APW Happy Hour


Woo! What a week

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

peace sign made from rocks

HEY APW,

Y’all: the news from this week has been troubling.  I often find that the marriage of self-care, activism, and political awareness is a fine line to walk. The last thing I want to do is flail about and tune out every bit of news that is hard to deal with (because also, there would be no news to listen to otherwise), but since January 21, I’ve found myself feeling so powerless that it’s hard to figure out just what to do that will actually mean something. Sure, I have marched and rallied in airports and in the streets, and I’m branching out and getting involved in our community, but I’ve been doing that for ten years—and right now, it feels like it’s not enough.

I took my kid to a family meditation a few days ago and spent an hour surrounded by people who were all about reaching inward instead of outward, who promoted calm introspection, as opposed to untempered emotional wilding out. It was my first time attending something like that, and both of us walked away from the experience feeling good and feeling focused. I’m hoping to carry those lessons learned into my life on the regular, and to also find a way to temper emotional stability and civic engagement.

In the interest of not rambling, I’ll bow out now and leave it to you—but I’d love to know how you guys are finding balance in the chaos, and how you’re keeping yourselves charged up and politically engaged, but also not burning out and falling asleep at 7 p.m. every night for a week straight (true story).

XO

Stephanie

LINK ROUND-UP

“The war will end one day, and I will return to my poem.”

The FBI is still totally investigating Trump and Russia.

Who wants free college? I want free college.

Having just one black teacher can keep black kids in school.

Poor Wells Fargo bankers have to give back (some) fraud $$$.

1.5 million slavery-era documents will be digitized.

Gender-creative South African artists reimagine femininity.

China’s Lost and Found Daughters

Jared and Ivanka are not good people. They are enablers.

Chrissy Teigen continues to be my #1 fave on Twitter.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her husband, their seven year old metalhead son, and a crew of beasts. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and smiley faces.

Staff Picks

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  • louise danger

    happy (slightly belated) Passover to those who celebrate! please eat all the matzoh ball soup for me.

    and happy (slightly pre-emptive) Easter to those who celebrate! may your Easter vigils be fulfilling and a reaffirmation of your faith!

    i started my new job in Reslife this week and it has been amazing. first thing in the morning on my first day, my boss handed me a puppy*. there’s worse ways to start a job. also, i’m already solving problems and putting out fires for my boss, and i am maybe being sent to a conference so i can really find my stride for my specialty here: service animals and emotional support animals in on-campus housing. excited!

    edit to add: the puppy was a plush. our mascot is a dog and i’m learning that puppy-gifting is kind of a theme in the office/on campus. eeee

    • Lexipedia

      BEST CAMPUS EVER.

    • Jessica

      What’s the * about?

      I made a brisket and charoset last weekend and shared with my neighbors, since “my” Jewish family needed to celebrate Seder in another city this year. Amazing.

      • louise danger

        CHAROSET YESSSSS

        disqus is being stupid, the * is that the puppy is plush/the campus mascot and i had to edit that in :)

      • ssha

        Going to Seder on Monday and I am the MOST excited for charoset.

        • Nicole

          My husband doesn’t like charoset!!! It’s unbelievable to me because it’s one of my favorite things.

          • Anna

            Yeah, fiance’s not into cinnamon, red wine, or nuts, so I wasn’t exactly surprised that he found charoset kind of meh. But I absolutely adore it.

          • ssha

            How is that even possible?! Then again, my fiancé actually likes horseradish, so I guess nothing is out of the question.

          • Engaged Chicago

            My mom made three kinds of charoset this year and highly recommend!

            The traditional one, a Sephardic one and an Italian one. The Sephardic one involves dates, grape juice and hazelnuts; and the Italian one had bananas and oranges. Amaaazing!

          • Jessica

            I want all of that. Except the bananas because I’m allergic.

    • InTheBurbs

      So glad you got the job….and this makes me miss Reslife so much! I’ve been in faculty affairs for the past several years – and while I love the work, the energy is wayyyyyyyy different.

      • louise danger

        this is my first time on the student side of the higher education admin equation; i’ve been on the faculty side until now. i’m… well, i’m only about five days into it (not quite, two more hours left today), but it’s enjoyable so far. my group is not the touchy-feely reslife staff (no RAs to manage and we’re not the student conduct dept either), we’re the logic-based nuts-and-bolts assign each student to a bed somewhere on campus folks. and that part is AWESOME.

    • Jennifer

      Darn. I was hoping it was a real puppy. I was going to demand to visit it. (Mostly kidding).

  • CMT

    Chrissy Teigen is the best. But my favorite Twitter account by far is Chuck Tingle. “He” is bizarre and strange and probably not everybody’s cup of tea, but it just really speaks to me. It’s positive but not in an overly saccharine way like Jomny Sun and Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Don’t get me wrong, I love LMM, but man his constant cheerfulness can be exhausting.) Happy Friday, bucks. Hope you’re proving love.

    • rg223

      “Constant cheerfulness can be exhausting” – welcome to musical theater!

      • louise danger

        MANDATORY FUN

    • Katherine

      +1 to Chuck Tingle. Amazing human.

  • Brynna

    OUR WEDDING IS NEXT SATURDAY! I’m starting to hear lots of questions/remarks from family and friends and my self-consciousness is creeping in… we’re having a brunch wedding with a live band, but no dance floor. Reception is 12 – 3pm, including brunch, toasts, cake, etc.

    “That’s a long time to sit around with no dancing…”
    “Are we just going to hang out?”

    I’m worried our wedding will be the B word (boring!)… should I plan some sort of activity?? Please say no.

    • CMT

      No, I don’t think so. I’ve been to many an hours-long brunch with friends before and I don’t recall any of them including dancing.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        The brunch wedding we went to had room for dancing, but nobody danced anyway. There was music, and the only available planned activity, if you want to call it that, was to take part in the cigar bar and go outside to smoke.

    • Rose

      People go to 3 hour parties all the time with no dancing! Or other activity. And have a great time! That’s what almost every holiday or birthday party I go to is like, and we’re definitely not bored.

      Actually, which I do really like and enjoy things like board games, sometimes I’m a little disappointed when someone at a gathering of friends suggests them, because I’d kind of rather just talk. Activities aren’t necessary.

      • penguin

        Agreed! Just sitting around and visiting with friends/family is my favorite thing to do at big gatherings.

    • rg223

      I’ve been to a couple weddings/reception-y things like this, and with food, drinking, and chatting, three hours goes by pretty fast. One of my favorite weddings had no dancing! And you have a live band too! Don’t stress!

    • jem

      Ohhh don’t worry!! 3 hours will be filled up with eating, chatting, laughing, hugging. No one will notice there’s not a dance floor. Congrats!!

    • Ashlah

      Sounds lovely to me! And hey, there’s no rule that people are only allowed to dance on a dance floor. If people want to dance, they’ll make it work. Really, though, seconding everyone else pointing out that people attend 3 hours brunches/parties regularly that don’t include dancing. You’re providing food and live entertainment! It’s gonna be great!

      • Eenie

        Proof: I dance at house parties all the time. No dance floor needed.

      • Brynna

        Great point! We aren’t saying other people can’t dance.. just that we won’t be?

    • Lawyerette510

      This sounds awesome, and not boring. People are projecting their idea of what a wedding involved onto you, and forgetting that they likely attend all kinds of other social gatherings and celebrations that are 3 hours and don’t have a dance floor and they have a great time.

      • rg223

        Right? Like don’t people spend hours at beer gardens?

        • rg223

          And other things too, but for some reason “beer garden” feels like a perfect 3 hour activity without dancing.

        • savannnah

          This. It’s all about framework in your mind. Many dinner parties have no dancing at all and yet many people spend 3 hours at them and have a great time.

      • Brynna

        Yes, thank you! I think it’s the snide side-comments that are really getting to me… grr.

        • penguin

          Feel free to cheerfully ignore or deflect those comments as much as possible. I know that’s easier said than done, but it will always baffle me how many people get invited to a happy gathering to see a lot of their favorite people, with free food and drink, and then find little things to bitch about anyway. Like… just be happy for me Chad, jesus.

    • Eenie

      This sounds lovely. I hate when there is a dance floor, but no one is dancing, and then you feel pressured to dance even if the music isn’t your jam.

      • Brynna

        Ugh, yes, this decision was made partly to avoid the awkwardly empty dance floor.

        • Eenie

          And it sounds like you don’t want to dance, so this seems like an easy decision! Come up with a quick short response to anyone who says anything about it from now on:
          “Yes, everyone can just hang out and socialize like adults.”
          “I don’t like dancing at weddings, so we don’t have a dance floor.”
          “What do you do at birthday parties? You should do the same thing at the wedding.”

          • cml

            I also recommend, “you’re offering a lot of feedback that I’m not interested in hearing” -I accidentally slipped that one into a conversation with my husband’s uncle the day after our wedding…but I’m not sorry. Haha

          • littleinfinity

            I love that response. Sorry not sorry… haha

    • Her Lindsayship

      Brunch! Live band! Once-in-a-lifetime celebration of your love and commitment! Not Boring.

    • sofar

      Dude, both our families were like, “Dancing dancing we must have the dancing! All the dancing!” And then all those fuckers spent the wedding strolling our venue’s grounds (which were admittedly amazing), chilling on the rooftop, catching up with each other and HANGING OUT.

      People will ask you, “Well aren’t you having xyz?” up until the moment you walk down the aisle. But then, magically, they shut up and drink and eat and have fun. And then they’ll tell you, “Wow, your wedding was really *different*, but it was the best I’ve been to.”

      In short, do what you want, and it’ll turn out fine. Under no circumstances should you plan “extra” activities.

      • Brynna

        THANK YOU

    • Laura C

      It’s amazing how long three hours is NOT when you’re trying to get through a meal, toasts, and cake. It will be great as is, probably better than if you tried to cram something else in, and it is especially not worth killing yourself over it in the final week before your wedding.

    • Jennifer

      No! It won’t be boring! goodness. You have friends and family that will know each other and want to visit and there’s the meal and the toasts and things. It’ll be fine. We didn’t have dancing and it went over so much better than my parents thought it would.

    • CP2011

      In my experience most people don’t really want to dance until evening anyways

    • Jess

      No! 3 hours for food & toasts & hugging long-missed family members and friends is not a long time at all.

    • Amy March

      I vote no planned activity. Emphatically. What you have planned is lovely.

    • cml

      Solid decision. Personally, if I went to a brunch wedding and there WAS dancing, I’d like it a lot less. I’m more of a “dance when it’s dark so I can feel like nobody can see me, even though they can” person. Lol
      Three hours sounds like a great amount of time for brunch, and I really don’t think it will leave much time for people to do much other than eat and talk and be happy for you.

    • Rebecca

      I went to a 6.5 hour wedding once with only an hour of dancing and everyone was totally fine. Don’t worry about the dancing. And also YAY HOW EXCITING!

    • Essssss

      We had a DJ for a wedding at that time and similar length. I think you’ll be totall fine without. We had a small dance floor. There was a little dancing and a lot of hanging out and talking. We did have a couple lawn games but again mostly hanging out and people visiting. You’re golden.

  • Lisa

    I’ve really kicked job searching into high gear this week and applied for a few jobs, including some through a recruiting site that specializes in the database system with which I want to work. I’m not discounting the possibility of the job at Badtown U (especially after a very encouraging conversation with the would-be manager last week), but I’m not putting all of my eggs in that basket.

    Anyone have tips for working with recruiters? I got a call from a recruiter from the site last night, and I’m worried I gave away too much information (salary history, etc.). I also worry that, if I do start going on interviews for the jobs through them, I might end up being pressured to take something that doesn’t feel quite right. I was caught a bit off guard when the recruiter called yesterday so I’d love any advice from people who’ve worked with them before!

    • Angela’s Back

      no advice but good luck with the search!

    • Kaitlyn

      Was it an agency recruiter or a corporate recruiter (like at a company)?

      • Lisa

        I’m not sure of the difference, but it’s an independent company with a team of recruiters that work to place people in jobs related to a specific database. She told me the name of the company for which I’d applied when she called and said that she could also keep her eye out for other listings in her territory that might be a good fit for me.

        • Eenie

          My cousin is a recruiter. He wants to place someone in a job cause he gets commission, but he also wants his clients to be happy. I think being upfront with the recruiter is the way to go, and just know that you’ll hold your ground and not be bullied into a job you’re not happy with. The more your recruiter knows about the ideal job the better in my opinion. Good luck! This all sounds so exciting for you.

          • Lisa

            Thank you! It’s nerve-wracking because she said that the companies for whom she recruits typically want to place people quickly so there’s no way to know right now what the outcomes will be or how quickly something might pan out. Sitting in the in-between is so nerve wracking.

          • Eenie

            What is quickly though? My current company freaked me out because they kept emphasizing they had a short hiring process and it catches people off guard. It took at least three weeks to get an offer and then I wasn’t able to start for another 2 weeks (they only do on boarding once a month). That process was longer than either of my previous two interviewing processes.

            Mean while I was out buying business casual work clothes “just in case” cause I wanted to have pants and shirts to get through a week of work. Didn’t really need to stress that much.

          • Lisa

            I said my husband was finished with school in early May so I could consider a move in about 3 weeks, which she seemed to think would be OK. I do feel a bit like I’m counting my chickens though–I haven’t even talked to them to figure out if I like the company or the job yet!

          • Engaged Chicago

            I’ve had better luck with recruiters who reach out to me than when I try to get help from a recruiter in finding a new job. I wouldn’t worry about feeling pressured… as long as you make it clear what and how much you’re looking for. I found my last job through a recruiter who reached out. I also had like 5 times where it didn’t pan out. Just keep your focus on what you want!

          • Em

            I think in some industries recruiters commissions will depend on if someone stays in a job for at least 6 months-so if imagine that should also help motivate them to place people in jobs they like and are good at!

          • Eenie

            And even if that isn’t the case, good old fashioned reputation works to your (the job seekers) advantage.

  • Suzanne

    I am pretty anti-war myself unless it’s in self-defense. But let’s be 100% real here. Obama spent 8 years bombing the living hell out of several countries. Many civilians were killed in the process. I am baffled at why hardly anyone wanted to talk about being anti-war until now. Why have we waited so long to find our voices again? Where were we?

    • K.

      Yeah, and I know this is an unpopular opinion but…Hillary isn’t exactly a dove either. I don’t think she’s the “war-monger” that some people make her out to be, but she definitely had a tactical, pro-defense take on foreign policy. I mean, as far as I understand, she was recommending the same airstrikes hours before Trump actually did them.

      Do I trust that she would have handled it with much more grace and stability, with actual congressional support? Of course. Infinitely. Innumerably. Trump is a dangerous, petty liability of a scumbag. But let’s not pretend that the Military Industrial Complex isn’t wide-reaching and bipartisan.

      • Jess

        The level of pro-defense strategy was one of my major hang-ups on Hillary. I still totally voted for her, but it was one thing that made me uneasy.

        Like you say though, I had faith she would handle it much better than 45.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          My future BIL was anti-Hillary because he thought she would start a war in Syria. I’d love to know what he thinks of 45 bombing them, but I haven’t opened that can of worms.

  • savannnah

    Nazi update: Turns out when you are on parole you cannot leave the state. So no nazi at the wedding and no pro-nazi boycott either. I am at once comforted by this and wondering about how my in-laws threatened boycott would have played out without this rule.
    In other news, Passover was as awesome and life-affirming as ever, my dad does a great Seder and he really hit home this year on remember those who are not yet free and we had a good discussion about being mindful about the suffering of others even when we are celebrating. He is officiating our Sept. wedding and we are just starting to dig into the ceremony- I’m concerned about including some form of the 7 blessings in our ceremony as the tipping point to a too religious ceremony for my atheist fiance but as he reminded me, we get to decide where that line is drawn.
    Otherwise it’s been a super productive wedding week as taking off 3 days for Passover led to 4 vendor meetings in the town we are getting married. We finalized the menu and alcohol for rehearsal, reception and brunch, went cake tasting, finalized the flower plan, chuppah rental and finally got info on if the event coordinator at our venue was in fact for us or just the venue. Happy news, shes for us- which is great and she’s pretty great and include in our venue fee which makes me 10 times more happy with our overall budget.

    • CMT

      I am so glad to hear that there won’t be Nazis at your wedding! And it’s probably good that you don’t have to find out how the boycott threats would have played out.

    • Jessica

      I missed happy hour last week, so I’m just glad that nazis will not be at your wedding.

      • savannnah

        Short version: my fiance’s uncle is a member of an white aryan brotherhood group and just got out of jail 2 months ago and fiance’s grandmother and aunt were threatening to boycott our wedding if he wasn’t invited.

    • Anna

      Are you me? As came up on another thread this week, my atheist fiance was super uncomfortable with the idea of any reference to God entering our ceremony, we almost ended up changing officiants because of it (from the current rabbi of the Reform synagogue I grew up in, to… ???), but through a combination of finding a really beautiful poetic translation of the seven blessings that made the God part a little more oblique and the rabbi assuring us that she was happy to work with us to make a service we’d be comfortable with even if that meant taking out halachic-ly required parts, it seems like we’re good now.

      Also, Passover is way up there in my favorite holidays (Jewish or secular). Fiance and I went to my uncle’s Seder on Monday – the first he’d ever been to – and it was super fun and really exciting to me that fiance enjoyed it as well :-)

      • savannnah

        It’s interesting because I come from a conservative (if egalitarian lesbian-run interfaith supporting) temple and I’m not necessarily super on board with too much God in our ceremony and we are not having a rabbi marry us- so its been something we are trying to navigate together with my dad and for some reason the 7 blessings as a sticking point for me. I want to be happy with a agnostic version of them and I could be, but I want my fiance to be super comfortable with it too because it still feels referential to the traditional blessings for me. And yes, Passover is my #1 holiday forever.

        • Anna

          FWIW, the two versions we’re considering are the last two versions in Anita Diamant’s The New Jewish Wedding. Fiance decided he’s fine with “Blessed is the One who…” rather than e.g. “Blessed are You, oh Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who…”, because one, it’s not directed TO God, two, it’s vague about ‘which’ God we’re referencing, and three, “Out loud nobody will be able to tell that One is capitalized” (the last one made me laugh because it really doesn’t change the meaning much either way, but the other two were reasonable points haha).

          • savannnah

            That book has helped so much! We are looking at a version I found on interfaith which starts like “May you be generous and giving with each other…” so we’ll see how it goes.

      • Lawyer_Chef

        We did an extremely different take on the seven blessings — as in, we had seven blessings, but they were not like the traditional ones at all, and there was no mention of a higher power. We had different friends and family read each blessing. Not something I’d do if we were at all religious, but it worked well for us.

        • Essssss

          Same! Loved this approach. Everyone made up their own nondenominational blessing.

    • Yael

      yay no nazis! I’m having a hard enough time being ok with my partner’s Trump-voter uncle, but it could be worse : also, Passover is the best holiday, especially for times like this. my partner and I do a feminist omer counting and I discovered this: https://jewschool.com/2017/04/79142/omer-torahforthereisistance/

      • Lisa

        I also discovered that and was super excited!

    • Engaged Chicago

      Congrats all around and yesss Passover is the #1 favorite holiday.

      Side bar: has APW ever talked about costs of chuppah (what they rent for because I’m not crafty) because my first quote is $1000 and granted it’s beautiful but whaaaaa?!

      • penguin

        I think they’ve talked about making them, but I don’t remember anything about renting them. Our rabbi mentioned that they have some for use through the congregation, so you could check for something like that. She specifically recommended against us renting them because they are SO expensive.

      • savannnah

        Confession: I don’t have the savy or the time to build one and there are next to zero Jews in Vermont sooo I didn’t even ask about the price- it’s from our florist and she knows our budget so fingers crossed it’s $500 or less.

        • Engaged Chicago

          Good luck, I’m sure it will work out! My florist came in 2k over budget (including labor and taxes though…and this is the cheap florist). So now I’m slashing it so they’ll only do bouquets (need many) and chuppah and no centerpieces.

          • savannnah

            Got the numbers today-only $250 for the birch chuppa!

          • Engaged Chicago

            Now that’s more like it! My stepsister’s was similar in price/ look to that too. Amazing.

            I however unwisely fell in love with this (heart eyes): http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/1379491

      • quilter

        I’ve made them (quilts), and I charge at least $1000 because that’s the minimum that is fair to my time, labor, and materials. However, there are simpler ones that could be less, and you could use a plain sheet or family tallit or almost anything, so there are options out there. But if it’s handmade, it won’t be cheap.

      • Essssss

        We made our so the wood frame just took time and we covered it with a family talit.

    • toomanybooks

      So happy to hear the nazi can’t leave the state and your wedding will be nazi-free!

    • Sarah Porter

      Super yay about things working out! About the seven blessings inclusion- I’m not Jewish but I’ve photographed several Jewish weddings with different interpretations of the seven blessings: a favorite I witnessed was seven friends standing up at different times and reciting a favorite quote of theirs or blessing of their own. This keeps up a tradition while still making it your own.

