Happy Hour


Preschool graduation can’t possibly be happening

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Collage of photos

Hey APW!

How has your week been? It’s been a crazy week in our office, but things are slowly starting to settle out. In fact, I spent some time making this collage on my long neglected new office wall, so vibes are good. Plus, we have some dreams of long office lunches later this summer. Or maybe a Friday afternoon office beach day? Let’s dream big dreams!

In the meantime, I’m sure many of you remember how I had a baby basically yesterday, if I have my math right. Well, I have to leave work early today because he is having his Pre-K graduation (they promise tiny mortarboard hats!), and we are in the process of finalizing his public school Transitional Kindergarten program for next year, OH. MY. GOD.

Then later this weekend we get to have family photos with one of our favorite local photographers, Jamie Thrower, so life is good. What are your plans for the weekend?

XO,

Meg

PS! Last week we kicked off Pride month with our friends Crate and Barrel, so to keep the party going we’ve got a TON of fun in store for you in next week’s Happy Hour. The head of Crate and Barrel’s wedding registry program will be ONLINE LIVE chatting with you to answer all your registry questions.

And psssst, there just MIGHT be the best, best, best giveaway happening that you do not want to miss! *cough* KitchenAid Stand Mixer *cough*

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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  • Amy March

    So earlier this week I got The Best Text Ever:

    “I have an extra ticket to Hamilton on Friday. Would you like to come?”

    Obvi, let me immediately and gleefully cancel all my plans. So excited!

    • Em

      !!!! Amazing. ENJOY!

    • Ashlah

      What!! Yes! Have a blast!

    • BSM

      Dream text! Have the best time!!

    • Cellistec

      Aaahhhh that is the best thing. Enoy!!

    • Katelyn

      I just saw it Tuesday for the first time in Chicago! I managed to avoid the NYC cast recording for the last year, and really think it enhanced the experience. So much fun!

      • Sara

        I really love the Chicago cast! I like the original soundtrack but I liked some of the voices in Chicago more (could be a live vs recording thing too).

        • Katelyn

          The King George actor I saw, Alexander Gemignani, stole the entire show. We listened to the cast recording afterwards to re-live the awesome and it was disappointing in comparison.

          Guess I’ll have to get my paws on more tickets!

    • Jessica

      That is the BEST! Enjoy!

    • Jenny

      Yeah, I mean you aren’t going to throw away that shot, am I right?!! You get to be in the room where it happens! (I could go on).

      • Amanda

        How lucky you are to be alive right now!

    • AGCourtney

      Haha, I got to do that for one of my good friends! She lives in Houston, so I honestly wasn’t sure, but she had a similar reaction and her flight was booked within a half hour. xD

      Enjoy! It’s truly an amazing show.

    • suchbrightlights

      Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! That is fabulous. Congratulations! You have a very good friend. Everyone else has already riffed off the lyrics so I’ll leave it at that.

  • penguin

    My best friend is coming to visit!! We haven’t seen each other in person in 3 or 4 years now due to distance and budgets but she’s coming to town TODAY. Super pumped, she’s moving to a town only 2 hours away, yay!!

    • Jess

      Best friend visits are my favorite!

    • Laura C

      That’s wonderful! My best friend may be moving to another continent in like six months and I really need to figure out a time to see her before that happens.

  • Eenie

    I hope everyone booked lovely fall / winter trips with the Southwest deals this week! We are going to Washington DC in October.

    What should we do? We are staying four nights in an air bnb by the convention center. Extra points for gluten free restaurant recommendations.

    • CMT

      Is the Washington Monument open again? It was open and then closed and now I’m not sure. I thought that was one of the neatest things I did when I lived in DC. And get tickets for the NMAAHC!

      • Lexipedia

        Closed until 2019, something is wrong with the elevator…

      • Eenie

        Boo. I’m sad i’ll miss it.

    • Laura C

      If you like Indian food, Rasika. Indian obviously is usually good for GF and they’ll definitely be able to steer you right, and it’s just amazing food. The Jose Andres places are also very good — Zaytinya not so much for GF but Oyamel and Jaleo have always worked well for me.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Even if you normally don’t like Indian food, everyone should try Rasika!

      • Eenie

        Yay! Thanks :) We do like indian food.

    • Hannah

      The 14th St. corridor has an amazing bar and restaurant scene and fun shops to explore (if you like eclectic/vintage furniture, Miss Pixies is awesome!). Also if you’re going to do the Monuments, go at night! Way fewer tourists and the monuments all lit up at night are haunting and gorgeous!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Another vote for Jose Andres’ Oyamel and Jaleo; I’m celiac and both have always gone well for me. I have to roll out of Oyamel each time, even if I feel like we didn’t order that much!

      For a more casual option, Busboys & Poets is an amazing bookstore and restaurant focused on racial and social justice. They have tons of celiac-friendly options on their comfort food menu and it was a staple for me when I lived in DC. It’s a neat place to check out regardless, but the food is actually incredible.

      • sofar

        Co-signing the Busboys & Poets rec.

      • Cassy

        Yes yes yes to Jaleo! And then walk to Dolcezza; their gelato is superb and their flavors are so inventive! (Last time we went bf got a duo of valrohna chocolate and roasted strawberry and OMG.)

    • Lexipedia

      +1 for the monuments at night, so much better than during the day.

      The neighborhood you’re staying in (Shaw-ish) is getting really cool. 7th street has lots of good coffee shops and bars (Uprising Muffins, Compass Coffee, La Colombe is around 8th, The Passenger, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency) and trendy new restaurants – The Dabney, Kinship, and Convivial are faves. Walk north and west a bit, 14th street is restaurants the whole way to U street, though I can’t vouch for gluten free-ness some classics at varying price points are Le Diplomate, Ghibellina, El Centro, Barcelona, Lupo Verde, and Estadio. U street, starting at 14th has lots of great music venues and food. All of that is walkable from where you’re staying.

      Another vote for Oyamel or Paleo.

      • savannnah

        more votes for La Colombe, El Centro and Eat the Rich!

      • Sara

        I went to most outdoor monuments at night solely because it was so freaking hot when we were there. But it was pretty cool to see everything lit up!

      • lamarsh

        Also, get some baked good at buttercream! (ETA they have GF cupcakes)

        I would also add in a vote for A&D if you want a cool, relatively inexpensive (for DC) bar.

        • Lexipedia

          A&D just closed! Sads.

          • lamarsh

            Noooooooooo. I thought they were going to work out their lease situation.

          • Lexipedia

            Wait! My edit said I was wrong – don’t despair! They have a new two year lease.

          • lamarsh

            Oh man, what an emotional whirlwind. Google thinks they’re closed too, so you are in good company. But I checked twitter and they are definitely open. PHEW.

      • Lawyer_Chef

        Have a drink on the deck at the Columbia Room!

        • Lexipedia

          Yes! I’ve never been out there, only done the paired tastings – soooooo good.

      • sofar

        YES, agreed see the monuments at night. It’s quiet and meditative and a lot of those monuments (FDR, Korean War are MEANT to be seen at night).

        When I lived there and had horrible stress-triggered insomnia (ah, D.C. life!), I’d walk the Mall for hours at night.

        • Kara

          I felt the Vietnam Memorial was more meaning seen at night too. You still get the reflective quality, it’s just a little more somber, to me.

          I’ve seen it in the day and at night.

          • Kara

            *meaningful, can’t type

          • sofar

            Absolutely. Can’t believe I forgot Vietnam. You’re right, it is a very somber memorial, and, at night, you’re not surrounded by noisy school groups who don’t appreciate it. WWII memorial is also more somber and beautiful at night.

        • savannnah

          Yes- the mall is best visited between the hours of 1 AM-7AM especially in the summer when its hottt during the day. My secret spot is behind the Lincoln memorial.

          • Lexipedia

            Great secret spot – that’s where I got engaged!

          • Eenie

            Oh, I can totally see us getting up early one morning to see the sunrise!!

      • accidental_diva

        YES El Centro.

        Depending on when you’re here in October (and if you’re sports minded) there might be a Caps or Nats game going on (Caps would be pre-season/early season – Nats would be post season) – which is also to say that those areas would be crazy (Chinatown/Verizon Center – National’s Park areas)
        Also Hamilton is good for drinks and people watching.

      • Eenie

        Yes! The Shaw area looked really cool and since we don’t live in a cool trendy neighborhood where you can walk/public transit everywhere we like to do that on vacation. I’m glad I asked this, cause now we will see the monuments at night!!

    • Yael

      Cheesetique! Not actually in DC, but close by (Ballston, my old neighborhood). It is an entire restaurant devoted to cheese and things you can make with cheese, and it is super gluten-free friendly.

    • AP

      The MLK monument is one of my favorite places in DC, especially around sundown. Also walking around Georgetown in super fun.

    • Hit up the free museums! Also Eastern Market.

    • Laura C

      Also, one of the great things about DC is that all the Smithsonian stuff is free. So unlike with museums where you paid $20 to get in, you don’t feel like you have to stay long enough for it to be worth it. You can dip in and out as you like.

      • Eenie

        So excited about this!!

      • theteenygirl

        This was the greatest thing. We would just go into a museum, check out the highlights, leave, and go to another museum. No pressure. Loved it.

    • C

      When we visited last year we really enjoyed the Belmont-Paul monument, the Renwick gallery, and the Newseum (in the category of things that haven’t been mentioned yet).

    • theteenygirl

      We went a couple months ago. There is a “build your own” type fastish food restaurant called Cava there that I had never heard of. I’m pretty sure they have gluten free options! Super yummy for a casual dinner/lunch.

      • E.

        Cava is my favorite restaurant. It is so amazing. I would eat there every day if I could.

    • Jennifer

      I love Teaism. It’s a chain though… it is fine for my friend with a wheat allergy for the most part though I don’t know about gluten free.

      Smithsonian is great. There was a really cool exhibit on how Deaf people helped with the space race. Also, if you’re a book lover, go find Kramerbooks & Afterwords.

  • Angela’s Back

    So everyone went to see/is planning to see Wonder Woman, right? Because it’s certifiably awesome as a movie-going experience for everyone regardless of gender identity :D

    • Sara

      My super pregnant friend and I are making it our friend date this month! We’re going to the fancy movie theater with the huge cushiony seats so she’s comfortable.

      • Angela’s Back

        That is awesome!! And in some ways it will be baby’s first movie since the fetus will be able to hear everything… at least selectively you could say it’s baby’s first movie, ha.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Ahhhh, make sure she doesn’t drink a lot before hand, it’s a long movie!

    • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

      it was amahhhhzing. I was really looking forward to it and was not disappointed.

    • Katelyn

      Decided on whim to see it last night since my next week or two are just endless activity. Such a tight story, fucking AMAZING fight choreography, and a totally feel-good moral. I still need to digest it some more (and see it another time or two) but my first impression is that it’s the most well-constructed modern DC/Marvel universe superhero movie since Iron Man – Dark Knight trilogy is its own category in my mind.

      [SPOILER AHEAD]

      My *only* gripe – and this is generally a gripe I find in like, every other movie I see – is that Diana falls in love with the first man she sees. Variants of this trope exist everywhere and then the love interest either dies, is the villain all along, or they live happily ever after. Can’t we get a Jerry and Elaine, or early Mulder and Scully somewhere in here? Or people who are attracted to each other but don’t turn into soulmates and just… go their separate ways? I think modern movies are offering a lot more nuance in good versus evil, etc. – but relationships are stuck in this stereotype.

      • Cleo

        While I’m with you in general – people becoming a love interest is too much — I saw the film with a friend of mine who’s super into comics and here was her take on it when I brought up the same thing…

        She told me that the love interest leaving/dying is baked into Diana’s mythology. She doesn’t have any long term romance in the comics (clearly, men slow her down), except she and Superman have a little thing on the side (after Lois Lane dies, natch) because being practically immortal can get lonely and women have needs.

        • Cleo

          people becoming a love interest is too much = characters too often become love interests for the sake of it.

        • Katelyn

          Oh yeah, I get that there really wasn’t a way to tell the origin story that was loyal to source material without the love interest component – so the trope really lays (lies?) with the comic book writers, not the filmmakers. The trope just diminishes the value of that relationship in my mind, and I wish original screenwriters would start writing something less two-dimensional.

      • Angela’s Back

        I definitely feel you on the love story but I did enjoy the trope reversal where it’s the death of the male love interest that provides the righteous fury/motivation for the woman hero, instead of someone’s wife being raped or killed and then the male hero goes on a rampage. It was satisfying in a schadenfreude kind of way, like suck it men, this is what it feels like to be nothing but a plot device!!

        • Cleo

          Yesssssss! Definitely some awesome schadenfreude!

      • Just Me

        We saw it last weekend because I wanted to make sure it was #1 at the box office!

        Overall I really liked it although I don’t think the actress was as strong in the ’emotional/moral of the story’ bits as she was in the fight scenes….but clearly a super hero movie for the action!

      • Jennifer

        I swear I’m always late to these. BUT I do not see a lot of people picking up on the ableism that runs rampant in Wonder Woman. It was good, but there is still work to be done. As noted in this article, https://medium.com/@carlyrm/the-wonder-woman-movies-treatment-of-disability-34dd3df945a5

        • Katelyn

          I remember noticing that, too. I got the sense that she was a tragic character with a complex past, and maybe that hit the cutting room floor, but resorting to “physical disability = sign of evil” is still a cheap narrative tactic (eye patch, anyone?!). If they really felt the need to leave in that detail, a secondary protagonist (maybe one of her crew) with a disability would have at least brought balance to the equation.

    • BSM

      We are going to see it tomorrow! I can’t wait!!!

    • AP

      Saw it yesterday! I was shocked by how much I was moved by it. The fight scene on the beach and the one when Diana overrides the men and joins the fight for the town gave me chills, and I had actual tears down my face. As we were leaving the theater, I saw a boy teasing his mom, “Mom, you cried like three times!”

      I am not a huge fan of the superhero genre, but all I could think during the movie was ‘more, more, more, please!’

    • SarahRose472

      I’ve heard so many good things about it so I’m pretty sure I will go to see it, but the thing that’s bothered me about the trailer and kept me off until now (which is absolutely the same across the superhero genre) is how she’s dressed. Like, maybe there’s somehow a plot reason for her actual clothing, but she’s wearing HEELS while running around and fighting. It kind of frustrates me that that’s still the level we’re at in terms of representing strong women and especially female superheroes — they can be super strong, but only in an unrealistic, still very “traditionally” sexy way.

  • HI! OMG, am I FIRST to Happy Hour? Wow. That’s a first….and probably a last!

    But I do have big news–so, a few months ago, I posted on here about how I had been offered this amazing job and how I was conflicted because while it was EXACTLY what I wanted to do (I’m in education and also an elopement photographer, long time APW vendor, blah blah), it also required me to leave my classroom in the middle of the year…and I didn’t want to do that. But, I ended up taking the job and leaving my classroom….and I started in April. And this week, I resigned.

    The job was…..not a good fit at all. It was in no way at all what I thought it was going to be–it was really, really, really bad and basically my husband said that if I didn’t just quit and find something else he was going to lose it. So I told my boss I’m leaving and next week is my last day and now I am interviewing like mad for a new teaching job….and crossing my fingers and hoping to all things education that I find a teaching job (I’ve been at teacher for a long time, so while I have a lot of experience which some districts love, other districts might look at me and consider me with my years too expensive to even consider–really dumb double edged sword).

    I feel enormously relieved that I gave my notice, but I also feel really upset and bitter in a way that I was almost duped into this job. I’m trying to chalk it up as a learning experience, but it might be a bit too close right now to really see that silver lining….but life happens for a reason and I know that this is a reason that will eventually show itself.

    In the meantime, I’m embracing summer and bought a plot at my neighborhood garden community and will be working on becoming the vegetable and cut flower goddess that I know I have always secretly been and thinking of writing a book.

    Onward!

    • ssha

      Good for you for making life giving choices!

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry the job didn’t work out the way you expected, but good for you for getting out of it once that became clear. Too many would stick around far too long. I hope you find something better soon, and enjoy your gardening in the meantime!

    • Jess

      I’m glad that you decided it wasn’t for you and made a choice to leave. I’m sorry it didn’t work out to be what you thought it was.

    • NolaJael

      It is difficult to impossible to really know what a new job is like beforehand. It’s very easy for online “experts” to recommend researching the culture, etc. without acknowledging the huge informational and power imbalances that go into job hunting. Don’t kick yourself about being duped, it comes with the territory.

      • Thank you–now that I’m here, I really realize how in many ways the wool was pulled over my eyes (intentional visits at specific times of the day when I requested to come observe the culture and climate, feeding me information about the school that is still five years out “This is what it WILL be like…”), but I also worry because I felt like I was very intentional about weighing pros and cons…ah well.

        • zana

          The thing I don’t get about this is, they know if you take the job you’ll see all the problems. So what’s the point of hiding them? Do they really want to spend their time & resources on hiring an employee who is going to be miserable and leave in 6 months? Because this deception is probably one of the best ways to go about doing that.

