The CREAM Event Comes To SF!


Plus APW Happy Hour, Plus Meg's Birthday!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

APW + The CREAMCDP3X3-75

Hey APW!

This week I got back from a week long trip to the East Coast with two kids under five (pictures on my Instagram over here). It was great—and the first time we have been able to take our kids back to Brooklyn, where we got together and I live for nine years. It was also… bonkers… because traveling with two kids under five (and no extra hands to help) is always bonkers. Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To The Ocean, anyone? But the day after we got back it was my (very jet lagged) birthday. And because the APW team is the best, they decked out the office for me… which is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for my birthday. Add a birthday lunch with girlfriends today, and a birthday dinner with David tomorrow, and you have a pretty damn good birthday week.

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Add to that, we have been DROWNING at work over here, since exactly December 31, when we got hit with some really miserable stuff. And finally (finally) things are returning to normal. Sure, we’re still knee-deep in web development projects (coming soon to a website near you), but the sun it out, our moods are up, and we’re finally feeling like we’re able to do… our actual jobs. Which makes it a perfect week to announce that….

APW + The Cream Event

Those of you in the Bay Area can (and should) totally hang with us next weekend, on Sunday, April 30! But how, you wonder? If you noticed that glorious image above and asked, “But how do I make all of my hologram dreams come true?” it turns out that the answer is attending The CREAM. If you’re not familiar, The CREAM is one of the coolest wedding events on the planet. It’s never been in the Bay Area before, so after years and years of watching with envy from afar, we finally get to ACTUALLY ATTEND! Eeeeeeee! Dancing shoes, on.

Instead of the traditional expo feel, The CREAM gathers up the best in the industry and creates a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Think getting to go to a wedding and seeing how vendors do?? it?? up?? IRL. There will be all the food, a dance party, and you can come hang with the West Coast members of Team APW! Tickets are on sale now but getting snapped up quickly… But we’re giving away not one, but TWO tickets so you can come experience it for yourself! Head to our Instagram to enter—all your details are there! Winner will be announced Tuesday, April 25 on Instagram and notified via DM.

XO,

Meg

PS: I lied, one more thing. On Monday afternoon you can/should totally tune into the APW Facebook page, where you’ll find me and Stephanie testing out curling irons from L’ange under Kate’s dutiful and fabulous direction. We’ve been told it is not safe to drink while curling our hair, but it will still be the next best thing to hanging out with us in real life.

Link round-up

The Girls finale is a financial fantasy.

Letter from the Editor: Executive Editor

How to not insult your boss’s daughter.

An all-male panel failed to pass a law in Maryland that strips rapists of parental rights (because of course they did).

How to be okay with having a communist friend.

Three baby red pandas explore their new surroundings for the first time.

The heart of whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo interviews Rachel Dolezal.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

Staff Picks

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  • Anon with FEELS

    I’ve been waiting all week for Happy Hour because I’m having a lot of FEELINGS about something awesome I did that also had a part that wasn’t that awesome.

    This one’s long, so thanks for reading even if you don’t respond.

    Last Saturday night, I (I’m a white woman) hosted a fundraiser to benefit two organizations that are doing a lot to help resist Trump. I invited 10 of my friends to perform (dancers, singers, comedians, actors, storytellers, and poets) and was able to raise over $700. I had never done anything like that before – organized an event, invited people, asked for money. It was really hard and scary and ultimately SO rewarding. I feel like I can conquer the world now!

    But…

    Two of the comedians who performed (one woman of color, one gay man of color – for context) made a couple jokes that had me squirming in my seat – the former made one comment about people with mental and physical disabilities and the latter did an entirely different act than anything I’d ever seen him do before – he typically tells humorous anecdotes about his experiences as a gay man of color, but this time he created a character who said a few things that were just slightly racist and sexist to make the audience unsure as to whether he was making jokes about those marginalized groups or if he himself was the joke. In retrospect, as the organizer, I should have been more explicit about my expectations for both of them, but I’ve come to a tentative peace with the fact that both of them went completely off script of what I’ve expected from them/how they’ve performed in the past, and I couldn’t have predicted that.

    I also didn’t know how to respond to any of this in the context of the show, without making the stage feel like an unsafe place for the performers to come, and my emcee, bless her, got on the stage immediately after the man’s set (his was the more egregious of the two) and explained that he was doing a character and those jokes were not to be taken seriously.

    I thought that was the end of it. Then, the next day, I got on Facebook and saw that a friend (white woman) who had performed in the show and said she’d had the best time had written an angry invective about the show and about how she was no longer going to support “‘progressive’ shows who endorse racist, sexist comedians. These white feminists are no friends of mine.” Based on her post history, it’s clear she was talking about my show. I was hurt and in shock that she was so kind to my face and then made huge proclamations about how I was a bad feminist and needed to check my privilege, and etc.

    As I always do when anyone calls me out on my shit, I took a second and thought that I could have handled the comedian situation better, and knew that my silence was an endorsement. I apologized to her and to her co-performer (a woman of color who said she felt unsafe after hearing the man’s act) with promises to do better. I meant all of it and I still feel tremendously awful about making them both feel uncomfortable (unless others were lying to me, they were the only ones who felt this way – not to invalidate their feelings at all, but for clarity about how bad the offending incidents were on a scale of 0 to Access Hollywood).

    So this whole thing has left my pride at pulling off this event and raising money with a big blemish on it. I feel like no good deed goes unpunished, but also, I’m furious at my friend. Not for her feelings, but that she lied to my face and then decided to sub-post me on Facebook instead of talk to me. Once I called her out on the sub-post, we had a lovely discussion where I explained I was blindsided and apologized and she apologized and she elaborated on how she felt and the incident feels resolved. Except I still have a lot of feelings about it.

    What I’ve learned from this – In general, I feel like social media activism has created a culture where we can get validation we crave by posting blanket statements about how X is bad and I’m not going to stand for it, but we neglect to actually talk to people who have hurt us and actually fix the problem. Had I not seen that post, I would never have known how she and her co-performer felt!

    Also, it’s one thing to slam someone you don’t know for writing an article/making a statement/etc., but can we please talk to the people we care about if they goof up, ESPECIALLY if they have shown they have good intentions and are interested in inclusion, etc.

    Finally – if you think I’m in the wrong here, please call me out. I want to be educated.

    • Violet

      Wow, I’d be reeling, too. No matter how one chooses to put themselves out there (writing a book, hosting a fundraiser, starting a blog, etc.) there are gonna be people who don’t like what you’re doing. There’s a blemish for everything, unfortunately. (I kinda like how we’re ona wedding website, where we remind each other that even your wedding day will have something that goes wrong/not according to plan.) I’m sure since everyone you invited agreed with your overall message you thought you wouldn’t have any detractors afterwards, but nothing can be 100% perfect for everyone. Yes, this was hard because she’s a friend, but this is inherently why doing something big is scary- there’s an almost guaranteed chance some people won’t be happy with the finished product.

      • Anon with FEELS

        “No matter how one chooses to put themselves out there (writing a book, hosting a fundraiser, starting a blog, etc.) there are gonna be people who don’t like what you’re doing.”

        Thanks for that. When I started planning, I naively thought that no one could be against it and everyone would love it (in between bouts of fear that I would have 10 performers and an empty audience), and I think you hit the nail on the head.

        At least I was able to raise money and didn’t have a show with offensive portions and nothing to show for it. :)

    • Lisa

      I think you handled it as best as you could in the moment. The show must go on and all of that jazz, and it sounds like your emcee did a good job of trying to diffuse the tension when it was clear the joke had gotten out of hand/wasn’t playing right. If your friend didn’t feel like she could approach you that evening when her emotions were high, she should have come to you the next day/week and discussed her concerns instead of vaguebooking.

      I’m glad that you were able to work most everything out. The two comedians gave you some valuable information about themselves, which I’m sure you’ll take into account if you host another event like this again. (Which it sounds like you should! What a great accomplishment you had! Many congratulations to you on pulling a show like this off.)

      • Anon with FEELS

        Thank you for the validation! I am my own worst critic usually, so I keep thinking I could have done more.

        And you’re totally right – I know if I ever put an event on like this again that I’ll either have some come to Jesus moments with both comedians or I won’t invite them back (strangely, I’d feel better about inviting back the male comedian because he was very aware that his material was not right immediately after his set; the female comedian blew off my concerns).

        Regardless, I’m not sure if/when I will ever host one of these again. A friend compared how I’m feeling to how she felt right after she had her daughter – she knew in her gut she’d probably have another kid, but in the first few months of her life, she was traumatized by the birth experience to the point that she was daydreaming of her husband having a vasectomy!

    • Megan

      If it makes you feel any better, my partner was in a very similar situation (although it wasn’t a fundraiser show). He hosts a monthly comedy night (he’s a man of color, his co-host is a white man) and they had a white male comedian come up and do the most egregiously offensive set I’ve ever seen in my life. (Like holocaust jokes egregious.)

      Both the hosts and the audience had no idea what to do. They gave him the light but he kept going. Eventually they burst in on the middle of a joke about elder rape and ended the set. Afterwards several people went up to the performer to try to talk to him about how inappropriate and offensive his set was and all he said was “You must not know comedy then…” **smh**

      I don’t think most of your audience will assign the blame for your acts’ sets to you or to your cause. I sure don’t when I’m in the audience… :)

      • Anon with FEELS

        This does make me feel better, thank you! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one dealing with insensitive comedians.

        “I don’t think most of your audience will assign the blame for your acts’ sets to you or to your cause. I sure don’t when I’m in the audience… :)”

        And THANK YOU for this! It’s definitely been a niggling worry in the back of my mind that people feel like I’m responsible for some insensitive, unfunny, bad jokes.

  • Morgan D

    Can you all shine some APW wisdom down on me? Something came up re: our engagement plans last night, and I can’t figure out if I’m just still reeling or if there’s a longer-term (logistical) problem on my plate:

    Backstory: Partner and I discussed/agreed on a timeline for getting engaged, and we’re about a third of the way through that period now (7 weeks left!). An overall element of surprise/control in the proposal is important to my partner. While that’s not usually my jam, since we at least agreed on the timeline and why of getting married together, it seems appropriate and meaningful—and I actually really appreciate that he wants to take on this effort and ownership of the “where, when, and how” bits!

    However, the one thing I said I wanted control over was the ring. In material things, I’m very minimalist (e.g. I have a small but carefully curated closet, set of outdoor gear, etc.), and I’ve been alarmed that most of the brides/wives we know have all hated or been disappointed with their engagement rings. Not because they weren’t flashy enough! But just because they weren’t somehow ineffably “them/theirs.”

    So, we talked about it, I went ring shopping a few times, expecting to maybe find a few “okay” options and then let him choose among them and…

    I surprised myself by falling absolutely in love with a full bridal set (wedding and engagement ring)! I’ve seen other people get sentimental/cry about rings/dresses, but I really didn’t think that *I* could have that feeling of, “OMG, this is so perfect. And there are complete strangers commenting that the set is just so obviously ‘me!’ And… Oh, wow, tears!”

    Still, I didn’t want to make a hasty decision so, I slept on it, confirmed our budget, went back to the store to see if I still liked any of the other options available and… I didn’t. Talked with the shop keepers, sent my beloved an email with details, and thought the baton had been successfully passed.

    Last night, I gently reminded my overworked ADHD-love that, while I knew he was busy, there was a 2-3 week timeline for making/getting one of the rings, and he might want to include that in any planning he was doing if he hadn’t done so already…

    We’re in a philosophy/meditation group, and he suddenly got very insistent that I shouldn’t—in principle—have any expectations about the proposal—either in what it looks like, or even in getting the rings I’d selected, which we’d agreed I could pick out!

    His logic was, “If I get you those rings, the best that can happen is a neutral outcome” — meaning no positive surprise. I said, “No, the best that can happen is a positive outcome, because you still get to plan everything else — while knowing you’re giving me something I love, retaining my sense of agency, etc.. And if you put even a little bit of thought into saying something nice about why you’re proposing to/choosing ME, I won’t care if you propose in a shoebox.”

    Cue long, round-about but civil argument about why—in principle—it’s better to have low/no expectations than high/positive ones (generally speaking, agreed!). But also why—in this particular, practical, emotional instance—it’s important for me to be free to be excited about my choice, I felt like he was crushing my happiness just to make a philosophical point, etc..

    We eventually talked things through and reached an understanding. My partner has apologized (a lot!) both last night and this morning for being callous/careless of my feelings, and pursuing a principle over stepping back and seeing how it was hurting me in the moment. We’ve made up and the wedding/marriage are all going to be fine but…

    As much as I’d prefer to focus on the flowers in our garden than the weeds, and much as I feel small/petty for feeling this way and focusing on logistics instead of the relationship…

    I just can’t shake the feeling that the pair of rings I picked out is now somehow tainted by this whole thing. Like… I don’t even want them anymore, and I’d almost rather have a pair of engagement/weddings rings that really are “just things,” than that perfect set —which was so “me/us,” but which now – instead of reminding me of excitement/joy – just reminds me of this awful, painful conversation.

    I feel deflated: excited to be married, yes, but no longer at all excited for the actual proposal/engagement.

    What do you think I should/can do? Trust that these are just raw/fresh feelings that will pass soon enough? Ask for the originally chosen set and hope my feelings about it change back again? Ask for a different set? Say I don’t care anymore?

    Part of the stuck-ness re: the rings is that I just can’t seem to shake the feeling being angry/sad at—and disappointed in—my partner for choosing to make a point instead of caring for my feelings. I understand him doing it sometimes (we all do), but it really stings that he did it 1) about this, 2) now, and 3) that I might have a visual reminder of it on my finger for the rest of my life.

    Thoughts? Past experiences? Ways to ask him to make things better?

    Can’t think of anything except starting all over and going shopping again (but together this time). Or maybe asking for a sincere demonstration of understanding why the original set/process was so meaningful to me, and that he respects and wants to include that/wants me to be excited?

    – Not sure, and hate feeling so “bleh” about something that was so beautiful.

    • BSM

      Ugh, I’m sorry that happened and is dampening your engagement excitement a bit!

      One thing to remember is that, for a lot of people, engagements/wedding planning/impending marriage tend to make otherwise normal-sized disagreements seem more dire because, consciously or subconsciously, there is an element of THIS IS FOREVER going on.

      So I guess I would try to remember that “choosing to make a point instead of caring for your feelings” is something that people sometimes do (unfortunately), your partner has done it before, and he will probably do it again. Unless that’s a significant problem in your relationship, this is a run of the mill scuffle that doesn’t need to be made into something more serious.

    • Violet

      Alright, same, but NOT the same. My husband wanted a bookcase. We found one. Store clerk was then incredibly rude about a number of delivery issues that arose. We tried to just give up and get our money back, but couldn’t. When the thing was finally delivered, I swore I’d be pissed every time I saw that goddamn bookcase. And for the first week, I was. But now? I actually had to search my brain for something like this to share as an example (because I attach feelings to objects, too, so I knew I’d have one). Ultimately this conversation/argument shows that even if you and your intended have widely different views originally, you can arrive at a consensus. You guys rock! Keep this ring. The sting will fade, and you’ll be left with an item you really love.

    • Laura C

      I’m sorry. That’s miserable.

      Maybe if you feel like the whole process is tarnished, step back and change the timeline? Not as a “we’re not doing it” thing, but as a “we need a little reset” thing? And maybe if the timeline changes, then him getting the rings you love will … change in feeling, since it’s part of a new process?

      • Morgan D

        I like this idea of maybe adding on an extra two weeks or so (we’re seeing Hamilton in that extra bit of time, so part of me thinks that would be making it tooooo easy ;) ). We’re also going on vacations next week (Maui!!!) so maybe that will help reset things naturally without changing timelines.

        • Laura C

          I bet the change of scenery will help. Especially since the scenery will be changing to Maui! :)

          (Also, we’re seeing Hamilton tonight. How do I keep forgetting about this?)

          • Morgan D

            Ahhhh! Have fun!!!!!

    • Anna

      I can say that I’ve been on both sides of making a philosophical point in what should be an emotional/logistical/practical/whatever else discussion, and (on the making-a-point side) in the moment it feels VERY IMPORTANT, because you’ve gotten distracted from what the conversation was originally supposed to be about by something that seems (or even is) TRUE and the other person’s attempts to direct the conversation back to the original topic seem like assertions that whatever philosophical point is false.

      This is obviously not helpful. The most productive thing I got out of nine months of therapy a couple years ago was learning how to do this less. But I can also say that, at least for me, it was never about whatever the original conversation was about and had usually fairly little to do with my feelings about the original topic. Things that felt meaningful would be more likely to initiate this kind of argument because the general feeling of meaningfulness made it seem more necessary to… I don’t know, stand my ground?

      • Morgan D

        I am stifling laughter here, and I soooo appreciate your sharing, because this is maybe 40% of our couples therapy conversations right here (usually a lot of me making these arguments, and then waiting 3-6 months for the, “Oh, I get it moment.”)

        Last night’s ah-ha moment was: “I see that people aren’t principled robots. And expecation management should be tailored to each individual circumstance. And an engagement is not the time to treat someone like a principled robot.”

    • Cdn icecube

      I’ve had similar conversations with the manfriend about rings and all the inevitable emotion that comes with them. All I can suggest as an unengaged person who has picked her ring out is that one bad memory doesn’t necessary ‘taint’ jewelry. BUT if it really bothers you, there’s no reason that you can’t find something different before or after the proposal. Because at the end of the day you are the one wearing the ring and I don’t see any problem with you actually liking what you are wearing.

      BUT I also know that manfriend was very ‘I get to pick and you will have to like it’ until someone close to him proposed to his bride and she hated the ring. She hates it so much that everyone knows and it’s a bit of a joke at this point. So that pushed him into realizing that my opinion IS important in this type of conversation. I wish he had come up with that on his own but *shrugs*

    • Kate

      Maybe go try on the ring set again with a friend who is very good at showing enthusiasm? And if it still feels weird, maybe take notes on what you love about that particular ring aesthetically and try to find a similar ring without the emotional baggage? Maybe your partner could pick out or design a special box for the ring, to reaffirm that he is on board with your choice.

      • Anna

        Seconding that first suggestion (although all three are good ideas). I had a moment with my wedding dress where I was like “but what if it’s horrible because [specific body image issues]” and I texted the photo to a very enthusiastic friend without telling her why (just “look, my wedding dress!”) and her response completely got me past feeling shitty about it.

        • Jane

          My big sis has been amazing at this and it has made a WORLD of difference to me when I am stressing out about wedding decisions. Identifying which friend will make you feel awesome (vs. which friend will help you get things done, give you honest feedback, etc) should be one of the first things on everyone’s wedding planning list.

        • Morgan D

          Good to know you can do this for wedding dresses, too! I live far away from all my dearest friends (except soon-to-be fiancé) and dress shopping is the one instance I imagined wanting to find a way to enlist morale support.

        • Jess

          I did this multiple times with my dress to various friends. I 100% prefaced it with, “Tell me I’m pretty please?” but it still helped a lot.

      • Morgan D

        Love this idea, and it’s reminding me that my best friend has seen a photo of the rings and adores them/also said they’re perfect. Like the idea of not letting this spoil things, and maybe just asking for something tiny affirming my choice (I LOVE tiny boxes!)

    • Ashlah

      I think you should still get the rings. I do think the sting will fade, and you will hopefully instead be able to look back on this as a good example of being honest about your feelings, communicating well, and coming to a consensus. He eventually understood you and apologized for what he did wrong (and it sounds pretty genuine based on what you’ve written). He messed up in a pretty icky way, but we all do sometimes, and everything that came after is an example of Doing It Right. I 100% understand why you were so hurt by his words, and why it still hurts even after your long conversation and his apologies. I would give it a few days at least and see how you feel at that point. If you decide you can’t do it, I am sure there is more than one set of rings in this world that you can love! I would not say that you don’t care anymore because I don’t think that’s true or will continue to be true even if it feels true right now.

      • Morgan D

        Ashlah, I want to hug you. You speak the truth, and thanks so much for the empathy all around, for all parties, and the relationship as a whole. <3

        • Ashlah

          Aw, hugs! <3

    • CP2011

      Your finger. Your choice of ring.

    • penguin

      I get where you’re coming from here! I had a (kind of) similar experience before I got engaged, although not quite the same. My now-fiancé and I agreed on a timeline (by the end of 2016). I had his engagement ring all the way back in September. We’d gone ring shopping for mine. And then I never heard anything from him on how it was going. So I’d ask, and he’d deflect, and I was getting really pissed off/hurt/upset that he hadn’t even started looking at rings yet. It was getting closer and closer to the end of the year, and I was afraid that he’d leave everything to the last minute (it’s happened before), and that he wouldn’t have anything. We ended up getting in an argument, because I’d been asking him about it all the time, and I felt like he was blowing me off. Turns out he’d had the ring for a while, and just wanted to surprise me. It got to the point where I was afraid I’d be really bitter when he finally proposed and that I’d hate looking down at my ring. We worked it out with some good (long) conversations ahead of the proposal. When it finally happened, it was sweet and I loved it, and I love my ring.

      For me, it helps to get some distance from the conversation, and to know that we’ve both moved on. When I look at my ring I don’t think about all the tension before we got engaged, I just think about how much we love each other, and how many things we worked through to get to this point.

    • Jane

      So, I started to write up a response attacking the merits of his philosophical position, but that wouldn’t really help.
      The truth is, he’s really sorry – the best way he can show that is by giving you the rings you want. He can’t go back and not get into the argument, but he can do his best not to make the decision to argue about the rings also stop you from getting the rings you liked so much. And so, to the extent the rings remind you of this argument, can’t they also remind you that he loves you and that you are two people who work through your shit? I mean, that seems like a pretty positive thing to remember every time you see them.

      • Morgan D

        Can I “<3" this comment like on Facebook?

      • MC

        So, once my husband & I got into a fight outside of our favorite doughnut shop (maybe the only time we’ve ever really argued in public?) and it was about how something he had said had hurt me. We went and got doughnuts together after but it was a little awkward. Later, husband went back to the doughnut shop by himself and got a art print that was on sale there that we had admired together, and gave it to me and apologized and said he would do better. It was super sweet, but I was worried that every time I looked at the print I would remember our argument. 4 years later, I totally look at the art as a symbol of him working on his shit because he loves me and our relationship being so much better than it was because of that. So yes, agree with you 100%.

        • Amanda

          That’s beautiful and has me tearing up.

        • Jane

          Good for you both for rising above it. I’m still working on that myself. My FH and I had a rough patch years ago, which included him breaking up with me at a restaurant (obviously we got back together and things are generally great now). I thought I was fine going back to that restaurant but recently realized that I am not. I have so few memories of that place, and the ones I do have are just so awful, I don’t see much point in working on it. But, if the place had had some other, more positive things associated with it first, I would try to redeem it.

    • jem

      We were here a little over a year ago!! It was super important to me to be involved in picking out my ring and I also fell in love with a particular ring before we got engaged. It was really important to my fiancé to have ownership of the proposal and he wasn’t thrilled with the surprise element of the ring being “ruined” by me picking them out. I showed him the ring I wanted, and he agreed it was perfect for me but warned that that might not be the ring I got and then… he proposed with that ring. I think that men get battered with these crazy messages about the engagement process. Even men who meditate and think about philosophy. I almost think you should just wait and see what happens…

      In the end, a ring isn’t necessarily forever. You can always exchange it or have the stones reset.