  • Lexipedia

    Back and engaged!!!!! We walked on the national mall at sunset, he made a endearingly nervous speech about our relationship, and then got down on one knee at the Lincoln Memorial. Then we went for a very fancy foodie dinner and got hilariously drunk on amazing wine pairings.

    Obligatory temporary engagement picture –
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a638db8b55c270be4deadd58fcdfaa32c6cd416612263b5ed449d281a304fac9.jpg

    After that we had an amazing Southeast Asia trip – lots of amazing food and nature and culture, and enough time that I was happy to come home. Plus, in three weeks I checked my work email just three times, only got one sunburn, and got full rows to sleep in on our overseas flights. Also, our long-awaited kitten adoption process is starting next week! We’ve done the research on the right rescue agencies and shelters to look at, but I’ve kept myself from looking at pictures and falling in love with ones that are gone before we can get them.

    • lamarsh

      Congrats – that sounds perfect! As a fellow DC foodie, I have to ask, where did you go for your celebration dinner?

      • Lexipedia

        Métier – it’s in the basement of Kinship in Shaw. Tasting menu only and very cozy. Apparently it was hard, as we have some restaurant industry friends and so have made our way through some of the other new “celebratory” places (Pineapples and Pearls, Tail Up Goat, The Dabney, etc.) and he wanted somewhere we had never tried before.

        • lamarsh

          Nice! I loved Kinship but haven’t tried Metier yet. Sounds like we should add it to the Special Occasions list.

          We are going to Fish (the new Jose Andres restaurant at National Harbor) tomorrow night to celebrate our first date anniversary and I am pretty excited. We haven’t been somewhere new in a while.

          • Lexipedia

            You’ll have to let us know how it is! I’m feeling quite pro-José Andrés lately – Zaytinya is close to my office, and we’ve been trying to do more Happy Hour drinks there in the wake of his stance/actions on immigration.

          • savannnah

            So much of my paycheck from 2012-2014 went to Zaytinya. I don’t wanna think about it.

          • yellowbellpepper

            Oh my god I LOVE that place. I’m pretty sure I could survive entirely on halloumi cheese.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations! What a lovely story, and the trip sounds like a fun way to celebrate! I am with @lamarsh:disqus and want more details on the foodie feast.

    • Hannah

      Congrats!!

    • Katherine

      Congrats!

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    • Mjh

      Congratulations! The trip sounds like an amazing start to your time of being engaged, and kittens take everything to the next level <3

    • LadyJanee

      Congratulations!!!! What a fun way to celebrate!

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  • CMT

    The idea of “relationships require work but shouldn’t need A TON of work” has come up in the comments lately and it has me wondering, how do you know when you’ve crossed the line to too much? (This is a general hypothetical question; I don’t have a specific problem I’m thinking about.)

    • Cellistec

      And the other side of that coin: what happens when two people have been together long enough that they get comfortable and (for lack of a better term) let themselves go…as in, stop working on things the way they did to attract each other in the first place. Like reverting to the ugly soccer shorts that make them look 12 years old. Or not flossing anymore.

      You know, hypothetically. Asking for a friend.

      • lamarsh

        Oh god, the ugly soccer shorts. I call them “lounge shorts” when my fiance pulls them out and they are…not my favorite. But, unfortunately, I have no advice. Maybe someone else will have something helpful.

        • Cellistec

          Ha, thanks. I appreciate the solidarity. And to be fair, I have loungewear too…my harem pants from Vietnam are not Mr. Cellistec’s favorite. But most of the time I wear more flattering yoga pants, which he says he likes.

      • JLily

        Haha! I don’t actually mind ugly clothes at home but I definitely mind if we are going somewhere. I find that humor works best–and in my marriage we go for the direct and brutal variety, but I’m sure that doesn’t work for everyone!

        • Eenie

          My husband refuses to leave the house in his workout shorts and I routinely go places in my sweats/pajamas.

      • savannnah

        So far this has helped my situation:
        1. Brutal honestly- I had to get really clear with my fiance- like “I’m not attracted to you when you haven’t brushed your teeth in 2 days” or ” when you wore the same shirt 4 days in a row”
        2. We started going on dates after work in the city and we got ready apart- that seemed to help as well.

        • Cellistec

          Points for directness. I worry about hurting my husband’s feelings with that tack, but I bet he’d be more hurt if I, say, stopped being attracted to him because of things he could have changed had he known about them. Um, hypothetically.

          • savannnah

            And I would say the key here is saying “I’m not attracted to you WHEN (some observable behavior they can change) instead of “I’m not attracted to you” which to me would be a whole other ballgame.

          • Jess

            Alternative to the “I’m not attracted to you when” is “It’s a turn off/mood killer to [smell your feet when I kiss you, or whatever]” which makes it even more pinpointed to a specific action.

          • Cellistec

            I like that language. Thank you!

          • Jess

            You bet! R gets really down on himself when I call out certain actions, so we established that non-accusatory language helps keep low stakes conversations effective.

      • Lexipedia

        They are basketball shorts* in my house, though they have been there since the very first cozy Sunday morning at his house so not a surprise. I have had to accept that the hideous basketball shorts are his equivalent of flannel jammie or yoga pants.

        *FI has never, ever, played basketball in his life.

      • CP2011

        I’m a big advocate of always closing bathroom doors and keeping bodily functions as private as possible. We also try not to undress/ dry off after shower in front of each other too — i like to keep nudity associated with sexy times. I find it helps keep
        some mystery alive.

      • emilyg25

        I told him the shorts had to go or we were basically never going to have sex again, haha.

        (FTR, these were exceptional shorts. Older than me. Extra short because 80s. One leg pink, other one purple. Just beyond bad.)

      • RNLindsay
    • rg223

      I’m curious to see responses, because I have no idea. Relationships ebb and flow. The amount of work you do changes. Maybe when it becomes more work than joy, love and support? Yeah, I’m not even sure I buy into “a relationship shouldn’t feel like work” overall.

    • Jessica

      My marriage is in a weird “work” place, because my husband is working so much on his mental health recovery he has let our relationship just sit there. He kind of expected things to go back to normal now that he comes home every night, but obviously a marriage that does not make.

      He had a bit of a wake up call to the fact that we need to spend time together when I hung out with a new guy friend last week and husband got really jealous. Like, terribly jealous and projecting quite a bit. The rest of the weekend, though, he was really attentive and just chatted with me and has been texting more every since.

    • Lawyerette510

      I feel like there’s something to the idea of effort v. work. Relationships (be they romantic or platonic) require effort and attention and sometimes work, but to me the effort and attention should outweigh the work. For instance, my best friend from college lives half-way across the country, I took a week off work about a month after she had her first baby when her husband had to go back to work, I stayed with them, helped around the house, kept her company during the day, watched the baby while she showered, etc. That was a lot of effort, but it wasn’t work, it was a joy, a honor and further strengthened our bond. Comparatively, I had a friend who was local who was very emotionally demanding and friendship with her was near constant work. I finally ended the local friendship because of all the work it took to maintain it.

      • Anna

        Yeah, that’s a good distinction. A relationship doesn’t need to be EASY, it can require you to do and think about difficult things that can take significant energy, but those things should generally feel to you as if they are in service of something joyful/honorable/bond-strengthening.

      • Laura C

        That’s a great distinction. So helpful.

      • Violet

        Thank you for this. My relationship sure as hell takes effort, but it doesn’t feel like work.

      • honeycomehome

        I love this distinction.

        Also, I think the amount of effort ebbs and flows, depending on life (schedules, illness, stress, kids, etc). But the important part should be that both partners are putting in the same amount of effort. Or else I think it becomes work for one, and that can cause tension/resentment.

        • Lawyerette510

          Absolutely!

    • emmers

      For me, there’s a higher threshold if you’re married (though I’m sure it’s different for others!). Like, my husband and I were talking last night about how if one of us cheated it would be much more of a conversation versus an immediate breakup than it would be if we were dating and one of us cheated- just because we’re way more invested, both emotionally and legally. Like, we’d have to legally dissolve the marriage, sell the house, etc vs just walking away. Where if one of us had cheated while we were dating, we’d probably be more likely to have broken up (though — my husband actually went to jail for a year midway through our relationship, before we were married, so I guess that’s not always the case for me!).

      For a marriage to break up, for me it would have to be something pretty big. For dating, I kinda used the metric as to whether or not there were more tears than happiness for the sum of the relationship to decide. Or whether or not I thought the problems were fixable– like, there was a wonderful man I dated, but we were just really at different life stages, and I think never would have really had enough in common to make it work. I didn’t date a whole lot, so I’m not sure that’s helpful.

    • Her Lindsayship

      That’s such a big question. I think a relationship crosses the line into Too Much Work when one partner is not actually doing the work. At least, that was the case for my last relationship, and that’s what I’ve seen happen to others. I’ve seen couples really come back from things that, from the outside, looked insurmountable – but both people had to seriously want it. It took me a good while in my last relationship to realize that I was the only one doing the work, because my ex surface-level wanted things to work out, but he wasn’t really in it.

      • Good point about both partners putting in the effort with equal(ish) enthusiasm. I’ve learned the importance of reciprocity…

    • I feel like this may be one of those things that is really different for everyone… For me it would be either:
      1. If only one person was actually doing the work/ agreed on what work needed to be done.
      2. If at its core the work was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
      3. If I couldn’t compellingly answer for myself why I was doing it.

    • Rebecca

      I watched a five year relationship crumble once, and I had never understood how it functioned while it was happening, because he was fundamentally a chilled out guy who just wanted a good enough job and a person to love and settle down with and have cute outdoorsy kids with, and she kept trying to make him a super motivated guy with loads of off-beat sporty interests (archery, rock-climbing etc) who had heaps of gumption and pre-empted all her wants and needs. Was he also doing things badly in the relationship? Probably. But I don’t think you should try to change fundamental aspects of someone’s personality…

    • Aubry

      This is an interesting distinction that I’ve been talking about a bunch lately. I think for me, it’s that the relationship is mostly easy, but the work comes when you come up against a hard life thing or realize an imbalance that needs adjusting. So like, if your situation changes (move in together, have kids, whatever) changes and some stuff comes up then you can work through those and that’s work. But, especially at the beginning of a relationship, it shouldn’t feel like work all the time. and especially if only one person feels like they are doing it all (or both do but different parts). I think that’s just not a relationship that works. I believe the relationship should have a baseline level of ease that can be returned to.

      I also agree with the commenter below about effort vs. work difference.

  • Ashlah

    What to do with my weirdest paid holiday? Make a complicated cake, of course! I’ve never made a cake this involved and I’ve been drooling over it for a long time, so fingers crossed it turns out! Today is a day for baking and laziness. AKA self-care, right? With a weekend of family visits ahead of us, I’m happy to have the time to myself. Sunday will be the first time seeing my extended family since announcing my pregnancy, so that should be fun and/or overwhelming! Speaking of which, we’re halfway through! What! We have far too much to do!

    • Lisa

      Ooooh, that looks divine!

    • Cellistec

      OMG that cake. I don’t understand this concept of “peanut butter cup overload,” though. How can you ever have too many peanut butter cups?

      • Ashlah

        Agreed! I may need to present it with a different name.

    • penguin

      That’s a beautiful delicious looking cake!!

    • Corrie Whitmore

      I have made that cake – it’s divine. My husband, the lucky birthday cake recipient, made up a song in honor of that cake and has asked for it every year since!

      (Amusingly, after years of reading APW, this cake is what inspired my first comment!)

      • Ashlah

        Glad to hear it’s as good as it looks! And welcome! :)

      • Cellistec

        Now I’m dying to know what the song is like.

    • Anna

      Baking and laziness = best self care. My mom got us a stand mixer for Chanukah, which finally arrived about three weeks ago (she asked if we wanted it and I said, “well, we were going to register for one, but… awesome”), so I’ve been all over easy yeast doughs since then. Sweet rolls! Pretzels! I’ve been considering something more elaborate, though…

    • JC

      Your big, beautiful cake has me so excited for my Easter prep tomorrow! It includes the swirly version of this: http://www.yummymummykitchen.com/2016/04/vegan-key-lime-pie-with-blackberry.html

      • Ashlah

        Oooh, yum!!

    • Laura C

      Now I want to bake all the things. Or eat the baby’s leftover birthday cake I stashed in the freezer.

    • Katherine

      This is a perfectly acceptable and encouraged form of self-care. Just looking at that cake makes my mouth water.

    • accidental_diva

      OMG that looks so good

      it reminds me of the snickerdoodle cake my mom has made in the past (the one that involves 6 sticks of butter and almost a pound of sugar)

      • Anna

        I used to make a ton of cookies in high school and started messing around with changing/combining different recipes, and came up with two that were amazing and also ridiculous in a similar way to that: Nutella blondies, containing an entire pound of brown sugar (plus, y’know, a bunch of Nutella and toasted hazelnuts), and cinnamon sugar cookies, which were a lot like snickerdoodles except with WAY more cinnamon. Two tablespoons of cinnamon. Has to be Ceylon cinnamon, not cassia. I’ve never seen another recipe with that much cinnamon in it for a regular-sized batch, but they were delicious. I haven’t made them in years but now I’m tempted…

      • Ashlah

        Mmmmm, do you have that recipe by chance? Snickerdoodles are my favorite!

        I need to have parties just to share cakes!

    • Ashlah

      Cake update: Still need to make the ganache (the part I’m most nervous about!), but I’ve been eating the sliced off cake dome tops smeared with the little bit of leftover peanut butter frosting and omg. I could eat that frosting by the spoonful.

      • It all worked out well? The ganache?

        • Ashlah

          It turned out great! So scrumptious! My sister asked me to make it for my niece’s birthday, but she’s hoping for a sheet cake. As a usual recipe-follower, we’ll see if I can manage the batter math!

    • Ooh! I made that cake for a friend’s birthday once and it was fabulous! (Ours did have structural issues a bit, but I think that was partially due to the ridiculous summer heat). Such a good cake!

  • Jenny

    So I have an informational interview next week (but I know they are looking to hire soon), and a panel “interview exam” the week after (my understanding is that it’s a first round panel interview with stakeholders rather than people the actual department I’d be managing- which would be the next steps). I’ve networked my way into jobs for the last 10 years, so I really haven’t interviewed for a job since summer jobs in college. Any great tips? Good questions I should ask? Both with be remote interviews via phone and skype.

    • Eenie

      If you’re doing a video interview, elevate your laptop so the camera is at your face level.

    • Mer

      I found that using earbuds with a microphone gives better sound quality on both ends (and background noise is much harder to hear).

    • zana

      Also, put a post-it note with an arrow pointing to your webcam so you remember to look at the webcam NOT your screen. This will make the other side think you’re looking them in the eye ;)

    • EF

      the ask a manager interview guide is superb. highly recommend it.

  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    Husband and I are going to the March for Science in Washington next weekend, so I’ve been having fun coming up with ideas for signs. The hardest thing for me at the moment has been having to explain current events to my 5 year old. We listen to NPR on the way to school (because otherwise I would miss the morning news) and I’ve had to really simplify my explanations of things to answer her questions. I’ve found that talking about things on her level has made me a little more level-headed about it all, instead of just getting passionate and angry and exhausted.

    • Ashlah

      I love that you listen to NPR with your daughter!

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        Thanks! Some of the stuff goes right over her head, but I think it’s helping her learn to ask questions and get interested in things she might not have gotten exposed to otherwise :)

        • Eenie

          NPR was the only radio station my parents could agree on. I remember listening to it fondly with my parents on road trips.

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            My dad used to make us listen to the podcasts at dinner whenever he heard something cool, it used to drive my mom crazy lol

          • Eenie

            My dad loves a good science Friday.

  • Eh

    My inlaws babysat my daughter last weekend (all day Saturday and overnight, I picked her up Sunday morning). They commented on how much she has changed since the last time they saw her (Christmas) and wanting to see her/us more. When I picked her up, my FIL said that he has called my husband a couple times over the past couple months to see when would be good to visit (that day/that weekend/short notice). I flat out said “we need two weeks’ notice”. He said “we’ve been there and get that” and then made a comment about coming over for half an hour for tea. (So, nope you don’t get it! And ‘tea’ makes it sound like more work than just dropping by for a visit; that sounds like an expectation that I host and provide you with food and drink when you drop by on short notice.) I said we’re busy and our daughter has a routine. He said “maybe we’ll call you in a couple weeks to see about visiting”. I warned him that we’re booked every weekend for the next two months (half of the stuff is with my husband’s family so we will be seeing them). He repeated his comment about calling in a couple weeks (fine, but that does not change the fact we can’t make MORE plans with you until June since we are seeing you every other weekend until then).

    This was after they had a rough night babysitting my daughter. She doesn’t like sleeping in places other than in her crib in her room. They had a hard time putting her down for a nap, and she normally sleeps through the night but was up for two hours in the middle of the night and up for the day at 5am (she normally sleeps until after 7am). As a result of her routine being thrown off and not getting enough sleep, Sunday was meltdown after meltdown. Then on Monday my husband saw my inlaws at a relative’s funeral and my FIL made a comment to my husband that made it sound like we are impossible to plan things with; even though four out of eight weekends we have plans in April and May are with their family (and we tried to make plans with them since Christmas and they were busy every time we tried to make plans with them, and the only times they tried to visit us was on short notice).

    Between my FIL’s comments and my daughter’s meltdowns, I am even less inclined to disrupt her routine for something that could be planned in advance so it doesn’t disrupt her routine. And I wish we had fewer things planned over the next two months but it is a busy time of year with holidays, weddings and birthdays. I get that missing a nap won’t result in a day full of meltdowns but it will result in an evening of meltdowns. And it’s not that hard to keep her routine (visit in the morning) it just takes planning (since that’s the time we run errands, so we need to do that some other time), so they need to respect that, because they don’t have to deal with the consequences of her routine being thrown off (unless they are babysitting overnight).

    • Emily

      My sister-in-law has a very similar relationship with our mutual MIL and FIL (our husbands are brothers) and their relationship sounds so exhausting on both sides.
      It sounds like your in-laws really just want more one-on-one time with the baby versus family events. Could you maybe just drop in on them in the mornings while running errands? Or maybe offer a spot to meet up while you’re out and about? In our family just a little give on both sides has made everyone a lot happier and enjoy the time we do spend together. Also, it’s made my niece a lot more comfortable with her grandparents (and us for that matter) which in turn gives my SIL and BIL more options if they need a break!

      • Eenie

        I hear what you’re saying, but after reading about @Eh:disqus ‘s in law struggles over numerous HHs, I feel like they’ve set some pretty realistic expectations (2 weeks notice for anything due to work schedules) for the in laws. Trying to change that now may undo all the work they’ve put in with setting that boundary. The in laws seem to really just not get it.

        • Lisa

          Totally agree with everything you’ve just said. The ILs sound like inch->mile people. I wouldn’t give them flexibility until they’ve proven they can respect the boundary that’s already in place.

          • Eenie

            I personally find it extremely frustrating bending over backwards for someone when they don’t understand the reasons for why we do things a certain way and immediately dismiss them as silly/unnecessary. I see us having very similar issues with my in laws down the road if we have kids. I don’t know if I’d ever be ok with them watching kids overnight.

          • Eh

            It is super frustrating that they think our reasons are silly.

          • Eenie

            In case you need someone else to tell you this – your reasons are not silly. I’m hoping you have a breakthrough with them and share your secret with APW :)

          • Eh

            hahaha oh if that ever happens I would!

          • Laura C

            That, and when they don’t understand that you are bending over backwards to begin with, and since they don’t/won’t get that you’re having to work to accommodate them, they assume the next three things they want shouldn’t be much of a burden, either.

          • Eh

            Yep! They say things like ‘when is it a good time to drop by [today/this weekend]?’ So they think it’s not a big deal at all. We have to say not today or not this weekend because there is not a good time on that short of notice, and then remind them we need more notice.

      • Eh

        We can’t drop in on them because they live an hour away and my husband works weekends and we only have one car. Even for them to drop in on us we would need notice because they would have to be here in time for errands to get done before husband goes to work and my MIL is not a morning person.

        We have tried letting them drop in on us in the past and they didn’t respect us when we said we were busy. We were just about to leave the house and they drove by and saw our car so they decided to stop in.

        I would be willing to let them give us a weeks notice but they refuse to give us any notice.

        • Emily

          I’m sorry I think I may have spoken out of turn. I didn’t realize this was an on-going issue. If people don’t respect boundaries, you certainly shouldn’t be more lax when it comes to what you need!

        • quiet000001

          Did you stay with them or continue with your plans when they turned up unexpectedly?

          • Eh

            I told them to leave and we continued on with our plans. They claimed they weren’t being rude because when they called I said we were leaving and when they drove by five minutes later we were still there. We had our stroller, diaper bag and baby in car seat all at the door just about to be packed into the car. They had called a few times that day saying they wanted to drop by but couldn’t give us a time. The first time they called I told them what time we were leaving so they had ample notice.

