • ssha

        Ask me another is HILARIOUS. I’ll have to check out HIBT!

    • Mary Jo TC

      I’d love suggestions for podcasts kids (age 4 and under) and parents might be able to enjoy together!

    • lamarsh

      A few that I haven’t seen below:
      – Switched on Pop: a musicologist and a composer dissect pop songs; it’s amazing and will give you a way greater appreciation of pop music and what makes a song a hit
      – Slate’s Dear Prudence pod: Mallory Ortberg gives advice (though I think you need Slate Plus for this)

      Also, I have S-Town all queued up for my finance and my Easter road trip next weekend and I am psyched.

      • Ashlah

        You can listen to a shorter version of Dear Prudie without Slate Plus. I don’t even know how much I’m missing because I’ve only ever heard the short ones. They’re still a good 30-40 minutes long.

        • lamarsh

          oh that’s awesome! The full length ones are around 50-60 minutes, so you’re really not missing much.

        • Eenie

          Download the slate app on iOS for three free months of slate plus!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      My latest fluffy binge has been The Baby-Sitters Club Club- two men in their 30s revisit the BSC books!

    • Katherine

      Oh No Ross and Carrie’s 10-part series on Scientology is fascinating. ONRAC in general is great for long drives – it got me through a three-day cross country trip a few years ago.

    • EllaByNight

      You Must Remember This – about Hollywood in the 20th Century
      Switched on Pop – in depth analysis of current pop hits and what makes them good
      Dear Sugar – Advice from Cheryl Strayed (of Wild fame) and Steve Almond
      Planet Money – interesting and easily digestible breakdowns of economic topics and concepts
      Nerdette – Great interviews with nerds of all stripes (authors, scientists, animators, you name it)
      On the Media – the podcast for the NPR show. It gives in depth looks at current issues and breaks down how they’re discussed in the media.
      Another Round – Heben and Tracy are hilarious. They drink while interviewing mainly POCs and chatting about pop culture, careers, self care, race and gender. I would love to drink with them IRL.
      The West Wing Weekly – an episode by episode podcast that discusses the show. Obviously this only applies if you were/are a fan of TWW, but I highly recommend this for fans. It’s hosted by Joshua Molina (who played Will Bailey on the show) and Hrishikesh Hirway (who also does the Song Exploder podcast). The conversations between the hosts are good, but the real highlight (for me) is the number of high level guests that they get (Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, and a bunch of the actors).
      Pop Culture Happy Hour – round table discussion of pop culture topics

    • AP

      I haven’t seen anyone else mention Homecoming. It’s a scripted show featuring Catharine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, and some others I can’t remember. It’s completely engrossing and suspenseful, great for a binge!

    • Les

      Here’s The Thing, hosted by Alec Baldwin, he interviews amazing people like Julie Andrews and Amy Schumer.

      Matt and Doree’s Eggcelent Adventure, a couple share their ongoing IVF efforts. It’s sweet and very informational and they are very soothing and goofy and real.

      Splendid Table, a super soothing italian/ Midwester talks food, interviews chefs, does segments with America’s test kitchen and reporters around the world… delightful

    • nutbrownrose

      Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff Mom Never Told You (although the hosts just left to be activists, so they’re airing reruns at the moment), and Ask a Clean Person really really motivates me to clean and I only listen to it while cleaning (it’s also a good reason to clean). Oh and March was #TryPod month, so if you search that hashtag you should find a ton of reccomendations from listeners and casters alike.

    • RNLindsay

      If you watched Saved by the Bell back in the day, the best podcast ever is Go Bayside! April is a comedian who rewatches all the episodes with a friend and hashes them out. So hilarious and brought back a lot of memories!

    • Cha

      I realize this is a super late reply, but just wanted to put in a plug for “Out There” — a woman-hosted podcast about people and the outdoors.

  • Thank you guys for helping me with my (silly) problem about my husband falling asleep on the couch earlier this week. I brought it up with him and it was basically a non-issue (I do have a tendency to build things up to bigger problems than they are) and something I was building up in my head to be a bigger problem than it really was. He was mildly (the mildest of milds) disappointed, but very reasonable and so far this week I have just gone to bed when I am ready and he either joins me or is already asleep on the couch and comes back at midnight-ish when his “go-to-bed” phone alarms wake him up.
    I think it will probably last until next busy season of accounting, when we tend to get into bad habits, but hopefully I’ll be able to address the habit quicker next time.

  • You know who else has said the thing that white feminists are reluctant to hear? Lots and lots of feminist leaders who are WOC and not Gloria Steinem or (ffs) Chelsea Handler.

    Nothing really against the article itself, but the irony level of that headline…

    • Kalë

      so much this -_-

    • Shawna

      Agree on the headline being a bit much. This is an important bit: “And when that bitter truth is revealed by women of color, many white women turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. So, both Steinem and Handler reiterated it to the predominantly white female room.” They shouldn’t get quite so much credit, but they did finally use their visibility to amplify some serious truth. Wish people would just listen to WOC, though!

    • stephanie

      TOTALLY agree.

    • Samantha

      I thought the bit about female Trump voters probably being Midwestern married women strong-armed by their husbands to vote for Trump a ridiculous idea. Women are not children who cower and their husbands have no access to how they vote in the voting booth. Even if you could find the odd woman who had reason to fear, her husband would never find out how she voted.

      And if the speculation is about Midwestern women, well, you have to talk about the decimation of the economy there.

  • janie

    I mailed invitations for my June wedding yesterday (huge weight off my chest) – don’t know if it’s just me but I had huge paranoia about missing invitations, incorrect addresses, misspelled names, general miscommunications, on and on. They’re in the mail now so no more stress thank goodness. I haven’t felt that kind of worry about anything else during wedding planning – the invitations were a unique struggle so far.

    • ssha

      Good for you! We’re mailing ours soon. It’s weird how this is something that is still usually by snail mail and the unknowing that causes- like, I can’t go to “sent” folder to see if they get it it!

      • janie

        So true. That is the exact sensation. I want a “Read receipt” for my invitations.

    • lamarsh

      We mailed ours for our June wedding on Monday! Agreed that it was such a relief once they were finished. Also, it took like 4+ hours to assemble them. I was so excited when we started the process, but by the end I had started to lose it. Thank god for wine and the NCAA basketball tournament.

      • janie

        Glad you’re on the same schedule! I was like… is this way too late? Still too much time? I can’t win haha.

        • lamarsh

          Yes, I definitely thought a lot (too much?) about when to send them out. There’s such a range of “acceptable” times.

    • Anna

      Ours (also June wedding) are supposed to arrive from the printers a week from tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I just figured out how to turn our guest spreadsheet into printable mailing labels with everyone’s addresses on them, which will make assembly suck way less – just gotta actually buy the label sheets and stamps. I designed our invitations, which was mostly fun (I do things like that as a hobby) but became a giant stress pit when I’d gotten through the actual pretty invitation part and into the little logistical details like what info should we ask for on the RSVP card, etc… getting all the designs off to the printers was a HUGE exhale moment for me. Can’t wait to see the actual invitations.

      • lamarsh

        Yes, mail merge is definitely your friend! My original plan was to handwrite 120 addresses. HA. So glad I did not do that.

        • nutbrownrose

          I handwrote 80, but I also get return address stickers. It seemed to even out. And there was no calligraphy/cursive business, because I wanted the post office to be able to read the damn things.

    • nutbrownrose

      I mailed invites for my July wedding last Monday, but I’m on the early end of the spectrum (and have a 6 week window between RSVPs due and date), and I just knocked those babies out. Got a system going where I did like 20 of one kind of thing at a time (stamping/return addressing, stuffing,addressing, making sure RSVP cards matched the number for the address in my system) and watched Hoarders/Cake Boss while doing it. Took 2 3ish hour sessions, and I did it all by myself (by preference, FH is not great at this shit and it calms me).

  • Grrr

    Venting:

    Yesterday, I had to try and convince someone that it was wildly offensive to write a romance between a Jewish boy and Hitler’s daughter (alternate history). I seemed to fail. They thought it was okay because Hitler’s daughter would grow to like Jews at the end.

    Also, my job is soul sucking, my boss refuses to promote me out of being his assistant because I’m “so good at it” even though I’m literally doing three people’s jobs at once right now. Meanwhile, all the men in the office get raises and promotions as easy as falling off a log and I’ve had to fight for every dollar I’ve earned and the only reason I got a bump in title is because I threatened to quit 3 years ago.

    At least other members of my team (everyone besides my boss) also think that it’s ridiculous I’m doing menial work after 5 years here.

    I’m looking for a new job, but in the meantime, I need to stab something. Who wants to let me borrow a katana?

    • K.

      Yikes. Was that wannabe romance writer someone a teenager? Because that completely sounds like something a teenager would think is a GREAT idea. :p

      • Grrr

        A college student who’d never spoken with a Jewish person before beyond pleasantries.

        He tried to mansplain away my concerns (“but it’s really not ABOUT the Holocaust, it’s just set right after he escaped from the death camps..” I can’t even…). For my sanity, I told him that he needs to understand the psychological impact of the death camps before he moves forward with this idea and I pointed him towards a documentary.

        Maybe he’ll watch it, maybe not, but hopefully this idea dies a quick, painful death (or even a quick, painless one)

        • K.

          Oh god. Sounds like you handled it well. Hopefully he comes to his senses or, even better, gains some real understanding.

        • Les

          Hopefully he’ll look back on it in a while after more life/education has happened and go ‘Wow, I was an embarrassing level of idiot’ and then hides behind fruit piles when he thinks he sees you at the grocery store.

        • toomanybooks

          Nooooooooooo that’s awful ugh

  • Vanessa

    I forgot to put this in my other post but PSA since I’m doing this later today: remember to schedule a regular appointment to get your skin checked for moles! Your doctor should be checking all over (your finger & toe nails, your scalp, under your armpits, ur butt) – if they’re not, find someone who is more thorough. I am very fair & my brother & mom have both had cancerous moles removed so I go every year, but your doctor should be able to recommend a schedule for you based on your skin type & history.

  • Katelyn

    We have a wedding date!!! And a venue!!! And a church!!!! And it’s a palindrome – 8/11/18!!

    It has been a very positive bookend on a pretty tough week. But it’s such a relief to have answers to these questions we’ve been working through for eons. FH’s parents are contributing way more than we thought, and even though we don’t want to spend much of it, it gives us some flex room to dress up our venue, which is quirky and vintage and could use just a bit more oomph to really make it special. We were comfortable booking it as-is but we get to have a bit more fun with it now!

    Now we have time to relax a bit and focus on some non-wedding things for a few months before getting back into booking vendors, picking dresses, etc.

    OH! Almost forgot. I put this out in reddit land but would like to share here – my master wedding planning spreadsheets! I’d love to hear suggestions for more stuff to add to it, too. I used it for my sister’s wedding when I was MOH/DOC as well.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RldrmDe_eCpSB75DHtqIa3vOEOYGQcU1-c0wmsTwOxs/edit?usp=sharing

    • Hayley

      Congrats! Those are some big things to have gotten done!

    • BSM

      Kind of a weird thing to say, but what a great date! Congrats!

    • louise danger

      yay church and YAY palindrome date! :D

    • Engaged Chicago

      Wow your spreadsheet is LEGIT! So nice of you to share. Lots of organization.. seeing all those details almost stresses me out more. lol.

      Your date is so fun! It’s a great time to get married in Chicago!

      Looking forward to hearing what else you decided on! Have you reached out to Binnys/Costco/ Bottles and Cans (have you heard of them? apparently you get a 10% discount with referral) for alcohol yet?
      So many appointments to be had.. keep rocking it!

      • Katelyn

        It’s definitely an intimidating spreadsheet! it needs a big “Don’t Panic!” sign on the main page… once you whittle it down to just stuff you need it’s a lot less intimidating.

        I think we’re going to work with the Binny’s contact our venue recommends, but we also love Bottles & Cans so it’s great route to pursue.

  • Jenny

    Crowdsourcing some new podcast material!
    I’m in search of a couple of new podcasts to add to my rotation.
    Here is some stuff I’m loving
    Political:
    NPR politics-discussions of the weeks news, listener questions.
    Pod save America- partisan discussions of the weeks news from former Obama staffers, smart and funny, definitely biased :).
    Pod save the world- discussions about various foriegn policy. Much more wonky, less immediately news relevant, I always learn something.
    Politically re-active- I listened to them before the election, and then caught up on them after the election, they just started the new season. I like that they bring a fresh “outsider” few to discussing politics (as in they aren’t politicians/political journalists) and they aren’t white dudes talking to other white dudes, which seems to be a rarity in political podcasts.
    More Perfect: a mini series done by radio lab about the supreme court. I want all podcasts to be just like this. I want more. I LOVED IT!
    The economist: the week ahead- It’s not really conservative, but I feel like it helps me a bit hear about things in a way I don’t usually and get slightly out of my bubble.

    Non-political:
    Pop culture happy hour- NPR podcast talking about new movies/music/books/theater.
    Radio lab- just starting this one but sort of like this american life but for pop science.
    Lore- talking about how different myths/folklore came to be.
    Code switch- Conversations about race and identity.
    One Bad Mother- hilarious/real about the nitty gritty of parenting.

    • AGCourtney

      @Essssss:disqus is crowdsourcing some pretty great suggestions in another thread if you want to check that out. :)

      • Jenny

        I just saw that, thanks! I was slowly typing my question at the same time!

        • AGCourtney

          Haha, I figured – it’s always when you type out a long post that you miss something!

    • JC

      The new favorite in our house is The Ezra Klein show, to add to your political podcasts! He is seriously so smart and wonky, it’s great. And if you’re into food, I recommend The Sporkful!

  • Anon Today for Reasons

    Officially, officially TTC after last month was a lost cause because we both had the flu (we tried, but…we shouldn’t have lol). I am awkwardly sneaking around to do OPKs at work during the day. And gorging on leafy greens and whatnot. Good times.

    • Ashlah

      Good luck!