  • Ashlah

    I called a therapist! While I try to get my husband to get his own mental health in order, I finally decided I need someone to talk to myself. I can’t carry that burden alone, and I need help, both with ways to better support/push him and to better take care of and advocate for myself. It’ll be a couple weeks before she can see me, but I completed the intake call and am on the waiting list. Just getting that phone call done was such a relief.

    Being part of the community here, where so many of you speak so highly of therapy, and recommend it so often, and commend each other for taking care of your mental health and well-being is what really made it possible. It’s what made me realize that therapy is for me, not just for other people with “bigger” problems. I can’t say yet how much of a difference it will make (or if this will even be the right therapist for me), but thank you to everyone here for pushing me this direction <3

    • Amy March

      Way to go!!!

    • Jess

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That’s a big step in a good direction.

    • Yay, congrats!! Whether or not they are the right therapist, that’s such a big step… For me getting over the hurdle to reach out to a therapist is always like, the hardest part. I hope it helps!

    • AP

      Yay!!

    • Emily

      So happy for you! Way to prioritize yourself!!

    • Elena

      I’m a psychologist, and it seems like the hardest part is to make that phone call. So awesome that you’re taking care of your mental health. I’ve benefitted from my own therapy, so I hope you do as well. :)

      • Ella

        I definitely found the hardest part the phone call. I had similar thoughts to Ashlah, “therapy is for other people with “bigger” problems.” But once the booking was made it was so easy and so worth it.
        ETA: I went through this twice, with couples therapy and for myself. Somehow the lesson learnt the first time had to be re-learnt for a different context.

    • emmers

      I have found therapy to be helpful. I hope you find a good therapist, and good job on getting the process started!

    • Em

      Well done you! I remember how relieved I felt to make that first step as well. Just one thing to be conscious of – the first few times you go are probably going to be pretty emotional! I would recommend going at a time you don’t have to go back to work / go elsewhere after them – I was a bit of a sobbing mess and just felt exhausted (in a good, cathartic but drained kind of way). So if you can pick the time you get to see her, I would try to schedule it for the end of the day or a weekend etc if that’s at all possible! But yay mental health care!

      • Ashlah

        Thanks for the tip! It sounds like she’s pretty booked by existing regular clients later in the day, but maybe I’ll plan a half day at work or something for my first appointment or two, if I can.

    • Transnonymous

      Congratulations! I know how difficult this step is. Here’s hoping you find a wonderful fit that will help with your well-being.

  • Laura C

    I can’t even imagine pre-k graduation. I’m still bewildered that my baby is about to move to the toddler room at daycare.

  • penguin

    Family drama junk: My fiance’s parent’s are still being weird, and his mom is apparently still “mad” at us over the whole wedding date drama. Even though we had a big sit-down thing to talk it out over a month ago. And I haven’t seen them since then, fiancé just saw them for Mother’s Day and then had lunch with his dad one day, that’s it. At that lunch his dad basically announced that fiancé’s mother is still upset. OK? What are we supposed to do about that? Any time fiancé calls to talk with her, she’s angry and clipped and gets off the phone in under a minute.

    My fiancé and I talked things over, and basically decided that we are done trying to make them feel better – we didn’t do anything wrong, we tried talking to them about it, we came up with a solution that works for everyone (changed the date), and they just insist on being nasty to us for no reason. Fiancé is going to try and make some plans with them, and we’ll have one last attempt at reconciliation. It’s so weird, because we actually had a pretty decent relationship with them before we got engaged. I think they have an issue with the fact that their son is getting married, and his mom won’t “control” him anymore so to speak (not that she has for a long time, but I think she feels that way). Pure speculation, but honestly I’m so tired of the whole drama.

    • Jess

      I’m sorry they’re still being weird. There is literally nothing further you can do, and at this point they have to manage their own feelings like the adults they are.

      You’re honestly doing a great job of trying to relate.

    • Laura C

      From everything you’ve told us, I don’t see an option besides being done trying to make them feel better, because you’d just be dooming yourself to failure anyway. And it definitely does sound like this is about something other than just the date.

    • BSM

      You are being incredibly generous, imo. And sometimes (lots of times)? Weddings just make people really weird, even if they’re normally very reliable and even-keeled. I probably wouldn’t even try a last attempt at reconciliation, so, if that doesn’t help, just keep on keepin’ on, and I’m guessing the animosity will dissipate at some point after the wedding.

      Sorry! At least you’re going to get some beautiful dishes!!!

      • penguin

        The dishes comment took me a minute, and then I remembered, you and I registered for the same dishes!! I’m still pumped about those haha. Thanks very much on all counts <3 <3

    • CMT

      You are being so patient and understanding, you’re probably going to qualify for sainthood by the time you’re married.

    • rebecca

      We went through something really similar, canceled our deposit on our original date because of his mom, then when we booked something 6 mos later I felt nauseous every time I thought about wedding stuff bc they were still being shitty (and from my perspective the wedding was mostly for them). This totally surprised me, but the only thing that has made me feel better has been throwing myself into a massive diy project. For months I said I wasn’t going to do anything bc “f* weddings” but it turns out I’m weirdly obsessed with making crepe paper peonies. It’s wacky and it keeps me busy and they’re 100 percent for me and no one else. Your in laws will either come around or they won’t but you’ve made a good faith effort and it might just be time to focus on whatever’s going to make you happy.

      • CMT

        I read that as crepe paper ponies, which I thought would be an interesting wedding decor choice. Peonies sound beautiful!

        • rebecca

          Haha it’s a late July wedding so maybe ponies will be a stretch goal

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          …I also read ponies. Peonies makes SO much more sense.

          • Amanda

            But ponies would be soooooo cute!

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Don’t get me wrong, I was perfectly content to believe she was making a bunch of ponies.

      • penguin

        Thank you, and I’m getting that nauseous feeling too! I feel like they’ve polluted this whole wedding with their negativity and their nastiness. I should find a DIY project to focus on! Wedding is in mid October so I have some time.

        • Yael

          Ugh I know that feeling. Internet hugs and yay for your fiancé being on your side!

      • Kalë

        Totally, totally off-topic, but would you be willing to post a tutorial? I’ve been itching to try these but I’m crafty in a “follow the instructions” kind of way, not a “magical vision just came together” kind of way, and haven’t been able to find any clear instructions for these.

        • rebecca

          Sure! I’m making these http://www.designsponge.com/2016/04/diy-paper-coral-charm-peony.html which look kind of fancy but I swear they are actually some of the least mess-up-able because 1) the stamen kind of act as a guide for where you should adhere the petals and 2) you actually use all three kinds of crepe paper for this and one of the most frustrating things about these tutorials is figuring out wtf people mean when they say fine/Italian/heavy/German whatever crepe. I also think these Youtube videos are super helpful for figuring out how to manipulate the crepe https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYObUDyV_LsI2QJE8q-Ulrw

          • Jane

            I love the idea of design sponge projects! They are beautiful and definitely push me outside of us craft comfort zone. But I haven’t completed any of my planned wedding ones yet because they are big and I don’t want to have to store them all summer.

    • penguin

      Also I forgot to add – we sent out our Save the Dates, and didn’t send any to people who may not end up getting invited (mainly, her friends, including her goddamned knitting group). She asked why her friends hadn’t received their cards, because she’s already invited them. My fiancé, bless him, said he’d look into it and then got off the phone.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Welp. That sounds like a really good candidate for Reasons She’s Pissy.

        • penguin

          Yeah, although we didn’t send Save the Dates to everyone, just our core people. She seems to think they should go to everyone, and she’s already invited her friends for some reason. We’ll probably end up sending them cards to try and keep the peace, but it pisses me off that she’s inviting people and then just informing us. It’s our wedding, not hers!

  • NolaJael

    We are in the midst of total home-buying hell. Found a house, put it under contract, lined up financing, did inspections, put money in escrow, closing date came and went…THEN found out there is a $25K lien against the property…that is owed by some bureaucratic mega-bank…who may or may not pay the lien sometime in the future and can’t give us any information beyond confirming that they received the request.

    So now we have our pets and all our stuff in a uHaul in our new city but no home. We cobbled together some short term options, but needless to say, this has been a very stressful week.

    ***Also, let me just say that breed restrictions on rentals are a nightmare. It really irks me that we are pretty much prohibited from renting from any commercial rentals because I have a smallish pit bull rescue who has never been aggressive toward anyone in 9 years.

    • penguin

      Ugh I hate that people assume that pit bulls will be aggressive just because they are pit bulls. Like, it’s all about the dog and how it’s been raised/treated, not about the dog breed. I’m sorry about your home buying woes, I hope things look up soon!

    • Cellistec

      Ditto about the breed restriction nonsense. Our building prohibits put bulls (made up breed, anyone?), rottweilers, German shepherds, Akitas, Dobermans, and something else I can’t remember. And requires all cats to be declawed. Had I read the pet contract before we moved in (when we didn’t have a dog), I wouldn’t have moved into the building. So instead I keep stats on hand for when people say dog-racist things. Fun fact: more than 97% of dog bites are by non-neutered male dogs used as guard animals. Not pets! #themoreyouknow

      • Sara

        Requires declawing?! How terrible! The dog stuff is obviously disheartening too

      • Eenie

        I have gotten the cat declawing restriction removed from a contract (it’s so horrible!!!!). And my fun fact is that most dog bites are from golden retrievers (in the US at least). But “Boy bitten by Golden Retriever” is never the headline you see.

        • Cellistec

          Wow, I’m impressed that you got the declawing restriction removed! What was the process, in a nutshell?

          • Eenie

            I crossed it out and initialed the cross out on the rental contract. I told them if they wouldn’t sign the contract anymore I’d rent somewhere else. It was brought up very last minute, and I was pissed as hell. They said they didn’t even enforce it, and I said it was a horrible thing to include then, because it’s cutting off part of their finger, and they’re encouraging other pet owners to do that.

          • Cellistec

            Wow, that’s a bold move. I’ll have to remember that for later…granted, it may not work every time, but it’s better than kowtowing and mutilating your pets for sure.

      • Rose

        I was calling a landlord, who was reluctantly willing to allow cats, until he asked me “They are declawed, right?” Like it was obvious. No! Our cats are not declawed! That is not a thing that you should be able to assume! We are not people who would do that. I had no idea before that that it was a thing some landlords expected.

        • Eenie

          Same! They didn’t tell me until I saw it in the contract I was signing!! It’s not even a thing a lot of vets will do anymore.

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, I especially don’t understand this requirement when the apartment isn’t carpeted. Ours has fake wood floors and all hard surfaces, so what exactly is a cat supposed to scratch up? The walls? *smh*

    • flashphase

      That’s awful! I’m shocked it wasn’t found in a previous search. They didn’t have to clear it before you took title? Or are you waiting to take title? It’s stressful but I’m sure it will work out!

      • NolaJael

        Yeah, I think it’s a pretty clear f-up by the title company, but unfortunately there’s really no recourse for us at this point beyond 1) continue incurring expenses and hope the deal goes through or 2) continue incurring expenses, cancel the contract and start over.

    • Ooooh, homebuying is SO hard–I’m so sorry to hear this. Sending you and all the pets love!

    • ART

      My brother is a huge pittie fan/foster dad/volunteer walker and trainer. He has totally made me love them, and also has THE HARDEST time with rentals. I feel for you!

    • sofar

      That is a nightmare. My heart is BREAKING for you because this experience would have broken me.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    So as an update from last week…I’m heading out on a flight to my baby shower location this evening! :D This is the update I was desperately hoping to be able to give, so I’m thrilled as pie.

    I *do* have gestational hypertension (meaning that my blood pressure is still a concern for my providers) and will need 1-2x/week monitoring on top of my usual appointments and I’ve got a definite induction date that can potentially be moved up at any time after I’m term. BUT my blood pressure and other vitals were perfect when I saw my OB and since it’s only an hour long flight, she said I was good to go! Just have to wear compression stockings and know the phone number of the [excellent] hospital in the nearby area when I land.

    Annnnnd…my in-laws moved their trip up by a week and a half because of everything, so they won’t be here when I’m term (originally, they were going to be here between weeks 37 and 38, which made me a total stressball). I’ll still be very pregnant, but honestly, THANK GOD.

    Hope everyone is having an awesome Friday too! :)

    • Amy March

      Congrats!!

    • ssha

      Oh my gosh yay!

    • Ashlah

      Hooray! I’m glad it worked out, and that your health is in a good place!

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yes, the health part was the biggest relief! And I’m almost at the point where having a definite date to meet my daughter excites rather than concerns me (though it’ll probably stay a healthy mixture of both).

    • Jess

      Hooray!

    • BSM

      Yay! Good news all around!

    • Yay good news!! Enjoy your shower!

    • Laura C

      So much good news!

    • E&J

      Have a good time at your shower! I also have to be monitored twice week for gestational hypertension. I know it is for the best, but all that extra monitoring really ups my anxiety level. I am not the biggest fan of doctors. Happy Shower!

  • Amanda

    We have been invited to six weddings this summer. Two of them are on the same day, so we are going to five. Two others are during the same weekend. We will do a double header Saturday-Sunday. My question for you– How do I wear the same dress without smelling awful? It is cotton, but doesn’t really have sleeves.

    • Amy March

      Sponge it with a mixture of vodka and water when you get home Saturday night; hang it in the bathroom for a steamy shower Sunday morning.

      • scw

        just don’t use too much vodka like I did once, or you’ll wish you just smelled like BO instead of BOOZE.

        • savannnah

          I’d take booze over BO, esp at a wedding but maybe that’s just me?

          • scw

            call me crazy, but I don’t want to show up anywhere smelling like vodka.

            whiskey on the other hand…

          • Amanda

            Hahahaha. These are important things to consider! If I had to choose, I’d pick booze; but if I follow scw’s advice, I can maybe not smell like either. But if I do smell like vodka, when I arrive, at least in this case we are going straight to the reception, and I won’t be that weirdo who seemed to have pregamed hard before showing up to a chapel.

      • Amanda

        This is brilliant, thanks! We’ve been wondering what to do with some vodka we were gifted.

    • laddibugg

      do those dryer refresher things work?

    • accidental_diva

      Also febreze in a neutral scent (I used to do this when I traveled for work and didn’t have laundry access) and tide to go pens.

      Also pack a back up dress – much like having an umbrella- having back up is the key to not needing it.

    • S

      If it were me, I’d just wear a different (light, easy to pack) dress for the second wedding only because I wouldn’t want to be wearing the same dress in all the wedding photos I was tagged in afterwards (both sets of wedding photos will likely pop up at once). If it were me and I had 5 weddings to go to in a summer and a limited budget, if I didn’t already have dresses to wear in my closet I’d probably stretch my budget and get two dresses that I can kind of make look different with accessories/shawls etc, then alternate them. But that is just me! I feel like I always end up tagged in way more photos than I anticipate, as a wedding guest, and as I said often if a wedding is on the same weekend their photos will pop up at the exact same time. I’m not even a self-conscious person typically but seeing two sets of wedding photos pop up with me in the same dress, all at once, would make me feel a little weird. If this doesn’t bother you though I’m sure Amy March’s suggestion will work a treat!

      • Amanda

        I’m of the general belief that the policing of women’s outfits is bs. If someone is so stalkery as to watch me on Facebook and discover through visual forensics that I was at two weddings rather than one, who should really be judged there? If society is really in such a state that the answer is me, then I’m happy to proud stand up against the pink tax and against wasteful consumerism. I’m going with the vodka thing.

  • Cellistec

    How am I at work instead of home on the couch watching all of the new season of OITNB? Seriously? I guess that’s a rhetorical question. PS no spoilers plsthx.

    • penguin

      Wait there’s a new season??

      • Cellistec

        #5, out today!!

        • penguin

          What!! Thank you, I wouldn’t have found out otherwise!

          • Cellistec

            What else is HH for? ;)

          • Amy March

            There is srsly such a market for an app that tracks all of your shows from every platform and channel and keeps you updated about their status and air times.

            (Pls tell me this exists and help me find it?)

          • GCDC

            That does exist! It’s called Fantv. I have it and it is wonderful.

    • Ashlah

      I know, how am I supposed to be doing anything else? I am so afraid of accidentally coming across spoilers. No more news for me today.

    • Her Lindsayship

      CAN I JUST SAY I’m pretty sure that earlier this week, when I went to Whole Foods, I was in line behind the actress who plays Norma and I didn’t even realize it. I couldn’t see her face, but the cashiers nearby all started freaking out right as she left and that was the only reason I knew. I mean, I don’t think I would’ve done anything if I’d known, but it was just such an unexpected place to encounter someone kinda famous.

      • Cellistec

        WHAT.

    • CP2011

      I’ve started watching season 2 after a hiatus of a couple years and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been a fan at a distance (read the book, read online thinkpieces) but watching season 1 made me so stressed and tense I had to give up halfway through. I’m finding it easier to watch season 2 because I have a general idea of what happens so I’m not as anxious about what will happen next.

      • penguin

        Yeah I ran into a brick wall (stress) at one point when watching the show, and just had to power through 2 or 3 episodes to get past it, then it was great.