          • quiet000001

            Yeah, that’s what I would have done, too. And I’d just keep doing that. Maybe invite them to come along on errands if they wouldn’t get in the way, but continue with your life. Stopping because they turned up might technically be more polite, but it doesn’t set or reinforce necessary boundaries, and they clearly need to learn where the lines are.

            (Coming along depends a huge amount on the errands and the people, of course. But that is something my dad sometimes does with me – if he wants to get out of the house he will call and if I have stuff to do, he just comes along and we talk in the car, sometimes he helps me out, etc. It works well for us. Other people I’m sure would be epically cranky about having to ride around to the bank and post office or whatever instead of everything being dropped to hang out.)

          • Eh

            That day we were actually going out for our anniversary so we didn’t want to take them with us. We were going to an event and it was time sensitive.

            I am also not so into having them come on errands with us. I wouldn’t be opposed to them watching our daughter while we run errands but they are always late and they are very judgemental and complain about the cleanliness of my BIL/SIL’s house (my FIL says he is not comfortable in their house because it’s a mess) and my BIL/SIL using them as a babysitter all the time (and that they want to spend time with my BIL/SIL and not just their kids). We get very mixed messages because they say things like that about my BIL/SIL but then say they want to babysit our daughter more (and then when we need them because I was having a medical issue they weren’t available, even when we gave them notice about my surgery they canceled on us on short notice to host a birthday party for my husband’s uncle), and they also tell us not to worry about how messy our house is and that if someone comments on how messy our house is then they aren’t worth having over. So I would have to know that they were going to be over in time for me to get all my errands done and my house would have to be in a state that I would feel ok about too.

          • Lisa

            Ugh, that is so frustrating. Do you think the mixed messages around the kids and cleanliness might have something to do with the fact that they don’t like your SIL and feel like the kids aren’t “theirs” because they have no biological relation to your BIL?

          • Eh

            The youngest is biologically related to my BIL and they have never expressed interest (to us at least) in seeing her on her own (and they haven’t spent much on on one time with her so either they haven’t asked or BIL/SIL said no). They are much better at treating all three girls the same now that my BIL has adopted the older two.

            As for the cleaniness, I think it’s a values thing. My inlaws had a cleaning day once a week where everything was picked up and then all the chores were done (especially when my husband and BIL were old enough to do a lot of the work). My BIL/SIL clean a bit at a time so the whole house is never clean unless they are hosting a big event. A year ago my inlaws were watching the girls while my SIL was recovering from surgery and my MIL made the girls clean the entire house. It was probably nice for my SIL to come home from the hospital to a clean house. Like my BIL/SIL, we clean a bit at a time but I can also have the house ready for visitors in 2 hours (only cleaning our main floor) if I need too. I don’t want to imagine what they say behind my back. We know they complain about not seeing us, and yesterday at Easter supper I found out that everyone is talking about me having another baby.

        • toomanybooks

          They live an hour away but they are always driving by and dropping by?? Do they have a lot of stuff to do in your neighborhood?

          • Eh

            They live in a small town and we live in the nearest city to them. We also live close to Costco and a large shopping centre so they do come to our area a couple times a month. Despite having to come here regularly they can’t give us notice because my MIL does not like to commit to when she is going to run errands.

  • penguin

    FMIL update – saga part 3! Going to refer to my fiancé as A. because that’s just easier.

    This is a relatively good update. A.’s father stopped by our place last Friday (A. was home, I was still at work). Turns out he wanted to know what was going on – because by the sounds of it, he had only a vague idea that there was a problem with the date. So FMIL was making it up when she said that FFIL was so upset that he refused to speak to A. – she was just refusing to pass the phone, and FFIL didn’t know there was an issue.

    Anyway, FFIL and A. talked, and A. explained everything. FFIL said he’d speak to FMIL, and hoped that we could all move past this and have Passover together. The next morning A. called his mom to talk over everything. It was obvious that FFIL had talked to FMIL about everything, based on what she said. She apologized to him, and invited us to Passover (we had been previously uninvited, and weren’t planning on going). She sent me an email with her “apology” to me. I thought it was pretty half-assed (for starters she never actually apologized for her behavior, just for hurting my feelings, and ended up explaining her reasoning for being upset all over again) but it was a start. Originally it just pissed me off more, and A. and I got into an argument about it. He was feeling caught in the middle and felt like his mom and I were each yelling at him about it. He and I resolved that, and I decided to just not respond to her email for a couple days.

    A. decided to go, and I decided to skip it. I had already changed my plans to spend the day with my dad and brother (who were originally going to come to Passover with us), so I stuck to those plans. I threw together a batch of kosher for Passover cookies, and sent those with my fiancé.

    I got around to responding to her email on Tuesday. I basically decided that I wanted to say my piece and get it out of the way, and then try to generally smooth things over. I apologized for hurting her feelings (even though I think it’s bullshit that she was so sensitive, but I digress…), and told her that if there is something important to her that she wants to discuss, she can just have a conversation with us about it. I also pointed out that neither A. nor I had known how religious his grandfather was (we literally barely know him), and that we’d asked everyone for dates to cross off ahead of time. I pointed out that she hurt our feelings as well, and we’re trying to move past that. Finally I told her that she and I had been getting along well, and it’s hard for me to let people in, and that I don’t forgive people easily. Hopefully she realizes that that means that she is still on my shit list, even though we’re going to try to get along.

    So overall, things are OK although I still haven’t seen A’s parents since this whole thing blew up. I love my fiancé and that’s why I made the effort to smooth this over with his mom, even though I’m still pissed (oh sweet righteous anger, keep me warm). Any advice or solidarity my-MIL-is-crazy stories greatly appreciated.

    • Lisa

      Well, even if it was a half-hearted apology on her end, it sounds like things are moving in the right direction at least. Thankfully there’s 6 months between now and your wedding; with any luck, she won’t do anymore ridiculous things, and you can focus on moving past this instead.

    • Jess

      What a conclusion. I love FFIL not having any idea this was happening.. it somehow makes FMIL look more nutty. I’m glad that you got the most apology she was capable of giving and I for nothing but smooth sailing.

    • Sosuli

      I missed the first two parts of this saga, but just wanted to send some difficult MIL solidarity and say it sounds like you handled this well.

    • I think non-apology apologies are the worst. Well, maybe not worse than no apology at all, though I’d have to think about it because I might actually be more bothered by a non-apology apology if the person doesn’t take any responsibility for having done anything wrong and hasn’t actually apologized at all. I dislike the “I’m sorry you got mad” apologies because it takes no ownership of anything. Anyhow, hopefully even that weak apology is a step in the right direction and that things will improve! So weird that FFIL was in the dark about all of that… Maybe things will go more smoothly now that he’s in the loop more and knows the history of all that was going on? Good luck!

  • Lawyerette510

    Well I am definitely not finding the balance, but I look forward to the collective wisdom this happy hour may hold on it.

    I’ve really been struggling with the turning inward/ turning outward and how to stay engaged while my mental health is balancing on knife-edge (for reasons that are hard to untangle, but I’m working on with my therapist). My work has been suffering greatly, and while I’m really glad my boss is compassionate and understanding, I also think part of the problem is I’m not sure how much I want to lean into my career and how much I want to lean out and do what is necessary to the extent of co-contributing to our lives, but refocusing our lives on something other than my career.

    My husband has been working the past 6 months, and the past 3 months he’s found a way to use his law degree in my field in a way that gives him prime flexibility and is interesting. Part of me wants to do what he is doing– it’s nearly entirely remote, the hours are flexible, etc, so that the two of us can down-size our lives and bounce around between Oakland, Tahoe, northern New Mexico and Kauai. While another part of me says “you’re on the cusp of professional greatness, don’t back down now!” I’ve been nominated for a position on a board for a professional group in my field and am working for one of the leading experts in it. Ugh!

    Also, I’ve got this itch that I really feel called to scratch related to my love of travel, and especially my love of planning for travel. When I plan travel for my husband, friends and I, I do all the research on where to go, flights, vacation rental, meal planning and lay-of-the-land research so we can hit the ground running but also still stay true to the things we care about (in our case– supporting small businesses, creating less waste, eating local, being outside, saving money by renting a house for eating and cocktails at home). So, my thought is to cater to people who find doing the research for travel stressful or don’t have the time to, but don’t want to do travel-agent type activities and packages. Basically have people hire me to do the research and then they can make the decisions. Whether it’s research on pros and cons of different destinations or winnowing down vacation rentals once the destination is chosen. I’ve also thought about another part of the service to create a sample meal plan (with beverages of course) and shopping list and researching what grocery stores or farmers markets are convenient to where the airport is, where they are staying etc. My idea is to especially focus on Kauai and Maui to start, mainly because that’s one of the places I’m most familiar with. I think it would be a very fun side-project for me because I think planning trips is nearly as good as taking them. All of that written, I have no idea if this is something anyone would actually be interested in.

    Well, that’s the update from Lawyerette.

    • Lisa

      To your business idea, I’ve thought about doing stuff like that, too. Planning and winnowing down and writing out itineraries is one of my favorite parts about travel, too. I wish I knew how to turn that into a marketable skill!

      • Kalë

        Ditto! I’ve actually planned trips for friends (for free) and been told I should be a travel agent. It’s one of my favorite hobbies, planning imaginary/”one day when we have the money” trips. But like, traditional travel agents seem to be a dying breed, those ones that upsell you on cruises and timeshares and stuff like that. I agree that there must be a niche and there is probably a great way to build this up, for all of us travel planner extraordinares.

        • Lisa

          Yeah, that was the impression I got, too, when I researched travel agent careers a while back. I’d be interested in putting together itineraries for those big tour companies, but I’ve never seen anything like that come open on the web-sites I’ve watched. Usually they’re looking for sales agents/call center reps.

        • Abby

          I would absolutely pay any of you fine humans to do the research/bookings for my travel, especially if you made it a point to really listen to what the client is looking for and also could be trusted to find the best deals– obviously happy to pay a commission for your work, but would be pretty annoyed to pay an agent on top of booking prices that aren’t the best deal (which was our experience the one time we tried to use a traditional travel agent).

        • CP2011

          I wish “travel agent” was still an actual mainstream job! I would rock at that.

        • Poppy

          I’m not the best person to speak to this, but I do know through friends that being
          a registered travel agent is still pretty big in the points and miles community and one of the ways a lot of those people make money/points. I wish I knew more about how/why this works, but I know that is seems to be flourishing in some corners of the travel world.

    • Emily

      I personally really like planning for travel, but I would love to have a point of reference so your project sounds fantastic. Like, I know what I want to make for dinner, but where is the closest market? How do I get there (bus, train, walk, bike…)? You could make so many options available! I hope you lean-in to this and find professional greatness!

    • Eenie

      My mom is trying to plan a trip to France. She may be interested in paying you for this service. Let me know if you’re interested.

    • Cellistec

      A friend of mine started her own travel company. Totally doable. I think you have to find a niche, though, and make sure you’re charging what you’re worth.

  • Eenie

    Last night, after a long day/week at work, I asked my husband if anything of note happened in the world today (I hadn’t had any time to check the news). I didn’t believe him when he told me that the US had dropped the biggest non nuclear bomb on ISIS.

    I’ve really been enjoying my job! Like a surprising amount. A good note on the week is Georgia weather has been gorgeous lately, we plan to grill out tomorrow, and I got some weightlifting coaching last weekend that has really helped my lifting!

  • Cellistec

    Any other introverts find themselves demoralized (or at least stressed) by a workplace that’s heavy on social “morale-building” activities? For example, a boss who insists on people standing up and taking a bow during a performance recognition meeting. Or mandatory offsite retreats to do things like roller-skating. I feel like it’s not sporting to complain about these activities, or to refuse to participate. But I do think if the bosses knew that these things don’t build morale for everyone, and some of us dread them, they might rethink their approach. I just don’t know where the line is between honesty and being sporting about it.

    • JC

      Yes, this sounds horrible.

      • CMT

        Agreed.

    • rg223

      I’m an ambi-vert, but I worked at jobs that trend to have a higher proportion of introverts, and yeah, they get stressed out. I’ve gotten very into Ask a Manager recently, and she is very against these kinds of events for that reason. Weirdly, the place I work now is the most into mandatory events, and I sense that a high percentage of people here are introverts. My last job was more balanced with introverts and extroverts, and also was more laid-back in events.

    • louise danger

      can you talk to your direct-report manager about your concerns (if that’s not the person planning these morale things)? they might be able to bring it up in a management meeting with a little anonymity if you’re uncomfortable approaching the morale-person directly.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, I came close to doing just that last week, but I chickened out. My boss is also an introvert, like most of my team, and I know she would sympathize with me. But I’m also afraid I’d lose credibility with her for complaining about something that everyone else just puts up with.

        • Eenie

          If it’s outside of normal work hours there’s a way to bring it up like: “I wanted to ask you about the recent increase in after work work-related events…”

          • Cellistec

            They’re all during work hours. So, at least that’s good, relatively.

          • Eenie

            Copper lining?

          • Cellistec

            Tin, at least.

    • Eenie

      I’m so sorry. I lucked into coworkers that are friendly, eat lunch together, but are not too overly friendly. I get to do my work, can ask questions, but I realize how rare this balance is.

    • K.

      Do you have to know any colleagues who feel the same way? AAM often recommends the “power in numbers” strategy. If you’re the only one, it can make it seem like you’re an outlier to the culture (which I think is totally unfair, by the way). But if there’s a group, then it’s sometimes easier to bring change ideas forward. Also depends on if your manager and/or higher-ups are reasonable and flexible, or kind of ass-y.

      • K.

        *happen to know

      • Cellistec

        I’ve tried to feel it out in our small-group meetings but haven’t gotten much traction. Though some colleagues have come up with ingenious excuses for being out of the office on morale-building days, so I suspect they feel the same way and just take things into their own hands rather than trying to change the office culture.

    • Owl

      That sounds awful. You have my sympathy.

      Some ideas:
      -I think the 5 love languages has a workplace version. taking the quiz at your next team-building event might be a helpful jumping point for conversations like “some people don’t feel valued with quality time with employees, they might prefer words of encouragement,” … etc. (my team actually took it at a work retreat at the suggestion of a co-worker, and it seemed somewhat helpful for my boss at the time).
      – this doesn’t necessarily solve your problem, but I schedule after work fitness classes at the beginning of each week. I get charged a small fee for the classes I sign up for and miss. I love it! It has created helpful boundaries for me- a solid reason to turn down those last minute happy hours (not that you need a reason all). Maybe a similar vague “standing appointment” on your calendar will help your coworkers understand your absence at events.

      Good luck!

      • Cellistec

        I like the idea of the love languages for work, or similar assessments of communication styles. We’ve actually done a TON of communication style workshops, but the central concept of public-attention-as-reward hasn’t been challenged. Boundaries…now there’s an idea I can run with. ;)

    • JLily

      Maybe make some suggestions for an event or activity that you would prefer to the ones they’ve been doing? Like instead of recognizing people at a meeting you could suggest an interactive poster board where people can leave anonymous kudos for their colleagues. Or suggest a class or a speaker for hire to present to the group? You could even throw in a “this might be more enjoyable for the introverts among us”. That way you aren’t just presenting them with negative feedback, but with a solution.

    • Jennifer

      I don’t know where the line is either, really but just the thought of it gives me anxiety. Do you have someone like a mentor at work (or just in general) you can talk through with and see if there’s a productive way to either bring it up or … umm, opt out of some of it? IDK. (Also, pardon my run on sentence).

    • Nicole

      I found the book “The Introvert Advantage” to be REALLY helpful in how to deal with some of these issues. I can’t remember if it has this one specifically, but it definitely has workplace scenarios and suggestions. It really improved my relationship with a lot of extraverted friends and helped me deal with a fairly extravert-heavy workplace as an introvert.

      • Cellistec

        Thanks for the recommendation! The library has that book so I just put a hold on it.

  • Wedding is 2 months away. It’s starting to feel real. The balance between me and my fiancé for planning duties has fallen more heavily on me because I’m into it and am the organized one. But just last night—after he did a very productive walkthrough of our space while I was at church—he said, “Planning 8 months ahead may not be my forte like it is yours, but now that we’re in the home stretch, I get really in the zone.” Just as I’m stressing out, he’s rocking it with managing the last minute stuff. Feels good to be a great team.

    • Anna

      Yay! We’re also about two months out (…shit, it feels like yesterday I was saying it was three months) and until about the three month mark I felt like we were dividing things pretty equally… but that also meant that not enough was getting done haha. Suddenly at three months I realized how much more we had to do, freaked out and spent a week on non-stop wedding stuff, and we sort of got everything done that needed to be done, but fiance’s contribution at that point was mostly calming me down (a deeply necessary job and one he did well, but maybe not the only job I’d have chosen him to take on).

    • sofar

      Good luck! The rest will feel like a rush and also, sometimes, like time is standing still.

      My husband is also a “there for the home stretch” kind of person. Right around the time we got married, friends of ours had their venue flood and had to re-plan everything in a week. My dear fiance turned to me and said, “See!! We didn’t have to plan our wedding a year in advance. They planned it in a week!” He’s lucky I let him live.

      Seriously, though, things will run smoothly because YOU set up the frame-work months and months in advance. Glad he’s in the zone, though. The last couple months can be insane with all the tiny details and being a strong team is what helps you through it.

    • Yay for teamwork! We’ve been slowly renovating our house (3 years and counting) and it’s so nice because H is super gung-ho about the big, messy, work, and I’m more into the details. So he gets us started, and when he gets sick of it, I’m ready to tag team in and keep us going.

  • penguin

    I forgot to add – we signed our venue contract and put down a deposit this week, so we’re getting married Sunday October 15th come hell or high water!

    • sofar

      Hooray! Having a venue was a HUGE load off. Once you have the “where” and “when,” all the other “what’s” and “whiches” are easier to determine.

      • penguin

        I’m so excited! Partly just because now we don’t have to look at venues anymore or check if the date works for anyone else. This is when and where it will be, come or don’t suckers!

    • Katherine

      Finding the venue is such a relief. Congratulations!

    • suchbrightlights

      Yay! May it all be easy from here.

  • Kaitlyn

    We’re officially at the one year mark today! I have no idea where the last 7 months went so I’m hoping the next year will fly by as I’m so so excited :) We’re going out for a fancy dinner tonight to pre-celebrate. I made a checklist the other day of everything I still need to do and while it’s a lot, it’s also just a lot of little things so I think we’re in a pretty good spot.

  • Anon this week

    Ugh, in-laws are in town- 3.5 days down, 5.5 to go. Besides the normal stress of having house guests, this is a particularly challenging week:
    – My husband and I newly work from home, so there’s no escaping to work to A) get stuff done B) get a break from them. Plus, work is usually pretty low key, but this week has been unusually crazy with tons of meetings because we are trying to purchase a commercial property
    – My in-laws are religious conservatives, Trump supporters (although they would have preferred Ted Cruz) – particularly his father. We try to keep political talk to a minimum to keep the peace, but I am constantly on edge about deciding when to respond to an off-hand comment vs. letting it go.
    I can feel myself putting up my defenses, ready to read into anything they say, and generally wanting to contradict everything his father says (aloud or to myself) – some of this is real and fair disagreement, but some of it I can feel is just me being/feeling contrarian because I don’t really like him and definitely don’t share his world view.

    Last night we watched Hidden Figures, which I have been wanting to see after reading the book, but knew I would enjoy more not watching with them. Afterwards, his dad and I got into a somewhat heated discussion about women’s equality and opportunities in the workforce – how far we’ve come (so far! according to him) vs. how far we still need to go (so far! according to me). I don’t feel like a good debater and afterwards just kept thinking of all the stuff I should have said that didn’t come to me in the moment. But I guess after we went to bed, he stayed up and did some research about women in tech (I am in tech field, and obviously the movie was about that particularly) and today he apologized to some degree and said he couldn’t believe how low the numbers of women were in computer/mechanical/electrical engineering, especially long term careers. So he basically said he couldn’t believe we still were that uneven, so ‘maybe there still is work to be done’. Obviously that is a good small step for him to see some of the challenges in the STEM world, but he’s still pretty adamant that there are no bias against women in other fields (including politics??!!!).
    I appreciate him reading up and apologizing, but I guess I still feel shitty because I know that he wouldn’t believe me and my experience, my knowledge of the situation. I know that he’ll go back home to where he has cable and back to watching Fox News and so what’s the point?

    Sorry for the long vent, feels nice to get it off my chest. For what it’s worth, my husband is supportive of me, but really prefers to just be non confrontational because he really feels they will never change their minds (particularly because of his knowledge of how their church/community affects their life) and he just wants to get through the visit. I just can’t let someone say in my own house that their main takeaway from the movie was ‘wow, isn’t it amazing how much is changed and we don’t have those problems now?’ UGH 5.5 more days.