    • anonalso

      Good luck! We are putting the pieces together (medicine things and job timing) to try in a month or two and I am already feeling anxious and reading too much about it! My boss keeps talking about plans at work next year and I am trying to be non-committal without being obvious. I have been enjoying learning more about how my body works, I feel like they should have taught us this stuff in highschool health class.

      • Anon Today for Reasons

        Eh, I wouldn’t worry about being noncommittal at work at this point (unless you have a job I can’t think of that has some really specific need to plan staffing a year in advance with no take backs?) Bosses/managers can long-term plan all they want, and they should, but anyone can leave a job for any reason with little warning. The warning they’ll get when you do get pregnant and are ready to tell them will be so much more than the two-week notice they might get if you just changed jobs, they’ll deal. And if they give you some shit about how you should have planned your life choices around their staffing needs, THEN you quit (just kidding, kind of).

  • Anonymous

    Any practical advice on taking over financial management for elderly relatives, particularly when their finances are a mess? I’ve got power of attorney, and I pulled credit reports, consulted with a bankruptcy attorney and forwarded their mail to my address, but managing all of their accounts (particularly when it’s difficult to be sure that I know about all of their creditors, as they don’t all show up on the credit report) is challenging. Does anyone have any tips?

    • AGCourtney

      Well, one option is to find an accountant who does elder care. I work for a firm that does this. Obviously, that could get spendy, but maybe someone could at least help you get set up? I don’t do much with that aspect of the firm other than opening the mail, so I don’t think I have any good tips for doing it yourself.

    • Kalë

      Any thoughts about getting a public guardianship set up? There are real people, who are trained in this kind of thing, who are available to be guardians for those elderly/incapacitated people who don’t have anyone who is willing/able to take care of them in this way (bills, money management, etc). It would need to be done by a court, and rules/standards probably differ from state to state, but it might be something to look into.

  • Natalie

    Where do you buy business casual clothing that doesn’t break the bank? I am in desperate need of teaching-appropriate clothing. Specifically, long blouses that do not have low necklines or keyholes cut to show off cleavage (why? Just, why???). I need things that won’t show my midriff when I reach high above my head to write on the chalkboard and won’t show off the girls when I bend over a lab bench. Where do you go to find such clothing? Everything pretty and loosely flow-y and comfortable that I’ve found seems to find a way to show off my boobs (they are kinda large, so what may be completely appropriate for another woman is not on me).

    • Kelly

      I’ve had luck at Burlington Coat Factory, and sometimes Nordstrom Rack

    • Mary Jo TC

      Ann Taylor Loft–and I think they have a teacher discount! I might look for sweaters for the coverage needs you mention here. My teacher wardrobe go-to is slacks, sleeveless or short-sleeve shirt, and cardigan.

      • Les

        Also, LOFT goes on mega sale like, monthly

      • MC

        Yep, I love Loft. And Banana Republic also has a teacher discount!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I’ve had some bad luck with them! Some of the clothes I bought just fell apart.

    • Sara

      The Loft, New York and CO and the Gap are my go-tos. If you’re willing to invest time – sometimes a lot of time – Nordstrom Rack is a good deal.

      • Natalie

        I do love me some NY and Co. Their button-up tops actually stay closed/don’t gape at the boob, but also don’t look like tents. Their tops often are too low cut, though. :-(

        • Jess

          Express Portofino button-ups are my go-to right now. I get lots of compliments, are very comfy, they seem not too low (I have a small chest, so YMMV), and have great colors.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Also they have work-appropriate pants that pull up and feel like yoga pants.

          • Natalie

            WUT. I have not tried these. They sound magical.

    • p.

      I’ve had good luck with J. Crew Factory.

    • norah_charles_ftw

      Ann Taylor Outlet Store, if you have one remotely close, it is worth the trip

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      TJMaxx or Marshalls. You have to be willing to look through the racks for stuff you like, but I have good luck there.

    • emilyg25

      Loft and J. Crew Factory.

    • penguin

      ModCloth, if you like vintage-y styles and are willing to deal with trying things on and possibly sending them back. They have a great returns policy though, and have a lot of longer shirts that might work for you. I just recommend reading the reviews on any items, they are usually very helpful.

      • zana

        FYI. Walmart owns ModCloth now.

        • penguin

          I remember hearing that although I’d forgotten. I’ll probably still shop there, but won’t judge anyone who chooses not to.

          • zana

            Yeah, it’s okay, but for the whole next year I feel like any mention of ModCloth should be turned into “Modcloth[Wlamart]” until everyone really knows.

    • Cellistec

      Speaking of biz casual, I had great luck with the Old Navy pixie pants several commenters recommended last week. I’m wearing them right now, in fact! So thumbs up for those, though I have no advice for tops. Yet.

      • Natalie

        I’ll have to check them out. I have such a hard time finding pants that fit, but if everyone is recommending a specific style it must be magic.

        • accidental_diva

          Old Navy also does short/petite and tall on a lot of their pants & and dresses/skirts – and possibly some tops – you might want to check those too

    • zana

      I’m a giant fan of BodenUSA.
      Their shorter dresses are called tunics which I appreciate.

      • Natalie

        I am super into tunics over skinny jeans/leggings right now. So comfy. Same general style can be super casual or dressed up to really nice, depending on top/pant/shoes combo.

        • zana

          I just like that they call them tunics, rather than dresses…so I don’t purchase thinking it’s appropriate sans jeans/leggings. They have good end-of-season sales, which is what I wait for. ‘Got some lovely tweed blazers at the end of winter.

          • Natalie

            Definitely!

            Tweed blazers seem so professorial and therefore I think I desperately need at least one to start my new professor job… I will be checking out BodenUSA now. Thanks :-)

          • zana

            Yes, I’m also a new professor starting in the fall. I hit Lands End and BodenUSA’s winter sales *hard*. Lands End is good, too, but you have to be careful because many of their fits/pieces are meant for older ladies. But they were having good sales on sweaters and I really like their straight-leg chinos.

          • Natalie

            New professor high-five!

            I’ve only bought outerwear from Lands End, but their down vests & coats & fleece jackets are fantastic (all cheap during their end of winter sale). I’ll have to check out some of their other clothes.

        • NolaJael

          I have a teacher friend who wears this almost exclusively but with a skirt too, so as not to be too revealing (tunic + skirt + leggings/skinny jeans).

    • Alynae

      Old Navy and Banana Republic when they do their regular 40 and 50% off everything sales. And J Crew factory. The worst is wearing a dress that feels fine and the reaching up to write on the board and realizing how fast that thing pulled upwards!

    • Ann Taylor – they are constantly having sales so I never pay full price for anything.

    • Amanda

      The Portofino shirt from Express and the SoHo Soft Shirt from New York & Co. with a tank layered underneath is my go-to! Express runs a lot of sales, and if you know your size eBay & Poshmark have a lot of great deals on them making them a lot more affordable. NY&C runs a ton of sales too, but their price point is a little lower to begin with.

    • Anna

      I’m busty as well, and I work in healthcare, so I definitely get the whole “don’t flash the nice people” vibe. I love my Portofino shirts from Express (I have 6 or 7, I may have a problem), but they are NOT worth full price. Wait for a sale at Express (they go on sale fairly often) or get them on eBay/Poshmark. I also do a lot of “cardigan as top” outfits with a cami underneath. Target has some fun crewnecks cardigans, and I think Old Navy does as well. I used to love NY&Co tops, but they’re usually a little too low-cut, unless you go for their ballet neck tops, which are actually pretty good.

    • E.

      I’m a teacher and like Loft!

    • Fushigidane

      FH claims all teachers shop at Kohl’s. This is also where one of my friends did most of her shopping before she got a job that she just wears scrubs for.

      • Eenie

        Apt 9 has some synthetic flowy blouses that I pair with a camisole or tank since they are kind of see through. I have three, and they work for winter and summer (sleeves rolled up).

  • Elizabeth Ann Carrick

    We did it! We ran away to Vegas and eloped! It was magical and perfect!

    We are still having a wedding in June, but we both come from messy divorced families and really wanted to have it just be us without our parents (mostly mine) behaving worse than tired toddlers.

    If anyone is debating running away to Vegas, I cannot recommend Sunset Gardens enough. They were great!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37170bb4958b5a2348afa7746d5ecdf73840ec6628877d5da7433f8742b9166e.jpg

    • ssha

      This is amazing and this picture is FULL OF JOY! A huge congrats to you!!

      • Elizabeth Ann Carrick

        Thank you!

        • Rebeccagreal

          Google is paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !wr160c:
          On monday I got a great new mclaren f1 from having earned $12778 this last four weeks.. 3 to 5 hours of work a day… Weekly paychecks… Bonus opportunities…Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !wr160c:
          ➽➽
          ➽➽➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs160TopBrand/GetPaid$97/Hour ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫:::!wr160u:……

    • Angela’s Back

      From one eloper to another (we went to Colorado), CONGRATS!!!!

      • Elizabeth Ann Carrick

        Thank you! Congratulations to you as well!

    • Les

      Could you guys be cuter?!

    • JennDee

      You guys look so happy!!!! Congrats :D

  • Engaged Chicago

    Date and venue booked!! (Holla atcha girl if you too were looking for a 300+ person venue in Chicago with BYO vendors, that included fancy chairs, tables, linens, furniture, draping, silverware, glassware in the reasonable rental fee rate.)

    Now I’m starting to freak out because it’s only 9 months away. Not emotionally or physically ready to try on dresses, but guess I better get there STAT before it cuts too close. (I’ve been eyeing this one for years and need to try it on at least to say I did: https://www.etsy.com/listing/204986195/sierra-a-modern-chiffon-and-rose-gold <3)

    • CMT

      Oooh, I like that dress a lot!

    • Essssss

      Gorgeous dress!

    • Vanessa

      I tried some Truvelle dresses! Not what I ended up going with but they are gooooorgeous!

      • Engaged Chicago

        Good to hear! I love the sparkle and lightness – we’ll see though!

    • Katelyn

      Are you my Chicago planning buddy that I haven’t emailed in like 2 months? (I’ll get right on that – plus so weird we booked venue and date at like the same exact time!)

      Either way, HOORAY!!! 9 months is plenty of time. (check out my spreadsheets in my HH post if you don’t have something started…)

      • Engaged Chicago

        YESSS! That is SO funny. Same wavelengths. CONGRATS!! Your date is awesome!

    • karyn_arden

      WOW that dress is wicked beautiful <3

  • Essssss

    How do people deal with their parents and in-laws meshing without having their hands held? My mom and mother in law are slowly starting to have their own relationship. They live in different places but have spent Christmas together with me and my partner and are trying to be friendly. They do things like send gifts back and forth, little emails once in a while, petitions on various activism things, etc. They both care about me and my husband a lot and bond over that of course, and have some similar values and interests. I think they understand that since partner and I both come from very small families, there is going to be blending, and they will be spending plenty of time together over the years with holidays, babies, any future care needs. They are also both very stubborn and set in their ways.

    Once in a while this causes mild tension and then my MIL comes to me for an explanation, or my mom confesses that she sent a message that MIL might take the wrong way or whatever, and then I’m in the middle. Part of me wants to say, “you’re grown ups, communicate with each other like grown ups, say what you want, don’t involve me.” The other part of me feels like if they would just be polite and restrained and prioritize making my life easier, it would keep the peace in the long run. I can ask my mom to check herself because we have that kind of relationship, but I’m still building my OWN relationship with my MIL. I guess I’m just adjusting. My own parent’s in-laws never ever met each other, not even at the wedding, so I don’t have any in-law/family of origin interaction models to turn to. What are your experiences?

    • ssha

      Following since I have been wondering about this as well.

    • emilyg25

      We don’t. Our parents met once before the wedding and then at the wedding. They were all invited to my kid’s first birthday, but neither of my in-laws were able to come. When they are together, they’re polite and make small talk, but they don’t really try to have a relationship outside of us.

      • Eenie

        Our parents didn’t even meet before the wedding! And I don’t even think we did a big thing except when they both got to the restaurant the night before they introduced themselves to each other. An hour later I thought – oh wait, this is the first time they’ve ever met! Guess it went well.

    • Cellistec

      Ugh, this. My mom and my MIL talk on the phone frequently, and invite each other to holidays and other family gatherings. I’m glad they get along, but it means I can’t complain to my mom when I’m frustrated about the in-laws. If I do, she scolds me about the importance of being gracious and a nice person. (Does she think wolves raised me when she wasn’t looking?) So that’s one more thing I can’t confide in my mom about. Family blending is a double-edged sword, and I wish you luck with it.

    • Mine live 2000 miles away from each other, so I don’t think they have too much interaction with each other. They emailed about some wedding stuff, but I don’t know if they have talked too much after that when not in the same city. Sometimes when my mom is in town, we will get dinner with my husband’s family and then they chat but that’s about it, at least that I know of.

      But I know looking at my grandparents on either side of the family, they know each other decently well at this point. They used to get together a lot, especially before my dad’s mom died, because we had giant family gatherings, and I know they ask about each other, and go to reciprocal funerals for the opposite side of the family (ie my dad’s parents came to my mom’s uncle’s funeral) or at least send cards. I’ve talked to my mom about this before, and she said that for her at least, it was weird until she had kids, and then they just talked about the babies and it made everything less odd (although potentially, it could have just been that my mother was more distracted). Although, even then, I don’t think they communicate directly much with each other, just that over the 30 years my parents have been married, they have gotten to know each other well.

    • Amy March

      Mild tension? I see no reason why you can’t go with “if you’re concerned, by all means talk to her directly” and mmmmmbyegottago. Mild tension doesn’t require intervention.

      • Essssss

        Fair enough. I guess I worry about mild tension spiraling into something bigger, but then, I’m pretty good at worrying.

    • Jess

      I do not have a close relationship with either my mother or my MIL. They talk on FB and text and stuff. They often know more about each other than I do, and ask me for updates (me: I dunno, I didn’t know that was a thing?).

      I vote stay out of it. This is not your job.

    • CP2011

      It’s not a priority for us (or for our moms) to be close, so it hasn’t been something that has come up.

    • jem

      Similar situation (and we’re not even married yet). My FMIL always invites my parents to holidays, which they appreciate but they also feel pressured to accept even when they’d rather do their own thing. Honestly, I figure that since everyone involved is a grownup, they can sort it out themselves and that time will generally wipe away small slights. Hands-off approach re: other people’s friendships is my usual go to, tho.