      • Cellistec

        I forgot there was a book…maybe reading that is how I’ll get through the gap between seasons 5 and 6. ;)

  • Lexipedia

    Working with florist for my wedding that is still 10 months away, partially because flowers are pretty and partially because I wanted to figure out how far our money will go. I’ve done wedding flowers before, and she suggested I do bud vases for the tables. She can do bouquets, altar decorations, bouts, and corsages and then will order me a few buckets of matching flowers for table bud vases. Fine, I can manage it, and can order the vases for $1 online. Then she told me how many I will need per table for it to look pretty, which will equal about 150 bud vases total. Again, not concerned about volume of work, but how on earth do I get those from my parents’ house to the venue?! Any ideas for stable transport? I won’t use super delicate flowers that would get smushed easily, but that’s still a lot of tiny glass things.

    • ssha

      A box with those cardboard divider things? A dishwasher tray or silverware holder?

    • CMT

      Hmm, maybe the boxes they come in when you order them will have dividers to keep them safe? Or is that wishful thinking?

      • Lexipedia

        I think that would work for the bottom layer, but I think that they will have stacked layers in the shipping boxes.

        • Nicole

          We did this and ordered milk bottle vases and they all came in multiple boxes, not stacked. We were able to mostly use the boxes for transport.

          • Lexipedia

            Excellent! I’ve been looking at a combination of mini milk bottle and medium ones. How many did you do total? Long tables seem to require a lot of them…

    • Rose

      Boxes designed for holding bottles? Like, you could bit a bunch of six-pack boxes in a larger box (or not, but then that’s a lot of six packs to carry around), and/or see if you could get some boxes that bottles of wine came in at a local liquor store.

      • Lexipedia

        Oooh! Beer sixpack holders!!! I feel like, between us and friends, we can totally accumulate 25 of those in ten months and then put them side by side in something.

    • norah_charles_ftw

      You need wine bottle boxes! Go to your local BevMo, Total Wine, Costco, booze-store… and see what you can get!
      They are divided, and tall enough to keep flower buds separated too plus super sturdy and meant to hold a lot of weight
      LOVE them for transporting things
      Hope that helps and good luck!
      Sounds like you’ll have really beautiful (and cost effective) flowers!

    • Alex K

      Go to your nearest liquor store and ask if they can save you 15 wine boxes.

      • Lexipedia

        We’re ordering our own wine – maybe we can use those!

    • Kaitlyn

      I’m talking to florists now too 10 months away about how far our money will go and finding that it won’t go very far womp wompppp

      • Lexipedia

        No kidding. I’ve upped my budget and am pretty knowledgable about flowers, but the price of a pretty simple greenery garland was… surprising. We decided to pay her to do some of the hard/high stakes stuff (like my bouquet and the large arrangements for the altar) and DIY the easier/less important stuff. All the pictures of us getting married, which will include the flowers up there, matter more to me than pictures of our tables.

        • Kaitlyn

          I wanted a greenery garland too! We have two fireplaces in the venue that I wanted to drape them on, but I’m thinking I might just have to go to Michael’s and get a fake one haha I’m skipping altar flowers, but the issue is I have a bridal party of 18, plus lots of parents, grandparents, and flower girls. I think we’re going to DIY the boutonnieres for the groomsmen (and have my fiance have a flower), but we’re definitely going to have to up the budget.

          • Lexipedia

            I was thinking, looking at how expensive brides/groomsmaid bouquets are, that we may do a pretty corsage for them instead. There are gorgeous ones on pinterest that look nothing like the thing you wore to prom. Also, you can do nice pocket squares instead of bouts for the groomsmen. Just sharing some of my creative thinking.

            Also, many of the florists I adored don’t even consider budgets under $4K to start – sads.

          • zana

            Dried flower bouquets on etsy aren’t too bad, price-wise. Matching boutonnieres. No need to DIY, no need to worry (too much) about keeping the flowers fresh. Plus, you can opt to believe that the preserved flowers symbolize the longevity of your relationship ;)

            We used etsy/paulajeansgarden

      • jem

        You’re in Mass right? Check out Aster B- she’s super reasonably priced and has some DIY-with-help options.

  • ssha

    Sooo, we have been married 3 weeks! Best 3 weeks ever. I get excited whenever I realize I don’t have to make wedding decisions anymore. I have a lot of thoughts about EL and division of labor swirling around in my head too (that I wouldn’t without this wonderful community, thanks!) but they’re still pretty swirly so that’ might be a post for next week.
    As I stare down thank-you-note mountain, I have a question for you all. How did you thank your parents? My parents gave us a crazy amount of support and a chunk of money for our wedding, and coordinated relatives staying, and were generally great. His parents paid for certain elements of the wedding and made it possible to do it in their hometown. What did you do for this? A note doesn’t seem to suffice.

    • Alli

      Take them out to dinner? Give them a picture from the wedding in a nice frame with the note?

      • ssha

        Dinner was one idea I had, and oooh. I really like the frame thing. Might do both, thanks!

        • Eenie

          That’s what we did as well, but we also also sent them a thank you note (I really liked the pictures we chose). If we waited for the wedding photos to be ready, it felt like that would be a late thank you. We sent ours out within two months of the wedding (or before if they sent it early). We funded 90% of the wedding ourselves, but were still grateful for the time and energy they spent.

      • My fiance and I took my parents out to a really nice dinner a couple months before our wedding to thank them.

    • NolaJael

      We got all the parental units identical framed prints that incorporated a quote from our wedding vows. It was the biggest “extra” expense we had outside of the bare minimum stuff, but we felt we wanted to really acknowledge them.

    • scw

      we did restaurant gift certificates and then when we got the wedding photos, sent them little photo albums we made (snapfish, I think). I remember having the feeling that nothing we could do would be enough. we also did nice handwritten notes which, honestly, I think were their favorite parts.

      also yay for no more wedding decisions!

      • zana

        Picaboo is also good for albums. We gave family-specific ones to each of the mothers for Xmas. Right now they’re having a 40% off + free shipping coupon sale (it’s one of their better sales). But there’s other photo-based products that parents might also appreciate?

    • lamarsh

      We are getting my dad a Manhattan cocktail kit (so either high end or unusual versions of all the Manhattan ingredients – it’s his favorite cocktail), I am getting a spa gift card for my mom, and a necklace for FH’s mom. We will also be taking them out to dinner the next time they visit us. They were super helpful so I wanted to do something larger than what I normally would get them for Christmas, etc.

      • Yael

        Where does one find a Manhattan cocktail kit? I have a FFIL who might appreciate that.

        • lamarsh

          We made it! I live in DC, so I got him a really good rye and vermouth that are both made in DC and that he can’t get back home. Then I bought walnut bitters which are awesome and the fancy (read, made with booze) maraschino cherries. Then I put it all in a nice box. My dad recently got into craft cocktails, and he loves getting interesting stuff, so I think he’ll love it.

          • Yael

            Oooooh!!! Which distillery did you get the rye and vermouth from? We went to a tasting at Republic Restoratives last time I was in town (where I’m from, pre-Germany) and took future in-laws. My FFIL loved it.

          • lamarsh

            We got the Rock Creek Rye from One Eight Distilling. It’s pricey, but delicious. And the Capitoline Rose Vermouth which I believe is made by Green Hat.

            Did you try the Rodham Rye from Republic? I am very intrigued by that.

          • Yael

            I did not try the rye, but honestly I was just there for the gin. I am not a brown liquor person. Everything smelled really good tho!

            We were actually there scoping the venue for the wedding (we also considered One Eight but they’re undergoing renovations). We ultimately decided to get married at A’s cousins’ farmhouse, but how cool would it have been to get married in a distillery?!

          • lamarsh

            I had no idea those distilleries do weddings – that would be SO cool. If you’re into DC distilleries, I would also recommend checking out Cotton & Reed — they have the best drinks. They are pretty much rum drinks for people who like gin which apparently is my sweet spot.

          • Yael

            C&R are also on my list (turns out that one month intervals do not leave a tremendous amount of time to do things, considering all the things that must get done). I’m trying to do a distillery a trip because (1) yay alcohol and (2) yay local businesses. I’d really like to use locally made alcohol for our wedding as much as possible, so really this is totally a wedding planning expense :)

      • zana

        Parents gave sooo much money to the wedding, it seemed odd to spend their money on them!
        So, we got one set those airplane-cocktail-kits. The other set, we “adopted”/sponsored a bird in their named (wedding was at the aviary). But I also like the idea someone else mentions of taking them out to dinner. Spending time with you is probably one of the things they want most anyways.

    • Arie

      We got both of our mothers nice cashmere scarves with the wedding date embroidered on. They are both big on wearing scarves year-round so it seemed to make sense, and they really loved them. We wrote cards that went with the gift, and then actually sent another round of thank-you notes about a month later with the rest of the thank-you notes.

      I remember having the same feeling before the wedding — that no token of gratitude would suffice. After seeing how genuinely happy all of our parents were to contribute and celebrate at our wedding, I felt much better and less indebted. I felt that having the wedding and making sure it honored our families and represented us was the gift they really appreciated the most.

    • Mary Jo TC

      We gave both sets of parents a photo album and framed picture after the wedding, and a heartfelt note. You’re right, no present is ever enough, and especially when you feel overwhelmed with gratitude it’s hard to find something that feels sufficient. But it’s the gesture of thanking them that means so much. As long as it’s thoughtful, they will cherish it.

    • Jess

      We got our parents Waterford decanters (both drink cocktails and are into that) and wrote heart-felt notes to our own parents. We’re also going to get them a photo album around our 1 year anniversary.

  • savannnah

    While my partner and I contemplate our possible move to the west coast I’m having a lot of feelings about the potential changes in our earning power, and my future earning power and how this is all going to play out. Right now I’m at a job I don’t love but am very good at (side note: mom and I had side by side poster presentations at the conference in DC last weekend and we kicked ass and she won best research poster out of 250 because shes been kicking ass in this field a lot longer than I have) and am making about 85K and my partner is making 65K. My partner has this offer to make 110K on the west coast and he is very excited- wants to move and I want to support him in that endeavor- but beyond the family proximity I’ve already talked about on here- I’m likely to drop down about 30K if I move jobs and look for something else and it feels really unsettling for some reasons I can articulate- worried about future earnings path, etc but other reasons are more like because I don’t want to be worth less, which doesn’t quite fit into the narrative that its all our money and we’ll sort it out and support each other. My partner is really focused on how great he will feel about making what he feels he’s worth too which is causing some ugh on my part mixed with the happy.

    • Ashlah

      Oh yeah, that sounds rough. Has your partner acknowledged/have you brought up to him that you feel the same way about “making what you’re worth?” It sounds like he’s expecting you to take a huge pay cut so he can get a big raise and he’s only focused on the latter…does he recognize that? I don’t think you should feel weird or bad about caring about how much you make individually, even with joint finances. Your husband obviously does too.

      The move certainly could be the right choice for your family (or it might not be), but that’s definitely something that needs to be talked through pretty earnestly before committing to it.

      • savannnah

        I’ve mentioned it to him a lot and he’s not there quite yet because he’s fought tooth and nail to get what he should be getting with this company and its been a long road and he’s excited- he is also been away for work this past 3.5 weeks so its all been via text and the phone. We need to sit down and have a long convo once we have concrete numbers- this is all complicated by two facts 1. I have a masters degree and he has a high school diploma so I’m having some uncharitable feelings about our future earnings and 2. he has the possibility to make about 100K additionally in bonuses and that changes a lot in our lives but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to be working and know I would be a terrible stay at home mom.

        • Yael

          Can you work remotely at all?

          • savannnah

            No, unfortunately that’s never going to a possibility in my field. Would be ideal.

        • penguin

          I’d also look at potential cost of living in the new area – that may affect some decisions too. Also, do you know that your salary will drop 30k if you move? Is that just a lower-earning area for your field or something? Good luck!!

          • savannnah

            I’m currently in a great position for my field right now and overpaid via market research so most of my peers are making 50-60k right now across the country so that is my assumption. So much so that I’m afraid any look at my salary history will scare off people.

          • Orangie

            Definitely don’t share your salary history, then! Read askamanager.org for tons a scripts and ways to avoid giving it if at all possible.

        • Amy March

          Wait is he suggesting it needs to? No matter how much money he makes you never have to stop working and be a stay at home mom!

          • savannnah

            He has not mentioned it at all. I brought it up because without a higher paying job I can see the slippery slope to ‘it will cost more to work and send kids to daycare than stay home with them’ I think there are just some financial realities to consider long term.

    • Alli

      I’m having a similar issue, I make about 15k more than my fiancé, but our next career moves will likely make his salary higher and mine much lower. Basically I need to get out of my high paying career and his boss is encouraging him to apply for better jobs within his company.

      And we both feel weird about it! It’s so hard to convey exactly what it is, do I like being the breadwinner and feeling like I’m worth a lot? Do we like subverting gender roles in that tiny way? He has expressed desire at maybe being a stay at home dad when we have kids, so perhaps the sudden financial responsibility of making more money than me threatens that?

      I don’t have any advice, I can only commiserate.

    • honeycomehome

      Together you are making $150k. After the move you’ll be making $165K. So you, as a family, gain $15K a year. Does that $15K make up for the difference in cost of living in your new area? I’m guessing West Coast means higher cost of living, plus moving expenses, plus however long you’re unemployed… Plus the fact that moving also means you’ll now need to budget in family visits.

      I think there is a financial discussion to have alongside the emotional one. Since right now your husband is focused on the financial gain of a move, start there. How much of a gain is it, really? Does he realize it’s not the $45K jump it might seem for him at first blush?

      • savannnah

        We are currently in the NYC area so its harder to judge if cost of living will be up or down- and yes I’ve said to him a ton ‘this might just be a wash’ and I think he gets that from a numbers perspective but not from an emotional one.

    • Em

      Not wanting to presume – but do you think there’s any element of your partner feeling excited about being the breadwinner because he’ll be earning more (and that might also be clouding him not listening to you as much as you want him to about your lower levels of excitement + concern about your salary drop)? (Note – I say that I don’t want to presume because I don’t want to attribute bad intent to your partner, just wondering if these factors are in play + might be affecting things?)

      • savannnah

        I certainly feel some type of way about the genderedness of the whole thing but generally he doesn’t seem to care I’ve been making more than him. Semi-subconsciously though? I’m sure, like all mainstream narratives, it gets in there somewhere.

    • There’s also the long-term impact of lower earnings impacting your social security/retirement benefits, as well as any contributions to savings for retirement, to consider…

  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    All the feels – my baby is graduating from kindergarten today. Where does the time go???

  • jem

    Sooooo I am stupid excited because I got fiancé the COOLEST wedding gift. He’s a huge Abe Lincoln nerd so I had the jeweler who made our rings make him custom cufflinks out of pennies and you guys they are amazing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear waiting to give them to him. I’m picking them up in an hour!

    I’m totally stuck on the issue of bridesmaids gifts, though. Any tips/suggestions/advice? In the past, I’ve received jewelry to wear at the wedding as a bridesmaid’s gift, but my bridesmaids are just SO different from each other that it feels like it would be forcing it/not really a gift to give them matching jewelry (and one doesn’t wear jewelry in normal life, so…). Do they all need to be the same gift? If it supposed to be related to the wedding? Any creative ideas?

    • Amy March

      I think it’s so much better if they aren’t all the same gift and it’s not related to the wedding!

      Get them all something you think they’d really like, even if that’s different for each person.

      • Cdn icecube

        Absolutely! Shop for them as you would if you were buying them a birthday gift or a christmas gift. Anything personalized to them (as opposed to your wedding) would probably be really well received, and/or a letter card explaining how much they mean to you.

      • Yael

        See, I disagree, but this might be a know-your-people thing. My college roommate gave the bridesmaids all pearl necklaces to wear at the wedding and to this day it is my favorite not-everyday necklace.

        • Amanda

          I guess it depends on the taste of the bride and how divergent the bridesmaids’ tastes are.

        • Amy March

          If jewelry is something a particular bridesmaid likes, great. But something the bride wants you to wear to her wedding is really more a gift for her vision than the people involved unless all her bridesmaids happen to have the same taste in and like jewelry.

          • Yael

            True, and again, this is a know your people thing. We’re also planning on giving jewelry to our sisters as attendant gifts, but we have a selection of several things from etsy, and I’m letting each of them have final say. These are also things I’d consider giving as birthday presents, but can better justify the expense with the wedding.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Totally depends on the situation. I and my fellow bridesmaids received matcy-matchy navy and clear crystal jewelry to wear with our navy dresses. It was nice, because I never wear navy, and thus had nothing to wear with it…but also I’ve never worn it since, because I still don’t wear navy. Pearls would have been the bomb-diggity, though.

          • Yael

            Pearls are seriously awesome, and I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 pearl necklaces, all different. I wear them more than any other necklaces I own.

        • zana

          I think so many people overestimate how well they know their people.

          I mean, if you do a failure of a job on the gift-giving, how would you know? No one with any manners would express that to you! At least pearls you can resell decently if you already have a set, but in general I’d be verrrrrrrrrrry careful about considering uniform jewelry a “gift.”

      • Jenny

        Agree. One of my favorite bridesmaid gifts was a bag with a scarf she had knitted, a little plant, and a bookmark. Each one of us got a bag ( mine was an awesome blue canvass bag that was like something you would get at rei, and a gryffindor scarf.) Both totally my jam, and both different from the other bridesmaids. It was super awesome. Still have the bag and scarf.