    • Lisa

      I completely feel you. My FIL is about as progressive as 70-something-year-old white men get, and when we stayed with them over Christmas a couple of years ago, I got into several arguments with him about women’s equality and BLM. He likes to argue with people for the fun of it so I can’t always tell how much he’s saying to goad me on or whether he actually believes the things he’s saying. Husband would rather I didn’t play into his hand, but by the end of a week-long visit, it’s harder to let things go.

      So no advice from me, but I have lots of empathy for your situation.

      • Anna

        Yeah, this was always my great-uncle (on my dad’s side) and my mom; for complicated reasons, there were several years in a row when I was in middle school and high school that we were celebrating Christmas at my great-uncle and great-aunt’s house, and he would always bait my mother into political arguments >.< When I first mentioned him to fiance shortly after we started dating, I described him as "a mathematician, a wine connoisseur, a Republican, and kind of an asshole." Fiance thought that was hilarious, but after meeting my great-uncle even very briefly in passing he was like "yeah, that's a fitting description."

      • penguin

        My FIL likes to argue too, and it’s so exhausting. Our strategy so far has been Just Don’t Engage, but his topics haven’t been as high stakes as women’s equality or BLM.

        • Lisa

          My husband’s family is also on the Just Don’t Engage train, but I have a difficult time hearing things like racism doesn’t exist anymore because FIL hasn’t personally seen it and staying silent.

          • Anon this week

            Exactly… one thing my FIL said last night as proof that things are really good and improved for women now is his “50 years of experience in America”. Um, 50 years of experience as a MAN does not really provide much proof that things are good for women in tech. Nevermind that he’s not even in a tech field.

          • Jess

            It was really interesting hearing from my mom on that front, as a woman in a tech field in the 70’s. On the one hand, she saw Hidden Figures and was like, “This really was how things were, though. Things are a lot better now.” and on the other she recognizes that there is still a lot of fighting left to do.

          • Anon this week

            Yeah, my mom got her PhD in chemistry in the 70s and got a job in industry. She had to fight to get a professor fired from her women’s college because he didn’t really believe women should do science. And she faced way more outward bias than I ever have in the workplace. Of course as a white woman and some years later, it was nothing compared to what the Hidden Figures women faced.
            Honestly, I am flabbergasted when I remember that Hidden Figures was set during our parents’ lifetime. It is amazing how far we’ve come since then, and so many women worked so hard to get us here.
            I think in some ways now the fight is more challenging because the problem is so less obvious. It’s easy for people to feel that things are equal now because there’s no laws or rules stopping women from being engineers, but the data show we aren’t equal yet. As my FIL said last night, isn’t it illegal to pay women less? Well, sure, but that doesn’t mean women are actually paid equally – the data show we aren’t. But it’s a complicated problem, the data are complicated, and I think the solution will be complicated as well.
            Changing laws is challenging, but changing culture and society feels so much harder.

          • Jess

            “changing culture and society feels so much harder.” This is so true.

          • Lisa

            I think you are so right about the fights being harder for outsiders to recognize now. Looking at my FIL example of how racism doesn’t exist because he can’t see it…well, he lived through the Civil Rights Movement. Everything was much more obvious and in your face. Yes, minorities are incarcerated at higher rates, but to him, that’s not evidence of racism necessarily because it’s less visible. Such a great point you have.

          • penguin

            Definitely agree with your point of view there. It’s easier with my FIL because he’ll get worked up and ready to argue about stuff like… his cable provider, or the guy who fixed their roof, or whatever.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I can definitely understand why that doesn’t feel like a grand victory for you, but I was so not expecting the story to turn out the way it did! I feel like a lot of men are perfectly content to “win” a debate and leave it at that, and wouldn’t even go doing the research afterwards, much less admit to you that they were wrong. Good luck with the rest of the visit, I hope there are some happier moments to bolster you.

      • Anon this week

        That’s very true. It’s hard for anyone to admit they are wrong, myself very much included.
        And I think we can keep this weekend more light-hearted and fun… which will be good for my husband’s mental health as well as mine :)

    • rg223

      So I also have in-laws who are challenging in this and other ways, and I stand up to them on certain subjects. And you’re right, you’re probably not going to change their views. But it helps me to look at it as: I’m not doing it to change them, I am doing it to speak the truth of the situation and not letting them say something that’s just categorically false. Like, I’m doing it for my own sake, and my husband’s, to honor the truth. Offering that up in case that does something for you – and either way, solidarity!

      • Anon this week

        Yeah, that’s a good way to think of it. For some reason, when we are in our house as opposed to theirs, I feel more strongly that I have to at least share that I do not agree. But I think you’re right, that thinking of it as just sharing it for my own sake, rather than to change his mind, feels much less pointless.

    • Eenie

      The point is: you debated with him, he heard you enough to either want to definitely prove you wrong with facts or check his own understanding of the situation, and he came back to the table and ceded ground. Take that as a win!

      • Anon this week

        True! Thanks for helping me see the pretty positive outcome that it was.
        I guess he just riles me up haha! And once I get riled, I find it hard to switch back to the more superficial topics of conversation. But with a win under my belt, I will do my best so that we can have a fun weekend :)

    • sofar

      With conservative parents AND in-laws, I feel you. I know what it’s like to be on edge in your own space just because they’re around.

      Also, OMG you deserve some kind of prize (sainthood?) for watching Hidden Figures with them. I literally cannot imagine what my parents would have to say about that movie.

    • penguin

      In addition to what other people have said below – is it possible to have them not stay in your house? A week+ long visit is super long (at least to me), and to have them all up in your space for that long sounds exhausting.

      Also on your husband’s point of view – people like that may not change their minds, but they DEFINITELY won’t change their minds if no one ever challenges their way of thinking. Obviously it’s up to you guys how much of that you want to take on, but I think it helps to hear opposing viewpoints from people close to them (like their son) instead of just hearing about it as some distant thing that doesn’t really affect them. Best of luck!

      • Anon this week

        Yeah, 9 days was more than we bargained for – it was supposed to be a week including two travel days, but his mom booked it as arriving early a.m. on Tues and departing late night the following Wed. Ostensibly for ticket prices (which is somewhat true) but I’m pretty sure she was super excited to sneak in the extra 2 days.
        Honestly, I don’t think they know how challenging we find spending time with them, and I’m not sure we are ready to tell them. My husband is slowly coming to terms with the fact that he isn’t actually close with his parents in the way they think they are and they want to be. But he isn’t sure if he wants to expose that fact, or how to do so, or whether it’s easier to just play along for a couple visits a year. The truth would most definitely hurt their feelings and potentially hurt the relationship further. It’s weird to grow up and find yourself growing away from your parents and their lifestyle, especially since his parents really emphasize family and their church (which my husband left years ago before I met him).
        This is definitely something we need to explore and figure out what boundaries and expectations to set before we have kids in the next 1-2 years….

  • AGCourtney

    AUGHHHHH.

    I have had the worst luck of late. We’ve started joking that we have gremlins or something*. My phone is missing. Has been since Monday evening. It’s not a smartphone, so it’s not as catastrophic as it could be (I know some peoples’ lives are on those things), but it’s still really stressful and awful. The worst thing is that I was 99% certain it had to be in the house. It’s always on vibrate, but we couldn’t hear it. And now it’s dead, of course. I had it on Monday evening while I was starting to cook dinner – I started to text my husband whether tacos sounded good, but then I said eff it, I don’t care, we’re having tacos and backed out of the message. …I don’t remember seeing it since. I don’t understand how it could vanish like that. I had choir that night, but I’m quite certain I didn’t bring it, and even so, I checked where I parked and in that building. I’m petrified that people have been calling or texting and I wouldn’t know. Family members can call my husband, of course, but I have no clue if worker’s comp or tutoring clients are trying to get ahold of me. So now I’ve got to weigh options and figure out if I want to transfer the number, cutting my losses and making sure I can still be contacted soon, or hold out a little longer in the hopes it’ll turn up. The accident with my hand had already trigger a depressive episode, but I was coming out of it. All this stress sent me right back into a bad state and it sucks.

    In good news: my follow-up at the burn clinic in Minneapolis went very well. They said I don’t need to come in anymore and can go back without restrictions – but they gave me a few more weeks off of the printing press job to ensure the tissue underneath has a chance to heal. And afterward, I stopped by my nearby undergraduate college and got to catch up with my advisor, which was lovely.

    I was cast in our local production of Pirates of Penzance as a daughter, so that will be fun. Hopefully things will have calmed down by then.

    In other work news, the college library I work at asked if I’d be willing to work more hours next year – a staff member is retiring and they might redistribute some duties in the interim. I accepted, of course. And the CPA firm has been busy as can be. One of partners stopped today to thank me for everything I’m doing, particularly the things I’ve stepped up to do without being trained on, which was nice. I’m invited out to a steak dinner with them on Tuesday night, so I’m looking forward to that.

    AUGHHHH where is my phone. (*other things that have gone missing in the last couple weeks, some of which have been found: planner, tablet that I was using as backup for my missing phone, Ticket to Ride, etc.)

    • Anna

      Ack, lost phone sucks (smartphone or not, I 100% get the anxiety of not knowing whether people are trying to get in touch with you). Sounds like you’ve got a lot of good stuff going on too, though! Congrats on your part in Pirates of Penzance :D

    • Lisa

      I’m liking your casting, not all the lost things! Congratulations on the role! May you find yourself a very handsome pirate husband. ;)

    • emmers

      Dammit, I hope you find your phone!I agree- I’m sure there’s some mysterious place where all the lost things go to congregate. I have more than a few earring backs there :). Congratulations on your part! And I’m glad your hand is continuing to heal- that’s wonderful.

      • penguin

        I have hair bands and barrettes galore there!

      • Anna

        Fiance recently found a theory, which he now thoroughly agrees with, that lost socks reappear as extra tupperware lids. Must be a service they provide in the mysterious land of lost things xD

        (Also, the dorm where my mom lived in college was like three blocks farther from the center of campus than all the other dorms and so had a reputation for being sooooo faaaaar awaaaaay, and so they made t-shirts that said “REASONS TO LIVE IN [dorm name]:” and included, among other things, “We have all your lost socks.”)

    • Cellistec

      Have you tried running to the roof of a tall building and screaming TECH SUPPORT? Maybe you’re stuck in a glitchy VR program, a la Vanilla Sky. No seriously though, you’re due a break. Take note, universe.

    • Les

      Congratulations on getting cast! I bet it will be SO much fun.

    • Amy March

      Get a new phone now! You’ve looked, it isn’t to be found, and you need one.

    • Maybe you could transfer your phone number to freephoneline.ca if you don’t find your phone? It costs $25 (once) and then you could then forward it to another number (your landline, your husband’s phone, Google Voice, etc.)? I use that service to forward my old cell number to my Google voice number…
      ETA: Hmm, this might just be Canadian, but I am sure there must be other services that could do this!

  • Kate

    My nephew is getting baptized this weekend. I live five hours away and am getting grief for not being able to attend. We RSVP’d to Boyfran’s parents’ Easter lunch before even knowing he was getting baptized.

    I just need to vent. Brother got married late 2015. They were engaged for 18 months. Two engagement parties, bridal shower, couples shower, bachelorette weekend (yes, weekend), wedding weekend, pregnant a month after the wedding, gender reveal party, baby showers, baby birth.

    I’ve dropped everything and driven five hours (sometimes more) for each of these events. I’ve shelled out thousands of dollars for gas, hotels, missed work, and presents.

    And now I get grief for not watching a priest sprinkle it with water…

    • Jessica

      Is this the first kid? We got a lot of grief for missing anything to do with my eldest niece, but exactly 0 grief about missing anything for the next two.

    • Eh

      Some people have a hard time sharing; especially if they have been used to you going to events in the past. We get grief every time we miss a family event for my husband’s family because my husband didn’t really have a girl friend before me so he didn’t have competing interests. We live an hour from them. We live 8 hours from my family. The only reason we miss family events on my husband’s side is if 1. They didn’t give us enough notice or 2. Something more important is happening with my family (E.g., my sister visiting from the west coast).

    • K.

      Honestly, from my perspective, you’ve really gone above and beyond. I don’t expect my husband’s sister to attend my *one* baby shower, let alone *every* event (or pseudo-event) having to do with baby.

      Is it your brother giving you crap or your parents? Because I will say that in my preggo experience, grandparents get C R A Z Y and it’s probably good to think of it as not all that personal. not that it makes it easier for you! And your bro should still shut it down.

      But if it’s actually your brother and/or SIL, then yeah, that really sucks and they should be much better sports about this, especially considering all the effort you’ve already put in and love you’ve shown.

  • Mary Jo TC

    OK, maybe y’all can help me decide what to do tomorrow: go to the Tax Rally downtown (it’s a Rally instead of a March because it’s in one spot, marching required expensive permits) or to an Easter Egg Hunt with my 3 year old. If I don’t go to the Easter Egg Hunt, my husband will take the kid without me, so either way he won’t miss out. If I go to the Tax Rally, it would be me and the baby (well, he’s one now, and starting to walk) and the hassle of downtown parking. I’m torn. Decide for me?

    (Also next week I will be missing the March for Science and Happy Hour for a family weekend in a cabin with my parents, siblings, niece and nephews, if that factors in.)

    • CMT

      Honestly, the Easter egg hunt sounds so much more fun, but I’m kind of burned out on political things this week. (Except I’m starting to feel like that every week . . . )

    • Eenie

      I vote rally, and if the baby ends up being a hassle, head home early. It sounds like two great options to choose from :)

    • a few

      a one year old walking at an egg hunt sounds way better… with your husband and 3 year old… family time! is this even a real decision?

    • rg223

      I vote egg hunt, though TBH, for me the tax thing has taken a back seat to all the other insanity going on, so I would be de-prioritizing that anyway to focus energy on another battle.

    • Amy March

      Rally. You’ve been wanting five more politically involved and it will be nice for husband to be in charge of an activity on his own. Besides egg hunts seem designed to end it tears for little ines and you could skip that entirely.

  • jules

    Anybody have any tips /suggestions for things to do in Portland? Going next weekend for a quick little romantic getaway with the man and would love some ideas!

    • Laura C

      Maine or Oregon?

      • jules

        Oregon! So far we’re thinking lots of beer and food trucks – but not much else

        • Cellistec

          Powells! And the Saturday market is fun if you’re there on a weekend.

          • jules

            Powells looks awesome! And yes we’ll be there on the weekend – theres two Saturday markets right? The craft one and the farmers one? We mostly just have Saturday to spend in the city, will be driving both Friday and Sunday. Sunday though will be a lazy road trip day stopping at a bunch of the waterfalls in the Columbia gorge :)

          • StevenPortland

            The craft market is touristy and isn’t my cup of tea — even though I’m a huge crafter. Personally, I’d use your limited time doing something else, such as spending more time with food, the hike, or a brewery. I’ll try to post some hike ideas tonight. Do you have any other quirky things you like to do? For example, Quarterworld is a newish arcade with old school games — and they offer a strange Tesla coil short music performance throughout the day. Or if you like cheese, Providore Fine Foods on Sandy Blvd is a group of food providers and would give you a chance to buy some cheese, pastries, wine, olives, etc. and then sit at one of their tables to eat. I will tell you my number one place (since I love cheese) is — “Cheese and Crack” on NE 28th, just south of Burnside. Go when you are hungry and each order one of their cheese plates, with some wine or beer. The place isn’t fancy but cheese with homemade crackers and savory cookies, with pickles and jam, is probably my favorite meal of all time.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c669a15bf593c57294534ee57d90d7ceb5b754e2f9d46199552c60fbda732ba6.jpg

          • jules

            So many more ideas now for what to do! Sounds like Saturday will be spent eating all the things (no complaints here!) and Sunday will be spent hiking and driving home. The article linked earlier is great with all the falls – will spend sometime going over options this afternoon!

          • Les

            Also checkout ‘Distillery Row’ if beer isn’t your jam!

          • Cellistec

            YES PLEASE

          • Anna

            Seconding Powells. I’ve only been to Portland once, for a family friend’s wedding when I was in middle school, but oh my god Powells made such an impression on me and I still have and love a bunch of sort of weird quirky books that I found there. It’s an awesome place to just wander around for an hour or two.

        • CP2011

          That should keep you pretty busy!

    • StevenPortland

      If you have a car and the weather isn’t horrible, you might consider driving out to see a few of the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge. It is about 40 minutes east of Portland. Multnomah Falls is very touristy. I suggest Bridal Veil or Wahclella Falls instead. Here is one of many articles about the falls: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2016/03/take_an_oregon_waterfall_road.html I’m not a beer drinker, but there are tons of sites devoted to all the beer available here. If you want to try something that is somewhat different, Cascade Brewing on Belmont (and a few other places) specialize in Sour beer. For food carts, there are so many different experiences. One of the oldest food pods is at SE Hawthorne and 12th Ave. I really like the wood fire pizza cart there. Plus you can then get a crepe for dessert. The Japanese Garden just opened a new expansion a few weeks ago. That’s a good place if the weather cooperates. I also like the Lan Su Chinese Garden. However, be aware it is in the middle of a part of town where there are lots of homeless shelters. It is also not far from the famous Powell’s bookstore. Please, please, please skip Voodoo Donuts and Bluestar Donuts. There is so much better food to try in the city. Check out the “Eater PDX” web site to find out good restaurants. Oh, one more thing. If you have some waiting time at the airport on your way back home, check out the new theater at the airport. It is new and I haven’t been. It was created by our Hollywood Theater and shows free short films for waiting travellers.

      • StevenPortland

        Hikes outside of Portland are great. Our rain forests here consist of trees covered in moss. You will feel like you are in one of the Twilight movies.

        • jules

          Weather permitting a hike would fantastic for the Sunday – any recommendations for hikes east of Portland? Something in the 2-3 hour range – we’re big hikers so no worries about difficulty

          • Poppy

            Eagle Creek is beautiful with lots of waterfall views, plus it’s an out-and-back so you can control the length. I’m always a fan of the Wahkeena-Multnomah Falls loop as well. There are tons of them – you cannot go wrong.

      • jules

        We’ll be driving down from BC, and the falls are definitely on the list for Sunday on the way back home! Any other recommendations along the Gorge? We’re essentially doing a big triangle – drive from the interior of BC go to Vancouver for an appointment, then driving down the coast (or maybe the highway if we don’t have time), spend a day in Portland, and then follow the Columbia back north. Good to know to skip Voodoo donuts, I was on the fence about including it since we have such limited time.

        • Cellistec

          Yes, definitely skip Voodoo and get your dessert fix at Salt & Straw instead. (Unless you’re not into delicious artisan ice cream.)

          • jules

            Just googled Salt & Straw – looks fantastic (and now I want ice cream)

          • Hayley

            I’ve only been to the Salt & Straw in LA but seriously, best. ice. cream. i’ve. ever. had.

        • Eve

          Either Salt and Straw or 50 Licks. 50 Licks has alcoholic ice cream that they card you for, and if it matters to anyone, their waffle cones just come gluten free as the standard. And if you go really close to closing, they’ll even offer to send you home with the extra cones since they don’t use them second day.

          • Cellistec

            Holy crap, how did I not know about 50 Licks?!

      • Poppy

        Portland native now living elsewhere but back frequently to visit and I cosign ALL OF THIS excellent advice. Especially a day in the Gorge and skipping Voodoo and Bluestar. Even if it’s raining, a walk in Forest Park can be a phenomenal afternoon and is accessible via public transit from a variety of directions.

  • cls3

    I’m a long time lurker, but my wedding is in about 2 months and I’m stressing about the music. We decided to self-DJ, but have gotten some push-back (mostly from my mother). She has got me thinking that no one will dance if there is no DJ or live band. The most recent post on AP about not having a DJ is a couple years old and had some angry DJ comments. Anyone DJ themselves? Did people dance? Any tips?

    • Eenie

      We used spotify! We forgot to put it on shuffle, so five Katy Perry songs played in a row, lol. I danced, and lots of other people danced too. It’s totally doable. Just make sure you have the music on several devices, chargers, aux cords, test the sound system, etc. I wasn’t going to be heartbroken if no one danced, so it seemed like the right call to just self DJ.

      Have an emcee – someone who guides the toasts/any other “events” that are happening. We had our friend who does radio do it for us. He was fantastic, he even took over the mic when a minor medical emergency happened and calmed the crowd. He gave the last toast, and then we didn’t have any other events after that.

      We only put one slow song on our list, so make sure you have more than that. A lot of people decided to wait until the “next” slow song. Joke was on them, cause it never came!

      Lots of people don’t hire a DJ. It’ll be fine. Some people hire a DJ and end up hating it too.

      • Abby

        We hired a DJ but in retrospect I really wish we had just self-DJed. While it was nice to have someone manning the playlist and feeling the crowd, I had spent a lot of time thinking about what songs I wanted and the flow of what I wanted to be played when, and while the DJ played the songs we’d asked for, he put many of them on at times that felt super weird to me. I’m sure I’m the only one who noticed–everyone else said he was great–but I just felt like the music would have been just as fun and more what I wanted if I had just saved the money and used my playlist.