      • Essssss

        Thank you. “Time will eventually wipe away small slights” is good to remember.

    • I haven’t had this with inlaws, but my grandparents used to holiday at each other’s houses (after a certain adulterous grandfather was dispensed with!). Honestly, treat them like any adult friends who know each other through you – sometimes you’ll have to reassure them and interpret their behaviour for each other, and sometimes you can just tell them to chill and talk it out.

      • EllaByNight

        This! My mom and MIL are really close (they’re both relatively young widows and bonded over losing their husbands unexpectedly) and have been close for years. They hang out together on their own, they have personal conversations, and they’re in a book club together, but they still sometimes need me and my husband to act as intermediaries in the way you described. We’re not hand holding all of the time, but we are doing the reassuring and interpreting and coaching them on how to approach each other about sensitive topics.

        • Essssss

          Thanks, I guess its all a process. Grief/loss definitely play a role in this situation too as it, in my observations, sometimes makes my mother be more frank/have less of a filter/etc. than she might have previously.

  • prof

    My department is currently rethinking how we assign (or nab, depending on one’s perspective) classes to make it more equitable. Any suggestions for how to schedule classes within the parameters of the college’s class schedule that enables people with caregiving responsibilities (be it of young children, elderly parents, ill partners) to get reasonable-for-them slots without leaving all the less-desired spots for those without the same obvious needs but with responsibilities of their own? Obviously best slots vary by person, but few people want the 8 am classes or the Friday at 4 pm classes or to teach 8 am class and 6 pm on the same day. We can’t teach every class T/Th at 10 am, less desirable class times have to be used, and there have been some really unfair assignments in the past…

    • Amy March

      Seniority? All of my oldest profs had the best time slots. I just figured that’s the deal, and you make childcare/other arrangements accordingly.

      • prof

        That’s been done, and a bunch of people hate that. I’m not necessarily personally opposed, but I do think there should be some consideration of the impact on others — e.g., the newest professor has been stuck with morning classes every day of the week + 1 night class, which is really sucky.

    • Natalie

      At the community college my mom teaches at, everyone in her department has to teach one night class a year (T/Th or M/W, typically 3 hours each night, b/c they’re science classes with labs). It’s equitable, but perhaps not so caregiver-friendly. On the other hand, Mom loved night classes when I was little, because she could leave me with Dad (who worked a more typical 9-5 schedule) and not have to find a sitter, and she could be home with me in the afternoons when I got home from school.

      Maybe a policy that everyone has to take either an 8am class or a 6pm class each semester or year (depending on how often they need to be taught)? That way there’s some flexibility – some people might find it easier to leave getting the kids to school in the morning up to their partner, while others would have an easier time finding someone else to be the evening caregiver. Everyone gets stuck with an objectively sucky assignment, but the same few people aren’t constantly doing all the crappy time slots.

      You could also do a round-robin signup. Have a schedule of all the time slots that need to be filled with classes. Each person gets to claim one time slot. After everyone’s claimed one slot, go around again, everyone claiming their second time slot. And so on. Presumably, the least-favored teaching times will all be left in the last round or two, and everyone will get stuck with one or two of them. People could voluntarily trade slots afterwards to adjust for being stuck with a super long day, or 8am class the morning after a night class that ends at 10pm, etc.

      • prof

        I think the round-robin sign-up might be key — that way, everyone basically will have to take a suckier time slot (and trading can help mitigate any true insanity) but it avoids a few people bearing the sucky class slots all the time. I’ll suggest it, thank you!

    • honeycomehome

      Scheduling is so impossible. Are you scheduling the same set of instructors each semester, or is it different (new grad students)? If you ARE scheduling the same group, I have two suggestions. The first is, ask for two top priorities, such as not teaching at 8am, or avoiding long days on campus or whatever. Then, second, come up with a short list of scheduling standards that applies to everyone. These can be things like trying to schedule majority of classes for a prof on the same days, or assigning one evening class to everyone, or keeping everyone in a teaching time block (mornings/afternoons). Then try to schedule so that everyone gets one of their top priorities and go from there based on the rules/best practices. Yes, someone will end up at 8am or 4pm on Friday, but hopefully if they also get whatever their priority is, they’ll be less inclined to complain.

      If you have new grad students every year, that gets trickier, as they can have conflicts with their lives and other class schedules. But more or less the same idea could apply (and they usually teach less, so it’s easier to slip them in somewhere).

      • prof

        That’s a good idea — it’s less critical for grad students since their slots are determined by the classes they get assigned (maybe not ideal, but less administratively complex) and letting people articulate priorities for them might help (force) people to be reasonable — at least when combined with some internal rules for scheduling. Thank you!

    • zana

      I feel like a med-school type matching system could work here. Like, have everyone rank their preferences for each time slot and then run an algorithm to minimize the agony across the department. You’d either need to speak with a computer scientist, or find an existing product that already does this…it seems like a thing that should already exist.

  • louise danger

    we did the cake tasting and y’all, our cake is going to be EXCELLENT. one tier of white cake with peach filling, and one tier of combo choco-and-white cake with cannoli filling (with chocolate chips! I DIE), all in german buttercream with a simple, textural design. i’m not nuts about the cake vendor lady – personality mismatch, she’s plenty nice/customer servicey and she’s been doing this for like a thousand years – but i figure she’s not going to be following me around on the day of, so that doesn’t matter too much.

    we also reserved the date with the restaurant! the staff there has been awesome so far, and you can’t beat a $50 venue deposit, ha. we sketched out a layout for the tables and i have now forgotten it, but the manager we were talking with said the tablecloths that mom sourced (after I asked mom not to get anything yet, we were still more than a year out…) would be fine if i wanted to use them, and if i wound up needing any extra, she still had some leftover from her own wedding that she could bring in. and they have a kid’s menu for our two under-sixes and there’s plenty of space for all the extraneous not-sitting-down-and-eating parts of the reception – cake table, gift/card table, escort card table.

    QUERY FOR THE GROUP:
    because it’s a plated lunch, everyone has to pick their meal in advance. i’m thinking of marking the meal choice with a different type of fruit to hold the placecards (salad gets a red apple, chicken sandwich the green apple, fish sandwich a mini pumpkin, veggie sandwich a pear), but was curious. should they be escort cards (all displayed on one welcome-type table and taken to the individual seats) or place cards (displayed at the seats from the start)?

    • Amy March

      I usually see it as escort cards, not place cards, because it’s annoying and more work for you to place everyone at a specific seat. Depending on the layout I might skip the fruit- are they going to have to carry these around with them during a cocktail hour?

      • louise danger

        nope. everything’s all in the same room, and “cocktail hour” is about 20 minutes of munchies before we arrive and lunch is served right away. less like a formal/normal reception and more like a lunch.

    • CW

      If you have some type of chart at the entrance to tell people what table they’re at, you can then do place cards. I went to a wedding where the escort cards had a tiny symbol so the servers could see who had what meal, without having to ask each person. Also, it depends on layout- if you’re doing cocktails in a different space, or have the ability for people to get their card and put their purse/jacket at their table, you can do escort cards even with a cocktail hour.

      • louise danger

        yes, everything is all in the same room in the space – munchies in one half, seating for lunch in the other half – so dropping off stuff at the table should be easy. the distance to cover is about 50 feet lol

    • Vanessa

      This may be a dumb question but do you mean a graphic representation of apple/pumpkin/pear or do you mean a real fruit or vegetable? I am having trouble picturing this.

      • louise danger

        like, pinning/tying/attaching-somehow the card with the name on it to a piece of fruit. sorry, ha! here’s an example with oranges:
        http://www.decorationtrend.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/orange-place-card-holder.jpg

        • Vanessa

          That’s very cute! In that case I think maybe having them all together on a welcome table might be better – if I had one of those on my plate I don’t know if I would realize that the type of fruit was significant, and I could easily see separating the fruit from the name tag & eating it, putting it in my purse for later, something like that. But if they were all together, it might be more clear that they signify something.

          • louise danger

            awesome, thanks! that might also be the better route time/setup-wise – i’m wrangling the logistics of how/when the room will be set up and i guess that the less thinking our helpers (hi mom) are going to need to do in the heat of the moment, the better. “one centerpiece per round table, two on each rectangle one, card box over there, all the placecard fruit on one table there”

          • Amy March

            Oh, you’re having mom do this? Then I’d skip fruit entirely. It makes it a much bigger thing physically to wrangle, trays and boxes of heavy fruit instead of just cards. Keep it simple!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          What if someone eats their fruit before their entre comes around?

          • louise danger

            i guess i’ll just have to hope that they can ignore their hunger pangs for the 20 or so minutes before lunch is served, and/or drown them in some of the finger food that will be available before everyone takes a seat.

          • penguin

            Can you put the cards on something non-edible? Or somehow mark that they shouldn’t eat it? Alternate idea – make the background color for their name different depending on the entrée? These are just random ideas.

          • louise danger

            that was my other thought, but with everything else being autumnal i was thinking that just buying a bunch of fruit would be easier/cuter. i’ll see what mr danger thinks too

          • emmers

            I feel like I would have a backup, just in case someone eats their fruit. I feel like if I got a cute thing like this I’d probably put my fruit in my purse or something and not realize that it would cause problems for the waitstaff. So maybe either placecards at the tables with a little code on them, or a seating chart for who gets what or something. Just anything that I’d have to bring to the table might not happen :/.

          • a single sarah

            Yup. I’d think you were being cute with the appetizers and eat the fruit. Both mine and my date’s ;)

        • Megan

          We did this with apples! No one ate the apple before dinner :) We added small gems to the upper left hand corner that corresponded to each person’s meal – clear (beef), green (veggie), blue (fish).

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/08752085c491e900d35560d8fc35d168b36286e788f82fe17f1b7b6958eb517c.jpg

    • Alynae

      I have been at weddings that did both and they both work. I think it depends mostly on the size of your crowd and the size of your venue. Smaller of both its easy enough to wander around until you find your seat. Larger of either then escort cards with the place card marking the meal choice at the seat is easier.

    • nutbrownrose

      I solved cake today! Backstory: FH has a lot of migraine-triggering foods he can’t eat, including chocolate, cheese, and peanut butter as well as less obnoxious stuff I forget about. So I abandoned the idea of a chocolate wedding cake years ago and came to terms with it generally. So my cousin who’s baking the cake gave us a cupcake taste test a few weeks back and we came down to lemon cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. And then Thursday night I hear from FMIL that raspberries (my favorite fruit bar none) are ALSO on the migraine list, which HE didn’t tell me because he doesn’t eat fruit generally anyway. So I was sad. And then I had a genius thought: Sauce! We’ll have lemon cake with vanilla filling and then raspberry sauce to add after it’s safely on the plate!
      I’m very proud of this problem solving I’ve done.

  • Julia

    I finally got the email today – my student loans are officially GONE! I sent the final payoff amount a few weeks ago, but we’ve been waiting for the Official Statement to really celebrate :) I am SO proud of paying those suckers off in less than five years. Now that ‘extra’ money every month will go into the savings account for our next vehicle – not exciting, but it still feels good. Happy Friday, y’all!

    • Megan

      CONGRATS!!! I always say that I wish I got as many parties for paying off my student loans as I am for getting married. One took a lot of hard work to do and the other was kind of luck that I found a person. Marriage is the work that should get a party – not the wedding!

      I hope you treat yourself to something AWESOME this weekend!!

      • Julia

        “Marriage is the work that should get a party” – AGREED! Planning a wedding helped us grow, but marriage? and talking through financial stuff and loan payoff rates and making those wise decisions all the time, in order to pay off the loans? Definitely worth celebrating! And on that note, I’m calling the Thai restaurant with our dinner order :)

      • JLily

        OMG brilliant! I am SO going to plan a student loan payoff party when I get closer to that day. When it comes it might actually be the happiest day of my life ;)

    • CP2011

      Congrats!

      • Julia

        Thank you! Good feeling for sure :)

    • Cellistec

      Congratulations!! *throws confetti made of shredded loan statements*

    • Hannah B

      omg I am so happy/jealous for you!!!

    • theteenygirl

      Congratulations!!! I paid mine off recently so I know how AMAZING THIS FEELS!

    • YAY! We’re hopefully less than a year away from that right now, and I CANNOT WAIT. We’ve been doing the Dave Ramsey debt snowball thing — throwing it all at one loan at a time until it’s gone, then the next one. I’m not a huge DR fan, but this trick of his feels so good. We’ve already paid off one since we started late last fall!

  • TeaforTwo

    I’ve missed HH the last few months but the baby is finally napping and here I am. We’re leaving tonight for two weeks in Sicily, and I have been looking forward to this with such a quiet desperation. BigLaw has really been putting the screws to our family this year, and my husband (who has zero workaholic tendencies) has taken exactly one day off in 2017, and has otherwise been working long days 7 days a week.

    WIth me on mat leave, his long days have become my long days without breaks from the baby , and everyone’s exhausted and frazzled. So while PREPARING for this trip hasn’t exactly been laid back, we are all HELLA ready for vacation.

    I don’t know what to expect from international travel with a 10 month old so we have a super low-key itinerary, and big hotel rooms with balconies and good views, so if all we do is sip Nero D’Avola on the balcony while the baby naps, I’ll be a happy woman.

    • Essssss

      Sicily is the best! Where are you going? I loved the town of Cefalu madly. Drink an aperol spritz for me!

      • TeaforTwo

        Taormina, Trapani, Palermo. We’ll take some day trips, but those are the cities we’ll be staying in. We’re going to be there over Easter which is supposed to be A Very Big Deal and the itinerary was organized loosely around which towns had holy week parades and traditions we wanted to see.

        • Essssss

          Ahhh! I’ve been to Taormina and Palermo and adored them both, too! Never checked out Trapani. We did so much just wandering and getting lost and enjoying the ambiance and eating pasta a la norma. Enjoy enjoy!

        • lamarsh

          Taormina is so freaking beautiful. I also had the best canoli I’ve ever had there – wish I could remember the bakery. Have so much fun!

