APW Happy Hour


Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

by Kate Levy, Marketing Manager

APW + Crate and Barrel + Lo-Fi Aperitifs three cocktails with fruit and flower garnishes

Hey APW!

This week for Happy Hour we are keeping the Pride/4th of July/summer vibes going by bringing you actual HAPPY HOUR! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Crate and Barrel and Lo-Fi Aperitifs to hook you up with some killer cocktails that are perfect for summer sippin’. (Sadly we can’t hand deliver these delicious, refreshing beverages directly to each of you. Trust, if we could get a drone army to drop these beauties off, we would!)

As a cocktail lover, when I make drinks at home I often get deterred by the gorgeous but complicated recipes that require a lot of booze or specific glassware I won’t ever use again. So Lo-Fi created great recipes that you’ll have whipped up in a snap with easy garnishes (hellooo edible flowers!) and gorgeous Crate and Barrel glassware that you’ll get tons of use out of.

Be sure to RSVP for one of Crate and Barrel’s monthly Private Registry Events, where you can mingle with registry experts, get hands-on experience with their fave items, and receive a goodie bag!

Check out these easy Instagram-worthy cocktails below! Download our handy PDF with recipes and batching instructions here.

BEE SMOKER

APW + Crate and Barrel + Lo-Fi Aperitifs: The Bee Smoker

The Bee Smoker is a smoky take on the classic cocktail The Bee’s Knees, made with so-hot-right-now (and generally yum!) mezcal and vermouth. This smoky, tart-sweet drink is easy, delicious, and spirit-forward enough to please most crowds—but impressive, too. (Callaway Coupe | Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth)

18th Street Cobbler

APW + Crate and Barrel + Lo-Fi Aperitifs: 18th Street Cobbler

This seasonal sipper is perfect for summer, with its relatively low alcohol content and refreshing flavors. Plus, it’s easy to make for a crowd and quite pretty! (Tour Punch Cup | Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth)

Valencia Spritz

APW + Crate and Barrel + Lo-Fi Aperitifs: Valencia Spritz

The Valencia Spritz is an easy, delicious, low-alcohol sipper that is refreshing on hot summer days, but seasonal in winter, too. Its rich hue and balanced flavors make it perfect for a party, a cocktail hour, or just… a nice Tuesday. (Camille Red Wine Glass | Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro)

Share your cocktail creations on Instagram and be sure to tag us! Don’t forget to download the APW x Lo-Fi Drink Recipes and with that, CHEERS it’s your Happy Hour!

XO,

KATE


The Info:

Photography: Maddie Eisenhart for APW | Cocktails: Dana Eastman for Lo-Fi

Kate Levy

Kate is APW’s Marketing Manager. This Bay Area native built her own business as a wedding hair and makeup artist, before shifting gears to work in marketing. She’s an avid iPhone photographer, loves all forms of social media (especially Instagram, #katesskylog), and makes a really mean chocolate chip cookie. Kate is a collector of spoons, enamel pins, and reusable bags she never actually brings to the store. When not getting sucked into the ASOS app or an Instagram hashtag blackhole, Kate can be found hanging on the Peninsula with her wife, 3 cats and 2 dogs.

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • penguin

    Engagement photos last weekend went great! We are still waiting on the full spread, but the sneak peek photos we’ve seen so far have been wonderful. We didn’t feel awkward, and even though it started POURING rain, we had a blast. Favorite moment – right at the end of the session, our photographer asked if we wanted to go dance in the rain. We were already soaked, so we ran down this wooden boardwalk, and my fiancé starts twirling me around. I’m happy that we hired her as our wedding photographer and can’t WAIT to see the rest of the photos.

    • Jessica

      That sounds so cute!!

    • jem

      Omg that sounds SO DREAMY

    • Lexipedia

      Can you pleeeease share a rain picture when you get them back?

      • penguin

        I actually have some! Will post on a separate anon post for temporary pics :) I’m also at work so it might be a minute lol.

      • penguin

        Ugh I can’t figure out how to post pics while not showing my username and profile pic. Help me Disqus!

        • Lisa

          Maybe create an anon account with a google alias if it won’t let you post pictures as a guest?

          • penguin

            Yeah it says I have to be logged in to post pictures. I’ll do this, thanks!

        • emmers

          Open an incognito window in Chrome (or the browser of your choice) :) ETA, also what Lisa said!

    • Ashlah

      Aah, your photos are going to be AMAZING. I was a little disappointed when it didn’t rain during ours.

      • Anna

        I have Transitions lenses in my glasses, which I usually love (don’t have to worry about sunglasses unless I’m spending a lot of time in REALLY bright sunlight), but it made getting good outdoor engagement photos difficult on the very sunny day we were doing ours :-)

        • AGCourtney

          Haha, my husband has those as well and you can’t see his eyes in most of our first look shots.

          • Anna

            Yeah, another reason I’m glad our actual wedding was entirely indoors.

    • BSM

      Awww, sounds magical!

    • Zomg, that sounds so rad!! A++ to dancing in the rain!

    • theteenygirl

      Just saw the pictures… WOW!!!

  • Jessica

    Thanks to everyone who joined the Rage Squad on my behalf last week in light of my terrible, soon-to-be-ex-husband’s loathable actions. I really appreciated reading everyone’s messages of support and love and rage!

    I want to write about what I’m feeling, but it changes very frequently. I’m not sure how to start, so if there are questions you have, shoot!

    Also, meeting with the lawyer this afternoon, so I won’t be able to stick around for conversations. Happy weekend friends!

    • Lisa

      Oh, my goodness! I must have missed what happened last week, but I hope you’re doing well and taking care of yourself. You have been so strong through this whole ordeal.

      • Jessica

        TL:DR version: his mistress contacted me and told me that they’ve been having an 18 month affair, even during his mental breakdown. He basically had a secret family for a year and a half.

        • Lisa

          WHAT?!?!?!?!!?!?!

          Oh, helllllllllllllllllll no.

          Good on you for prioritizing yourself. You don’t need him or his ridiculous baggage.

        • Laura C

          I missed that, too, so let me belatedly join the Rage Squad. I’m glad you seem to be doing ok relatively speaking.

          • Eenie

            Thirding! Internet hugs and internet rage on behalf of @Jessica.

        • Lisa

          What. The. Actual. Fuck. Just combed through last week’s HH to find the thread, and I have to reiterate my “helllllllllllllllllll no” and add in a large heaping of rage.

        • MC

          Yeah FUCK that shit. I also missed last week’s update and WOW. Good riddance to him.

        • AmandaBee

          Fuuuuuck that shit. Fuck it all.

        • Wutttttttt

    • idkmybffjill

      Just caught up on what happened last week and freshly raging for you. I am so impressed by you, man. I was hella impressed when you were supporting him through his mental illness, and I’m impressed with you standing up for yourself now that it’s all come to light. You’re awesome. Hope your meeting goes well and makes you feel empowered.

      • Jessica

        One of the most empowering things is that this asshole will not have a friend in the world after word spreads. Our friends, our community (I work for a nonprofit 3 blocks from our house and know half the neighborhood), everyone is on my side and is offering me everything they can. Like, I was just offered a free brand new king-sized mattress from someone, and a big landowner in the area offered to buy the house and let me rent for a while.

        That piece of trash only has his family, almost all of whom have reached out to me and said some version of “we’re going to miss you, he was wrong, but you know, he’s blood so we have to help him.”

        • Lexipedia

          Good for you for sharing this and not covering for him – I’ve done that before and definitely regretted it. You’ve got the world (and the interwebs) on your side!

        • idkmybffjill

          It’s a pretty vindicating feeling to know you’re unequivocally in the right and everyone else knows it. Glad you’re embracing it – I think your life is gonna feel SO MUCH BETTER without him in it.

        • BSM

          Girl, let me know if you need some new pillows or sheets or whatever to go with your new mattress that is ALL YOURS. I have bedding industry connections (lol), and, if anyone deserves to luxuriate in a cloud of comfort, it is YOU.

          • Jessica

            Unfortunately I would not be able to fit a king sized mattress in my room and still shut the door (dammit!) I literally ordered new sheets and a duvet cover yesterday, then was offered the bed, then the sheets I ordered from West Elm went on sale today.

            Bedding industry connections, eh??

          • BSM

            Yes! Seriously, lmk on the pillows!

            Also, yay new bedding!

          • Jessica

            email me! jm.buchberger [at] gmail.com

          • Hannah

            I’ve been following your story as well, but don’t really comment much and I must say, you’ve been an inspiration. Not only in your willingness to share your story with a bunch of internet strangers, but also in your capacity to be loving and compassionate. I hope you can remember these strengths in moments of self-doubt. Also, mattresses are so effing expensive! I bought one from these people a couple years ago and it’s been fab. Pretty cost effective (as far as mattresses are concerned?), delivered to your door, heavy, but manageable https://www.brooklynbedding.com/product/best-mattress-ever/

            Good luck! We’re all pulling for you.

          • nutbrownrose

            If the sheets just went on sale you obviously need more than one set. I mean, laundry is HARD, so when one set’s in the hamper obviously you need another set on the bed.

          • Yael

            I wish I could up vote this more.

          • LOR

            After a break up and my boyfriend of 5 years moved out, I went to TJ Maxx and bought new sheets, new comforter and then went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought new towels and shower curtain. I don’t even like girly stuff but I made sure all the new stuff was. It was a great feeling.

          • Jessica

            That’s what I’m doing! So much pink!

          • Jan

            I did the same thing in the midst of my divorce proceedings. New life new bedding. It was very cathartic!

          • Yes, I bought new (white) bedding the day I signed my divorce papers. And I put it on my bed (not the marriage bed) the day my ex FINALLY moved his stuff (and bed) out. New start.

        • Gaby

          I have an ex who never appreciated me and broke up with me like 3 times before I finally got a hold of myself. It’s been 7 years and I still get people sometimes telling me that he still has feelings for me and regrets the break up and I’m petty and always think to myself “AS HE FUCKIN SHOULD” hahaha. A little vindication is good for the soul.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Fucking good.

    • InTheBurbs

      Thought about you all week – glad you have the meeting today!

    • Violet

      I’m fairly certain it’s gonna be a roller coaster of emotions for a while. Buckle up, and we’re here cheering for you. Let us know how the lawyer meeting goes.

    • Jane

      Good luck!!

    • jem

      Oh girl, this sucks. Sending you strength & love, tho sounds like you have both in spades already ❤️

    • sofar

      Need any more rage?? I just hunted down your thread from last week and I got some RAGE for you.

      I have a friend whose ex-fiance had a secret, out-of-state relationship that he managed to hide by taking “business trips.” For a year. My friend had a rough couple years, but a few months back, she told me she’d had a “nightmare” that night that she was still with her ex. And she woke up crying with relief that she wasn’t with him anymore (and felt full of pity for his mistress-now-wife), and that’s how she knew she’d finally recovered. Glad to hear you are already in the relief stage.

      And I hope your soon-to-be-ex-husband is enjoying the well-deserved consequences of his actions. And I hope the child he has with his mistress gets good access to therapy and has other people in his/her life to counterbalance the absolute batshitness of his/her parents (don’t want to jump on the mistress if she didn’t know about you, but if she did indeed enter this arrangement knowing about you, that says a lot about her emotional health).

      • Jessica

        She knew about me. The whole time, she knew about me.

        Also, when my brother was supervising his packing while leaving the guest house, ex-Husband said she got an abortion.

        • sofar

          She knew about you. Damn. I don’t get how people like this can ever be happy. And maybe they don’t get to be happy, and they kind of deserve that.

        • Gaby

          Ugh, that’s what I’ve been mulling over the most. She had to have known about you, and if she knew about you she also had to know how much WORK you were putting into the relationship. It’s one thing that he is an asshole and is getting what he deserves, but how can there be two adults that were okay with this terrible behavior?!? HOW!

      • ART

        I…still occasionally have dreams about my ex that was a big cheater, but they are no longer the “trying really hard to punch him but not inflicting any pain/punching through molasses” variety. Around my wedding (4 years after I’d broken up with him), I had a bunch of dreams that I was marrying/married to my ex, and I was SO sad because I was like “I just want to marry [husband]!” Now once in a great while I have some weird dream where he’s a character, but I’m not really mad or sad about anything in them, so that’s a relief.

        • Nat

          I had those exact same dreams about shitty ex when I was about to get married to awesome husband! A friend of mine said she did as well right before her wedding. Weird! Didn’t realize it was so common

    • somanypseudonyms

      good luck! and — I suspect you already know this, having lurked and read a lot of your posts from the past, but — just in case, remember that it’s okay and normal that your feelings are changing frequently. feelings gonna feeling no matter what.

      <3

    • Oy Vey

      I missed last week’s Happy Hour, but just looked through and WOW!

      I’m so impressed with how immediately and decisively you threw him out and took action (I’m a thinker and plotter and wish I could have that moxie) and know that you deserve better.

      I hope you can be kind to yourself through this crazy time.

      After I broke up with my ex, my hindsight became so clear that I spent a lot of time thinking, “I can’t believe I didn’t see the signs of X problem sooner. I was such an idiot!” If you do find yourself going there, try to stop – it’s hard to see the mass of the forest when you’re pinned beneath a tree. And he was the idiot, not you. Also, if you can recognize the signs now, from a distance, you might be able to stop from making this a pattern in the future.

      Lots of rage on your behalf and lots of love to you.

      • Oy Vey

        That second to last sentence was my clumsy way of trying to turn a cloud into a silver lining by the way. :)

      • toomanybooks

        Yesssss. Hindsight is everything, isn’t it? I feel like with my Bad Ex it was less “why didn’t I leave sooner, what a fool” (although there was that) and more just gradually realizing more and more how bad she was. Like, “hang on, remember THAT? That was awful!” “Wait — she hit me!!! Why didn’t I just stop seeing her and walk out right then??”

        • Jessica

          Unfortunately I did give him another chance after he was violent towards me. Fortunately, this came out a couple weeks later. But seriously, it’s fucked up how your mind can run circles around your brain on rationalizing terrible behavior.

          • Yes, we tend to interpret things through our own lens and the way we see the world. I had to learn that there are others who don’t see things (love, relationships) in the same way… It was stunning for me to see how quickly some people can disengage from spousal relationships without warning (and find replacements).

          • hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

            Collect 150 bucks /per day in time of your choice by performing work with this program I run into via the internet… Look it over, and start out on receiving profit from this moment!>>> http://smarturl.co/EAZNQgR

    • Transnonymous

      I just caught up after being swamped last week. Count me in for the Rage Squad. Hope everything goes well with your attorney!

    • toomanybooks

      Oh my gosh, I just caught up on the post from last week also, and, wow. May I just say… I’m outside the situation so I feel like this is going to be too personal and I have no right etc. But when you were posting about your husband in previous comments, I’d just think… wow. He does not deserve her. She’s being way too good to him and she doesn’t deserve this. To care for him and his mental health after he cheated? I was reading it, newly married (or almost married) wondering if this was what marriage was. just getting… a vibe that this guy wasn’t doing right by you.

      What I’m trying to say is, seeing your updates makes me so relieved. I’m so glad you’re done with that. And so happy for you that someone gave you a king sized mattress?? That’s amazing!!! All the space you could want! So much room for pillows!!!

      • Jessica

        I appreciate that! There is a lot of give in marriage–it’s not just the matter of deciding to split and taking equal amounts of stuff. My neighbor made the comment that if she was dating her husband there would be no leeway, but now they’ve been married for 25 years, there would be effort to save the marriage given the foundation there already was.

        9 months to save a 4 year marriage seems like enough.

        • I think that’s plenty. I’d argue that you would have been fine giving it zero time after cheating, but I totally understand why you tried to work it out. I might have done the same thing if I had had that option (with a marriage of 3.75 years)… (But now I am so thankful that I didn’t have that possibility because it took me a long while before my “love goggles” came off and I could see things more clearly.)

    • I’m still available for a ragey drive-by or some commiseration sangria if you need it! Sending you good vibes & loads of love :-)

      • AGCourtney

        Likewise!

      • Jessica

        Let’s do a real Minneapolis HH in August!

        • YASSSSSSSSSSS! Let me know what’s best for you and I’ll help spread the word here.

          • Jessica

            Every Friday in August and the first two Fridays in September would work!

          • Eenie

            I read that and thought, “Man that’s a lot of happy hours!”

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Challenge accepted.

          • AGCourtney

            For me, preferably not August 11th – other than that, any of those would work for me!

    • ssha

      You are very brave and I’m so glad you’re getting all the support that you are!

    • Jan

      This is my first happy hour so I had to go back and read up on what happened. I’m so sorry. I was in very similar shoes about six years ago, and I promisepromisepromise it DOES get better. I’m so glad you have people around you who are looking out for you and supporting you.

      ALSO: WHAT AN INCONCEIVABLE DICK. Good for you on being so decisive. I wasn’t, and it just kept happening over and over and over. Shut. It. Down.

  • Alli

    Wedding is just over a week away! So naturally, all of my “let’s just be a chill bride” mantras have gone out the window. I had a meltdown in the middle of Michael’s over pens and favor tags. I went to use the kitchenaid ice cream attachment that we got from our registry and turns out it doesn’t fit our mixer! Cue me and FH sobbing together on the floor of our kitchen. I’ve been throwing temper tantrums because we have a car in the shop and it’s taking way longer than originally promised. This is not a good look for me. But hey, I’m stressed! I’m trying to not be but I’m also done with pushing it down and being a chill bride!

    Also: While FH’s extended family is in town, FH has been tasked with convincing his younger cousin to not drop out of college to become a rapper. Seriously.

    • Lexipedia

      Screw the “chill bride” thing, you’re one week out and totally deserve to feel your feels. Good luck in your last week!