        Though, if you do self-DJ and care about dancing, know your crowd and have friends/family give input– I’ve been to self-DJed weddings where no one danced because the vibe of the playlist didn’t flow with the vibe of the crowd, which is too bad.

    • emmers

      We self djed! People danced! Like a lot! We used an APW playlist as inspiration, and that helped a lot. I think they may have taken it down, but it was these songs: https://8tracks.com/apracticalwedding/emergency-dance-party. So, a lot of songs that everyone would know. We seriously took that playlist, used most of them and added some of our own, and then that was it. We did this maybe 2 days before the wedding!

      My main tip is to have good sound (like real speakers), be able to lower the lights if possible, and have someone non-you in charge of making sure the setup works, and pressing play/monitoring the music. And to have a charger or backup phones if you’re using a phone (we used a phone for ours & a free trial of spotify premium). There’s also a way to make one song fade into the other on spotify that’s a good idea– we didn’t do that because of some technical difficulties, but it’s a good idea.

      ETA– I think it was this playlist: https://apracticalwedding.com/emergency-dance-party-wedding-songs/. A lot of the songs I didn’t know by reading the list, but when I played the first few seconds of them when compiling the playlist, I recognized & loved almost all of them.

    • Kelly

      Oh my goodness this is me 100%! Right down to the 2 month mark, decision to self-DJ, and push-back from my mother. We finally decided to own it, and self-DJ with a Spotify playlist, which we just started making.

    • Angela

      We self djd via my laptop and itunes. Ppl danced! Crossfade, cropping long songs, dim lighting and decent speakers all helped. We put a friend in charge of the laptop and had 2 reception playlists – cocktail hour/dinner and dancing starting with our first dance and another of our friends MCd. If we had the budget we would have hired this awesome funk band but we didn’t and I don’t regret not hiring a dj.

    • Gaby

      I did not self DJ but I wish I had. Our DJ was fine but it would’ve been fun to create a playlist together and have it to listen to later! And I feel like a laptop plus our Spotify account would’ve been just as good at song requests as the DJ was haha

    • Her Lindsayship

      I’ve been to weddings that have gone astray music-wise both with and without a DJ. My sister didn’t have a DJ but wished she had rented some pro equipment because there was a bit of scramble getting things to work the way they were supposed to, and she was the one scrambling with it. But I should also say that when the music was on, people were definitely dancing the night away and having a great time.

      Another friend of mine had her cousin DJ her wedding, and he did a miserable job (despite the fact he’s a professional DJ). Played older music that no one knew, did a really crappy job of transitioning between songs, threw in one or two contemporary pop or hip-hop songs and literally played those each two or three times. It was the worst I’ve ever seen, but again, people were there to have fun and that’s what they did.

      So my takeaway from those experiences is that if you have access to equipment, and you can test it in advance, you don’t need a DJ. The main thing you need is a good playlist and someone who is not you to be in charge of any problems that arise (be they equipment issues or guests trying to gain control of the playlist). If you play music, people will dance. I think a good DJ would be there to read the room and pick the next song based on what people are into, but based on my experience, not having one (or even having a totally awful one) didn’t mean nobody danced.

    • emilyg25

      Yes I DJed myself and hell yes, people danced! Include a lot of popular music that people know. We had a bunch of 80s music, so everyone knew the songs. And if you dance, other people will dance.

      ETA: And yes to good sound/real speakers and low lights. We borrowed a friend’s DJ equipment, so we had professional sound and fun lights.

      • MC

        YES to “if you dance, other people will dance.” Our wedding was DJed with an iPod and my husband and I committed to hardly leaving the dance floor, and we had an almost 3-hour dance party! People want to be where the newlyweds are, for the most part. The weddings I’ve been to where no one danced were the ones where the newlyweds weren’t dancing.

    • SarahRose472

      Oh yes, people definitely danced.

      We didn’t exactly self-DJ in the sense of me or my partner doing it, but as good as: about 2 hours before the ceremony (4 hours before the reception), I grabbed two friends and asked them if they could spend an hour making Spotify playlists for the dinner and the party. Which I think to some people could sound like a recipe for disaster, but actually things can still turn out great even if they are not meticulously planned ages or coordinated by an expert. My friends whipped together playlists, we added to them throughout the party when we felt like it (nothing like Dancing Queen to get people going in a lull), and we had a great time.

      Unfortunately for DJs (and this might have been where some of the sensitivity was coming from on that article) I think they are one of the vendors where their “skill” is much less visible to partygoers (than say, caterers, photographers, florists, etc) because a lot of people will still just think “Well, they play music.” So for most people I think it makes very little difference in their perception of the party.

    • CP2011

      I did the music myself and was very happy with it, and it was a great dance party. I did it with iTunes and used the settings to trim each song to about 3.5 min with fade in and fade out, because when you’re dancing it’s better to mix up the songs more often. I cared a lot about the flow from song to song and building up the mood so i didn’t use shuffle. My biggest piece of advice is to either time the entire thing in advance and/or put in lots of “cushioning” because i somehow counted up the minutes wrong and almost ran out of music about 30 min early (fortunately a friend had an iPod with about a billion songs and took over). But I’d say that most people prefer a mix playlist to a live band for dancing as long as you put in something for everyone.

    • We wanted to self DJ (our experience working at a venue put us right off the local DJ company all the venues recommend) but our venue won’t let us because they’ve had issues with noise levels and licensing when people have self-DJed. Pros with proper equipment are less likely to piss off the neighbours and shut the party down on time so they can go home. We’re trying to figure out the politest way to ask a DJ to be a human spotify – we want to provide a full playlist and we really don’t want to hear the DJ’s voice at any point during the evening beyond “Time to go home, folks”.

      • Lisa

        Do you have any friends who could be the “DJ” for you? We were planning to self-DJ until one of our friends who is a hobbyist offered to take over for us. He created several playlists and just went in and shuffled things around occasionally throughout the night. The venue did have the hook-ups he needed though so he didn’t have to bring any equipment with him.

        • We asked the vemue, but the DJ can’t be a friend or guest, can’t be another employee (we thought maybe the bar staff could manage an ipod for the evening), needs their own liability insurance and needs to be pre-approved by the venue. I got the impression that the extensive list of clairifications is due to past experience, and they’re worried about losing their license as a venue if they give their neighbours any more excuses to complain (because obviously when you buy a flat next to a wedding venue you could in no way anticipate it might host weddings, and those weddings might last until after dark, and might include music and dancing and people shouting congratulations and the such like).

          • Lisa

            That is so frustrating! I would contacting local college students or putting up an ad on Craigslist/Thumbtack, but the liability insurance would be tough to get around. Most aspiring college DJs probably won’t have something like that in place already.

          • Yeah, we’re pretty resigned at this point to getting a professional (our caterers have some contacts, which at least means we get to avoid the dreaded local company) but it’s hard to manage our own expectations when this was an area we were excited about being in control of, and we’ve just got to hand that control over. But it was the only negative strike against the venue (well, the only realistic one – we’d have loved to have fireworks but that was a no from everywhere!) and we can focus our energy on other parts of the wedding instead.

  • Gaby

    I definitely relate to feeling like I’m not doing enough. Actually, I KNOW, I could be doing a lot more. However, I’m still working on an ongoing battle to find balance in my work life and getting to a place where I don’t have to bring any work home with me. So I’m as forgiving with myself as I can be, and I tend to find little donations to make every time I yearn to buy something I don’t really need. It feels just as satisfying and helps me determine what things I really do want if I’m still pining for them two months later.
    Happy weekend y’all! I’m trying to stay productive at work but also very much looking forward to starting the weekend and spending time with some visiting friends. We’re going to a Drag Brunch on Sunday with drag queens performing and bottomless mimosas. I’m TOO EXCITED.

  • Katharine Parker

    My wedding feels so close! Invites are going to the printer on Monday! (I feel like invitations are the number one thing I post about here… but honestly I love my invitations so much I wish I could get one in the mail.) I had a great meeting with the florist at my venue. She told me she’s using my wedding as inspiration for a wedding show in a few weeks! I am really excited to see a realized version of some of the ideas we’ve been working on.

    This afternoon my fiance and I are updating our passports. Honeymoon, we will be ready for you. I also got approved for global entry this week, and I cannot wait to use that next time I fly and on the honeymoon. Wedding planning has made me so ready for a vacation.

    • CMT

      You should totally mail yourself one!

      • Anna

        Oh man, I just realized that we ordered a few more invitations than necessary, they’re arriving this afternoon from the printer, and I’m so going to mail us one. (I feel like the post office people will be way confused about the one invitation where the address matches the return address, but *shrug*). I feel like that could also give us a useful lower bound on when other people will get them!

  • emmers

    After a July miscarriage, I’m having mostly good days, but today I had a bad day about it (or maybe a bad 30 minutes?). So just .. solidarity to people going through/who have gone through similar stuff.

    Also, we have a really cute second dog (we’ve had her for a few months). She has some health problems, but she’s been a ray of light. So wiggly and cute and sweet. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb7b02fb74d0e5f9e4282d7ccb18a3d3dc7a4cdcae4bd288789cae8f7022fba8.jpg

    • Jennifer

      Aww. Such a sweetheart. I hope she gave you all the loves to try and help you feel better.

    • Ashlah

      What a sweetheart <3 I'm a sucker for grey muzzles.

      • emmers

        She’s pretty awesome.

    • Jess

      I would like to offer up internet hugs to both you and this little furball of snuggles.

    • Lisa

      Sending love!

    • Anonymouse

      Miscarriage(s) suck- and are so very common. I’m 6.5 weeks pregnant after 2 in the last year and it definitely feels different than my first with that background. Glad you have lots of dOggie snuggles!

      • emmers

        Good luck with your pregnancy! I hope things go really well.

  • Gaby

    Question for the moderate drinkers out there: how many nights per week do you have a drink and how many do you have per night? I had a physical recently and my PCP told me my 3-4 drinks in a night twice a week was pushing it and I’d just like to hear from other women outside of my bubble.

    • accidental_diva

      I will have a glass or two of wine/mixed drink about that often. Maybe one glass more often through a week or more less often – but I’d say I’d average out to about 8 servings through 7 days

    • Eenie

      I split one or two bottles of wine with two or three people most weekends and then get a glass of wine with dinner on Thursday nights. So a bottle of wine a week? Some weeks have more. Like this week I’ll probably drink a bottle of wine by myself tomorrow (not alone, just glasses over a longer time period).

      • Eenie

        I think a good way to evaluate your personal drinking is to stop doing it for a couple weeks. If the fast has a serious impact on your way of life, it may be you’re drinking too much.

        I’ve actually started to throw in non-drinking weeks every now and then because I have a friend who is kind of nosy and will ask if I’m pregnant if I don’t drink enough nights in a row. Now I’m trying to build up a pattern so if it does happen she won’t suspect it. It doesn’t affect how much I enjoy my nights with friends, so I’m ok with the amount I drink – I know I don’t need to do it.

        • Cellistec

          Yup, I have nosy relatives who think I’m pregnant if I don’t drink at social functions. So I just make sure to drink in front of them. Works like a charm. Apparently I’d rather be thought alcoholic than pregnant.

          • Eenie

            See I do the opposite. If you’re going to be nosy like that, I’m never going to drink in front of you! And you’ll be one of the last ones to know! I’ll tell all my coworkers before giving them the satisfaction. (This is all hypothetical since I’ve never actually been pregnant – thanks IUD.)

          • Violet

            I’m pleased that I’ve already done MANY a work happy hour over the years with nothing but ginger ale. My record is established!

          • Kara

            Same here! I don’t want kids. If anyone gives me side eye for not drinking, as if to insinuate I were pregnant, I’ll happily go get a glass of alcohol. It’s not petty…maybe.

        • Gaby

          This is a very good idea, especially because I want to get pregnant within the next two years.

        • Jennifer

          Yeah. This is a good idea. I am NOT nosy but a good friend of mine is a huge beer lover and when she got pregnant it was a dead giveaway. I had to work so hard not to ask nosy questions because I knew it was none of my business and she would tell me when she was ready!

          • Anna

            Yeah, I’m a big whiskey drinker (like, fancy bourbons and ryes and the occasional Japanese whiskey) and I think there’s no way for me to inconspicuously not drink around friends. I think the best I can do if asked if I’m not drinking because pregnant (which I do plan to be in the next 2-5 years) is “Don’t know yet, just being careful!”

          • Eenie

            To my friend’s credit, she always asks it via text vs asking in front of the large group. Still. You’re a really good friend for not asking at all!

          • Jennifer

            I have learned a lot here! I wouldn’t want people asking me nosy questions so I try to return the favor.

          • lamarsh

            I have an acquaintance who carried around non-alcoholic wine in her purse to drink when she was out so that no one would know she was pregnant for like the first four months of her pregnancy. Then, when she told everyone that she was pregnant, she also had to tell them that she had been drinking fake wine the whole time. She knew that if she stopped drinking, everyone would know.

          • Eenie

            How did she pull this off? I need details. We order by the glass at restaurants, unless we’re at a fancy one (we will split a bottle there), and then we split bottles of wine if we are hanging out at home.

          • penguin

            I’m imagining some really clever sleight of hand in her purse but I can’t imagine how that would work (although I’m curious!). Maybe she got the waiter in on it?

          • Eenie

            That’s what I’m thinking. We are regulars at most places so I’m sure I could convince them to be in on it, but at that point if I’m telling someone I’d rather tell me friend than a waiter?

          • penguin

            Good point, plus then there is the possibility of the waiter messing up, and then the pregnant person is accidentally drinking alcohol that they didn’t want to drink.

          • lamarsh

            I think she got the waiter in on it for dinner, but she also would do things like order a drink at a bar, dump it out, and refill it from her purse. She’s fairly wealthy, so I don’t think wasting drinks on this effort bothered her, but that would stress me out.

          • Eenie

            Interesting. If I take this approach I may just switch to a mixed drink that can be made with/without alcohol.

          • lamarsh

            Yeah, it sounded like way too much work for me. My standard trick when I don’t want to be badgered for not drinking (I’m a lawyer, so this happens more often than it should) is club soda with a lime because it looks like a G&T. So I am guessing that would work well for pregnancy situations, too.

          • accidental_diva

            My friend did this – and I do it too when I’m not feeling it/on prescriptions that I don’t want to disclose (hey antibiotics!)- almost any mixed drink can be made with out the alcohol (for my birthday a guy at a neighboring table bought us shots – I had my lemon drop made with sour mix and water rather than vodka- looked the same)

          • Ashlah

            One night at a bar, I alternated between Shirley Temples and Cranberry juice with soda water, telling people they had vodka in them. I was so stressed that someone would ask for a sip, though! And we were planning to announce just later that night. I can’t imagine keeping that up for four months!

          • Her Lindsayship

            Oh man, I’ve thought about this too – I ALWAYS have a drink when hanging out with friends, they’d totally know! Maybe I should start doing no-drinking weeks too…

        • Jane

          I did a dry January and, because I’m probably a moderate+ drinker, it was kind of a relief to see how easy it was to cut out completely.

          • Eenie

            A really good college years friend went to rehab last year and it was a reality check for me. We definitely use alcohol differently (she frequently had a beer to unwind every night) and I can understand how her usage became unhealthy. She’s been sober for almost a year now, and I’m really proud of her.

          • Jane

            Honestly, the two weeks right after the election I felt like I used alcohol in a not great way, and then my family holiday events involve pretty heavy drinking, so so I think the dry January came at just the right time for me. A good chance to reset – not slip into bad patterns.

          • Eenie

            I binged on hot chocolate after the election which wasn’t ALL that much healthier than my presidential debate watching ritual (drinking a bottle of wine and snapping reaction faces to my bestie). I have since cut that out and lost the weight I put on.

          • Jane

            Binging on hot chocolate has been a real issue for me this winter – it’s been especially cold and wet where I am.

    • Anna

      I don’t know if I count as “moderate drinker” – my drinking varies from probably-reasonable to probably-excessive depending on my mental health status over time – but the probably-reasonable end for me would look something like one glass of wine, beer, or cocktail 2-3 weeknights, plus two drinks on each of the weekend nights. (The probably-excessive end – and that’s a slightly optimistic description – has been 3-4 drinks four or five nights a week and at least one drink the other nights, but it’s been a little while since I’ve been there.)

    • K.

      Pre-pregnancy, I’d have ~2 glasses of wine, ~2-3 times a week. But I also definitely had some fun during occasional-to-frequent nights out with friends, so I’d almost always indicate “Yes” on a question that said, “Have you had more than 4 drinks in a single day in the past two weeks?” each time.

      My PCP would always just say, “Happy hours and stuff like that?” and be fine with it once I clarified that 4-5 is generally my limit (bachelorette parties notwithstanding) and it’s not an every-Saturday-night thing. As long as it wasn’t creeping up higher and higher each time, it was never an issue.

    • Cellistec

      1 or 2 drinks a night, probably 5 nights a week. (Assuming one drink is 4oz wine, 12oz beer, or some cocktail amount I don’t know because I don’t regularly drink cocktails.) Interesting poll!

    • Kalë

      I consider myself a moderate drinker, insofar that I generally don’t drink at all… but when I do drink, I drink (much…?) more than what is considered “light”. Here’s what drinking looks like for me* : 0-1 drinks during the week if eating at home (this is most often what happens), 2-4 drinks on any given night I go out to dinner, 4-???? drinks if I go out with friends on the weekend.

      * I fully recognize that it’s not the healthiest, and probably a symptom of living in the same town as many of my early-mid 20’s friends!)

      • Antonia

        This was totally me in my 20s and up through my mid-30s (I’m 38 now). You’re right — maybe not the healthiest, but it is what it is!

    • Lisa

      I’d consider myself pretty moderate usually (although this Mad Men binge my husband is on has me craving martinis something fierce), and I’d say I have 6-8 drinks per week. I don’t think your total sounds like it’s pushing it or above average at least in comparison to my own experience.

    • Eve

      I do have to wonder if she was objecting to how many per night you’re drinking rather than the total per week? Because 8/week doesn’t seem like a lot at all, but squished into two nights might be where her concern is coming from.

      • Anna

        Yeah, I believe the guidelines from one of the medical associations basically say that women should never have four or more drinks in a night. I suspect the actual health implications aren’t all that dire, but number thresholds-wise, that’s more likely what your PCP is responding to.

    • Gaby

      These responses are so helpful! This PCP was the first doctor to make me feel like she actually was listening to me, so I took everything she said to heart. I felt resentful when she said that men can have up to 10 drinks per week and women should have no more than 7. I thought, “I weigh more than my husband, how does that make any sense!?” And then I worried that my resentfulness meant that I really do have something to be concerned about.

      • rg223

        Yeah, my husband works with people with substance abuse, and for women, 3 or more drinks in a night counts as a binge drinking episode, and is a risk factor for alcohol abuse. I thought that was crazy as I regularly have one drink at dinner and then two at a bar when I go out. But my husband says as long as you don’t have any other risk factors, you don’t need to worry about it.

        • Gaby

          I had always thought of binge drinking as more than 1 drink per hour, and my drinks are definitely spread out more than that. But I think 3 drinks a night is an easy change, I want to instill as many healthy habits as I can before I hit 30. I just felt self-conscious and wanted to hear from everyone else.

          • rg223

            According the metrics my husband uses, the timeframe doesn’t matter (I had the same objection!). That designation might come from the medical/physiological side, not the addiction counseling side.

          • Anna

            Yeah, I could believe that if you’re trying to determine whether a patient is going to have adverse effects THAT NIGHT (or even like whether they need their stomach pumped), timeframe matters a lot, but if the question is around long-term effects, your body still had to process the total quantity of alcohol, whether it came in all at once or over several hours.

          • Jess

            I mentioned this above, I fully agree it really depends on how long I’m drinking for. If I go to a cookout at 3pm, I’ll have a beer or two. If we go to the bars afterwards, I’ll have another beer or two. So if you take my 10+ hours as a “night” I’d have 4, but honestly, 4 beers over 10 hours doesn’t strike me as problematic. 4 beers over 2 hours? More of a binge episode for me.

        • Nicole

          I’ve heard both the 3 or more but also there’s a weekly limit too, right? I want to say it’s more than 3 in a night or more than 7 in a week – but it’s been a long time since I’ve worked closely with that so please correct me.

          • rg223

            Right – sorry, I wrote this comment and left my computer and then quickly was like, “Ugh, that was unclear.” Yes, there’s the weekly limit of 7 too – it’d be concerning if you were drinking 3 every night of the week. So my husband’s point was more, if you’re drinking 8 in a week and the limit is 7, or if you drink 4 in one night but that’s all for the week, and in both cases there are no other risk factors, then it’s not that big of a concern. It’s not like you have the extra drink one week and suddenly it’s a problem – you have to look more wholistically.

      • Anna

        Turns out the makeup of that weight makes a big difference in alcohol absorption, so there is a male vs. female difference separate from considerations of weight (women have higher body fat percentage, etc etc). I also think there are some interactions that aren’t fully understood, but it’s pretty clear that for some set of reasons – some of which are known and some of which aren’t – women are more susceptible to bad effects of alcohol (both short- and long-term) than men are, even at the same weight.