      • Morgan D

        Truth! This whole process is making me realize how much gender-roled stuff he’s internalized. I like the idea of meeting him in this space thoughtfully/openly.

        • jem

          It is FASCINATING to see how much my super woke dude has internalized gender roles– he’s been really surprised about his own reactions to some of the issues that have arisen during wedding planning, and it’s made for some really interesting conversations

        • rg223

          And along with gender roles, I think there’s just a lot of societal emphasis and pressure on a proposal being “a surprise” that causes the proposers to stress out and behave bizarrely. Chandler on Friends is the best known example (and the most extreme, because sitcoms), and I know a lot of real-world examples too. I feel for the proposers! It’s a lot of pressure!

        • Part of me wonders if saying it won’t be the ring you picked out is part of the gender role playing, so you can get the ring you want and it’ll still be a ‘surprise’. It’s very sitcom, but that’s part of internalizing these gender role narratives. Once you feel like you’re in a narrative like that, you expect everyone else to know the story too, and suddenly finding out that it’s not cute to say “maybe you won’t get that ring” means you have to defend the role you’re playing more than your actual values (which presumably making you happy), and you end up in a really weird fight.

    • Emily

      So I don’t have any advice on the engagement / timeline aspects of things because I didn’t have a proposal or an engagement ring, but I think society tells us ladies often that a man should just be able to figure these things out and get why things are important to us but sometimes they don’t. I think with your partner you are going to have to say to him “I really want these specific rings. They are important to me and I love them and I want you to buy them today.” I have a feeling your partner may be a bit like my husband where he is listening to you but cannot understand the importance to you. I would wager a guess that it will click for him when he sees you thrilled with the ring on your finger.

      True story: When buying our wedding bands, I wanted a band that was more expensive than some of the entry level bands available. My husband put off buying our wedding bands and then asked me if I really needed to have that particular band and why because had I seen – there were less expensive options available (not in a mean way – just in a “why would you buy the more expensive screwdriver when there is a less expensive one”). I finally had to say “Because its pretty and it sparkles and I like it and I want that one – lets buy them now.” Now, that I wear it all the time and I love it he is super happy that I am happy and even came with me / reminded me to have it resized and then picked it back up again for me because it was in an inconvenient location for me to get it.

      My point is just – there are people (like my husband) for whom all things serve a practical purpose. Dude just bought all the correct parts to fix our electric garage door opener system on Amazon, but when he has to make a “which one do I LIKE” purchase, he puts it off and struggles to keep a positive attitude about the whole situation, but he’s always happy with the results / and happy when he sees me happy.

      • Morgan D

        Yeah, it feels odd to document the messier bits of “our engagement story” online, but we both tend towards practical (my favorite recent purchases are a two-burner camping stove and a day-pack Camelbak for hiking).

        I think he really just didn’t get that this was different until I was so saddened by the whole thing that I started crying. He immediately melted, realized he’d way overstepped, and started trying desperately to fix things. …Which I guess is, as others have pointed out, maybe raw, but really not so bad and actually even good :)

        I also really like the idea of inviting him to purchase/look at the rings together (soon) so he can see/get excited for himself. Thumbs up!

        • Emily

          Everyone has messier bits – half my life is the messier bits. I hope you work it out! you may also have success with adding something onto the end and / or before it – like “lets get up and make eggs and bacon. Then we will go to the ring store and then since its nearby we can go check out that brewery we’ve been meaning to try and have a celebratory beer.” If he’s anxious about the actual process / shopping this might make it more of a fun adventure. I did this successfully with my husband around all the stuff we had to shop for when we were renovating our house (well the contractors were renovating – but we still had to go make all our choices). I don’t mean this to sound enabling – more that everyone has their kryptonite and sometimes this can be helpful. I have a lot of anxiety around money and my husband does the same with me – IE “if you gather all your tax forms and scan them to me then we can go try that new taco place”

    • Jess

      I don’t have advice, but I would have probably responded to that “best possible outcome is neutral” with “Yeah, and if you don’t get that exact set, the best possible outcome is extremely negative” because I have zero chill. So you handled it much better than I.

    • Booknerd

      Just chiming in to say my husband and I had a massive fight about my wedding band, he thought it was too expensive, I thought his suit that cost more was a waste of money, and in the mall going to get said rings I got so mad at him I had a full on tantrum and stormed out because I didn’t want the ring to be tainted with our argument and told my husband to forget it and just get the cheap ring if he was going be resentful over $500. (Gotta love all those petty wedding planning spats) we ended up coming back a few weeks later and I got the expensive ring, husband was totally on board, and I honestly haven’t thought about that fight until now about a year later. Also I wear my ring every day and he has worn his suit once, but we were both happy on the day so that’s all that matters ;)

    • Sarah

      Oh honey, that’s so tough. When my husband and I first got engaged I told him it was important to me to choose the ring together but he was so sure that what I *really* wanted was a surprise that he refused to even discuss it and surprised me with a ring which I hated, partly because it wasn’t my style but mostly because it felt like a reminder of how he disregarded my wishes and ruined what should have been a really special time. I felt like you, still excited to be married but not at all excited about the engagement and it was so, so upsetting.

      Eventually he suggested getting a new ring together but I was worried that if we did it would be tainted by the awful experience. I posted about it in Happy Hour once and people said such kind things and somebody (I think it was Amy March?) said it didn’t have to be tainted, it could be a symbol of him learning a lesson and trying harder and us getting better at doing things as a team. So we did get a new ring and I love it and it isn’t tainted at all, when I look at it I just think about how great it is to be partners who make decisions together and respect each other’s wishes.

      So I say get the rings you wanted, and let them be a visual reminder of your partner learning to put aside his ‘practical’ principles in favour of prioritising your feelings. But if you still feel really hurt despite having talked it out you can definitely tell him that you need him to do something about that – some kind of gesture or demonstration that he really understands what you wanted and wants to make it right. Or if extending the time period a little is an option, you might find that a bit of time helps too. Good luck.

  • Lisa

    Happy Birthday, Meg!

    Husband and I are leaving on trip 2/3 in 2017 on Sunday for FRANCE! I am so excited to walk around Paris, and I’m going to have the new-to-me experience of renting and driving a car through another country. I’m also looking forward to all of the food we’re going to eat. (No patisserie left behind!)

    Anyone else have vacations in the works?

    • stephanie

      Yaaayyyyy Paris! We didn’t rent a car there, but we did in Iceland and it was super amazing. We were talking about renting a car if we visit Paris again, so we can drive to other parts of the country. I hope you have the best time!!

      As for us, we’re currently planning a whole host of domestic US trips for the summer, up and down the West Coast + also a brief stint in Chicago (which we’ve been to, but remains one of the few remaining major US cities that our kid hasn’t visited).

      Who else is planning trips?

      • Lisa

        Thank you!! The car is for one day up in Normandy, where we’ll be spending half the week at a music festival in which my husband’s quartet is playing. They have a full day of rehearsals before the performance so I’m taking the opportunity to rent a car and visit the D-Day beaches. The other half of the time I’ll be walking around Paris, hand-in-hand with my husband and a box of macarons.

        That sounds so lovely! If you need/want Chicago recommendations, I hope you’ll come back to the HH thread. I miss Chicago very much, and there are so many great opportunities there, especially in the summer.

        • stephanie

          I will definitely ask when it gets closer to the trip!! I think we’re only doing 1-2 days there (it’s part of a longer almost cross-country road trip), but the last time we visited was… nine years ago? We’re definitely going to be walking around the city + eating all the food + looking at all the art. :)

          Your trip sounds amazing. Walking around Paris, hand in hand with my husband and something delicious is one of my all-time favorite states to be in. :)

        • jem

          I feel you’re near Omaha beach I highly recommend checking out Honfleur- it’s about an hour’s drive but it is the prettiest little town.

          • Lisa

            I saw Honfleur in my guidebook! It’s about 30 minutes by bus from the town where we’re staying, and I’m considering going over there on the half-day before the concert if our town turns out to be as dull as the internet is saying.

        • CMT

          You might need both hands to both hold the macarons and pop them in your mouth.

          • Lisa

            Good call. Perhaps husband can hold the box while I shovel them into my mouth?

        • nosio

          Normandy is gorgeous and there is so much history (and calvados!). I loved it just as much as Paris!

    • Cdn icecube

      I’m leaving for Peru in two weeks! I can’t wait. :) I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and a nice way of getting away from the costa rica wedding drama.

      • Natalie

        Where in Peru?! I’ve spent a total of 5 months in Peru for work, all over the country, and I loved everywhere I went.

        • stephanie

          Was about to ask this! Our kid get to pick our next international trip + Peru is second on his list (preceded by Japan). I know next to nothing about Peru!

          • Cdn icecube

            Lima and Cusco. It would be fun to go to more places but we don’t have the vacation time. BUT we are going to hit up MP, rainbow mountains AND… the 4th best restaurant in the world. Can you guess which thing I’m most excited to do?!

          • stephanie

            Hahhaha I love it! He definitely wants to go to Lima, but it’s all because he watched a BBC documentary about pets + found out that dogs run freely in Lima and hang out with each other all day and then go home at sunset, and he thinks that this sounds like a dream. He wants to visit Japan because the same documentary told us about Rabbit Island and Cat Island. Clearly he’s making super solid, informed vacation plans. :)

          • CMT

            I like his priorities! I have a friend working in Peru right now and from her Instagram it appears that she adopted one of those street dogs recently.

          • Natalie

            The food in Lima, man. The FOOD. Everything there is delicious, from the fancy restaurants to the cheap ceviche stands.

          • Cdn icecube

            So excited to eat all the things while we are there.

          • K. is skittsh about disqus

            Lima is super underrated. It’s a very cool city in its own right with a lot to do and see and EAT, though it often gets treated as more or less just a fly-in city. We loved walking along the water in the Miraflores district, exploring the inner city Lima/Wari ruins Huaca Pucllana, spending hours at the Larco museum, and eating our body weights in ceviche.

            Cusco is completely stunning too, but lots of people will concur on that one!

          • Natalie

            Peru is fantastic if you like nature, anthropology/history, or beautiful vistas. There are a bunch of great options for Amazon/rainforest tourism, including lodges that host both biologists and tourists and have guides to take you to see river dolphins, giant river otters, caiman, sloths, parrots, toucans, monkeys, hummingbirds, etc., etc. Machu Pichu is supposed to be a must-see (I never made it there b/c I was working nonstop while I was in Peru). The Andes mountains are gorgeous, and lots of tourists enjoy guided treks in them. Lima has some of the best food and most innovative chefs/restaurants in the world, and is a fascinating city for site-seeing, especially if you like learning about history & culture. There are places to see penguins on the coast near Lima, and lovely beaches in the northern part of the country.

          • stephanie

            Ahhh this is all right up his/our alley! Thank you!

          • RMC

            I cannot recommend Alpaca Expeditions highly enough for any treks – they are amazing and deserve every 5 star review they have in Trip Advisor (literally thousands of them)! They are slightly more expensive than some of the cheapest trek companies but are owned by a local guy who pays his workers fairly so it’s going to a good cause. All of their guides are incredibly kind and knowledgeable and get you up the mountain with delicious food and funny motivation.

          • stephanie

            My husband is super into mountain climbing. I’ll pass this on to him so he knows!

          • Natalie

            No shortage of mountains to climb in Peru! :-D There are a couple in northern Peru that are really popular with hard core mountaineers; I think the summits are well over 5,000 meters.

          • Eenie

            I spent two months in Peru! Highlights we’re petting a baby alpaca and climbing Wayna Pichu. If you go to Puno and visit the floating islands, I recommend against eating the cheese as it made me extremely ill and I almost went to the hospital. I love the country so much and there’s a lot to see outside of Lima and Machu Picchu.

      • Lisa

        Oh, how fun! Que te diviertas! :)

    • Essssss

      Might be going to Brazil in August, which is exciting and also totally overwhelming! It’s a huge place, how do I pick where to go? Or where to even fly in to? Also, we are not planning to try to get pregnant this year, but maybe the following, and the CDC guidelines are clear on what precautions to take (basically 6 months of condoms post travel to Brazil), but I still feel a little anxious about some unintended consequences or longer term zika issues that we don’t know about yet beyond that 6 month window. But I am super excited and hungry for an international trip!

      • Lisa

        That sounds amazing! I’d love to get to another continent. (We’ve only traveled in the US and Europe.) I don’t have anything useful to say about Zika long-term, but I hope it will be all right.

        • Essssss

          Thanks! I’ve never been to Latin America either!

          • Katharine Parker

            Yes, for renting a car check if your credit card offers insurance, if it’s primary or secondary, and if it covers France (sometimes there are country-specific regulations to be aware of). Also, if you’re renting from somewhere like AutoEurope’s website or through any third party, decline the insurance they offer on the website and if you need it get insurance at the rental site.

            Otherwise, have fun!! It sounds like an amazing trip.

          • Lisa

            Thank you for the tips! Eek, I hope I have time to contact the credit card company/that they’re open tomorrow.

      • Natalie

        Brazil would be amazing. I, too, would have trouble choosing where in Brazil to visit. FYI, the mosquitoes that transmit Zika are a species that lives inside human dwellings, are very rarely found outside, and can’t fly very far. They breed in small containers of water inside people’s homes & other buildings. It is a disease of poverty, because wealthy people don’t need to keep buckets of water in their home. While I would be concerned, too, taking precautions in where you stay and eat, so you’re not spending much time in buildings with standing water for mosquitoes to breed in, will really cut down on the likelihood of getting infected. My husband is a disease ecologist whose research currently focuses on controlling this species of mosquito – it also transmits several other horrible diseases, including Dengue Fever.

        • Essssss

          Wow, thanks for that perspective and information. I hate that diseases of poverty get so little research support and am really glad that your husband is on it!

          • Natalie

            You’re welcome. I’ve learned way more about mosquitoes than I ever thought I’d want to know since he started working on this project… Drug companies don’t fund much research into these sorts of diseases because there’s little profit for them, so most of my husband’s funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, and Department of Defense (which has a big investment into tropical medicine research). Mosquito-born illnesses kill so many people worldwide, and we invest so little money into fighting them compared to diseases that affect the wealthy. /rant

          • Essssss

            Oh I hear ya! As a malaria survivor myself (long story) I think we need those federal funds for research so bad! I did read about this organization a while back, I think it was institute for one world health, that was trying to come up with a better pharmeseuticsl model?

      • CMT

        I went to Brazil with my parents when I was in high school and our unanimous favorite place was Ilha do Mel, which is a little tiny island with some amazing beaches.

        • Essssss

          Ooh thanks for the tip! So far the places I want to go are in the extreme north and extreme south of the country. Which is large, so basically like combining a trip to North Dakota and Texas. Trying to decide if it makes sense or if I should just accept more time in fewer places…

          • CMT

            I wonder what flights in the country are like? When we went we flew to Sao Paulo, and went to Rio and Curitiba by bus, which meant A LOT of time on buses which I did not like, but my dad’s travel philosophy is always to go to as many places as possible.

    • CMT

      I’m planning a trip to Pittsburgh this summer to go to a conference for a professional group I’m still part of even though it’s not relevant to my new job. So I’ll have to use PTO and pay for it all myself. It is freaking expensive, but I have to keep reminding myself that I will actually have fun there and it will be very good networking.

      • Lisa

        That is a long trek for you! I’ve never been to Pittsburgh before. I hope you enjoy it!

        • CMT

          I hear it’s actually pretty cool! I’m going to try to build in some free time to see the city.

          • rg223

            I grew up there and from like, the early 2000s on, it’s gotten very awesome with cultural activities, and the food scene has exploded. I like the Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory for museums (also the Children’s Museum is one of the best in the country, maybe not up your alley but FYI). There’s great theater. I’m not super informed about the restaurant scene, but that should be google-able! And ride the incline up Mount Washington! Have fun!

      • zana

        I lived there 2008-2015. It has only been getting better and better.
        Restaurants: Legume. Point Brugges/Park Brugges. Food Glorious Food. Coca Cafe. La Feria. Olive or Twist has martini flights, Meat & Potatoes, Sienna Mercato, Church Brewworks…a million others.

        Seconding the Andy Warhol & Mattress Factory if you’re into that genre of art ;)

    • CP2011

      Iceland and then Southeastern Europe! Our flights have been booked for a while but I’m only now starting to plan activities — Iceland is expensive! I mean, I knew that, but I didn’t realize exactly how expensive. Yikes!

      • stephanie

        We were in Iceland in March + all I can say to this is YES. It’s a super expensive country! It’s also gorgeous and truly unlike anywhere that I’ve visited. Where in Iceland are you staying?

        • CP2011

          We are staying in central Reykjavik for 3 nights in an AirBnb. I’m excited because of just how unique it will be, but I’m also a little regretful that I didn’t do more research before booking, especially because I didn’t think to check the weather (why??) and it says that the high for August will be mid-50s, which, since I live in the PacNW and it’s been a *rough* winter/spring, sounds disappointing.
          Activities I’m eyeing so far are a day trip to the countryside (Geysir? I think), going to the public beach and working our way through the 2-for-1 coupons for local craft brewers.
          What are people’s thoughts on Blue Lagoon? It looks beautiful but I’ve also read it’s a super crowded tourist trap.

          • stephanie

            We skipped Blue Lagoon, but I totally get why people do it! We actually ended up in the NW corner of Iceland for 3 days and found a tiny costal spot that has two hot springs and went there instead! It’s VERY VERY different (it was snowing on us, we were bordered by the freezing ocean on one side + snowy mountains on the other three, there’s also algae floating in the hot springs) but it was totally our style.

            If you venture out of the city, we stayed in Skagaströnd at the MOST amazing Airbnb + it was all really cool and pretty straight-up magical. The city has a population of around 500, is right on the ocean, and staying there was incredible. I’m still struggling to put into words how beautiful it is!

            I hope you guys still have a great time! The only thing I wanted to do that we didn’t get to was go on a whale watching boat, but we went at the wrong time of the year. Cafe Babalu is a great little relatively inexpensive stop for soup/grilled cheese/beer if you see it!

          • CP2011

            Thanks! I did a presentation on Iceland in my 7th grade social studies class so I’ve definitely had a long-held affinity for the country. I’m not trying to cheap-out, but the Iceland trip is just the first leg of our trip and I’m afraid of blowing the budget #ynab.

          • stephanie

            TOTALLY feel that! Good luck!

          • nutbrownrose

            I’m just here to commiserate about the PNW weather this year. I just want it to do spring already and stop with the 45 day rain. It’s FH’s first year living here, and I keep having to say “No, really, this is NOT NORMAL. It will not give you serious SAD every single year for the rest of your life. The sun WILL return…(I hope.)

          • Cassy

            APW lurker here!! Just chiming in to say that I went with my BF to Iceland last October and also stayed in an AirBnb in the downtown! We went to Blue Lagoon and had an amazing time — yes, it is very touristy and expensive, but the hot springs + the face masks provided are so luxurious. We scheduled our visit way too close so the only time slots that were open were late at night with howling winds, but it’s by far one of my most treasured memories from our trip! Also visit the grocery stores and buy food to cook yourself; saves SO much money!

      • Lisa

        I’ve heard that! I think of it kind of like Alaska or Hawaii — everything has to pretty much be shipped in so you’re paying for the transport fees on every purchase.

        The trip sound so fun otherwise! Our friends are doing their Iceland honeymoon this summer as well, and I really want to get out there at some point.

      • RNLindsay

        We are going to Iceland in June with 3 friends! We had them over for dinner last Friday to start planning out our trip. We’re only going to be there for 3 days so we’ve decided on Blue Lagoon (I know it’s touristy but with only 3 days – figured we can’t miss it), and renting a car to drive the Golden Circle. We have one other full day to plan, so everyone is doing some more research to decide how to spend that last day.
        I hear you on the weather though! Even in June, I would prefer temps >50 but oh well. We’ll miss the northern lights too which is a bit of a bummer

      • For cheaper things in Iceland, all the pools are awesome. Especially the public pools (which are pretty cheap. And still have hot tubs.) And they are all outside-hot-spring-pools (and some of them have awesome slides! and cool things like that. And I really love swimming, guys and it was such a thing in Iceland and it was great.

        We also did a free/pay-what-you-choose walking tour of Reykjavic which was pretty interesting to learn about Icelandic culture and history.

        For cheap things to eat in Reykjavic, there are the fabulous amazing Icelandic hot dogs (we ate them from Baejarins beztu which was their famous hot-dog cart? every single day. 2 for lunch with all the toppings) and also Noodle Station was pretty cheap for food. We did winter-things otherwise, but I wish we had gotten more out into the wilderness while we were there. It was great though. I think Kronan is the name of the cheap grocery store?

        • CP2011

          Wow, thanks!!

          • But honestly, those hotdogs. I miss them so much and still think about them on a regular basis.

    • Natalie

      France sounds lovely! Enjoy eating all the incredible, butter-filled foods. Sigh. Now I desperately want a croissant.

      I have no international travel plans, but I just found out that my best friend is coming to visit me in May, and we’re going to go backpacking in Glacier NP if the snow melts in time, or backpacking in Yellowstone if Glacier is still snow-covered. I’m SO EXCITED. It’s been too long since I’ve done a big camping/hiking trip for fun instead of for work.

    • BSM

      I’m headed to Palm Springs next month with my best girlfriends! We’re staying at house with a pool, and I plan on laying on an inflatable swan and drinking virgin pina coladas the entire time*.

      Any Palm Springs tips much appreciated!

      *Save for the hour I spend getting a massage.

      • flashphase

        If you want to do one fantastic pricey meal, Workshop is totally worth it!!!

        • BSM

          Omg, duck fat fries??? It looks delish. Thanks!

      • Olga Mikhailov

        I liked the Living Desert and the Aerial Tramway! The drinks and the vibe at the Ace Hotel are A+ as well.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Planning our honeymoon in Jordan for late July/August and SO. EXCITED. We haven’t been on a real (non family visit) vacation together in over three years.

      Also, have so much fun in France!! Where else are you planning to go when you’re driving around?

      • Lisa

        Ooooo, how cool! I don’t know anyone who’s been to Jordan before! What inspired you to choose it for your honeymoon?

        The reason we’re going is because my husband’s graduate school quartet is playing in a music festival in northern France. We’re flying into/out of Paris, and the festival city is paying for us to come up to them and stay there for a few days. Since the quartets will be rehearsing, I’m planning to get a rental car and visit the D-Day beaches one day. Otherwise, we’ll be gallivanting around Paris, eating and drinking until we burst!

        • Her Lindsayship

          That sounds amazing! I love that you’re taking this awesome trip together, but that you ‘ll also get some time to be a solo tourist, that’s really the best of both worlds!

          We know a handful of people who’ve been to Jordan or who are from Jordan, and one day my fiancé mentioned it and that was it. It’s relatively inexpensive (as far as far-off places neither of us has ever been goes), and we’re really excited for the historical/cultural tourism aspects. Will probably also spend a day or two in a resort by the Dead Sea because why not? :)

          • Lisa

            That sounds so lovely! The only thing I know about Jordan is Petra so I can’t wait to hear how your honeymoon goes. (And the resort is an of course! Nice balance of travel and vacation there.)