    • Emily

      1) I also tried to fake “Chill Bride” which led to me having a panic attack/meltdown the night before my wedding. Some people are not meant to be chill; it’s ok!
      2) I would like to hear the conversation that ends with Younger Cousin saying “wow, you’re so right, the life of a rapper is not for me”. Good luck to him.

      • Yael

        Yes, I am so interested in a transcript of this conversation.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Reasons not to drop out of college to be a rapper:
      1) College makes getting the day job easier and also makes that day job a lot more fulfilling.
      2) Get an English degree, and your raps will be more profound.
      3) Your college friends telling you you’re great don’t translate to industry contacts.

      *This is conjecture, with the general assumption that it’s a kid with a dream and no actual industry experience. I could be wrong, and in a year cousin will be that name a hear that I know the kids like.

      • Violet

        Number 3, lol. So true.

      • rebecca

        There’s like a whole arc of episodes of The Mindy Project about this, unfortunately, I don’t think she was able to talk her brother out of it–but at least it’s an excuse to stop stressing about the wedding for a minute to watch Hulu?

        • MC

          I was thinking of this & trying to remember how that episode ended!

    • somanypseudonyms

      oh jeez I feel you. I wish I had something useful to say, but — yeah. :(

    • Jan

      Good luck in the final week! Yeah, I always advised my former clients at a bridal store I worked at not to attempt the “chill bride” / “cool bride” thing. It never works and, I mean, you’re entitled to have opinions about things! Sorry about the Kitchenaid attachment. That’s a super bummer.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Also one week out, also really not chill, also done giving a fuck what others think about it because this is how I do things ok. I stress about them and then I’m happy when they happen because I got the stress out of the way. It’s kind of a ritual, others may not understand it but I UNDERSTAND YOU. We got this.

  • LindseyM

    Hi all — I know there are other lawyers on this website so I have a question. I am in my first year of private practice after clerkships, at a fancy law firm on the west coast. I work relatively reasonable hours for private practice and probably work on more-interesting-than-average issues. I also work at a firm that is majority female. I know that this is a unicorn of a situation, but everything still just feels so…hard…and I am not really loving being a lawyer. About every other Sunday night I have a meltdown because the next day is Monday. I keep hearing that after the first two years it gets better. Do any more senior attorneys have advice or reassurance for me? Or, at what point did you leave private practice and do something else? Or leave law entirely?

    • Kate

      How many hours a week are “relatively reasonable”?

      • LindseyM

        looks like average is around 160-170 billable per month

    • Vanessa

      I never worked in biglaw but I did work for an insurance brokerage and left and went into public policy. It is a G D delight, although it has meant a pay cut (upside – I qualify for loan forgiveness). I’m 6 years out (I made the change after about years)…my friends from law school are starting to leave the profession in pretty big numbers. Six years out they are almost all still working til 8 or working some weekend hours, and that’s in Denver.

    • Abby

      Be reassured: yes, being a junior generally sucks for everyone (for me, it manifested in an “I feel constantly incompetent” kind of way, which is super draining even if your hours are only 160-170ish, though let’s be real, that’s still more than many people are actively working in a month). That does go away as you get more senior, as presumably you’ll start actually knowing what you’re doing and one day you’ll hang up a client’s call and realize, “wow, I just gave actual legal advice! and it was RIGHT!” And at that point, there’s a second question, of “do I actually like doing the work this firm does?”

      If you actually read articles related to legal issues for fun, in your spare time, and actually enjoy having hypothetical discussions of obscure legal issues at a cocktail party, then yes, long-term BigLaw/partnership could be a good fit for you. Not to say it won’t be super hard. But it might be a good fit.

      If, however, you’re in BigLaw to pay off loans/get the credential/etc., that’s TOTALLY FINE TOO. In fact, the law firm pyramid/up&out model is designed for most associates to bail after 3-6 years. You can be the best associate out there in terms of work product, but if you don’t enjoy the underlying premise (helping rich people/companies solve their complex problems), you will never be excited enough about your work to bring in clients. BigLaw likes to pretend every associate there is super-committed to the firm’s mission, but even if you’re not, it’s still a great place to learn some super-valuable skills: Jumping from matter to matter, diving super in-depth into an issue (even if it’s not one you’re super interested in), learning how to write, how to make judgment calls, etc. will all translate to many types of lawyer jobs and lots of non-lawyer jobs down the line.

      I will say that once you’re in BigLaw, it’s probably worth sticking it out til you’re a 4th-5th year or so for these skills (and for the debt freedom– I can’t tell you how amazing getting rid of that burden felt and continues to feel), but I’ve seen people leave before and after that and go on to do great things. In the meantime, mindfulness helps. So does turning off my phone from about 11 pm to 7 am. Try to maintain your sense of self and your pre-law-school dreams of what you wanted to do with your life– I promise, there is still room to make them happen.

      • LindseyM

        This is so helpful, thank you! Especially “Try to maintain your sense of self and your pre-law-school dreams of what you wanted to do with your life– I promise, there is still room to make them happen.” I’m especially struggling with this right now since I’m usually so tired when I get home all I want to do is watch TV, which I feel like just makes me more cranky.

        • Abby

          I definitely went through the cranky watching too much tv stage. Things that help me: reading fiction before bed, cooking when I can, and honestly, letting yourself keep the career dreams as dreams while not beating yourself up for not actively pursuing them yet. There will be a time to pursue them but Jr. BigLaw is so draining there’s no need to feel guilt alongside the exhaustion.

      • Em

        This is great advice – currently on a leave of absence for postgrad study from my biglaw firm (which I left after 2 years) but a month out from going back for at least another 2. One of the things I found was getting better and better as I left was the ability to delegate the really shitty work to people more junior than me, which is a terrible thing to say but honestly improved my quality of life a lot (eg, I got to spend my time drafting the questions we wanted to ask a witness, rather than doing the doc review to identify the relevant docs!) Admittedly it raises a whole bunch of issues around how to supervise more junior lawyers and correcting their work but it is still so much better to not have to do all the shitty work yourself…

        • Abby

          Yes! I can’t tell you how nice it is that I haven’t been presented with a needle-in-a-haystack research question in years.

    • EE

      The rule of thumb is to be in law for 3 years. It takes about 3 years for things to click, and if you don’t like the law after 3 years then it is time to find something else. Keep in mind, you can always do legal adjacent work. Plus, you just might not have found the type of law that interests you.

    • StevenPortland

      I worked at medium size firms for 8 years and have been in-house for over 10 years. And still, almost every day I’m faced with new issues that I know absolutely nothing about. It feels strange to be a senior attorney and still having so much to learn.
      The first 2 or 3 years of being an attorney are the worst. Part of it gets better because you learn things. And part of it is just realizing that being a lawyer isn’t really what you thought it would be like.

    • Kate

      Just because it’s a unicorn of a situation on paper doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Law has a pretty unhealthy “of course your job sucks, just power through for a few years and then everything will be okay” mentality. What does your ideal work/work environment look like?

    • Amy March

      It got better after two years! It’s so hard when you don’t know how to do anything.

      • jem

        Absolutely agree– I think it’s especially hard for us lawyers because we’ve been the smart/competent kids forever and now suddenly everyone knows more

      • JR

        This is so important. Did you work before law school, or did you go straight from college? A few weeks in to my first job after college (which, in so many ways, was an amazing job), I was researching grad school. Being good at work is so very different from being good at school (and I’d actually guess that being good at a clerkship is much more like school, plus the defined end can really take off a lot of the “what am I doing with my life” pressure). It’s very possible that, despite the awesome setup, this isn’t the right job for you. But it’s also very possible that you would feel this at the beginning of any big new path.

        Personally, I find open-ended questions like “is this the right path for me” to be really stressful, because it makes me far more critical of the little annoyances of life. If I were you, I’d set a timeframe a reasonable distance out – maybe 6 months? – and just try not to think about this question at all until then. I mean, you’ll obviously think about it, but try to just observe the pros and cons and get out of the decision-making/analyzing frame of mind.

    • LindseyM

      Thanks all! That is really helpful. My husband has been trying to get me to define my “ideal work” for a while now, but I just don’t know because I am such a work-to-live person. Honestly, if I did it all again I think I would chose a profession that is exiting and important but where you leave work at work—like nursing. I wish that in high school/college more emphasis was placed on how you wanted to work, not just finding a “passion.” Had that advice been given, I might have chosen a career that is still demanding but leaves work at work.

      For now private practice is the right decision because it is allowing my husband to get a masters without us taking on debt. I think my idea is to re-asses when he gets his masters in two years. Anything before and I will feel like I’m quitting without giving it a fair shake.

      • Abby

        You will definitely be in a better position to reassess after 2 years. You’ll have transferable skills, (hopefully) some money in the bank, and a much better sense of what day to day job things you like and dislike (and how much those matter to you). And then you can take all of that into your next search.

      • RNLindsay

        Not to make you feel bad but former poli-sci major/paralegal/law-school-bound turned nurse here! I was totally in that position of wanting to leave work at work while still doing something important.
        My husband is a lawyer in BigLaw though so I am well aware of your pain. He’s a 5th year now and things do get better. There aren’t as many late nights, we have dinner together most nights (I do the cooking though), and take great vacations every year thanks to his paycheck. We talk about the future and what a family will look like with his job. It seems partners/clients are more respectful when you have “real” responsibilities at home (aka children and not just “my wife is bummed I missed our dinner reservation”), so we’ve talked a lot about how he’ll need to push back more to make family a priority when that becomes reality.

    • NolaJael

      Pay off your loans!!! That is *the* thing that will open doors for you in terms possible future changes to less lucrative work as in house counsel or nonprofit or government work if it still doesn’t feel right in a year or two.

  • Kate

    Shout out to DIY eyebrow tinting. Obviously DO A PATCH TEST, but I’ve been doing it for about 2.5 months now and I love it. I have darkish eyebrows to begin with but tinting has helped a lot with sparse spots and giving my eyebrows a more uniform color and defined shape.

    • Vanessa

      Also eyelash tinting. My days of stupid mascara crumbles under my eye are OVER.

  • Ashlah

    Oh man, cocktails are the one thing I am missing hard during pregnancy. I’ve had beer and wine here or there, but I’ve abstained from liquor. We went to a fancy Latin restaurant for my birthday yesterday, and I had a limeade with dinner. You guys, it is NOT the same as a margarita.

    A request for commiseration and advice: I recently found out that a friend’s husband (who I also consider(ed)) a friend has recently become verbally abusive and was seeking hookups on Tinder. It’s not clear whether anything escalated to actual physical cheating, but that really doesn’t matter. They just had their second child a couple months ago. I am devastated and heartbroken for her and just sincerely flabbergasted and disgusted with his behavior. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around, and I don’t know what to do. She’s supposed to have a birthday party tomorrow. I don’t know if he’ll be there, and I don’t know if he knows I know what he’s done. I don’t know how to behave around him. I want to strangle him. I suppose the answer here is to ask my friend.

    More importantly, though, how do I support her going forward? What do I tell her when she asks for advice? When she told me, we talked about the importance of counseling (individual and couples), but I’m not sure I was clear enough that she absolutely should not put up with his abuse, and that I would support her if she chooses to leave. This is so far from who I knew her husband to be that I desperately want them to fix it (or rather, for him to fix himself), but I know this is a massive betrayal in addition to the atrocious shift in personality, so I don’t want her to feel at all pressured by me to pursue something she’s unsure of or uninterested in. Is it better to just be there and listen and not offer advice?

    • Jessica

      Keep listening, and keep letting her know that this is not normal or healthy. If he refuses to go to couples or individual counseling, that is a sign he doesn’t want to respect her or fix things and she should listen to her gut.

      It can be hard to not just tell her to get out, but telling her that it’s not normal is huge. Tell her you will take care of her children at any time, even last minute (it’d be good to have a couple other people offer that as well).

      • Ashlah

        Thank you, that’s really helpful. I suggested having him move out for a time while they work on things, but she pointed out that (duh), then she’s a single mom and he’s let off of childcare duties, so the offer of babysitting is a good idea.

    • Emily

      I have so many feelings about f*cking Tinder…ANYWAY. It may help to say exactly what you’re thinking: “Friend, this is not normal, this is not ok, this behavior can not go on. Please know that I will support you 100% while you figure this out up to when and if you decide to separate”. Lots of good vibes you’re way!

    • somanypseudonyms

      Strong strong agree with Jessica’s advice, as someone who was in a relationship (not marriage, but serious all the same) with what sounds like a similar set of abuse dynamics. I found it really hard not to just reflexively push back on people who told me to leave, and I’ve heard similar things from other women — it’s kind of natural to feel defensive about one’s own choices. *But* reminding her over and over that this isn’t normal or healthy, that she’s not crazy, that it’s not okay — these things were, for me at least, eventually able to open the door to getting out of that.

      I hope your friend continues to hold up okay — and that you take care of yourself, too, while dealing with this kind of shitty discovery. It’s so hard. <3

    • BSM

      Jeez, so sorry for your friend. No advice, but what an asshole.

      Mocktail rec! It’s no margarita, but it’s pretty refreshing.

      http://www.howsweeteats.com/2017/05/grapefruit-lime-spritzer-mocktail/

    • Transnonymous

      Continue to be available as she needs it, offer advice while recognizing that you can’t make decisions for her (if appropriate), and be patient. She’s almost certainly dealing with a lot of complicated emotions about this and it may take her some time to settle on a path forward. Knowing you have someone in your corner in times like this is key, and it sounds like you’re already doing a great job.

    • Jan

      Just listen to her talk. When my (also abusive) ex would mess around on me, I would get SO hurt and angry but also still VERY wrapped up in loving him and wanting to protect our marriage. If anyone I talked to about it lashed out at him, I would immediately stop confiding in them. So, my suggestion is to keep your communication about it to your friend only. Keep encouraging counseling.

      Tell her that what he’s doing is not okay, and that the abuse is absolutely not normal behavior. Call it out for what it is– no one did this for me, even though I had friends and family who witnessed it. I so, so wish someone had named it for me because I didn’t recognize it as abuse until well after we split up.

    • I’m wondering that if she knows about that, what else is there that he might be doing that she doesn’t know. :( And I have heard so many stories of people who gave second chances after discovering something bad and then found out years later that their spouse was doing something worse the the time. BUT, even if he is not yet cheating, the verbal abuse shows that he does not value her and cherish her. And if that’s the case, I don’t think there’s much to work with, and I worry that it would go downhill fast in the coming months/years. I would tell her to get out now. But maybe that’s more than she can hear now. What about asking her if this is acceptable to her? Is him being verbally abusive acceptable to her in her marriage? Is her husband checking out Tinder acceptable to her? Is raising her two children in a home with a husband who is disrespectful and abusive to her acceptable to her? These children could grow up thinking that is what a marriage is supposed to look like (or at least not have a good model of a more healthy marriage). Maybe I would just ask those kind of questions and keep telling her that she deserves more. That you are on her side and know she deserves so much more than that. And if she goes to a therapist and the therapist and her husband try to blame everything on her, well, I’d try to be the voice of reason saying that even if she isn’t a perfect spouse, it is not her fault that he is verbally abusive to her, and there are infinitely better ways for him to cope than spending time on Tinder. Honestly, that sounds like manipulative behavior designed to make her be afraid that he will leave her and therefore keep her in her place. :(Or he maybe he simply doesn’t care about how this makes her feel and he is just doing what he wants.) All of which would be huge concerns for me and I’m glad she has a good friend that she feels safe going to and talking with.

  • Mm, those cocktail pictures are making me thirsty ;) It’s my sister’s birthday tonight and some good friends’ wedding tomorrow so I am feeeeeling the summer vibes!

    • And as someone who MAY have sampled some (all) of these, they are SOOO tasty! Definitely try out these recipes soon! Have so much fun at birthday and wedding celebrations!

  • JC

    Sad news, friends. My time sharing updates about the secret office erotica short story club will soon be coming to a close, as No Shoes Guy has put in his notice. I will work diligently to replace him with someone just as interesting. (JK, I will work diligently to replace him with someone normal because I can’t handle the crazy anymore!)

    • BSM

      Noooooooo

      • JC

        I suggested that he wait to make his final decision until next week, but he ended up giving notice late yesterday, and my first thought was, “Well at least I get to tell HH!”

    • AmandaBee

      I’m happy for you…but sad for the rest of us.

      • JC

        You all are probably the only people upset about this change, which makes it so much funnier, tbh.

    • Gaby

      I keep smiling to myself because I am grieving but will be “grateful for the memories” and generally grateful that there is a corner of the internet in which frequently got updates about a guy who takes off his shoes in the office.

    • Transnonymous

      Farewell, No Shoes Guy. My Friday afternoons will be missing a lot of laughter due to his absence.

    • Les

      nooooooo

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      How in the world did I completely miss the secret office erotica short story club?

      • JC

        It actually only came up once in all of the No Shoes Guy updates! It also wasn’t really a secret. There was an office-wide, public chat room for a writing club he hosted, and all of the members write erotica. I was able to shut it down without actually saying the words, “Erotica is not appropriate for the office.”

        • Jane

          But why not say those words? They’re good words.

    • Kalë

      Am I happy? Am I sad? So many emotions… might have to take off my shoes (and socks) to cope

    • rg223

      There was a recent thread on Ask a Manager about things that fly in your office and not anywhere else, and I thought of No Shoes Guy (though of course, the no shoes thing wasn’t really supposed to be “flying”)

      • JC

        I read that and didn’t even think of my situation!

  • Kate

    My partner and I are leaving tomorrow for my stepdad’s extended family reunion in the LA area. I’m bringing temporary tattoos to try and diffuse inevitable family tension and conflict, but if you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them. Things that will go over well with hip teenaged cousins and opinionated 60-year old Catholics?