      • jem

        Thank you– this was exactly the permission/direction I was looking for!

    • BSM

      I got my bridesmaids variations of the same gift. Everyone got a canvas tote bag with a glittery heart on them (on theme for a wedding but not actually wedding-related), a S’well water bottle (everyone got different designs), and a monogrammed leather card case (different colors with their initials). Plus a heartfelt card from me.

      They seemed to like them!

      • ssha

        These all sound useful and tasteful!

        • BSM

          Thank you! I was going for useful and pretty, since I really like receiving gifts like that :)

      • Eenie

        I got thank you gifts for the wedding for several friends and got them the Emily Mcdowell totes.

        https://emilymcdowell.com/collections/tote-bags

        • BSM

          I love these!

          • Eenie

            It was a way to do the same thing for everyone, support an APW vendor/sponsor, yet still personalize it by getting a different print.

          • theteenygirl

            Late to the party but wow I LOVE the everyday bravery pins!! They are so wonderful.

    • Laura C

      I got them all books, but different books chosen for their interests etc.

      Although to be perfectly honest I just did that because I had no idea what to get them and I lived near a really good bookstore.

    • Sara

      I’ve been a bridesmaid like five times, and I think three of those we got the jewelry the bride wanted us to wear. One just bought our hair and makeup, which I appreciated more than a gift I think. One friend bought bowling shoes for the entire wedding party (because her rehearsal dinner was at a bowling alley) but her brother and I already owned them. She gave me a wristlet instead and he got something whiskey related.

    • Emily

      Yes to getting them all individual gifts based on their taste! This was what I wall all about…until I saw this ancient post (https://apracticalwedding.com/bridal-party-girl-gang/) on APW and was ALLLLL about it. So I got these cute sparkly iron-ons on Etsy and since it’s just our two sisters it’s going to be fun and low key. Now to figure out the boys!

    • sofar

      The best bridesmaid gift I ever got was a make-up bag full of goodies (face masks, lip gloss, sunscreen, eye cream, foot cream). So that’s what I got my bridesmaids!

      It works nicely at every budget (I got my bridesmaids stuff at Ulta and put it in a $12 tote off of Etsy, while my friend got us really high-end stuff in a little designer tote).

      • jem

        Love this idea!

    • AP

      The best bridesmaid gift I ever got was the Naked 2 palette! The bride gave them to all of us the morning of her wedding while we were getting ready. But as Amy March commented, personalizing the gifts to each person is probably a better idea. One of the other bridesmaids was very fair and has red hair/freckles, and none of the colors in the palette worked for her.

      My least favorite gifts are those ‘wedding swag’ type gifts like shirts or cups with ‘bridesmaid’ on them, basically expensive wedding favors. I always end up getting rid of that stuff after the wedding. (It’s fine to do it if that’s your jam, just don’t make it your actual thank you gift.)

      Books could be a neat idea- a different one for each based on their reading tastes or your history with them, and you can write a sweet thank you note inside. Also things like massage or restaurant certificates, nice candles, foodie gifts, all the usual gift ideas for thanking a person who has gone out of their way for you (and definitely include a nice thank you note.) There was a wedding featured here once that showed team bride getting ready in these gorgeous short silk bathrobes that coordinated but didn’t exactly match…something like that could be cool too!

    • Brynna

      I got mine monogrammed ring-holders and a framed picture of the two of us together. I feel like it was just personalized enough, but still easy to put together.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’m going to make the case to skip anything that says “Bridesmaid” on it. Yeah, I still use that pouch, because it’s a nice size for my makeup brushes. But I stopped being her bridesmaid the night she gave it to me.

    • Rebekah

      I had 2 members of my side of the party, and I got them individual small gifts that were not related to the wedding – an etched leather covered flask and a small wallet made of Harry Potter on tape.
      Both times I was a bridesmaid I was given jewelry.

    • Lisa

      My bridesmaids are getting a handmade bag (like a tote, but nicer with lining, etc) and the phenemonal woman t-shirts: https://www.omaze.com/made/phenomenal-woman

      Edited to add: the groomsmen are getting leather bracelets and hat pins, so they’ll look dapper as fuck, and I love that the men are getting jewelry and the women aren’t.

    • Jess

      I got them a turkish towel, some nice stud earrings, a mini L’Occitaine hand lotion, and some spa-y stuff like face masks.

      No, you do not have to get them the same gift, and it does not have to be related to the wedding. Personalized gifts are great if you are a gift-giver.

      I am not, so I kind of put together some stuff I’ve gotten in the past and appreciated.

      • lamarsh

        I am very much a gift giver and getting personal gifts for everyone in the midst of planning my wedding really overwhelmed me. I ended up getting them tote bags (each personalized to an interest of theirs) and water tumblers with their name on them. I also am getting them all manicures and we’re going to a yoga class and lunch together (on me) the day before, so hopefully there’s something for everyone, haha.

        • Jess

          that’s super cute! I would love a tote bag and water tumbler!

          • lamarsh

            I definitely am of the opinion that one can never have enough water tumblers.

          • zana

            I’ve never used a water tumbler (we’re talking plastic with a lid and straw, yeh?). I just got one as a bridesmaid gift and gave it to my sister. If it had my name on it, I’d throw it away (useless clutter, to me).

            People need to get better at knowing their people…

          • lamarsh

            They’re actually pretty useful if you work a desk job and drink lots of water. Easier to drink from than a water bottle and if you are clumsy (like me) you can knock it over with minimal damage to your workspace.

            We are also getting ready at a salon, so I figure people can use them to hydrate while we get ready and the straw is nice so as not to mess up your make-up.

          • zana

            Yeah, I’ve never used one, and drink hot tea all day at work. Considering the bride bought all the bridesmaids the same gift, I didn’t feel particularly bad about getting rid of it.

    • Ella

      I agree with Amy and Cdn below, treat it like any other (e.g. birthday) gift, but if you *want* to get them all the “same” thing, like the bag-but-a-different-bag idea below, here are some more ideas: books, stationery, tea cups, music (a record if they have a player or a mix tape), art.

    • zana

      If they’re required to wear it as part of the uniform, it is not a gift. This includes jewelry, getting ready robes, shawls, etc. You can give bridesmaids uniform pieces, but don’t think of those items as gifts.

      If possible, you should really avoid giving each bridesmaid the same gift. They are not the same person, and they each have a special relationship with you, why not honor that by thanking them each in a personal way?

    • E.

      I met each of them in a different place and different stage of my life so I got them each a tote bag with a map of where we became friends. Useful, cute, and individualized.

    • emmers

      We did a scarf for the day and also cute aprons. If I had been more on my game I’d have typed up some awesome recipes and made a cookbook, but that wasn’t happening!:)

    • Lisa

      I work at a retail store, and I gave my sisters run of the jewelry counter to pick out pieces to wear with their bridesmaid dresses that would also be special to them later. They still break out the items on a regular basis for nice occasions. My family is full of list-making people who prefer you to buy something they will definitely use again so YMMV.

    • Jane

      I haven’t given out my gifts yet (because the wedding is still a ways away) but I got them these cool down travel blankets that pack up really small. Most of my bridesmaids are really into the outdoors and/or traveling, so, although they are all getting the same thing, the thing is something they should all like and be able to pack up and take home. I’m also planning to pick out individual cards for them and write personal messages.
      I agree with many of the others that jewelry you pick because it matches your wedding vision is more a gift for you than for them, unless you are picking jewelry that you would actually pick for them. I got cute copper flower earrings for my bridesmaids and I hope they love them and wear them in the future, but I definitely got them because I loved them, and wanted the bridesmaids to have matching earrings to help tie together their mismatched dresses.

  • Rose

    So my week has been spent freaking out about finding housing. We’re moving in August for my new job (faculty! I’m going to be faculty! just visiting, just for a year, but still!) to a smallish town in the midwest. And there’s just not much available (Trulia lists six places, seriously). Plus, the vast majority won’t allow cats. Which really surprised me–around here it’s not at all hard to find a place that will take pets for a reasonable fee. One person I talked to out there wanted an extra $150 a month. For two adult cats.

    Fortunately, I’m going to have the best colleagues ever! One of whom started out offering advice, and the offered to go take a look at places for us, and ended up calling around and finding a couple of places that weren’t listed anywhere online and would take pets. Neither is ideal–kinda old, small kitchens, not quite as nice as our current place–but they’re inexpensive, and in nice neighborhoods. And they’ll take pets! So, it’s all been stressful, but I think something will work out.

    Also, oh my god, moving is so expensive.

    Anyone else have experience moving to a smallish town? Any tips on finding housing? (or anything else?)

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, pet rent. I am so opposed to pet rent. We kept our cats a secret for a few years when we lived in our apartment (not exactly a recommended strategy, it caused a lot of stress). Then the month before we moved out, we told them we got one cat and paid the pet deposit, so we wouldn’t get slammed with secret pet fees…and we got the entire deposit back when we moved out. It was such a relief to move into our own home where no one else cares about our pets!

      I’m glad you’ve found some decent places!

      • Rose

        Our current apartment required a one-time pet deposit when we moved in and got cats. Fine. We paid it. Then they got sold to another company, and when we went to renew our lease, it turned out that now we had pet rent. It’s just been $20 a month, so we stayed, but we were pretty mad about it.

    • NolaJael

      Lots of times visiting professors can get hooked up with other professors who are doing sabbatical or away gigs themselves. I’d ask your HR person for a list.

      • Rose

        That probably would be worth a try. Thanks!

    • Yael

      Ugh in this same situation right now (except in Germany). I have a great apartment right now, but with A and the cat moving here in September, the current apartment doesn’t work. I hate moving.

    • CMT

      Does the town have a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group or maybe even one specific to rentals?
      That’s how a lot of buying and selling happens where I live.

      • Rose

        Someone just suggested Facebook to me! I would never have thought of it myself. I asked to join the local housing gorup, but haven’t been added yet.

    • AGCourtney

      I live in a smallish Midwestern town with two liberal arts colleges that often have visiting professors – is this in southern MN, by chance? Figured it’s worth asking. xD

      • Rose

        Nope! We’re going to be Illinois. Although I did just apply for a job in MN for next year.

    • zana

      Congrats on the job!

      I’m getting reimbursed for a large part of my move, we’re using movers (too old for that sh*t). Just to move our 650 sq ft apartment across the country, it’ll cost $6,000. This does not include what it costs to move the car. In the other direction we use one UPack Relocube (packed ourselves, sold all our furniture) moving out of a 900 sq ft apartment, and it cost $2,000. So. There is a range of prices/options.

      One thing to consider is that sometimes smaller towns just don’t have super nice apartments like a city does. Maybe the kitchens are old and small, but maybe that’s what every apartment has? Plus, it’s only for a year, so maybe it does not matter so much?

  • Hannah

    My boyfriend picked up the engagement ring today!! We designed it together and are splitting the cost so I just assumed we’d go together to pick it up. But then the jeweler emailed my boyfriend separately (didn’t even realize she had his email haha, I’ve been doing all the correspondence with her and have pretty much owned the whole process because a) we’re using the diamond from my great-grandmother’s engagement ring and b) I’m the planner in the relationship because she thought he might want to pick it up separately. When I found out last night I wasn’t crazy about the idea because it would mean that I wouldn’t see the ring until he proposes and while I’ve seen the wax model the jeweler made, it’s obviously not the same. I also just assumed my boyfriend didn’t really care whether I saw it before or not but it turns out he really wants to own this part and make it a surprise which is so sweet!

    I feel like we actually found a good compromise between a feminist modern couple and paying for the ring together but also getting some of the romance of it being a surprise. Now I just have to keep myself from rummaging around our tiny apartment until August!

  • BSM

    I’ve been feeling really unmotivated at work for the past couple months. I think I need to find some kind of project to jumpstart my enthusiasm, but I don’t know what it would be, and, while I think having more work to do would help me feel better about my job, it would also mean doing more work.

    Does anyone have any advice? What do you do to get past the blahs at work?

    • Cellistec

      I’m in that boat too. My solution is to switch careers, which I know isn’t very helpful, but my classes for my new career are fascinating. So, professional development or learning something new might help?

      • BSM

        This is kind of my MO, too. Bored? Scrap what you’re doing and start something new! I like the part of work where I’m mastering information and developing systems to organize chaos, but, once I get the hang of things, I’m over it. Maybe I will try to find some relevant PD and see if that helps.

    • ssha

      Do you collaborate with coworkers? I am terrible at self-motivating but if someone else is working on something too, it helps to share it.

      • BSM

        That helps me a lot, too, and, unfortunately, my role is pretty isolated (I’m an EA).

        • ssha

          Shoot. In that case I second the PD thing- maybe you’ll find a buddy to email or get coffee with and talk shop. Solidarity from another isolating role!

        • Call Me Penny

          Solidarity from a fellow mostly lone-worker! I just volunteered to be a ‘Champion’ for another department’s new system. They have developed it but we’ll all be using it and they were looking for people to support training across the team. I’m not a big fan of the name but am hopeful that it will give me something to focus on and boost my productivity and enjoyment. Is there an EA network at all in your organisation? I’m a member of mine and it’s really good for connecting with others in similar roles. Are there any other friendly EAs you could team up with perhaps?

          • BSM

            There are a few other EAs at my company that I could check in with; that’s a good idea. I’m the only one in my office (the other 3 are at HQ in NYC), but we could still work on something together remotely. Or they might just have other advice that would help.

          • Call Me Penny

            Or at the very least some new friends!

          • Call Me Penny

            Or they may become new friends!

          • BSM

            We are pretty tight already, thankfully. We just haven’t worked on anything substantial together.

  • Cdn icecube

    I got engaged! After all the DRAMA with the ring, and of course some drama getting it over the boarder I’m super excited to be engaged to the best guy ever!!!!

    • Jess

      Congrats!

    • Hannah

      Congratulations!!

  • scw

    I made it to the next round of interviews for a job I thought I wasn’t going to get. yay! it’s a full day interview (8am-3pm… I thought I avoided that campus visit thing by not going on the academic job market!) and I’d love any tips/links people have for doing well/keeping it together.

    I’d also love specific advice on one aspect of it, which is that I’ve been asked to give an hour presentation about programs I’d plan if I get the job. I want to walk the line between being prepared/confident and spending a ton of time doing work for a job I might not get. anyone know of any good stuff on this topic? any ask a managers spring to mind?

    • Jenny

      I used to coordinate visits for academic jobs and I’ll say these tips
      1. treat everyone you are communicating with nicely, and expect that everyone you interact with will be asked to give their opinion of you. As an assistant to coordinated travel, arranged the itineraries and drove them from campus to campus, I was asked for my opinion and any other information I felt like sharing, and often how they had treated me v. the higher ups was viewed as a good way to see what they would be like. This is true for all interviews and probably life in general, but with all day visits, you are likely to interact with more “outside” people.
      2. Wear comfortable shoes. Often times people you are meeting with are in different buildings.
      3. Use any break you have to use the restroom and get water.

      Without knowing what kind of programs, it’s hard to offer suggestions.

      • scw

        thanks! and yeah I should have been more specific but I was trying to be vague in case someone at the job saw it somehow. it’s a library outreach job, planning programming and communications for an academic library.

    • zana

      Ask where the bathroom is a lot, especially when you need to take a break. Bring a snack with you. Eat in bathroom (not in front of interviewers). Get good sleep the night before, I take melatonin to help me sleep through the pre-interview anxiety-sudden-wake-up.

  • Call Me Penny

    We got back from our honeymoon last week, and thankfully the return to normal life hasn’t been the worst. I was home for a few days and then flew to one of my oldest friend’s hen do, so that was a nice way to end the first week back. Nova Scotia was an absolute dream and I couldn’t recommend it more. We did a mix of Airbnbs and hotels, with one splurge in a super fancy place for two nights and it was the perfect balance. Thank you all for the wonderful recommendations!
    Just before we left my husband found out his company would like him to move to Singapore, so he’s flying out tomorrow for a week to see how he likes it and meet the team out there. If he does like it and think it would be a good fit for us I’ll go out with him later in the summer for a week or so and we’ll make a decision then. It feels so strange to send him off with such a big question mark over everything, but we’re trying to look at it as an adventure and not get too bogged down in the pros and cons at this stage. Hopefully I’ll be checking in this time next week with a somewhat more definitive idea of whether it could be a yey or nay for us!

    • Lisa

      Singapore! What a fun thing to ponder!

      • Call Me Penny

        Trying to think of it that way and not as a giant crippling what if!

    • I have a friend who is originally from Singapore, and it seems like the food is amazing there….

  • rebecca

    I’m about to get on a train to go to my family bridal shower which will be full of people I haven’t said more than ten words to in the past ten years so having a lot of anxiety about that (and I won’t even have my bestie as a buffer since she has to work). Immediately after the shower I have to fly across the country for a work thing, then take the red eye. Hoping I’ll get through this weekend with a lot of white wine and the new Kevin Kwan book 😬

    • Amy March

      Omg it’s out?!? Weekend plans made.

      • Cdn icecube

        It’s SO good! I read the whole thing in about 2 days and it made me so happy to get lost in a good book.