        • Violet

          Exactly, weight is just one variable. Just like we’ve all experienced getting more tipsy on an empty stomach than a full one, feeling worse if you drink when already tired, etc. It’s a lot more complicated than I think we even fully understand.

    • Rose

      I’d call myself a light to moderate drinker; I have a glass of wine with dinner probably about 4-5 nights a week, although it’s generally a fairly small glass. Once a week or so (probably a little bit less) I’ll have 2 drinks. Rarely do I get up to 3 in a night, and more than that is definitely a bad idea for me. I’m on the smaller side, which may make a difference. I drink fairly frequently (unless we forget to buy wine for a couple of weeks, which has happened), but usually in small amounts. I’ve never had a doctor or a therapist comment on it.

    • Antonia

      Good question.

      I barely drink at all since I had my daughter (like 4-6 drinks/month), but can any medical types shed light on the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk? I’ve read that more than one drink per day ups your chances quite a lot, but I don’t know the specifics. Like, how *often* would you have to consume more than one drink per day before there’s an increased risk?

      • Gaby

        Such a good question. This reminds me of the studies that show that moderate coffee drinkers have less risk for cancer… but by moderate they mean more than 4 cups per day.

    • Jess

      I think in your shoes I’d only worry if those 3-4 drinks happened super quickly instead of over several hours.

      Maybe 2-3 weeknights I’ll have a drink, weekends I’ll have 1-3 depending on what I’m doing/how long I’m out with friends. My drinking is curtailed by what it takes to get me hungover though, which is far less than what it takes to get me tipsy.

    • Violet

      I think I’m a light drinker–anywhere between 0-3 drinks per week, and never more than 2 in a sitting. Most people I know who drink, drink more than me. So 6-8 in a week does not strike me as high, but 4 in a sitting for a woman is probably where your PCP got interested. ‘Cause that’s considered “binge drinking” (I know, I know) for women.

    • emilyg25

      I have a drink pretty much every night, just one M-Th and 2 or 3 on the weekend. I’ve never had a doctor say anything about it, and my experience has been that there’s A LOT of variation in the medical field (and across cultures) on this.

    • CP2011

      I’m a little self conscious about how our affinity to beer might come across to other people, so I usually downplay it, but for the sake of honesty I typically have a 12oz beer w dinner tues-Thursday and drink a little more (1-2 pints) on weekends. We usually don’t drink on mondays, and drink lighter on Sundays.

    • Amy March

      When I’m not giving it up for Lent (so close!) I try and keep it to one drink on weeknights, 3 on Fri/Sat, but either or not both. Basically I am for no more than 7 a week on a week with no special occasion. 4 for me is a lot.

    • SarahRose472

      Other people offering useful perspectives, I just want to add — even though I’m in my late 20s I’m still very much in a student/university world, and the idea of drinking 3-4 drinks twice a week wouldn’t even make me blink. I don’t do it myself all that often (can’t really handle two days ruined by hangover) but plenty of my friends do…the only time recently I’ve been concerned about a friend’s drinking was when it was in the range of 2-4 per night for an extended period (a guy, and he was depressed). Not saying that your doctor isn’t right from the health perspective, just that I would be likewise surprised to be told that it’s too much.

    • I’m probably on the moderate to heavy end. We split a bottle of wine and usually have 1-2 G&Ts around sunday dinner, then during the week we’ll usually have at least one other drinking night, either G&Ts at home or a few beers after work. We measure alcohol content in units in the UK, so a 25ml shot of gin/vodka/rum/etc is 1 unit, and a large glass of wine or pint of strong beer is 3 units. 3 units is the max a woman is meant to drink in one sitting. My sunday night intake is usually about 8 units, so whoops! I think the weekly max is fifteen units, and current advice is not to drink every night (even non-binge levels) because the liver needs days off. I’ve been tracking it on glow, and my desire to drink is very hormonally motivated (well, my anxiety and stress levels are hormone driven, and my desire to drink is stress driven) so I’ve started keeping some really high quality hot chocolate in to divert the urge when it starts popping up several nights in a row.

      • EF

        clarification for the americans: a shot of alcohol in the UK is a little more than half the size of an american shot. an irish shot is a little bit bigger than an american shot.
        pints in the UK are usually 20oz, whilst in the USA it’s 16 oz.

        • I figured shots might be different due to the metric imperial thing, but it blows my mind that pint are!

    • EF

      so i’ve talked about this with my GP because GPs in the uk seem to ask about drinking a LOT

      i drink 1-2 beers or a (strong) cocktail or a couple glasses of wine most nights a week. I’m probably leaning towards heavy rather than moderate drinking, because probably once every 10 days i’ll drink most of bottle of wine or have a night out with lots of beers/cocktails. it takes about 2.5 beers before i feel noticeably tipsy, about 5-6 before i feel drunk.

      for what it’s worth, my GP is fine with how much i drink. i think this is because i’m also pretty active other wise (like, bike or walk everywhere, go to the gym 3x/week, etc). i’m also WICKED high strung and anxious and for real cannot do social situations without booze. but i also don’t want to go on anti-anxiety medication, so yknow, others may have different priorites.

  • JC

    Did I share on here that I started baking bread two weeks ago? I made a delicious loaf of olive bread for an office competition. (We have two baking competitions a year, and no, I didn’t win any prizes this year, not even for best pun with “Olive-r Twist bread.”) It turned out so good! I’m making at least one loaf tomorrow, maybe two, to serve as Easter appetizers. (I’m also making all sorts of other goodies. I can’t wait. Easter is my holiday to host, and I feel like Julia Child prepping for a dinner party.)

    Some of you know that my mom and I have some issues around food. At first, when I told her I made bread, she rolled her eyes (over the phone) and said, “Oh god, you’re baking your own bread now.” But I got her to come around to see how fun this project was for me, and I’m also going to cook them something new (mussels!) when they come to visit in two weeks. Even with that one little blip in the conversation, she’s been telling me how much she misses me and how she looks forward to speaking to me every week. We have become such good friends since I moved away, and I’m really proud of the two of us.

    • Katherine

      Olive bread is one of my favorites! I was really, really into homemade bread until we moved into a house with no air conditioning. I’ve been trying to bake a few more things recently before summer hits and recently tried a recipe for beet bread with a dill cream cheese swirl. It is absolutely divine and will probably be gone by the end of the weekend.

    • SarahRose472

      Do you have suggestions for an easy bread recipe if you just started a couple weeks ago? I would love to learn bake bread but feel like I fail at all things dough.

      • JC

        Here’s the one I used: http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/easy-rustic-olive-bread/ I love olive bread, so that’s why I started there, but the dough was really easy to make so I’m sure you can skip the olives and just put a little bit of salt in the dough instead. The proofing time on that recipe is a little long (like it’s an evening bread, not a morning bread), but I liked making it when I was home alone and I’d watch a movie during the down time!

      • Katherine

        I actually think pizza crust and pretzels are an easier place to start than making bread, since it helps you get a feel for rising times in your kitchen and you can usually still use the final product even if something goes wrong. Alton Brown’s soft pretzel recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe) is my go to. However, if you want to dive straight into bread, this recipe (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018203-simple-crusty-bread) works well.

      • Lisa

        I really like the NYT’s Speedy No-Knead Bread recipe. It’s super easy and delicious!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Did anybody have a really big/long wedding dress? What was it like? How do you wear something like that all day? Was it fun, or a total pain in the ass?

    • Lisa

      I’d say my dress was pouffy though not to “My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding” proportions. There was a modest train that I put up after the ceremony. The only issue was that it took two other people to help me go to the bathroom, but other than that, it was totally fine!

      http://wasabiphotography.com/weddings/2014/1011/06.jpg

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Did your shoes get stuck on it at all? Did you take your shoes off, and did that make it way too long? What if the style doesn’t lend itself to bustling? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BIG DRESS.

        • Lisa

          How could you know how to big dress?? We never wear stuff like this anymore!

          I didn’t have any issues with my shoes getting stuck, and my wedding day adrenaline kept me in my shoes all night. (I didn’t realize my feet were tired until I got back to the hotel.) As for bustling, I didn’t think my dress would look right bustled, but my mom was able to make a hardly noticeable one in the back so it worked out well. I don’t usually love the look of bustles so I’m happy I can’t tell it was even taken up in the back in the photos.

        • Jennifer

          I think that tailoring takes care of a lot of those issues and we don’t do tailoring like this nearly ever with our day to day wardrobe. Just be sure you have the shoes you plan to wear with the dress when you go to get it hemmed or it won’t work as well.

        • zana

          There’s a couple different kinds of bustles that can work with a variety of dresses. Overbustles tend to be the cheapest, so the ones you see the most, but there’s also the under bustle and traditional: http://www.wikihow.com/Bustle-a-Wedding-Dress

      • Lisa

        The veil on the other hand was pretty unwieldy. Husband stepped on it during the sign of peace and almost took my head off!
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c26d96121ab0b8602643d6c7b72deed20461d795e50f64cbbd282dab2bbb0bf8.png

        • Abby

          I know this isn’t the point of this thread, but just have to say, Lisa, that skirt and its hemline are EVERYTHING. Absolutely gorgeous. A+ life choices.

          • Lisa

            Awww, thank you so much! My mother spent a lot of time sewing my wedding dress and veil so they’re very special to me.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Woooooah. Now THAT is how you veil.

          • Lisa

            It was a big church! Drama was a necessary factor. ;)

      • Violet

        Gah, every time you post your dress. Drooling….

        • Lisa

          <3 :)

      • Jane

        I’m worried about the bathroom thing because I tend to drink a lot of water. My dress just zips up, so I think it may be easier to take it on and off to go to the bathroom than try to lift up the giant skirt and train while actually going.

        • Lisa

          The secret is to walk forward on to the toilet instead of turning around to sit down. ;)

        • lamarsh

          My plan is to take my dress on and off too. My friend explained that this is what she did and as long as you have access to a single stall bathroom, it seems like the best plan. I actually had no idea this was an issue until I read this Buzzfeed article, and then I got weirdly stressed about it.

          https://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/i-tried-different-methods-of-peeing-in-a-wedding-dress-so-yo?utm_term=.mjKpbBbo36#.noql7g7xEN

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I have one of those little plastic funnel things that allows you to pee standing up. I’m considering packing it on my wedding day. Just hike the skirt up.

          • Jane

            There is a 100% chance I would end up peeing on my dress if I did that (because I am uncoordinated – but you should go for it!). I may try the sitting forward thing, but, really, my dress is too big for me to safely hold. So, off it goes.

        • Tuppet

          If the skirt is big, does it have a hoop underneath? Mine did, and it was pretty easy to reach under the dress and pick up the hoop. The skirt was basically inverted, keeping outer layer safely secured and I could hold it as high as I wanted. I did use the disabled bathroom though where there was lots of space (it was a closed public museum space so that was not an issue for anyone).

          • Jane

            It does have a hoop! Intriguing. So many things to think about.

      • CP2011

        that dress is incredible

        • Lisa

          Thank you! :)

    • Jennifer

      My dress was fairly pouffy and definitely big considering that I am a smaller person. I think the main frustration I encountered was in getting into and out of it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0144ee604fa4dc0471606378c9deb6ba5ba1d69d1322e8ba38b91343b436dba.jpg

    • Justme

      My dress was somewhat puffy and long. I had it bustled but it kept coming undone. I pretty much did not wear heels because it was rainy and muddy all day. I had no issues with tripping or navigating and only remember not wanting to take off the fun twirly dress at the end of the night. BUT the hem is totally dirty and destroyed. The only way the dress could ever be reused is if a shorter person cut an inch off the bottom.

    • Jane

      I have all the same questions! Thanks for asking!

    • CP2011

      Mine was puffy and floor length (no train) but it wasn’t particularly heavy. I don’t recall it being uncomfortable or cumbersome at all, though I did change out of it for the after party.

    • Eenie

      Oh I wore a floor length dress, but it was very thin. I tried on big dresses and got hot in the store, and could imagine feeling that x 10 when I was at my wedding. I liked my dress. I’m glad I got a floor length dress for one time in my life. But I was really happy to hike it up and pee by myself all night.

    • Ella

      I haven’t put it into action yet – the big day is May 6-but my dress has a detachable skirt so I can get rid of it when I’m tired of dragging it around. It’s kind of like this: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d3c6fa2bd06f4c9108ab9e8b809e3448df5407f5d3c5eb57f2d51d9dad8078e.jpg

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        That is absolutely gorgeous. And I feel like detachable skirts should be the new It Has Pockets.

    • Fushigidane

      Mine was certainly bigger than my friends’, although not as big as in movies/tv shows/instagram, plus it was made of satin. It wasn’t too heavy while wearing except I wish I had taken off my shoes earlier. I’ve worn the shoes for a decent amount of time before with no issue but with the dress my feet were excruciating. I hadn’t realized how heavy my dress was until I took it off. The only time I had slight trouble with the dress was going up stairs while in public view and I wasn’t able to go into the gazebo with my husband next to me. We had to go in separately. When we weren’t in public view I kind of just hiked up my dress but in front of others I tried to be more demure. Going downstairs was fine as long as you take your time. Just kick the dress out a little before you step down so the hem isn’t directly under your foot. I had a chapel (?) length train that got bustled after the ceremony. I got stepped on less than 5 times. This was mostly by my parents lol. During portraits people can shuffle their feet under the dress to get near you.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Did you practice wearing it?

        • Fushigidane

          I didn’t practice wearing the dress unless you count the time before the ceremony roaming around the venue going to and from the bridal room/staging area.

  • AtHomeInWA

    After two years of “we’re planning on getting married, but aren’t telling anyone” we’ve decided to officially announce our engagement to our parents.

    Tonight.

    Shits getting real ya’lll!

  • CommaChick

    Someone [I think here?] recommended Amy Siskind’s weekly roundup of links: https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-21-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-76e6d196aab5

    Even though her column needs an editor, I like it because she links to all of her sources and includes a lot of news that tends to get covered up by more distracting news. She publishes a new link roundup every Sunday, so I can go through all of the week’s heavy news that day or space it out as I like.

  • Trinity

    Our baby girl (Lyra) was born two and a half weeks ago! I ended up having a c-section because she surprised us by being breech, but we’re all doing well now.

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations! Welcome to the world, Lyra!

    • Congratulations and welcome Lyra! What a beautiful name :-)

    • Laura C

      Congratulations!

      My husband’s niece is named Lyra, so I’m pro-that.

    • rg223

      Love the name – is it a His Dark Materials reference by any chance? We named our son after a character in my favorite kids book (and a rock song)

      • Trinity

        Good catch–it is! And we like that it also refers to the constellation and instrument.

        • AGCourtney

          I wondered as well. I love it! One of the kids in my daughter’s preschool class last year was named Lyra, and I was like, “Damn it, why didn’t I think of that?!” Did you see Pullman announced a follow-up trilogy?

          • Trinity

            I’m SO excited about the new books!!

        • Essssss

          Did you know he’s working on a new trilogy about Lyra called the book of dust? First book out this fall, I can’t wait!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations and welcome to the world Lyra!

    • Congratulations! Love her name!!

      Soak up all the good stuff, and don’t worry about the hard stuff. (advice someone on here gave me 4 months ago, and it’s so true).

      • Trinity

        Thank you! That is good advice.

        • The other piece of advice that I loved:
          The first 12 weeks are the hardest.
          Of those, the first 6 weeks are the hardest.
          Of those, the first 3 weeks are the hardest.

    • Ilora

      Late to the party but congratulations!! I love the name (and the inspiration!) I was pushing hard for it but my husband vetoed and then we had a boy anyway. Makes me so happy to see someone else using it!

  • Eve

    I have a question for you lovely ladies regarding undergarments. I just bought my wedding dress (DB, actually a prom dress! http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_v-neck-soutache-mermaid-dress-58104d_all-prom-dresses) and when I try it on, it definitely doesn’t have a lot to it and I feel like I need Spanx of some sort so my belly button doesn’t show through. My mom thought I was being ridiculous, and I was just thinking back to that iconic post of Maddie’s where she specifically mentions switching dresses in part because of the belly button peek. Thoughts? Should I just let the salesladies at DB put me in some recommended undergarment? I’d also like to avoid pantyline and not have to do so by going commando, fwiw.

    • AGCourtney

      Link didn’t work for me, but I found the dress and I’ll repost that link. That dress is pretty~

      Honestly, I’d say if you even think you might worry about it and it’s in the budget, I’d go for the undergarment. Nothing ruins my day faster than perpetually worrying about a wardrobe malfunction, and I would have absolutely hated to have that on the brain during my wedding day.

      http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_v-neck-soutache-mermaid-dress-58104d

      • SLG

        Under my wedding dress I wore a David’s Bridal shapewear-ish slip-like thing, which I borrowed from someone else who used it for their wedding, and it was remarkably comfortable. That was probably the sheer luck of my body type fitting whatever David’s Bridal was going for. It might be worth trying on a few things to see what feels good to you — after all, a good shapewear thing can replace a bra AND underwear, which removes the need to worry about a strapless bra etc.

    • Cellistec

      APW did a post about magic shapewear a while ago…I can’t find it at the moment but if you search Spanx or shapewear on the site, it’ll pop up. Lots of great recommendations, and some might help with the belly button thing.

    • Eenie

      I wore spanx, but the really thin kind, and I thought they were super comfy. No panty lines, gave me just enough shaping, but not too much.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00630KYZM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      • Eve

        Ooh thank you, that looks like exactly what I need!

        • Eenie

          You’re welcome :) Someone in HH had the same dress as me and passed along the garments that worked with it!

    • Jess

      I’m not a big fan of the DB recommended undergarments, TBH. I found them uncomfortable and not correctly fitting on my body. I would look for spanx/other shapewear!

    • quiet000001

      Shapewear also isn’t the only undergarment style – if you don’t need shaping but want to make sure the dress skims over the right places, try a slip.

      • CMT

        Yeah, I was thinking that sounds like exactly the type of problem a slip would fix, if it otherwise works under the dress.

        • quiet000001

          We tend to forget about simple slips these days with all the extra shapewear options to smooth and squish and whatever else they claim to do, but sometimes a slip really is all you need. (Especially if it’s going to be a long day – shapewear can get pretty darn uncomfortable after a while, depending on the style and fit.)

    • Kelly

      Another option might be high rise seamless underwear – that’s what I’m considering for under my wedding dress, just to smooth out the belly a bit.

    • CP2011

      If you’re already concerned about it, you should absolutely get some good undergarments. If you’re concerned about it now before you’re even wearing the dress, you’ll be hyper- self conscious about it at the wedding.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      If you’re getting shapewear, the name brand stuff has a double-flap hole you can stretch open and pee through, whereas the cheaper knock-off stuff sometimes does not. Makes a world of difference.

  • MrsRalphWaldo

    I started a new position in my company a few weeks ago! It is something I’ve been working for for around 4 months now, and it felt like I was never going to get it! Now I’m so busy learning new things that I’ve been APW-less for 2 weeks. This is a huge step for my career and I’m so excited! I’ve missed APW though!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congrats on the new role!!!

    • SarahRose472

      That’s awesome, congrats! Hope you are celebrating your awesome self. :)

  • ssha

    We got an apartment!!!! This is a big weight off my chest because EVERYONE has been asking us where we will live after we get married (next month, AHHH). I was freaking out on Monday and called all the listings I saw and it didn’t seem like any of them would be available soon enough. But here we are!! The only thing is that I realized this place doesn’t allow cats, and we wanted to get one. I suppose a kitty will have to wait. I can now go to family Passover/ Easter celebrations this weekend with a confident answer to “so, have you found a place to live yet?” Whew. Happy holiday weekend to all!

  • Kalë

    Does anyone have any experience taking something to small claims court? M and I are weighing the pros and cons – I think we have a case, but is it worth the emotional energy for (large to us right now, but relatively small in the scheme of things) $880? It’s kind of a long story, but it involves an animal medical bill that we don’t feel is warranted based on the service provided.

    • Cellistec

      If you’re not crazy about the idea of small claims court (almost typed small clams court…that’s different), you could see whether mediation services are offered in your area for that kind of case. It’s often cheaper, and less contentious as well (handy if you ever want to preserve the relationship, say, go to the same vet again, for example). I volunteered for a dispute resolution center that handled court mediation, but I haven’t gone to court myself. Not even small clams court.

      • Kalë

        Not wild about small claims court (definitely would be wild about small clams court, though) but we have tried dealing with the vet’s office personally and they won’t budge. The situation is such as to where if it were a human, not a dog, it would be a huge malpractice lawsuit. But dog, so… all we want is for them to *not* bill us for very clearly treating our dog so negligently that he was hours from death. And hopefully, ideally, avoid the same practices in the future so no one else’s pet is endangered. I’ll look into mediation as an option, though! Unfortunately, I think there is enough of a breakdown in the relationship as to where it might be past that point :(

        • Amy March

          All you really have to lose in small claims court is your time. You’ll either end up recovering or not, you don’t need a lawyer, but it will mean continuing to be emotionally invested in this for a while.