    • emmers

      Talking about the weather a lot? A personal flask? No real suggestions, but I hope it goes well, or at least is over quickly!

    • BSM

      Oy, good luck to you. We are headed to my MIL’s extended family reunion next weekend, and I am bracing myself. It will be ~60 people (all 50+, as far as I know) in a 100 degree park, only one of whom my husband has ever met before (and that was 25 years ago). My one goal is no one touches my belly.

      I second the alcohol suggestion; I would if I could!

    • Arie

      Giant Jenga is the great peacemaker at our family gatherings.

    • Cellistec

      Quiz games with trivia about family members work well for us, especially since we haven’t seen some relatives in a while. Or that icebreaker game where you have to, for example, “find someone who has a tattoo” or “who has been to more than 10 countries” and you go around asking people weird things and sharing your answers. Bonus: learning stuff!

  • Ilora

    A couple of Happy Hours ago someone mentioned maybe doing Ms. and Mr. signs so I just thought I’d share mine again! I made them because if my husbands title doesn’t change/doesn’t share his marital status then neither does mine! I did change my name so I knew people would default to Mrs. but my husband changed his name too!! We created a new name together and both took it!

    I made a point of being really proud and excited about them, which wasn’t hard because I loved how well they turned out (wooden signs from the dollar store+wood stain+paint) and only one person made a confused comment about it. “I thought Ms. was for divorced women.” Nope! :) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7569c2d51bc5b3d94bac378c5db8a909107e18d097985c6032ba45d8bca39d4c.jpg

    • theteenygirl

      This is such talent!!!!

      • Ilora

        Awww, thanks! I just traced the letters on and then painted them!

    • jazzygingery

      The signs are gorgeous, and I love that you went with Ms.

    • RNLindsay
    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Nice! We tried mashing our names together and came up with all sorts of weird stuff, but nothing good.

      • Ilora

        An actual mash up of our names wouldn’t have gone well at all! Part of the reason we just made up something new was because I already had a double barrelled name, so we took my two names, his name (from his mom), and his dads name and 1. only used letters from those names, and 2. used at least one letter from each name. That way our new name was still connected to the old ones but we had a bit more freedom. It was really hard coming up with something that sounded like a name and not a bad joke or silly etc. (I googled each potential one to make sure it wasn’t a swear word in another language) but so worth it!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          That’s epic and I’m a little jealous. Part of our problem is that between us, the only vowels are E’s. Also, my name is really short, and we have a lot of repeating consonants.

          • Ilora

            Yeah that would definitely complicate things lol. Between our names we had 13 letters to chose from, so even with though we had repeats too (I had 3 n’s) there was still a good variety.

      • Yes!! I love it! I had to explain tonky mother over and over again that o am

  • Her Lindsayship

    In a little over a week, I will be a married person and on my way to honeymoon in Jordan! I’m so excited. Through the whole planning process I’ve only had a few moments of pure, unblemished excitement (I’m just a worrier and like really not #bridechilla at all) – but now that it’s so close it’s really a thrill! We’re looking at about a 50% attendance rate (ha! I was so worried for so long about having too many and we ended up with too few! We have to add stuff to our package to meet minimums!) BUT it’s still going to be awesome. A couple questions for the wise folks here:

    1) Vendor thank you gifts: these can be given later, right? I know we want to get something for the GM at the restaurant where we’re having our reception, as he’s also kind of acting as our coordinator and has been amazing to work with. But I don’t know if I have the brain space to make that happen in the next week.

    2) Please can you tell me happy stories about outdoor ceremonies where it rained but it was still ok? Predictions keep wavering but I’m trying to psych myself up to be really into a rainy day wedding just in case.

    3) Jordan recs welcome!! We’re staying in Amman a few nights, then driving around to see the Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, maybe Aqaba, Madaba. Actually what I’d really appreciate is any advice about clothing I can wear in this the hottest time of year without garnering too much attention.

    Can’t wait to share stuff with this community afterwards – you’ve been the best support system through wedding planning these last few months. Have a great weekend everyone!

    • Kaitlyn

      My brother’s wedding was outside and while the ceremony was sunny (it was only like 6 minutes long though haha), the reception it rained. So we danced in the rain and it was amazing.

    • Alex K

      It rained during my wedding outdoor ceremony. It wasn’t really a big deal. We had to 3 plans going in (created minutes before I walked down the aisle) 1) it doesn’t rain! Yay! 2) it’s a little drizzly. We give everyone umbrellas and remove a chunk for the ceremony making it 10-15 mins instead of 15-20 3) it pours, we all run inside the tent and resume. It ended up in option 2, with no need to shorten the ceremony. It really was fine. People won’t melt. And for us it had the added bonus of dropping the temperature to reasonable outside so…

    • Violet

      I feel like rain adds instant atmosphere (literally and figuratively), and the photos turn out dreamy from the diffuse light. So there’s definitely that.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Yes! It drizzled at ours, and we had to move the ceremony under the tent, but it was still fabulous. And then a rainbow came out directly above us!

    • rebecca

      fwiw I am obsessed w/that rainy wedding that was posted here (I think during Pride Week?) where they bought all of their guests clear bubble umbrellas.

      Also, my mom has credited her strong marriage to the fact that it rained on her wedding day sooooooo many times, that I’ll probably be slightly paranoid for the rest of my life if it *doesn’t* at least drizzle a bit on mine (which I think is the same day as yours, so if it does rain, I apologize and accept full accountability 😜)

      • Her Lindsayship

        Cheers! That’s really sweet, and if it does rain I shall take it as a good sign. ;)

    • theteenygirl

      Honeymoon in Jordan? Swooooooon!!! So envious!!

    • Amy March

      Vendor thank you gifts? Tip them with cash money, and do so asap- like for the GM just have someone bring an envelope that night.

      • RNLindsay

        Yeah, no need for actual gifts! Everyone gets cash money tips. Label them with envelopes and designate someone in charge of handing them out the night of.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Well dang, that’s makes a lot of sense. For some reason I had this mental block that because he’s a GM I couldn’t just give him a tip. Thanks!!

      • Jan

        So, what is a reasonable tip for a photographer? We’re paying ours about $2,500 for the full package and she’s wonderful! I just have NO idea what a reasonable tip would be.

        • penguin

          Do you tip photographers? I thought it was something where they set their prices, and then you pay that and write them honest reviews.

          • Jan

            This is why I ask these questions! I never know who to tip and not tip.

        • Amy March

          Well, generally, you don’t tip the owner of a business. And many photographers are also the owners of the business.

          • Jan

            Thanks!

        • CommaChick

          I recommend waiting until you receive the photos to tip the photographer, should you wish to do so. Everyone else I would tip the day of.

    • Lisa

      Petra was amazing! Spend an hour or two doing the main route in the place, but then go on some hikes that get off of that main drag (and away from all of the people trying to sell you stuff). The Beduoins that are just hanging out with their friends in their shelters are really nice and hospitable, and there are buildings carved into the rock for miles and miles. We want to go back and do a whole week or two camping in the backcountry there someday. We never made it to Wadi Rum, but we really want to go. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things!

      I haven’t been to the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side, but I was on the Israeli side and it is the same sea, so… you probably only need a day here. It’s really neat to experience, but it isn’t a place that you’ll want to spend a ton of time in. The water is so salty/mineral-ly that it feels oily and usually is quite warm. You definitely don’t want to get it in your eyes, mouth, or any open wounds. It burns like crazy. But it’s really fun to float around in!

      I’m not sure about clothing, although I recommend light, loose fabrics and a sunhat (or a kafiya, which you can buy there). Petra was touristy enough that no one cared what I was wearing, and I wore sundresses and tank tops there, but I can’t speak for the other places. When I was in Turkey I usually wore a flowy skirt that went below my knees and a fairly modest shirt (I wore it in the West Bank and Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem without problems), but I noticed that my collarbones garnered a lot of attention. So I recommend a lightweight shawl with whatever outfit you’re wearing. Plus it’ll keep the sun off of you.

      Congratulations! Have a great time!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thanks so much, this is a great help!

    • Cellistec

      Honeymoon in Jordan! I’m curious…did you plan it yourselves or work with an agency? Either way it sounds fantastic!

      • Her Lindsayship

        We didn’t work with an agency, but we have several friends who’ve been and a couple of friends who are from Jordan, so we didn’t start from scratch. But I do think if we were taking this trip at a different time (without all the wedding stuff looming over us) we would’ve spent a lot more time researching for it. This is going to be very new for us, and we’re so excited!

  • BSM

    Lawyers and adults who are adulting way harder than me:

    Wills and trusts and powers of attorney. What do I do with these things? Do I need all of them? Should I just start contacting attorneys to help us draw them up?

    Also, morbidity warning, how do we go about figuring out and asking someone to care for our child in the extremely unfortunate event that we’re both unable to?

    • janie

      Do you already have someone in mind for where you want your child to go? I am childless, but my parents asked my mom’s sister, and then his brother to care for us. They didn’t want to burden my grandparents as they aged with caring for young kids, and wanted to keep me and my brother in the same general area for school. That was the rationale at least. Also, both my uncle and aunt already had kids meaning they knew what they were agreeing to.

      I feel like you should just have the conversation with them! As a childless person, I would not at all be shocked if my friends with young kids were like “We finally were getting around to sorting out our wills and were trying to figure out where our child will go in the event of an accident, would you be willing?”

      Idk, maybe I’m oversimplifying but you probably want the kid to go to someone you’re close to, so just talk it out!

      • MC

        I recently asked my mom who she & my dad picked in their will to care for us in the event that they both died and SHE DIDN’T REMEMBER?! To be fair, I have 10 aunts and all but 1 or 2 would have been fine to take us, so apparently they didn’t stress about the decision too much haha.

        Husband & I were recently asked to be godparents to our first nephew, and while my MIL & FIL are currently the backup legal guardians, my BIL & SIL said if that ever changed they would want us to be next on the list. We were super honored and would be equally honored if any of our friends with kids asked this of us!

      • BSM

        That is helpful, thank you!

        I think I am 100% overthinking it, or, at least, approaching it like a problem that I can reason through, when that’s probably not really the case.

        • Amy March

          There’s no good solution. If you both die, that’s just awful and can’t be fixed. Personally I think you just pick someone you trust to love your kids and try their best. If you start getting into values and schools and location that’s how you wind up with an 18 year old before you decide!

        • AtHomeInWA

          I think this might be like parenting. (What do I know, I’m not one.) You want to have grand plans that are well thought out, but when you get down to it, you kind of have to go with your gut and do the best you can.

          Partner and I did wills and figured we should include guardians while we were at it. For our hypothetical kids we picked one of my brothers because my parents are great, but older, and my other brother is someone I love and enjoy very much, but has a different approach to parenting and outlook on life than what I would hope for my children. For us it was a gut decision, we trust Bro A and his amazing-lady partner to be the parents we would want for our kidlets if we don’t get to be.

          But, again, I don’t have kids. So what do I know?

          • BSM

            I do think there’s definitely an element of what *seems* logical and the gut feeling you’re talking about competing with each other.

            More than that, I think I’m trying to problem-solve using the same strategy I’m employing to, like, decide on a daycare. And the problem with that is it makes every option look bad (and, relatively speaking, anyone parenting our kid other than us is bad).

            We also don’t have any remotely obvious options, so that makes it even tougher.

    • Lisa

      We’ve been discussing the godparent/custodian situation off and on for a couple of weeks, too. There are so many conflicting priorities–do we want the kids to go to someone with values closer to ours? Would we want to disrupt the (hypothetical) children’s lives the least by keeping them close? Does it matter if X relative’s husband isn’t really present, which means she’d be raising the kids mostly by herself? Should godparents/custodians even be the same person? (For us, at least one godparent would need to be Catholic for a baptism.)

      As for how to bring it up, I have a strong memory of my uncle asking my dad if my parents would take in their daughter if anything happened to the uncle and aunt. My dad’s response was to ask for a few days to talk it over with my mom/us, but ultimately they agreed to the task. I think it’s something you just have to throw out there and then give people the opportunity to process it. Be open about that and allow for room to say no/allot for some thinking time. It’s a big decision for both you and them, and one that most people won’t take lightly.

      • Kaitlyn

        I think when I was younger, my parents chose an aunt and uncle that lived clear across the country. When I found out, I was honestly fine with it because I was close with that set of family vs. the family in town. Definitely would have been an adjustment if something ever happened. Then I found out when I was older (maybe 18, 19? definitely young) that I would be legal guardian to my youngest brother (13 years younger) if something ever happened. I felt like that was pretty bold to entrust to a barely legal adult especially as I have a brother who’s 6 years older, but hey, guess they had their reasons haha

      • I always thought godparents being guardians was a movie (Harry Potter) thing (although admittedly, also did not think much about it). It did confuse me because each of my sisters and I had different sets of godparents, but if my parents died we probably would have gone to live with my mom’s sister (who is my godmother but not any of my sisters). Also, at least my middle sister has godparents who would be an absolute horrible choice to raise a child (but a good/fun godparent) and I know a couple of people who have become godparents when they were teenagers to their older siblings friends. But I almost exclusively think about godparents via Catholicism/baptism (with some extra fun presents… my sister with godparents who didn’t have kids always got the best presents).
        I also don’t have kids or immediate plans for them, so I haven’t really thought much about who specifically I would choose since right now it is irrelevant.

        • Lisa

          In my nuclear family, my and my sisters’ godparents were my mother’s oldest brother and his wife, and my understanding from talking to my parents when I was young was that they would be our guardians if necessary. My husband’s parents also used the same set of godparents for their children (family friends), but I’m not clear whether they would have been the guardians.

          We’ve had trouble making a decision because, of course, there’s a pro/con for every couple. Ideally we’d like the godparents and guardians to be one in the same, but we haven’t struck the right balance yet.

          • Amy March

            There’s no need for godparents and guardians to be the same though! Stop needlessly complicating your hypothetical discussions about guardianship of your nonexistent kids :)

          • That makes a lot of sense.

    • Yael

      I found standard paperwork for a living will and power of attorney online. I set it up before I moved to Germany just in case. On the guardian front, I know my parents selected cousins who they felt would be able to care for us. They purposefully did not choose our closest relatives (grandparents, aunt, uncle) because of employment/stability and a general lack of emotion support. The cousins had children of their own, but both were/are successful doctors so could have adjusted to having 3 more kids. I don’t know how they asked, but that was the selection criteria.

    • ZLMT

      We went to a lawyer recommended on my local parents listserv who had a flat fee for all three. She was good about walking us through it. We ended up asking my sister to be guardian if something happened to us, since we are very close (we’d be guardian for their kids) and she is older/more settled than my husband’s brothers are. And she lives in the same city as we do. As a backup, we asked my in-laws since they are slightly younger than my parents. It was slightly awkward to bring up, but if you’re asking someone who is already a parent, they’ve likely already had this convo with someone else so won’t be totally blindsided.

    • Eh

      We really need to figure out guardianship for our daughter (and any future children) – actually we have to do all those things (we’re a bit behind on our adulting).

      We are listed as guardians for my husband’s cousins children in case anything happens to them. When they asked us, they explained a bit why they picked us over people who might seem to be more obvious choices (e.g., their siblings). One of the reasons they asked us was because their immediate families do not get along so they wanted a couple who was involved in their children’s lives but not caught up in that drama, who would ensure that both sides had access to the children. They also have a daughter who is disabled and needed to ensure whoever was the guardian could handle that (since she will be dependent her whole life).

      One of the reasons we struggle with picking a guardian for our daughter is that our families live so far apart and we want who ever is picked to ensure that both sides have access. We also don’t have anyone who leaves within an hour of us, so no mater who we pick, her life will be uprooted, which makes the decision harder for us.

    • Jane

      I think there are legal options / instruments where you can have a list of priorities and people and the have it depend on the circumstances in your lives and your kids’ lives. If you’re thinking about talking to a lawyer anyway, that would be a good thing to bring up. The people who live far away but you are closest to may be the ones you want to raise your kids if you were, sorry, to die when they were under 5. But, if your kids were in high school? Maybe less disruption would be more important. Or, if you were, as you say, unable to care for them, but maybe still alive? Having them close enough to visit you could matter. So many things you can’t predict!

      • Eh

        This is a good point. My dad had to rewrite his will after my mom died and gave us an option of who we wanted to have guardianship. We didn’t have many choices since all of our extended family and family friends lived far away at the time, but when my sister and I were talking about it, one of our biggest concerns was about being uprooted, but we also didn’t want to live with our brother who was 20 years old.

    • JSK

      My husband’s extended family has a family law practice, so I contacted them for all of the above. Good your city + wills and you should find a few options/reviews online.

      If memory serves, we had docs created for PsoA (each other and a backup for each of us), a trustee, executor, and wills for each of us and in the event we perish together. We needed the trustee due to the way our state handles asset divestiture to minors (I think, do not quote me).

      We needed a primary and secondary guardian. How did we pick them? We didn’t want it to be the grandparents because that felt too morbid and they are fairly old to be chasing babies (all late 60s). My BIL passed away prior to our wedding and my brother is my only sibling( also, we love them and respect the way they raise their children and live their lives). For the secondary, I floated a few close friend names with my husband and, pretty much without thinking, he said “Friend X and her husband raise their kids the way I want our kid(s) to be raised.” So we asked them.

      Before we had kids/were pregnant, we asked my brother & SIL if they would be primary (over email? probably not okay normally but they live far away). Once my first kid was here and we were updating paperwork, I asked Friend X over lunch. With her, I said, “so we’re updating our wills…” and she busted in with “I’ll take your baby if you die!”

      I know this will vary quite a bit regionally, but our total package was around $500, which passed my sniff test.