    • CMT

      Wow, you two definitely sound deserving of a vacation! Have fun!

    • BSM

      Uhhhhh your trip sounds amazing (and well-deserved)! I’ve never been to Sicily, but I looooove Italy. Have fun!

    • emilyg25

      I think traveling with little ones is fun as long as you adjust your attitude/expectations which it sounds like you have) and make naps a priority. Have a blast!!

    • Lisa

      That sounds like an amazing trip!! Eat all of the seafood and enjoy all of the sun!

    • i just got back from some international travel with my 9.5 month old. it was all kinds of amazing. we took lots of naps to adjust to time difference and we only did one thing a day, but we were all very happy, baby the happiest.

      • Leah

        nice job! we took our now-8-month-old then-5-month-old to Japan a few months back and it was SO MUCH FUN and we were very pleasantly surprised by how not-totally-crazy it felt once we got moving. yay for traveling babes.

        • Any tips for traveling with a 5 month old? We head to Germany in 3 weeks to visit my husband’s extended family. We’ve booked airbnbs, but I’m stressing over what to pack! It used to be we traveled carry on only for 2-3 weeks with family, not anymore! :D

          • i travel carry-on only with the baby! i pack a couple changes of clothes for me and baby, and i cloth diaper, so i pack all of those, because i can do laundry at my airbnb. a couple rattles in my purse for emergencies. a book in the zippered pocket of the carry on. thermometer and baby tylenol and diaper cream in a zip loc bag. that’s it!

          • Leah

            Don’t stress! In addition to our japan trip, I travel once or twice a month for work, and bring the little guy with me. A 5 month old really doesn’t need much, especially if you are going somewhere where you can buy diapers :). If you want carseat/stroller, they are free to check. I usually check them at baggage claim so I don’t have to worry about carting them around the airport, and just use an ergo or whatever for the airport. One or two toys, blanket, changing pad, a couple changes of clothes, a couple disposal or cloth diapers depending on whether you are going to buy diapers there or have laundry access, and your preference. I have a large blanket/changing pad that’s soft on one side and waterproof on the other. folds up small and is perfect for playing on the ground, changing diapers, wrapping soiled clothes in, all sorts of things. If you are checking other luggage, make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself in a carry one as well just in case. Honestly, it is surprisingly chill! especially if you are ok with baby on bed or floor and don’t need a pack & play, etc. Enjoy!

        • we were in Japan too! it was an incredibly baby-friendly place to go.

    • AP

      Nothing but sympathy for you while you deal with the spouse working 7 days a week. It suuuuucks. My husband’s line of work is similarly demanding and his company in particular is terrible about work/life balance. He’s been doing 12 hr days and weekends for the last few months as well, and although I don’t have a baby, I work from home and keep the house running and it gets frustrating and lonely as hell. We’re planning a two-week Grand Canyon trip in May and I am counting down the days until he can turn off his damn phone.

      We’ve missed you around here- glad you stopped by! Have fun in Sicily!!

      • TeaforTwo

        Yay, enjoy your trip, too!

        I didn’t used to mind so much when his work got busy, because it meant time to myself, but now that it means NO time to myself it’s awful. Working from home, you must get plenty of time to yourself so I sympathize!

    • PurplePeopleEater

      We always travelled with the baby, starting from when he was about 5 months old. It can be really fun – I highly suggest bringing a good stroller, so he can nap when he wants to, and you can keep sipping a glass of vino (or eating lots of pasta, whatever floats your boat) in the sun (if you want to). Have a great time!

    • Jocelyn Eileen

      We just got back from traveling to Florence from Boston with a 10 month old and it was awesome! It’s a bit exhausting getting there but once you are it is so worth all of the hassle of travel. Italians absolutely adore babies and you will find yourself being allowed to the head of lines, people will do anything to make your baby smile and will love on them. If you can get a bassinet on the plane it is so worth it, even if they don’t sleep in it it gives them space to kinda hang out without having to be on your lap, I know my son is now at the stage where he gets tired of being held pretty quickly. Sicily is amazing, we went two years ago, pre-baby and loved it, make sure you get the granita in a brioche bun and drink ALL the aperol spritz you can take! Oh and Sicilian wine is ridiculously cheap and so damn good!

  • sofar

    I have an adulting question:

    Home warranties when you’re buying a house — worth it? Would love to get some “here’s what I wish I’d known” advice.

    Our agents are paying for a chunk of the first year’s warranty for us (if we want) as their gift to us for being clients (we are in a market where sellers generally do NOT pay for the first year of coverage). Our agents are giving us enough to cover most basic policies, and then we can upgrade beyond that if we want. Or, they’ll just give us a smaller amount of cash straight up so we can put it toward home repairs. Was going to get the warranty, but just had several friends tell me that “Home warranties are worth less than the paper they’re printed on.”

    So … any personal experiences to share? I’ve pretty much researched the shit out home warranties and it still seems like a good idea for the first year.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Pay attention to what it covers, and how many things in your house would actually fall under that coverage. We were offered one that covered home appliances. The house came with a water heater, which the inspector told us probably had another 5 years in it, and an oven. There were no other appliances, we don’t have central air, and the heat is electric baseboards. So we would be paying for a policy that would kick in IF one of those two things happened to die in the first year, and we would have to pay the deductible out of pocket anyway. I’m all for insurance as a general concept (it’s actually my job), but we decided it wasn’t worth it.

      • sofar

        THANK YOU. This was an angle I hadn’t considered — how many things the house comes with that are also covered by the contract.

    • Alex K

      We bought a house in November and are roof started leaking within the 1st month. The developer we bought it from came to “fix it”….but it did not work and last night we had water leaking in again. This time the developer told us it was not his problem. So I wish we got a warranty or a guarantee from the developer.

      • sofar

        Yikes! Roof leaks are one of my biggest house-related fears. My sister had a leak but since she almost never goes upstairs in her house, she didn’t notice until the damage was really bad.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          (I’ll add that our house has a relatively new roof in good shape, per our inspector.)It might help to sit down with the home insurance company you plan to use and ask all sorts of questions about what kinds of damage they cover. For example, they’ll probably cover a roof leak on account of an ice dam (sudden and accidental/act of god), but if you don’t realize your attic is leaking for 2 years and get mold, the mold probably isn’t covered (because it’s a maintenance issue). You can also develop a list of things to check on every, say, whenever you change your clocks for daylight savings. Include checking your smoke detector batteries, and sticking your head in the attic to check for water damage.

        • NolaJael

          Same. Moving to Portland where moss grows on roofs is really wigging me out.

    • emilyg25

      I’m generally anti-warranty, especially because they’re often written very narrowly. Better to put that money in a savings account for repairs.

      • StevenPortland

        Your home will always need some type of repair. Always. That’s how houses are. Better to just accept that as a truth, rather than get a warranty that will be so narrowly written that you’ll go through stress trying to get problems covered through the warranty.

    • EllaByNight

      Our sellers paid for a warranty when we bought our house, and I found it to have really, really narrow coverage. We had issues with our dishwasher, garage doors, and rats in our attic (ew), and the policy barely covered any of it. It did pay for service people to come out and look at the dishwasher and garage doors, but the problems they discovered were not covered by the warranty. And the policy flat out didn’t cover rat infestations (but, oddly, would cover it if they were mice instead). You’d likely be better off putting the money toward repairs because then you know it will cover whatever you need.

      • sofar

        Thank you. Reading the sample policies again, I’m coming more around to this point of view.

    • NolaJael

      I think on new houses they are definitely important because things are untested. I have a friend in Texas who had to use their warranty to replace the entire first floor flooring TWICE because something leaked and the floors warped and then the replacement was installed wrong.

      But I don’t have any experience with warranties on older homes.

      • sofar

        YIKES!

    • Mary Jo TC

      Ours paid off when the dishwasher broke in the first year. But it didn’t cover the water damage caused by the broken dishwasher. The things they cover can be limited.

    • Very late to the game on this, but I actually HAVE used home warranties more than once. In my market, it is common for the sellers to pay for the first year. I had a furnace issue that fell under a separate gas warranty and I paid ZERO dollars for a several hundred dollar fix. On a smaller level, a small (maybe $50?) copay covered a replacement and installation of a garbage disposal.

  • Emily

    This was a roller coaster of a week for me. Work has been hell, wedding planning stressful, and we’re in the home stretch of my fiancé’s grad school so busy is an understatement. But I realized through all of it that I’m just not having any fun at all. I’ve become bad at doing things for me, so I decided to start doing something about that. Back when I was single I was really into the social dance scene – specifically Lindy Hop. I stopped doing it because I got a terrible job which I was then fired from, and a lack of money plus depression took over my life. But I really really loved it, and was starting to get kind of good when I stopped. A few of my friends recently found out I used to dance and dragged me to a weekly swing dance and you know what? I still love it. Sure, I’m super duper rusty and it will take me a while to get back in the hang of things again, but it’s something just for me that makes me really happy. I’m learning that I can’t minimize that feeling, that it helps keep everything else in balance. And I think it’s going to convince my fiancé to start writing again, so that’s also a plus!

    Ps. If you’re wondering what Lindy Hop looks like, here’s a link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d_cmkZQCBo

  • Les

    Had one of those lovely pre-engaged ‘when we get married’ conversations with my Sig O this week over a long coffee break. We’re both really excited, but have decided we have to wait to get engaged. Just talking about it makes me so happy and zen, though. Due to his grandparents age and wealth, if we got engaged, the pressure would be enormous and the incentives generous to get married soon. He’s one of a battery of grandkids, but no one has pulled the trigger yet. We don’t want to accept money (it would most definitely come with Catholic and Italian and Conservative and East Cost strings), and we don’t want to be rushed into spending the money we do have on a wedding. We want an apartment and no student loans more than we want a fancy wedding right now (though we do want one!) so engagement will have to wait. It’s a little frustrating, but when I think about all the conversations I’m avoiding… I feel a lot better. Plus, pre-engaged wedding planning is so fun, because none of it is real or costs any money…

    • penguin

      And when you’re not “officially” engaged, the number of people constantly questioning you and your choices is waaay lower. Congrats! That’s great that you are both on the same page.

  • Bsquillo

    So not to be a downer, but…is anyone else freaking out that we are firing missiles in Syria? I know all of the news has been awful this week, but I can’t help but feel massive anxiety about this. I’ve literally felt nauseated about this since yesterday.

    Is anything making anyone feel better, or…?

    • jem

      Yes. Massive anxiety and nausea.

    • emilyg25

      Yes.

      Syria is so complicated and I don’t know what the right answer is, but I really, really don’t want another war in the Middle East, especially under this administration.

      • Bsquillo

        I know it’s a really complex and delicate situation, but the cynical side of me can’t help but think this is just another endless war to feed the military industrial complex, and to distract from Trump’s atrocious ratings.

        • emilyg25

          Also, I think a lot of the current troubles have been caused by American military action, so I don’t know how more American military action will help now. :/ But it’s obviously unacceptable to hit civilians (or anyone, really) with chemical weapons.

        • Angela’s Back

          Ha. The cynical side of *me* is laughing real hard at Putin who had his people hack our election to get Trump in office, but you know who wouldn’t have bombed Syria on a whim, thereby making Putin super sad? HILARY FUCKING CLINTON.

          • BSM

            It’s being reported that we informed Russia that we were going to take action before the strikes and that they alerted Syria, who was then able to move all their aircraft and people out of harm’s way.

            I realize I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I really believe that it’s all just posturing being coordinated between Trump and Putin (slash their people). We’ll agree to lift sanctions on Russia if they get out of Syria, and then we’ll go to war in Syria to overthrow Assad, feed the MIC, and raise oil prices.

          • rg223

            Yeah. I don’t want to sound crazy either, but I think this is quite likely.

          • I mean, maybe not on a whim but yesterday she was calling for more or less the exact action he took right?

            Don’t get me wrong, I would have had wayyyy more confidence in her ability to competently handle the situation, but.

          • Angela’s Back

            Honestly, I don’t follow closely enough t know what HRC was saying pre-bombing, but as you say, I feel like Trump was like omg chemical weapons must bomb now consequences be damned!!! Ooh look at that shiny thing over there, and then went off to do the next thing.

      • BSM

        Yes. I’m not sure absolutely no military action is the right answer (I don’t know what the right answer is, other than letting a lot more refugees into the US), but I know for sure that Trump is a complete idiot with no plan who rarely listens to anyone else and that we have no idea where his priorities or allegiances lie. I am terrified about *him* taking us to war far more than I am about going to war in general (about which I’m also really, really scared).

    • Cellistec

      Yes. I feel more terrible than usual about just being American. Sorry, world.

      • Bsquillo

        The seriously f*cked up thing is that suddenly DJT cares about Syrian kids? And not back when they were trying to come to our country as refugees? The narrative is seriously insulting and disgusting.

        • ART

          I felt ill listening to his remarks. He’s so disgusting that his “sympathy” rings really hollow. Like, don’t talk to me about women and babies. No.

        • Kalë

          Right? I’m absolutely floored at the flip this narrative has done, and it’s so, so wrong on so many levels.

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, it’s clearly just a PR stunt. With geopolitical consequences.

    • AGCourtney

      Yes. I was at work last night (evening supervisor in a college library) and immediately saw the news as it came out and my desk workers and I were like AUGHHH and I spent the next two hours or so stress-consuming news and snacks.

    • Lisa

      Yes. US involvement escalating to essentially WWIII levels has felt inevitable to me since I first started hearing about the conflict in Syria years ago, and I’m so anxious that it might actually be happening.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Russian warships are currently on the move to the location of our Navy destroyers that launched said missiles. I am absolutely freaking out about this.

    • MC

      Yep, feeling pretty awful. I’ve been exercising a lot this week & the endorphins are keeping me at a high level of stress & depression about it instead of a totally debilitating level of stress & depression.

      • Bsquillo

        Hmm, exercise might be a good idea. Need to get in shape for the pending apocalypse anyways :/

    • Katherine

      Absolutely. I’m also disgusted.

    • Yes. I (obviously) don’t know what the right course of action in Syria is but I hate this, and am a massive ball of anxiety over it.