          • Jordan is GREAT. I lived there for a couple of months and Wadi Rum is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. And oh the food!

          • Her Lindsayship

            Yes, definitely getting excited about the food every time we talk to someone who has lived there!!

          • yellowbellpepper

            Seconding all this – where did you live in Jordan? I spent a few months in Irbid and also loved Wadi Rum; just so incredible. Wadi Mujib was pretty amazing too. Also holy jesus do I miss the 35 cent falafel sandwiches :/.

            Her Lindsayship, have an amazing honeymooon!

          • @yellowbellpepper:disqus I lived in Amman but did a fair bit of travelling. I miss the falafel sandwiches too! I used to work around the corner from the best hole in the wall sandwich place. Also miss the Syrian ice cream, maamoul, Turkish coffee etc!

    • Laura C

      We have so many weekends planned! My husband got busy at work and we fell behind on all the west coast stuff we wanted to do, so … next weekend to LA to see friends, Memorial Day weekend to Tahoe, two possible Yosemite weekends booked over the summer, we need to figure out wine country, we need to figure out a weekend to go to Vegas to see a friend who just got diagnosed with cancer… And there are two out-of-town weddings shoehorned in as well.

      • Lisa

        It sounds like your dance card is pretty full! You guys are moving soon though, right? I suppose you have to fit in all of the west coast activities before you move back east!

        • Laura C

          We’ve got until the end of August, but yeah, it’s pretty crazy. And we do have to work and be parents and pack up our entire apartment in that time, too.

      • Katherine

        This sounds great. Weekend trips are my favorites.

      • zana

        Yosemite is also quite lovely in the fall, if you’re still around then. We just did Yosemite / Camp Curry in March, and it was quite deserted. We’ve still got LA, Santa Cruz, and Hearst Castle on our list. Maybe Mono Lake if we’re feeling adventurous.

    • MC

      I’m going to the Outer Banks, NC with some of my college girlfriends next month to celebrate one of them graduating from law school and I’m SUPER excited for a friend vacay.

      • nutbrownrose

        Our honeymoon is in Emerald Isle! (Atlantic Beach actually, but ppl assume NJ if you say that). I’m sooo excited for a week in a condo with nothing to do but beach with my new husband. And speak to no humans, because we will both be SO done with the humans, even the ones that love us, by the end of the wedding. Have you been before? Any suggestions for low-key, chill-out stuff to consider/places to eat?

    • CR

      We’re going on a cruise! I’ve never done this before and am totally psyched to spend a few days in a warm place with somebody else taking care of all things – all of them, fun, food, ice cream available whenever we want it, fabulous!

      • HannahESmith

        I went on a cruise a few years back (to Alaska, so not warm). It was a gift, and I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy it. I totally loved it. Bonus: No internet or cell service actually forces you to unplug.

    • Kate

      Hawaii! My partner’s parents live on the Big Island. We just booked flights but it’s been in the works for a while. It will be a bittersweet trip for me, as it will be the first time anyone in my family of origin has been to Hawaii since my uncle passed away there in November.

      • stephanie

        Where on the Big Island are they? All of my husband’s dad’s family is Hawaiian + mostly in Hilo, but a small branch is in Kohala as well. I definitely recommend both! SSIIIIGGGHHH Hawai’i is such a dream.

        • Kate

          Kailua-Kona! If you have any recs for non-snorkeling (gives me panic attacks) activities in the area I’d love to hear them. My family mostly follows a Corona-on-the-beach vacation style while his family’s style is much much more activity-based, so I’m trying to find a happy middle.

          • CW

            Plenty of hiking on the island, boat trips. And all the coffee farm touring/tasting!

          • zana

            You could probably go on a snorkel trip, but just grab a floaty-foam-noodle. Use the goggles, but not the mouthpiece, and float around a bit.

            I have to work on my breathing when I snorkel to prevent panic-driven hyperventilation. I can get there, but I usually spend the second half of the trip attached to said floaty-foam-noodle ;)

    • Planning our honeymoon is definitely the best part of wedding planning. I cannot wait for our 10 day trip to Spain in June!

      • Lisa

        !!!!!!!!!!! Where are you going??? I haven’t been there in 9 years, but a piece of my heart still lives in Spain.

      • Lawyer_Chef

        We did Spain for our honeymoon! It was fab. And so many delicious cheeses and olives. Enjoy!

    • We’re taking a trip to Querétaro, Mexico in August for a friend’s wedding and it is really the only thing that has gotten me through a very damp spring. I have been trying to convince my husband to do a Paris trip for a while though. I hope you have a fabulous time!

      • Lisa

        Thank you! I hope it dries up a little for your trip to Mexico!

    • Anon

      Beirut! My brother will be on Sabbatical there so I’m planning to visit. Beirut seems amazing from the little research I’ve done.

      • Lisa

        How cool! I know absolutely nothing about Beirut. What will you get to do/see/taste there?

    • Morgan D

      Last minute trip to Maui next week to undo/recover from near-total burnout on partner’s end! Having been to Maui once before and absolutely adored it, all I can say is all hail the Costco travel package, which made it ridiculously inexpensive to add me on to the itinerary. :D

      • Lisa

        That sounds exciting! I’ve heard about Costco travel but know nothing about it. Is it like group/pre-planned trips, or…?

        • Morgan D

          Not sure whether they do group trips? In our case, we Googled “travel package deals” yesterday, a link to Costco came up (we had an underutilized membership), and within 20 minutes we had flights, a rental car, and accommodations booked for a week (starting next Monday) in a hotel many times swankier than anything we’ve ever done before, either separately or together.

          You can also add on activities, but since we’ve been once before (more cheaply, via AirBnB) we already know which vendors to use/have done the bigger touristy things and want to do higher-value “top 20 but not top 10” attractions.

          • Lisa

            Ah, I see. So it’s kind of like those Groupon packages (“8 days in Ireland with flights, hotel, and rental car”)?

          • Morgan D

            Kind of, but you get to pick the hotel from a range of 30 or so options! So I guess more like a “choose your own adventure” Groupon! Oakland airport is a hub for Hawai’ian airlines, so I think that also helped keeps prices down.

          • zana

            And Costco has pretty good customer support. Not so sure about Groupon as they tend to shove all responsibility onto the vendor. They’re basically like an online travel agency with their own special deals/relationships, that’s all.

      • zana

        Costco is great. We got a Fairmont on the Big Island for about $200/night (October/off season). Although, we found that the rental car wasn’t actually discounted (had to cancel that since the company was closed when we arrived, and booking with a diff company that was still open cost the same).

        • Engaged Chicago

          Am third-info Costco travel. Got an amazing 7-day Caribbean vaca through there. Like booking through a travel agent but with more upgrades and control!

    • Jenny

      Due to a lot of life being in the air (when will I get a job, will we stay in the area or move literally anywhere in the country) we haven’t done much vacation planning (sad). But we are hoping to do a weekend away in June sometime- hoping for a 2-3 hour trip to watch some minor league baseball, and maybe see a beach.

      • Lisa

        Nice! We have a Class A team where we live, and I hear it’s a lot of fun. We keep meaning to go for $1 beer night but haven’t made it out there yet.

        • Anna

          Oh man you should definitely go. We’ve happened to live at an easily accessible distance from MLB stadiums both where we currently are and where we were living before that (which was Boston; Fenway is super easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in Boston), so we go to a lot of major league games, but I honestly miss minor league baseball – it’s so much more low-key and, obviously, cheaper.

          One of fiance’s college roommates (who he only lived with for a year, but still) is coming up in the Twins’ minor league system as a pitcher, so if you happen to be near the Cedar Rapids Kernels I can also attest that they have at least one pitcher who’s fun to watch xD

          • Lisa

            The only MLB game I went to was at Wrigley, and it ended up being pretty miserable. (It was April and drizzling, but my husband wanted to see his SF Giants.) Clearly I need to give it another try!

          • Jenny

            YES! I mean I love MLB, but the minor league stadiums usually have a big grassy area where you can get lawn tix (great for letting kids run around), and generally aren’t sold out, so you can have really good seat/lots of room. our old minor league (actually step down from minor league) had funnel cake fries (10/10 recommend). They are also fun because you see people make kind of dumb mistakes that just don’t happen (often) in professional ball. Like there is some genuine anxiety on what would normally be a routine fly ball, or people miss the cut off man. Makes for more fun viewing!

          • Anna

            So, any time there’s any contention over whose ball it is in an outfield fly ball kind of situation (or like in the so-called “Bermuda triangle”), I always want to see the fielders crash into each other (I mean, hopefully not get hurt, just like… in a funny slapstick way – I don’t know why I find this so amusing, since my sense of humor is usually not that vaudevillian, but somehow I think it’s hilarious). Which in the MLB almost never happens (and when it does happen, it’s more likely to be at speed and someone gets their ribs broken), but in the minor leagues, actually happens once in a while. So there’s that :-)

          • Lisa

            My FIL told me these minor league games are the best for getting drunk and laughing at the chaos on the field. Our local team is only single A so I have a feeling that the level of hilarity only increases as you go down the ladder.

          • MC

            We have a team from an independent league in our town, so it’s below single A, and I can confirm that the games are totally ridiculous and fun.

          • Kaitlyn

            Definitely go! Like @disqus_KUaD4vDkgw:disqus, I’m in Boston and going to Red Sox games is one of my absolute favorite things to do. So laid back and just so fun. I’m going to my first game of the season on Tuesday and we’re playing the Yankees so I’m double pumped :)

          • Anna

            I’m not even a Red Sox fan and Fenway is probably my all-time favorite ballpark :-) (I’m mostly an Orioles fan via fiance, with some Mets via growing up on Long Island and Cubs via my mom’s whole family being in Chicago and all staunch Cubs fans… long story short, at least we can agree on hating the Yankees haha)

        • Katherine

          Minor league ball games are definitely worth it. All of the fun of baseball minus the cost of going to MLB games. Plus, the hilarious antics of the minor leagues means there’s never a dull moment. When I lived in Eugene, they’d have a guy dressed in a sasquatch suit go run around the stadium (and the field) when things started getting dull.

        • Jenny

          They are so fun! I’ll always be a Cardinals fan, but now that we live in basketball country, we get our baseball fix at our local minor league stadium! Super cheap tix and food! We are hoping to get to see some other leagues in the state.

        • Gaby

          Oh man we love our minor league team. They have a weekly $1 beer night but we always choose the fireworks night instead. The fact that our team and mascot is spaced themed makes for some fun themed nights too.

    • We leave in a couple weeks for our first trip to Germany (we have family there) since our baby was born. I’m both super excited and freaking out.

      • Lisa

        I love it! You’ll have to let us know how the international travel + baby is. I am hoping that, once we add kiddos to the mix, we’ll still be able to continue traveling.

        • With family overseas, it’s really not an option for us to quit traveling, but I’m determined to be vocal about it, because I HATE when people say “oh, I guess you’ll stop traveling now that you had a baby.” Nope, not the plan!

    • Katherine

      We have a small camping trip planned for next weekend in Colorado Springs…assuming the weather cooperates. Was not happy when I woke up to 35 and non-stop snow today.

      • Lisa

        Oof, that would have me reconsidering my outdoors expeditions, too! We are fair weather campers typically–if it’s too anything, we’ll bail. There are dreams of doing a big through-hike in the future though so I suppose we’re going to have to get over it at some point.

        • Katherine

          We’re going down so I can do a trail race and then head to some of our favorite local spots, and I’m mostly worried they’ll cancel the race. Admittedly, we once camped through a tornado, but that was more because we’d already pitched our tent and it was too dangerous to leave.

          I am so impressed by people who do thru-hikes. I think the idea is fascinating, but I know that I’m not the sort of person who can go that long without a shower and non-dehydrated vegetables.

          • Lisa

            Trail running fascinates me. Two of our most recent backpacking trips (in completely different locations) have happened to coincide with 50km races. The last one I managed to snag a handful of M&Ms at a pit stop!

            I think we’ve finally sorted out my backpack situation (seriously…it took 5 different packs to find one that didn’t ride up). I have two highly contrasting sides to my personality — the ultra-feminine, made-up half and the dirty, outdoorsy half. I love the idea of getting to indulge the latter for an extended period of time!

    • Katharine Parker

      Our big trip this year is our honeymoon, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be itching to go somewhere else in the second half of the year (other than work travel). I’m thinking about making our first married Christmas a vacation, instead of dealing with our families (love them all, but they’re a lot). What are people’s favorite Christmas places? So far the spots percolating in my mind are Montreal, Paris, and Cartagena.

      • Lisa

        We did our first married Christmas as our honeymoon to Germany, and it was perfect. We went to several Christmas markets and bought ornaments and a tree topper to use on all subsequent holidays. (Plus the snow at Neuschwanstein was magical and straight out of a fairy tale.)

        • Lisa

          RTA: Also, I love that we took our first Christmas to be just the two of us. The next year we did Christmas with his family, and it was strangely an emotional roller coaster for me. I’m glad I have happier memories of walking around a chilly Muenchen, drinking hot chocolate and eating multiple Christmas dinners at the open restaurants.

          • ssha

            I LOVE THIS IDEA. Tucking away to tell fiancé. I keep thinking about how sad I will be the times we will spend holidays with my in-laws instead of my family- but if we skipped both families it might be different. Also,Germany at Christmas sounds amazing!

          • Lisa

            It seemed fitting to me that we shouldn’t choose sides our first Christmas–or more precisely we should choose “us” instead. Also, there was the practical consideration that I’d just started a new job and had no vacation time other than the two weeks my office was closed at the end of the year. It ended up being the best decision for us.

        • Alyssa

          I might steal your itinerary!

      • rg223

        New York City is crowded but deliciously magical at Christmas.

      • Alyssa

        Let me know what you decide! I’m trying to convince my fiance that we should take a second honeymoon around the winter holidays — currently dreaming of Christmas/New Years’ in Spain, Prague, France, Italy or Germany.

        • Katharine Parker

          Yes, a second honeymoon! One is not enough :)

      • I find the cold from Dec-March prohibitive in Montreal and if there’s a tonne of snow it can be pretty unpleasant trying to get around. That said, it is a great place to eat all the wintery foods. Paris is one of my favourite places on earth. Can’t comment on Cartagena but I’d agree with NY as a great place to do Christmas and London is supposed to be magical too!

        • Katharine Parker

          I’ve been to Montreal in January and loved it–I’m fine with cold and snow. Now I’m thinking about Scandinavia–somewhere v hygge, making it an on-trend trip.

          In a way that is normally good but in this case inconvenient, we have family in New York and London, making them poor choices for a trip meant to avoid family :)

          • Quite a few tourist come too Quebec CIty around the holidays. I think it was actually rated as one of the best places to spend the holidays this past year? It’s cold though. (Though December is usually not as bad as January.) Norway or Sweden sound great for the holidays too…

      • Amy March

        Just a warning in Cartagena- that’s a really popular time to visit. I tried to book a December trip in October one year and really all the decent hotels were booked. I still want to go but plan ahead!

    • Gaby

      We’re finally going to Chicago for Hamilton next Friday and I’m so excited that I’ve had nightmares about missing our flight. Our flight lands a full 8 hours before the show, but still. France sounds so exciting! Hubs finally had his passport appointment yesterday and we’re hoping to book a trip to Japan around our first anniversary as soon as it’s in the mail to him.

      • Lisa

        Chicago is one of my favorite cities! You will have such a great time.

    • AP

      YES! Counting down to our 2-week road trip to Grand Canyon and Canyonlands NP in May!! Might also try to hit up Bryce Canyon or Zion, depending on time. We’re also going to Overland Expo, where I’m signed up for all-female workshops on off-road driving, navigation, and vehicle maintenance. SO. EXCITED.

      • Katherine

        So jealous! I’d love to pick your brain once you get back.

      • Jess

        I am glad to know Overland Expo is a thing and I will now be researching it fervently.

        • AP

          My husband was the one who was originally interested in going, but when I saw all the class options for women, I freaked out. There’s also a women-only cocktail party one night. Overlanding is kind of a niche hobby and usually very male-dominated, so I’m super excited to meet some cool women!

          • Jess

            R wants to get into it and I love the concept but seriously lack the skills. Being able to find a women-centric space sounds awesome.

    • Olga Mikhailov

      Husband and I are turning 30 late this year/early next year, and for one of those birthdays we’re planning to go to frickin’ BALI. I’ve never been to SE Asia and am kind of overwhelmed thinking about it…in the best way possible! If anyone has recommendations, lmk!

      • HannahESmith

        I spent 7 months in SE Asia… so if you need advice, I might be able to help. :)

      • LadyJanee

        As an Australian, Bali is a regular holiday destination! Where are you staying? What do you want to do (activities/chill/shopping/water sports etc)? I recommend staying out of Kuta unless you are super into crowds, partying, and bogan Australians…

        • Olga Mikhailov

          No idea where we’re staying yet. Our aim for the trip is half relaxation and half soaking-up-culture, with some outdoorsy stuff like hiking and snorkeling thrown in there. We just did a big beach-focused vacation, so we’re more interested in the rainforests and rice paddies here. It seems like Ubud is the place for that, right? What about Lombok or the smaller islands nearby, the Nusas and the Gilis?

          • LadyJanee

            Ubud is great for rainforests and a less crowded/intense time. A friend of mine has stayed in a hotel right on the edge of the forest where the monkeys come into the hotel grounds! Though they are known to steal things from tourists so be careful… There’s a lot of hikes/bike tours you can do in that area that are incredible and you get to see the smaller villages that aren’t tourist hubs.

            The Gilis are great for snorkelling and Lombok has a good surfing reputation (I’m not a huge fan of snorkelling/surfing so we haven’t been there but close friends go regularly and love it). The one time we planned to go to Nusa Lembaongan my friend got really sick on the first day so we ended up back in Bali at the hospital. But it looked nice and chill and would love to go back there!

            Seminyak is great for nicer restaurants and is quieter than Kuta/Legian while still being close enough to explore them if you want to.

    • Totch

      Where else in France are you going??? How exciting!

    • Alyssa

      We’re going to France in June for our wedding! Have fun!

      If you find yourself in the Oberkampf area (11th arrondisement), head to Marche au Crepe (hole-in-the-wall creperie) and/or Les Deux Amis and let the waiter/owner pair all your courses with wines of his choosing. You won’t regret it. And picnic by Canal St. Martin if it’s nice!

    • AmandaBee

      We booked our California honeymoon right before they got wholloped with rain in the winter and landslides took out a bridge on Rt. 1 near Big Sur, killing our Big Plan which was to fly into LA and drive up Rt. 1 to San Fran before flying home.

      After discussion/agonizing we’ve decided we’re just gonna go for it anyway. The route will be a bit more winding and involve some backtracking on our part, but we can cut up part of Rt. 1, take a detour through the middle of the state, and still hit the coast north of the bridge.

      So, we’re planning that! Still working on details but it’s been fun to have something to plan while taking breaks from dissertation writing.

      • Alyssa

        As a CA native I’m so excited for you and interested in your itinerary! Yes, it’s such a bummer about Big Sur *but* I was just looking at the CA map to see what could be inland of that area, and while it’s across the state, you could totally cut over to Yosemite and then catch back up to 1 in Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, or anywhere along those lines if you’re interested…

        • AmandaBee

          I did float Yosemite by my husband though he was worried it might be too far out of the way. Our plan was to cut up the middle to Carmel, maybe head south to pick up some of the Big Sur stuff we’d otherwise miss because of the bridge being out, and then shoot up Rt 1 again as planned. But an inland adventure doesn’t seem bad either.

          We actually need to get hopping on the itinerary, because right now we just keep kicking around ideas and everything sounds good. We’re actually the worst at planning trips. What’re your must-sees?

          • Alyssa

            Yeah, Yosemite is almost across the state, but there really isn’t much in the central valley (that I’m aware of), so I guess I figured “why not?”

            Carmel is beautiful. It’s definitely a ritzy resort-type town, but the Spanish style is beautiful, and the beaches are pristine

          • AmandaBee

            Yes, much of this is on our list – we were hoping to hit Hearst Castle, SLO, Big Sur (partially, either from the north or south since we can’t go through), Carmel, the MB aquarium, and Santa Cruz, then end on SF/Oakland. Our thinking with cutting through the middle is it might just be a fast way to get from A to B rather than a destination in and of itself. We just need to figure out how much time to leave for each and if it’s realistic or we need to cut something out. We probably won’t make it up to wine country, but maybe on another trip!

          • AmandaBee

            Also, YES to whales! We’re there is July so IDK what that means in terms of whale season, but a quick Googling suggested there could be humpbacks?

          • Alyssa

            Yes! There are almost always humpbacks around, and pods of dolphins around that time too. And always otters and sea lions, any time of year. Fiance took me whale watching as my grad school graduation gift last year in Mid-June, and we got to see a lot of whales, so I’m sure July will be just as good! There have even been Orcas around in past years, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

          • AmandaBee

            I might cry if I saw an Orca.

    • Kat

      I’m taking my little sister to her first music festival in June as a graduation gift. We’ve been planning it for over a year and I’m sooo excited to spend some time with her before she starts college.

      And my BF finally got his passport in the mail this week so we are planning a trip to London sometime in 2017. I think we’re aiming for Christmas time so we can take advantage of our alumni status and stay in student housing. I studied abroad in London and can’t wait to go back! I’d also like to add on a few days in either Scotland or Ireland…. anyone have experience/ recommendations? I’ve been to Edinburgh and St. Andrews and I’m not opposed to going back, but I’d love to explore someplace new as well.

  • Just got back from my epic trip to Boston-Germany-Isle of Man. It was amazing, and I’m already itching for my next overseas trip. It was also the first trip with my parents I’ve taken since I got married, and in the words of my sister, “It’s going to take a few days to get my shoulders down from around my ears.” Oh family. Still, it was a great trip.

  • Ashlah

    Solutions for snoring partners? He’s just started in the past week, and while I’m hoping it’s temporary (I suspect seasonal allergies, which he already takes meds for, but we’re not 100% certain that’s the cause), I am about to lose my goddamn mind every night. I feel bad nudging him awake because he’s never been bothered or kept awake by my very regular snoring, but I’m a light sleeper and it’s preventing me from sleeping, so it’s not the same, right?

    So, breathe right strips? Do they work? Ear plugs for me? Do they actually block out the noise? Are they comfortable for side sleepers? Do I just get his permission to kick him every time it starts and hope it stops when spring ends? I get so irrationally angry when my sleep is interrupted, please help!

    • stephanie

      The strips totally work!!

      • Alex K

        The nose strips are AMAZING.

      • Those totally don’t work on my husband :-( I feel like they don’t work as well on wider noses?

    • Essssss

      I’m a big earplug fan. They’re not comfortable for everyone, but there are soft foam ones that are orange you can get at the drugstore, worth trying at least! They help me with all my light sleep issues.