      • Ilora

        “I’ll take your baby if you die!”

        Haha! The friends we asked as back up like to jokingly plan our ‘accidental’ deaths. The enthusiasm is appreciated! We were going to ask them at brunch but my husband just said it in the car on the way there instead hahaha.

    • Lisa

      Just chiming in to add that it should go without saying, but don’t tell someone that you’re thinking of them to be a godparent unless you’re going to follow through. One of my good friends did that to me and then chose someone else, and I had unexpectedly strong feelings about it.

    • I’m a financial planner and we provide full service for our clients, so this includes taking them through the process of getting a suite of estate planning documents (wills, powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attorney) – from the first intro meeting to the document signing. So I’m seen lots and lots of these documents, and heard all the questions. I’ll try to summarize:

      Wills address the issue of what happens to your money and assets and stuff when you die. Certain accounts (like 401(k)s and IRAs, plus life insurance) will pass by the beneficiary titling on the account. However other stuff will pass via your will. So especially if it’s a more complicated scenario than you’re married and your spouse is joint owner of your assets and listed as beneficiary on your retirement accounts, writing up a will to govern what happens should you pass is useful. But the biggest thing is that in your wills you will lay out guardianship for your kids (and trustees for the testamentary trust (aka trust created at your death) that you’ll need for your kids if both their parents die while they’re minors. If your kids are minors when you die (and we write these documents with the assumption that, tragically, you die tomorrow – since they can always be amended with changing circumstances), they can’t inherit money.

      And you probably don’t want them to inherit even if they’re 20, technically an adult – especially if it’s a lot when you add up your retirement and taxable accounts and house sale process and life insurance payouts. So you can set up language in your will to create a trust (basically think of it as a separate entity that will hold money for your kids), whereby there is a trustee who controls the outflow of money, and typically has the ability to get your kids money for health, education, maintenance, and support (so basically, if they need the money). You might set up terms for when the money (principal) gets paid out. Usually the income from the trust will get paid to the kid either way since trusts are taxed at a much higher rate than people – but you could distribute the principal in thirds at 35, 30, and 35 (as an example). The guardian, of course, would be the person who cares for your child should something happen to both parents.

      You’ll also want to have conduit provisions for these trusts so that kids who inherited your retirement accounts can stretch the money out over their lifetime (rather than having to take all the money within 5 years, paying higher taxes by getting into a higher income tax bracket in the process). Unless you have a lot in assets (married couples can pass ~$11M jointly at death before any federal estate tax is due), there’s no need for sophisticated tax planning or trusts. (Only exception might be if you’re in a state with a rough/costly probate process, like Florida, where you might want to consider setting up a revocable trust to own your assets. Revocable means that you can change your mind and give those assets to someone else, so for all intents and purposes (including taxes) there’s no change – except you won’t have to go through the probate process (where your will gets probated in public) for assets owned by a rev trust.

      Ok that was super long. Briefly, the powers of attorney give someone the right to make financial decisions on your behalf, open accounts, etc. I would recommend getting one that is durable (rather than springing, aka the agent who has power of attorney can only use it if you’re indisposed – because proving that’s the case is onerous and could take take, and also because the POA can be really useful for convenience, say if both of you need to sign something and the other is out of town). Only name someone you can trust. (Typically your spouse – and you can also have a contingent (basically, second-level) agent.)

      Healthcare power of attorney is only in effect when you can’t make your own medical decisions – and would give someone else the right to make them, communicate with doctors about your care, etc. You can also give instruction that you don’t want to get medical treatment if you’re dealing with an irreversible condition, etc. (if that’s what you want).

      I think it is really smart to get these documents drawn up (and you can write them and specify all kids, rather than giving names, so that these docs hold up even as your family grows). You will be forced to think about some important things, and likely have discussions with the folks you name as guardian, etc. I don’t know how best to find an attorney – but you can definitely get all these planning docs for the two of you for around $1k.

      Sorry for the novel! (I am such a nerd.)

    • Oh and to specifically answer your question – you’d want to name someone as a guardian, and that would be the person who cares for the child and raises them. And you would want a trustee to handle any trusts that get created for your kids. The guardian should 1) be someone who you talk with about this – so don’t pick someone and not tell them they get this honor and 2) someone who will care for your kids. It helps if they know your kids well because they are family or close friends of yours. Geographic location might not be as important with a younger kid (but maybe more of a consideration if you’ve got teenagers who are settled with a community). You’ll want someone who will raise the kids with similar values to you, likely. The trustee would be the person who determines, guided by your parameters as laid out in the will, the distribution of funds to the guardian who is taking care of them. Biggest thing is for guardian you want someone who will care for your kids – I often see people name siblings, sometimes parents (if they’re healthy and able and not too old), sometimes close friends who live in the same community.

      Above all, remember that you can amend any of these documents, and that you should be looking at them periodically as things will change – both circumstances on your end, and the folks you name as guardian, etc. Sometimes a person who was an unsuitable candidate matures into the right person to be your kid’s guardian – or vice versa.

      • Mary Jo TC

        This is a good explanation of this issue. My husband and I actually just did these documents online this week, and our thinking was that the guardian and the trustee should be the same person, because it would be messed up if the person in charge of the money withheld it from the person taking care of the kids. And if we trust them with the kids, then we should also trust them with whatever resources we have to help them take care of them.

        • To be frank, I would (and have heard attorneys) recommend the opposite – the trustee of your kids’ funds will be making disbursements and decisions that impact the guardian’s financial standing. (One example might be giving funds to build an addition on their house, or pay some differential between their current home and a new, larger one they’re buying.) So for that reason it is a good call to have the person handling finances be separate – there isn’t an opportunity for the guardian to enrich themselves in a way that is inappropriate.

          What I’ve sometimes seen is that parents will have a family member from one side as the guardian, and someone from the other side as a trustee – which encourages both sides of the family to work together for the benefit of the kids, and keeps both sides involved in the kids’ lives.

          The conflict of interest in having the same person be trustee (for managing the money) and the guardian (for raising the kids more generally) should definitely be considered. I would say it’s not generally considered a good practice to have the same person do both roles. Not to mention, the roles are pretty different – someone who is perfect as trustee (knows your kids, has financial acumen, and will be fair and impartial in assessing need for financial distributions) might not also be suited to be guardian (and raise the kids and handle everything on a daily basis).

    • Ilora

      We haven’t done any of the legal stuff yet, though we definitely need to get on that…. but for us our decision on who takes our baby (and all future babies that we have) was based on who we knew would do the closest job to raising him/them as we will. My parents are our first choice, they’re both still in good health etc but if/when that changes we have good friends of ours that are the next choice. We confirmed with my parents if it was something they wanted and they definitely do at this point. We bypassed a whole bunch of family members and other friends for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, “would hate it and be miserable” and “would raise him/them with values contrary to ours”. My kids are going to be feminists whether I’m there or not!

      We told the friends (and asked, obviously) around halfway through my pregnancy and they were ecstatic to be asked and take their (hopefully never needed) role as ’emergency parents’ very seriously haha. I honestly don’t remember much about the conversation, it was fairly casual, but they do know all of the necessities (ie please keep the kids connected to extended family as much as possible).

      Personally I’m a worst case scenario type of person and mentally planning helps, we’ve known since before we even started trying to conceive who we’d be asking.

  • Lexipedia

    Got our list of catering options yesterday.

    Upside: I basically want to eat it allllllllll. FI is trying to convince me that, instead of a salad, we should just put more hors d’oeuvres on a plate and serve it at the table because who wants to eat salad when there are mini crab cakes/lobster rolls/chicken and waffles/grilled cheese etc. to be had. Also, because we’re having our wedding in Canada and have a 2/3 non-Canadian guest list we are having a late-night poutine bar. I feel like we need some vegetables in there…

    Downside: it is more expensive than I would like it to be. But, really, rentals are what is costing the $$$ and we don’t have much of an option whether to get plates or not, so we’re just going to suck it up and pay for it. (Four caterers to choose from, two are appropriate for our event, one has been helpful and communicative = don’t have any other choices)

    • Violet

      I vote more apps! I can eat vegetables on a normal day; let the guests indulge on your wedding!

    • Lisa

      Late night poutine bar?? I’m not Canadian, and I’m all here for that.

      • Lexipedia

        Yes, it is all the non-Canadians who have been begging for poutine at the wedding because they’ve never had it before. It’s a “bar” so you could just get fries if you want, or add caramelized onions, sautéd mushrooms, bacon, etc. on top of the whole deal.

    • Ashlah

      Even as a person who will eat all the junk food all the time, I am in support of keeping the salad. A lot of people will appreciate having a little bit of something healthy to go along with all the heavy deliciousness. And there might be a few people who choose mostly salad. But am I understanding that you’re having tasty hors d’oerves and salad? Or is it one or the other? If the latter, then I change my mind ;)

      Also, I just (finally) had poutine for the first time two nights ago, and I think my life will never be the same.

      • Lexipedia

        It’s passed things during cocktail hour, then salad as starter for the plated dinner. Also, I just listed all of the delicious junk food app options, but there will also be some lighter things to go with them. I’m not planning to drown everyone in cheese and bacon… but yummy.

    • BSM

      Lobster rolls!!! All this sounds amazing, tbh.

    • rebecca

      Ummm your food sounds amazing! I rarely say this because I would eat an entire meal of appetizers, but I would go with salad–it’s like how you often serve salad with raclette or fondue, a little bit of fiber makes all the cheese/butter/mayo/fried chicken go down more easily. You can make it a fun salad (ours has bleu cheese, spiced pecans and dried cherries) but I think doing a salad course will make sure more people are ready for your poutine bar, from…erm…a digestive perspective

      • Lexipedia

        Agreed, and they do have some very nice salads with fun things on top.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’m gonna crash your poutine bar. Just a heads up.

    • Add peas as an option for the poutine! :) That’s my fav topping and gets a few more veggies in there.

  • Kaitlyn

    Do you tip for a makeup trial? I have mine tomorrow (!!!) and have no idea what the protocol is for that.

    Also, J finally called hotels whoooo I can finally tell my mom she can book her room (9 months in advance haha)

    • jem

      Is it included in the day-of package? Or a separate fee?

      • Kaitlyn

        Separate fee, so I’d assume tipping?

        • jem

          Yes i think so– but wonder what it is if it’s included?! (You know, because mine’s on Sunday and I totally hadn’t thought abt tip)

          • Kaitlyn

            I’m glad we’re on the same page here hahaha Maybe not? What if I hate it? So many feelings haha

          • jem

            Its so daunting!

    • Jane

      I tipped for mine because it was charged like a regular service.

      • Kaitlyn

        It is separate so that’s what I was thinking too, thanks!

    • somanypseudonyms

      ha, I have mine tomorrow too (albeit on a totally different timeline — one month to the wedding) and also have absolutely no idea!

      I also have no idea what to expect from this experience! wheee!

      good luck!

    • AmandaBee

      I did – mine was also a separate fee. I also generally fall into the “when in doubt, tip” camp because I’d hate to stiff someone.

  • AmandaBee

    A huge THANK YOU to folks who had restaurant suggestions and other advice for our California roadtrip/honeymoon last week. We had an absolutely amazing time and it was 100% what we needed in our lives after a very stressful, often shitty first year of marriage. I’ve included some pictures of Big Sur and San Fran lookin’ pretty.

    Not pictured: when my intense phobia of heights and cars combined and turned into 20 minutes of me sobbing with fear as we drove (or, rather, husband drove – very carefully I’ll add) down Rt. 1 from Carmel to Big Sur. Just in the spirit of “vacation photos don’t show everything”.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c4c4a023e2037d13e11d0aa6254028a766326d23f037477f6445477d7cda743.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d479570907db8a17d955d967b96bf7c33a62780a77b5851821bf6d0c4dec18e.jpg
    Possibly the best highlight: there were WHALES outside the Golden Gate Bridge. Actual whales. I feel like that’s probably not normal and I hope it doesn’t mean something bad happened to their food supply. But I love whales and I probably spent 30 minutes freaking out every time they came out of the water.

    • Laura C

      We drove down Rt. 1 a little into Big Sur over Thanksgiving and had to turn around when I started to panic from the heights.

      • AmandaBee

        No shame, it was hella scary. I actually screamed when my husband tried to pull off (at a designated pull-off space) because my lizard brain thought we were driving off the cliff and I panicked.

        If it helps, the way back (going north) was a lot better for me because there was a bit more road separating us from the cliffs, not sure if that would help you at all since IIRC you’re north of Big Sur. That’s when we pulled off for these pictures.

        • Laura C

          Yeah, we basically drove south as far as I could stand it, then turned around, which was fine. We saw some pretty stuff.

        • MommaCat

          Yeah, I recently stopped by my sister’s on the NorCal coast on the way up to Seattle, and I could only do it because I’d be driving north instead of south. I thought about stopping on the way home until I saw which roads I’d have to go south on, LOL.

    • MC

      Beautiful photos – Big Sur is on my list to visit!! And I feel you on vacation photos don’t show everything – I just got back from a trip that included a small anxiety attack when trying to buy an expensive rug. Turns out that stuff doesn’t just go away even when you’re on a long-planned-for vacation, heh.

    • theteenygirl

      Beautiful!!! First trip FH and I took together was a two night stay in Big Sur at Treebones Resort. It was pure magic. I also learned on that trip how much I trust FH because THOSE ROADS THOUGH!! I was terrified the whole three days of the sheer height and curviness of the roads… not to mention the cyclists!!!

    • ART

      Yay! Sorry about your crummy driving experience though :( I don’t like that stuff much, either (protip: Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP probably a no-go). I hear you on the whales – I have seen them from the coast in San Mateo County and screamed when I saw the first few, they are incredible. I don’t think you have to be too worried about them being there – they are fairly frequent visitors to this area :)

      • AmandaBee

        Oh jeez, I just googled the Sun Road and got dizzy and anxious looking at the pictures. That’s a hard nope. I’m actually really sad that I wasn’t able to enjoy the drive because it was so gorgeous out there. I really enjoy the mountains too, for someone who is terrified of heights.

        My only regret was not bringing binoculars so I could see the whales more closely. Next time!

    • Transnonymous

      Such a beautiful part of the country, but I feel for you on Rte. 1. Last time I drove down it on a family vacation I got horribly, horribly carsick. Glad you had such a good time.

    • somanypseudonyms

      I, um, am now totally thinking about Star Trek IV: Save The Whales.

      Hooray for a wonderful honeymoon!

      • toomanybooks

        Lolllll star trek’s 90s environmental era movie about saving the whales

        Now I guess it would be Star Trek: Blackfish

        • somanypseudonyms

          and it would be so gritty

          • penguin

            With a lot of lens flare!

          • somanypseudonyms

            don’t forget the teal and orange!

  • Anna

    We’re having a dinner party tonight for the special occasion of “Husband decided he wants to learn to cook a roast, and roasts are generally too big for two people”. I’m super excited because the enormous hunk of beef is going to be delicious and I’m cooking fresh corn from the farmer’s market and one of our friends is making her fabulous mashed potatoes and we get to use various lovely new silverware/glassware/dishes/table linens/folding chairs that we registered for :D

    • Yael

      Any reason for a dinner party is a good one!

      • rebecca

        Yessssss! I saw that someone bought the sous vide machine off our registry and have basically been fantasizing about all the things I will sous vide for my friends all week!

        • Yael

          Yay!

    • somanypseudonyms

      oh man oh man I am happy for you and also super jealous — one of the biggest frustrations of being trapped in a hotel has been being unable to cook, which is usually one of my biggest destressors! Like Yael said, **any reason** for a dinner party is a good reason for a dinner party.

      Enjoy breaking out the fancy dinnerware!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      That is such a good reason to have a party.

  • rebecca

    My wedding is a week from tomorrow and I just got really, really good highlights so that’s nice haha. My fiance’s family has basically ghosted on us (like we’re sending “If we don’t hear from you by tomorrow we’re just putting you down for the salmon” emails and…not hearing back…for like a week) but other than that things are pretty good.

    We had such a wonderful experience with Ink With Intent over the past 24hrs. My family is super, super, super religious, and I’m not. We’re relatively cool with each other, but there’s a lot of general befuddlement over how on earth my wedding is going to be “special”. I’ve heard second hand that since we’re getting married in a brewery, several of my family members think we had a “secret wedding” and this must be “just a reception”. So when I saw the Ink With Intent post yesterday, I was like, “Yes! This is what we need!” Because community and commitment are really important values to us, even if they don’t take place within the confines of the church. Having our community sign their witness to our commitment to each other seems like a really good way to communicate that. Adriana and her team were incredibly sweet and responsive, we wrote our vows last night and we love them and now we have a piece of art we’re really excited about headed off to the printer. *Spectacular* service, bordering on miracle work.

    Also, after being one of the 80% of women wearing the wrong-sized bra, I finally did the bra calculator on r/ABraThatFits and…it’s amazing. I did all the measurements myself, at home and ordered a 28F (which I did not know was a thing) off Amazon for less than 50 bucks and I’m more comfortable than I’ve ever been and soooo much happier with how I look in my dress. Highly reccomend!

    • Anna

      Oh man, props on getting into the right bra size! It’s amazing how it changed even how I thought about my breasts… I was wearing a 34-36B for years and never thought of them as particularly large; then finally found all the you’re-wearing-the-wrong-size stuff, re-measured and have been wearing a 32DD since. Not only does it feel a lot better physically, I also now am like “yes, I am a woman with large boobs.” …which is sort of a mixed bag, but mostly nice :-)

    • Yael

      As someone who also struggled to find properly fitting bras, may I suggest Title9. Their bras are more expense, but you can actually wear them and see how you live in them and then return them. They are my go-to for bra shopping (which I have to do again because I’ve lost weight since moving to Germany).