    • Cellistec

      If small but positive actions make anyone feel better, consider donating to MSF or the World Food Programme, both of which help Syrian civilians. It’s a drop in the bucket, but drops add up.

    • Rebekah

      Yes. I went into panic mode after the election, and then again after innauguration, worst-case-scenarioing the future where we pissed off other countries and ended up at war. I was JUST starting to calm down, thinking that it’s been more bumbling incompetence than stepping on ant hills, and that the growing pile of proof of Russian influence and collusion would soon oust this administration, but I had a really hard time last night imagining the future after bombing another country. I am planning to upgrade my emergency kit this week.

    • Alexandra

      Just did a bunch of reading on the events of the last two days…my conclusion is that we’re probably going to see a lot more unilateral displays of force by Trump. Nothing like sending out Tomahawks on a villain to get people applauding; unfortunately the baser side of human nature loves to feel powerful by blowing stuff up. Plenty of Americans have been salivating for a president to do this kind of thing for the past 8 years. I think Assad kind of forced our hand and that just about anybody as president would have retaliated somehow. Ordering an air strike doesn’t take a lot of savvy. Negotiating the aftermath does.

      Trump loves ratings and praise–a good pyrotechnic show generally leads to both. Hence, I think we’re going to see more of this kind of thing, and I don’t think we’re going to see intelligent diplomacy in the follow through. Sigh.

      How am I feeling better about the distinct possibility that we’re going to see more reactionary acts of war and humanitarian crises caused at least in part by my tax dollars being used by people who make decisions based entirely on fear and political gain? A long view of history, a strong sense of perspective, and deep faith in prayer.

  • toomanybooks

    This is really exciting! So glad to hear about the new (or, coming back) additions to the site. I’m a lot more interested in submitting my wedding under the Wordless Wedding format so that’s cool! And I love anything involving advice etc.

  • Anna

    So, my two wonderful and loving college roommates (who are two of my three bridesmaids, the third being my sister) are planning my bachelorette party, and what they’ve told me so far has me worried that they’re going way over the top with this. They’ve told me to be ready at 2 PM (…for an ostensibly evening event) day of, and they told me not to get myself a hotel room for that night (…?!). I have been told that we’re staying within the city limits (so the early arrival + no hotel is not because we’re voyaging elsewhere). Fiance was trying to dig for details a little bit and they wouldn’t tell him anything more either. They’re great and generally know me and what sort of party I’d enjoy pretty well, but I reallllly have no idea what they’re planning here and it’s kind of freaking me out.

    • Amy March

      So tell them you arent enjoying the surprise and need more info?

      • Anna

        So, on your ever-helpful advice, I texted them asking for a few more details, which did help. They have a series of events planned, not one super-long event (which makes sense and had sort of occurred to me, but somehow having it explicitly stated helped); and apparently we may end the night in a different part of the city, so they’re arranging for possible other accommodations in case we’re too tired(/drunk?) to make it back to the hotel. I think the latter part is mostly them not realizing how easy it is to get around my city and how central the hotel is, but fine.

        I’m also realizing that part of why this has been bothering me is that one of my favorite parts of any big event or fun thing is anticipating it, which is why I’ve never really been a surprise party person… but they’re both SUPER into throwing surprise parties, so I’m okay with meeting them in the middle and only asking for enough detail to assuage my anxiety haha.

    • Les

      It’s going to be great! Let them surprise you!

    • MC

      Sounds like they’re planning a fun afternoon & evening surprise for you and are covering your hotel room/lodging! I would also be nervous about the surprise but it sounds like you’ve got every reason to trust that they’ll do something fun. As an example, for my bach party, a group of us rented a house with a pool & hot tub, and we spent the afternoon drinking margs, listening to music, and playing games, Then in the evening we went out for drinks & dancing! So just because it starts in the afternoon & goes until the evening doesn’t mean it’s gonna be a hours-long rager or something like that.

      • Anna

        I know they’re not covering my hotel room because in fact we’re covering their hotel rooms for the subsequent nights (both of them are in less comfortable financial positions than we are). The all-day thing is mostly confusing to me because in my city, SPACE is extremely expensive, so I’m not sure where we’re going to be for 8-10 consecutive hours…

    • Jess

      This situation would stress me out to no end. I vote with Amy March – I’m sure what they are planning is lovely. Tell them you are looking forward to their plans and would feel much more relaxed if you knew them in advance.

      • Alex K

        Also if you are the type of person that complete surprises/no idea of logistics stresses you out my guess is your friends already know that and won’t be surprised when you ask. When I asked my MOH/BFF for a rough sketch of the plan she told me she was surprised I made it as long as I did without asking.

        • Jess

          This is hilarious. My MOH 100% knew that I would not do well with a surprise, and sent me a detailed itinerary.

  • Suzy

    Driving update: I have owned a car and been driving to and from my new job for about a month now! I’ve gone from being absolutely terrified to actually starting to enjoy it… Something I never thought I’d say. Loving the new job too.

    Unfortunately around the same time something awful came out of the blue: My twin sister’s fiancé ended things with her. They were supposed to be getting married this October and needless to say she is utterly devastated. It continues to be a very tough time for all of us, especially as I am getting married next May and we were so enjoying planning our weddings together. Internet hugs would be much appreciated!

    • AGCourtney

      Congrats on how well driving is going! I’ve been driving a year and a half or so and am surprised to find how comfortable I’m getting with it. And I get to sing Broadway as loud as I want. It’s great.

      I’m so, so sorry for your sister. Sending internet hugs!

      • Suzy

        Yes, the singing along as loud as I want is the best thing about it! And thank you :)

    • JC

      Congratulations on all the driving wins! Internet hugs for the rest of life’s ups and downs.

      • Suzy

        Thank you :)

    • Jane

      Oh man! So great about the driving but that’s such a rough break for your twin. Good luck!

  • Kate

    We’re going ring shopping this weekend, and he agreed to get one too!

    • Anna

      Yay! I was adamant that fiance needed to also have a ring; he was skeptical about it, but he really liked the ring we picked out for him (meaning he said what general kind of ring he wanted, I found a bunch of options, and he picked one) and within a month after we got engaged, he said his hand felt naked without it. Personally it makes me so happy (even more than a year later) to see it on his hand :-)

      • penguin

        I was the same way! At first my fiancé was on the fence about it (he wanted his engagement ring to feel “different” than a wedding ring), but he loves his and wears it constantly! Also, our solution to have it be “different” without gemstones or anything – it’s wood! We ordered it online, Northwood Rings. https://www.northwoodrings.com

        • Anna

          Wood rings are awesome – that’s what fiance has too! His engagement ring is ebony with lapis lazuli inlaid, and our wedding rings are going to be platinum with a little sapphire from Ash Hilton :D

          • penguin

            Love it! My fiancé’s ring is ebony on the outside, and American Elm (like a golden color) on the inside.

        • Cellistec

          My husband wore a wood ring during our engagement too, and he loved it. Good thing we replaced it with a steel wedding band though, because the finish on the wood really wore down with use.

          • zana

            Yeah, you have to maintain a wood ring. Re-apply super glue or whatever was used for finishing) regularly. It’s a nice metaphor.

          • penguin

            My fiance’s wooden ring came with a little tin of wax that he applies weekly, and it seems to be holding up OK so far.

        • zana

          Husband has a white/yellow gold engagement ring and a wooden wedding band which he made himself, like a nutball. Plain wooden rings aren’t too difficult to cobble together yourself…only took him 5 attempts or so: http://byov.blogspot.com/2016/10/making-wooden-rings.html

      • J loves his ring. It’s why he encouraged me to keep pushing through even though the jewellers were ridiculous about getting it in another size. Even though it’s much more delicate that mine he won’t take it off, and that makes me super happy :)

    • Katelyn
    • Shirley Schmidt

      Yayyyyy! I got mine one too and he loves it so much he will not contenance another ring as his wedding band. Totally made people think we’d eloped though, which I find hilarious. Here it is with all its beautiful engraving:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a5937541e553ec4810669901956b6ca5ad940b594b156d5bcfb5b4213d7e649.jpg

      • ssha

        When we got engaged I texted my roommates a picture of our hands with the rings and one of them freaked out because “why does he have a ring too? Did you get MARRIED?!” Ha!

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour | Wedding Adviser()

  • Transnonymous

    I got a letter on Monday informing me that I’d gotten the position I applied for. However, in my gut, something seemed really wrong (not to mention that the health insurance situation was horrible), so I made the decision to turn it down. We’ve talked it through and committed to trying to make it work where we are. Hopefully I’ll be calling a therapist later today to set up an initial meeting.

    In a way, this is good, since it slows down a lot of tough decisions we would have faced had we gone ahead and moved. Plus, someone’s got to be the first to try and make it as a trans person in our area, right?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Congrats on the job offer! Sounds like you listened to your gut and made a wise choice. You’ll know when you find the right offer.

  • MC

    So I started therapy again a few weeks ago & it’s going really well & I like my therapist. Now that I’m confident that it’ll be a regular occurrence for the near future, how do I tell my boss? The last few weeks I’ve just been putting the therapy appts in my calendar as “Appointment,” but since they’re every week at the same time I want to just be open about it rather than hide it. Also, my boss & I are super close (like, she told me about her pregnancy at 5 weeks & we cried together on Nov. 9th) so even though I do not have to tell her, I want to, but I’m just not sure how to bring it up. I’m getting treated for general anxiety, which I had noticed was effecting my productivity at work, but I don’t want it to sound like I want to use it as a blanket excuse… but maybe I’m just overthinking it. Has anyone else with mental health disclosed this kind of stuff to their boss/supervisor??

    • emilyg25

      “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been dealing with some anxiety and I think it’s been affecting my productivity at work. I’m working with a therapist now, so I’ll be having regular weekly appointments.”

      • MC

        Yes, thank you for this script!

    • ssha

      Does she know you have generalized anxiety? For me, I brought up my ADD during a check-in with my boss that I had specially prepared for. It was SUPER SCARY! But went well. That way when I made an appointment to get meds I sent her the calendar request and she replied with something super supportive and that helped a lot. No one else in the office knew even though I was close with them as well, I just told them it was a doctor’s appointment- trickier if you have to leave every week, though.

      • MC

        She doesn’t know but I’m sure she knows on some level, or at least won’t be shocked. & I know she’ll be supportive so I just have to tell her. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • afew

      if you are seeing the need for regular time off work, you can look into going through HR for FMLA paperwork to do a periodic regular amount of time off work. I had to do this for continued therapy and it has worked out really well. good luck. you could discuss with your boss or have HR contact her on your behalf.

    • CMT

      Call it a standing medical appointment. There are plenty of reasons to have these. You absolutely don’t need to tell your boss it’s for therapy if you don’t want to.

  • EllaByNight

    I’m looking to invest a reasonable chunk of money in mutual funds/ETFs and I’m wondering if any of the financially savvy ladies around here have opinions on the various services out there. I was initially thinking of just opening an account with Vanguard (high quality, low cost funds FTW), but I’m curious about robo advisors like Betterment and Wealth Front. Anyone have any thoughts?

    • Anna

      I’ve always just done Vanguard; they have pretty good customer service, too. My personal finance skills are fully adequate but not exceptional, but my parents (who both are very financially savvy) use Vanguard for pretty much everything.

    • Lisa

      If you know what you want and are OK doing the adjustments yourself, then Vanguard can’t be beat. For the others, you end up paying higher services for the people/bots to do it for you.

      • anon

        I feel really dumb but what exactly does “adjusting” mean? I opened a small Vanguard account and now I’m not sure what to do with it.

        I mean, that small question probably requires a lengthy answer that you don’t wanna give, and I would understand that! But maybe there’s a link to an article or something?

        • KK

          Adjusting aka rebalancing is where you periodically reassess your investments to make sure they match your investment plan. For example, let’s say in January you decide to invest $10,000 dollars, 25% in bonds and 75% in stocks, with the stocks split 50-50 between large cap and small/mid cap. Your allocation is 25% bond, 37.5% large cap, 37.5% small/mid cap. So you select your Vanguard index funds, put $2,500 in a bond index fund, $3750 in a large cap index fund, and $3750 in a small/mid cap index fund. Over the course of the year, those funds will change in value based on the market. At the end of the year, your bond fund has dropped in value to $2000, your large cap fund gained to 4000 and the mid cap fund is at 4200. Well, now your balance isn’t 25%-37.5%-37.5% anymore. Instead it’s 19.6%-39.2%-41.2%. So to “rebalance” to get back to your intended allocation, you need to sell off some of the stocks and buy more bonds.
          That’s called rebalancing your investment portfolio. You don’t want to do it too often because you will pay trading fees and may owe taxes (if it’s not tax deferred like a IRA), but you do need to do it periodically so that you stick to your investment strategy. For people in our age range saving for retirement, I’d say once/year is enough.
          Betterment and other robo-advisors will rebalance for you on some automated schedule, but they charge you a fee for that service.

        • I think Lisa might have meant managing the re-balancing on your own so that you have your desired percentages of stocks/bonds/whatever to make your intended allocations and risk level. (Ie. Some people say to have your age in bonds and the rest in stocks. When certain investments grow or decline this can throw off the balance, so periodically this would need to be re-adjusted.)

      • EllaByNight

        Rebalancing accounts isn’t a problem for me, but the one thing I was curious about was the automatic tax loss harvesting feature that Betterment offers and the direct indexing that WealthFront does. With regards to the the tax loss harvesting, I’m fine doing the occasional loss harvesting, but I’m not going to be looking at my account on a daily basis to do it. I guess I’m wondering if robots really are better in this case or if it’s just overkill. Paying for the direct indexing is appealing because I don’t have the time to manage individual stocks that track an index, but I am interested in having a more tax efficient vehicle (i.e., owning individual stocks as opposed to a fund where you’re stuck with someone else’s gains).

    • I plan on buying Vanguard. I read A Simple Path to Wealth (thanks again, Lisa!) and was totally convinced.

    • StevenPortland

      Vanguard is great. If you want personalized advice, consider finding someone who is a Certified Financial Planner and only works for a flat-fee (rather than getting commissions from your investments). I spent one hour with a planner two years ago and it was a great way to get my questions answered and to have some advice given.