    • Rose

      Hah, I’m exactly the same. I do often wear ear plugs, just because I’m a light sleeper. Well, I wear one ear plug, because as a side-sleeper I don’t find that it’s comfortable to have one pressed up against the pillow. The pillow does muffle some sound, though, so it almost even out. How effective they are at blocking noises also really depends on the register of the noise, I find. I also often use a white noise machine or a fan–since that blocks a different register than the earplugs do, I think the combination can be a bit more effective.

      • Ashlah

        The single-side ear plug is what I was wondering about! His snoring isn’t super loud (it just doesn’t take much to keep me awake–I kick the cats out every night for licking themselves on the other side of the bed), so maybe the ear plugs would be enough. White noise machine is something I’ve been considering for a while too (due to the aforementioned cats, mostly).

        • Rose

          Yeah, I won’t let the cats in the bedroom either, because they keep me up too. I’m not so bad once I’m asleep, but if there’s any noise while I’m falling asleep it’ll keep me up. I find that the fan/white noise also helps by giving me another, more regular, sound to focus on. But then I do often still end up nudging my wife if she starts snoring, so.

        • Oh my gosh, we’ve been letting our pup sleep in our room since the baby was born (because us getting up when she woke up woke him and….etc.) and HE SNORES SOMETIMES. It wakes me out of a dead sleep, but no one else is bothered.

    • emilyg25

      Nothing we’ve ever tried has helped his snoring, sigh. I use ear plugs and a sound machine. And occasionally a sharp elbow to the back.

    • Anna

      Oof yeah I don’t have actual suggestions, just seconding the “irrationally angry when my sleep is interrupted” part. I got in a huge argument with fiance the other day because he’d left the fan pointing at me and I woke up freezing and didn’t want to get up to turn it off because then I’d have to leave my blankets and be temporarily even colder… he got very upset that I was overreacting, and I was like “but SLEEP is IMPORTANT”, and… yeah.

    • JLily

      I do the kick a few times, but if its really bad I just go sleep in the guest room.

      • Violet

        Not snoring (talking/yelling in sleep), but my pattern is shush for the first nightly offense, curt “Babe!” second, move my butt to the couch third.

      • Ashlah

        If we had a guest room, I’d totally do this (or send him to it). Unfortunately, our only option is an uncomfortable couch.

      • I make my husband sleep in the other room if he has a cold =>snoring. (Because he can sleep anywhere, even though the other room means blankets on wood floor.) Sometimes I feel a little bad about it, but mostly I just feel well-rested.

        • Amy March

          Ummm but buy him an air mattress?!?

          • We have one, (and a couch) no worries! He just prefers sleeping on the floor because he is weird like that and sometimes chooses to just sleep on the ground anyway. I also usually offer to sleep in the other room, but he says he will sleep just fine anywhere and I won’t (which is also true) so usually I get the bed.
            Sometimes I sleep on the floor too, when it’s too warm in the bed but I still want to sleep in the dark room that is our bedroom.

    • Vanessa

      A humidifier might help with the snoring

      • Ashlah

        Ha, we actually have a de-humidifier in our room because we recently had to replace a moldy mattress. It’s been there longer than the snoring, so I don’t think that’s the probably, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind if it continues for long!

        • Vanessa

          A dehumidifier!! It stupidly didn’t occur to me until I read that comment that you might live somewhere where you do not need to add moisture to the air! Sorry :P

    • Sleepytimes

      Strips and earplugs are what do it for us. The bright side is that we’re both mutually annoyed, so the burden of irritation is not resting on the non-sleeper (and bonus: no bedtime violence!).
      Him: “These things irritate the crap out of my nose!”
      Me: “What?! I can’t hear you!” (waving box of earplugs)

    • Emily

      My husband and I sleep in separate beds partially because of this issue (partially because I am in an illicit love affair with the snooze button….). I know it might potentially seem odd but we both sleep better this way. I struggle with sleep after some adult work experiences and its been huge for me to get good sleep.

      • Ashlah

        I don’t think it’s that odd, you got to do what you got to do! Sleep is important! We generally sleep well together, so if this snoring is temporary (knock on wood), we’d prefer to stay where we are. I’m not against it if it ever gets to a point where it seems I’ll never have a decent night’s sleep again.

      • anony-nony

        Not odd! I sleep in a separate bed when husband’s snoring is bad (it comes and goes). We’re both much happier and nicer to each other when we get our sleep!

    • Kate

      Ear plugs work. The foam cone shaped ones. I use those, but now the burden of waking up is on him because I can’t hear my alarm. Sometimes they can causes discomfort if I use them for several days in a row. We’ve never found anything that got him to stop snoring unfortunately.

    • emmers

      My partner snores, so having a fan on for noise cover helps me. But what helps me most is going to bed at least a half hour or more before he does, so I have time to fall asleep. I’m then typically not bothered once I’m actually asleep. I’m not sure if that fits your sleeping habits, but figured I’d share!

    • Ugh. My husband came down with a nasty spring cold and I spent half of a night on the couch after not sleeping the first half (he came and got me when the baby woke up hungry). The next night, I banished him to the couch. We all (baby included) slept better but I feel for you. A humidifier might help, and honestly, if it continues, I’d probably tell him to see a doctor about it.

    • Mer

      I sleep with ear plugs every night. We live on a busy street and they definitely help with the noise. I have small ear canals (at least I think I do?) so I use purple colored slim fit ones I found on Amazon. I put them in both ears and am a side sleeper. 0 problems. They are amazing.

    • Katherine

      Given the time of year, I think you’re right on about the seasonal allergies. It could be that he needs a medication switch – that was the case with my husband when the seasons started to turn. My husband is also a big fan of breathe right strips, though I know most people seem to dislike them.

      • Ashlah

        It’s so weird because his usual allergy symptoms haven’t really started up yet, but maybe they’re just affecting him differently this year. I know it’s not always the same every year. Will keep in mind a possible medication switch!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I use ear plugs when I’m away from home, and they work very well for me. I use a white noise machine at home to take the edge off my husband’s snoring.

      • Sophie

        A white noise machine saved my sanity!

    • Morgan D

      Also get irrationally angry when sleep is interrupted. I will literally stay up an extra 30-90 minutes to go to bed with my partner, rather than be woken up at that part of my sleep cycle.

      Anybody else like this? Not thrilled about the implications of this plus having an infant…

    • Amy March

      All of the above! Prop him up on an extra pillow with a breathe right strip, put ear plugs in, nudge gently as needed.

    • Charley

      Breathe right strips have worked 100% for me. I would sometimes wake up our upstairs neighbors before (!!) but these seem to have done the trick.

  • Kate

    Taking the cats to Sears this weekend for our engagement pictures and save the dates glamour shots.

    Send us good vibes.

    • stephanie

      Hello, my official favorite comment from Happy Hour.

      • Kate

        Haha! Thank you! This is vibe we’re going for but who knows if we’ll get them to cooperate this well.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd752554c7fda0cf14a2f9af34664be6918a6b4098002769b046dc58209f3ea9.png

        The lady at Sears who booked our session had us repeat it about six times before she understood we meant actual felines and not a person named Kat or something.

        • scw

          I think you’re my new hero.

          • Kate

            Hopefully I can be the one you deserve

          • Lisa

            Pleeeeeease come back with the final photos!! This is the best.

          • Kate

            Oh you bet, I’m irrationally excited. Just hoping they cooperate.

        • stephanie

          I am going to need to see these photos!

          • Kate

            It’s going to be a hoot! I’m really excited for the finished product. I wish I could see reactions of our friends and family when these come in the mail.

        • Ashlah

          Amazing! Our cats would definitely not cooperate, so I hope yours do!

        • Jane

          That picture was sooo much more amazing than I’d expected. Cackled at my desk just now.

        • Totch

          Please please please keep up posted. No detail too small.

          • Kate

            I’ll be sure to start with getting them crated…I feel like I’m dipping them in acid every time.

            Someone on another site suggested giving them children’s Benadryl so they’ll be more…cooperative…but I can’t bring myself to do that.

          • Totch

            You’re great.

          • Lawyerette510

            Ditto to this!

        • cml

          YAS. We also had our cat in our engagement photos, but you are taking it to a level I could only dream about.

        • AmandaBee

          OMG, please do the matching sweaters.

    • CMT

      OMG! I can’t wait to see the results!!!

    • CP2011

      Please follow up with how it goes! I had no idea Sears would do pictures with animals — I totally want pictures with our dogs!

      • Kate

        I’m not sure if they do it as policy, but this Sears has an independent photography place operating out of the Sears (like how ABC Optometrists operate as a Lenscrafters) and through friends of friends I know the manager. Calling to schedule it was fun though.

        Hopefully you can get them!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      This is my favorite sentence I’ve read all week.

  • Rose

    This isn’t verry happy for Happy Hour, but my frantically-finishing-my-dissertation phase (it’s due in about 2 weeks) has been interrupted by a last-minute flight home to spend time with my family and my grandma, who just went into hospice care yesterday. She went into the hospital last week and we all thought she’d come out again, but there was a very rapid slide from “the pacemaker was a success and should fix that problem” to lung failure. She’s been saying for a few days now that she’s ready to die, and she’s starting to get frustrated that it hasn’t happened yet. All we can really do right now is be there and try to make sure she’s comfortable.

    It’s all so heartbreaking, and so, so strange. I’m so glad I could fly out here and be with everyone, but there are these incredibly surreal moments where one minute I’m working on making a figure or writing my discussion section, and the next I’m sobbing because I just got an update from the people currently at the hospital that she wants her wedding ring to stay with my grandpa after she’s cremated. They’ve been married for 59 1/2 years, and have the best marriage I’ve ever seen–it has always, always been based on such deep love, and respect, and kindness. I’m so worried about him. I’m so glad that most of the family has managed to be here to see her and be together, but there’s just so little that we can do.

    • Violet

      Oh I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you.

    • rg223

      I’m sorry, that’s so rough. Internet hugs!

    • Cleo

      I’m so sorry to hear that. My grandparents had a marriage similar to yours and my grandma died before him.

      We were all worried about my grandfather when that happened, but, he made sure to keep himself engaged in activities with friends, family, and the synagogue (and we made sure to check in on him daily). He missed her everyday, but he adjusted to a new normal quite quickly. I hope this gives you comfort in what I know is a heartbreaking moment.

      Lots of love

      • Rose

        Thanks, it does. I know that Grandpa is in about the best situation possible to get support–they have a church community, and neighbors and all, and my parents and sister live nearby. I know he’ll probably manage, and it’s not exactly a surprise that she’s going first, but it’s still so hard to watch.

    • scw

      :[ so sorry. that dissertation phase is already a pit of suck on its own, dealing with such a big, sad family event must be really rough. my grandfather died right before my comps and it was hard to focus. all the best to you.

    • C

      I’m so sorry, that sounds really hard. Internet hugs and good vibes to you and your family.

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry <3

    • Lisa

      I am so sorry for you and your family. Sending love and good thoughts.

    • Jess

      I am so sorry.

      That story about the wedding ring is just the cutest, and makes me both happy and sad.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so, so sorry. Sending you love and strength to get through all of this.

    • zana

      Ugh. I’m sorry. Dissertations-phase is stressful enough.

  • RT

    APW… I’m frustrated. I never post about work, anywhere, but…. I’m dealing with a really entitled male coworker who makes it clear that he hates doing work. Nothing the boss has said to him has changed his attitude or ability to get work done by the deadline. When I was in his position, I never said no and took on all I could. When I thought I couldn’t take any more assignments… I took them and I did them. The way this guy’s failure to do work even to standards he decided were fair is treated is to let other people take on his duties so he has a much smaller workload. I just feel like… so instead of working really hard and worrying that I wasn’t doing *enough* in my first year or two in this office, I could have been completely slacking, and constantly complaining about how annoying work is, and having the audacity to demand someone else do half of my job for me… and I might’ve ended up in the same place instead of fired??

    It’s just so frustrating. One of the things I like best about the office is how low-pressure and relaxed the environment is (even if This Guy thinks it’s hellishly impossible) but I guess the fact that it’s pretty hard to get fired here can sometimes feel… I don’t know…. like maybe some people deserve it, though.

    • Kate

      I’m experiencing this right now with someone who does the work, but does it extremely poorly and doesn’t seem to learn.

      So it sounds like the boss knows, correct? So it’s not a case of he’s able to fly under the radar, he’s just getting away with it?

      Has anyone besides you said anything about it or struggled with him? I ask because at a previous job we had an employee we eventually fired, but it took several people besides me (who worked closest with him) to testify he was a nincompoop.

      • Ashlah

        My husband had a similar experience. It took nearly a year of multiple people regularly discussing with management that this person’s incompetence/lack of effort was negatively affecting their ability to get work done, but they did finally fire her. Without the feedback, she’d probably still be there.

        • Kate

          Yep, HR departments and Managers get really REALLY scared of unjust terminations so there has to be a lot of stuff collected and super concrete evidence someone needs to go before they actually go.

    • emilyg25

      It’s very frustrating, but. There’s not much you can do about another person. To the extent that you can, don’t pick up his assignments. But other than that, try to let it go and focus on the things you like about your job.

    • anony nony

      Related – I’ve recently come to terms, though not happily, with the fact that one of the DRAWBACKS of being a diligent and good worker is being overworked because you, intentionally or against your will, take up other less diligent workers’ slack. Especially common in situations where the boss/supervisor doesn’t like uncomfortable things like confrontation, and would rather just dump it on you because he/she knows you’re a good worker and will come through.

      Speaking from first hand experience, it’s particularly crappy. I’ve thought about quitting several times over it.

  • Laura C

    We got our mortgage! So that’s good. Now we just need to get the baby a passport, get me a visa to India, get the baby on one more daycare wait list, find a contractor to refinish the floors and paint the walls in the new apartment, figure out if we can replace the couch cushions…

    Also, my husband delicately let me know he was expecting to go somewhere exciting for dinner for his birthday (next month). I know he expects a Michelin star or something and I’m torn between feeling like I should go with his style and feeling like we went with his style for my birthday, since he was doing the planning (I mean, he chose the Michelin-starred restaurants he thought I would most like, definitely, but I in no way required stars to begin with), so maybe something a little different is in order.

    • Cleo

      I am a foodie. I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to fancy gourmet restaurants. I also have the expectation that everyone else does and that is how everyone should celebrate their birthdays/special events. So I get where your husband is coming from in that respect – I feel like I’m being a bad sister/girlfriend/daughter/friend if I don’t make sure someone I love has an amazing birthday meal, even if it’s not their thing.

      It took me a while to figure that out when celebrating my sister’s birthday – her favorite kind of food is the kind that typically is served at weddings (grilled chicken, vegetables, an anemic serving of pasta, a bread basket). So for her birthday this year, I took her to the place that makes her favorite chicken sandwiches and then we went to a comedy club (what food is to me, comedy is to her).

      With that, my advice is to take your husband out to his Michelin star restaurant for his birthday (his birthday, his rules). Then, for your birthday, be explicit tell him what you want for your birthday and ask him to honor that and make it clear that you don’t view Michelin star restaurants in the same way as he might.

      • Laura C

        I definitely want it to be something he loves! I just feel like we’ve already been to so many of the places he wanted to go that just ticking off one more on the list doesn’t feel special? But that’s probably one of those things that’s true for me but not for him since it’s his list. Also, admittedly, I feel a little like “assuming we can get a reservation, I’m going to the damn French Laundry for you. Why can’t we count my presence at that meal as my gift to you?”

        He definitely thought about my preferences for my birthday (one Indian fusion place, one Mexican-Californian place), he just sort of saw my preferences through the lens of what feels special to him.

        • Cleo

          “I just feel like we’ve already been to so many of the places he wanted to go that just ticking off one more on the list doesn’t feel special? But that’s probably one of those things that’s true for me but not for him since it’s his list.”

          I can only speak for me, so, for me, a new fancy restaurant is an exciting adventure even though it’s the type of thing I’ve been doing for my birthday every year for 6 years (true).

          “He just sort of saw my preferences through the lens of what feels special to him.”

          Right – I get that. And of course I’m not saying he’s not thinking about you, but if there’s a different way YOU would like to celebrate your birthday, you should feel empowered to ask for it explicitly. And an explanation of why the thing you want feels special to you in the way a Michelin star feels special to him wouldn’t hurt (that’s what finally got me to change my thinking).

          • Laura C

            Ok, I hit the list of Bay Area Michelin stars and found a place that looks interesting and made a reservation…

    • BSM

      You probably already know this, but doing the e-visa process for India is super easy and quick! You can do the whole thing online in like 30 minutes. Much better than going down to the consulate!

      • Laura C

        I did not know that! I think last time my husband got his visa it was not that easy. Not sure whether that’s because the process has changed or he ran into some snag, but I’ve been thinking of it as a big hassle because it was for him.

        • BSM

          You can only fly into/out of certain ports using e-visa, but it’s all the major ones. I coordinated them for a few colleagues who had to take a last minute trip to India earlier this year, and it was really easy. Definitely check it out!

    • Totch

      Ha! My birthday was over our honeymoon and my husband made the Michelin star reservation, then spent the whole time apologizing because his meal was life changing and mine was just very good. It was hilarious, because I absolutely didn’t want what he was eating but he felt so bad!

      Michelin stars also aren’t my priority, so it was a very nice birthday but a bit more for him. That said, we went to a Cavs game for his birthday and that’s my team, so I think I’m supporting your non-Michelin inclinations.

      • Totch

        (maybe not seriously supporting it though. we were both happy with our birthdays and the timing made sense: in my hometown on his birthday? the funnest thing to do is Cavs/a me thing. in Paris on my birthday? why would we not go for super fancy French?

        since your husband made his wishes known, I think you should figure out a way to honor them that feels right for you.)

        • Lisa

          Not the point, but which Michelin star restaurant did you go to in France? We have reservations for Joël Robuchon’s restaurant on Monday evening.

          • Vanessa

            OMG please tell us how it is. I toured the restaurant during my study abroad program but could not afford to eat there…and have been scheming about how to go ever since.

          • Lisa

            Will do! We went to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London last month, and it was life-changing.

          • rg223

            What’s his food like? I only know him from his TV shows!

          • Laura C

            We went to Guy Savoy on our honeymoon, which was infinitely improved for me by the fact that my husband had food poisoning that day, so while he was determined to soldier through and eat there, he didn’t order as many courses as he might have and we weren’t sitting there ALL night.

            I mean, the food was good. I was just glad it was 3.5 courses and not infinite ones.

          • K. is skittsh about disqus

            Oh man, I am so jealous! His was the most fun restaurant in all of Paris for us.

            We did L’Atlier in Saint Germain and the weirdest way I describe it is that it was the fanciest, most decadent, just most simply incredible retro diner-style restaurant that I could ever conceive of (seriously, in the best way). It was a total blast; I probably gained 10 lbs from that meal alone and the deliciousness haunts me.

          • Lisa

            That’s the one we’re doing!! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I’m even more excited now. :)

          • K. is skittsh about disqus

            It wasn’t stuffy at all like some French restaurants tend to be (they can be a very cool experience too though!), but still had the same quality of food. But our server joked around with us, gave us all kinds of little treats, and kept our wine glasses *extremely* full, up to when we tipsily rolled out of there haha. We loved it and can’t wait to go back some day.

          • Your comment made me make a note of this restaurant for whenever my next trip to Paris is! :)

          • Totch

            We did Benoit. I don’t care a ton about Michelin stars, but husband was on the money picking a more classic/homey French place rather than one of the more modern options!! It was great.

    • Baby passport tips (for US): most places won’t do photos (liability) or don’t have the ability to do them, so if you’re handy-ish with a camera, take one of them laying down on a white changing pad, you may have to resize it a bit to get the right size, but you could print out a couple 4×6 prints for much less than the cost of getting them done. Eyes don’t even have to be open/looking at the camera, but you can’t have another person in the picture. It wasn’t too hard (but, caveat, photos are my day job). You have to apply in person, and we went to a Post Office that had Saturday hours. It wasn’t too bad, but if possible, show up as early as you can, and have all your stuff together. We also brought cash, but they take cards and cash meant we needed a money order (additional couple $$). We paid to have it expedited – just in case – and it showed up TEN DAYS after we applied (Sat-Mon) so we probably could have saved our $$, but I wasn’t sure (since we did this right after the election).

      • Laura C

        Thank you for the tips. Much appreciated, and sounds like the photo is well within my capabilities.

        • Eenie

          The post offices near us are appointment only – I’d try to book a Saturday now if you need to.

      • The CAA in my town (which is the Canadian AAA) does baby photos. Not sure if AAA does them too, but could be woth checking into. I happened to go in when they were doing one, so it was interesting to see them in the middle of it.

    • AP

      Have you been to French Laundry? I ask because it’s on my bucket list, but SO expensive!! I wonder if it’s worth it.

      • Laura C

        We haven’t been yet but we are going to try to get a reservation when the next round of them opens up. My MIL gave my husband money earmarked for that as his Christmas present — I wished they had a way to get gift cards in smaller amounts, but it’s all or nothing so she just gave him a check with a note saying that’s what it’s for.

        • AP

          Yay! Hope you’ll report back- can’t wait to hear all about it!

        • Alynae

          If you are staying in yountville or Napa have your hotel concierge get the reservations for you! Much easier process.

      • Alynae

        I have been! It’s hard to say. The food is great. The experience was amazing but all said I probably wouldn’t feel the need to go again. I did tell my spouse if we went again I would want to try the vegetarian menu because the veggie sides were so so good. But it’s also so fun to go and experience and do. Quince in SF however, went back!

        • AP

          A CA road trip has been on our list for a while (we almost went last summer but changed plans) and French Laundry might just be our one big splurge. My husband’s not really a foodie though, so it’ll take some convincing!

      • CMT

        I have friends who went a couple of years ago and they still talk about it.

  • Totch
    • Violet

      YAS Botanical Garden!!!!!! You two look ecstatic; I love it!

      • Totch

        Thanks! It’s one of my favorite places.

    • scw

      this internet stranger just got emotional looking at all the joy in those photos. you both look SO happy.

      • Totch

        Thanks!

    • Kate

      AAGGGHHH look at those flowers! *swoons*

      • Totch

        My plan was to do them with my mom and sister, all of us total noobs that wouldn’t know enough to take very long. I did one practice arrangement and it took me 15 minutes, so we planned to do them the morning of the wedding (we only needed 5 including centerpieces and bouquet).

        Then my aunts, one artist and one former florist got involved. Let’s just say that I learned that “plop them in a vase” is a flower slur, and that it’s a good thing I put three hours of buffer in the schedule. Worth it.

    • stephanie

      Ahhh I want to see more of this wedding! For APW reasons!

    • Lisa

      You two are so cute!! I saw your comments on this morning’s thread, and I was happy to see you’re back. I love your photos!

      • Totch

        Thanks Lisa! Definitely an interesting thread to come back to.

    • Ashlah

      Beautiful! Congratulations!

      • Totch

        Thank you!

    • cml

      Love these pics! Congrats!

      • Totch

        Thanks!!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I gasped at those pictures. Congratulations!!!

      • Totch

        Thanks!

    • Jess

      A) These photos fill me with joy! B) I love your lipstick

      • Violet

        Lipstick is on point.

        • Totch

          Thanks!