      • A single sarah

        It’s so fun! Better than China Rich Girlfriend :)

    • zana

      There’ll likely be enough people at the bridal shower you can do the same small talk over and over again. Lots will probably just ask about your future-spouse. No time to have super deep conversations with anyone.

  • ruth

    Just a quick question – are there no happy hour links this week? It looks like just adds after the post, but maybe it’s because I’m viewing in a mobile browser? Congrats on all the happenings and thanks for the joy APW Happy Hour always adds to my Fridays :)

  • Alyssa

    This is my last HH before I become a MARRIED woman! We sign the papers tomorrow over brunch with both families, then head to France next Wednesday to do the actual (for us) ceremony on the 21st. It’s also my fiance’s birthday today, it’s my last day of work at my school site (good riddance!) and will be back in my hometown area (2 hours away from current residence) starting tonight. ALSO, I had an interview with a Planned Parenthood (!!) location for a therapist position there, and hear back today between 12-1! Keep all your fingers crossed for me!

    • Congrats! I’m also getting married this week so I feel your excitement. Have an amazing wedding and trip!

    • Alyssa

      Update: I got the job!!!

      • AGCourtney

        Yay! Congratulations.

      • Ilora

        Congratulations!!

  • Alex K

    So my BIL is proposing to his gf today and I’m so excited because they are great together and I adore them both! That being said, and I feel really weird saying this, the excitement leading up to the proposal has made me feel like my MIL treats me very different than the rest of her children’s SO (she has 4 kids). She is super excited for the proprosal (she is flying to TX to be there) but when I look back when husband and I got engaged I distinctly remember her not being that excited? So I’m trying to deal with that weird feeling while being super excited for the happy couple. Anyone else get the feeling that they are least favorite partner in the family? How do I deal with this (especially since I see my MIL way more often than everyone else because of proximity)?

    • Amy March

      I don’t think you’re the last favorite partner? If you see her the most because of proximity I think she makes a bigger deal over the others because she doesn’t get the frequent face time.

    • AP

      Oh, I am right there with you. I’m definitely the least favorite partner (also 4 siblings), mainly because I don’t enjoy spending every weekend drinking with his parents in their backyard *and* I didn’t take their family name. I’ve made my peace with it though. It’s not the relationship I thought I’d have with my in-laws, but it’s still friendly for the most part and could be way worse.

    • honeycomehome

      There might be a lot of reasons for this. She has to show more excitement over distance, because there isn’t the comfort of having a seeing-you-regularly relationship. Or BIL might be more excitable, and she wants to reflect that for him. It may be that when you got engaged she felt more sadness at her kid’s getting older/moving on, and now that’s not the case.

      It might be the case that she is fonder of others. But you can’t control that, you can only try to build a good relationship with her and as long as it’s not cruel or blatant favoritism, it’s just part of being family, sometimes.

    • Jess

      I mean, maybe she was that excited before hand too? Or maybe your partner didn’t involve her in proposing as much as your BIL is? Or maybe Amy March is right, and it is just because she sees you all the time but everyone else is so far away so she feels like she has to be extra welcoming/friendly toward them?

      I am the least favorite partner (of 1 other partner). This is because of who I am vs. who the other partner is. He is a very gregarious, welcoming, touchy-feely person and also a dude, who can do things on his own like carry luggage and get drinks.

      I try too hard, I have loud opinions that are often unintentionally direct contrast with my MIL’s, I don’t like people being all up in my space, and I hate not being able to do things for myself, despite my being a woman and therefore needing to be cared for.

      I am not very open or immediately likable, and I know that about myself, but I am a kind person and I do have good friends who care about me.

      So, even if you ARE the least favorite? It’ll be ok. I promise. You don’t have to be the daughter she never had or the princess supreme.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      How’s her relationship with your husband? Most of the time when I feel like my in-laws don’t like me as much as my SIL’s longterm boyfriend, it has to actually do with their (well, mostly my MIL’s) relationship with my husband. Frankly, she’s just much closer to my SIL and feels like she has to walk on eggshells with my husband more because they’re really different people. Lots of love there, of course, but my husband is more private and rarely discusses his personal life/OUR life with his family unless I gently encourage him, so it’s overall harder for me to get closer to them in the same way as his much more open sister and her boyfriend can.

      Similarly, what is your usual relationship with her? If you’re at a point of feeling super comfortable with each other (and were prior to your engagement as well), then maybe she didn’t seem as excited because it just felt…natural?

      • Jess

        This is a really good point and also in play with my not-the-favorite-partner-ness.

    • rebecca

      I am not the favorite! When we got engaged my future MIL didn’t pick up the phone 3x and then when her husband answered and we asked to talk to them together, we could hear her say, “You gotta be kidding me, I already know”. It’s fine. It’s a little sad, but it doesn’t really affect my life on a daily basis. And I understand her perspective, she respects me as a person, but we have really different priorities and the other siblings chose people who were more like her. I do get frustrated though, that her son experienced a big change in political perspective/goals/class while we were dating and she attributes that to me (and this is not a positive thing), when we were actually going through similar transitions at the same time (which is super central to our relationship) but she’s made up some alternate reality in her head where my parents are rich snobby liberals which has literally zero basis in fact.

  • E.

    Update from the job search last week- I made it to the second round interview for the school and am flying there next week to teach a demo lesson. There are a couple other principals I emailed a little while ago and got a positive response from, but they didn’t know if they would have openings. Should I contact them and try to visit their schools while I’m there or would that just be a huge pain because it’s the last week of school and who has time for that?

    • Amy March

      If it’s a huge pain and they don’t have time for it they can just say no. I’d at least suggest it, it shows real interest.

    • Lexipedia

      Express interest in coming, and tell them that you would also understand if they don’t have time.

    • NolaJael

      Yes! You should contact them. Showing continued / renewed interest ranks very highly in the minds of hiring staff.

  • Her Lindsayship

    We are six weeks out from the wedding! I just wrote a big-ass email to my fiancé with ideas about vows (we’re writing our own), and I also sent an email I’d been dreading to the guy we’re getting our rentals from. He seems legit, has a website and yelp reviews and such, but our interaction has been pretty casual over email. When we settled what we wanted from him, he told me what the cost would be and said we’ll follow up closer to the date. I have been trained by APW to require a contract so this isn’t really gonna fly with me, but at the same time I couldn’t figure out the right wording to remain informal and friendly with this guy while also saying “I need you to sign a document that makes this agreement official.” It’s really to his benefit too, since we’re not paying him anything till the day of. Anyway I sent it, we’ll see how he responds.

    In other news I’m going to D.C. for the first time ever! I fly down tomorrow and will chill and sightsee for the weekend with my mom who also hasn’t seen much of it, then I’ll be at a conference Monday and Tuesday. We don’t have much time so will probably mostly stick to touristy stuff, but I would love recommendations for cool bars or restaurants!

    • Lexipedia

      Haha, there is a long chain below of bar/restaurant recs so you’re in luck! Where is the conference? That could give some guidance for neighborhood recommendations.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Yup I realized that a while after I left my comment… oops! At least I can grab recommendations down there. :) We’ll actually be staying in the convention center area, same as @weste0023:disqus so I will be looking at those!

        • Yael

          Have fun!

  • ART

    I’m 11 weeks this week, and we finally told our parents they could share the news about my pregnancy with other relatives and friends, and my MIL (who’s been bugging my husband because the secret was killing her) was like “really? now? when are your tests!?” meaning, I guess, my NTU and blood screening tests, which are scheduled for a week or so from now (but I guess I don’t expect full results till the 2nd round of blood tests). I was kind of taken aback by that response and now I’m kind of back to anxiety about it, when this past Monday I felt really ready and excited to tell a wider crowd of people. So I’m a little bummed because in addition to the anxiety, I was excited to hear reactions and I kind of haven’t yet. I’m slowly telling friends, though, and at least one of them was super thrilled.

    • JSK

      Congratulations!

      With our first, we told both sets of parents in person – my parents at 5.5 weeks because I was having complications and wanted the extent of my mother’s pregnancy history and his parents at 11 or so weeks once we got the all clear from the NIPT tests. We asked both of them to hold off on saying anything to anyone until we’d had our 12 week u/s and we did the bulk of the family notifications after that, asking people to please not pass the news along for a bit.

      I had a TON of anxiety about letting the news out. Couple that with the complications and I pretty much didn’t tell all our friends until 15/16 weeks. Getting the news out felt really awkward for me each time I did it, but getting support and reactions from people does make the whole process easier. Could you ask the parents to let you call some of the closer relatives or friends? Or ask them to share text responses with you or something?

      I’m 7.5 weeks right now and all our tests are scheduled for 10w. This time I’m desperate to tell someone because I just want someone to feel bad for me :)

      • ART

        I feel REALLY bad for you lol – the last 5 or 6 weeks have been so uncomfortable. Thanks for the commiseration…I finally realized my anxiety was distracting me from work and making me feel crappy so I’m out on a walk, and maybe a cry. I hadn’t realized how much her comment had affected me, she’s a lovely person but every once in a while can ask a real reason on your parade question without realizing it.

        • ART

          Ugh RAIN, stupid phone keyboard.

    • Jess

      Hooray! Congrats on telling people! I hope lots more friends are super thrilled for you!

    • Yet another Meg

      Congratulations! I’m sorry you’re feeling anxious. Parents sometimes react in ways we don’t expect. We told our parents when I was around 6 weeks or so, because we were traveling with my in-laws and I started getting morning sickness the week before we left. My mother was super excited and couldn’t wait for the next six weeks to be up. Except once we’d confirmed a heartbeat and such and told them they could start telling people, she flat out refused to tell anyone the news. Every time I asked if she’d told someone ( knowing she’d met with person A for coffee) the response was always “No, I think you should tell them yourself…” So yeah, people can be weird about things like that.

      • ART

        Funny, I’m getting a little bit of the same thing, even for people that I never really talk to (it would be very random for me to call them up). I’m kind of at a point where I’ve said this is the date I’m putting it on facebook, so if there’s anyone you don’t want to find out that way, make sure you tell them before then. I have a few friends that I’m looking forward to informing, but for various reasons don’t want to reach out one-on-one, so will be relieved when I finally just get to spam the news and move on from this phase!

  • Brooke

    I’m officially feeling the “lazy days of summer”. It’s odd taking some time to relax since the wedding craziness has subsided, we’re locked in to our lease for quite a while now, no immediate travel plans, etc. For the first time since graduating college (several years ago), things actually feel, dare I say…normal. Steady might be a better word. While I’m certainly not bored, what are some things you enjoy doing whenever things are all just chugging along according to plan (ha)? Extra travel? New projects? Still trying to figure out this adult thing and realizing how much time was occupied by planning a wedding and tying up loose ends post-wedding, now I feel like I almost have too much free time!

    • JLily

      I’m in this situation right now, too! I am enjoying having some balance in life, so I’m trying to embrace that and take some time to just not be busy and stressed, which is so nice. But also trying to figure out what I really like to do in my free time (hobbies, volunteering, reading, extra work, etc) instead of just filling it thoughtlessly, if that makes sense? I’m interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

    • penguin

      We take more time to spend with friends or family, things like just hanging out and having a cookout, or playing games, low-key stuff like that.

    • emmers

      Like penguin, I love having people over. There’s something fun about planning a party or potluck or cookout, big or small. I like seeing people, and it interrupts the monotony.

  • Arie

    I’m having a second wind of enjoying not having to wedding plan anymore. I felt immediate relief after the honeymoon, but I’m getting this second wave because this time last year was when things really ramped up and got crazy and stressful. Anyone else have that, a year later? The last two weekends I’ve guiltily stalked around my house thinking I need to be doing something, before realizing that I felt so much busier last early-summer because of wedding. Then I settle down on the porch to pleasure read and it feels SO GOOD.

    • zana

      Everytime people ask me how married life is, “We get along a lot better now that we’re not wedding planning.”

      Planning was the worst.

    • emmers

      Haha, after/at almost every wedding my husband and I attend, we both reminisce about how awesome it is to be done with wedding planning:)

  • Elena

    I’m getting married in less than a month, and I also have to move during that time. My fiancé and I have never lived together, so this will be a big change for each other. Also, my sis and I have started talking about a trip to Mexico next summer, along with my mom and sis’s husband. I mentioned this to fiancé, and he is so scared to travel to Mexico! He’s a HIGHLY anxious person about a lot of things and not super in to travel, but I’m bummed that he’s so against it. He’s open to maybe going somewhere else, but I was really looking forward to going on a trip with my new husband, since for years I never had a partner. It was always sis, brother in law, mom, and me. Just felt like venting about this.

    • Amy March

      Next summer is a long way away. If he’s highly anxious maybe once he gets through the stress of moving in together and getting married he’ll be more open to it?

      Now that you’ll be married part of that means that if you want to travel with him, he’s the one you talk to first about destinations?

    • honeycomehome

      What’s scary? Next summer is a long way from now, so you have time to address his concerns and get him involved in the planning/doing the research. I don’t know if this will be the trip for him, but from a whole-life perspective, you should use this as an opportunity to discuss his travel anxieties and find ways to address them, together.

      One way I’ve found to be helpful in dealing with anxiety in others is to not take it personally, and to be optimistic in your reactions. “I don’t think it’s safe to travel to Mexico.” “Yes, it’s important to take safety into account. Let’s look into our specific destination, more, since not all of Mexico is the same.” It’s a tricky line to walk, but aim for taking him seriously, not his anxiety.

    • zana

      I think moving/wedding stress can heighten anxiety. Maybe talk about it again after all the nuttiness is over?

  • Jenny

    It looks like I will be accepting a post doc position at UPenn or in San Antonio (yay, good offers both places). Any APWers live in those places and want to provide pros and cons for living there? Any people with post docs want to give recommendations for making the most of that time?

    • Amy March

      No advice but congrats!!

    • Em

      I spent six months on a study abroad program at UPenn, and loved it. It’s a beautiful campus, there is some crime around the campus but I generally felt very safe around the area and loved Philly – close enough that you can go to NY when you want but Philly is a bit smaller and more intimate with lots to do! (But I’ve never been to San Antonio so can’t compare!) And also, congrats!

    • Alli

      I work in Philly and commute from NJ.

      Pros-if you want to live outside of the city, there are a lot of great historic towns in PA and NJ that are super easy to commute from by train. My blood is 50% cheese steak. I like that it’s a legit city but it’s not huge. I dig our museums. You’re close to other cities – NY, AC, DC, Boston.
      Cons- It’s a pretty dirty city, I work in Old City and it smells something awful some summer days. It can get really cold in the winter – although it did not apply this past year. Potholes are horrendous.

    • Angela’s Back

      San Antonio is supposed to be really nice–never lived there specifically but I have lived in Austin and Houston. For my money, having had the Austin experience, that’s where I’d pick to live if I was going to move back to Texas. Depending on where you’re from/whether you’re warm or cold blooded, summer might be a pretty crappy experience for you, and fair warning, it heats up early and stays hot into early fall. Great Mexican food obviously, pretty laid back, one of several blue dots in a red state.

    • greeneyedgirl

      Congratulations! I’ve never been to San Antonio, but I lived in Philadelphia for five years and loved it. The arts, music and culture scene is wonderful, there’s great food (and many BYOs!), and plenty of opportunities for exploring both in the city and nearby. The volunteer/nonprofit scene is huge, too – lots of engaged people wanting to do good things for their communities. Housing can be relatively affordable (compared to say, NYC or Boston, but not compared to Houston), and there are a lot of options (Victorian mansions converted into apartments, row houses, traditional apartment buildings, etc.).

      I will say that the city’s public transit is some of the worst I’ve ever experienced (there are two subway lines and trolleys that do not serve most of the city). You can easily get around by bicycle, if that’s your thing, but otherwise be prepared to walk, drive or take the bus. It also gets very, very hot in the summer.

      • zana

        “It also gets very, very hot in the summer.”
        Although, I’m guessing San Antonio is worse ;)

    • scw

      congrats! so great to have options.

      I’ve lived in philly since 2004 (and went to penn as an undergrad) and am pretty crazy about the city. penn is a beautiful campus and there are a lot of different places you can live that would be convenient. the city has a great food scene and is relatively affordable, for a city. I actually strongly disagree that the public transportation is bad–I use it almost* exclusively. it’s especially easy to get places from penn because you have the trolleys and the market frankford line (and bus options, I used to live near penn and took the bus every day to center city for work). but you do want to consider transportation when you’re picking a place to live.

      let me know if you have any specific questions or want to chat more!

      *my husband and I bought the first car either of us have had in the city last summer, but I don’t drive, so I still use the subway almost every day.

      okay okay edited to add: I did get robbed once in west philly. and it definitely isn’t a super clean city. but I still hope I never need to leave philadelphia.

      • Jenny

        thanks! I’m visiting penn next week and San Antonio the week after, so I’m hoping I’ll have a good idea about what it would be like to live and work there.

    • zana

      Congrats! I did undergrad at the university that neighbors UPenn. Most of my friends that stayed in the area live in the Art Museum Area, Society Hill, or Fishtown. You’d be working on the edge of west Philly. The campus is lovely, but walking around the neighborhood by yourself at night is…not the greatest of ideas. The campus is well lit and well secured. People in Philly are honest…that is, they do not do fake nice. If grandma elbows you out of the way to get a table at Reading Terminal Market, do not be surprised. If no one ever says hello to you, do not be surprised. Food is good. Public transportation is so-so. Lots of stuff to see and do.