    • CP2011

      I don’t at all, but my in laws watch court tv all day every day so I guess you could take it to judge Judy!! :)

    • I guess you have already tried talking to the medical provider about how you feel the bill is unwarranted and why?

  • yellowbellpepper

    We got engaged! And despite knowing that it was coming, knowing when the ring was ordered, I was *still* surprised – it came early, and he proposed on April Fools Day with a ring pop while we were hiking in Shenandoah before saying “Wait, wrong ring” and handing me the real one. I couldn’t stop laugh-crying for half an hour; everyone we saw on the trail after that must have thought I was insane. Half our friends didn’t believe us when we told them we were engaged, because April Fools. And every part of it was amazing. And afterwards we already had plans to meet up with friends for Hamiltunes (Hamilton singalong!) so we celebrated with that and dinner and the whole week involved so much champagne and happiness.

    Aaaaand then six days later, I found out I’m getting laid off. So that was a bit of a dunk in an ice bucket, for lack of a better phrase. I know it’ll be okay but that part is hella stressful. (Which at least means I don’t have brain capacity to also stress about wedding planning; I’m still just being excited about that.)

    • Oh gosh, I love that – “wait, wrong ring”. Sorry about being laid off, hopefully you can take a few weeks to enjoy a little funemployment before diving into job hunting??

      • yellowbellpepper

        He was *so* proud of that; it was hilarious.

        Yeah, I think so! My sister is living in Germany, and I definitely had a few beers and promptly impulse-bought a ticket to visit her for a week. ($375!!!) I could not be more excited. I figure even if I’ve found something by then that I can probably ask for that time off?

        • YAY!! I am the QUEEN of impulse purchased plane tickets (which is why we’re traveling with a 5 month old baby to visit our family in Germany next month!). If/when you get a job offer, just tell them that you’ve got a trip planned that was already on the books and it’s non-negotiable. My husband did this for a trip we had planned when he got a new job. He didn’t get paid time off, but they gave him the week off.

          • yellowbellpepper

            Okay that’s really good to know – I’m totally fine with not getting it paid; it’s more important to me right now to visit her. Have an absolutely amazing trip!! Where in Germany are you heading?

          • My husband’s family lives in Munich and near Frankfurt. We try to visit almost every year, but this is our first trip with the babe (the great-grandparents are THRILLED). Where is your sister at?

          • yellowbellpepper

            Oh, I’d imagine – that’s great!! She’s living in Magdeburg, about an hour and 45 mins outside Berlin by train. She’s really loved it there but is returning to the States pretty soon, so it’s my last chance to visit her while she’s abroad.

          • Oh my gosh, I would move to Berlin in a second if I could! It’s my favorite city in Germany. You’re going to have a blast!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Awwww, that engagement story is adorable. Sorry about the layoff. I’ve been there, and it’s not a fun process. Hopefully with some time you’ll be able to look back and realize it was for the best.

  • Katherine

    Finally coming up for air after two incredibly busy weeks at work. However, the craziness has afforded a great opportunity to gain some recognition from the higher-ups at my office and take on some more responsibility, which I’m pumped about.

    Otherwise, I’ve been off of birth control for about a month now (husband goes back to the urologist next week to give his six-week sample) and whoa, it is incredible. Biggest changes include no longer feeling like I’m living in a numbed fog and dropping a full cup size. I’m happy to answer questions on this whole process if anyone has them.

    • flashphase

      Also quit BC but I feel… nothing? My boobs might be a little smaller but otherwise, same?

      • Katherine

        Interesting! Goes to show that everyone’s bodies react differently.

    • K

      I know that I’m really going to miss my boobs when I go off birth control :( I went off for 6 months after college and they immediately reduced haha
      But, I’m hoping it will up my sex drive again, so that feels like a fair trade?

      • Katherine

        Yeah, mine shrunk within the first week. I don’t mind at all, and it is totally worth it for the boost in libido.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’d love to know more about how the conversation around your husband getting a vasectomy went. I’d really like to it have my mirena and not take hormonal birth control.

      • Katherine

        I lucked out in that neither of us want to have biological children, so the option kind of arose naturally when we would talk about kids and the future. Once it became clear that staying on hormones was not going to be a good option for me for a number of reasons, my husband made a clear commitment to do so. Then the election happened and we decided to vastly move up our timeline just in case greater restrictions to abortion access arise.

        My husband’s biggest hangup, as he described it, was the visceral reaction he had to having surgery on his testicles due to it being a sensitive area. However, he wanted to make it clear that it would never stop him from doing so, just that it was a mental hurdle he had to overcome. Plus, he felt like it was sexist for him to feel squeamish about it, so that helped.

  • flashphase

    There are many times I’m glad I married my husband, but last night, when he painstakingly combed out my hair because I somehow got lice, has shot up to the top of the list. (Also, we don’t have kids, how did I get lice?! It’s the worst)

    • Ashlah

      Oh, no fun! I hope you can rid yourself/your home of them quickly and easily!

    • Anna

      Oh man, lice sucks, I’m sorry. I remember as a kid it went around my summer camp, my sister got lice, but I managed not to… but you can tell when it was if you look at photos of my sister because suddenly she went from having mid-back-length hair to an adorable bob. I don’t know how long your hair is or what your feelings about it are, but if your hair is currently long and you’re not strongly attached to it, cutting it shorter does make getting rid of the lice much easier.

    • InTheBurbs

      Are there removal salons near you? If so – use them – all the mom’s in my world swear by them…

    • Meghan Zero

      I had the exact same realization (except it was within the first year I was living with my now-husband.) It sucked and it took us until 3 am, and we were both in a terrible mood about it, but the patience he showed was one of those “defining moments” that he was the one for me (so romantic, right?) I hate to break it to you, but the special shampoo (did you use it?) didn’t work for me and it was probably two-three weeks afterwards of nightly hair checks and a couple more hours of combing on some of those nights. Now we have a good laugh about that memory, but it was awful at the time! (I too was confused at how I got them – I teach, but I teach high school kids and certainly do not share hats/touch their heads to my head!?!?)

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO but also that is really sweet.

  • toomanybooks

    I feel like wedding planning is actually going great! So, yay! The weather is great, which means it’s the perfect time for spray painting things gold, which is like my favorite thing to do now with DIY wedding stuff.

    I’ve become fixated on wedding shoes because I feel like I should be able to find some nice comfy wedding flats but it’s so tricky to find ones that are the right fit (like a Sam Edelman Felicia) but also the right style (like a Badgley Mischka). Any ideas for pretty flats that don’t feel like they were constructed out of the smallest amount of material that could still be considered a shoe?

    • Amy March
    • ssha

      “Couldn’t expect flats to look good with a wedding dress?” No offense to your sister, but this can simply NOT be true.
      Maybe look at some more comfort-fit brands with a good reputation (i.e. Clarks, Naturalizer?).

      http://www.deerpearlflowers.com/25-comfortable-wedding-flats-for-brides/

      • toomanybooks

        Hah, I know, it’s just the way she is – she doesn’t want to help me with anything but she DOES want to tell me everything I like is ugly.

        • ssha

          Oh my gosh, how painful for you!! Wish I could lend you a supportive sister.

    • jem

      GIRL you are not alone. I scoured the depths of the internet for a viable flat this week and came up empty. Why?! Someone out there, please make me a shoe!

    • Just Me

      I had the same issue finding heels that had a pop of color/weren’t too high/etc. and I ended up splurging and designing them myself through shoes of prey. I love them. They have flats and all sorts of materials and details if you want to make your own (I think they are owned by Nordstrom? So if you live in SF/NY/LA you can go to their store in Nordstrom to see color samples but I just risked it and they turned out great and super comfortable.)

      http://www.shoesofprey.com

      • jem

        Whaaaat thank you for this link!!!! Love!!!

    • cara

      There is a local company called Poppy Barley where I live (I believe they ship). Ethically made and they have some beautiful flats.

    • Not Sarah

      I don’t know about you, but wedding planning has been moments of “Why are we doing this???” offset with “This is going to be so wonderful!!!!” (The former comes when my sister tells me the dress I picked makes me look like a cupcake topper and the latter when my sister-in-law and mother-in-law are really excited to be included in getting ready.)

      Also – I hear you on the shoes. My mom who never dresses up decided she was wearing heels and asked me “Do you want to be shorter than your mother??? If not, you should wear heels.” :/

    • Lena SK

      Late to the party but I wore flats to my wedding, no regrets! They looked great!

      My specific shoes are out of stock now, so I’m no help there, but they were BCBG Annya flats from DSW.

  • CP2011

    Has anyone found a way to contribute to groups helping gay men escape out of Chechnya? I was on a site this morning (found it via huff post) but it wouldn’t take my credit card (and now I’m slightly paranoid about Russians having my card number). But I really want to give. The situation is making me sick.

  • Violet

    Bummed I’ll be too busy to really chat with you all today, cause I’ve got news. Future hypothetical child is no longer quite as hypothetical, but is, instead, 12 weeks along! Things look normal, and normal has never sounded so good to me.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!! That’s so exciting for you!

      • Violet

        Thanks Lisa!

    • Anna

      Cheers to actual steadily-becoming-unhypothetical child! Wishing you the best :-)

      • Violet

        Thanks Anna! It sure is a process. ; )

    • Ashlah

      Hooray!! Congrats! It seems like baby city on APW lately :)

      • SarahRose472

        It must be since so many of us have stuck around well past our weddings…I’m going on five years post-wedding as a reader. Good thing the Compact is coming this summer, otherwise I think the wedding talk might soon be overrun with baby talk! We can migrate :)

      • Violet

        Yay, thanks Ashlah! I know what you mean.

    • BSM

      Congratulations! I’m 11.5 weeks, so it sounds like we’ve got similar due dates #scorpiobabies :)

      • Violet

        Hey lady! Yep, going to be very close! I hope you’re feeling well. : )
        (Oh yeah, and I’ve already got a scorpio husband. I don’t know if I can handle any more intensity in our family unit. Fortunately, I don’t belieeeeeve in it, whew!)

        • BSM

          Ha! Same. My mom on the other hand…… Hope you’re feeling good, too!

  • ART

    I’m interested in your stupidly simple go-to recipes, like for things you make over and over. Bonus points if they work for summer. I was just making one of mine this week and thought wow, I’ve been living off this stupid stuff every summer since midway through college (so like, 12 years aghh) but I love it! Mine is a very specific two-bean salad: can of dark red kidney beans, can of cut green beans, Brianna’s real French vinaigrette (with the artichoke on the bottle).

    Never add anything, never use anything else. Do you have stand-bys like that?

    • Violet

      Yes, a one-pot “Southwest pasta” that involves only chopping two vegetables, and everything else is just added in. So when you’re done, you only clean the knife, cutting board, and pot. I forget where I found it, but it’s pretty popular so I think you could find it easily on Pinterest.

      • InTheBurbs

        Just found it – adding it to our menu for next week!

    • InTheBurbs

      Costco in my area carries a salad with kale/brusell sprouts/pepitas/dried cranberries that has a poppyseed dressing. We add grilled chicken – and eat that once a week

    • Jennifer

      I tend toward more complicated recipes but I just remembered a favorite is southwestern black bean salad, and the other favorite is what my mom calls mount diablo dip (basically black or refried beans, avocado, sour cream with taco seasoning, and cheese all layered.)

    • CP2011

      beer batter bread — flour, sugar, beer and baking powder. Amazing every time.

      • ART

        Wow, I had never heard of that and now I think I’ll try it this weekend!

    • jules

      Tofu and black bean tacos. Basically just take half a brick of extra firm tofu, fry it in some oil with taco seasoning – add in a can of black beans – heat through. Then make a super easy pico de gallo (chop a few tomatoes, throw in some white onion, a jalepeno and add some lime juice, salt/pepper). Put it on those little soft taco shells with some hot sauce and avocado if I’m feeling ambitious. Takes maybe 15 minutes start to finish and tastes like it takes way longer.

    • lamarsh
    • Katherine

      My classic is what I call “college student curry.” Dice half an onion, saute it on medium-high heat, then add whatever spices happen to be in the pantry. Dump in a can of tomato paste and add water until it becomes a thick sauce. Then add cauliflower florets and a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas, cover, and simmer for half an hour. It’s great with any carb you have lying around the house or just on its own.

    • Jess

      Summer recipe: grilled half-heads of romaine lettuce (olive oil, salt, pepper, grill on one side until charred), halved cherry tomatoes, cesear salad dressing + grilled salmon (oil, salt & pepper work fine, can also do any seasoning blend). Feel like extra? Buy some pitas/flatbreads, brush w/ olive oil and grill.

      Indoors recipe: cook shaped pasta (bowties, orichette, pinwheels, shells), brown Italian sausage then add sliced bell peppers (any color but green) in a skillet w/ a few cloves of garlic and a few good shakes of red pepper flakes. Cook until softened slightly Toss together & serve w/ parmesan cheese. Feeling fancy? Add a splash of red wine & let it cook off before adding the peppers.

      I have a few other make over and over again recipes, but they are a little more ad-hoc/whatever I have lying around like stir fry or stuffed bell peppers.

      • ART

        That grilled salad sounds really good – I’ve also been making this romaine salad with a caesar-like (in taste only) dressing made from mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil with some parmesan sprinkled on. I pretty much inhale it.

        • Jess

          It is the absolute best and gets made once a week over the summer. You can also mix out the meat – we did some marinated beef skewers from the deli in our grocery store on Monday.

      • Lisa

        I love grilled romaine! It’s so easy and so amazing, every time!

    • SarahRose472

      This one feels like cheating: get a jar of tapenade (I like a dried tomatoes/olives combo for this) and chicken breasts — slice chicken breasts in strips, spread some tapenade on each, roll each strip up so the tapenade is on the inside, and stick in the oven.

      Cooks pretty quickly, has lots of flavor from the tapenade, and I usually just steam broccoli or another vegetable to have with it.

      • zana

        You can also do this with Italian dressing and porkchops. Or BBQ sauce ;)

    • emmers

      Delicious pico de galloish salsa- can each (or 1/2, depending on what you’re feeling) of corn and black beans, a few chopped tomatoes, a chopped bunch of cilantro, half a red onion or so, a couple of diced garlic cloves (or powder), salt, pepper, oregano, lime. And a diced jalapeño! Good with tortilla chips or in tacos.

    • Lisa

      We make 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies (1 egg, 1 cup of sugar – white or brown, doesn’t really matter, and 1 cup of peanut butter). Bake until done.

      Also tofu and ginger rice – white rice with ginger powder mixed in after it’s done, extra firm tofu that has been frozen and defrosted stir-fried with soy sauce and hot chile oil (or veggie oil and cayenne).

      Egg tacos – scrambled eggs with whatever greens and veggies we have on hand in a corn tortilla, sometimes with salsa, guac, rice, etc. We also make these tacos with fish or grilled veggies depending on what we have on-hand.

      Veggie Heavy Fried Rice – saute some onion in oil, add any vegetables in the fridge (carrots first, more delicate veggies later), maybe some frozen peas. When they are mostly cooked, add leftover rice (already cooked from earlier meal). Season with soy sauce or any spices (hot pepper, ginger, lemongrass, curry, whatever sounds good). When rice is warmed through, make a hole in the center and pour in a scrambled egg and cook through. Mix everything together. If you want more protein, cook it on the side and add at the end.

      Grilled anything – we grill almost every night in the summer. Fish, eggplant, asparagus, cauliflower, etc. It’s always amazing. You just can’t mess it up.

    • zana

      Roasted vegetables. A bunch of skinless chicken breasts, soaked in vinegar/spices/water, then rolled in varying spices and broiled. Various flavored chicken for a week.

    • Salads with fruit in for summer. Like, a bag of green leaves (rocket/arugula for preference), prosciutto, peach, balsamic vinegar. Or fresh spinach, strawberries, goats cheese, balsamic vinegar. Leaves, pomegranate seeds, chicken, balsamic vinegar. Essentially leaves + balsamic vinegar + fruit + meat/cheese. Also, all of the above make great fancy pizza toppings too (add leaves and fruit after cooking, except in the case of peach, which bakes fabulously).

    • penguin

      We make huevos rancheros at least once/week. Ours is a tortilla + two over easy eggs + some black beans from a can (or some of the canned black bean soup from Goya, yum). You can also add salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, and hot sauce. It’s easy, and everything in it lasts a long time in the pantry or fridge, so we have it all the time.

      I originally got it from Smitten Kitchen and modified it how we wanted.

    • Alli

      Cold peanut noodle salad! Make and rinse some spaghetti, mix it with broccoli slaw, chili garlic paste, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and whatever spices! Its great for lunches in the summer.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Roasted chickpeas. Drain and leave in can, rinse with water once or twice and drain, add a little oil, shake in can, dump out onto a tray in the toaster oven. Sprinkle with spices you like (I like Aw Shucks or Old Bay, but garlic, pepper, and sea salt would also be great), bake until toasty. Eat alone or throw on a salad.Dump together some chicken breast, a drained can of black beans, a large jar of salsa, and a can or frozen bag’s worth of sweet yellow corn in a crock pot. I also like adding a little can of fire roasted chiles. Cook in your crock pot on low for 6-8 hours until your meat is cooked (frozen meat is also an option, just adjust your cooking time), or in a pot on the stove for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred it, add it back to the pot with a block of cream cheese, stir together. Serve over rice. Even better left over. I never get sick of it, and I have all of the ingredients in my pantry or freezer pretty much all the time.

    • BSM

      1. Giant BLAT salads:

      -2 bags of baby lettuce
      -1 pint of grape tomatoes
      -1 ripe avocado, bacon
      -simple vinaigrette (I do a teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 c of lemon juice,1/8ish c of olive oil, S&P. Mix well.)
      -optional: cucumber, sprouts, feta, croutons, beets, etc.

      Put lettuce in 2 large bowls. Cook bacon in oven (on a cookie sheet lined with foil) at 400*F for about 15 min. Make dressing and lightly dress lettuce. Chop veggies and add to bowls. Drain bacon on paper towels and break up into bowls. Top with more dressing and S&P if desired.

      2. This poached cod in tomato sauce is also insanely easy (takes 10 min tops). I usually roast some cauliflower with it and top that with the fish and sauce. Nom:

      http://nomnompaleo.com/post/153806396623/poached-cod-in-tomato-sauce

      3. Pasta with pesto (store bought or homemade) and boneless skinless sardines packed in olive oil (found at TJ’s):

      Make pasta according to package and drain. Add to bowl with generous amount of pesto and mix. Add tin of sardines to heat through and mix. Optional: add baby spinach to hot pasta to wilt it for added nutrition.

      Inspired by this recipe: http://bevcooks.com/2015/04/bucatini-pasta-with-kale-pesto-and-sardines/

  • SarahRose472

    This was kind of a big week for me (and us). My husband found out on Wednesday that he got offered a new job, which he will start next Tuesday (yay end of semi-unemployment!). And I found out yesterday that I’m pregnant.

    I still haven’t really wrapped my head around it, it still feels funny to write those words. I’m happy about it, but it’s strange to realize that there is this process unfolding in my body that I have no direct control over whatsoever — it’s just going to happen.

    • Ashlah

      Congrats to you both!! What perfect timing! It’s definitely a weird process, and the lack of control is a huge part of it. For me, it never feels like it’ll really progress to the next “stage” for me. Like, even though I’m 20 weeks and have a bit of a bump, I still almost can’t fathom that I’ll actually be one of those people with a giant belly in a few months. Because I’m not doing anything to make it happen beyond simply existing! Like you said, it’s just going to happen.

      • SarahRose472

        “not doing anything to make it happen beyond simply existing” Yes, this is exactly how I feel about it.

    • StevenPortland

      Pesto! So easy to make in a blender: Basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts (or almonds), olive oil, and salt. Add some pasta and Parmesan, or use it as pizza sauce.

      • penguin

        I think Disqus put this on the wrong post?

        • JC

          But I really like it as a parenting suggestion after just learning of a pregnancy. Pesto!

          • SarahRose472

            I happen to be obsessed with pesto, so I would not be surprised to see more of it in my pregnant future. But honestly too lazy to make it myself, I get the jarred kind…

    • Jess

      YAY! Congrats on all fronts!

  • Sosuli

    A bit late to Happy Hour but had to come share my news – I’ve been offered a three year postdoc back in my home country!!! And husband is super excited and we’re moving in September! Goodbye Brexit Britain and hello home and seeing my family and friends whenever I want to.

    • Jess

      YAY HOME!

    • Yay!

    • AGCourtney

      Oh my goodness, Sosuli, that’s amazing!!! I’m so so happy for you. Congratulations!

    • Kalë

      Wow, this is the best news! So delighted for you!

    • Eenie

      Such amazing news!

    • MC

      Yayyyyyy! That is so awesome – congrats!