        • AmandaBee

          ITA. This was the perfect lipstick.

      • Totch

        Thanks! Lipstick was my big money-wasting, can’t-let-it-go, this-fixation-is-more-about-control-than-lipstick, pre-wedding obsession.

        • Jess

          It was very worth it.

    • Gaby

      The brightness of your bouquet matches the brightness in your smiles!

      • Totch

        Thanks!

    • AmandaBee

      The botanical garden (greenhouse?) pictures are fantastic. So pretty!

      • Totch

        Thanks!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations!!!! Also you both look fabulous and so blissful!!!

      • Totch

        Thanks!

    • LadyJanee

      Congratulations!!! You both look so happy :) And those flowers are amaaazing!!

    • Loved the photos! [I forgot to say that when you posted them originally, but had to come back just for that!]

      • Totch

        Thanks!!

  • Jenny

    It is officially less than 2 weeks until I defend my dissertation. Since it’s off my desk (other than preparing the presentation), I’ve been delving into the job search stuff and catching up on some internet reading now that I feel that I can actually take a break, and read for fun. It’s been getting me really excited about The Compact!! I know people have been commenting about what they are excited for in past happy hours.
    Things I’d love to see (more of).
    Pregnancy- good writing on emotions that come with it (being not excited, pre partum mood disorders, dealing with family).
    Pregnancy- the practical, what did you love about your doc, lessons learned, adorable ways to decorate, what do you really need etc.
    Children- good writing on the emotions (fears, how to have hopes and dreams for your kid while also recognizing them as individuals)
    Children- the practical ( spacing children, how to not lose your mind with your toddler)
    Home decor- how to choose colors for the walls, cheap ways to look fancy AF, how to mesh two different decor styles
    Book club!!

    What is everyone else excited about!!???!?!?

    • scw

      yess to home decor and book club. also have historically loved apw’s content about the decision to have/not have children, and I’m hoping that continues.

      but mostly I just want to say I hope your defense goes well! netflix and deep breathing exercises got me through those final two weeks.

      • Jenny

        Thanks! Yep, I’m watching a whole lot of Numb3rs and the great british baking show!!!!

    • Mary Jo TC

      Seconding all these topics! Also:
      How to Adult – personal finance and couples’ financial issues, stuff like insurance and wills and legal documents
      Motivating stuff on careers and reaching personal goals
      Feministy political stuff
      Women’s friendship and how to find/build your tribe
      A message board where we can Happy Hour 24/7!

      • scw

        I would be so into a constant open thread.

      • Jenny

        Yes! Or if not a message board (since I know those can be a pain to moderate and not always financially viable), maybe some “evergreen” posts where people return to, or that get relinked or something. Thinking specifically of pregnancy comments in happy hour, or vacation recommendations etc. I know I actually have a few comments saved that I just copy paste when people ask about resources books about pregnancy.

      • Lisa

        Seconding the how to adult and motivating career/goal posts! As an adult without kids, I want to make sure the Compact has space for me too!

      • ssha

        Second women’s friendship! Also BOOK CLUB OMG

      • Yes to the How to Adult series and careers/personal goals! And home decor and personal style. I’ve particularly enjoyed Anuschka Rees’ approach to style/wardrobe, which is so practical and thoughtful. Her book is on my wish list!

        And also maybe articles specifically on how to be intentional in long-term relationship building for those that are thinking of not having kids but also want to be involved in friends’/family’s kids. It’d be cool to hear from older people that decided not to have children, to hear from a perspective that is long down the road on this, since the choice to have or not have kids has lifelong implications… Maybe also articles on adopting/fostering in the mix of articles on kids.

    • Lisa

      Good luck on your defense!! I just realized that I won’t be back at HH for a few weeks because, after France next week, the following week my husband is giving his lecture recital and GRADUATING. He’s still finishing up his thesis and defending over the summer, but he’ll have walked and be 90% done with the degree.

      • emmers

        So huge! Excited for this new stage for you.

    • stephanie

      Adding these topics to the liiiiiist!

      • emmers

        My $0.02: career stuff- there have been some awesome posts in the past. And I love the tiny steps to adulthood series. It would also be super cool to hear from ppl who are childfree by choice or not,& ppl who have experienced miscarriage or preg loss, infertility, or have built family in non traditional ways, like foster moms, adoptions, single parenthood by choice, etc. and maybe hearing from adult kids of ppl in some of those situations & their experience- adoptees, ppl w/experience in the foster system like ef, interracial and international adoptees. And finally tips from childfree women on how they’ve built/maintained community as more ppl have kids.

        • I just made a similar comment! Love your ideas, especially maintaining community with other women as more people have kids.

    • Her Lindsayship

      BOOK CLUB YES. And on top of talking openly about pregnancy experiences, how about more conversation about other women’s health concerns? I’ve loved discussions here about birth control, and would also welcome menopause talk though I’m far from it myself. It’s just one of those things the world doesn’t seem to talk about much.

    • zana

      I went to Vegas the week before my Defense…because there isn’t a whole lot to do at that point but rehearse once or twice a day. Congrats and good luck! It’s almost-sort-of-over!!

  • C

    Happy Friday! We’ve been married for less than four months and I’m already been bitten by the homebuying bug (which is not totally bonkers as I’m a diligent saver and our combined incomes make homeownership actually affordable, as long as home prices don’t soar in our area in the next few years). I’ve seen lots of fixer uppers in our ideal location that are within reach. Has anyone on here been through the process of getting an FHA renovation loan, esp. as a first time homebuyer? What about buying a foreclosure? We have a meeting with a realtor friend tomorrow to discuss tentative plans and our local market and I’d love to tap into your collective wisdom too.

    • LazyMountain

      Best of luck with the hunt! Very jealous because we’re a year or so out and our housing market is insane… Haven’t gone through the FHA loan process, but it’s definitely the one we are most interested in. Depending on where you’re at, there are a ton of free classes through various state/HUD/commercial programs on first time home buying. We are registered for one through my employer, but we recently went to one hosted by Redfin (note- definitely not a plug for them- totally neutral) and it was specifically on lending. They brought in some representatives who very clearly outlined the whole loan application and approval process, talked about questions you should ask when interviewing lenders, and what qualifications you need for all of the different loan types. They stuck around and we could ask really specific questions during breaks and afterwards. I found it incredibly useful and empowering. Also there was free booze and food. That might have helped!
      Some of the state housing commission classes are longer and dryer, but going to them may help qualify you for down payment assistance if that’s something you’re interested in too.

      Have so much fun house shopping!

  • K. is skittsh about disqus

    Hey all! I wanted to say thank you and give an update to everyone who gave me advice a couple weeks back (and pre-my weirdly reluctant Disqus sign up) regarding my anxious puppy boy.

    We took him to the vet a few days after the HH discussion, and we were totally validated in our concern about him needing something stronger than exercise and training. The vet confirmed both his sweetness (he was pressing himself against her the entire time and nuzzling her face), as well as his clear fear and anxiety that beyond normal adolescent dog behavior.

    We’ve started him on a thunder shirt for really bad hours, as well as a daily FDA-approved and all natural l-theanine supplement. If these remedies don’t help show enough improvement in another couple of weeks, we also have a Prozac script for him.

    So far, it hasn’t been a miracle cure (which we didn’t expect), but he’s acting more and more like our little buddy than he has in MONTHS. He’s much more receptive to his training exercises and enjoys relaxing on the couch with us again. He’s also much more affectionate and hasn’t had any major freakouts in over 7 days. I’m SO glad I didn’t listen to other sites’ advice to rehome him just because I’m pregnant; we absolutely see a light at the end of the tunnel and know that we’re helping him be the happiest, most secure dog he can be.

    Here’s a quick (and probably temporary because, paranoid) pic of our cutie dog for your troubles: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16ce2220b44c564def2dc2e68377ba4384f3ae974c386cfc3f01ef52609dd345.jpg

    • CMT

      So cute! I hope he starts to feel better.

    • Megan

      Aw what a cutie! We had to put our pup on Prozac and it was a miracle. I hope what you are doing works but if it doesn’t Prozac isn’t the worst next step!

      • K. is skittsh about disqus

        Thank you! We’re definitely not opposed to putting him on Prozac; from what we hear, it can really help and may ultimately be the right choice for him, especially as his world changes even more after our baby arrives. Our vet just wants to see how he does with the more natural options first, which we get. It’s a long-term plan, so we have to be patient with both him and the process.

      • Cha

        Seconding the helpfulness of anti-anxiety meds for dogs. Prozac didn’t do much for our pup, but Elavil helped take the edge off his severe separation anxiety so that he could actually be receptive to training. We weaned him off the meds after about 6 months and he’s doing great. Best of luck to you!

    • BSM

      SO GLAD you’re on the path to a happy conclusion! I would be devastated to need to rehome our pup before the baby arrives, so I really felt for you.

    • Laura C

      I’m so glad you’re finding answers. What a sweet little face.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Omg that dog is so cute and the sweet success story + cuteness + probably menstrual hormones almost made me cry at my desk just now. <3 Way to go for being responsible dog parents!

    • Our dog bounced around a bit before coming to us, and we had some issues after I had our baby. He’d been adopted and then given to a shelter when a couple had a baby, fostered by a family with a small child, and then adopted by us. So I think he was dreading being given away. We’ve given him extra loves and over time, it’s gotten better. In fact, this morning I had to remind our 60lb cuddle bug that he didn’t need to give the baby so many kisses.

      Yours is a cutie!

    • penguin

      Look at that sweet face! I’m glad he’s doing better!!

    • Jess

      Hello cutie! I hope you learn that the world may be big, but it is not always scary.

    • AmandaBee

      Oh what a sweetie pie! So glad you’re getting some validation and some answers. I hope he’s able to settle down and start feeling a bit more secure.

  • Megan

    Updates on my international rotational program at work – I made it to the final round! I had two interviews yesterday and one went amazing and the other went good(?). I should know if I got in in the next couple of weeks. I haven’t wanted something this bad maybe… ever? And it feels like applying to colleges and waiting for the response letter. You know the response could change your whole life around but you’re terrified of it all the same!

  • Jenny

    I’ve noticed a lot of the comments about the behind the scenes “stuff” (not sure if I missed an update on specifics) that’s been going on that’s been making life annoying/miserable/obnoxious. But I’m glad it seems to be returning to normal. I’ve been thinking good thoughts for you guys!

    Happy birthday Meg!

  • Vanessa

    We’ve had some really big wedding wins in the past week – we found out we can fit everyone inside our venue, so we don’t have to rent a tent (and tables and floor and lighting and sidewalls and catering prep tent etc etc etc) – it’s going to save us so much money!!! And we think we’ve found a caterer – we had originally contacted her for just Friday night but we liked her food & vibe so much that we asked her to give us a quote for the whole weekend! And my MOH & bridesmaid booked an airbnb for my bach party so we have a place to stay in Seattle!!!

    I also agreed to go to a work conference a week after my wedding, and my fiance & I talked it over & decided I should say yes. I don’t get many chances to go to professional development-type events like this, and my next chance would likely be another year or even two. I’ve never been to Kentucky – does anyone have any suggestions of fun things to do in Lexington?

  • Orangie

    Can I just vent about mediocre white dudes for a minute? A guy I used to date just sent me an email for his campaign to be a U.S. Senator. His main qualification? That he’s a pharmacist, so he knows science (I’m not making this up; it’s actually what he wrote on his campaign website). Well, then sure, Mr. Mediocre White Dude, obviously you should totally jump right into the Senate, with not even a stop at state level or House of Reps first. He literally hasn’t even been on a city council. He just woke up and thought to himself one morning, “I should run for Senate because I’m totally what this country needs, even though I’ve never shown a hint of interest in politics.” I just wish that people with actual qualifications found it as easy to throw their hats in the ring. And I’m probably especially sensitive because we’re currently seeing the ramifications of another mediocre white dude who woke up one morning and decided he would make a good president based upon his totally-unrelated-to-government job. Sigh. Okay, I’m done venting.

    • Totch

      THIS IS WHY I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THE MARCH FOR SCIENCE

    • Alex K

      There is quite seriously a PAC that is dedicated to dissuading white men from running for office (called Can You Not) for this reason.

      • CMT

        I am very happy to learn of that PAC’s existence.

      • jem

        Hahahahaha I love the name

      • Orangie

        I am considering submitting the website for Can You Not on the contact form for his campaign website, but I’m not sure that I can do it anonymously (he’s still friends with my brother and I don’t want to put bro in a bad position).

        • Cleo

          I just looked at his campaign website – you only need to include an email address and ZIP code (no name) with your message. So if you have an email address you use for spam, or something that doesn’t include your name, you can use that and do it anonymously.

          • Cleo

            never mind. I was on a random candidate’s website for my own reasons and connected their website to this post. haha!

          • Orangie

            Well, I sent it. I doubt it does anything, but still.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Speaking of Senate campaigns, I’m really excited that someone has thrown his hat in the ring to try to unseat our terrible Republican senator! He hasn’t held office before, but he doesn’t seem like a mediocre white dude. Well, he’s white, but an Iraq vet and attorney and dad of 2 girls and I heard his wife is a progressive Rabbi. He hasn’t stated any policy positions yet but he’s running as a Democrat, and he had enough money to put together a slick video. http://www.jamesmackler.com It’s going to be a tough campaign in this red state, so it’s heartening to at least see someone try.

    • Amanda

      Meanwhile, women go for being experienced as they move up the ladder, and then don’t get elected to higher offices because they don’t have ENOUGH experience.

      I saw a great meme once: Lord, grant me the confidence of a mediocre white guy.

      • yellowbellpepper

        I LOVE that meme. As in, I hate that it’s true, but it’s so, so true.

        Also, on this topic: women have to be asked on average seven times to run for office before they consider it a viable option for themselves. Men usually average 0-1 times.

    • Natalie

      Um, pharmacists (like doctors and other medical professionals), while having training in scientific facts, are not scientists, and do not necessarily understand what makes good science policy. They tend to have no to very little training in stats & data analysis, which is really important for interpreting studies (both “hard” & social science) that should ground good scientific policy. So his one “qualification” isn’t even a full qualification. Not saying that being a scientist would make him a qualified candidate, or that medical professionals don’t have really important skillsets.

      TL;DR: Pointing out that his proclamation that as a pharmacist, he knows science, is yet another example of mediocre white dudes WAY overestimating their own abilities.

      • LK

        Hi, I am a pharmacist, and actually, I took statistics before and while in pharmacy school. By no means am I close to being an expert, but I am capable of reading a study and finding flaws and deciding if it is relevant to practice. Several of my colleagues are actively conducting bench top and clinical research. Granted, I’m at a large academic institution…but there are plenty of pharmacists who are scientists.

    • Kate

      I’ve been having these feelings about a law school classmate recently. Unlike your ex, he’s obviously very invested in politics and has arranged his whole life around trying to get elected to any public office. Unfortunately he keeps showing up to meetings about women running for elected office. This would not be a problem except it’s clear he is much more interested in getting elected himself than helping women run for office. He needs to LEAN THE FUCK BACK, both literally and figuratively (at the last meeting he was leaning so far forward it looked like he was going to start crawling on all fours towards our speaker).

      • Amanda

        I think you just named your next bestseller. Look out Sheryl Sandberg!

        • cml

          Please write something with this title. I need it.

      • penguin

        I snorted out loud at “at the last meeting he was leaning so far forward it looked like he was going to start crawling on all fours towards our speaker”.

        • CMT

          I did, too. Actual LOLs.

      • AP

        Ugh, this guy I was friends with in high school is now working for the Trump White House. He was such a good guy back in the day, but it’s become obvious he’s politicking as a career and basic principles of human decency don’t matter anymore.

        • CMT

          So, Paul Ryan?

          • AP

            HA, exactly.

    • Laura C

      My coworkers who write about elections have this term for people with no real qualifications for the office they’re running for: “Some Dude.”

    • AmandaBee

      As someone who is currently doing 2 people’s jobs because my MWD co-worker can’t get his shit together (but also still presents himself as the Knower of All Things), I am here for ALL of the MWD rants.

  • Anna

    All our invitations are out! And we’ve started getting online RSVPs! We did both RSVP cards and an online form, and we’re both really excited to receive the little cards in the mail – at least some of our friends and family are sending both, so that’s fun :-)

    We’re starting writing our vows this weekend, because in lieu of a traditional ketubah I’m typesetting our vows nicely (with decoration based on the pattern I designed for our invitation) and we’re planning on getting that printed and signing it. Anyone else do something ketubah-like-but-not-a-ketubah? My plan is to send it to Thomas-Printers (who did our invitations, impeccably) but I haven’t actually asked yet if they can do what I have in mind.

    • Morgan D

      Replying to follow this thread. We are non-practicing (and only one of us is half-Jewish) but we’re so enamored with the tradition of the ketubah that I think we’re going to go with one of the more modern watercolors or paper cuts, and have our own vows or some of the wedding readings printed instead of the formal contract.

      • Anna

        Yeah, we weren’t going to do it at all when we read the traditional text and were definitely not into it, but the rabbi was pretty insistent that we have SOMETHING and honestly, the idea of having a physical artifact that we sign that indicates what the marriage means to both of us is pretty appealing.

        • Morgan D

          Yeah, we don’t have a ton of art, so I think it’s going to be the centerpiece of our bedroom once all is said and done, and I can’t help but look forward to having something that meaningful and beautiful as a daily reminder of our vows/day (plus, it will help the Jewish folks at the wedding feel included, and offer some semblance of “See, we did a traditional thing, even if it’s not yours!” for the Catholic folks).

    • Olive

      Also non-practicing, but I designed and printed my own ketubah-type thing with our vows on it as a first anniversary gift for my husband. It’s hanging in our bedroom and I love the daily reminder of our vows…I’m still so obsessed with them.

    • BSM

      Oh man, all your paper products sound amazing! We did ours relatively inexpensively through Minted (because finite amount of money), but I did live it up and get TWO amazing albums from Artifact Uprising for my husband for our anniversary.

      Also planning to do it up with baby announcements at some point, just because.

      Congrats on getting invites out!

      • Anna

        Thanks :-) we did most of them last weekend, and then suddenly realized that we had one good local friend we’d just… forgotten – he’s a friend I’ve known for many years who happens to be living in the same city we are for the first time since before fiance and I started dating, but fiance hadn’t met him yet when we first made our guest list shortly before moving to this area. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time with him, fiance has gotten to know him well, and we obviously wanted to include him. Fortunately we ordered extra invitations (and our guest count either way is nowhere near our venue’s capacity limit), so it was easy to just send another one out.

    • Ashlah

      I also love the idea of something ketubah-like-but-not-a-ketubah, been considering a beautiful print for an anniversary present.

    • Mer

      I have done this for all of my close friends and my brother and am working on doing it as a gift for my parents 40th wedding anniversary. I contacted shops on etsy about custom letterpress. Though letterpress is expensive, all the pieces are beautiful.

      I was inspired by the idea of the ketubah but these are really just vows printed beautifully on paper with their wedding dates. So far everyone has loved it.

    • Lisa

      We just sent out our invites too, and we’ve gotten a couple of online RSVPs. I don’t think anyone has actually gotten the paper invites yet (sent Wednesday), but it’s still really exciting! I can’t wait to see who can come. Also, did anyone else add a handful of people at the end – those that didn’t make the original cut but in your heart you knew you wanted them there? Because I sure did and am tempted to add a few more. This, my friends, is how budgets are blown. (But in the end, what is more important – that’s what money is for)

      • Not Sarah

        We’re about five months out and I’ve been sending a second round of “save the dates”… I asked “hey can I invite so and so even though we just had the budget conversation about how expensive this will really be?” and my partner laughed and said of course.

    • Lisa

      Responding to the ketubah separately: Your printed vows idea sounds so lovely! We went back and forth for a while, and we’re buying a ketubah, but making our own Quaker Contract that lists our vows so we can have our whole community sign it. We plan on hanging them both. They won’t match, but they’ll both be beautiful and meaningful to us. We just have to figure out where in the ceremony or after the recessional we’re going to do the Quaker Contract signing. Having everyone sign will take a little while; I feel like it might be a bit like a eucharist line where we would need ushers.

  • Sosuli

    Thanks everyone for the support and congratulations on my postdoc news last HH! I am super excited about moving, especially since the UK political situation is like a sinking ship. Anyway, since I always seem to be super negative about my MIL here I wanted to share that she has been sooo supportive and happy about this job/move news it’s incredible. I think I am probably unfair about her sometimes. She took it so well and didn’t for a second question whether we should go and husband should leave his job.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Congratulations!!

    • Jess

      FWIW I think you can acknowledge that people’s bad stuff is annoying without negating their good?

      Also, once again, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY For the postdoc and supporting MIL!

      • Sosuli

        Thanks for that, I think I needed that reminder!

    • Totch

      I missed this! Congrats!!!

      • Sosuli

        Thanks! So excited about moving home. :)

  • jem

    It’s our engageversary and we are going out to a fancy dinner and I am so so so excited to get some quality time with my man! ❤️

  • JC

    We’ve seen color-coordinated weddings (which in general APW gives a big thumbs down), but I’ve just been alerted that I’ll be attending a color-coordinated bridal shower! I am, shall we say, not too pleased about being told what to wear.

    In other news, I’ve been asked to attend a conference this summer, which is a rare occurrence for people in my department! It’s in Dallas and coincides with my boyfriend’s birthday, so I think he might come with me and then we’ll spend the weekend watching the Rangers in Arlington. If anyone has DFW recommendations, I will take them!

    • Anna

      Sigh. Out of amused curiosity, what’s the color?

      • JC

        We do get to “choose” from about six colors, but the fact that there are multiple colors actually makes it more offensive to me, because it’s not like the theme of the party is “yellow” and so everyone wears yellow. It’s just that the host of the shower is a control freak.

        • Jess

          ugh…. and of course the shade of the color you choose will be ever-so-slightly off And/Or, everyone will end up choosing one of two colors, ruining the six-color-vision.

          • JC

            Oh no. I didn’t even think of that. Of course I’m in the way wherever I stand, no matter what I do, and now I will most definitely be the only one wearing one of the colors.

          • Jess

            You will gloriously be a shining beacon of commitment to that color. And probably her favorite person.

          • JC

            “Gloriously shining beacon of commitment” is literally why I am going to this damn thing in the first place. Thank you. I shall put that mantra on a color-coordinated party hat and wear it jauntily with pride.

          • Jess

            :) It will be the most lovely of jaunty party hats.

    • Kelly

      By color coordinated, do you mean the guests have to wear certain colors?

      • JC

        Yep. For photos. You can’t see me making a face right now.

        • Kelly

          Ahh, I see. I had the distinct pleasure of being told to wear beige (so that women would match the sand) & men were to wear khahki & blue ties to match the ocean. You can’t even see my face in the 1 wedding photo of the 15 guests.

          So- I get it lol. ;)

          • LadyJanee

            Beige?! To match the sand???!!! What the actual F…

    • Her Lindsayship

      Museums in Dallas are pretty awesome! I’m thinking particularly the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art, if you’re into art. Also the aquarium is nuts – it’s HUGE and there’s a whole rainforest area so it’s really not just an aquarium, and there’s a couple stands inside where you can get a margarita in a plastic cup and walk around the aquarium with it, which is definitely what I did. If you like tacos and don’t have a Torchy’s near where you live PLEASE go to Torchy’s, god that’s a good taco.