    • Not Sarah

      Yessss to finding bras that fit correctly! They are one of my most committed budget items, no matter how I reduce the rest of my clothing budget.

    • Jane

      That’s great about Ink with Intent. FH really wants our vows to be surprises for each other, but I am thinking of getting something pretty done with them for an anniversary some year.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Welcome to the world of specialty sizes! Check out herroom.com. They have some great brands (including Freya, my personal favorite), and don’t doom you to beige. Also, once you’re up over a DD, sizing varies from brand to brand, especially if they’re from different countries, and this website has a universal sizing conversion tool.

      • penguin

        “universal sizing conversion tool”

        Be still my heart!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          IT IS THE BEST.

      • toomanybooks

        I loooove Freya!!! Those bras lift like no other and I don’t know what kind of sorcery (um, I mean construction) is involved. I also really like Panache!

        (I had been measured at 30DDD, only to keep ordering bras that ended up “running small,” so I measured myself off A Bra That Fits and am now wearing 30DDDDD. Using the “number of Ds” system because it’s clearer, after D everything is so inconsistent lol)

        • rg223

          Ahh also love Panache!!!

        • Amy March

          Great swimsuits too

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          If you do well with Freya, try on something by Fauve. They’re not cheap, but they’re hella good quality. I’ve had luck with Curvy Kate, too.

      • rg223

        Love Freya!

      • Freya doesn’t work that well for me, but I love Simone Perèle…

    • Lisa

      So I was inspired by your post to investigate the Reddit thread and give the bra calculator a try. It shocked me to see 30D instead of 32B/34A, which is what I’ve been wearing all of my life. I went to a large department store to try the bra on and was so surprised at how well it fit. The saleswoman came by and expressed some incredulity that my “on-line calculator” had produced such a perfect fit on the first try. Apparently, the brand that I picked up is the “teen” brand of Wacoal because most companies don’t make the smaller band sizes.

      Anyway, thanks for the tip off! My bra arrives from Amazon today, and I’m super excited to start wearing it this week.

      • Ilora

        In my late teens/early twenties I was wearing a 32DDD but the Size Calculator on the Victoria Secret website told me I should be wearing a 36B…..For some reason I never felt comfortable buying online from them -_-

        • Lisa

          Yeah, if they don’t sell the size or have it readily available, they don’t put you in it. They were the ones who measured me at a 32B, which was significantly better than the 34A my mother decided I was, but I’ve had my new size for two days now, and it feels so much better than any other bra I’ve had. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable my other ones were until I wore this one yesterday!

  • ssha

    Did you all see this about Sheila Michaels’ death? She’s the one who popularized Ms as an honorific. Related, here’s a piece about Mary Hamilton, who demanded she be called “Miss” instead of by her first name,which was how African Americans were addressed as a way to keep them below white folks. These two women were roommates, which was cool! Thought you all would like to read.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/07/535978012/sheila-michaels-who-helped-bring-honorific-ms-to-the-masses-dies-at-78

    http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/07/12/198012536/summer-of-1963-miss-mary-hamilton

    • Yael

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Jane

      I didn’t know about her roommate! Wow! My roommate and I mostly watched a lot of bad TV together.

      The Ms./Miss/Mrs. thing came up for me about a month ago when my co-worker, a 26-year-old male attorney, told me he had never ever heard of Ms. And it took him a lot longer (in the conversation, not just in his life – which is obvious) to understand why women do it and to realize that his not ever having noticed or thought about it before was a sign or male privilege. The best part was he tried to say that maybe it was just millennial women, and I was like, no, I don’t think so. And then our 60+ boss walked by and we asked him what prefix most women used when he’d been in law school, and he was like, oh, Ms., definitely. Boom!
      I thought about sending my co-worker the NPR article when I first read it, but decided I had been pretty forceful during our first conversation and probably didn’t need to bring it up again.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        Did he actually understand it eventually? Because that’s kind of gratifying.

        • Jane

          Yes, but with a “how interesting – and now back to my regularly scheduled ignorance and obliviousness” take, instead of like, “wow, how did I grow up in a super liberal city and get through law school without knowing this? Maybe I should think about this stuff.”
          He didn’t get defensive or, visibly, irritated that I kept pushing him about it – so, I guess that’s something?

          • Amandalikeshummus

            Yeah, that’s frustrating. This is something I’ve thought a lot about. I started using it in my early twenties at some point. But sure, dude, you just skate along without thinking about things.

      • ssha

        “just millenial women” WOW. Not even close! Good for you!

      • JR

        This is baffling in general, but has he never read the New York Times??

    • I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t really familiar with either of these women, even though the honorific Ms. is like, one of those THINGS for me/personal hill I will choose to die on. Thank you so much for sharing these!

      • ssha

        I wasn’t either until this week- thanks NPR!

  • somanypseudonyms

    hello happy hour! I’m mostly an apw-lurker, but I’m kinda falling apart a little bit and just gonna shamelessly hope for sympathy/advice here: many apologies for the shameless wall of text.

    Our wedding is in four weeks (August 12th O___O ), and a lot of stuff is still un-done (most prominently and terrifyingly, food — we are in the *world’s slowest-moving* email chain with our putative caterer — but also other stuff). As it gets closer, I feel more and more trapped by the patriarchy’s double-bind: am I a bad person for wanting a pretty wedding? do I *really* want a pretty wedding, or has this somehow been foisted on me without my realizing it? am I going to ~~regret it forever~~ if I don’t have a pretty wedding? is it taking care of my own appearance-self-esteem issues and those of my interested friends to contact ten people and spend hours googling to try to find a makeup artist somewhere even near my budget, or is that a sign that I’m a frivolous and worthless person who cares too much about what other people think? and so on, on every single topic related to the wedding. It’s not like these issues are new or unique, and I’ve read and taken some comfort from other people’s musings here on the same feelings and social traps, but… I just feel *terrible* about it most of the time, and I’m at a loss for how to deal.

    Then also: our home caught on fire (whee! it turns out YOUR DRYER IS OUT TO KILL YOU) about a month+ ago (12 days after we closed and moved in!), and my fiancé and I (and our cats) are still trapped in a hotel waiting for repairs to happen. Everyone we’ve dealt with in trying to recover from the fire (insurance company, specialized cleaning company, repairs coordinators…) has been great and professional… except for our original claims adjuster, who produced a wildly incorrect estimate, stopped answering email/phone for two weeks (thus also stopping all work on the place), and then finally responded with kind of scary hostile phone calls. On the plus side, we now have a new claims adjuster and the old one is maybe getting fired! On the minus side, it now looks like we actually might not be back in our own home by the time of the wedding. This introduces a bunch of logistical problems — some friends were supposed to crash on our floor; we were hosting a day-after brunch; where are our cats going to live when we skip town for the honeymoon — but also just feels… terrible. Again.

    Then also: I’m really struggling with the fact that my fiancé hasn’t been helping with wedding junk. This is especially frustrating because it’s pretty uncharacteristic — while we inevitably have some of the usual issues dividing household labor between two people, I think we often do better than most couples, and are pretty open and vocal about it. This has not been the case *at all* with the wedding. About a year ago when we started planning, I offered to take point / be “project manager” on it, partly so that he could take that role on home-buying, partly because I am a little more extroverted / more into parties generally than he is. But unlike other situations where we’ve divided things up like this, he’s barely involved himself at all, and now that we’re in crunch-time, it feels like I’ve turned into the stereotypical nagging harassing bride trying to get opinions/decisions/involvement. This feels terrible, too — and only makes the oh-god-am-I-just-being-eaten-alive-by-the-wedding-world feelings stronger. (He assures me this is entirely due to [1] other stressors and [2] anxiety about the party aspect of the wedding, *not* anxiety about the marriage itself, and I believe him. But… that triggers some anxieties, too.) We finally fought-then-talked about it this week, and I’m hopeful things might get a little smoother in these last couple of weeks, but it’s pretty fraught.

    Then also: I quit my PhD program (after five years) last month (a few days before the apartment caught on fire!) and that is *hard* and a whole other kettle of misery.

    in conclusion: I don’t even know. I feel *terrible*. I’ve been seeing a(n amazing) therapist for enough years that I can step outside this a little and see where different stresses are playing on each other, and how much of this is situational and contingent, and how mixed feelings are okay and so on and on … but I also just feel terrible. And I do not know what to do.

    • Violet

      I don’t know how helpful the is, but: that is a lot of stressful shit all at once, and pretty much any sane person would be feeling terrible about it.
      I’m not sure there’s anything to do, which is part of why this sucks. You addressed your concerns with your fiancé, and that’s the one thing I can think of where you can be really active. Everything else (being temporarily out of your home, deciding how much to put into wedding appearances, how to handle a major life change like discontinuing a PhD program), all that just feels mindset-y. So no wonder you feel like crap. So sorry. : (

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3 thank you for this. I think you're right that the fact that there's just nothing to do about it is part of what feels bad: there just isn't any way for us to magically get the apartment repaired faster, or have wedding stuff be done without a million decisions intervening. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ it's hard to accept the… meta-powerlessness? to change one's situation, even while hanging on to the fact that you have the power to tackle the mile-long to-do-list.

    • Emily

      Dude, you need a break! Can you take a weekend (or just like a day and a night) away? This is SO many heave-duty stressors, just one of them could really throw you off let alone 3!

      • somanypseudonyms

        aghaghagh I know this is good advice, but **how**? like… there are so many things that need to happen! and all my usual tricks for setting aside whatever I’m fretting over and focusing on the moment are just not working.

        • Emily

          I think you book a room somewhere over an hour away, get in the car and go. Don’t bring your laptop, hell maybe not even you phone. 24 hours of TRUE rest are going to give you the steam to get through the next month til the wedding!

          • somanypseudonyms

            I may actually try this. O.O

          • jem

            Do itttttt my friend took me away three weekends ago and it was amazing

        • KPM

          I know you are ALREADY in a hotel, so if leaving town to stay in a different hotel sounds cray, maybe book a spa day? A massage somewhere that has a hot tub/suana/ outdoor pool you can hang at all day with a book? Or consider an Airbnb/VRBO rental for a weekend, somewhere in the woods/beach?

          • somanypseudonyms

            Ha, this is a very good point — I keep wondering whether the honeymoon is actually going to feel relaxing, given that… we’ll be in a hotel. (At least it’ll be a different hotel! On a beach! In Tulum!) These are all good alternative-ideas for an emergency escape.

    • jem

      Oh girllll I feel for you. This sounds like a cluster of really stressful stuff. What kinds of stuff can you do to make yourself happy? Can you go for a walk/run/get a massage? My wedding is the week after yours so also feeling the PRESSURE right now. My fiancé is scheduling No Wedding Thoughts hours for us and it’s really helpful to re-center and refocus on ourselves as humans/a couple outside of the wedding (because often recently, it seems like all I think about/we talk about). You are facing a LOT of stress right now and I think the FIRST thing you need to do is take some time to take care of inner-you (versus bride you). Then, the rest of this stuff will feel easier to tackle. Sending love and calming vibes ❤️

      • somanypseudonyms

        This is such good advice — and yet… *how* do I turn off the frantic wedding thoughts? I’m usually pretty okay at taking a deep breath and re-centering and… that is not happening in this case. D: Please share your magical technique!

        <3

        • Alex K

          Find something that requires 100% your attention. I personally like yoga (particularly attempting arm balances) because it takes all my mental energy to breath, get in a pose, and not fall on my face. :)

          • somanypseudonyms

            ahhh whenever I do yoga I screw up my neck terribly, but maybe this will be the time to try again!

          • Yael

            Definitely talk to the instructor about how to make accommodations for your neck or any other issues. If they’re any good, they’ll have suggestions and insist you make adaptations so you don’t hurt yourself!

          • swimming works really well for me. Focusing on the number of laps and not running into other swimmers takes up enough mental energy to keep other thoughts out, and obviously you’re phone free!

        • jem

          Like alex k, something super absorbing. Yoga is a great example. Anything where I CANT check my phone (because all the wedding stuff is there) so, massage or a run. One sort of embarrassing technique my fiancé has developed when I get in a spiral is a prolonged tickle attack (your results may vary).

          Also, breaking everything into lists of discrete tasks and then asking, “do I really have to be the one to do this or can i delegate?”

          I KNOW HOW YOU’RE FEELING because I feel it 90% of the time right now. You can do this! There’s a happy marriage on the other side of this cluster of stress!

          • somanypseudonyms

            delegating is hard: what if someone else does it wronggggg
            …but I’ll try. <3

          • jem

            Oh they will absolutely not do it as well as you could, but at least it will get done-ish!

          • somanypseudonyms

            <3 <3 <3

    • CA

      Holy crap! I hope you are able to laugh at your situation a little because WOW, what a confluence of unfortunate events.

      Give yourself some breathing room. Everything you are feeling is SO REASONABLE. I like the idea someone else suggested of you and your fiance trying to get away and get some breathing room for a day or two.

      Are there friends or family members you can lean on to help back you up on some vendor follow-up, take over hosting the day-after brunch, etc? I feel like “My dryer tried to kill me and now we are homeless” is about as legit of a reason to ask for help as it gets and I am sure there are people ready to be understanding and helpful.

      Are wedding details the kind of thing your fiance is naturally bad at (this is the case for me)? I’ve struggled with that, but the bright spots have been a few things that he’s managed to get excited about and lead the way on, like making the playlist for the reception. At the same time there have been a lot of times where I’m being the nagging crazy person and have just had to accept it and make sure he understands why I’m doing it and that it’s kind of a pain. It sounds like you’re already on the right track to working this out!

      I’m 4 years into a PhD and there are SO many complicated mental challenges around doing one and presumably leaving one. Way to make a bold decision on that front – sending you the best vibes as you figure out moving forward from that.

      I have no answers on the double bind. I get stuck on many of the same questions!!!

      It honestly sounds like you are actually handling all of this pretty well – go you!

      • somanypseudonyms

        ha, at the moment the laughter is mostly hysterical, but at some point it will hopefully be normal laughter, because it’s really pretty ridiculous.

        on the topics of your sensible advice:
        Breathing room would be great — but *how*? this is great advice from both you and jem and Emily, but how do I make my brain just quit for a little while? (and how do I find the time without getting even further behind?) (what is the ~~magical~~ solution?)
        Friends and family are indeed helping out, though mostly friends, as my parents are both not especially into wedding-stuff and (bless their hearts) not very good at organizing stuff in general. Unfortunately — and here we get right back to the feminist double-bind — it’s hard to draw a sensible mental line between “asking for help is a reasonable thing” and “asking for help means I’m a selfish bridezilla who wants the world to revolve around her wedding.” ¯_(ツ)_/¯
        My fiancé is actually a graphic designer, so the fact that he’s been so absent from wedding planning is especially frustrating. I left a lot of decor stuff until, well, now because I didn’t want to move forward on it without his opinions… and now I feel like I’m still the nagging crazy person. (There may genuinely not be a solution here except for us to both feel kinda bad but get the work done: feelings gonna feeling. I’m not sure.)

        PhD-feelings and feminist double-bind solidarity forever. :( and I’m glad it at least looks like I’m handling it ok over the internet, because that’s definitely not how it feels! cue the hysterical laughter.

        • ssha

          I’m pretty sure asking for help NEVER means you’re a selfish bridezilla who wants the world to revolve around your wedding. You’re a person with a lot going on whose wedding is in four weeks! You need the help! Sending well wishes to you.

          • CA

            Yeah I agree with this completely. It is so hard to ask for help but usually people are happy to be asked! And it’s definitely not being selfish in this case.

          • somanypseudonyms

            it’s really hard to remember this — but I’ll try! the view of it from my end (color-coded spreadsheet) makes it hard to think of as something other people would want to help with. <3

          • CA

            I am definitely struggling with taking my own advice on this as well! (My wedding is 7 weeks away and in my hometown across the country, so it’s at a point where I’m starting to ask parents and friends to run random Craigslist decor errands and so on and it feels so ridiculous to keep bugging them. But everyone has just been excited and agreeable about it for the most part, so I’m working hard to count my blessings, start thinking about good thank-you gifts, and keep checking things off the to-do list)

          • jem

            Also, a lot of people are probably getting PSYCHED for your wedding right now and want to help!

          • somanypseudonyms

            fingers crossssssssed

          • emmers

            I am usually one of these people. Like I usually feel honored and in the inner circle if you ask me for help. And kind of bummed if I hear that you needed help and didn’t ask, cuz I wanna be in the inner-helping-circle!

          • somanypseudonyms

            <3 thank you!

        • Amy March

          Or just don’t do it! Decor? Not necessary. Your house caught fire, you don’t have food sorted, and you’re living in a hotel. It’s completely fine to let some stuff drop! Or, to your point below, to delegate decor things to willing volunteers and embrace the idea that they will be perfect because they were made with love, even if they weren’t precisely what you had in mind.

          • somanypseudonyms

            As often, I am fully aware on the logical level that this is very good advice… but oh man oh man does the thought of doing this make my chest tighten up with worry over [am-I-a-good-enough-bride|am-I-demanding-too-much-of-friends|will-people-look-down-on-us|pick-your-favorite-wedding-worry].

          • emmers

            If you ask for help, people can totally say no! You are not an emperor queen! So maybe take comfort in that? Like, maybe feel like hey these are consenting adults, so I can ask them for help, and if it’s too much, they’ll let me know!

            And if you really want, you can even tell them that, like “hey, you know with the fire and getting married and all, life is cray, so I could really use your help with these hand-monogrammed napkins. could you help me? If you’re too busy, I totes understand!”. And most of them will probably be like, yes, give me all the napkins! And some may be like, I’m too busy, no napkins please! And if any are like yes, give me the napkins, but are internally not wanting to do the napkins, then that is totally on them, cuz they are adults and they can say no if they want. :) How’s that for an elaborate napkin example?