      I also happen to be a postdoc elsewhere (for ~1 more week!). My suggestion is to take advantage of as much of the professional development your new university offers as possible. Resume/CV workshops, interview practice, writing tutors, postdoc social events. Get engaged early and often (especially in postdoc events, easier to make friends). If you’re planning on looking for faculty jobs and the school doesn’t offer much academic professional development, purchase/attend The Professor Is In live webinars.

      • Jenny

        Thanks that’s super helpful! I’m visiting both over the next couple of weeks so it’s helpful to have some insight

    • phl postdoc

      Philly is awesome (I’ve only visited San Antonio for a couple days, so I can’t really compare). West Philly has changed a lot, and I feel very safe there. A lot of Penn people also live in various center city neighborhoods — Grad Hospital, Fairmount, E Passyunk, etc., as it’s quite easy to get to Penn from most parts of the city. I bike and walk and occasionally take public transport, and find it an super easy city to get around. Lots going on, amazing summer beer gardens, and yes, it does smell with some frequency. I’ve also found it much friendlier than many other places I’ve lived, including in the midwest. It’s a very neighborhood-y city, and my neighbors were so welcoming when I moved in.

      As for postdocs, a lot depends on the field, but figure out who your mentors are, both those directly supporting you and those who will informally mentor you. In terms of logistics, find out everything you can in advance about how they classify/pay you and implications for taxes. I had 2 postdocs, 1 treated me like an employee, 1 like a trainee, which means different things for withholding taxes (and thus needing to pay estimated taxes), retirement savings (employee=can contribute, trainee=can’t), etc.

    • Just Me

      I know this is late. But I think the best way to make the most of the time is to pick the best adviser, even if it’s in the less attractive city….and by that I mean the one who will help you with what you want to do next and not the one who has the coolest research.

      Spend some time talking with other students and take them at their word. For example, if they say the PI “takes a long time to get publications out”, that probably doesn’t mean they are lazy and don’t know how to write. It probably means the PI micromanages the writing/edits but then disappears from the lab for a few weeks at a time and will only work on one paper so it takes a year from when you submitted your first draft until its looked at for the first time. (….not that I speak from experience :-P)

      If you want to go into academia, ask if anyone is in the process of going out for jobs (or has recently) and then get in touch with them. Ask them if they went out for jobs sooner/later than they originally expected (i.e. is the PI pushing people out before they are ready? Hindering their ability to leave?). Ask if they felt they had support in that process.

      I know you probably heard all the same things when picking an adviser for the Ph.D. but in my experience it’s even more important for the postdoc. Even though you should be more independent with your day-to-day projects and hopefully mentoring graduate students, the PI is so so important for successfully getting out of the lab. (I’m assuming you are in science because I don’t think many other fields do postdocs?)

      Also, have fun, take some time to relax, and good luck!

    • Alexis

      I’ve lived in San Antonio for 3+ years and I love it! The food is amazing, there is plenty to do, there is such a rich culture here plus plenty of history, and the people are very friendly. Also, next year is San Antonio’s 300th birthday so it should be an exciting year!! HOWEVER it is hot as Hades in the summer.

      If you are visiting and want recommendations of things to do and places to eat, I have pleeeenty of recommendations!

      It sounds like you have 2 great cities to choose from! Congrats!

  • Mary Jo TC

    Totally feeling you on the preschool graduation stuff Meg. My oldest just turned 4 and is signed up for full day preschool in August and he got a bunch of school clothes for his birthday and just today had his check up and shots. He’s getting so big!!!

    So my birthday is this week and my husband has been bugging me to tell him what I want. I have not told him anything because 1) I don’t know what I want, and 2) I want to see what he will come up with. He’s really frustrated and anxious and afraid of disappointing me. I’ve made a big deal over birthdays for myself and others in the past, so maybe that’s part of his stress. It’s probably a love languages issue, and an emotional labor issue as well. Like, it makes me feel loved to have someone pick out a present for me, especially if that present shows how well they know me. And asking me to figure out what I want is asking me to do emotional labor.

    But on the other hand, is knowing what you want and asking for what you want just something adults do to be adults and ensure their own happiness and make life easier for their loved ones? Do I have an obligation to figure out what I want and tell him?

    Relatedly, we pay for birthday and Christmas presents for each other out of our individual “fun money” envelopes on YNAB. We both went over budget last month, but him more than me. To me, it’s not really a gift if it’s coming out of pooled money, because then it’s like I bought it for myself. It’s only a gift if the money for it came from him planning ahead, making sacrifices of his own, and spending less money on himself to buy it. That’s what’s touching about a gift, especially an expensive one. I’m not sure how to address this issue without being an ungrateful brat and adding to his stress. It’s probably mostly an overarching budget issue about how we both just need to stop spending money when we run out of money in the different envelopes (as hard as that makes things at the end of the month!)

    Practically, I think what will make me have a good birthday (or not) is the way I spend my time on that day. I will be working a half day, meeting my husband for lunch, and then I don’t know what. Last year I met a friend for lunch and a movie, but this year I don’t think she’s available. I think I might browse a used bookstore and get ice cream. What would you do if you had a free afternoon on your birthday?

    • Amy March

      Do you want a gift you like or not? Cause he’s not going to get you one if you don’t give him an idea! I feel like you are testing him when you know he is going to fail. I get that you want this to be a thing he is good at, but it is not. And yet he obviously wants to make you happy since he is trying to figure out what you want!

      To me the budget issue is a completely separate thing you’re just linking together. You both aren’t following your system!

    • Jenny

      Can you give him a category that you would like. Like i’d love some jewelry, or tickets to something fun, or xyz. I feel him on the stress, I like it when my husband says, we’ll I could do with a new wallet or pocket knife and I get to choose which one of those he’d like. Then again I always have a what I want gift list that I’m happy to supply to anyone who asks because I want something I want and will use. so maybe I’m not the best one to give advice.

      • penguin

        Agree with this idea. Sometimes I’ll find the perfect gift, but honestly most of the time gift giving is something I struggle with, and it sounds like it’s the same for Mary Jo TC. Having my spouse refuse to give me any guidance, but also using it as a big test of how much I love them is my literal nightmare. He’s your husband – talk to him about this stuff.

      • Em

        Yes! Go fill your birthday afternoon with a spa trip – a massage / pedicure etc would be super relaxing and a fun way to spend time by yourself, I think :)

      • Mary Jo TC

        Sigh, you all are right. I do have the urge to test him because we have some unresolved issues, but this is not the time to do it, and it’s not an urge I should be following. I made a pinterest board for this purpose a couple years ago–which he should remember–but I’ll update and resend it.
        Categories are a good idea, if I could think of a category of thing I want/need.
        Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas of things to do!

        • Eenie

          After your birthday passes can you set clear expectations for what matters for your birthday? Although it may change, I’ve found that I appreciate certain things on my birthday that make me happy every year. This is what I told my husband:
          -I don’t care if we celebrate same day.
          -I don’t want flowers or a cake.
          -I want to go out to eat or have you cook something fancy.
          -I don’t want you to spend over $50 on a surprise. (we don’t have a good budgeting system for birthdays for us yet so I hate having it come out of our family budget money if I didn’t really want it/love it)
          -My preference is always to travel or have someone come visit and have a fun experience that way.

          So for you maybe it looks like this:
          -A nice surprise gift from my pinterest board that’s within our budget that month (however that is).
          -Not having to juggle logistics of food/dinner/kids/house for the day (I forget how you break up tasks at home). Taking the entire emotional burden for the day.
          -Time to do something that I plan myself. This gives you the freedom to control how you spend most of your day.

    • Jess

      So… your birthday situation is my literal actual nightmare from my loved ones. As in, being asked to pick out a gift on my own with no input and having both the price and appropriateness being used as a metric of how much I love them and how well I know them.

      Oof. That is a one-way ticket to getting no gift from me, because I’m too freaked out to make a decision.

      I like the idea from Jenny of maybe giving a category. That seems to be steering in the right direction that will make you happy without doing all the “emotional labor” of picking out an exact item and sending him the link?

    • Laura C

      Sounds like the budget issue and the knowing-what-to-get issue should maybe be separated? Because if he’d saved some money for your birthday, you’d at least feel like he planned and put work into it even if he doesn’t figure out a great gift. And if he’d saved money he could … get a babysitter and take you to dinner, or give you a gift card for a facial or a mani-pedi, or something else fairly generic but at least about you and showing he’d put thought into it even if he’s not a gift person.

    • I also think that asking for a specific thing for a present takes a lot of the fun out of it. Because otherwise it could just be a thing I bought myself (because we have joint money, at least if it’s my husband). But I also am fine with just not really getting a present if there wasn’t anything good out there (or like, just get me some cookies or whatever). Or like, I could be talked into giving someone a long list of books I want and having the one they pick be a surprise (which is what my future plan of action is going to be for my in-laws who do a very set “i want x…sometimes even send a link” set of gifts in their family).

      • G.

        I agree with one caveat: if there’s something I want, but don’t know how to decide which one. For example, I’d like some wireless speakers for my living room. I am overwhelmed by the options. I hope my siblings buy them because they know way more about speakers for me and it’s fun for them to discuss this stuff whereas I just want ones that work without needing to read up on speakers in consumer reports…

    • Jess

      On a fun note, things I would do if I had a free afternoon alone on my birthday:
      – Go for a walk in a botanical garden
      – Get a pedicure and manicure
      – Buy a fun lipstick
      – Go to a coffee shop with a big book
      – Take a bubble bath
      – Buy myself a cupcake at a fancy cupcake store

      I also really like going out or making a fancy dinner for my birthday, so I would request a babysitter and make plans for that!

      • Jess

        Also: I don’t know where you are, but if there is an art museum nearby, I find a special kind of joy looking and appreciating art on my own. There is nobody impatiently waiting for me to be done, no other “must-see” exhibit that I’m not interested in, nobody I’m worried about feeding.

        Just me and the art.

    • Lisa

      Re: YNAB issue. We have this system, and it works for us: In addition to our own fun money category, we also each have an appreciation category (so, money I spend on B and he spends on me). That allows us to treat each other without having to dip into our very meager fun money. We get a small amount in the category every month, which we can spend on flowers, etc or save for bigger items. When birthdays or Christmas roll around, we deposit a set amount more than usual into that fund (say $150). I went over budget on his birthday, so when I moved money to cover Lisa’s appreciation fund, I moved the same amount into B’s appreciation fund. That way it doesn’t feel like it comes out of joint and it’s still totally equal. In other words, if he spends $100 out of his fun money and only has $75, then you move $25 into his fun money and $25 into yours to cover the difference.

      • Amy March

        Such a clever plan!

      • Yet another Meg

        We do something very similar. We have a Christmas slot in YNAB, as well as a birthday slot. Christmas is meant to cover all Christmas spending, including baking supplies and other expenses, and we’ve agreed on how much of that gets spent on stockings/gifts for the other person…once we run through that amount, anything extra needs to come out of our fun money . It works for us, because if I decide I want something big for him, it still requires on my end to supplement.

    • AP

      I like the category idea as well. It acknowledges that he’s trying to make you happy without doing all the work for him. And since you don’t have your heart set on something specific, you can be open to being surprised. But maybe cut him some slack on what he ends up getting you and what budget it comes from. Don’t sacrifice your birthday for the sake of the rules! (Pick a different time to address the budget and gift-giving.)

      I think if you can’t find someone to hang out with on your birthday afternoon, you should do something that requires your participation so you don’t accidentally find yourself stewing over being alone or disappointed on your birthday. (Sorry if I’m making assumptions here, but a lot of your comment resonates with me and this is probably what I would end up doing!) Sign up for a class, get a massage, go see a matinee, something like that.

    • Booknerd

      I totally understand! I have been subtly hinting to my husband that I wanted jewelwry as a gift for months. And then every occasion I don’t get it and I’m dissapointed. I even offered to cover some of his fun expenses out of my fun money so he could save his money and buy me some jewelery. Still didn’t happen. So I put $500 in my ynab category for gifts and we went to the store and i picked something I liked but we had debit card issues so we didn’t get it, and I’ve been so sick all week and didn’t think much of it again. Then after a really really shitty Friday last week he came home with flowers, and as I was putting them in a vase he also whipped out a jewelry box! He remembered which earrings I liked best (which is huge for him) and got it so I’d have a little surprise to perk me up. I always set these massive expectations on him for buying me gifts because I want him to surprise me with what I want, but he finally clued in it’s the gesture and the thoughtfullness, not the actual item, that means the most. So I think I’ll always have to put the $ into the ynab category, tell him flat out “I really want x” and then give him the space to execute the gift thoughtfully

    • LOR

      My birthday was this past month and my husband had to work. I always take off on my birthday if possible (it’s normally connected to Memorial Day weekend). I’m pregnant this year so I couldn’t get my drink at a bar. Instead, I met my parents for breakfast, then went to get a massage. After, I got a mani/pedi and then met a friend for a light lunch. After that I went home and relaxed until my husband got off of work and then we went to eat out. Choose to do whatever you want, whether it’s the couch or going out! Enjoy!

    • lady brett

      on the budget end, that is important and y’all should talk about it…probably after it sounds unrelated to this birthday stuff. because if it is the same conversation as the how to choose gifts issue it will become a lot more emotional and difficult than it already is or needs to be.

      on the how to do gifts…ugh. i am bad at gifts, because, on both sides of it, i am like your husband and feel like the only way for it to be something that is wanted and loved is for it not to be a surprise. and surprises are not important to me, but not being wasteful with stuff is…which is just to say it’s hard, that’s no answer.

    • E.

      I am the exact same in regards to gifts and I hate making a list of things I want. I am also torn about how to do that with people who have a hard time finding gifts, but don’t have any advice, just solidarity

    • emmers

      I feel like other ppl have given good budget/gift advice, but for your other question, I love going to a pool on my bday, especially an outdoor one, with drinks, a cupcake, and a friend or a book. I love the lounging in the sun, and this is a good time of year for it!

    • Ilora

      You’ve already gotten lots of great advice so I’ve just got one thing to add. We haven’t actually implemented it for gifts yet, but I’ve started keeping an Amazon wishlist for myself. It’s great because it’s easy to manage, simplifies the process for the gifter (my whole family is terrible with gifts), and it can be shared selectively. I just add anything I’m interested in and add comments as necessary (ie if I can’t decide between two styles/brands etc of something I add both and say either this one or that one). I’m finding it helpful just to keep track for myself!

      Other than that… solidarity. Like I said, my whole family finds gift giving stressful. Logically I know my choices are “tell them exactly what I want” or “get nothing/something totally off base” and “perfect surprise gift” is just not on tbe table. Obviously I’d rather something I like so I’m mostly at peace with that, but I definitely know that twinge of disappointment about it.

    • Lisa

      Others have given more timely advice on the gift so I’ll answer your last question!

      I took my birthday off one year (I had one day of PTO left, and I had to use it before the fiscal year ended the next day), and it was awesome. I got up late, went to a movie for lunch, and scheduled myself a massage for immediately afterwards. Then I went home and got ready to go out to dinner with the husband. It was lovely, relaxing, and perfectly low-key. If you’re alone, engage in some self-pampering you normally wouldn’t do with others around. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a long bath, go beer tasting, try that restaurant with the cuisine your partner doesn’t like, or see the movie you’ve been dying to watch!

      And happy birthday!! :)

  • quiet000001

    Anyone have practical tips for managing anxiety? I have a therapist but this is just a rough couple of weeks and I need all the tricks and tips I can get.

    • InTheBurbs

      Do you have a craft project to work on? It’s cheesy – but I find that knitting really helps me. I get really fidgety when I’m struggling and have found that having something I can do with my hands makes a difference.

      • nutbrownrose

        Also–cross stitching! It’s repetitive enough to do while listening to podcasts/watching stupid TV, but distracting enough to keep you from getting too focused on your jerk-brain-made anxiety thoughts. And also if you get really distracted you stab yourself. Oh, and pretty results, keeps my hands busy enough not to bite my nails, and travels super well.

    • Jess

      I’m sorry you’re having a rough couple of weeks.

      I listen to scary podcasts or watch scary movies when I’m feeling really acutely anxious – in the moment it helps me to attribute the physical symptoms as being from the thing, not from my emotions. It doesn’t get me to relax, necessarily, but it helps keep me from spiraling about how anxious I’m feeling.

      Otherwise, being physical helps me get through a full day – talking a walk around my building every hour or so, or playing with a stress ball constantly at my desk while I’m on phone calls.

      I also do Sudoku on my phone at work sometimes when I’m not able to concentrate on my job because of job-related anxiety. Just long enough until I get stuck on the puzzle, and by then the simple graphics and slow pace have calmed me down a bit. I don’t know if there’s a similar puzzle or game that would work for you?

      • Oh,scary things work well for me too, at least as a short term solution. A real big scare, heart racing, cold sweating, goosebumps, all the anxiety symptoms scare, seems to act as a reset button. It doesn’t necessarily last that long, but it’s good for pushing the anxiety away long enough to get to sleep at night.