    • EF

      yay for getting out of brexit britain! and for the postdoc! so thrilled for you <3

  • Shirley Schmidt

    Folks, what are your go-to heavy period remedies? I’m back on the copper iud bandwagon (to summarise: combined pills make my blood pressure skyrocket and progesterone methods make me hairy/worryingly moody) and man, I had forgotten how much heavy bleeding sucks. Anything I should be trying besides ibuprofen, wine and the fetal position?

    • Ugh, I was on the pill forever before getting pregnant, and I know everything was best when I was doing yoga regularly (because regular exercise = wanting to eat healthier = more zen me = less cramps?). I used to have terrible bleeding, and cramps so bad I puked. I didn’t do so well with Motrin, so I was using your method (ibuprofen, ice cream, and bad tv, usually), I know for some people, a heat pack helps. They gave me the mini pill at my post-partum appointment, but it was giving me such bad headaches that I went off it for now. Not sure what I’m going to do now.

      • Antonia

        Ugh — the mini-pill. I was fine the first week and then bled for six weeks straight until I finally got fed up and decided to come off it. I can’t take estrogen-based BC because of a clotting disorder, so our options are IUD (I had one before and insertion was so painful I literally passed out), vasectomy, or combo FAM/abstention/pull ‘n pray. Not loving any of those options. No real advice, but yes — the struggle is real.

        • Amy March

          Condoms? Why does everyone always not list condoms as an option? If you’re looking for non-hormonal they are less painful than an IUD, less permanent than a vasectomy, more effective than FAM, and more fun than just abstaining when you are ovulating.

          • Oh, condoms are totally an option for us. I’m cranky because I went on the pill for heavy periods/terrible cramps many many years ago, and what I was using before getting pregnant was great, but you can only be on the mini pill while breastfeeding.

    • Amy March

      I find a hot water bottle more effective than Advil.

      • JC

        We were given a hot water bottle for Christmas two years ago, and it might be the best gift I’ve ever received. +1 to using it for heavy periods.

      • Em

        There’s actually science to back this up in terms of heat being a more effective pain reliever for period pain than painkillers – I can’t find the actual study that I’ve come across before on this, but the Mayo Clinic backs this up: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20025447.

        That said, I prefer a wheat pack heated in the microwave to a hot water bottle (a friend of mine had a hot water bottle burst on her and it gave her hideous burns – and the burns specialist she saw said that this was unfortunately v common with hot water bottles). But the point remains – definitely get something you can heat up and put on your stomach! I also use something called Ponstan (the main ingredient of which is mefenamic acid) and it works better for me than most things.

    • Katherine

      The last birth control pill I tried gave me heavy periods and horrible cramps, and I found red raspberry leaf tea to be fairly helpful. Not sure if it was the leaf itself, having a hot drink, or the placebo effect, but whatever works.

    • toomanybooks

      Adagio has a “red tent” tea that could be fun to try. I have a heating pad that’s the best! For really heavy times, I use the Always nighttime pad that looks like the size of a human infant, plus Thinx, plus black yoga pants (I feel like it holds everything together) and curl up in bed with the heating pad on my stomach.

      • Jane

        I read that as “Always nightmare” at first and was so excited to see them have a sense of humor about it. Too bad.

    • E.

      late to the party, currently in bed with my heat pack and I wanted to add that taking a hot bath helps me sometimes too

  • Whynotme?

    I wanted to finally de-lurk and introduce myself! I graduate nursing school in 28 days and have a job ligned up at an awesome hospital so even though it’s on a med-surg floor I’m excited. I don’t know if there are other healthcare professionals on here but I would happily welcome advice!

    My boyfriend and I are talking engagement in the coming months once I’m more financially settled and starting to tackle my student loan debt so it will be an exciting next few months.

    • Katherine

      Welcome!

    • Jess

      :waves: Hello! Congratulations on having a awesome job lined up pre-graduation and getting into the engagement talks!

    • Ashlah

      Congrats on the near-graduation and the job! That’s so great!

    • RNLindsay

      Congrats! Fellow RN, I graduated from a second degree program back in 2012! You say “even though it’s med-surg” which makes me believe thats not your ideal but everyone has to pay their dues unfortunately. I started in psych for 2 years but now I’m in my dream job in an ER at a busy Level I Trauma Center :) You’ll feel like you know nothing at first, but then one day you’ll answer a question without thinking twice about it and say to yourself “damn! I got this!”

    • RadNurse

      *waves* This is my first comment here, I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner working in LGBT primary care!

  • I’m missing religion right now. It’s weird to say that, but maybe you smart people can help.

    I grew up Lutheran, my husband grew up Catholic. We met at Gonzaga, and when we lived in Seattle, often attended his Catholic church. It was cool, because it’s a more modern/progressive church, and the service we went to had more praise/worship music. But now that we’ve moved back to Spokane, we’ve really struggled with finding a church community. Honestly, we haven’t really tried. Between working weddings almost every weekend all summer, doing work on our house, and traveling, we tend to not want to pry ourselves out of bed most Sunday mornings. But, I miss it sometimes.

    We’d like a Christian community, but it seems that finding a place that is not super conservative, and has praise/worship music (more modern music), and isn’t pushy is hard to find around here. And I’m really struggling. I want to have that community, but I’m really not sure where to start. Spokane is quite conservative, but I’d love it if someone has a recommendation for a denomination or way to find a more church community that fits our family. Sometimes I pull up a list of local Catholic & Lutheran churches, and then I get overwhelmed and just…do nothing. :(

    • JC

      I’m mostly here for the solidarity…I’ve moved a lot recently and am only just now starting to feel at home with my newest church. It’s lonely and disheartening not to have one, and it’s lonely and disheartening to have one and not quite have it be home yet. Plus there is the philosophy of the place, as you say, and that really takes a meet cute to make it work.

      But on the practical front, if you want to take a little drive and maybe try a new denomination, my friend is the pastor at Cheney United Methodist, and I think you’ll find her warm, loving, and progressive.

      • Yes! It’s so hard, and sometimes, I forget how nice it feels. But then I photograph a church wedding, and I’m reminded of what I miss. Cheney is a bit of a drive from my place, but I will keep it in mind!

    • StevenPortland

      Have you considered trying a Unitarian Universalist church? It isn’t Christian, but lots of congregants are either Christian or were raised Christian.

      • MC

        Was just going to say! Obviously it varies, but some of the congregations I’ve been to have had amazing music programs. Once I attended a worship service where the choir performed a Tracy Chapman song :)

    • Antonia

      You may have to hunt around, but your mainline protestant religions — United Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian Church USA and ECLA — would be good places to start. It varies from church to church, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a progressive congregation and the type of worship service you prefer. Unitarian and United Church of Christ (Congregational) could be options as well. Good luck!

      • I think my main issue is that while I was raised Lutheran, it was a pretty progressive Lutheran church, and so I don’t think my baseline is the same. Everyone’s comments are giving me hope that I can actually find a community.

        • A single sarah

          Coming for solidarity and exactly what Antonia said.

          My ideal church has sermon style that educate me and spur me to action, an active community, high liturgy (Episcopal/Lutheran/Methodist/Presbyterian), an open table for communion, and organ music. Oh! And a congregation that is welcoming without feeling like they’re desperate for young people. Some of those I bend on, but others are solid.

          In both of my last moves, part of what’s helped was finding a place that was closeish enough that I could attend semi regularly while continuing to search. So I’d attend that church every other week and visit others in the off weeks. Even in places that are liberal it’s taken me 9 months to a 17 months to find my church home.
          (Aside, that when you’re visiting , you realize how many “special Sundays” there are. One week the visited church was dedicating pews. The next church I visited was having their report from annual meeting instead of a sermon.)

          But on the positive side, I’m settling into a Lutheran congregation. They were in the process of calling a new minister the first two times I visited, and that wasn’t the time for me. But the new minister preaches sermons that I learn from, the congregation is a friendly and open community, active in the wider community, and the piano plays a range of music.

          It wasn’t a church that anyone mentioned when I asked for suggestions. (if you’re asking here, I’m guessing you’re asking other places too.) But then, multiple people didn’t have suggestions because they were still looking too.

          • Amy March

            Yesssssss the distinction between welcoming and desperate for young people. Please just simmer, extraordinarily friendly church people, I do not need to be personally welcomed by three different people.

          • A single Sarah

            Or three people can welcome me, but only if the whole church is circling for three minutes and it would be weird if fewer people said hi.

            On the other hand, I am confused by places that refuse to make eye contact.

          • I like that idea! Did you start out looking at a different churches every weekend, until you found the one to attend semi-regularly?

            My husband suggested we make a list of places in this part of the city that we want to start with, and then move out the radius if we can’t find a place (because half of our suggestions are 20-30 minutes away, and I’d rather not drive across town every week, if I can find something closer).

    • Lisa

      No advice, just more solidarity. I’m Jewish and definitely miss the Jewish community I had when I lived in a bigger city. Now I’m in a small town with a small Jewish population and feel really disconnected. We do what we can and hopefully will build stronger connections over time. Just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone in this.

      • The Jewish community here isn’t very big (a good college friend of mine is Jewish), but I went to a high holidays service with her once and was blown away by how beautiful it was.

    • ssha

      Second Episcopal. It might be a good place for you and your husband as it’s sort of between Lutheran and Catholic but generally very progressive.
      Good luck, that’s really difficult! finding a faith community is weird because it’s like shopping for a place your heart fits? traveling mercies to you.

      • That’s such a good way of saying it “shopping for a place your heart fits”. Ugh, it’s so stressful! I’m finding the problem is that I do enjoy the more structured feel of a traditional service, but with a more progressive community and modern music. The structure is kind of comforting.

        • ssha

          Structure is very comforting! I don’t think what you’re looking for is too tall an order- I’ve heard about similar congregations. There’s something out there for you!

    • cml

      Before I go read this timely thread, wanted to offer solidarity. I left my (overall) awesome church about 2 years ago and man do I miss church. I really want us to go to church together and have that connection, but he’s Catholic and I’m non-denominational/protestant so it might be a long road to find someplace we both like and feel comfortable with.

      • I like the Anglican church. I’m from a protestant background and having enjoyed the high-church style (which is very different from how I was raised).

      • It can be! It helped that we met at a Catholic (Jesuit) college, so I was pretty familiar with Catholicism, and that we were looking for the same things in a church. We have also talked about alternating, if we find a Catholic and Lutheran place we like, so there’s that option as well. Maybe we need a APW church search solidarity group?

        • cml

          Yes! We need that solidarity.
          I think we both ultimately want the same things in a church as well, so that should help. (Fingers crossed)

    • Katharine Parker

      One thing to think about is how the music differs at different services at a church. My church does five masses each weekend, each with a different choir and style of music. Other places may be similar!

      • Yes! The Catholic church we attended in Seattle had a youth mass, and their music was so different than the other masses! But it seems like the churches here are smaller, and only do 1-2 services, instead of 3-5.

    • Jenny

      I’ve found that methodist churches are pretty good for me. They have catholic elements, but less dogma. And tend to be more liberal (though this depends). Sounds like you are in Spokane, it’s been years since I was there, but here I’ve found that churches in the 1-2 mile radius of the college tend to be more open minded. UCC is another option people recommend to me, but we haven’t been able to find one around that has a service time that works for us. Good luck! It’s so hard. We’ve been church shopping for almost a year and we will probably continue to do a rotation of the three that we like rather than settle in to one.

      • Thank you! I’m in Spokane, and only a few miles from Gonzaga, and there is a Methodist Church in my neighborhood. I did a Google search after someone else mentioned a Methodist church, and found their Facebook page. They had a Harry Potter Easter meme posted, so I’m thinking they might be a good place to start! :)

  • Mari

    Any fellow first-time homebuyers (aspiring or recent) out there who live in crazy hot sellers markets? After renting here for 4 years my husband and I are starting the process of trying to buy a house in Seattle and its absolute bananas – the prices, competition, and general feelings of complete frenzy. We’ve been watching the market for the last year or so, and it seems like this past winter and now-spring has been even more on fire than 2016 was. We are very fortunate to even be in a position to buy right now, but the stress/uncertainty/emotions are very real.

    • We are also in Seattle and have been eyeing the real estate market since before we got married (2 years ago) and the whole thing just feels like a pipe dream. My husband works downtown and I alternate between Redmond and Woodinville but we both really like the idea of staying in the city. We have been considering attempting to buy his Grandma’s house, which would save us from a bidding war, but it’s worth so much more than any other house we’ve considered that even with a gift of equity we would still be facing a payment that would be a struggle for several years to come. The whole thing is…rough.

    • We bought in a buyer’s market (Spokane, 2014), but I feel for you. A bunch of our friends back in Seattle are just overwhelmed by how crazy the market it. A lot of them are moving to South Seattle or Tacoma, where it’s a bit better.

      I would recommend that you do not waive the inspection. I know a lot of people want to do that (or they offer all cash) but it’s not worth it. We had an inspection and there were still issues we didn’t catch (if you can coordinate it, get someone out to really inspect the sewer/water lines and HVAC too). Good luck with the hunt!!

    • Cellistec

      Yup, we currently rent in Redmond and had been dreaming of buying a house in the Seattle metro area before the bubble started again. So instead we’re fleeing to another county. No help, I know, but I feel you on the frenzy and competition.

    • Grace

      We bought a house in the South Sound before the current craziness, but I work in Bremerton. I know it gets a bad wrap, but it seems like the city is doing everything they can to attract Seattleites to this side of the water (except build a grocery store downtown?). Plus, I’ve heard they’re resurrecting the foot ferry.

    • Booknerd

      Yes!! I just posted on how stressful it’s been and how hopeless we feel about the whole home buying process. So frustrating

    • Louise

      OH boy we bought a house in June 2016 in Seattle and it was insane. We were also pretty financially limited for the area, which made it trickier. We looked at innumerable houses and put offers on 5 before we finally got one. BUT, we got a house in North Seattle that we love. It’s tiny, but perfect for us. And, we got it because of our letter–we added a letter to every offer, and one couple actually read it and chose our lower offer over an offer from a developer. They wrote us a letter back about how the previous owner had chosen them over a higher offer because they were in our same position, so they wanted to pay it forward. They left us a huge bouquet of flowers on closing day and left us a list of their favorite local haunts. So, all to say, it might be discouraging at times, but it will happen eventually! And, there are good people left in the world, so write letters with every offer–couldn’t hurt!

      • Mari

        Those are great tips – thanks. So good to hear that your house hunting experience ended well!

    • Alli

      My mom is in Pennsylvania, north of philly, and it has been insane for her buying a house. I think she put in 5 or 6 offers before finally getting something, and she had to agree to expedited inspections and closing. It was so exhausting for her!

  • sshintaku

    So, I just found out I am pregnant. We had just started trying, and it happened much more quickly than I anticipated. I’m still in shock I think. I basically know nothing about anything. Does anyone have good books, blogs or websites they would recommend?

    • SarahRose472

      Congrats! Me too, literally found out yesterday and was not expecting it. So I feel you on the shock. :) Can’t offer much in the way of resources for the time being…

      • sshintaku

        I feel like I should be doing something! I don’t even really have any “symptoms” so it’s super hard to believe at this point

    • Ashlah

      Congrats! It happened a lot quicker for us than we anticipated too. I couldn’t stop shaking when I was showing my husband the test! Strongly recommend picking up a copy of Expecting Better by Emily Oster for your own sanity during pregnancy, and maybe check out the BabyBumps subreddit (and your due date month subreddit from there) for a good, active pregnancy forum.

      • Anon Today for Reasons

        I LOVE Expecting Better so far and am so grateful for that recommendation, so I second that!

      • sshintaku

        Will do,, thank you!

    • Rebecca

      ‘Up the Duff’ is really wonderful – it’s written by an Australian comedian (who’s also done books for pre-teen girls that I grew up with) and it’s updated every year because the medical knowledge advances every year. It’s great for being really straightforward and also making you laugh :)
      And congratulations!

    • Aubry

      congratulations!
      seconded expecting better to read, especially if you like information. If you’re a person who would rather follow doctors orders and not worry about it than you might not enjoy it as much.
      pregnantchicken.com – so funny and great
      lucieslst.com – great comprehensive list for what you need for baby, with some wry humor thrown in.

  • Poppy

    Any social science alt-acs out there willing to share their journeys from the PhD into non-academic jobs? I’m especially interested in the experiences of people who do qualitative research. How did you get/choose your first non-academic position post-PhD? Anything you did during that time that has paid off especially well? Anything you would re-do differently if given the chance? Was getting off the academic track worth it for you?

    • zana

      I’m guessing from alt-ac you already read The Professor Is In? She might be from a qualitative research field with lots of alt-ac discussions.

    • AmandaBee

      So, I don’t know if I count because I tried to go Alt-Ac while in grad school (last 2 years of my PhD), and then decided about a year in that I actually did want to go the tenure-track route anyway.

      But I work in an administrative research/assessment position at a university, so if that kind of thing interests you I’m happy to chat. There’s interest in qualitative research in my field, though most people are also expected to do some basic statistics.

      In terms of preparation, I think it really helps to try to get some sort of experience in the alt-ac field you’re interested in, even if it’s a part-time assistantship or volunteering with an org while finishing your PhD. That shows that you know what you’re getting into and it makes it clear that you’re interested in that type of work. We’re always wary of people with PhD-level training potentially not understanding that we don’t operate like a typical research center (b/c being administrative). So folks with strong research chops and some sort of admin experience are often appealing to us. It’s not a dealbreaker if someone doesn’t have that, but it certainly helps if they do.

    • AmandaBee

      Also, check out Versatile PhD and see if your school has a license for the restricted content. It was super helpful – it describes different options, has examples of materials people used to apply, talks about jobs for people with different types of PhDs, etc. That + talking to people with Alt-Ac jobs was the most helpful to me.

  • Em

    So, it is starting to seem very very very real that FH and I are moving to Hong Kong in August once I’m done with grad school. We’re both really excited about the move-to the extent that I’m really struggling to stay present and focused on what I need to be doing, which is studying my ass off for big scary exams in June. Any tips about how to stay focused on what’s going on in your life now rather than stuff down the track? (It doesn’t help that the paperwork involved in our move is insane for regulatory reasons around my future job, so every day brings a new urgent email about more documents I need to provide!)

    In much happier news-we are getting legally married (to facilitate our move) in just under two weeks(!) and celebrated FH’s birthday yesterday with a nice home cooked meal, a day out in a nearby city today and what I think was quite a good homemade almost flourless chocolate cake.

    • Rebecca

      Maybe you could designate a certain period of each day for HK stuff? (Not the time of the day when you’re normally most productive.) So for example, if you always have a bit of a productivity slump after lunch, you could study all morning, have lunch and study for an extra half hour, then do HK emails, planning, lists etc for 2 hours, then back to study. That way you know you’ll get to it so you won’t be constantly checking your email etc, if you finish within the allotted time you can relax for half an hour, and it’ll all get done. (We did this for our wedding planning to stop it from taking over our lives.)
      And also congrats on getting married so soon and on the move! How exciting!!!

  • Kara E

    Remember that study that linked HBc and depression (and extensive discussion here)? Not so fast: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/upshot/birth-control-causes-depression-not-so-fast.html

  • Booknerd

    I need to vent!! My husband and I desperately want to sell our condo and buy a house but the market where we live has just exploded and things that were affordable last year are out of reach for us and it is so depressing. Now we’ve been dealing with a builder to build a small house but all these extra costs keep getting added and we could probably still swing it but it would be so tight and I can’t see having a kid in the next year or two with that high of a mortgage payment. Uuuugh I just want to go back in time and buy a house two years ago before everything went so nuts.
    Rant over thanks for listening! ;)

    • Mari

      I totally want to go back in time to two years ago and buy a house then. Envious of all those who did, and now are breathing sighs of relief that they’re not out here with us. Disregarding the market, building a small house sounds like it could theoretically be fun…

      • Booknerd

        It would be amazing but I forgot to factor in the tax when thinking of our budget and now have stretched our already tight budget with a 20G more. Haven’t signed anything yet so it might not be a possibility anymore now for us :(

  • Zandra

    I’m getting married a week from tomorrow- eek! We had a short (7 month) engagement but I still can’t believe it’s almost here! Does anyone have any advice for things I should/not do over the next week? I’ve been feeling pretty anxious and stressed this week for no proper reason. We still need to make our escort cards and I have to buy gifts for my bridesmaids but otherwise, I think things are mostly taken care of! Luckily Monday is a holiday and I have Thursday and Friday off, so I just need to struggle through Tuesday because I’m going to a work conference on Wednesday, and then I have two and a half weeks off!

    • emilyg25

      Let it all go. At this point, you’ve done all you can, and it will be what it is. Enjoy!!

    • Get sleep. And delegate and eliminate unnecessary tasks on the list. And enjoy. :)

  • Alli

    Hey guys. Just got the call, friend with cancer is now brain dead, soon to be actual dead. So there’s that. Unsure of what to do for her family, especially her mom. Idk what else to write, or why after crying and calling my mom my first instinct was to post here. Today sucks.

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