            But seriously– ask people for help. You are living in a hotel. A month before your wedding. People will understand!

          • somanypseudonyms

            that is an extremely impressive elaborate napkin example! …and also, as with lots of exacting-and-elaborate examples, is super helpful for putting things in perspective, thank you. <3 Fortunately there are no hand-monogrammed napkins involved (although I was thinking about embroidering handkerchiefs as a gift for my mom… argh).

            tbh, I'm kind of surprised by the number of people who have been all "Oh, a free stay in a hotel! That must be so relaxing!" It's… not.

          • penguin

            I’d try to take a step back. How would you feel if this was your best friend’s wedding? Would you be super judgy and look down on her if she didn’t have a bunch of decorations? Would you hate her if she didn’t host a day-after breakfast? No! Of course not! Try to be as nice to yourself as you are to your friends. Best of luck <3

          • somanypseudonyms

            <3 <3 gonna try.

        • AmandaBee

          “Breathing room would be great — but *how*?”

          There’s no magic to having breathing room, you just have to realize that it’s more important to take care of yourself than to do anything else on your plate. In fact, if you want to enjoy your wedding, it sounds like you really need to slow down and invest in some self-care right now. If you don’t, you’re going to crash and burn and be miserable, and that will be what you remember about your wedding. Assuming that’s not what you want, then I would move taking a break to the top of the priority pile and strike or delegate something less important.

          I know it ALL feels important, but what’s more important – having a wedding that looks nice on Pinterest, or having one for which you can actually be mentally present and enjoying the day? I say this with love and commiseration, as someone to had a meltdown about a goddamn cake topper (of all things) 2 weeks out from my wedding. Those things do. not. matter.

    • sophia.s

      So as someone in the process of leaving academia, what I’ve been focusing on is ‘I decided/was forced to quit, but I’m still me’. It’s takes up so much of your identity, that its almost impossible to picture oneself without it. But you wake up the next day and your still the person who likes silly pop music/ makes terrible puns/loves cocktails/whatever.
      Also it never rains but it pours. This will make the most amazing story in a few years. Hold in there, it sounds rough.

      • somanypseudonyms

        Yes, this exactly on leaving academia — there are so many structural aspects of the academy that make it hard to disentangle it from your own identity, which of course means it’s even more difficult when you have to make a change. Mine was also somewhere on the borderline between decided/was forced, and I’ve barely begun to tease apart what I feel (because, well, there are some other things going on), but remembering that I’m still the same person who both (1) decided to start and (2) decided to quit does, in fact, help a bit.

        Lots of strength to you as you get through this process, too. If nothing else, I’ve been enormously heartened by the love and support that I’ve gotten from friends and strangers *outside* academia, even as my own erstwhile department continues to fail.

        (also, cocktails.)

        • emmers

          I am buds with some PhD ppl, and it seems like for our generation it is very rare for that to work out. Like, one of my PhD friends is now a stay-at-home mom and used to work at Trader Joes. One has a professor job, but he is the rare, rare exception. It seems like it is mostly a life of struggle.

          I would be proud of yourself for getting out of what seems like a really hard, niche profession. I know you’re in it right now, and struggling with so many feelings, but my sincere hope for you is that eventually you move on to something less difficult. I wish so many good things for you!

          • somanypseudonyms

            It is, sadly, a really broken field in a lot of ways — more visibly so in the humanities (where I was), but also in the sciences. The best (and therefore also most rage-inducing, so consider yourself warned) recent piece I’ve read on the emotional impact of this is this one.

            I was very lucky (and/or worked at it, I guess, but it feels like luck, how you doing there patriarchy) in that I transitioned into a full-time job in a totally different field before I even “officially” quit, so I have a landing ramp. But the feelings are still incredibly tough. Thank you so much for the well-wishes.

          • emmers

            And I don’t know, but it seems like maybe it’s easier if you’re a guy? I’m thinking of the people who are professors (my age), and they’re all men. And one I’m convinced is partly because he has a British accent (though he’s of course awesome.. I just think that might have helped put him over the edge, which sounds crazy, but who knows?).

            I’m really glad you have a full time job. I hope that with time it gets easier. And yes, it’s probably part luck that you have a full time job (isn’t everything part luck??), but you totally used your skills to get the full time job! That’s really wonderful!

            Not the same at all, but I had a really really hard time teaching in high-need areas, and after I left that, it took me years to feel confident professionally. I’m finally there, but I just felt like such a failure. But it was a terrible fit, and now I’m doing something I’m much more suited to. I’m now able to see that it’s OK that that did not work for me. But at the time, it was miserable. I volunteered for a political campaign shortly after (Obama ’08, actually!), and it was so nice to find something where I felt a little successful. I hope that you can find some confidence-producing things to help slowly build you back up.

          • somanypseudonyms

            It’s so good to hear that you made it out of your own valley of “I am a failure [because I was doing something that is not a good fit]” — much <3. Hopefully we all climb back up eventually.

    • Lisa

      Also chiming in on leaving academia: I left with an MA during my PhD (and am now, years later, in a different PhD program) and my refrain is that I wasn’t getting what I wanted to out of the program, decided to leave, and later realized I had more to contribute and wanted to be in academia again. This refrain is true, by the way, but it also kept my spirits up when I felt like I was failing and couldn’t find a decent job with a Master’s degree during the recession. Remember that you are still amazing, that there is a reason why you are leaving (and it isn’t just you – it’s the program and the fit), and that it doesn’t dictate your future.

      • somanypseudonyms

        This means a lot to me. <3 I hope I find this level of grace with the decision eventually, and it's so encouraging to know that others (like you!) have.

        (also, less broadly — while I'm really glad I have the MA, I hate how it feels like a consolation prize. I worked for that! …but anyone who looks at my résumé timelines is sure gonna know it's the failed-a-PhD MA. Sigh.)

  • Gaby

    2017 has not been kind to my group of friends; we’ve now had a third friend’s mom pass away unexpectedly, and 6 days before his birthday! Our non-8-to-5 friends took him out for karaoke last night and my husband and I invited him and his gf over for a blue apron dinner today. With so many events reminding me of our own mortality this year, I’m extra appreciative of working across the hall from a supervisor who brings her 4 month old baby in 3 days a week. Nothing like babies to cheer you up!

    • ssha

      Good for you for taking care of your friends, and yay babies!

  • Yael

    A got our marriage license!!! We’re getting legally married August 22 (random day but for the Jews, it’s the first day of Elul, which is pretty auspicious). I’M SO EXCITED!!!!

    Also, in the past week I signed a new lease, mostly moved in, did ALL the paperwork to change my address officially (Germany has a lot of paperwork) AND renewed my visa. I’ve walked 21 miles this week. I am very excited about not needing to leave the apartment until Sunday afternoon.

    • theteenygirl

      Congrats!!!! Our legal marriage day was April 5. A Wednesday. Literally picked it based on when our friends could get an afternoon off work to be witnesses.

      • Yael

        Thanks! I am so not thrilled about having two weddings (and one of them still so far away – Jan. 2019) so we’re trying to make this one special in a low key way. My dad is kind of upset we won’t let him come to the courthouse, but if he comes then it will turn into a why does the whole family – both families – come and that is impossible. So it’s just one friend each as witnesses and then promptly (next day) leaving the country.

        • theteenygirl

          I think when you first decided this route I commented.. but that’s basically what we did. I didn’t even tell my sisters before that we were doing it, and I tried not to tell my parents about it either. I didn’t want it to be a real celebration so just two witnesses and a beer and a nice dinner after. It was just special enough that sometimes I think, “hey.. remember that time..” and look at the pictures but not special enough that I don’t feel like my wedding is my REAL wedding.

          First one was just practice :)

          • Yael

            Your advice and that of a few others who got married for immigration purposes has been really helpful. Thanks!

            I’m trying to downplay it as much as possible, and everyone but my dad seems to get it. He hasn’t mentioned it since I told him we weren’t inviting people, and he’s throwing us a big engagement party, so that’s nice!

          • theteenygirl

            You’re welcome! The feelings around the two weddings things will probably come and go btw. It helps to still refer to each other as fiance and say things like, “when we’re married” and “until we’re married” etc. Sometimes FH will even say jokingly something like “xxx might be a dealbreaker.. you sure you still want to get married?” which as a joke makes me feel better.. like there’s still something to look forward to.

          • Yael

            Ah, I’ve already started referring to A as my husband, but that’s partially because I’ve been talking to people about the piles of paperwork necessary to get A here. Mostly I try to refer to him as my partner, so I don’t have to go through the fiance but married explanation. Also, we’re not going to wear our rings, so that is definitely part of the distinction.

    • Congrats! Got a marriage license with my partner this week as well, our wedding is a few days before yours :)

    • Ilora

      Woohoo!! Our not-legal wedding was August 22! Our legal ceremony had been on a Thursday in April (the date of our 4 year anniversary). We had my parents and two friends as witnesses in a park (courthouse ceremonies are not an option here). The ceremony lasted less than 5 minutes, we got poutine for lunch with everyone, then the friends took off and we went back to my parents home to visit for a bit. We got home at 5pm and I went to have a nap…that ended up being my bedtime! I was shocked at how exhausted I was when we hadn’t really done anything but…it was a momentous day!

      We didn’t do rings or call each other husband and wife etc. I did start changing my name (because I had the time off work for an unrelated appointment so I figured I’d get it done) but didn’t use it socially until after our August ceremony. We didn’t make a big deal of it, people knew that it happened but we didn’t post it on social media or publicly “celebrate” it.

      As far as making it low-key special….we car pooled with one of our witnesses and when she sold her car a year later it still had glitter from my dress in it! I decided at the last minute that I wanted a little bouquet (babies breath from the grocery store the day before). I gave him a key chain with the dates of both weddings and our new last name (we both changed) engraved on it because he’s forgetful, and he ‘gave’ me a pinky ring with his birthstone (that I picked out lol).

      Major perk to the whole thing was how much freedom we had with our non-legal ceremony!!

  • emmers

    It’s been a long couple of weeks, but with some bright spots! Husband’s mom has schizophrenia, had an episode, and may be getting divorced, and he/I were in the thick of it for a few days. The mental illness stuff is so lame, but it was a good foil to our own marriage. We both kinda looked at each other a lot in the midst of the 2am phone calls, and were like, yea, our marriage is fine, and we have no problems on this level.

    We also had an amazing overnight last weekend with some great friends, and got to get away from it all and tipsily chill in a pool. Perfection!

    I had a miscarriage 11 months ago, and have been feeling way better for the last couple of months. I had my first down day in awhile yesterday when I looked at a friend’s baby registry, and when another friend kept having me hold her baby (for safety reasons, since she was watching her other kid at the pool). But it’s nice how most of my days are not depressed, now! This has overall been a good, happy summer so far, with lots of pool/river/beach relaxing, with summery cocktails. Excited to look at the LoFi recipes!

  • anonforpics
    • somanypseudonyms

      that is ADORABLE gah

    • Hayley

      These are amazing! It looks like a movie!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      ADORABLE! You both look unbelievably happy.

    • emmers

      Those are adorable! In the last one you look so happy!

    • Ashlah

      LOVE THEM

    • Lisa

      Awwww, those are so cute and sweet! Love it!

      • anonforpics

        And the dress is from eShakti! Sorry, I’m obsessed now lol. Also, it has POCKETS

        • Lisa

          So cute! So well-fitted! So twirly! So many pockets!

    • Violet

      Yay! Omg, LOVE.

    • Call Me Penny

      The dancing!! Love these

    • MC

      SOOOOO cute!!!

    • So cute!

    • Les

      Um, rain pictures?! So, so cute. You look like a damn rain fairy.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Right?! I’m actually considering choosing a spring wedding date, in hopes that it rains and we can take photos with a bubble umbrella.

    • AmandaBee

      OMG I love these. You both look fantastic, and you’re radiating happiness.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      DAWWWWWW

    • ssha

      The twirling one OMG!

    • I am DYING… These are magical and you both look so happy!! That twirl tho!

    • Kalë

      Love, love, love these! Your dress and all this gorgeous rain is giving me serious Notebook vibes

    • Jessica

      Cuties!!

    • Hannah

      These photos are like the movie poster for ‘The Notebook’, but better!

    • Ilora

      All the heart-eyes!!! Love!

    • LadyJanee

      These are beautiful! SO many heart eye emojis!

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I want all of those drinks rightnow, pls.

    I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed with life, mainly with a possible title change at work- someone told me yesterday they’d heard that I wasn’t as into it. It would be something I’d work toward for the rest of the year, and include a bit more responsibility but probably no raise. It made me stop and think about whether I DO want it, or if I just feel I should, since I’ve had my current role for awhile.

    We’re also now trying to conceive, and that is terrifying. I know our lives will change so much, and I’ve always wanted kids, but I’m still overwhelmed at the thought.

    Ugh. I need to just Hobbit this weekend for sure.

    • Lisa

      Sending love! Deep breaths!

    • rg223

      I mean, title changes and more responsibility usually translate to a raise (at least in my industry), so if I were you, I wouldn’t really be feeling that either!

  • MC

    Thanks for the mexcal cocktail recipe! We just returned from Oaxaca with mezcal in tow and I needed some inspiration for what to mix it with.

    Our two-week trip to Oaxaca was AMAZING. I am coming to terms with the fact that my anxiety/random situations prevented me from feeling like it was the *perfect* vacation – but I had a good talk with my therapist about needing to have more reasonable expectations and not letting one or two moments interfere with what was overall a wonderful vacation. And I have been able to reframe it in my mind a bit and looking at all our amazing photos definitely helps.

    Also, we used our credit card points to book a super luxury hotel in Mexico City for our last night of vacation and it was SO WORTH IT. Now Husband and I want to do that for every vacation haha.

    • KPM

      Oooh, would love to hear your recs for Oaxaca. Just did a week in Mexico City (LOVED) and we had debated doing Oaxaca in the same trip but decided both was too ambitious for the time we had. How did you get to/from Oaxaca? Hightlights?

  • Julia

    I think I had my IUD removed too soon. Emotionally, I’m ready/want to be pregnant with #2, but my husband is asking that we continue with our escalated savings plan after some unexpected-and-necessary home repairs last month that hit our savings account HARD. But I kept the appointment for IUD removal, telling myself “it can take weeks to get an appointment” and now…I just feel kind of silly. The only real implications are us having to use a back-up method, and me possibly having a period (which I haven’t had in….2.5 years?). So it’s not a huge deal, in the scheme of things. But in case anyone else let their maternal emotions guide their decision, despite repeated conversations with a thoughtful, loving, practical spouse, I am hear to say that you’re not the only one.

    • emmers

      I feel like this stuff is so complicated, with some many feelings. I don’t think you’re silly at all!

    • rg223

      Not exactly the same situation, but yeah, have definitely lived through maternal emotions guiding decisions!

  • Angela’s Back

    Wanted to share this because I’m still processing all of it, but my sister in law, 45, passed away from cancer late Sunday night, after being diagnosed less than 2 weeks prior. She was one of those girls who moved out to LA to be in movies and never made it but never gave up and she was a total babe back in the day. I only met her once, at our wedding in November last year, and she had a lot of problems, difficult relationship with my husband and my MIL but still… damn.

    • Jane

      I’m so sorry! Hope your husband is doing ok. Sometimes it’s even worse when the relationship is difficult.

      • Angela’s Back

        <3 It's so true. Husband was out there with her for the last week and it was rough, just from the little bit that he would tell me. He and my MIL are together right now but I'll be glad when he comes home on Monday, I feel like I'm the only person in all of this who's just looking out for him, understandably since MIL is pretty broken up about it.

        • Jane

          I’m sure he’s very glad he has you to come home to after all of that.

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. It’s so difficult to lose someone suddenly like that, particularly if the relationship was strained. I hope everyone is doing as best as they can be under the circumstances.

    • Lisa

      How awful! Sending love to your family.

    • Cellistec

      Oh, I’m so sorry. Two weeks is so fast, too. All the feelings are ok to feel.

  • Eh

    So breakfast with my inlaws last weekend went really well. We thanked them for making plans ahead of time with us. My FIL commented that dropping by our house at 6:30PM (apparently the time they are usually free when they are near our house) probably doesn’t work for us so they have refrained from dropping by at that time (we confirmed that’s around our daughter’s bedtime so it’s not a good time). My MIL was shocked to hear that the only time when we have a few hours together as a family is Sunday morning. I bit my tongue – we’ve only been telling them this for the last year (since my husband went back to work from parental leave). After breakfast they came over to our house (and saw to finished Powder Room). When we invited them over they were concerned that they were infringing on our family time or that we had errands to run (I explained that since they gave us notice I was able to run errands at a different time). I’m not holding my breath that it’s sunk in for them, but I hope that future interactions are more like this (instead of what it’s been like for the last 4 years).

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear this. Fingers crossed for a positive trend!

    • Eenie

      It’s almost like all your hard work on boundaries is seeing some fruit! I can’t imagine how it felt to have them concerned about infringing on your family time!

    • Jess

      Oh my gosh. Even if this is short lived, it’s so nice to know it’s possible!

      • Eh

        That’s what I was thinking! It’s good to know that my inlaws can actually make plans in advance and act respectful of our time.

  • Ashlah

    Oh! I got an Instant Pot on Prime Day! Favorite recipes??

    • penguin

      Ahh Instant Pot!! I highly recommend trolling the Instant Pot facebook group (I forget the exact name) for recipes. It has thousands of users and people are good about sharing their recipes. You can also search for past recipes, so if you wanted to know how to make cheesecake in there (for example), you can search for it.