    • lamarsh

      I run. My anxiety is usually stress-induced so YMMV, but nothing clears my head like a good run (or other type of exercise).

      • Mer

        I’m with you here. My favorite types of workouts are the ones where I can’t concentrate on anything except what I’m doing at that exact moment (like lifting heaving weights and doing gymnastics. Both have pretty terrible consequences for lapses in concentration). They help clear my head and get my mind on something totally different. Plus… I really like working out so my mood improves drastically, too.

    • Alli

      If I’m anxious at work I find doodling and writing out my thoughts freely onto scrap paper helps. Even just like “Ok what HAS to get done today? Such and such report. What are my steps? A, B, C. I’m going to do A and then go take a walk. Breathe breathe breathe breathe…” etc

      And then I throw it out at the end of the day and hope nobody sees it and thinks I’m a murderer.

    • jem

      Magnesium and exercise.

    • zana

      The Headspace app. 10 minutes of mediation everyday, when you get near to completing the free foundational course they give you a discount on a subscription, and then you can get lots of meditation sequences with different purposes.

      Whatever you do that makes you feel good. I like to sit in the sun at a pretty spot and read terrible fiction books. Maybe you like the smell of crayons and a coloring book is a good idea? Stay-in friends’ evening with bad movies? Practicing calligraphy?

    • What (kinda) works for me:

      1. Be REALLY vigilant about avoiding triggers — My worst ones are caffeine and social media. Real talk, if you haven’t tried taking a hiatus from Facebook/Twitter etc. I’d hiiiiiiiiighly recommend it.
      2. Long-form reading, because I can’t read and ruminate at the same time.
      3. Cleaning.
      4. Ramping up exercise, though I have to keep it low-cardio because getting my heart rate going doesn’t do the reset thing for me & usually makes things worse.
      5. B12, though based on talking to friends that one is a big YMMV.
      6. Getting enough out-doors time, though this one is tricky because if I’m by myself the ruminating gets going. But outdoor time with friends or another solid distraction really helps.

      Sorry you are having a rough couple weeks — Anxiety is terrible, hang in there!

  • Candice

    Hi APW! I’ve been a long time lurker – started reading the site before my wedding 3 years ago – but have never commented. I’m commmenting for the first time because I’m on my way to NYC to start talking wedding plans with my brother and his fiancée, and I’m hoping I can get a few suggestions from this resourceful group. They’re hoping to do something within an hour to an hour and a half of NYC. Hoping for something unique and fun but still somewhat classic. Anybody have suggestions of places to look at??

    • Alli

      Are you asking about venue ideas? You’ve got about half of NJ available to you, if I’m ignoring budget, there’s the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. Also I went to college near the Madison Hotel in Morristown, which is conveniently right next to a train station and you can have the reception in their greenhouse room which is GORGEOUS.

      • Amy March

        yeah this is a huge geographic zone!

      • Candice

        Yes, venues. Awesome thanks so much, I’ll check those out!

        • rebecca

          Friends of ours got married in a lodge at a wonderful state park in Beacon that was quite reasonable. Our solution to this problem was moving to Chicago haha but before that we were considering a food truck thing at The Green Building

      • Candice

        Omg that conservatory is stunning! Such a great idea, thank you.

        • Alli

          Conservatory! That’s the word! I can’t believe I called it a greenhouse room wow

          • Candice

            Haha I only knew because the website called it that.

    • Amy March

      Budget? Size?

      • Candice

        Just updated my original comment. I guess I’m hoping someone knows of some obscure place that wouldn’t be in a bridal magazine… optimistic I know :)

        • Amy March

          For 200 people within 1.5 hours of NYC, there aren’t really going to be diamonds in the rough out there for the most part.

          If they don’t have a budget I think that’d be a good first step. There are lots of great places and options but it isn’t on the whole a cheap part of the country, so understanding whether they can do $275 a head, $150, or $50 will be crucial.

          • Candice

            I totally agree! That’s what this weekend is for – to show them what things cost. They’re really not familiar with the costs associated with weddings at all. But yes, budget is top of the list!

    • Mer

      My friend got married at the The Willowwood Arboretum if they are interested in an outdoor, more rustic and green venue.

      • Candice

        So beautiful! This is exactly what I’m looking for, thank you.

  • Sarah

    I am pregnant with somewhere between 0 and 3 babies. Not sure which of those I want. It’s totally bizarre. Let me explain.

    We have a 1 year old at home, so we weren’t quite ready to start thinking about another one but about a month ago I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. OOPS. A couple weeks later we went for first ultrasound and they barely found a tiny, empty sac – most likely an early pregnancy failure but they can’t be sure. They told me what to expect as far as miscarriage, but otherwise come back in 2 weeks.

    I went back this past Monday and now there are two – possibly 3, hard to tell – bigger, but still empty sacs in there. Doctors still don’t know if any of them are viable. One or more of the sacs could just get re-absorbed. One or more could remain empty. One or more could be a viable pregnancy. And then even if one or more is viable, all kinds of shit could happen (just had a friend w/ a stillborn so we are on edge). So like, I have no idea in a year from now whether I will have 1, 2, 3, or 4 children. What in the WORLD???

    And I don’t even know what I WANT. Another child (or three) seems exhausting and overwhelming and expensive and we can’t begin to know how to plan but the idea of NOT getting any babies out of this now that it’s in my head is pretty disappointing too. It’s a mind-fuck for sure. I’m calling the sacs my “maybes” (maybe babies). Thank God I’m already in therapy.

    • Ashlah

      Oh wow. I hope you get some answers soon because that is way more Unknown than anyone should have to deal with! Best of luck to you with all of the potential outcomes.

      • Sarah

        I go back Mon June 19. Hopefully we’ll get some more information. I figure if the sacs are still empty by then it’s a no-go. But who the hell knows. Hard for docs to get images too b/c my uterus is tilted funny. It’s all a mess.

    • Laura C

      That’s mind-boggling. Good luck? Whatever that means in this situation.

      • Sarah

        mind-boggling for sure. I am trying not to board the runaway thoughts train but it is hard!

    • Lisa

      We’ll be thinking of you. That kind of uncertainty sounds beyond challenging. Sending hugs!

    • Jess

      Whoa, that’s a lot of uncertainty! Good luck and I hope you find peace when whatever happens happens.

    • ART

      I can’t even imagine that sense of uncertainty. I hope you are getting great support from your partner (and whoever else might know) and hope that whatever the news is, it brings you peace!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ohh, she didn’t have 3 of them, but I have a relative who had an empty sac pregnancy. She ended up having a miscarriage/noncarriage. Her next pregnancy was perfectly normal. I hope this ends in a way that feels less than sucky for you.

    • lady brett

      oh! that is so much. much love in whatever happens (and uncertainty is a special kind of awful, because it doesn’t feel like it *ought* to be awful, because, after all, nothing bad happened, and then you (i, ahem) feel really nuts). much love.

      • Sarah

        yeah that’s super annoying – if there are going to be no babies I will be sad even though it’s not a “loss” in the sense that there was nothing there to begin with. And I didn’t necessarily even WANT any. But when I was told I might have one, then I got the idea in my head and now it will feel like a loss. I am being careful not to plan or imagine either way but it’s still hard now that the idea is out there. My head will like “no babies? cool, back to life as usual except now you can have a sushi boat.” but my heart will be like “you said I could have ALLLLLL THE BABIES AT ONCE and now I get zero? Bullshit.”

  • pimpleface

    I’ve had acne since I hit puberty, and I’m pretty jaded and cynical about all attempts to cure it. I’ve been to so many dermatologists with no change, but I’m about to go to one more new doctor this week, and I’m afraid to hope for any improvement. I’m also afraid my emotional baggage around this issue will make me act like a crazy person at my appointment, and that I won’t be able to answer any questions about any changes in it because as far as I’m concerned it always looks terrible. For example, I will be telling the doctor I don’t think the acne is hormonal because I have about the same amount of breakouts at any time of the month, and when I was pregnant, and when I was nursing and not menstruating. Maybe I’m wrong about that and there have been variations in it, but I can’t notice those differences because every time I look at my face I just get too upset. So my first question is how to get through this appointment without crying or making the doctor give up on me because I’m too difficult, and how can I give treatment a fair chance.

    I’ve been going down a nasty rabbit hole of ugly thoughts lately, blaming my mom for not dealing with my acne and getting rid of it when I was younger. She didn’t do much–took me to one dermatologist and the Clinique counter. Also I remember she told the doctor she wasn’t comfortable with me going on birth control (either as a treatment or as a prerequisite for Accutane) basically because she was being prudish and thought I would start having sex. (At the time I was about 15-17 and had never had a boyfriend, because acne.) I don’t know what I wish she would have done, because if I knew what would cure my acne, I would have done it myself since leaving home. I know it’s silly to blame her when I’ve had plenty of time as an adult to deal with it, but by the time I was an adult I’d already accumulated all this emotional baggage concerning it, and was convinced there was no cure for me. And I know she was probably oversensitive to my feelings in a way, not wanting to make me feel worse about my acne by drawing attention to it and telling me how bad she thought it was. But I just think, if she’d paid more attention and seen how unhappy it made me, and how unhappy it was going to continue to make me until it went away forever, and if she’d loved me enough (and maybe gotten over her prudishness), she would have done more to spare me this. I haven’t talked to my mom about this and I don’t think there is a need to, it’s something I just need to get over on my own. Tell me I’m wrong to blame my mom and help me feel better about her inattention and lack of action on something that has been my worst source of insecurity about my appearance my whole life.

    • Yael

      Is there anyone you can take with you who is calming? Like a friend or sibling or partner? Sometimes having someone else there to pay attention and supportive helps keep me calm during difficult conversations, and they can ask the questions you’re too emotional to ask.

      Also, while it seems like a little thing, your mom did neglect you emotionally. It’s ok to be upset about that. We so often think about neglect as a physical thing, but emotional support is equally important to help us grown into healthy adults. I don’t think you’re wrong to blame your mom, and I don’t think you should feel like you have to get over it just because it was emotional. Talking to a therapist might help, if that’s not something you’ve done yet. But I also kind of worry that you chose to use “pimpleface” as your name here. I can see how it’s relevant to the post but, I wish that that wasn’t the identity you chose for yourself here, because I know there is more to you than that (as much as I know anything as a random person on the internet).

      Best of luck at the doctor’s. I hope they have good news for you.

      • Jane

        Having a friend with you at the doctor’s can be so great. If you’re comfortable having your friend know all your feelings and symptoms, I strongly second Yael’s rec.

    • Amy March

      For getting through the appointment, bring notes. They’ll probably ask some pretty standard questions. When did you first develop acne? What treatments have you tried, when did you try them, and what were the results? Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?

      And then just listen to what they say. I’d encourage you to keep an open mind, especially if it’s been a while since you saw a derm. There are new treatments out there. And don’t feel like you owe them an apology for not being a “perfect” patient- acne is emotional for lots of people. It certainly was for me.

    • Jess

      Acne is emotional as hell, especially as an adult. If you are the first one to cry at your dermatologist, I would be extremely surprised. So give yourself permission to cry if you need to cry.

      Amy March is right, create a list of your history on paper so you can easily ask questions even if you are upset, and be prepared to write down instructions they give you so you don’t forget them.

      If you think you may try to fight the dr. or just generally shut down emotionally, Yael has a great suggestion to ask a friend or non-judgy sibling to come along. The “Call Your Girlfriend” podcast had a lead-in discussion in a recent episode about bringing a friend to a doctor appointment and how incredibly affirming it was to have somebody clarify directions and generally be your advocate. Like, the friend actually stopped the doctor and said, “You need to explain that again in more detail because she did not get all of that!” It kind of made me want to bring a friend with me to every appointment now.

      Also?

      I don’t think you’re wrong to blame your mom a little bit. Both these statements can be true: “She was trying to not make me feel bad about my appearance” and “She didn’t do enough to help me when I was hurting.”

      You don’t have to lay that hurt aside if you don’t want to.

      If you do want to, there are moments I’ve found it very helpful to say to myself, “That thing you did, Mom? I forgive you for it. You may have thought it was necessary or that you were doing the right thing, but it really hurt me and continues to hurt me. I’m going to stop letting it hurt me now. I’m letting go of that thing and forgiving you.”

      (This is actually basically word for word a speech I have said many times, out loud, to an empty room. It helps, especially since my mom is not a person I can have Deep Truth conversations with.)

      • Yael

        Yes that speech to yourself. I say it a lot.

      • Lexipedia

        +1 to everyone – acne is shitty, especially as an adult. It’s a sucky emotional thing and for many people it happens at the exact same moment you’re becoming an awkward teenager in all the other ways. Then, when it lasts into adulthood, it makes me feel like I’m a grown-ass lady who shouldn’t be checking my concealer in the bathroom at work multiple times a day. I get why you’re angry at your mom, I’d probably feel the same way. Though I agree with Jess below – you can both recognize that anger as valid AND try and let yourself move forward at the same time. Sometimes just owning your feelings about that helps – even if it’s a conversation you never have with her.

        As for the doctor, write your history down. I wanted my derm to give me Accutane – after many years of trying everything else I wasn’t going to have a new doctor tell me that Retin-A/Differin/spiro was some sort of magic treatment for me because I tried them all already and they didn’t work. I clearly talked him through my experience in the past and asked whether he would let me try Accutane. It worked – it was six months of awful side effects but it worked. But I can bet that, if I hadn’t gone in with my paper list, I’d still be smearing unhelpful goo on my face every morning and night.

        Good luck, rooting for you, and let us know how your appointment goes.

        • rebecca

          This is all really excellent advice. Your feelings are super valid and I wish you wonderful luck with your derm. I also wanted to add that telemedicine might be really empowering here. With something like Curology, you don’t meet your Dr or PA irl, but I’ve found that I give better feedback posting pics and notes online whenever I notice something than when I go to a Dr’s office every 6-8 weeks and they’re super responsive. The regimen I’ve set up w/them is *way* more customized than anything I’ve had with a derm. I also find I’m much more confident speaking up and being like “No, I’ve tried that and my experience has been X” than when I’m face to face with a new dr. *Especially* if you feel like things are getting called hormonal that aren’t, keeping a picture log would probably be really good. Also since you don’t pay for an actual appointment, you can just drop them a note even when you’re considering silly things like switching moisturizers.

      • Eenie

        I feel like I’m a generation below the OP – my mom spent SOOO much money on dermatologists for her children with our acne skin because her parents never did, and she has scarring from it that will last a lifetime. I don’t have great skin now even as an adult, but I’ve finely found a routine that mostly controls it, and my scarring is minimal.

        Recommendation to the subreddit skincareaddiction – there’s a lot of people there who have been through the same thing.

        Seconding the note to bring a list of past medications (and time spent trying them). I suggest just asking if you’re a good candidate for acutane outright. It can have some bad side effects, but it may be a good treatment for you. Then you don’t have to spend a year trying other stuff and then going that route anyways in the end.

    • Angela’s Back

      no advice but so much sympathy and so many hugs from someone who had shitty skin for so so so long… you’re not wrong to blame your mum. My mum did the opposite and tried to take me to the dermatologist a bunch of times as a teenager and I would never let her, it made me upset when she would ask if I wanted to go because it meant that everyone else could really truly see how bad my skin was, I didn’t want to acknowledge the problem and I resented her for pointing it out. Eventually I did go to the derm (in college) and Accutane worked for me but man…. it was a long road filled with a lot of awful self esteem that I’m really only now as an adult starting to move past. I really hope you’re able to find a treatment that works, I’m rooting for you from my corner of the internet <3

  • Booknerd

    So the past month has been a lot to handle. We sold our condo, removed subjects on a house build contract, and in a week we are moving to live with my inlaws for 6 months while the house is being built. Oh and I got mono. I have never had so much to do and so little energy in my life. And I’m fairly new at a high pressure job and haven’t been able to take any sick time. Thank god my husband has finally started to pick up my slack after I had a little breakdown last week. Adulting…. just too much for me right now

    • Eenie

      When I had mono in college I had to drop two classes (down to 9 hours) and skipped three weeks of actual classwork because I couldn’t make the walk across campus. Please take care of yourself, and drink pedialyte if you aren’t already! It helps keep your electrolytes balanced without all the sugar of gatorade.

      • Booknerd

        I have managed to take a total of three hours off from work. I want to call in sick every day but that’s not an option. I feel like I’ll never get my energy back :(

  • Katherine

    Just popping in to say that my race last weekend went well and the weather was beautiful. Now I have to get through reading a mountain of cases so that I make sure I’m prepped enough for court to go hiking this weekend. Happy Friday, y’all!

  • MMC

    My husband and I are starting to seriously think about moving from the big city we live in now back “home,” and I’m overwhelmed thinking about job searching and house buying from a different state. Any tips from those who have done it?

    • emilyg25

      If it’s “home,” tap any network you have. Be sure to note in your cover letter that you’re relocating this summer (or in the fall).

    • Laur

      Job searching worked a lot better for me when I was in the new city…that’s not really advice but I guess just a reminder for if long distance searching gets tough. Also I’d definitely recommend doing a short term (or year long) lease/apartment in the new city while you look for a house. More total times moving but way less pressure!