      • KK

        Agreed, I would definitely suggest spending your money on a fee-only (no commissions) financial advisor rather than on fees through Betterment. For $1000-$2000 you should be able to get an in-depth analysis of your finances and a clearly laid-out plan with recommended investment funds and allocation percentages. As long as you are willing to take on some of the work each year to reassess/rebalance, you can save the continuous fees from Betterment.
        The advisor will also give you advice on different ‘tax buckets’ which was so helpful. Not only should you diversify your investments, but also the tax buckets (Traditional IRA/401k, Roth if possible, and standard investment accounts), AND certain funds/investments are better for tax deferred accounts vs. regular accounts. This was totally eye-opening for me, and totally worth the $1500 fee. I don’t think it’s something that Betterment would have helped me with.
        Find a certified fee-only financial advisor here: https://www.napfa.org/

        • (Financial planner here) – For hourly fee-only planning, I recommend looking for an advisor through the Garret Planning Network, which is similar to NAPFA but everyone needs to provide hourly services, which not all advisers listed on NAPFA do (including my firm). http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com

          If you’re a younger person looking for an advisor who charges less than traditional firms, and who is more open to a limited engagement (and focuses on work with Millenials and not pre-retirees), check out the XY Planning Network -almost all advisors there are CFPs . http://www.xyplanningnetwork.com/consumer/find-advisor/#top

    • AP

      My husband and I use Vanguard for both our IRAs (we have Roth and traditional) and a joint brokerage account. We invest in index funds for all of these (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund.) Same reasons everyone else has mentioned- lowest fees, super simple to set up and transfer money into, best returns. We’ve also read A Simple Path to Wealth and we’re pretty much just following that, with the exception that we’re investing in rental real estate in addition to the stock market.

      • EllaByNight

        I’ll have to add A Simple Path to Wealth to my reading list. What did you find compelling about it?

        • I’ll share my opinion. :) He makes a great argument (with research supporting it) for how a simple approach (low-cost index funds that follow the market, Vanguard if possible) actually has a return rate (over the long term!) that competes with or is better than what you’d get with more actively managed and expensive funds.

        • AP

          I like the way author makes a very simple, clear case for investing in Vanguard index funds as young as you can and just leaving your money to weather the market as long as you can. He goes into detail about why the stock market will always go up over time, how to avoid fees and junk financial products, and how to think about money over the long term. The book is framed as an instruction manual written for his daughter, based his experience in the financial industry and a lifetime of good/bad financial decisions. It was an easy read that helped us have some good conversations about finances. Happy reading!

    • To lay it all out, I am a financial planner (fee-only & fiduciary, which means I only do things that are in my clients’ best interests and I only get paid by my clients – I don’t sell any product) so I deal with this every day in a professional context. Low-cost index funds and ETFs are the way to go (I have my IRA and taxable accounts at Vanguard and use their funds, which means I don’t incur trading costs). My #1 book recommendation is William Bernstein’s The Investor’s Manifesto, plus J L Collins’ stock series (free online – http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/). You only have a couple big decisions to make: 1) how much in stocks vs bonds (and then secondarily how much in US stock vs international vs emerging markets vs real estate for the stock portion, but that’s doesn’t have to be fancy). You can start simple and buy one bond fund and one stock fund, then build from there.

      The second important decision: your behavior. Getting that right is the biggest determinant of wealth. That means staying invested even when there are market declines (and there will be – in the short-term, which is unpredictable, and bigger ones like 2008 with some frequency). Continuing to put money in consistently. If Betterment of Wealth Front are going to help you with achieving that, then fine, do it. But I have to tell you that the tax loss harvesting will not be meaningful for a small account balance (and is only relevant in taxable accounts). When there are big opportunities to rebalance (say another 2008 where your investments lose a significant amount) you can always TLH yourself – see the stock index fund and buy instead something similar. TADA, you’ve captured those losses for tax purposes (and you can net the losses against your income, up to $3k for married filing jointly per year, and you can carry them forward until they get used up).

      Take a look at the Bogleheads’ ‘Lazy Portfolios’ – simple portfolio with just a few Vanguard index funds. (FYI, Jack Bogle is the founder of Vanguard, and the disciples of his low-cost index investing approach call themselves Bogleheads.) Anything written by Jack Bogle is golden, in my opinion. Here’s the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Lazy_portfolios

  • lildutchgrrl

    This whole week has been full of people (I don’t know all that well – mostly customers at work) announcing pregnancies. And a couple people I sort of know giving birth. And it really bums me out. Which feels like I’m being a jerk — they’re not having babies AT me. I usually love baby pictures in my feed. But with no news on the adoption front, I start spiraling into “It’ll never happen”. When my wife and I were first starting the pre-adoption steps, these pregnancies hadn’t even started. Now they’re babies learning to crawl. Some people who were pregnant then have TWO kids, and we’re seemingly no closer to one of ours. (In reality, there’s been a ton of paperwork accomplished, but the outlook is still as uncertain as it was a year ago or three years ago.)

    • emilyg25

      You’re not a jerk. It so, so hard to watch people have babies when you’re having a hard time having one. As long as you’re not rude to them, it’s okay to feel your feels and lay low for a bit.

      • Amy March

        And it’s okay if it’s sometimes fine and sometimes not. Usually I love other people’s babies, and occasionally they make me incredibly sad.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m sorry things are so uncertain for you both- sending you some internet hugs.

    • afew

      have you thought about fostering to adopt? in some areas, that can be a ‘quicker’ process to getting a child in your home.

    • Cellistec

      I’m sorry to hear your adoption plans are dragging…that must be super hard to endure.

      Have you checked out the Adoption Now podcast? It’s basically people telling their adoption stories to the host, and the experiences really run the gamut, but a common thread is how hard it is not to know when the process is going to budge. So I find that cathartic. (If you listen to it, just a heads up that many episodes have a decidedly religious bent, which I’m not into, but others steer clear of it.)

    • LazyMountain

      I have similar feelings often since almost-wife and I must also expend much time and money to procreate… literally there were 3 births of college friends within a day of one other on facebook last week. It always makes me feel inadequate. Props for picking the adoption route, and solidarity in feelings.
      Side note: great visual of of people “having babies AT you”- thanks for that!

      • lildutchgrrl

        Did you also get the PEW PEW sound effect?

        • LazyMountain

          Of Course!! Also reminded me of the first frame of this (very non-PC) comic: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/baby_vs_cat
          Second side note: obv. I have cats and do not believe cats and babies to be mutually exclusive!

          • lildutchgrrl

            As if cats NEVER leave unspeakable semisolids on the floor in the middle of the night. Ha!

    • Jane

      No real advice, but sending you hugs! That’s really tough.

  • StephaniePerry111
  • StephaniePerry111

    14Start obtaining 150 bucks on daily base in time of your choice by working on work tasks provided employer I came upon on-line… Give it a look, and start earning cash from today!>………

  • SarahRose472

    Adding one for the Link Roundup: https://www.aeaweb.org/research/women-men-promotable-task-differences

    In which economists prove that women are more likely than men to do thankless “non-promotable” tasks, and mostly it seems to be because both men and women believe that women are more likely to say yes than men if asked to do such tasks. Thought you all would appreciate this — or at least value scientific evidence for something many of us already knew and find enraging. (The link to the actual paper is at the bottom of the page if you’re interested.)

  • So a few minutes ago, I got a rejection email for something I applied for in January. So “no” responses for both things I applied for in January. I’m sad but I already suspected this was going to happen because I hadn’t been contacted for an interview, so I had my disappointment meltdown about two weeks ago. I asked for feedback from both applications, as I always do, to try to learn something for the future. It’s been almost three weeks since I first asked for feedback from rejection #1, and I sent a follow-up email about it on Monday. It is frustrating since that rejection letter even said to let them know if you wanted more information. And I did and they didn’t reply, even after a polite followup. I don’t know if the next step would be another email or a phone call. I asked for feedback for rejection #2, but that was just today, so I’ll give that time to see if I get a response and can learn anything. I kinda wish I had a quiet weekend of nothing ahead, but instead I have a big freelance work project that will take most of the weekend. I should be doing it now probably, but I am feeling a little discouraged. And for once, I have a day off that coincides with happy hour. :)

    • zana

      I think if you’ve emailed them twice for feedback on your rejected application and they’ve ignored you twice…it’s probably time to let it go.

      • Maybe. It’s just that I will run into this person again because it’s a small arts community… And this is an arts venue that is the best entry point for emerging artists and almost everyone works here. (I’ve worked here already, but not on my own projects.)

      • Actually I have done one of my own projects here! Just a one-day presentation, not a full run.

    • afew

      sometimes there is just someone else that is a better fit. they don’t owe you an explanation. if you keep pushing for one, your may end up hurting yourself in the long run. it sucks, though.

    • Amy March

      Generally people are not going to give you feedback. I think you need to let it go.

      • Really? When you get rejected for grants, it is common practice to call for feedback and get notes on ways to improve. It’s what you’re told to do, as an artist. I assumed it would be the same for other sorts of artistic applications too.
        ETA: I meant really about the not giving feedback. I am guessing I probably do need to let it go based on the responses here, but I feel like it’s so rude. I dunno, I just really feel it’s important to respond to those kinda emails when I get them at work, but I guess not everyone responds…

        • zana

          You’ve asked for feedback already. The onus is now on them to give it, if they so choose.

        • Amy March

          In my experience, it is not customary to ask for feedback after a job rejection and it is not rude to ignore those requests, and in fact most people I know would. Maybe it’s different in the art world, but I think they’re showing you by their actions that they are not interested in doing this.

          • Yes, I guess I should chalk this up to another lesson in trusting people’s actions and not their words… Thanks all for the feedback.

          • Eh

            Oh that surprises me. I would ask and have asked for feedback in the past and have never had an issue getting feedback (though sometimes it is too generic to be helpful). The HR department (health research company) at my work gives feedback for job applications on request. Internal applicants are actually encouraged to get feedback from the hiring managers or HR. For external applicants the feedback is generally provided by HR.

        • Requests for feedback are the norm in my industry, and often help keep you in mind for future roles, but sometimes there are more applications for a post than the HR can get back to, so feedback is prioritised for those who failed at the interview stage. If you don’t get anything, it’s the opposite of personal: they just got a ton of applications and are snowed under.

  • JennDee

    Suuuuppper excited Wordless Weddings are coming back!! I may try to get our photographer to submit our wedding or talk to her about submitting photos myself. It’s just so cool to get a glimpse into someone’s day, you know?!?!

    In wedding news–we’ve gotten about half of our RSVPs back–we basically knew who was/wasn’t coming, but it was still really difficult to actually see the ‘no’s’ in-person. My first dress fitting was last week, as was my bridal shower (it was brunch themed! With make-your-own waffles and a mimosa bar!!!! What?!!? How well does my tribe know me?!!). It was nice getting the two biggest anxiety-inducing things out of the way. Dress fits, shower was awesome and not at all what my anxious mind made it out to be. 58 more days til we hit the finish line–59 days until we honeymoon in Boston and Cape Cod.

  • Cdn icecube

    I got into my master’s program! After a few rejections and being on the waitlist I am so happy to say that I got in!!!!

    • Congrats!!!

    • Cellistec

      Congratulations! What kind of program is it?

    • Hannah

      Ahhh congrats!! I just went through that process – so stressful but so rewarding!!

    • Yael

      yay!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Updates by category!WEDDING: I decided a couple months ago that I definitely wanted the dress I’ve been eyeballing for over a year. The Etsy shop that sells it was on vacation, so I asked to be notified when they returned. A couple weeks ago I got antsy and messaged them anyway to say I was interested, and to ask about customizing. I’m starting to get a little nervous that they’ve been away so long, so I have a backup dress in mind, but it’s gigantic and I’m not sure I’ll be happy wearing it all day.I’ve also decided that I don’t want to wear my good ring camping this summer, so I’m going to get a cheap replacement ring to wear instead.CATS: Both of our 1.5yo cats have gone in for dental cleanings in the last 3 weeks, and they each needed 5 of their double-rooted teeth removed. They’re brothers, and apparently their shitty tooth genes run deep, because their surgeries were almost identical. They continue to be exceptionally cute, which is very good, because tooth extractions are stupidly expensive.GIRL SCOUTS: I’m a co-troop leader for a bunch of really awesome high school girls, and I love it. Troops of all age groups meet at the same church we do, and the leaders are all great, and lately I’ve been able to step in and help out with some of the other troops. Over the past couple weeks I helped collect donations for the Brownies, who just put together about 50 welcome kits for local refugee children. They drew welcome messages on the outside of their bags, and filled them with toys, books, and games. It brought me to tears.In a couple weeks, I’ll be joining the Cadets on their end of year trip to Gettysburg! There are THIRTY GIRLS in the Cadet troop, so they tapped other troops’ leaders to serve as drivers and additional adults on the trip. My co-leader (who is also going) is coming over tonight and we’re going to watch the movie Gettysburg to brush up on our history a little in anticipation! We’re looking forward to getting to know the younger girls, some of whom will graduate into our troop next year.

    • I’m glad the cleanings went well (even if they were $$$)!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Thanks! One went into hiding for 26 hours, the other came home and immediately asked for pets, but was also stoned out of his mind and kept falling asleep in the middle of the room. They were pretty much back to normal within a day or so!

    • Eh

      Girl Scouts/Girl Guides is such a great organization for girls. I am a Brownie leader I live watching them try new things and do service. This week we are taking them camping.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        The service projects are so satisfying, it makes me happy to see how much everyone enjoys doing them. Helping people feels good. We didn’t actually get much camping in this year! Enjoy!

  • JC

    Partner bragging time: My boyfriend’s career progress has been convoluted and slow. After we started dating, he decided to go to grad school, but then he had a horrible time finding a job after graduation. He eventually took a part time retail gig so we could move out, and then finally got hired for a one year fellowship at a nonprofit he loved. The last day of the fellowship was officially Tuesday, but they hired him on as a temp for a few more weeks to complete some projects. He just got word today that he has his SECOND job offer of the week, this one for a huge salary increase. I thought he was going to want to stay at his old office, but he told me last night that he’s much more excited about this other job, and he just negotiated for it and they’re giving him everything he wants! I’m so thrilled and proud, and when he’s been talking about the jobs he’s been doing in the context of all our plans, to get married in two years, to buy a car soon, buy a house down the road, look for opportunities for growth at the new jobs, etc. Life is so good!