      I’ve also had good luck with the recipes from This Old Gal (it’s a food blog), she has a BUNCH of Instant Pot recipes.

      Also feel free to ask me about it as much as you want, I’m obsessed with my (two…) Instant Pot(s).

      • Ashlah

        Awesome, I will check those out! Thanks!

      • penguin

        Favorite things I’ve made in it:

        Tapioca pudding (no need to soak the pearls!)
        Beans from dried beans (also no soaking!)
        Cheesecake (you put a little springform pan in there, and water)
        Probably others too!

    • Gaby

      I got one last month! So far I’ve only made some chicken thighs (frozen to fall off the bone in 45 minutes!!) but I want to make this soon: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/03/instant-pot-congee-jook/ I am a person who is in the mood for soup at all times, even if it’s 112 degrees out.

  • ssha

    Having some Feelings re: friendship in marriage. I have a bunch of local and faraway friends who I talk to frequently. Husband doesn’t, and is generally much more introverted/less social (but still wants to have friends!). I feel weird going out and leaving him at home for my one-on-one friend dates, and it’s not like he can go out with his friends at those times because he doesn’t have anyone in our city. Anyone have a similar imbalance?

    • somanypseudonyms

      we do! and…. yeah, I don’t know what to think about it. I try to remind myself (and maybe this’ll also help you?) that someone’s friendships are their own responsibility, and that people inevitably go through more and less social phases, and it’s not your fault / definitely not abandoning a person to be the partner with a more diverse social life. But… emphasis on “try” to remind myself.

      • ssha

        That does help, thank you! Part of it is that we live in my hometown, and this is definitely a more social time for me as I’m feeling like I didn’t have time for friends during wedding planning and I’m trying to catch up. Good luck with figuring things out!

    • Violet

      Part of having friends (whether you’re introverted or not) is being social when you don’t always feel 100% up to it. If he wants friends, he’s gonna have to do the work. Staying home with him because you feel bad is only going to affect your friendships, and it certainly won’t help him find his own crew.

      My partner and I have different friends, so it’s often one of us out while the other gets alone time, and that’s just the way it is! It’s good to have interests/friends outside of the partnership.

      • ssha

        So true. Thanks. He said one day that most of his friendships have come about “naturally” and I think he feels like it would be “forcing” it otherwise… but like, tough, you’re in a new city and need some people other than your partner, you need to do the work.

        • Yael

          As an introvert, who moved to a new city, in a new country, I get both sides of this. Making friends is HARD, especially outside of those natural settings (like school). I’m luck in that I’m in a school setting, so do have that framework, but it’s still hard. On the other hand, I don’t need/want friends as much as an extrovert, so I’m pretty ok with going back to my apartment to hide at the end of the day. It makes things less lonely, but also can prolong the loneliness. I don’t really have any advice, besides not letting him stop you from going out. Good luck to both of you!

          • ssha

            Thank you!

        • Violet

          I think it’s super hard to make friends as an adult, because there are very few “natural” settings to do so. It’s gonna take effort, but that doesn’t make the resulting friendship any less valuable! I presume your relationship together takes effort, but he probably doesn’t see that as forced and unnatural.

      • somanypseudonyms

        I struggle with this a lot — it’s good to be reminded. :/

      • Jess

        I sometimes suggest certain people to call when I have friend events. Pretty much to say “do the work”

    • Alex K

      I’m like your husband and my husband is like you. One thing that works well for us is if he gives me a little bit of notice (like oh by the way I’m seeing friend tonight) because then I slot that time for something that is fun for me (yoga, trying a new recipe, whatever).

    • rebecca

      I am on the opposite side of this kind of imbalance and I sometimes get really frustrated with my partner for feeling bad about leaving me alone. 1) I love being alone. I mentor college students all day–I get much more social stimulation during the weekday than he does so we need different things when we come home. I have friends that I see whenever I want to. Please go to the arcade and leave me to read my Kindle and drink vermouth. and 2) When he expresses to me that he feels like he can’t go out bc I don’t want to go out, it makes me feel, first of all, like I’m preventing him from doing things that are important to him, which is something I never want to do–and secondly, that he thinks there’s something wrong with me bc I don’t want to go out all the time.

      Ime many extraverts think “not including someone” is a terrible thing to do to a person, bc it would be a terrible experience *for them* but while I like to be asked if I want to come a long, if I decline an invitation, it doesn’t mean I don’t want the thing to happen or you should feel guilty for going, it just means I have something else I’d rather do.

      • ssha

        Yeah- it’s not that I feel bad for leaving him at home necessarily- he’s going to read and watch anime, he’ll be fineeee- I more feel bad that he doesn’t have local friends and therefore is either a) with me b) with me and my family or friends, c) at work, b) at things we do together like church, d) alone. That’s why I’m not sure how to work through feelings about it because like- it’s not my job to find him friends, but how do other couples do this balancing thing? Thanks for your thoughts!

        • Zahava

          We have a similar challenge. We live in the place where I grew up so I know way more people here than my wife does. She went to grad school here, but her friends have scattered all over the place since they graduated and she doesn’t have much local community otherwise. Add in some health issues that make getting out to make new friends hard for her, and it’s a frustrating situation. I still want to spend one-on-one time with my friends and it’s certainly healthy for my wife and me to have emotional support besides each other, but I definitely wish that she had more nearby friends as well — primarily for her sake, and also a bit so I wouldn’t feel guilty spending time with my friends while knowing she’d generally rather have my company at home than be home by herself. Communicating about it openly has been the most helpful thing, but I wish I had a magic wand to make more friends appear!

    • Ashlah

      I’m the one in your husband’s shoes, and it would bum me out if he chose not to make plans with his friends because he felt guilty about me (I mean, unless he were out every night, that’d be different). Sometimes it makes me sad because it points out my lack of friends, but I recognize that I’m the one with the power to change it if I want to. More often, I love having a night to be lazy at home by myself (or go shopping or eat ice cream for dinner or visit my mom, etc). I wouldn’t worry on his behalf until he brings it up as an issue with you (and even then, don’t let him make you feel guilty for having friends).

    • AmandaBee

      Yup, we have a bit of this going on, though I wouldn’t call myself an “extrovert” I just have more friends that I like to hang out with semi-regularly.

      In our case, I’ve just asked him about it and it turns out that he really enjoys spending those nights alone. It’s his time to be an introvert and play computer games with no judgment. So as long as I also carve out quality time with him, that imbalance actually works out okay for us.

    • emmers

      I’m much more introverted than my husband. Like others, I do appreciate some alone time, but also have sometimes wanted more friends. It was helpful when my husband encouraged me to make me-time and have a ladies lunch or go see a movie or whatever. He constantly talks about how important it is for us to have our own interests and own friends (in addition to shared interest/friends), which has helped put it on my radar more when I’m not sure I’d be as pro-active without the encouragement.

      I haven’t personally tried this, but my brother had success with meetup.com, and I also know a colleague who joined a hiking group through that, that she likes.

  • Not Sarah

    Someone bought something off our registry! Crate and Barrel doesn’t tell me who it is, just the item and the date it was bought, so now the suspense is there wondering who it is and when it will come! Much excitement since my partner had thought a registry was silly ;)

    On the guest list size – we’re starting to think we might end up with 45-50% of the people we invited, which would be perfectly fine too, but it seems like such a small ratio of the people we invited. For example, I’m becoming less and less sure the closer we get to our RSVP deadline whether two of my really good friends who don’t live in our area are coming or not, which leaves me a bit sad to imagine. I’m trying really hard to not think about how much time we took off work to attend some friends’ weddings who may not end up coming to ours. I know it’s not tit for tat, but it shows a bit that you don’t value each other’s friendship equally.

    • MC

      I just did the math and we had around 55% of our invites attend, and well it was a good # for us money-wise and crowd-size-wise, it did hurt to think about the people that couldn’t come. One of my best friends from college couldn’t be there because it was the weekend after her first week of law school two time zones away, and while it did feel like she didn’t value our friendship as much as I valued hers, a few years out it’s totally obvious that that is NOT the case. It really was just bad timing + no money, and sometimes those things can be overcome and sometimes they can’t. All that being said, definitely let yourself feel sad about those friends not being there, because it does suck. It’s a little easier post-wedding. If they are true friends they’ll be there for you after the wedding and will celebrate other parts of your life with you.

      • Not Sarah

        Thanks, MC! Our now expected attendance at this point is a really good number for us money-wise and crowd-size-wise as well. My feelings are more about the specific people not being there, especially these two who I would have asked to be in our wedding party. Thanks for reinforcing that it’s normal to feel sad about those friends not being there :) My mom told me “They live far away. Why would they come! No reason to be sad.”

        • somanypseudonyms

          …that’s the perfect inverse of this week’s bs wedding problems thread, in which now moms pretend things are not problems that are, in fact, hard. :/

          • Not Sarah

            Oh my comment in that thread was entirely about my mom’s opinions about this wedding thing ;)

        • emmers

          It is so normal! I vividly remember crying when some cross-country friends and their kids RSVPed no. It makes sense (so many plane tickets!), but I still cried in the shower when they did.

          But one thing that I remember about my wedding is that there were some people who were so sad to RSVP no (which was very sweet), and others who totally surprised me by how they came through for us. I hope that the same is true for you– that while you may be sad that your “ideal crowd” won’t be there, that the people who are there celebrate wonderfully with you.

    • We had 120 of the 220 that we invited actually attend. Many of those who didn’t come were my husband’s side of the family and regardless of why they didn’t/couldn’t come it really stung that so many of them couldn’t bother to even attempt to make it (also ask me about how my MIL told them all not to worry about it because we would be having a reception at home when we got back. Ugh). Two years out from the wedding I still have to remind myself how much fun I had at my wedding, and that it was their loss that they didn’t come and an enjoy, not mine.

      • Lisa

        This is the attitude I try to take, too. We had about 80 of 140 invited, and most of the people who didn’t come were my extended family. For some reason, my MIL loves to go on about how my husband’s family travelled from all over the world and way out-represented my family, who was mostly local-ish (within 5 hours drive), which was a contributing reason to our Midwestern wedding. I try not to focus on who didn’t turn up for me and remember what a rocking wedding we had, but it’s difficult when people throw a spotlight on it.

        • rebecca

          This is us, too. We’re looking at about 75 out of 120 invited after our cousins and SILs told us “don’t overinvite a single soul bc eeeeeeeveeeeryone will come.” That’s definitely been really rough on my fiance. We both have several cousins who aren’t coming, which is fine by me, we’re not close to them, but it makes me wish we had invited more friends instead. My future MIL is also really competitive about how many people come from each side and keeps saying “well its easy for your side to come, they’re in the Midwest” and it takes a significant portion of my willpower to avoid yelling at her that it’s a lot more rare fro someone to drive 5 hrs from rural MI to Chicago than to hop on a plane at LaGuardia. This process has definitely made us realize how lucky we are to have the financial privilege that we’ve been able to travel a lot to support our friends marriages.

          • Lisa

            Hey, that was our exact situation, except west coast to Chicago! And 60+% is actually not that bad of an acceptance rate if you look at the calculators for your invite number. We erred on the high side of the percentages given the local-ish nature of my family, who I really expected to show up. If I could go back, I would just invite the friends we were on the fence about and not worry about it as much.

          • Not Sarah

            We purposely sent out invites 12 weeks in advance to give us some time to send out a second round of invites to some friends 8 weeks out. That was really helpful for the feelings that we should have invited more friends.

          • Not Sarah

            My partner was really worried that everyone would come…and I could not really convince him that plenty of people would not come until the RSVPs started coming. I’m really glad we over-invited because for a lot of people, the invites meant something even if they couldn’t come.

      • Not Sarah

        We’ve invited 180 and we are thinking we’ll end up with 80-100 at this point, while we had originally estimated 120-130 out of the list would come. On the plus side, our local friends have been incredibly supportive and with the no’s, we have been able to invite a few more people than we originally had, which helps to balance things out.

    • somanypseudonyms

      I sympathize with those feelings on attendance a lot — we have a much higher percentage attending (partly because of pruning pre-invitation, presumably), but a few people just dropped out unexpectedly after the RSVP deadline, and it’s hard not to take that personally. I’m trying to remind myself that this, too, will feel different when it’s no longer part of this giant circus of a gantt chart planning process.

      • Not Sarah

        About 2/3 of our guest list lives about 3,000 miles away. Definitely related to the low attendance, though we had thought more would come than it appears will actually.

        • somanypseudonyms

          Oof, that’s tough. Sending you <3.

          • Not Sarah

            Thanks <3 We've been really grateful for the people who've RSVP'd no early, rather than holding out towards the RSVP deadline, hoping they'll make it.

          • somanypseudonyms

            Yeah, it’s definitely more painful when the news comes at an unexpected time.

          • Not Sarah

            Interesting. Maybe I’ll feel differently when we get there, but knowing why we almost dropped out just before a wedding last fall, I would tend towards having sympathy for people who drop out *after* RSVP’ing more so than people who RSVP no earlier.

          • Amy March

            At least you don’t have to pay for people who say no on time though?

          • Not Sarah

            True! Our venue has a 5 business day requirement on numbers for food though, so there’s still plenty of buffer room for someone to cancel and we don’t have to pay for them. That’s why I’m not very worried about them.

          • Yessss. I was very ragey when I got a text the day before the wedding saying “Sorry I forgot that it’s my niece’s baptism tomorrow” from someone who RSVP-ed yes, but lived two states away from the wedding. If you never planned on coming why waste my money?!

          • Not Sarah

            Whaaaaat?! That’s ridic.

          • LadyJanee

            We had a number of people pull out the day before. I was like, you know this isn’t just a casual backyard bbq right?!

          • somanypseudonyms

            Ah, I didn’t mean that I feel less sympathy — just that I *also* feel more sadness on my own end, because it’s less expected / less prepared-for. I know at least some of the circumstances of people dropping out of mine late, and I feel for them. I just also feel sad on my own account at the same time.

          • Not Sarah

            Oh that makes more sense! I’m also sorry for telling you how you should feel. I have had sadness about almost all of the no RSVPs so far.

          • somanypseudonyms

            No worries at all! <3 It's so weird — I was definitely initially in the camp of "ugh why do I have to invite ALL of my cousins to avoid Parent Drama I hope half of them don't come" and now here I am wishing there were fewer no's. Feelings.

          • Not Sarah

            Omg we’re having the same feelings!! <3 It's looking like none of my husband's cousins will come and only one aunt & uncle, yet we invited like 50 people from his family.

          • somanypseudonyms

            what even are humans, no, really, I would like to know

    • ssha

      We had a very good friend not attend and I was a ball of sad for a few days. It does feel like they don’t value the friendship but in reality it was just bad timing for this friend and they didn’t have the resources to attend. Good luck with working through the feelings.

    • jazzygingery

      Our rsvp deadline is tomorrow, and we have had 50% respond…One of the people that hasn’t yet, is my fiancé’s dad. When fiancé called and asked him about it the other day, his Dad’s response was, “I can’t make a decision about that right now, I’m on vacation in Aruba. I’ll call you next week.” :-/

      • AGCourtney

        what. what is wrong with people?!!

        • jazzygingery

          If I only knew…

      • Lisa

        Seriously??? I hope he actually shows up for you!

        • jazzygingery

          Thanks, me too

      • Not Sarah

        AAghghghg!!!! I’m so sorry! That is really hard :( Sending you <3

        My sister said her RSVP was dependent on whether we have an open bar, but she eventually RSVP'd anyways. My parents haven't RSVP'd yet (we sent the invites out a month ago and our RSVP deadline is a month today) because they don't want to pick which food to eat yet, though they have said they're coming. My partner's brother hasn't RSVP'd yet, but he won't hassle his brother until the RSVP deadline.

        • Lisa

          One of my best friend’s BIL and SIL RSVPed yes to her wedding, and at 7:00 PM the night before the wedding, he called his parents to say, actually, he couldn’t get the day off work so neither he nor the wife would be driving the 2 hours to the wedding. (He worked for the city’s transit department so it wasn’t like an emergency call or something. He just forgot to ask off and decided he wouldn’t bother his boss at the last minute.)

          • Not Sarah

            Whaaaat. Well my BIL and SIL live a 12 hour drive away and I know they’ve booked the time off work, but I don’t think they’ve booked anything for travel yet.

          • Lisa

            Yeah, it was really upsetting for the groom because most of his extended family decided not to come. He had his parents, one grandparent, and four college friends on his side at a wedding of ~50.

            Travel can be done pretty close to last minute, though I’ve never understood that since it’s more expensive 99% of the time. Some people just operate that way.

          • Jane

            What?

        • jazzygingery

          Thanks! People get really weird when they have to commit to things ahead of time. I hope the rest of the wedding planning/rsvp situation is going well.

      • rebecca

        Ok yours is deffinitely worse bc you don’t know if he’ll come or not, but I’m kinda right there with you. My fiance’s brother has verbally said he’s coming to (and will be in) our wedding, which is in 6 days but he never RSVPed so I don’t know if he’s bringing his girlfriend or what they want to eat. I sent him a “I’m putting you down for 2 salmon’s bc I think that’s the best one” email on Monday and we still haven’t heard from him!

        • jazzygingery

          That’s still super stressful, especially being less than a week out! I’ll send some calming vibes your way.

      • Jane

        Ugh. Our RSVP deadline is today (your tomorrow) and we are still missing TONS of RSVPs. Nothing as frustrating as your fiance’s dad, though.