      • JC

        All the art museums. All the aquariums. All the tacos.

    • K. is skittsh about disqus

      Ugh. Is it at least a color most people would already reasonably own? Not that even that’s okay because people =/= props, but there’s something about having to go buy an outfit that especially grinds my gears (like when my husband had to buy white pants that he will neeeever wear again for a family member’s White Party Wedding…you’re not Solange, relative!)

      • K. is skittsh about disqus

        *I mean this for guests; I get that matching coordination happens prettty commonly for bridal party members (I did that too! But not at my shower FFS)

      • JC

        Yeah, there are a variety of colors to choose from (although not the color of the dress I was planning on wearing…), but I agree, I am not a prop.

    • Kara

      I grew up in the DFW area. The new science museum is supposed to be awesome ( https://www.perotmuseum.org/ ), I haven’t been able to check it out yet.

      If you like roller coasters, Six Flags Over Texas is just down the street. We used to park at the back end of Six Flags to attend Rangers games.

    • Alex K

      So I lived in Dallas for a few years and LOVED it. Recommendations: Velvet Taco (awesome interesting tacos), Rustic (outdoor bar/restaurant with music that is so Texas), if you are going to Fort Worth- the stock yards are cool (but do not take too long to do), Cowboys Stadium (it actually has a ton of art which is cool, and I am not a Cowboy fan), Sixth Floor Museum, Botanical Gardens.

    • Amy March

      Please wear black in protest? Or pink, whichever is more outside the lines.

      • JC

        The temptation is strong.

  • Kate

    MEDIOCRE ENTITLED WHITE DUDE ALERT! If you need a good laugh, please enjoy this Change.org petition from a kid I briefly went to high school with.

    https://www.change.org/p/patagonia-give-tanner-an-interview

    • Anna

      I had to resist the urge to actually slam my head into my desk.

    • CMT

      Oh, ffs.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I wish this was a joke.

    • BSM

      Are you fucking kidding me?

    • Ashlah

      1. How does this have 88 supporters?
      2. Wouldn’t this look horrible to a potential employer? Or is he trying to go “viral” to prove he’s good at PR and Communications? If I were Patagonia, I’d take it as a sign that he’d make our company look terrible.

      • BSM

        I’ve worked with people at Patagonia before. I do not think this would appeal to them.

    • MC

      OMG. The petty person in me hopes that he gets a personal rejection letter from Patagonia just for pulling this bs stunt.

    • K. is skittsh about disqus

      o___O

      …You’re sure this isn’t performance art?

      • Kate

        Unfortunately he is completely serious.

        • K. is skittsh about disqus

          Yikes.

    • Amanda

      Are you still in high school, and does this high school go down to fifth grade?? Because this sounds like a whiny twelve year old.

      Also, why doesn’t he say any, I dunno, qualifications, if he wants people to sign? Oh, right, if he had those, his resume would get him an interview.

    • AGCourtney

      lmao

    • Orangie
  • Olive

    I’m so pumped for the March for Science tomorrow! I’ve always loved celebrating Earth Day, and tomorrow I get to do it with friends and my husband while doing science demos in my city! My sister and I always had a tradition of flying a kite on Earth Day, so hopefully we’ll squeeze some of that in too :)

    My little etsy shop is taking off pretty well so far! I sell science/home themed greeting cards and it brings me so. much. joy. Two sales this week! Any other APWers etsy sellers? Any advice?

    Happy Friday all :)

    • Katherine

      I’m hoping I can make it to the one in our state. It’s in the next town over, and while it’s only a 45 minute drive, the drive goes over a mountain pass and it’s supposed to snow non-stop until tomorrow morning.

      • Olive

        I hope the weather is in your favor!

    • Laura C

      What’s your shop name?

      • Olive

        OliviaatHome!

    • Gaby

      We’re going to our March too! They announce that there will be “a science-based musical group” called The Phenomenauts performing so I’m excited to catch that before we head to another event.

      • Olive

        that sounds so cool!

    • Gaby

      Also your idea of flying a kite every year on Earth Day is lovely and I might borrow it.

      • Olive

        Please do! My neighbor’s family has a kite competition every year! I want to steal that!!!

    • I was so excited for the March for Science when it was first announced…but now I’m not going. I’m strongly disappointed by the “this is apolitical” tone and how scientists of color have been ignored/shut out. The Root had a really good piece recently about the problems around the March for Science, most of which I agree with.

      • EF

        this is…fascinating to me. being in london, it’s a very different flavour than the usa-based marches for science (but we’re still having one tomorrow) and i think scientists for the EU are one of the organising groups. plus with a snap election announced this week, it is a suuuuuper political march.

        or at least i thought it was! now i’m slightly worried…

      • Sarah E

        And my workplace deemed it “too political” to get involved with. “Getting involved” means a good friend of mine, who is one of the local organizers, wanted to post up in our bar and sell T-shirts to support the march. He wasn’t asking for dedicated space, and was planning to purchase drinks and encourage others to do the same while here. And my bosses nixed it on grounds of being “too political.” Meanwhile, posted on our website is all about how we’re sustainable, and two of our owners work in environmental law, and once of them is on the sustainability committee in our national industry association. So.. .we’re sustainable just for funsies, I guess? I’m so disappointed that, as a small, locally owned (and very profitable and growing) business, they won’t take a fucking stand publicly.

  • Struggling with balance this week, and hating being an adult. My husband had a work trip (3 days, 2 nights) and the original plan was for me + baby to tag along, but we decided to be adult and the babe and I stayed home, because SO MUCH WORK. Which meant 3 days of solo parenting (mad props to single parents) and trying to get work done so that I can *not* work while we’re in Germany in a couple weeks visiting family.

    But, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who chimed in on my post about church hunting. I was feeling pretty down about the whole thing and now I feel better about finding something. Hopefully going to check out the first one this weekend! <3

  • Antonia

    Anyone have book recommendations for dealing with toddler behaviors?

    Daughter is 16 months old and has recently started exhibiting some behaviors I frankly wasn’t ready for – saying “no” to everything, freaking out when she doesn’t get her way, sleep regression (8:30 p.m. bedtime has moved to 10-11 p.m.), lots of crying and fussing and clinginess-slash-don’t touch me, etc. I mean, I knew it was coming, but I thought it happened more around the 2-year mark.

    Any recommendations for books to help ease her (and my partner and me) through this period of transition? We don’t adhere to any parenting “philosophy,” though we both work full time and daughter is in daycare, so many attachment parenting methods aren’t super do-able for us.

    • ZLMT

      Yes! I really like Janet Lansbury — she has a website, book (“No bad Kids: Toddler Disicipline W/Out Shame”), and an occasional podcast (“Unruffled”). I have found her very helpful in better understanding my almost 2 y.o. and figuring out how to best set limits, help him with his feelings, etc.

      • Antonia

        Wonderful, thank you! Sixteen months is such a strange age — not a baby, not yet a toddler. I see lots of recommendations for rewarding positive behaviors with things like sticker charts, and we’re still quite a ways off from that.

        • rg223

          Yeah, my 19 month old doesn’t get a sticker chart, but he does understand immediate consequences, positive or negative. Positive reinforcement works well for him. Like, he used to throw all his food on the floor after every meal, but the one time he didn’t, we clapped for him and gave him praise right away. And now we have to clap after every meal, but it’s worth it!

        • ZLMT

          Yeah, she doesn’t do anything like sticker charts. She is more about understanding why your child is doing things, and how to clearly set limits while accepting whatever their feelings are.

        • E.

          As a teacher I try to avoid external rewards such as sticker charts and focus on intrinsic motivation. Trying to figure out why a kid is doing something and finding another solution. Giving choices (autonomy) helps with the no thing, often. “Do you want to brush your teeth before your bath or after?” Many years ago I read the book How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk and it was super helpful when I first started working with kids.

          • Violet

            External rewards are great as a short-term tool for changing behavior that’s taken hold as a habit. But for what Antonia’s describing, I’m with you. And that book is a classic for a reason!

          • E.

            Absolutely!

          • The first half of your comment made me think of that book, and then I saw you went on to mention it! :)

    • rg223

      I don’t have any recommendations unfortunately, but solidarity. My son is 19 months and yep, the terrible twos start at 1.5. But, I remember hearing in a childhood development class that starting around 2, their behavior and growth shifts every 6 months, so at 2 they are a nightmare and then at 2.5 they get it together again and mature, then at 3 they are crazy again. Regardless, it passes… and then you have new challenges! Good luck!

    • emilyg25

      Not a book, but I loooove the website Aha Parenting. Actually, she does have a book, but I just read the articles on the blog.

  • savannnah

    Just want everyone to know that I’m beasting today’s new project launch at work in front of many c-suite people and having a great (for me) hair day. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1d5bf17f5b8aa2ca9652b2ae1c865fac759ca942bd66f8f1072c4463ddc252d.jpg

    • Violet

      You know this, but: The hair looks GOOD.

      • savannnah

        Thanks! Its super thin and super dark and sometimes it looks like snakes so I’m into it today.

        • Ashlah

          Haha, my hair is super thin and it sometimes looks like snakes when it’s long too. What a great description. I’m currently growing it out again, and am hopeful to find the trick to prevent that from becoming my daily look.

    • cml

      Go girl!

  • Kaitlyn

    My birthday is tomorrow! J is going above and beyond to make it special my cooking a nice dinner tonight and has a surprise adventure planned tomorrow. I’ve been struggling this week with work (namely how I’m turning 27 and can’t figure what the eff I want to do career wise and being at wit’s end with my current job), but I’m looking forward to the weekend!

    • rg223

      Happy birthday! A surprise adventure sounds lovely!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I didn’t fall into my career til I was 32, so I feel you.

      Have a fabulous birthday! Surprise adventures are awesome.

    • Happy birthday!

    • LadyJanee

      When I turned 27 last year, I had that same struggle. Still in the same job (although I had my permanency confirmed late last year which was something) but I am now starting to think more about what I want out of my career and what I need to do to get there. I am also committing to applying for one new job a month and hopefully something sticks.

      Also, Happy birthday!!

  • Jess

    Crowd sourcing for good anti-depressant stories. My only experience as a young teen was pretty harrowing, and my therapist and I have decided it’s probably time to try again.

    Truth be told, I’m terrified of side effects and also of them not actually working and forever staying in the same emotional place I am now.

    • Kate

      One of my nearest and dearest friends went on anti-depressants and it has definitely changed his life for the better. There was an adjustment period where he and his therapist worked together to find the right dosage/medication so he could experience minimal side effects. And while he still gets the blues from time to time the severity has decreased, he’s no longer missing work like he used to, and he’s going out and doing more fun stuff like rock climbing.

      • Jess

        Thanks! It’s good to remind myself that trial period is normal, and just really try to hope that it doesn’t get worse than it gets better.

        • zero

          For me, the only way it got “worse” was that I was already sort of expecting the meds to work (even though I knew it would take a while) and observing my mood a lot. Spoiler: They were not working yet, and when they finally did, it was pretty obvious. I got better after 2-3 weeks, and again better after around 5 weeks (which was a nice surprise because I didn’t expect that it would get even better!). It just takes a lot of patience – try to keep your expectations in check, try to avoid thinking about side effects. I know, easier said and done. But for me at least, it was truly just a short time that I needed to somehow get through and they I came out on the other side.

          • Jess

            Thank you. That is very reassuring that it’s obvious when they work (even if it takes time).

    • zero

      I’ve had a great experience with my anti-depressant. Literally the only thing it does is make me feel a shit ton better. I was expecting all kinds of side effects, but nope. It did take around 2-3 weeks before I felt an effect.

      • Jess

        Thank you. This is pretty much exactly what I needed.

        • zero

          Good luck! Hopefully you’ll have a really good experience, too. I truly can’t put into words how much happier my life is thanks to anti depressants.

    • MC

      My mom has been on Zoloft most of my life and loves it!! From what I remember from her pre-meds it definitely helps her be more resilient and enjoy her life more and I think she’d say it was key in being able to be an engaged parent.

      I’m also considering meds (for anxiety) with my therapist and really loved listening to this episode of my fave podcast, Another Round, where they talk about mental health stigma and how they love their meds: https://www.acast.com/anotherround/episode-34-the-most-introverted-sasha-fierce

      • Jess

        Oooh I will listen to this episode!

    • Anna

      One of my best friends had a pretty serious breakdown of sorts our sophomore year of college; he took a year off, started regular therapy, and went on a series of medications (i.e., he and his psychiatrist tweaked what he was taking until it worked), and when he came back, he was in an infinitely better emotional place (no more punching doors and deliberately trying to say whatever would hurt his friends most, for one thing!). I don’t know what he experienced during that process of trying different medications – he had basically pushed everyone away, so we didn’t talk regularly during that interval – but the fact that he was able to come back and reconstruct a lot of the friendships he’d done his best to destroy when he was at his lowest point, and since then has continued to be in a good place, is a great testament to the possible impact of medications for mental health.

      • Jess

        That kind of change is awesome!

    • CP2011

      I’m on Lexapro and have found it super helpful. The one side effect I experience is super vivid dreams, which is wearing on me. But other than that, yes, I’ve had a good experience.

      • Jess

        that’s great to know! Thank you!

      • Jess

        BTW, Your comment on Lexapro specifically made me feel much more comfortable reviewing it with my dr. today when she recommended it for me and told me about a few side effects we’ll be watching for.

        Thank you!

    • emilyg25

      Antidepressants saved my life. It did a take a little while to find the right one, at the right dose. If you don’t like the side effects, you can wean off. If they don’t work, you can try another one. There are so, so many options out there nowadays.

      • Jess

        Thanks. The endless options are kind of what scares me – like, if I don’t like the side effects, I have to stick with them for like… weeks anyway. To see if they go away. To see if it helps enough.

    • emmers

      I have a friend who started on them about a year ago and has raved about them. She said they help her be more reasonable and spiral less. She got a prescription from her gen practitioner & I think said the generic and were super cheap. She’s made me seriously consider them.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    Thank you to the people who shared great Boston suggestions a few HHs ago! I had a wonderful time. I ended up trying Bova and Veggie Galaxy, and a vegan Thai place. It was a fantastic trip- I love how walkable Boston is. I fell completely in love with the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, too!

    • Amanda

      If you lived here, we would be friends.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        :-D

    • rg223

      Oh my god, I LOVE the Gardner museum – it’s so kooky!!!! While somehow also feeling like the Met.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Right?? It felt like a museum, yet also like I was looking at a Whistler painting in someone’s bedroom. I loved every inch of it. I tend to like smaller museums more, and this might be my favorite one yet.

    • EF

      yay so happy you liked veggie galaxy…and boston!

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I loved all of it! I wish I’d had more time so I could go back and try alllll of the Veggie Galaxy offerings!

  • Amanda

    Anyone else comfort themselves while their partner is away by eating all the things s/he hates? Because that’s pretty much my plan for the next ten days.

    • Katherine

      I’m a vegetarian, and whenever I’m out of town, my husband generally subsists on burgers and Korean BBQ.

      • rg223

        My husband is the vegetarian in our house and yep, I eat all the meat when he’s gone!

        • Amanda

          Ha! We are both veg, actually. But he’s on this low-sugar kick, and hates salty and creamy things. Sure, I’m gonna live longer because of it. But sometimes, I just want to eat all the salty, creamy stuff, and wash it down with a cookie.

          • MC

            Just made a confused face because I can’t imagine how someone could hate salty things?? I mean, I was a very picky eater in my teen years so I understand that taste is subjective, but SALT, YUM.

          • Amanda

            I kind of think he just associates it with not-healthy and convinced himself not to like it.

          • Orangie

            This was my husband…until his doctor pointed out that his iodine levels were exceedingly low. Now we get to have salt again! (I mean, I always had salt at the table because I think a saltless life isn’t worth living, but now we use it to cook, too.)

          • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

            That is my dream meal right there!

          • AmandaBee

            My husband is also anti-salt which is the worst because I am 100% #teamsalt.

        • Cbrown

          All the tuna! The tuna for me, the tin to the cat.

    • Lisa

      Not even just the things he hates, but things he could care less about, too. I drank soooooo many mimosas when I was living alone last summer.

    • Violet

      Omg, YES. Pasta salad!

      • rg223

        That is so random and also so sad! Who doesn’t love pasta salad???

        • Violet

          I know!? He doesn’t like anything with a mayonnaise (or mayonnaise-adjacent) base, so a pasta salad held together with Ranch is no-go.

          • rg223

            Ahh, makes sense. My mom makes a pasta salad with oil/salad dressing as the base, maybe he can try that and experience the joy?

          • BSM

            Loooove pasta salad (and potato salad) with an oil/vinegar base. That actually sounds reallyyyy delicious and may be what’s for dinner now.

          • Katherine

            Admittedly, I am also that person who hates pasta salad because I can’t stand mayonnaise and mayonnaise-adjacent condiments.

          • Violet

            My sister is afflicted by this, too. Because I grew up pretty used to it as a concept, I was therefore not surprised that he doesn’t eat pasta salad, chicken salad, egg salad, deviled eggs, creamy salad dressings, etc. etc.

          • Totch

            My husband hates ranch! And just generally doesn’t get dipping stuff in mayo based sauces. Yesterday he made wings for dinner and I dipped them in Caesar dressing because we don’t have ranch in the house, and I think I made him cry.

          • Fushigidane

            :( one of my favorite things at Chinese restaurants is fried shrimp covered in a mayo type sauce. Also dipping fried things in kewpie mayo. Japanese mayo is so good on fried meat.

          • Totch
          • Fushigidane

            Haha awesome

        • JC

          [Slowly raises hand…] Whispers *I don’t eat pasta…*

    • Anna

      Allllll the eggplant and mushrooms. But he doesn’t travel much (high school teachers don’t exactly have business trips…).

      • Amanda

        They do go to sleep early, though. Midnight eggplant/mushroom binge?

        • Anna

          Alas, I also go to bed early. Lifelong morning person.

      • Fushigidane

        They do if they run a club that does overnight trips XD. They sometimes even get approved for extra pay for those trips.

    • InTheBurbs

      Yep – bleu cheese on all the things!!!

      • Violet

        Ever dip french fries in bleu cheese? HAVE YOU!!!!!?????

        • InTheBurbs

          Yep! How about french fries in thousand island?

          • Violet

            This is genius, and I will be trying.

        • Katherine

          Omg. I’ve done this with potato chips. Why have I never done it with fries???

        • ART

          I don’t even like bleu cheese very much, but bleu cheese dressing mixed with ketchup is a disgustingly good fry dip.

          • Violet

            Woah, weird!

    • AP

      ALL THE POTATOES

      • Totch

        Parsnips for me!! Root veggies!!!!!

    • zana

      I just don’t clean up after myself until the day he before he returns. That’s a pretty big celebration/comfort? ;)

      • Totch

        This. It’s disgusting and I love it. And I let the dog sleep in the bed.

        But yes, I also eat food I don’t get with him (often stuff he’s allergic to).

      • Orangie

        Glad to hear it’s not just me! My partner’s gone for 5 days, and I’m not planning on carrying any of the glasses by the bed into the kitchen until the night before he returns.

    • JC

      Oh every time.

    • Alyssa

      Salami, Cheese, Baguette and Alcoholic Ginger Beer is my MO whenever Fiance is out of town. And Harry Potter.

      • Kat

        Yes, always with the HP marathon. While I subsist on a diet of Publix buffalo chicken dip/ wheat thins/ mango gelato

    • TrueGrit

      Yes. Smoked gouda.

  • penguin

    We found a photographer! She had been super patient with us over email during our date fiasco (bless her, she was available on all three dates we cycled through) and has been SUPER responsive to email. Met her in person this week, chatted, loved her, and we’re going to create a custom package this week.

    So that knocks out: venue (incl. food and alcohol and an event coordinator), officiant, and photographer. We have 6 months until the wedding so I feel like we’re KILLING it. Now I need to find a dress – I’ve been sort of blocking that out because I’ve had a hard time, but I need to kick dress shopping into high gear.

    • Engaged Chicago

      Are we the same person? Samesies on the dress and contracts – we have ~9 months and dress shopping is such a beast of it’s own!

      • penguin

        Ahh it’s the worst! I generally know what I’m looking for, but it’s been rough trying to find it. Apparently plus size, long, blue, elbow length or long sleeve lacy dresses aren’t super common haha. I’m thinking of going the route of that Modcloth dress from an old APW wedding, and buying a cocktail dress with a top I like off the internet, and having a local seamstress put a long skirt on it.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Any other 7/22 wedding planners here? WE’RE THREE MONTHS OUT. I’m feeling super nervous about it today!

    We have most things down, but some of the remaining things are going to be pretty time consuming (designing invites, building a ceremony backdrop, writing our ceremony…). But there’s also super fun stuff ahead – next week we’re doing our menu tasting at our restaurant venue! At this point it still kind of feels like a big to-do list and less like a super important milestone and amazing party for everyone we love. I need to find ways to feel more excited about it so I don’t anxiety spiral for the next three months! Maybe the food tasting will help…

    • E.

      Date twins! I spent the morning making a spreadsheet of all the crafty stuff we have to do and what materials we need/already have…

    • Katharine Parker

      From someone planning another July wedding, yikes and hooray and ohmygod. It’s coming up!!

      I feel like I’ve got a lot of stuff under control, but there are always more things to do. Tomorrow is going to the jeweler’s to order wedding bands!

      • Her Lindsayship

        That’s so exciting! Ordering our wedding bands was my favorite thing we’ve done so far. Honestly that was more of a “holy crap we’re getting married” moment than buying my wedding dress. Enjoy! :)

    • Lisa

      We’re two months out and it feels crazy – so stressful but also wonderful. The invites didn’t take us that long, despite caring about how they looked and having a really large wedding. We’re still locking in our DJ & cocktail hour duet, doing the food tasting, building the huppah, creating the ceremony, and buying all the decorative stuff as well as dishes (backyard wedding and rental place doesn’t have them) etc. So you are golden!

    • Alli

      I’m 7/22! I keep forgetting we have things to do, like send out invites, input everyone into the rsvp system, hire a car to take us home, write the ceremony, ….there’s definitely a lot of other stuff. I feel like I need to just show up and eat food but that’s definitely not the case ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • nutbrownrose

      OMG it’s only 3 months? I’ve had 18 months to plan and we don’t have an officiant yet (not my fault, FH swears he’s gonna do it, but I could literally HEAR the side-eye over the phone when I told his mom that). Invites are sent, RSVPs coming in, caterer, flowers and photos locked down, but we don’t have anyone to marry us and we don’t have a ceremony written to hand someone else…

  • AGCourtney

    I just got back from a dental cleaning – and for the first time ever, no cavities! (For those not in on the “saga”, this is mostly because I have tons of crowns now.) It was one of the last things I’ll do before my transition year off medical coverage through the state ends on the 30th. …I started running numbers the other night through our state website and such and almost cried.

    As for my phone: though there was a moment of hope late on Friday – my phone was ringing again! someone had charged it! – after that day it was off again, and everything we tired was a dead end. So, I finally caved to my husband (who works at a Verizon retailer) and as of yesterday I am now the reluctant owner of a smartphone. I sorta hate it so far.