    On an even bigger picture scale, I’m really proud that he’s my partner through all of the world’s crises. We were together in 2013 during the first potential strikes on Syria. We watched when Russia invaded Ukraine, the 2016 election, and now for the airstrikes yesterday. He’s the one I want to walk with when the world looks dark.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I get to go to Boston next week for a conference! I’m so excited- I added a couple extra days onto the trip to make it a proper little vacation. I want to Eat All The Things while I’m there- any recs for vegetarian food that won’t break the bank? I also eat fish once in awhile, so I’m hotly anticipating getting lobster mac and cheese, if I can find it for a price remotely close to my per diem!

    • Kaitlyn

      Are you going to be here for the marathon? It’s always a lot of fun. I’m not well-versed in veg options around the city, but The Merchant is my favorite restaurant in Downtown Crossing and I highly recommend. It’s slow, but so good.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I’m leaving the day before, so I’ll miss watching the marathon, sadly!

    • EF

      there’s a great mac n cheese place in faneuil hall that does lobster mac for like, $12ish. lobster’s not as expensive in new england as the rest of the country, remember.

      for vegetarian — a college fav was always veggie planet, now moved and called veggie galaxy. http://www.veggiegalaxy.com/

      also, there’s some excellent tiny local places in boston that are worth a visit. for instance, bova’s bakery on salem street in the north end is open 24 hours and has fantastic bread and pastries, and is right next door to a european cheese shop. a popular burger chain in the city, uburger, does veggie burgers and salads too, and their milkshakes (well, we call them frappes in boston) are wicked delicious.

      also the local beer scene is great. i’m also a huge fan of boston public market, which is pretty new and at haymarket – there’s a stall with mini apple cider donuts that are just so good.

      have a great time! wish i were there, spring is great in boston. (i’m from boston, but sadly live an ocean away these days)

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        This is amazing, thank you!

  • Les

    So I was watching Mind of Chef with Gabrielle Hamilton, and I noticed throughout the season she had this boss signet ring on. I googled ‘Gabrielle Hamilton ring’ to get a closer look, and now I want a signet ring instead of an engagement ring. http://www.tiffany.com/this-is-tiffany/ss/my_tiffany.aspx

    • Shawna

      That is ridiculously cool. I love my rings, but could see this being a choice in another life (or another year when I decide I need more rings). Seriously, the downside of ring shopping is now I want SO MANY of the rings.

    • BSM

      Omg, I love these!

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Oh wow, that is such a cool ring!! And story.

    • HarrietVane

      And now I am tearing up. That’s such a sweet story!

    • CMT

      Digby and Iona makes some pretty sweet signet rings. (As well as awesome engagement rings and yes, I have picked out my favorite even though I’m pretty sure I’m not getting engaged anytime soon.)

  • ssha

    Thanks to everyone who helped with my wedding planning anxiety/emotional labor question last week. I had a couple freak-outs this week to my fiance, and it was emotional, but it was good in the way that I’m sharing my feelings with him instead of building up resentment. also, I’m going to look into therapy when I finish writing this post, since I think that’s the work that falls on me here.

    Question: I have a friend who I sent a save the date to and fully planned to invite to the wedding, but we’ve since stopped talking. It wasn’t too dramatic- I just do not have the emotional energy to continue being friends(/basically an on call therapist) to this individual. Do I send her an invite? I would need to contact her for her address, and I’m afraid it would open up a can of worms (she’d be angry that I haven’t been talking to her, I wouldn’t know how to remain in my current stance without hurting her immensely- although I probably already have). It would be stressful for me and potentially for others for her to be at our wedding.
    Help??

    • Amy March

      Was there a friendship ending conversation or discussion of changing boundaries? Seems mean to just stop talking to her and not send her an invite when she got a save the date.

      • ssha

        she asked if we were still friends and I said I couldn’t do it right now. that was it. it does seem mean, but it also seems weird to send an invite without inviting contact. I guess that’s the case for plenty of guests, but this is a little different.

      • Cellistec

        I agree…given how busy you’ll be during your wedding, I doubt your friend will require much emotional energy from you. Sending the invite seems the appropriate thing to do. FWIW, I got invited to a wedding for a formerly close friend I hadn’t seen in years, and attending her wedding helped us reconnect. (Which certainly isn’t the standard, but all I’m saying is that inviting her probably won’t hurt, and not inviting her probably will.)

        • Jane

          Seconded. Your friend probably won’t be expecting you to be her support during your own wedding. At least I hope not. I decided not to invite a friend to be a bridesmaid because she tends to make everything about herself, but I’m definitely still invited her to the wedding.

          If you’re worried about that part (and not just the awkwardness of the invite), maybe you can ask a friend or bridesmaid to be a bit of a gatekeeper?

      • ssha

        Not really- honestly I’ve been avoiding the conversation. And all conversations. But the comments and my FH have convinced me inviting her is the right thing to do- you’re right, it would be mean not to.

    • Essssss

      Seems like if you’re done, done, done with the friendship, don’t send the invite. If you’re open to the possibility of maintaining a relationship in the future, send it, and use the call for an address as an opportunity to make amends/set boundaries. I think that etiquette aside, life happens sometimes, and relationships change. But not sending an invite would send a very clear message that she’s out of your life, its not just a, put off figuring out this thing til later, kind of gesture.

      • ssha

        You’re right. As stressful as it is, I don’t think I want to totally close it off. Thanks.

    • Maybe a generic address request, like a google form? If it’s something you send to multiple people it sends the message you still want to continue a relationship with her without opening a conversation right now this minute,

      • ssha

        This is a good point, thank you! I guess I have to decide how immediate this conversation needs to be.

    • CP2011

      I think you should send her an invite. If she was on the list to get a save the date, she is likely already factored into your budget and venue capacity. She may or may not come, but it is pretty harsh to send her a save the date and then not send her an invite unless there has been some major falling out that both of you recognize.

      • ssha

        True. Thanks for your reply. You’re right that it is harsh. In the long run I can see how it would cause a lot more stress to not invite her.

    • zana

      Thirded. you sent her a Save the Date, there was no friendship ending conversation, she gets an invitation. Maybe she won’t be angry at all. You never know!

      • ssha

        It’s possible!! Thanks for your reply!

    • emmers

      If you send her an invite, could you get her address by text?

      • ssha

        This is what I plan to do- I’m just nervous she’ll respond with anger and hurt and possibly emotional manipulation (“why would you be inviting me, I thought we weren’t friends, I thought you didn’t like me, I guess I’m not good enough for you” etc), and I’ll have a lot of back pedaling to do. Lest you think I am overdramatizing, it’s happened before. I have a lot of anxiety about our friendship. However, FH brought up tonight that it would probably be less stressful TO invite her than not. First I’ll try to get her address from a friend.

    • Brittany

      I had a situation like this. Friends with a girl who was emotionally draining and intentionally distanced myself from her without having a ‘We’re not friends’ conversation. If I were to make the guest list the day before the wedding she wouldn’t have been invited. But we were pretty close when we were first engaged.

      I did still invite her, not because I wanted her there or wanted to continue a friendship, but because I knew her presence wouldn’t detract from the day and I didn’t want to cause any serious drama. I lucked out with the address part though because my fiancé was also friendly with her, so he asked for her address. In your cause I second a google request, or maybe a simple text.

      I will say that I’ve only run into her one time since we were married. She took the non-friendship hint and we both moved on.

      • ssha

        Thanks for sharing, that’s actually really encouraging. Hoping that the day of I’ll just be able to focus on my new husband and me and seeing her will be a positive thing (if she comes)!

  • Anybody have rings made by jewelers in Canada?

  • Shirley Schmidt

    Ah, today. On the plus side, had lovely (and free!) drinks after work with a load of work people and then pizza with fiancé at our favourite pizza place. On the downside, my mum had to take my grandad to hospital again and it looks like his previous slow decline is accelerating faster. I booked tickets home for Easter this morning – I can’t not be there.
    But! The weekend is forecast sunny and for once we are at home instead of in London and WE ARE GOING OUT ON OUR BIKES!! Haven’t been out on my road bike for months because of crap weather/work/never being here at weekends. Any other roadbikers out there who are also SO EXCITED about spring?

    • EF

      me! but i love being in london for it ahahaha. a good cycle through richmond park/down the river to hampton court is truly excellent this time of year.

  • PurplePeopleEater

    My three year old FINALLY POOPED IN THE TOILET. I know this does not sound like a big deal, but man, this has been the long dark tunnel of our potty training, and we have finally seen the light!

    • emilyg25

      Oh my god I’m so jealous. My son has been in underpants since January and is great with pee, but only poops in his nap/night diaper. This is a very big deal.

    • MommaCat

      This was the big week for us, too! We finally just took the diapers off last week and are letting him go naked or commando because he has more accidents in undies… and we’ve only had 2 poops on the floor, and 4 in the potty! Congrats!

  • We finally got J’s engagement ring sorted out. Four months after we first went in to get to exchange it for a smaller size (it’s got a jet inlay, so couldn’t be resized), receiving one call of so many promised ones, chasing week upon week, we finally got a replacement. I had originally planned to get some matching jet jewellery (even though it’s associated with funerals) and so much nope now.

    I’ve applied for another job at work. It’s internal only, and that’s partly because there’s clearly some of us they want for the posts and we’re going for them, but so is someone the current lead in the department doesn’t want, but (a) she’d not doing the recruitment and (b) recruitment is dictated by a scoring system based on application and interview in order to prevent favouritism, but it also means you can’t stop someone from getting a job even experience means you know they’re hard to work with. Applying for jobs here has really taken my job applications to the next level.

    Also, I’ve ordered a ton of beads to start on my bouquet over the easter bank holiday, because I have no idea what I’m doing and I figure giving myself nine months to figure it out will help.

  • JLily

    Does anyone have real issues trying to get other people to have fun? Specifically in a let-plan-this-fun-thing kind of way? I just tried to set up a vacation with my husband to visit his best friend and his wife, wherein we would fly to them, drive an hour to palm springs, and stay a couple (free) nights at a condo that is available through my grandparent’s timeshare. As per uge, No one but me actually tries to plan any time to get together, they all just whine about it not happening. Whenever I try to make plans (as in this time) the other couple has SO many off limits days and weekends, no time off to spare, and is usually very wishy washy with how long they could stay, etc. I really do not think this is a thing where the friends are putting in no effort because our feelings of friendship aren’t being reciprocated. Its more just that they are not the kind of people that plan things I think. Which, like, fine? if we lived near by, but we’re a couple hours flight away so the spontaneity thing doesn’t seem to work here. And so inevitably, I get frustrated. By the lack of effort they put in to seeing us, by the lack of flexibility, by the lack of ANYONE else offering a different option or even a different weekend. Anyone else have these kind of people? I go to a lot of other places with other people, and it works out well!

    • HarrietVane

      Some people just can’t be planned with. I have realized that I have people in my life who I like a lot and enjoy spending time with but I just cannot be the one responsible for making sure stuff happens and scheduling and rescheduling everything. I used to get hugely frustrated, but I realised trying to make them into the sort of people who they don’t want to try to be was just going to make me miserable and I tried to let it go.

    • Amy March

      Yup. I have a friend I’d love to see more, but his method of making “plans” means it just doesn’t happen.

    • Eh

      We are super hard to plan with because of my husband’s job (works weekends and evenings, limited vacation days) and our daughter (she’s a toddler and needs naps or we need to find a babysitter). We generally need two weeks notice to do stuff. But for people who live far away and are making an effort, we try to be flexible.

  • Rebekah

    I was combing the archives today looking for an article to make a point for me and realized how much I miss the short-lived series where we asked our moms/aunts/grandmas to write about their “vintage” wedding days! I know it’s not The Compact subject matter, but maybe it fits back into APW? It was lovely.
    And Hoo-freaking-ray for Wordless Weddings. Once I got a work computer with sound capability it upped my enjoyment of that about 2000%.

    • emilyg25

      Oh, yes! I loved that.

    • Jane

      Oh, I love the idea of vintage weddings! I would love to see people’s families’ weddings. My friend’s mom showed me her wedding album because we were talking about flower crowns and she had an AWESOME crown with really long ribbons down the back.

      Also would fit in with the APW (books, at least) reminders about how much of the “traditions” are really new.

  • zana

    Would you want to know if the way you were including your in-laws in your wedding was offending them all horribly?
    The continuing saga of my brother and FSIL’s hopelessly, blissfully ignorantly, inconsiderate wedding planning process.

    Part 1 recap: MoH demands money for bridal shower from long distance groom’s sisters (2/6 bridesmaids) who cannot attend shower. Ignores budget. Sends public email telling everyone what they owe who. Sends private email after telling absent groom-sisters that they can pay what they like. MoG gives $200 to daughters to pay off the MoH, tells groom she’s “handled” it. No one seems to realize it’s not about the money, it’s about being treated as if you are the money.
    Part 2 recap: Sister2 could not make bridal shower. Groom spends a half day on parents’ couch crying about how she owes him an apology for not talking to him about it first. Sister2 had actually cleared this decision with parents beforehand. Groom has no leg to stand on, but feels that he and FSIL have been egregiously harmed. He won’t talk to Sister2 until she apologizes, which is never in a million years going to happen. FSIL doesn’t seem to care too much that Sister2 couldn’t make it. Groom is apparently having terrible physical health issues that doctors are clueless about. Incurs tremendous mental health issues. While planning a giant wedding.
    Part 3 recap: Groom, FSIL, MoH, and MoB thought nothing of not inviting any of groom’s family to bridal shower, except for the MoG. MoG cries about this for a week. Couple says they didn’t want to appear gift-grabby. i.e., MoG has paid $200 toward a party that made her cry for a week (bride may or may not know this, groom does). Couple thinks there’s no need to “fix” this shower guest list snafu, as it’s already been talked about. Sister1 suggests Bridal Luncheon for groom’s side, that’s happening this weekend. So glad I’m too far away to attend, because these turkeys are currently not my favorite people.