  • MC

    I have been talking a lot on here about struggles with confidence in my job search.
    Well, I had my very first interview (over skype, no less) this morning and I absolutely CRUSHED IT. I can tell they loved me, and what’s more the job is actually WAY better than I thought based on the description. This could be an excellent next step for me professionally and I am thrilled.
    What a way to kick off the weekend! Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go listen to Taylor Swift on Spotify until I die.

  • Kaitlyn

    We had been house-hunting and then abruptly decided to resign our lease for another year haha I realized that every house we’ve seen requires some sort of work. We’re not opposed to work, but by the time we sell, close, and then start renos, we’re going to be 6 months from the wedding and have a lot to do on that front. I was also worried about all our extra money being tied up in the wedding and realized I don’t want to move any farther from Boston than I already do (we’re in a city right outside it). J told me he didn’t necessarily want to stay, but he didn’t want to move this year either. I found it really surprising how quickly he was like, “let’s stay!” since it was originally his idea to buy. But wherever we would move would have a worse commute for him (and more expensive for me), so I think that was a factor. And all honesty, it feels like such a relief that we’re staying. We also have something to look forward to and work on next year when I’m all out of PTO in April hahaha

    • Jess

      When we renewed our lease this spring after our wedding I felt immediate relief of knowing I wouldn’t have a major life project for a full year, when I was refreshed enough from wedding-ing to start looking.

      Congrats on staying!

    • Her Lindsayship

      For some reason we bought a place when we were about eight months out from the wedding and I can confirm that it is a ridiculous life choice. A lot of the things we wanted to do to the condo have just been pushed off for “maybe next year” but there was some stuff we couldn’t push, and boy, we’re lucky we have savings. Between that and the wedding it feels like we’re just burning through all the money we’ve ever seen! Good for you guys – give yourselves the space to do the wedding work and then the house stuff will be so much more enjoyable when you’re not scrambling to make it all happen at once!

    • I’ve posted this before on HH, but I’ve found it encouraging in my decision to keep renting close to my work. But in my case, buying near my work might not ever be a possibility, but I’m coming around to think about the positives of renting “forever” and how it’s freeing in that I can always adjust my living circumstances to match my financial abilities pretty easily (should I want/need to), particularly if I should need to downsize should something negative happen. Anyhow, here’s the link in case anyone’s interested:
      http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

  • Yael

    I really just want to vent a little about the overconfidence of mediocre white men. I was looking around for relevant papers to cite for my dissertation and came across an author who is exactly the kind of person I want to be when I grow up (his work is super interesting). On closer inspection, I realized that he graduated (from undergrad) a year after me, and went directly into the kind of positions that I am only just able to hold, despite working in the field for 7 years (and work experience outside of the field as well). And then, he job hopped after one year, went to another job I would have loved to have held, and then went straight into MA->PhD and now he’s well-regarded and a rising star. And I have the same number of publications without the PhD! And I’m sure he’s not actually a mediocre person (I know he’s not, having read his work and seen his CV) but I also don’t get the sense that he’s any more talented than I am, he’s just a guy. And for some reason this week I just can’t let it go. There was a thread a week or so ago about imposter syndrome and the patriarchy and this is just that all over again. I worked so hard to get where I am, and he got there in way less time, and part of me knows it’s because I’m a woman and part of me thinks, what is wrong with me?

    • Amanda

      Ugh. I was just promoted at the same time as two men, chosen from 19 interviewees. One of them actually said, “I think they knew they would promote us two (men). It was the third position they had to think about.” Now, guess who’s rocking it and who is confused that he doesn’t know stuff that was in emails or said in meetings?? To top it off, I have a suspicion this guy negotiated a higher salary than mine.

      Eff the patriarchy.

      • Yael

        Ugh. Been there. And the best part is the mansplaining.

  • JRL

    My very first post in APW Happy Hour! I’ve been a lurker here for a while since we started talking about weddings, I realized they cost a billion dollars, and went down a panic induced dark hole about the wedding industry that resulted in finding the brilliant light that is APW. On Monday, completely unexpected and in the middle of the most amazing vacation we got engaged!

    • Em

      Congrats!!! And welcome :) :)

    • Yael

      Welcome!

  • AGCourtney

    Awww, preschool graduation! <3 Tiny mortarboard hats are the best. I've gotta dig up a picture of my daughter in one.

    Hi, everyone! I'm a bit late; we spent the day at the zoo. At one point, I told my daughter that I was missing my Friday thing, and her eyes widened and she said, "We can go!" xD<3 Ah, bless her.

    Rehearsals are going well for me – even the dance ones. :) A theater in St. Paul is casting girls for Annie; my daughter is trying out at the end of the month. She knows she probably won't get in, but it'll be a fun experience! I don't think I've mentioned – she's learned to read in the last month and that has been an incredibly exciting and rewarding development.

    We found out about the assistant manager position at my husband's store. No one got it. The district manager changed his mind about the store needing one. All that for nothing, haha.

    Our daughter "earned" her AG doll yesterday and was ecstatic to see we already had Molly ready (she thought we'd have to find one to buy) and all the other things I got at that sale, including beds and a wardrobe. So Molly came with us to the zoo today. :)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c4e7850b9591fe3daf8246773a2f17eaf18c1c3bceb199c067c272beb18ba66.jpg

    • lady brett

      that is so sweet of your daughter. and speaking of sweet, that hat!

    • E.

      Teacher here- kids learning to read is the most magical thing I have ever experienced and I don’t think it will ever get old! That is SO exciting. Enjoy!

    • CMT

      They’re matching! In zebra print! At the zoo! Too cute!

  • GCDC

    Hi everyone, I’m a long-time lurker and only occasional poster but I’m hoping you all can give me some much needed advice or a reality check.

    Husband and I both work outside the home full-time. I work slightly longer hours, but his commute is a little longer, so the time we spend outside the home most days is relatively even. Husband was out of town all week for work, and it made me realize how much of the daily caretaking load lands on my shoulders. Division of labor has been an ongoing conversation since we first moved in together ten years ago. While it’s never been perfect, it got a lot better. But since we had our kiddo two years ago, I feel like the division of labor has slowly crept back to being really, really lopsided. Seriously, my daily life was almost easier while Husband was away this week. The only thing that was added to my daily “must get done to be healthy and survive” list was to walk the dog, and I do that approximately one day a week anyway because my husband sleeps in and doesn’t want to be late for work. (I also usually go running in the mornings before everyone else is awake and didn’t get to do that this week which may be contributing to my bad mood). So here are my two, somewhat contradictory questions:

    1) How do we readjust the unequal division of labor? We have had countless conversations about how this division of labor is unfair. He’s read the articles and cartoons, acknowledges that he needs to do more and he talks the talk so hard. But when it comes down to it, he just doesn’t do the work. He’ll pass by the dishes that need to be loaded in the dishwasher unless I point them out to him. He’ll feed the kiddo, put her to bed and bathe her, but only if I ask him to or tell him it’s his turn. So yeah, we could make a chore chart/list/app, but I have a feeling that I would be the one creating and policing it, which just seems like it would add to my emotional labor load.

    2) Is it going to be okay if this never changes? Honestly, I feel okay with my daily work load in that I can get everything done and it is not overwhelming. I usually have an hour or so to relax in the evening before bed. I have hobbies that I participate in on a regular basis. I’m not breaking down or overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I need to do on a regular basis. I travel for work and for fun without my husband or kid a few times a year. I am the kind of person who can’t relax/just feels better when my internal checklist is wiped clean, so part of this is a personality thing. And part of me is afraid to give up all the time I spend cooking for and feeding my daughter, bathing her and putting her to bed because that’s the bulk of the quality time I get with her. I think I could accept the division of labor we have currently, but I am overwhelmingly worried about the example we are setting for our kid. I don’t want her growing up thinking that it’s normal that mommies are in charge of feeding/cleaning/organizing and daddies are off the hook.

    Blah, I guess I don’t even know what I want. Any advice, thoughts or comments would be helpful at this point.

    • penguin

      Couples counseling? To me it would be OK if you both decided that you take on this work, because he is doing some other XYZ. But you’re having the conversations, he is agreeing, and then he’s just not doing his part. This is important to you, so it should be important to him.

    • Eenie

      Make lists and add time amounts to the list (per day or per week). It seems like you’ve talked in abstract about the division of labor, but you need to talk specifics. Put your mental list on paper and have your husband do the same thing. I would also suggest including a list of what you think your husband does and vice versa. Then, compare lists and decide together where you make changes. That may mean you have to leave some stuff undone, but it also means your husband knows how exactly he needs to change what he’s doing.

      • Hannah

        This is similar to the extensive chore chart that Tiffany Dufu recommends in her book Drop the Ball… this is the third happy hour in a row that I’ve recommended it, sort of embarrassingly, but it reframed my whole thinking on exactly this issue! GCDC, I highly, highly recommend it.

        • Thanks for mentioning it again; I am adding this to my list! I missed the other mentions. (I think I have missed the last two happy hours because of a busy work schedule…)

      • I did a through spreadsheet with tasks and how much time they all take and that helped with our division of labor, so that in theory it is even. But I tend to actually do my assigned chores more frequently (and come closer to the ideal of the spreadsheet), but recently life has been busy and I’ve been slacking too, so our system still needs work. Perhaps a summer revamp and another discussion. But that Excel sheet was informative and really useful in being objective about how much we are both doing (theoretically) with our particular chores. Also, for us, two of the biggest ones (time-wise) are laundry and cooking, and I do laundry and he does cooking, so that helps a ton in evening out the biggest things. It’s just the rest that becomes off balanced….

    • honeycomehome

      What is he doing when you are cooking or doing childcare? My husband and I generally don’t have this issue, and part of it is a mutual tolerance for mess, but part of it is that we rarely split up the list, and chores are “together” activities. If cleaning needs to happen, we agree on a time set aside to do it. So if I’m vacuuming and dusting, he is cleaning the bathroom. If I am in doing a deep scrub of the kitchen, he is picking up clutter in the living room.

      Our first kid is due in the fall, so I don’t know how this will need to be adjusted. But I will not be doing the work of putting the kid to bed while he is watching TV. We cook together, so maybe instead of washing up together that’ll be time we split off: one on bedtime, one on kitchen.

      My gut reaction is that you need to stop letting him off the hook. Have a frank conversation and say, “When I’m doing X bit of housework, how can you contribute?” If your schedules are the same, you’re home and have the same hours, it should be easy enough for you to literally put in the same time towards household management.

      • lady brett

        so much of this. equal downtime is far more important to me than equal chore lists or whatever.

      • Amy March

        Yes this. If you’re getting great quality time cooking and feeding and bathing when is his quality time? Would focusing on that aspect help clarify what kind of equality you are looking for?

    • Something that works well in our house is thanking each other for the chores done. It’s positive reinforcement, it makes you feel appreciated, and it makes the chores more visible. Even if you’re okay with the division of labour, it makes you much more aware of what has and hasn’t been done so if, like both of us, you’re inclined to not see dirty mugs or dusty shelves or recycling that should have been taken out, you start to notice it because you know it’s a thank you that’s yet to be said. Plus, it’ll make the kids conscious that households don’t clean themselves (and make them see chores as a way of earning parental gratitude rather than a punishment).

      • Jess

        We do this too. I never thought about the aspect of bringing it to kids attention before, but you’re so right!

    • GCDC

      Thank you everyone for the comments. They were helpful. We had a big discussion this weekend – probably one of many on this topic. One thing that helped was to keep in mind that he’s NOT just watching tv or relaxing while I’m working. Usually he’s doing other tasks that don’t seem that essential to me. But as he pointed out, just because I don’t think they are essential doesn’t mean he views them the same way. I’m going to try to shift my mind set from a fair division of tasks accomplished to a fair division of time spent doing things for the family, and we’re going to keep talking about what things need to be done and who needs to be doing them. It’s a work in progress, but we’re working on it.

  • Hung parliament! So nice to wake up at five am, unable to go back to sleep because of what ifs, and it not be the worst case scenario! We have a govt that can hold the Tories to account! Unless they take us back to the polls in two weeks time, because apparently they built that in last time no one got a majority. Really dislike them teaming up with the DUP (though so do most of their MPs – they actually did well in scotland thanks to Ruth Davidson and she is furious about cosying up to people who think she doesn’t deserve human rights) but it’ll be interesting to see if Sinn Fein respond. There is no Northern Irish assembly at moment, which also makes the DUP thing super awkward, and there’s a sense that Sinn Fein might actually take their seats at Westminster because they can’t combat the DUP in their own parliament.

    We are generating so much coursework for future politics students right now. Everyone is going to hate studying early twenty first century history.

    (also we still haven’t done anything about the drains, and we spent election night turfing out slugs again)

    • Also props to Mr Fishfinger, Lord Buckethead and Elmo!

  • NotMotherTheresa

    Random thought: Talk of a pre-school graduation has me feeling a bit deprived.

    For millennials to supposedly be the generation of participation trophies, my city apparently DID NOT GET THE MEMO! I never got a pre-school graduation. I never got a kindergarten graduation. I never got a sixth grade graduation. I never got a single trophy of any kind, much less one that I didn’t have to earn. I…think one year I got a piece of paper that said ‘Camper of the Day’ on it at tennis camp? But like, even that, I sort of had to earn, since there were way more campers than days of tennis camp.

    I don’t know. There’s really no point to this post at all. I just kind of want to get to walk in a pre-school graduation now. You know, collect my sheepskin 27 years after the fact and all.

    • I’m an older millennial and I never got a preschool or kindergarten graduation. I did get a 5th grade & 8th grade graduation, but no cap and gown until high school. So you’re not alone.

    • Ilora

      Yep, 27 here and I worked my butt off for the handful of trophies I earned. I never had a preschool/Kindergarten/gradeschool graduation. In fact, I even skipped my highschool one due to an out of town job. I don’t necessarily want any of those but if there’s going to be all of this condescension towards me about it anyway….

    • We don’t even have high school graduation in the UK, though a few schools have tried to bring something graduation-esque into being for end of GCSEs (and I guess end of A Levels/apprenticeships now education is compulsory to 18?). It doesn’t mesh with our education system, though – once you’ve done your exams you’re basically free and only go back to get your results.

  • Pingback: Happy Hour | Wedding Adviser()

  • suchbrightlights

    Does anyone have a word or two to spare on the subject of registries?

    My fiance and I have been together for several years and own our own home. We are fortunate in that we have practically everything we could want, including a lot of the things that seem to be traditional registry items- for instance, both of my late grandmothers enjoyed entertaining and had substantial china and serveware collections, some of which was left to me. My mother was pretty emphatic on the subject of registering for physical items because “people will want to give you something they can wrap,” and a) I trust that my mother knows her people and b) when thinking of wedding gifts for friends, I also like to give people something I can wrap. So, mindful of the post about registries being like a modern-day barn raising (and thank goodness for that post,) we set up a registry with the idea that we would register for a few things that would probably be upgrades for us but that we would use regularly and appreciate, or that we would use to entertain or provide hospitality.

    I am not really a “things” person and it’s really unsettling to me that I have so far been able to come up with as many items in those categories as I have. And on the flip side, as someone who likes to give people something they can wrap, I also know that the 32 items on the list (including individual spatulas) are “not enough” for a “traditional registry” for 100-odd people And then I circle back to a “traditional registry” not being a thing I think we need because see above where we are lucky to have so many of the things we could want.

    Did anyone else feel this conflict and what did you do to sit with it? At a certain point I’d like to say “Honestly Great-Aunt Roberta, we are saving up to buy a sliding glass door that has a built-in cat door so that the cat can get out on the porch whenever he wants*, so a Home Depot gift card would be deeply appreciated.” But if Great-Aunt Roberta is also a “wrapping gifts” person, that doesn’t help Great-Aunt Roberta.

    *this is a thing! I was so excited when I found out!

    • Amy March

      Sounds like you are doing just fine. You don’t want many things, so you have a small registry. People who are really firmly committed to boxes and bows can jump on the registry asap or they might well buy you a gift off your registry. Other people can give you cash, and if people ask you what gift you would like it’s perfectly fine to say you’re saving up for some home improvement projects.

      • suchbrightlights

        Thanks to you and Emmers. Some days I just need to be kicked in the butt and told YOU ARE OVERTHINKING THIS.

    • emmers

      Seconding Amy March. A small registry to me says, politely, “cash is cool but here are a few things if you really want something physical.” Here’s to hoping you get your sliding glass cat door! 🐱

    • zana

      Great Aunt Roberta might also just look at your registry for inspiration. ie, even if all the silverware sets are completed, she might go off and buy the matching serverware set. It’s not a bad idea to have some items so people have a little taste-inspiration.

      Alternatively, there’s smaller item things, like a gift card for a wedding photo album, that you don’t have [yet] and could conceivably be given as a single gift.

      As another option, online registries like Zola let you have ‘group gifts’ where people can basically contribute any amount of $$ to cash funds. So, you might label ‘sliding glass cat door’ as a group gift, and people can contribute however much they feel like contributing toward that item. It is in the end essentially just cash, though, so be aware of the etiquette issues around cash/honeymoon registries (know.your.people).