    The small CPA firm I work at survived tax day (Holy crap that day before the deadline was busy) and they always celebrate by going out to dinner that night, on the company. While I certainly enjoyed myself, I had a lot of thoughts about class and social mobility during that. It was just a nice steakhouse in a suburb – I see conversations about Michelin restaurants going on downthread and I don’t even know what those are, haha – but it’s definitely one of the fanciest places I’ve ever been to. I felt conspicuously out of place. There will probably be enough scanning for me to do for another week or so, and then I’ll be done there and I can start organizing the house and stuff – I’ve been joking that our house looks adorable with all the Easter decorations…as long as you don’t look down.

    • Ashlah

      I work for a wealth management firm with a minimum investment of $500,000, so I can completely relate to feeling out of place a lot of the time (both at work and at our outside events). Fortunately, our tax day party is always at a local pizza place, so that one isn’t so bad! The conversations always make it so clear that I come from a very different background than my bosses and co-workers though, and it can be pretty challenging to relate to them sometimes.

      That reminds me, I attended a fundraiser that we sponsor annually on Wednesday, which had a fancy, catered three-course meal, and I was seated next to a woman who was very snooty and judgmental. I realized after the fact that she likely asked my mom and I which part of town we live in to gauge our social/economic status. It felt so gross. I was so uncomfortable simply eating because I was sure I was doing it “wrong.” Why is there so much silverware?! Does anyone really care which fork I use, or which hand I hold my knife in? In this situation, probably! Bleh.

      Congrats on the lack of cavities! I remember the first time I had an appointment like that (…it was after I started flossing regularly, whoops), and it felt so good!

      • penguin

        If that lady was judgy about what silverware I used I would have been tempted to start eating things with my fingers.

    • Laura C

      I want to know your thoughts about class and social mobility and restaurants! If you’re comfortable sharing.

      I didn’t get into it in the Michelin conversation, but one of the differences between me and my husband is that he grew up going to those places all the time and I did not. We habitually went to places I’m guessing were as fancy as your steakhouse, but not the really high-end ones. And I have complicated feelings about becoming a person who goes to those places.

      • AGCourtney

        Sure! I can’t remember all of them, of course, and this will probably be a bit disorganized and ramble-y, but no one here expects anything less of me at this point, no? Haha.

        One of my first thoughts was sheer amusement that I, who had grown up impoverished in government housing, had even ended up in such a place. But then, in addition to – and even more than – the wow-how-did-I-get-here, there was also the startling realization that I actually wasn’t *that* uncomfortable. And these realizations have been hitting me over the past year or so in various ways -this time in the context of restaurants. So I found myself retracing my “steps” in this context. Growing up, if we had a special occasion, we went to McDonalds. Maybe a pizza place, when we kids were younger and therefore cheaper for the buffet. In high school, I had a mentor who, among other things, clearly-in-hindsight ensured I learned things like how to order at a place like Applebees. …I remember my now-husband’s family invited me with them to Buca’s on our graduation day and I was a bit floored by how expensive that was. I’ve been to a couple of fancy fundraisers for the non-profit I used to live at. Things like that. I’ve been moving “up”. So it wasn’t such the startling display of costly opulence that it would have been to me before, and *that* fact was what surprised me the most, if that makes sense.

        That being said, I got salmon instead of steak because I wasn’t 100% sure how to order it and I didn’t want to look stupid – with salmon there was only one choice, grilled or blackened. I almost never drink, in part because alcohol is fricking expensive, and I panicked a bit as everyone around the table ordered really strong martinis. I found a hard cider at the last second and was able to order gracefully – and I felt really relieved, like I’d passed a test or something. When we got boxes for our leftovers, I put some of the (delicious) bread on the table in my box, because it seemed like a waste to throw it away, but I was also slightly petrified someone would see me and what if that was weird. Luckily, the social context was pretty relaxed – it’s a small firm from a fairly small town, and two of the staff members had kids young and I didn’t have to worry about keeping up appearances or anything.

        Yeah, I get what you mean about complicated feelings about identities. At the time, I felt rather pleased that to have become that sort of person, to be there. But then, it would have been very different if it had been my personal money: I would never have set foot there in the first place because why in the hell would we spend that much money on food. So for me, there’s this interesting entanglement at the crossroads of “yay we’re becoming middle class” and “holy shit shit is expensive scarcity scarcity scarcity”. I can begin to imagine the complicated feelings at the next “tier” up, if you will.

        • Laura C

          This is fascinating, thanks. It seems like you’re encountering restaurants like this mostly when the social stakes are high — future in-laws, coworkers and bosses. If you get something wrong, it could shape how important people think of you going forward. And as long as those are the circumstances where you go to those restaurants, it’ll probably be kind of circular.

          But strategies like that around the salmon vs. steak and alcohol make so much sense. I guess in a non-class-related way I do that in social settings where having a conversation with the waiter about what food doesn’t have gluten would be awkward — I just order the thing I know has the best chance of being safe, taking a little risk of getting sick rather than calling attention to myself and being the person who potentially holds up dinner for everyone else. And one of the things that having a comfort level around class brings you is the feeling that it’s ok to stand out. Like my dad, who will totally order Pepsi (he orders Pepsi, but allows as how he’ll accept a Coke if that’s what they have) no matter who he’s with. Also well-done steak, if he’s having steak.

          I’m also thinking of my best friend, who grew up working class. Sounds like her family ate out etc more than yours, but it was definitely, definitely a class shift for her to go to elite undergrad and grad schools — she’s talked about doing wilderness orientation before her first year of college, and she owned like one or two pieces of Benetton clothes that she treated super carefully because they were so out of her normal price range, and some of her classmates were out hiking through the woods in full Benetton outfits thinking nothing of it. Then once she was married, her husband worked for companies where he did a lot of traveling, staying in fancy hotels and eating at fancy restaurants, while she was home cooking for herself. Especially because he had grown up in a family that had more money than hers, they eventually decided it was important for her to go on some trips with him so that there wasn’t like this class divide in their marriage where he was living like a rich person and she really wasn’t.

          • EF

            just wanted to chime in here that it’s okay to feel that divide and have super complicated feelings about it, too. i grew up in/around public housing, or in trailers, or finally in foster care (which was a very positive experience for me). and then i went to the college down the road…which happens to be ivy league. i thought i’d be fine cause it was *my* city. it wasn’t fine, it was hard and demeaning and destroyed a lot of my confidence.

            it took years before i ever went to my best friend’s house for dinner, even though he was only from the other side of the city. when i did, finally, it was so stressful that i nearly passed out and ended up super drunk. but his parents liked me, and i’ve been back many times. it’s still quite difficult to find a ‘place’ within a happy, stable, upper middle class household though.

            my partner grew up quite comfortable, what the british call middle class and americans call upper middle class. it’s probably what causes the most friction in our relationship. sometimes i just want him to understand how much it bothers me that he doesn’t care when his tshirts have holes or shoes are worn or whatever. like, we work hard, and can afford reasonable replacements, and for most of my life i really couldn’t, so don’t want to have to face the judgemental faces i’m used to seeing when not dressed nicely or whatever. ugh, just stressful.

            anyway, i also remember the first time i had a steak! it was freshman year of college, and i won a ‘never have i ever’ round with that piece of knowledge. a friend ended up taking me out for steak a few weeks later, which was super nice of him, and he helped show me how to order at nice restaurants and such. it was low-pressure and exactly the right way for me to learn, which came in handy later at business dinners!

          • nutbrownrose

            It’s so interesting just seeing what other people consider middle class! I literally just had to look up what Benneton is, and I’ve never owned clothes that expensive, but would never consider myself less than middle class. My parents are divorced so it’s a bit more complicated, but my mom (a part-time single mom) is a high school english teacher, she has a mortgage on her house, we rarely went out to eat and when we did it was to Red Lobster for her birthday or Olive Garden once in a blue moon, we went on vacation every summer to the beach 3 hours away, we got some of the things we wanted for christmas, and we always had enough to eat. Paying the grocery bill never seemed like the end of the world. That’s what I consider middle class. We never had to worry about the lights, or new school clothes, or the heat, and when the dog got sick we could afford the vet bill.
            But FH also would consider his family middle class and they are 1 percenters who can live without a job in the family for 3+ years with no change in lifestyle.
            And now, even though realistically we live below the poverty line, I still consider myself middle class because we can still afford the electric bill, and to shop at the fancy grocery store, and my YNAB has a $20/month fun money category. And I have a safety net in my mom.

          • Laura C

            The United States is so bad about class — everyone says they’re middle class, no matter what! And since we don’t have a historically established class system, we don’t know how to weigh the financial aspects vs. the cultural ones (like, that your mom is a teacher vs., say, a factory worker who makes the same amount but doesn’t have a college degree).

            On Benetton, I suspect that aside from price, there’s an age thing at play in you not having heard of it — it was HUGE when I was a teenager, you’d have heard of it like now you’ve heard of, I don’t know, Banana Republic or Abercrombie & Fitch. My hometown has never had a Gap or Banana Republic, but there was a Benetton there back in the day.

        • Charley

          Just wanted to chime in in solidarity; I’ve had a life similar trajectory and it’s often hard and complicated. Now I’m an academic and often have to attend fancy-ish dinners when I’m at work conferences. My fiancé has been helpful in teaching me the etiquette tips that most people learn growing up (which I didn’t) so that I can blend in better. Even so, at the last fancy conference meal we had artichokes, and I had never had a whole on before, and started eating the stalk. I got some strange looks but thankfully nobody said anything… it was only when everyone else left theirs on the plate that I realized you’re not supposed to eat them. In most of my daily work life I feel like I can “pass” as fitting in, but I find these dinners difficult. Equally, my colleagues are all nice people and would be understanding if I explained the situation to them… so the anxiety around this is mostly self induced for me.

    • MC

      I’m about to become the reluctant owner of a smartphone next month, ugh. So I feel ya there. For all the conveniences I feel like will not be great for my mental health…

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I just got my first one last year. I’ve actually found that because I didn’t have one for so long, I’m pretty good about not being attached to it. I’ll often set it down and forget about it for hours at a time.

        • MC

          That’s comforting! & makes sense because that’s how I am with my non-smart phone now.

        • Violet

          So comforting to hear. I still don’t have one, and reaaaaaaaaally want to avoid one as long as possible. But this is encouraging.

          • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

            I mean, it takes some self control for sure- and I definitely do my share of futzing around with it, but I think my desire for disconnection helps. I’m trying very hard to maintain the ability to set it down and forget it!

  • flashphase

    Update on lice saga: whoever said last week that drugstore shampoo doesn’t work was right; I got on yelp and called around until I found someone who could come to my house the next day and comb me out. I was feeling super stressed about spending $200 on this (it’s a lot of money! And I have issues around spending money, especially if it turns out I don’t “need” it), but holy #$%^ did she do a good job. I’m mostly posting this to say: if you get lice, which I would not wish upon my worst enemy, there is no shame in calling an expert to thoroughly take care of it for you. It is worth the money. Bonus: all the companies I called are women/mom-owned. SO GLAD TO BE DONE WITH THIS (minus the next two weeks of shampoos and combing of course)

    • Ashlah

      I had no idea that was a thing! Glad it’s all taken care of!

    • Jess

      I am very grateful to you telling us about this whole experience, because now I know that lice-focused combing companies are a thing in case I ever have lice.

      • Fushigidane

        Just had a scare a few weeks ago when my husband said that there was a lice outbreak in his school. This made me feel better. Both of us have long hair so can’t imagine the angst of checking our hair and realizing on our own that the shampoo doesn’t work

    • InTheBurbs

      So glad you got professional help. All the mom’s in my world swear by them.

      • flashphase

        I felt a little humbled because my mom took care of us having lice when we were kids, but it’s so much harder with adults and we didn’t know what we were doing! Totally worth it.

    • Call Me Penny

      Oh, so glad you’re on the other side of this! We all got hit when we were growing up, my poor little sister was only five at the time and had the most beautiful head of thick curly hair. We essentially had to shave it off it got so bad! Thankfully it did the trick (and her hair has since grown back as thick and beautiful!)

    • Meghan Zero

      Yep! We learned pretty quickly that the shampoo and dinky little comb were pretty useless. The only thing that worked in the end was physically removing all of the suckers in their various life stages. My now-husband used a blowdrier in one hand to move my hair around at all angles (they particularly liked to lay eggs on the underside of my hair strands, oh joy) and had his other hand free to grab/kill whatever he found. I had long, huge, curly hair at that point and to make the whole process easier for the couple of weeks it was underway, I flat-ironed it straight. People kept complimenting me on it and asking if it was for a special occasion and I just kept wanting to cry!

  • Ashlah

    I just read that Ask A Manager letter, and…whoa. I wouldn’t even know where to start with that letter writer. Kudos to Alison for her response.

    • Lisa

      Oh, my hand immediately went to my mouth when I read what she’d said. I was expecting some kind of unintentional slight about her appearance. I cannot imagine saying that word in my workplace even as an accident.

      • AGCourtney

        right?!

    • Amy March

      Omg. I can’t believe this person still has a job.

    • Kelly

      Yeah that letter took a real turn…

  • ssha

    Wedding is in 4 weeks! I am panicking. I’ve realized the difference between fiancé and me is that he thinks “cool, we have 4 weeks to get stuff done!” And I think “we have to get all these things done at least X weeks before the wedding!” Obviously that’s not going to happen, since we also have to move to our new place and do our jobs and watch my sister graduate before the wedding. I think my saving grace will be that I have the week before the wedding off and my BFF/ bridesmaid finishes her semester the weekend before, so she can keep me sane and accompany me to last minute things.

    • penguin

      You can do it! Good luck!!

  • E.

    Question! my fiance and I have a lot of friends we want to honor in our ceremony and are trying to brainstorm special jobs for them. So far we have readings and greeters, anyone have any other ideas?

    • Amy March

      Do you have to? I generally am not honored by being given made up jobs. If you don’t have a spot for me outside of bridesmaid or reader, I’m cool being a guest and drinking your wine. If you want me to feel special, invite me to the rehearsal dinner, or a morning of breakfast, or make a point of taking a photo with me, or just straight up tell me how important I am to you in a card.

      • E.

        We don’t have to, but we got the idea after fiance was asked to be a greeter in a wedding where they made it clear it was in honor of their decades of friendship and was very touching for him. Though we contrasted that with me being asked last minute to be the greeter at a wedding where it did not at all feel like an honor, it felt like they had forgotten until the last minute and needed a favor. It seems like it’s a combo of know your people and how you present it

    • JC

      Is there something they can help with, prep wise? My boyfriend’s brother is getting married next year, and while I’m not in the wedding and don’t need to be, I will feel more appreciated if I am asked to bring the wedding party lunch or pick up the flowers.

      • E.

        Great idea!

  • Anon for this

    For those with at least one child, how do you decide whether you want more (in our case, only one more) or are “one and done”?

    Our child is approaching the year-and-a-half mark, and we’re both in our later 30s, so it’s time to fish or cut bait. But I seriously cannot resolve this issue in my own head.

    On one hand, I can’t imagine not going through the pregnancy and birth experience again and holding a snuggly newborn. On the other, children are expensive, difficult, time consuming, expensive, not eco-friendly, and results are not guaranteed. (Did I mention expensive?)

    I’m also strangely… ambivalent? I have no strong gut feelings. My dream/goal was never motherhood, so I feel kind of “meh” on the matter. Our child was planned, very much wanted and I love him to pieces, but parenthood was never a life-long dream. We just kind of looked at each other when we hit our mid-30s and said, “Soooo… are we gonna do this?” And we did, and it’s awesome! But it wasn’t like “I’ve bred, and therefore I have reached the pinnacle of personal fulfillment.”

    Any thoughts/experiences/insight?

    • Jess

      I have no experiences, but I need to tell you this sentence is pure gold: ‘But it wasn’t like “I’ve bred, and therefore I have reached the pinnacle of personal fulfillment.”’

      • Olive

        same.

    • rg223

      I am totally in this boat too. My son is 19 months and a lot of my mom friends who have kids around his age are on their second pregnancies and I am just. Not. Feeling. It. Your saying “I can’t imagine not doing it again” speaks a lot to me, because I very much do NOT want to do it again. We can pretty assuredly not afford another one without a major life change (career and location-wise). I am very happy with my life and feel content with one! The only thing I’m stuck on is my son having no siblings. It’s also a possibility he won’t have cousins (my one sister is single and at least very far from having kids, my husband it’s an only child). Even my husband’s cousins who live close by won’t have kids for a long time. So it really feels like I’m denying my son a family when my husband and I are gone. Any only children with no cousins want to chime in with thoughts?

      • BSM

        No real advice since I’m still baking the first, but the no cousins thing is the main reason we’d consider having a second. I don’t have any cousins and my brother is 8 years younger than me, but we’re strangely close given that age gap. My husband has an 11 year gap with his sister, and they aren’t very close, but he grew up with two cousins that he saw a lot and considers more like siblings. Anyways, with our siblings being so much younger, our kid wouldn’t have any cousins around his/her age.

        Another compelling (but morbid) reason: once your parents are gone, you don’t really have anyone to remember them/your childhood with if you don’t have a sibling. My husband can obviously tell me about his memories, but it’s not the same thing. And, since he and his sister are so far about, they had such different childhoods that it doesn’t seem to be the same thing either.

        Something APW got me thinking about: I feel like it’s less likely you’ll be childless over the holidays if you have more than one adult kid :)

        But we’re obviously going to see how the first one goes (generally and financially), and that will probably be the determining factor.

        • emilyg25

          The siblings thing is hard. My brother and I are very close, and it does sometimes make me sad that my son won’t have that. But just having more than one child does not guarantee that. My mom and her brother have an extremely fraught relationship, and my husband and his younger brother just aren’t close at all.

          • BSM

            Totally. There are obviously a bunch of less-than-idyllic scenarios that could end up happening whether you have 1 kid or 6 or none. That’s just the thought process I’ve had going on multiple kids over the last few years. I’m sure we will be rocked by having one, so who knows what will happen.

        • And speaking as an only child who has never had a sibling to remember my childhood with, when my parents are gone one day, I’ll be in the same boat…I still won’t have a sibling to remember my childhood with. A case of not knowing what you’re missing perhaps? (But I also don’t know what the downside of siblings is like either…)

          • BSM

            That’s so true! I was an only child for 8 years, and, while I’m really glad to have my brother, I’m sure I would have been quite content without him since I never would have known to miss him.

      • Shirley Schmidt

        I am a semi-only child – I have a half-brother who is 17 years older than me who I am civil but not close with and who didn’t live with me growing up – and few cousins. The two who are close to my age we saw for Christmas etc when I was a child but for reasons haven’t seen since I was a teenager, and my other cousin is 10 years younger than me so I don’t see him very often either. He is growing into an excellent young man though!
        And honestly, it didn’t and doesn’t bother me to not have family near my age who I’m close to. That’s why I have friends! My parents thought about having a second child together, but being an only child has been beneficial to me in so many ways that I can’t imagine having a younger sibling.
        My partner has a younger sister who he’s very close to so is pro-two kids but I would very much be cool with just one.

      • I’m an only child with a few cousins on my mom’s side (5 boy cousins), with whom I am not close at all, and my dad is an only child. So a small family. And to top it off, my boyfriend is an only child and we are thinking of having no kids. I don’t mind being an only child and having a small family, but my parents are pressuring me to have kids some and putting a guilt trip on us. So, I guess my only advice would be to know that it’s possible your only child might not want kids (or be able to have kids) and you need to be okay with the idea that you might not be a grandparent someday. (Of course, this could happen even with three kids, but with more than one kids you’re increasing your chances of grandkids…)

      • Oh, and I also see family in broader terms. I have a lot of family-by-choice and won’t feel familyless when my parents are gone. I don’t think, at least. I also have gotten to know my dad’s cousins and feel like they are aunts or something, but they are in the same age range as my dad, so that won’t help 20+ years down the road. I guess the fact that my boyfriend is younger and his parents are younger will help in later years, as far as having (his) family around?

    • Lesley

      No advice, but I think your feelings are very normal. I always thought that I wanted several children, but now that I have a 15 month old I’m realizing how expensive and exhausting being a parent is. I could be totally content with just her, but don’t know if I’m just not ready yet or if I’m “one and done”.

    • emilyg25

      One suggestion I read is to imagine your family when you’re retired and old–how many children do you want? This helps you think beyond the high-intensity little kid stage.

      Anyway, we’ve pretty much always been one and done. We like the balance in our life and the opportunity to focus on one kid, and then easily get a break and spend time on ourselves. It just feels right for us.

      • K. is skittsh about disqus

        Ooh, that suggestion is helpful. I’m still a preggo-pop at this point, but the idea of ever having a second child is (currently) paralyzingly terrifying to me. But the idea of having more than one adult kid someday is kind of nice.

        We might still be one and done because of lots of things in between, similar to your reasonings (plus I’m a lonely only myself, so doesn’t seem like a foreign/crazy concept), but it’s still a good thought experiment!

    • ZLMT

      We are about to embark upon trying for kid # 2 and I won’t say that I feel completely ready, but I definitely was NOT ready until kid 1 was around 18 months, and at that point it was more hypothetical. I have a strong feeling about it now, so it is different from your situation, but it can be hard to remember that kids won’t always be little and the demands on your time will be different. I am big into letting yourself feel what you want, and try imagining it either way and seeing if that brings more clarity. But, it’s also fine to say ‘let’s re-visit in 3 months’ and see if anything feels different.

    • Knonymous

      We always knew we wanted more than one (in theory, I’d say several, but we’re taking it one at a time). Still, it took until 18 months to feel like I was keeping my head above water with 1. After 18 months, it became something I could consider without running screaming in the other direction. Then we had a bunch of logistical/job stuff to get out of the way, so we didn’t get pregnant with #2 until #1 was pretty close to turning 3. I didn’t really feel baby fever like I did before the first – we just made a decision based on what we wanted the end result to be. And I heard a lot of people talking about how they were nervous about going for #2 because it might upset the balance of their family of 3 that worked so well together, and I’m over here terrified of #2 because our family of 3 can barely keep it together and our house is falling down around us and everything and I mean everything is a fight with the 3-yo.

      Which may be the result of something I once heard, which was that if you want kids close in age, get pregnant before the first one is 2. 2 and 3 are such a sh!tshow that otherwise you will have a 5-year age gap because you won’t be able to imagine adding a second on top of a 2- or 3-yo. And that’s absolutely true – I can’t imagine it – and yet it’s also exactly what we’re signed up for.

      • emilyg25

        We’re happily one and done, but I agree that 18 months is a magic age. All of a sudden I was like, Ohhhh, I get why people might want another one now!

        • Cbrown

          I’m pretty commited to one and done and have kept notes about my pregnancy woes to remind myself why I don’t want to do this again.

    • Laura C

      I refuse to be pregnant again. I hated it and I will not do it. My husband always had two kids in mind, while I — as a happy only child — leaned toward one but was trying to keep an open mind until I actually went through the process. So now we’re sort of casually discussing adoption at some point, but not in very concrete terms at this point.