    In short, my sister and I are being included in this wedding as bridesmaids, but are being treated alternatingly as either photo props or ATMs. The couple wanted to include us, but they’ve actually driven my sister (who’s not normally a grudge-holding/vengeful/angry person) to a point where she’s so mad at them she can’t even talk about it. I am…none too fond of them either. I really want nothing to do with FSIL, I know my brother’s poor behavior isn’t her fault, but I also cannot stand her MoH/bestie. If these are your nearest and dearest, then what does that say about you? I’m also trying to drum up empathy for my brother’s physical/mental health, but just because you feel like sh*t doesn’t mean you get to treat your family like sh*t.

    I guess just two more months? But if this stays bottled up, it’s just going to build lasting resentment toward the FSIL and brother.

    Ugh.
    Sorry to rant about this every week, but this is just sh*t. Normally, I’d just talk to parties involved, but MoG’s (i.e., my mom’s) priority is keeping the peace, but sometimes keeping the peace is also keeping the resentment.

    • BSM

      I had something typed out about this being annoying but not that unusual, but now I need to ask: the MOH asked you and your sister for money for a bridal shower you weren’t invited to? Am I understanding that correctly?

      • zana

        She did not ask us for money. She *told* us. I provided a budget, and MoH did not just ignore it, she made it impossible for me to keep to my budget without telling everyone on a public thread that they would not get their money from me. Plus, my mom gave me the money to cover it but it kinda sucks royally that she had to pay for 1/3 of a party that made her cry for a week.

        We were invited to it, but neither of us could attend. So my mother knew no one else at the shower, because everyone involved thought it was fine to not invite any of the groom’s aunts, cousins, or close family friends.

        • BSM

          Oh ok. I mean, still annoying, but it’s not that they made you/your mom pay for a party you weren’t invited to.

          I’m generally with Amy. I’m also just not sure what you would say that would make things better? I don’t know your brother or FSIL, so ymmv, but I can’t imagine a conversation like this that would go over well and actually improve the situation.

          • zana

            I would just like a magic wand that turns my brother and FSIL into the kind of people that give just as much as they feel entitled to get. Or maybe even just the kind of people that don’t make my mother cry. But there’s no such thing.

          • BSM

            Just trying to understand a bit more… are they inherently those kinds of people (entitled, insensitive, unsympathetic), or are they acting more self-absorbed than usual as they plan and execute the wedding?

          • zana

            To be honest, I don’t actually know as ever since they started dating 4 years ago, we’ve seen very little of my brother or FSIL. So…I guess they’re more or less always like this, but their expectations of everyone else have increased for the wedding, without an equal increase in their efforts. As always, weddings just elevate already existing tensions.

        • S

          I don’t know much about bridal showers and haven’t been to one in forever, but I always thought it was generally traditionally for the bride (as opposed to the couple) and so the bride’s “people” were invited vs the bridge AND grooms people, obviously still inviting future female in-laws such as sisters and the mother, to be polite. I didn’t think it was generally the case that the groom’s aunts and cousins etc would have been invited to the bride’s shower, especially if she’s a stranger to them. I agree it sounds a little gift-grabby and as a bride I’d feel uncomfortable. It definitely doesn’t sound like they’ve done anything wrong on that front, maybe just that they and you have different ideas about who is traditionally invited. I’m more alarmed that they were just trying to keep things a bit simple and not be gift-grabby and make any demands over the groom’s extended family who they don’t even know (from the sounds of it) …. and because of them trying to be considerate, your mother is crying for a week because she doesn’t want to go to a party alone? It sounds like they’re handling it like adults and your mother is making it harder than it has to be. The money thing with the MoH sounds rude but I feel like you’re just building this up and up and everyone hates FSIL now and I’m struggling to figure out why.

          • zana

            Eh, weddings are about bringing two families together. If you want to exclude the groom’s family from most wedding events, you should probably elope. Part of the wedding process is even getting the two sides to interact more [and meet] if they don’t know each other. People are adults. If they think, as the aunt of the groom, that being invited to a bridal shower is gift-grabby, they can decide not to attend. Like the APW saying about weddings, being invited to a bridal shower is not a summons/imposition/demand.

            If you’re really that scared of appearing gift-grabby, have a bridal luncheon and no bridal showers. But not a bridal shower and then completely ignore the groom’s side of the family (long-distance is an exception to this).

            My aunts had even bought gifts for the couple in anticipation of the bridal shower, and my mother had to explain that the bride’s family is weird and didn’t invite any members of the groom’s family to the bridal shower. So. It isn’t just my mother that has a different view on this. It’s the entire extended family that felt excluded. And it wasn’t a small or simple affair, so that excuse is out. Really, if they thought they were being considerate, it was a terrible misreading of the social situation. And not the first time.

            Like all abbreviated blog comments, this post is missing about 30 years of back story. Mom was crying because this is yet another in a long list of ways in which my brother basically ignores her and avoids spending any time with the family. I think she’s just afraid about the future (i.e., if they have a baby, will no family be invited to the baby shower? to bro’s 40th birthday? …there’s a pattern of this, so it’s not complete hyperbole). It took a week to get him to sit down & talk, hence, a week of crying. Something approximating a solution was eventually implemented.

            I think, perhaps, FSIL is getting a bad rap through a series of small actions that shows that, while well-intentioned, she’s often quite far from the mark on actually being considerate and it tends to come off as either entitlement or in an exclusionary manner. Her association with our brother, who is currently driving the whole family up a wall, is not helping. Likewise, her association with the MoH is not helping with the development of fuzzy feelings.

          • Looking at this from FSIL’s position, I have to assume she comes from a family that aren’t as close or as emotionally open as yours. She doesn’t want you guys to perceive her as gift grabby, and it doesn’t occur to her to invite the groom’s extended family to the shower, and suddenly her MoH has embroiled her in all this drama over money and her fiance is freaking out because no one told him his sister wasn’t coming and it’s all her worst shower nightmares come true despite her best efforts. You don’t say how long your brother’s mental and physical health issues have been going on, but I’ll bet they play a role in the distance the couple have put between themselves and your family. It’s easy when you’re stressed to want to push other people away and just focus on each other – the fewer people involved, the easier it is to manage time and energy and information. Add wedding planning on top, and FSIL is trying to manage her and your brother’s health, her entire family’s expectations and your entire family’s expectations, and all vendors and venues and multiple events. Frankly, I think it’s her turn to have a go on the crying couch!

            There’s a point where your mother has to make peace with family not being invited to significant events in your brother’s life, and appreciate the invites that do come even if they don’t include everyone she’d hoped, and your brother has to make peace with the fact he can’t both pull away and be upset when other people don’t come to the events he does invite them to. FSIL may have a role to play in helping her husband find a balance, but she’s not marrying him to manage his relationships with his family. Communication can and should be improved, but I think everyone needs to be aware that whatever the resulting relationships look like, they’re not going to be the same relationships as before your brother married, because his family of origin is no longer his primary family.

          • zana

            There are some good points here. I think a large part of the resentment boils down to brother expecting us to welcome FSIL into the family like a sister, without either him or her putting in any of the effort to be a good brother or sister. Quite simply, I don’t care if you don’t want to put in any effort into your relationship with me, but you better not throw a hissy fit when I treat you the same way. FSIL made some unwise comments to sister about how she has to “fix this”, and there’s been other comments that the family has found more personally insulting. And actions that have left others out previously.

            I guess it’s a lot of disappointment around hoping I could openly welcome her into the family, but instead having to face the fact that she’s not going to be one of my people at all. Which is fine. Brother was never very close previously, but it’s frustrating because now he’s trying to force it to make bride feel welcome, but he hasn’t laid any of the ground work and it’s making everyone dislike the two of them.

          • I think a large part of the resentment boils down to brother demanding us welcome FSIL into the family like a sister, without either him or her putting in any of the effort to be a good brother or sister.

            I think this is key. They’ve got engaged, and he’s suddenly told her “oh by the way, my family are expecting you to be one of their own” as though that’s a kind of relationship that’ll spontaneously happen now they’re engaged. It doesn’t appear to be the kind of relationship she ever wanted with her in laws, so she’s trying to “fix” things and is doing a terrible job of it because her heart’s not in it. There’s no inoffensive way for her to say “actually, I’m happy remaining polite acquaintances”, especially considering your mother’s fears over being cut out of her son’s life. Sometimes the old cliche about losing sons and gaining daughters isn’t true – part of marriage is about picking your new family over your family of origin sometimes, including significant life events. Only it sounds like he’s panicking about your families’ reaction to this now and is trying to have his cake and eat it without being willing to address the issues that already exist, and it’s making it worse.

            A family is its own miniculture. with its own history and traditions and language, and your FSIL is blundering around trying to figure yours out like she’s in a bad fish-out-of-water comedy. I offended my FMIL when I announced I didn’t understand who would go shopping while on holiday, and it turned out that’s what she goes on holiday to do. She’s offended me with her comments about my unnaturally coloured hair when it’s an important part of my identity (she’s going to be fuming when it’s blue for the wedding, but oh well!). I know she would love one of her DILs to be the daughter she never had, but it’s not possible – we don’t have the history, we don’t share the traditions, we don’t speak the language. And if we did, would her sons really want to marry a surrogate sister? I’ll never be entirely comfortable alone with my in laws like I am with my family; they’re not my family and they never will be, and that’s okay. I can take being offended occasionally for J’s sake, and so can they, because we all know it’s not maliciously meant: we’re just starting from different places and speaking different languages. I’m Ariel combing her hair with a fork at the dinner table, she’s Belle talking to a hairbrush like it’ll reply.

            The long and the short of it is she’s not the FSIL you guys were hoping for – she’s not one of your people, and she doesn’t want to be – and her trying to fake it at your brother’s behest that is making things so much worse. Honestly, I think the best thing is to stay in the bridal party, stay polite, and let them disappear again post-wedding until the next big family occasion, and accept that a high days and holidays relationship is what you’re going to have with them going forward, at least for now.

          • Amy March

            I think it really is very common to invite close female guests on the groom’s side as well. It isn’t gift grabby at all and I think it is reasonable for the groom’s side to be a bit hurt not to be included.

    • Amy March

      I still vote not your place

      Part 1- that’s your mom’s call

      Part 2- what does it even mean that sister2 “cleared” not attending with her parents? That’s just not an available way for an adult to handle a party invite. Why wouldn’t there be a “hey bro so sorry I can’t make it because important reason I’ll be thinking of you!”

      Part 3- again, I think your mom needs to grown up better here. Yeah, they’re being thoughtless but she’s got a lot of options beyond cry for a week over it. Like addressing it directly with her son herself.

      And so you don’t like her friend? And?

      I get that it’s a frustrating time and not going how you and your family would like, but I think you have nothing at all to be gained by telling her she is offending everyone horribly.

      • zana

        The problem is, the couple thought they’d bring everyone closer by including us in the wedding, and it’s having the direct opposite effect. Everyone is mad at my brother, and not a single one of us likes FSIL anymore. It may not be my place to say anything to the couple, but they’re permanently impacting their relationship with the entire family through their ignorance. So, I suppose you’re right. If they’re terribly offending everyone, even if it’s because they’re completely clueless, I don’t have to help them by telling them so. It won’t be seen as help. I should just be thankful I will always be long distance and won’t have to see my brother or FSIL much at all.

        I’m just sick of being treated like a photo prop and an ATM, and being expected to act like it’s an honor. I can only eat so much sh*t. Ideally, I’d find a graceful way to back out of being in the bridal party, but it’s too late for that I suppose.

  • Jane

    Perusing through the old APW 2 cents posts, I saw Amy March’s idea to turn a wedding dress into a Christmas tree skirt. Has anyone tried something like that? I find this idea enchanting.

    • Ashlah

      Well, that’s kind of genius! I don’t have the skills myself, but there are some results on Google of people who have done it.

      • Jane

        Right? My mom was like, but your dress is so beautiful and timeless, you should save it for your children, nieces, grandchildren, potential protégés, and just anyone. BUT it’s also huge and will take up too much space in my post-marriage closet. SO the upshot is she agreed to store it in her attic forever because she can’t bear the idea of me cutting it up.

        But, wedding dress aside, I just really want to make an awesome Christmas tree skirt now. I saw some online instructions for making them from various circle skirts, so, looks like I’m going to be searching for circle skirts in neat fabrics at thrift stores for the rest of the year.

  • twangpop
  • Rebeccagreal

    Google is paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !wr160c:
    On monday I got a great new mclaren f1 from having earned $12778 this last four weeks.. 3 to 5 hours of work a day… Weekly paychecks… Bonus opportunities…Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !wr160c:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs160TopBrand/GetPaid$97/Hour ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫:::!wr160u:…..

  • longtimelurk

    Long time lurker…. Please help.. Many, many years ago (like possibly 8-10 years) someone commented on a topic that could have been about acknowledging deceased family members during their ceremony. The commenter had a short paragraph that I think was Native American influenced and might have mentioned the land or a tree that they included in their service program… I copied it at the time but have since lost it and would love to read it and include something similar in my own program. All the googling in the world hasnt helped me, so I’m reaching out to you good folks. Thanks!

  • Kara E

    I’m a tall plus sized woman and lifeguarded for several years – and I’m busty to boot (like a DDDD cup even when skinnier). Swimsuits generally suck. I finally just gave in to my overall comfort (especially with a preschooler!) and buy freaking matronly swimsuits (whatevs, I’m nearly 40 anyway), or bra-fit bikini tops and bottoms with rash guards to wear over the tops (Lands Ends is my friend). The crazy dress/skirt bottoms just cling, feel cold, and look wierd somewhere. I am DONE trying to wear stuff that’s supposed to be “cute” – cute for whom anyway? I just want to play in the water and not die of skin cancer by 50! Incidentally, there are a few (semi?) orthodox women who swim at our local JCC (I’ve never asked specifics, but they wear full length skirt suits with head cover) – in addition to all the yummy mummys, so I fit right in the middle somewhere.