      Truth is, I love my son so much I would hesitate to have another because I’m not sure it would be fair to that second child (biological as much as adopted). And I know that’s partly something that just changes when you meet your child, but I also think … my feelings about my son are very much a product of this past year of my life. I’ve been pretty isolated living somewhere I don’t like and I’ve needed an escape from the horrible political situation, and both of those things have moved him to the center of my emotional life in a way I wouldn’t have predicted or chosen. He’s been my way to be in the moment and tune out the difficult stuff. (Note: this is also possible because I have the workday to myself while he’s at daycare; if I had him nonstop the frustrations would rise to the surface.)

  • MC

    Anyone else feeling extremely annoyed at Bernie Sanders this week? He spent the last two years branding himself as the progressive politician who makes no compromises on the issues, and now he’s campaigning for a pro-life candidate in Nebraska who co-sponsored a bill that would require a woman to see an ultrasound before getting an abortion (which to me is one of the ickier abortion restrictions out there). ABORTION AND REPRO RIGHTS ARE ECONOMIC ISSUES. Also I just wish he would step aside & let others (women, poc) be the voices of the democrats. And that maybe he would mention that racism and xenophobia were huge motivations for republicans and it’s not like everyone in red states would vote for dems if only they promised single-payer healthcare.

    Article, for context: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/20/bernie-sanderss-strange-behavior/?utm_term=.c07250cfa584

    • Jess

      Yes. Feeling very eye rolly and ticked about the whole thing.

    • BSM

      YES.

      And look, of course there will be Democratic candidates who, for personal or political reasons, will not be as strong on abortion rights as the party standard or as I want.

      But if you are declaring yourself the arbiter of progressive values, saying the party needs to adopt all your positions (even though you are conspicuously not a member of said party), and are completely opposed to any compromise on your pet issues, then you, Bernie Sanders, are a fucking hypocrite.

      And, if women’s rights are the first issue on your list for compromise, you can sit the fuck down and shut up about being progressive.

    • K. is skittsh about disqus

      What you’ve written here and the article linked basically sum up all of my past and ongoing issues with him. I think what he represents to a lot of his supporters (*not all*) has more to do with who they want him to be, rather than who his actual words and actions have shown him to be.

      Not to mention that, like you said, there are a lot of POCs (again, *not all* but my husband is definitely included in this group) who don’t trust him for this very same rhetoric of railing against “identity politics” and refusing to wholeheartedly condemn racism and xenophobia in a consistent, meaningful way. These things matter–or at least, they should.

      I don’t begrudge him or his supporters the way a lot of Dems do, but I admit it makes me very nervous that someone who is being held up as a progressive savior, especially by my generation, is so flawed on these issues.

      • MC

        I don’t begrudge him either – I like him as a senator & politician generally! – but his post-election behavior has definitely disappointed me. Especially, like you said, so many people idolize & idealize him, and the ones in my life are so hesitant to listen to any critique of him. Meanwhile I couldn’t say one good thing about HRC without people reminding me of how she wasn’t perfect. Definitely not the attitude I want progressives to have.

      • AmandaBee

        The identity politics comment set me off – IMO old white dudes are probably the last group of people who should have anything to say about identity politics.

        • Ella

          People who slam “identity politics” are almost always people whose identity has been at the core of their political system for their entire life, and so don’t realise that “straight white middle class male” is in fact an identity and one that is currently ruling politics.

        • K. is skittsh about disqus

          To me, it’s a so-called liberal version of the conservative favorite complaining topic: “Political Correctness.” In my experience and opinion, it seems to really come down to (generally) white men and white women bemoaning the fact that they are expected to develop empathy and compassion for people outside of their sphere of experience and/or understanding. It’s just about how they phrase it.

          Many disagree with me, but I’ll always look a bit sideways at someone who genuinely bemoans “identity politics” for that reason. Just a different side of the same coin.

        • BSM

          “Identity politics” is just a dysphemism for civil rights, IMO. So yeah, white dudes (and white women, to a large extent), should STFU.

    • Amy March

      I’m always feeling extremely annoyed at him.

    • Everytime I see something about Bernie, I want to scream “He doesn’t even go here!”
      Ugh.

      • Ashlah

        Right! I don’t understand why he’s on this tour.

        • BSM

          I know! Why isn’t it Perez and Ellison? Or like a bunch of different people from across the spectrum of the party? I actually (for the most part) thought all the DNC chair candidates were an awesome cross-section of Democrats. They should tour together. And then throw in like Symone D. Sanders and Nick Merrill, and you’ve got a party.

      • MC

        This is the best response.

    • CMT

      I would so very much like for him to go away and never come back.

    • AmandaBee

      Thanks APW readers for the validation. I’ve never Felt the Bern (I had issues with some of his education and immigration policy proposals/past actions). But almost everyone I socialize with is Team Sanders and I DO NOT GET the extent to which he’s been framed as this ultra progressive savior of the party. Don’t get it. Bah.

      • EF

        don’t you worry, there were plenty of us who were team bernie here, too. :-D

    • Sarah E

      Nebraskan here. Not to weigh in on Bernie specifically (I agree with a lot of the comments in this conversation about him), but the candidate he was campaigning for, Heath Mello, is running for Mayor of Omaha, so he’s not legislating. The statements out of Mello’s office have said that he recognizes that reproductive rights are important, even if his personal beliefs are anti-abortion. Most importantly, the opposition candidate is pro-guns guns guns in a city that is terribly stacked against POC.

      So, I haven’t dived into Bernie’s post election actions (like others, I think he’s kind of a has-been now), but in terms of the mayoral election, Mello seems like a reasonable human being overall.

  • Eenie

    Name change rant here:

    I filed our taxes, and for reasons outside my control my husband was the first one listed (it was easier to do it this way in turbo tax). I put that out of my mind until this week, when the lovely state of IL sent us a check to HisLast HisFirst and Eenie. My first thought was they just cut off my last name, but my husband explains to me (he later regretted this action) that really they assumed my last name was the same as his. Spoiler I didn’t change my last name. My bank rejects the check to our JOINT account because my name isn’t on it. I explain my woes to my husband and he did not agree with my plan to make the state reissue the check with the correct names. To which I yelled “I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL!” Luckily my other bank accepted my deposit and I think I’ll drop it. But UGH this seriously put a damper on my whole week.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Ugh. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I feel you- I have to go through a full legal name change process because I want to take my husband’s last name as my middle name. It feels dumb and archaic sometimes, doesn’t it?

    • zana

      Husband’s Aunt addresses holiday card to: “Mr. & Mrs. HisFirst HisLast.” Husband sends birthday card to Aunt, signs “HisFirst HisLast & MyFirst MyLast.” Aunt sends birthday card to me, addressed “MyFirst MyLast HisLast.”

      The next time it happens, it is a hill I’ll die on. Husband doesn’t have regular conversations with Aunt, though, so it’s going to be super awkward for him to have to come out and correct her on all the wrong names she keeps using to refer to me…when they normally never have any conversations outside of the one holiday family get-together each year.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        A girl I went to school with sent us a Christmas card addressed to Mr. and Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. I know it’s old school to write names like that, but my name has remained the same on FB, and it is evident that I haven’t changed it. It’s just not my thing.

        • zana

          It’s only old school if it’s correct. If you didn’t change your last name, you’re not “Mrs. HisFirst HisLast.”
          Etiquette-wise, you’re not “Mrs.” anything, but Mrs. MyFirst MyLast is considerably less bothersome than Mrs. MyFirst HisLast which is less bothersome than Mrs. HisFirst HisLast ;)

    • MC

      As a fellow name-keeper I feel you!! We do our taxes in person, and this year our tax preparer seemed really confused that we were married filed jointly because our last names our different. UGH. And every time I get something addressed to Mrs. His Last Name I rage publicly and privately about it. So I am right there on the hill with you!

      • Not Sarah

        I’m pretty strongly on this hill because I will rage even over Mrs. HerFirst HerLast – I just hate Mrs. so much!!!

        • LadyJanee

          I also hate being called Mrs! I did change my name (we both took my name as a second middle name) but I absolutely rage when I get Mrs HisLast, it kills me!

          • Amy March

            I find this so confusing! I would never imagine that someone who took her husbands name would object to “Mrs.” Do you prefer Ms.?

          • LadyJanee

            I guess I see it as we both changed our name and his salutation didn’t change after being married so why does mine have to? I definitely prefer Ms.

          • It’s so weird that in english we’ve adopted a new title, rather than dropping Miss like most languages have – you just don’t hear mademoiselle or senorita very often in Europe any more, unless someone is making a (usually sexist) point.
            (said as someone who’s been using Ms since she was a teenager, because it made her feel cooler!)

          • Ilora

            Same as LadyJanee, I also strongly prefer Ms. because it’s marital status neutral. Add the fact the we both changed our names (to a new one that we created) and I see no reason for my title to announce to the world that I’m married while his doesn’t. Added bonus, he legally changed his name while I assumed the new one with marriage. It was cheaper for just one of us to change legally and I had a much stronger emotional attachement to my previous name than he did. Where I live your legal name doesn’t change with marriage, so my birth certificate still says the name I was born with, his doesn’t.
            All that to say that while I technically took my husband’s name there’s a lot more to it than that and my title is unrelated.

          • Not Sarah

            Heh my husband already has two middle names so he didn’t want to make his name any longer. (It’s already 26 characters while mine is 13.)

    • CMT

      I’ll be there on that hill right along with you.

      • zero

        There’s gonna be an army on that hill!

    • Singlet

      OMG, your response made me laugh! Because seriously WTF? How long has this been going on? I mean seriously, for how many decades now have women NOT been changing their names after getting married? And the federal government still can’t figure it out?! My partner and I were recently making travel plans and there were ZERO options to indicate a different last name – it was shocking. And the fact that my lovely husband was far angrier about it than me? Priceless.

      • Eenie

        In the federal government’s defense, this was our state refund ;)

        • Singlet

          Ok, that’s very generous of you and I’ll reframe: “What the eff, you states?! How long have women not been changing their names after getting married??? For E-V-E-R!

      • Violet

        Hopefully he was angry enough to make the travel plans with his first name with your last name, to take one for the team.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I know there are millions of things in the world to be concerned about, but I’m bummed that April the giraffe’s live feed will be ending today. I watched her so much over the past couple months and found it to be incredibly soothing. The birth itself was fascinating, and her baby is darling!

    • Arie

      I feel you! I actually regularly watch animal cams, I leave them up in the background at work. There are lots of other good options! The national parks run some cameras (the bears in alaska eating salmon 1x/year is my absolute favorite), but if you google around there’s lots of zoos/facilities training service dogs/rescue organizations who run live cameras.

    • AP

      I felt similarly when last year’s bald eagle babies left the nest and they ended the feed. Soothing is a good word for it!

    • I felt that way for some owlets I was watching last year!

  • Arie

    The article about the ‘girls’ finale enumerates all the issues I’ve had over the years with Gilmore Girls. As someone growing up in a really similar scenario, I could understand why they left the uglier moneybits out, but it was always hard when I would explain my living situation and someone would say “oh! like the gilmore girls!” In my head the response was always “yes! without the house, car, furniture, clothes, and restaurant food every night! So….no, actually.”

    • CP2011

      I enjoyed the article too. I watched the first three seasons and then lost my HBOGo source so I haven’t watched since, but I’d be interested to watch the rest of it at some point. It’s always tough with TV to find the balance between “brutally realistic” and “move-the-plot-along” and still be entertaining. Like, we are watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix right now and I have to really try to not get hung up on things like, “how can these people afford to spend so much money at this bar?!”

  • ART

    Thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday’s advice post, as well as to the LW and Liz. I so appreciated all of your perspectives on parents, in-laws, and pregnancy/kids, because I just found out I’m pregnant this week (though I was having symptoms last week and was pretty sure prior to testing), and I’m already doing mental backflips trying to figure out how and when to tell all the people in our immediate and extended families, and trying to figure out how much we want to share and when. I also have a family wedding coming up and had anxiety about telling anyone before that, but kind of got over it, and if everyone can act like an adult, pretty much only my mom and brother will know by then (the proof will be in the pudding but whatever). I just scheduled my first appointment for three weeks from today and plan to tell my mom the day after. I have been SO TIRED this week, especially waking up in the mornings. Also peeing constantly and forgetting stuff, or not seeing stuff that’s right in front of me. And I am feeling kind of lonely since my husband is the only other person that knows so far and he doesn’t really get it yet.

    Meant to get on sooner to share this but I got caught up in one of those huge power outages! Argh.

    • emilyg25

      Congratulations!! I found first tri exhaustion to be the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life. Even newborn tired was easier! Growing a person is hard work.

      • ART

        That is…oddly reassuring! :) Thanks!

    • BSM

      Congrats! So many babies around these parts!

      • ART

        I know! I have been lurking on comment threads with recommendations and stashing them away :)

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!! And good luck in figuring out the best time to tell family. I felt so conflicted both before and after we told people, every time we told someone new.

      • ART

        Thanks! Yeah, I am excited (and have almost called my mom a bajillion times already but really want to tell her in person) but we have four sets of parents/in-laws, and agree that they pretty much need to be told at the same time because divorced parents dynamics, but also know that they have differing degrees of secret keeping/boundary respecting abilities. So we were leaning toward lowest common denominator and telling them all kind of late, but I will go nuts if we do that, and anyway I think my mom will know through mom magic once she gets here.

        • Ashlah

          My mom and his parents found out at Christmas-time, even though I was only like 3 or 4 weeks along. They didn’t like keeping that secret for two months, but we knew they would so we felt fairly comfortable with that–though I also struggled with not getting to have it as our secret for even a week. I felt bad not telling my dad early, but I knew he wouldn’t be able to keep it secret for long. When we told him, I let him know that I wanted to tell a couple of his siblings in person before we announced widely, and he texted me multiple times over the next two days telling me he was about to explode, so I knew we’d made the right call :) Family dynamics can make the timing so rough, so I hope it all goes smoothly for you!

          Oh, as for mom magic, maybe your symptoms will make it more obvious, depending on how far along you are when you tell, but I was completely convinced everyone knew I was pregnant the whole time I kept it a secret, and it turned out not a single person suspected it. (But I had no nausea, sleepiness only hit in the evening, I announced before showing, etc)

      • BSM

        Yeah, the act of telling people has gotten less weird (I’ve now done it like 6 times), but it’s still so awkward haha.

        Told my bosses and HR on Wednesday and will tell the team here (we’re a small office of 25ish people) at a meeting on Monday. I can’t tell if it’s weird to do it in the meeting, but I really don’t want to have to keep telling people individually, so group setting it is!

        • Ashlah

          I did it in an office meeting! My office is only 6 people, but I hated the idea of telling each person individually (which is what my co-worker did with her pregnancies). It worked great for me. Especially because my co-worker then announced his wife was pregnant and due the same week as me, so I didn’t have to be alone in the spotlight for long! But I guess that’s not something you can really plan for in advance :)

          • BSM

            Ok, great! That is reassuring.

            My bff and husband thought it was kind of a strange idea, and my coworker in our NY office who is also pregnant is telling people one-by-one/letting people find out by word of mouth (although their office is huge, so an announcement at a team meeting would be kind of intimidating), but it just seems like the right way to go for me.

            Looking forward to getting it over with!

          • Ashlah

            Yeah, I think if I worked in a huge workplace, I might go the word-of-mouth route, so I definitely see the appeal, but that just wouldn’t work here.

    • K. is skittsh about disqus

      Hooray! Congrats! The first 8 weeks were by far the hardest for me so far (out of ~28), physically and emotionally. Give yourself lots of self-care, especially leading up to that (often amazing, always nerve-wracking) first appointment.

      We announced to people earlier than I would do again (told parents when we got our positive so 4w2d, told literally everyone else right after hearing the heartbeat at 7w6d). We were obviously excited, but it brought a lot of voices and eyes into a vulnerable time. I wish I had waited just a little bit more.

      BUT, but, but… I am Queen of the Introverts with a special title in the Privacy region of my land, so it makes sense that I ended up being uncomfortable with the attention received. Others might really, really enjoy it and being able to talk about everything (like, in person, not just online as I do as part of my queenly duties) and get support during the tough first trimester.

      • LadyJanee

        +1 for “I am Queen of the Introverts with a special title in the Privacy region of my land” – my kindred spirit.

    • E.

      Congrats!

    • LadyJanee

      Congratulations!!

  • AnonToday

    Regular commenter, going anon to ask a sensitive question…

    My husband and I are struggling right now in the sex dept. He’s got a really high sex drive – he’d have sex twice a day everyday if he could. I’m more of a 2-3 times a week girl. I love the experience of sex with my husband, but I’m not “ready to go” 24/7 – I need foreplay, to not be tired & stressed out, etc. My husband doesn’t want to have sex with me unless I’m 100% into it, so he makes me feel bad that I’m not ready to go all the time. The other issue for me is that our physical non-sexual intimacy has dropped – he doesn’t hug me, kiss me, cuddle with me unless I initiate it. I’ve told him that doing more of that would help me get in the mood more.

    How do we fix this? We’ve got jobs, a kid, family responsibilities, etc and our intimacy is suffering. Our relationship is suffering cause when he’s upset he shuts down and stops talking to me (which is another issue that I’m trying to tackle as well). I’m considering asking him to go back to counseling with me.

    • AmandaBee

      So, counseling sounds like it could be helpful at least for the communication portions of what’s going on. But if you haven’t read the book Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, you might try picking up a copy because it’s super helpful for understanding the sex part of what’s going on. Even as someone who already knew some of the science and psychology behind it, the way she breaks it down and applies it to different partner situations is really helpful for normalizing and talking about sex problems.

    • GCDC

      Hello, are you me? My husband and I struggle with the same thing. It’s gotten better, but it’s still not perfect. Things that are currently helping include:

      (1) talking about it A LOT in non-pressure situations (so usually when there’s no chance of having sex)
      (2) scheduling sex
      (3) asking for non-sexual intimacy when I want it.

    • Amy March

      He makes you feel bad for not being ready to go for sex with no foreplay at all times and punishes you with the silent treatment when he’s upset? Demand he go to counseling and go yourself alone as well.

    • EF

      i’m…sort of coming at this from the other side of a pretty similar situation. just wanna say real quick that for me, i kind of go silent for a while because i’m gonna say something i regret otherwise. sometimes silence is really the best option. but i do agree that this is, frequently, cause for counseling.

    • zero

      Read “Come as you are” by Emily Nagoski! Such a good book. It addresses the point about getting into the mood and could really help your husband better understand how you function – and vice versa.

  • AmandaBee

    Hey APW Happy Hour! I haven’t been around too much because every Friday the past few weeks has brought a new level of crazy.

    Last week my husband and I went apartment-hunting in the state we’ll be moving to come August. And we found a place – a super adorable ranch home that we’ll be renting. I grew up in rentals, so I just recently realized that this is the first time in my life I won’t be sharing a space with roommates or sharing a wall with strangers. Sooooo excited!

    But, a question for you all this week: when moving to a new place, how do you meet folks? Bonus points for advice targeted at awkward introverts who are more into hanging out at home than going out. I’m super nervous because we know nobody in the new state and it always takes me awhile to build friendships.

    • emilyg25

      Same as the advice for dating: Find a club or group of people who share an interest of yours and join them. Board game group, dinner club, running group, whatever. That way you might meet people who share your interests and if not, at least you got to spend some time doing what you enjoy. I’m a big introvert and I moved to a new city solo. I committed to basically saying yes to everything for the first six months.

      • Totch

        Yeah, lots of board game stores have open game nights, running stores have running groups, etc. Bar trivia nights might work too?

        • Katherine

          Seconding bar trivia. It’s how we made friends with the folks we hang out with most often in our new state where we did not know a single soul.

    • Lisa

      I’m struggling with meeting people in this small community, and what has helped me most is signing up for classes – like a dance class or pottery, etc. You automatically see the same people once or twice a week, and you’re doing a shared activity so you’re interacting without actually having to talk a lot. After a few weeks you can feel out whether there are one or two people you might be interested in getting to know a bit more and approach them (grabbing dinner before class, coffee, etc).

    • zana

      Classes – art, language, calligraphy, yoga, etc. Meetup.com often has athletic groups like pick-up ultimate frisbee and the like. Join a gym group with classes for females.
      If you knit or crochet, there’s often “Stitch ‘n Bitches” (i.e., knitting groups). Book clubs.

      But the most important thing of all is that you have to be proactive. You have to ask people for their names/emails and invite them on hikes or to coffee, etc. It can be an awful lot like dating.

  • Jane

    One of my best friends is moving away this weekend and I’m so sad to see her go 90% because of my friendship with her and 10% because she was in grad school here and had roommates and is just more outgoing than I am. So I got to go big group hangouts that she threw. But I hadn’t really done a good job of making those friends into independent friends of mine. Until now!

    This may not seem like a big deal, but I exchanged numbers with TWO of her friends who had each bemoaned their lack of girlfriends they could sit around and drink tea with. They seemed genuinely interested in hanging out in the future. So, it doesn’t make up for someone I love and already have a strong relationship with moving away, but it does soften the blow considerably.

    • Amy March

      Yes do it! Follow up! Some of my favorite friends started out as other people’s friends.

  • Alyssa

    Hi! I need to brag about my partner for a sec.

    Fiance NAILED his “immersion” interview (he was contracted for 3 days as a trial run), and is hopefully getting an offer today or Monday. The feedback from the CEO was “I think it’s a go but I just need to run it by everyone else.” And considering that Fiance said that the other staff forgot that he wasn’t already hired and just assumed he was coming in today because apparently that’s how good of a fit he is. I feel so proud of him! This job is sort of like the dream job he didn’t know he could do, and he is SO excited. And I am so excited. And we are ESPECIALLY excited, because….

    It means we can move to OAKLAND! APW, if you need a part-time office assistant, just say the word and I’ll be there :)

    And on a totally unrelated note, did anyone else find themselves surprisingly obsessed with Moana? Because Fiance and I watched it multiple times over the last few weeks and are unabashedly in love with it.

    • Cdn icecube

      Love moana! Seriously considering buying the DVD

    • E.

      I am so obsessed! As are my students. I play it in class and they are so excited and it just brings so much joy.

      • Alyssa

        YES! Fiance and I both work with kids, and he played Moana for them recently during a rainy day and said that watching all the kids sing along to “How Far I’ll Go” (even the boys!) totally melted his heart.

  • Alli

    Late to happy hour, poop. So the friend with cancer died last weekend. Today was her funeral. It was rough :/

    Her death is unfortunately making me realize some things, like maybe my great paying job isn’t so great if it means I’m missing out on seeing my friends as often as I’d like. And that I was starting to shut myself out from the outside world a little bit. So…yeah I’m on the hunt for a new job that isn’t a scary drop in pay I guess?

    • Amy March

      So sorry to hear your news. Will be thinking of you.

    • MC

      I’m so sorry. May her memory & friendship be a blessing.

    • A single sarah

      Internet stranger hugs. (Without invading personal space too much ). I’m so sorry about your friend. Wishing you courage and conviction in the job search process.

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  • quiet000001

    When does Happy Hour usually start? I want to make a note so I don’t keep missing it.