    • Lisa

      We invited 340 people and had 180 attend (54% attendance rate). Many of of our friends and family came from out of state though, and some even came from out of the country, which was amazing. It was super sad when some had conflicts or couldn’t make it for some other reason, but on the other hand it was such a fantastic surprise when certain guests came that we never expected to come. It meant a lot; in fact, whether it should or not, it reframes the way that I view my friendship with those people. I totally understand when people can’t attend, so that hasn’t changed anything. But I’m definitely thinking differently about some old friends I haven’t been in regular touch with who flew across the country to be there that day – I’ve been so blown away by the outpouring of love and the concrete acts of love that made the wedding happen.

      • Not Sarah

        <3 What lovely thoughts! I agree too – I've been really blown away by the outpouring of support from some portion of our guest list and that really helps to compensate for the sadness of other parts. For example, when we eloped last fall (we're planning a reception for our first anniversary), two of our friends took the day off work on no notice to come and witness/photograph our wedding, which was really, really heartwarming. Many people who can't come have left really sweet messages, which have been lovely to read as well!

        • Amy March

          That may also play a role? It just feels different to some people to attend a wedding versus an anniversary party, rightly or wrongly.

          • Not Sarah

            It absolutely may for some people, which is completely reasonable. I know, however, for two of these friends it’s not as they’ve told me why they may not come. I don’t want to get into their reasons here though. I can both accept and them not coming and be sad about it at the same time, which is what I’m expressing here.

    • Jane

      Please try not to take your friend not attending your wedding as a sign of not valuing your friendship!! I know it sucks (we just got no RSVPs from friends I was SURE would come) but there are sooo many factors that have nothing to do with you that go into making that decision.

      • emmers

        So true! And I know it’s not easy in the moment to think of this. Sometimes it’s just $$. Like, we appear to have $$, but have to say no to lots of stuff cuz we’re paying down debt, but it wouldn’t necessarily be apparent from the outside. But it does suck so hard when it feels like things are unbalanced!

    • AtHomeInWA

      I caution you against concluding that you don’t value each other’s friendship equally. If they end up unable to come, you do not know what went into those decisions. If they are out of area and have to take time off of work there is work stuff involved, there is money stuff involved, there may be relationship stuff involved. There could be things you don’t even know about involved, for all you know there is some sort of personal or family emergency that they aren’t ready to talk about yet.

      • Not Sarah

        To put what I said another way, it could mean that we were closer at the time that they got married than at the time I got married, which is perfectly reasonable as lives change.

  • AGCourtney

    Hi, everyone! It’s nice to be back.

    We had a lovely vacation to Michigan and spent time visiting with my husband’s extended family and spending time at the lake. We also checked out the Public Museum in Grand Rapids, which was awesome. They had this really cool exhibit called Mindbenders Mansion with all kinds of puzzles and riddles – my daughter and I really enjoyed that.

    We did a New Thing this year where we actually left Michigan early and went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire for the first time. It’s far enough away where we normally wouldn’t go, but it was on the way back from MI for us. We had a blast! I still love our home festival but this one was so much more family-friendly, haha. (real bathrooms! with sinks!) Autumn got to do Kid Quests and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

    This week, I’ve been heading loan services in the college library during the day while the usual department heads are on vacation. It feels a bit odd but it’s nice to be back. I’m moving up in the world! I met with HR this week and learned about benefits~ Looking forward to having health insurance, haha. Things are definitely getting busy – next week is tech week for Pirates of Penzance! On the bright side, though, it was my last day at the printing press on Monday. My co-workers were joking that I’ll never forget them (seeing as I have quite the scar on my hand!)
    A couple of photos from Bristol:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/995ccd30f41e64315ca83bb5ee0b3e910db44400bf53eda77555a49aa66e231f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2c6c005a4eaa58f6ee68ef26ffd76d7358ec5bfef9df473db24346a6e4075fe.jpg

  • Eileen

    Anyone else having conflicted feelings about fashion and dressing themselves since becoming a parent? I like to look good but most things just take so. much. time. and I’m so jealous of my husband who just jumps out of the shower and puts clothes on. I also don’t want to wear things that I have to tug at all day anymore—over it… not to mention expendable income has taken a hit (although some of that may be in my head).

    • idkmybffjill

      I’m not a parent (yet – ~10 more weeks), but I’m planning on setting aside a chunk of money and before returning to work from leave buying myself a capsule wardrobe. I’ve attempted this numerous times before, but I feel like with a kid and a new postpartum body I’m gonna finally pull the trigger. I’m gonna buy very few expensive pieces that fit perfectly and hopefully only wear those things and I’m really looking forward to it!

      • Eileen

        That is a really good idea—maybe I could save up for something like that. I’m actually lighter than I was before baby because of breastfeeding, which surely won’t last, but if I bought things with some wiggle room, it might work. In any case, it’s something I could get excited about!

        • Lisa

          If you have dresses/skirts in your rotation, I highly recommend finding some of these. I carry weight in my lower half, and I’ve found dresses with even a little bit of flare on the bottom to be more forgiving and versatile for my life than the pants I’m constantly cycling in and out of.

          • emmers

            I was just thinking about this today! I wore pants for the first time in awhile, and was thinking about how my dresses are so much more forgiving of weight fluctuation.

        • Sarah

          I kept 17 lbs in while nursing then weaned and lost it and more. Slow and steady with new clothes for a good year or two after baby is my advice.

      • Sarah

        Consignment shops. I got some nice perfectly fitting talbots pants for 14 each. Pretty much the only three pants I wore to work my first postpartum fall/winter.

    • My struggle is how my body has changed post-baby – I both want to lose weight but also areas have shifted/completely changed so my old clothes don’t fit the same. I want to feel good in my clothes but buying a new wardrobe isn’t practical *sigh*

      • Eileen

        Yes, this is also part of it. Shifting is definitely how I’d describe it. And other bodily concerns, like breastfeeding, which make most dresses and tunics out of the question.

        • Yup! Some of my favorite pieces I can’t wear right now due to breastfeeding and it’s such a bummer. It’s hard to feel like myself sometimes.

          • AtHomeInWA

            This is part of the reason I am a goodwill shopper. I need grow-up clothes for work, but I also want to have babies in upcoming years. None of those fitted pants are going to fit, so why pay big money for them now!

    • emilyg25

      It has been such a roller coaster for me. Things went back differently–my waist is wider and higher, my butt is flatter. I lost a lot of weight while breastfeeding, and bought some cute new clothes, and then gained it all back when I weaned. Also what I like and feel comfortable in has changed. My son is 2 1/2 now and I recently started learning more about garment sewing. Part of that has been doing the Wardrobe Architect prompts on Seamwork, which has made me think a lot more carefully about my own style. Useful even if you don’t plan to sew your own clothes.

    • Mary Jo TC

      It’s tough. Your size changes so much, and if you breastfeed, you have to wear clothing that accommodates that. I have definitely changed my fashion since becoming a parent, even beyond that those obvious issues. I don’t accessorize, like at all. I have some decent jewelry but I never wear it because babies pull on it. I have become entirely incapable of tolerating a heel higher than an inch for normal, daily wear. I’m even shaving my legs less often, and I was pretty lazy about that before.

    • I just started reading Anuschka Rees’ The Curated Closet, and I think this will help me with some similar feelings I’ve been having. Though, I am guessing that as a new parent, that approach is something you probably don’t have time for! But if you ever had time to invest in the process of thinking and evaluating things to that level, I’m guessing that it will pay off in spades for the long-term. That’s what I’m counting on anyways. I’d like to be able to grab anything from the closet and be happy to put it on. I’ve already done some thinking in this direction after reading some on her blog of the last few years, so I know that that has been really helpful in guiding my process in what I buy/don’t buy. For example, I now have a very short descriptive phrase that describes the style I am going for. She says they don’t have to make sense to other people as long as it is very clear to you. So now I can think about something I am considering buying and quickly figure out if it works with my ideal style. And on a more tangible level, I have decided comfort is way up there on my list of priorities. And I also like to be able to walk long distances in my shoes and be able to take off running, should the need ever arise! Prepared for anything and not limited by my clothes! After I work through this book, I want to get rid of a lot and then check out the thrift stores for any missing things I realize I might need and hopefully discover a couple high-quality items. And I am going to make a few dresses this summer too. I bought some linen and patterns on super sale, so I am going to make a few things because I have not seen what I’m looking for in stores. And sorry for the long response! And I’m not a parent but I can imagine that that life change would totally create a need to rethink a lot of clothing/wardrobe things and what now works for your real day-to-day life. Good luck!

    • Hope

      I am 41, have a 1 year old we adopted as a newborn, and have gained a few pounds. This summer I had to buy new swimming clothes- ugh. Every bathing suit seemed mumsy and I’m still not happy with the one I spent more money on than I wanted. Bizarrely the bikini I bought, after ordering many different options online, feels better than I expected.

  • Amandalikeshummus

    Had a pregnancy scare this past week, and I feel… things about it? Well first, it sucks that there are women/couples who want it so bad and then aren’t, and then people like me. But I spent Sunday really thinking I was, and that alone was exhausting. Then Sunday night, after I bought the test, I actually told my friend. That made me feel better. I really wanted to tell my boyfriend, but didn’t want to send him into an existential crisis over nothing, especially since we use multiple forms of contraception. So, generally I have the place to myself Sunday; but that day boyfriend was redoing the bathroom. Of course he was redoing the one room I wanted to be alone in.

    Anyway, I’m not. I think maybe the missed pills just messed up my cycle, which made me miss and be nauseous. But now I’m thinking maybe I should go off of it, since we use other protection, and I’m not super good at remembering it. Has anyone else gone on because their periods were terrible, then gone off of it after a decade? Is it possible my lady organs are now fixed?

    (I’m kinda thinking iud is too longterm for me at this juncture)

    • Anna

      Have you considered something like the implant (Nexplanon or similar) that’s somewhat less long-term than an IUD but still doesn’t require you to remember anything?

      • Transnonymous

        Seconded. This is a pretty good option if your insurance covers it (it’s pretty expensive without), especially because the insertion/removal process takes 10 minutes tops.

    • Yael

      I went on because of dysmenorrhea a little over a decade ago, and went off this year mostly due to not figuring out a doctor/pharmacist in Germany yet and… I’m going back on. It was fine for awhile, but each one gets more painful and is starting to affect my work. Mine were also highly irregular, so while they’re still pretty regular, that’s probably not fixed long-term either. But that’s just my experience.

      I’m considering an IUD, but I’m also extremely sensitive to hormones and the first few kinds of birth control I tried made me crazy. I take Yasmin/Ocella now – does anyone know if there’s a comparable IUD?

      • rebecca

        So I don’t tolerate oral bc well at all and loooooove my Mirena now so I will pass on to you what my doctor told me: Oral contraceptives function systemically, whereas the hormones in an IUD work locally in you uterus and do not enter your bloodstream (yes, probably a negligible amount enters your bloodstream but it’s very unlikely that it would have an effect). This is why if you take the Pill for acne, you might start breaking out again with an IUD. Most people who experience hormonal side effects from hormonal IUDs are actually experience the side effects from withdrawling from their previous hormonal method. The primary way a hormonal IUD works is by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg (ie the purpose of the hormones is to make your cervix make a barrier) whereas the primary mechanism for oral contraceptives is supressing ovulation.

        ymmv I’m not a doctor just a nerd who’s happy w/her birth control

    • Transnonymous

      I was on hormonal contraceptives for ten years to manage world-ending cramps and went off them this past March. My cycles have been significantly better than they were in my teen years – much lighter and no pain. Granted, I am far more active in my adulthood than I was when I was a teen, that might have something to do with it.

    • emmers

      Pregnancy scares are the worst, and so complicated! Even when I wanted to get pregnant, it still freaked me out to actually be pregnant. And when I wasn’t wanting to get pregnant, it was super scary. It’s just a lot of feelings!

  • Lisa

    Whoa, has everyone heard about the Alfred Angelo closure? I hope no one was waiting on a dress through them!

    • Kaitlyn

      Yes! It’s crazy how they just shut down like that

    • m0nkz

      I was saving up to order a dress through them, but hadn’t put any money down yet. . . It is unfortunately back to the dress hunt for me. [insert sad Charlie Brown and me dragging my feet like Michael Cera in Arrested Development].

      • penguin

        So glad you waited!

        • m0nkz

          Me too!! Though in the pettiest of complaints, I am now suffering the “Nothing will compare to The Dress” syndrome… Oh well.

          Also feeling awful for the ladies who helped me out. They were some of the nicest, most genuine sales associates I have ever encountered. I hope they find new employment soon.

    • Oh my! I feel bad for all the brides and bridesmaids affected by this…

  • idkmybffjill

    Going to a wedding this weekend 30 weeks pregnant! Had a fashion show at home and my third tri boobs no longer fit in the dress I was planning to wear. Luckily I’m a shopping maniac and had two back up options.

    Probably no big deal to wear (nice) flip flops to a summer wedding when one is super preggo right? My feet are always swollen and have also stretched during pregnancy, so all my fancy shoes don’t fit.

    • Lisa

      I highly doubt anyone will say anything about a third trimester woman wearing whatever she is comfortable/can fit in. If they do, they deserve some serious side eye and judgment directed their way.

      • idkmybffjill

        Lol! This was my thought. Thanks for the encouragement!!

      • somanypseudonyms

        strongly agree — which, unfortunately, doesn’t mean some people won’t still potentially be jerks. judging from the experience of [every pregnant lady I have known], though, you’re probably prepared for Bizarre Jerk Behavior after getting through the first 2/3 of this adventure. <3

    • louise danger

      if anyone says something to you about wearing flip flops to a summer wedding as a 3rd trimester pregnant lady, i am 9000% sure there is something in Miss Manners about you being fully entitled to throw said flip flop(s) at them.

      • idkmybffjill

        Ha!! Thank you.

    • AmandaBee

      I would never judge a pregnant woman (or anyone, but definitely not a pregnant woman) for wearing flip flops to a wedding. Do it! Someone would have to be a mega-jerk to see a problem with that.

      • AmandaBee

        I’ll add a funny story: My husband’s cousin (cousin-in-law?) was wearing a nice pair of heels to our wedding but on the way in, one of her heels broke on the sidewalk. I guess some guy was in doing yard work and when he saw her hobbling around, he offered to grab her a pair of shoes for her. So that’s how my cousin-in-law ended up wearing the flip-flops of a man she’d never met before to our wedding. (And no one cared! I didn’t even notice ’till she told us the story.)

        • idkmybffjill

          This is an incredible story.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Summer weddings have gotten more casual in the footwear department lately anyway. Plus, anyone going around looking at feet rather than the appetizer spread needs to check their priorities.

      • idkmybffjill

        Thank you! I appreciate the input and shall wear my flops with confidence.

      • Ha, that’d totally be my boyfriend. But he works in the shoe industry so he always notices what people are wearing. But he would never make a comment to anyone about their choice of shoe (unless it was positive)!

    • Jess

      Wear the comfortable shoes. Please. I had two bridesmaids around that mark and told them they could wear running shoes if it would be comfortable.

    • suchbrightlights

      Please wear your flip flops. Wear them even if they are dollar store flip flops. Hot glue gun a fake flower to them if you have to, but suffering for the sake of beauty went out with Scarlett O’Hara, so… flip flops it is.

  • louise danger

    did y’all hear that Alfred Angelo is filing for bankruptcy? if you have an order pending with them, you, uh… might want to check on its status. (my own dress is safely in my closet at home, but i’ve been scrambling to find a seamstress/tailor to help with alterations – and thanking the heavens for my opera/theater connections.)

    we got our engagement photos back! they’re great, there’s even some where i don’t look like a whale! A+++ 10/10 would recommend, self body positivity is not my strong suit. our photographer is amazing and i love her and tromping around on what was at the time the hottest day of the year was worth the hassle and next-day-sore-feet :)

    met with the deacon and have picked all the readings, universal prayers, etc for the wedding. mr danger’s uncle agreed to be one of the readers, and our nuptial blessing includes “[long intro], we ask you to pour blessings onto this bride, name, and her bridegroom, name [etc]” and i just – yay, something from the church that puts the bride and not the guy first! question of aisle-walking is still unanswered but everything else is falling into place nicely.

    i am getting the invitations tonight (eeeee) and i have greenlighted mom’s desire to plan a shower for me. she, SIL, and my matron of honor are tag-teaming it and the guest list is tiny (8 people including me), and although it’s apparently a secret what the actual thing is, MOH is telling me that she thinks i’ll like it.

    we are visiting puppies this weekend (and i’ll be addressing envelopes for the invitations) which is the best kind of recharging session. (because i suspect you’ll ask: they are borzoi puppies, and they are about 9 weeks old; a friend of mine breeds and shows borzoi and we are mostly going there to play with them but it’s possible we’ll be bringing one of them home after the wedding.)

    • somanypseudonyms

      congratulations! this sounds like a super-happy week’s worth of updates! (I mean, minus the potential dress snafu, but that sounds mostly-resolved, too.)

      [also puppiessssss]

      • louise danger

        it’s a full 180 from last week, for sure, haha.

    • AmandaBee

      I saw the Alfred Angelo thing – one of the stores closed in my area and apparently there are still dresses inside that people were planning to pick up? And it’s unclear if anyone will be able to pick them up now. Craziness.

      Sounds like a productive and fun week!

      • Jane

        That sounds terrible! I hope they get their dresses immediately!

      • penguin

        Wow that’s my nightmare. I tried on dresses at AA but didn’t order from them, and now I’m extra glad!

        • AmandaBee

          Right?! I tried on dresses there too – my wedding was a year ago so it obviously doesn’t affect me, but just the thought of ordering a dress and then being in limbo about whether I could pick it up gives me hives.

    • The Alfred Angelo thing is insane. So many reports of employees choosing to work for free on the final day in order to get as many dresses out as possible. With bankruptcy, though, anyone who hasn’t got their dress is SOOL – they’re assets now, as are the deposits that have already been paid. Credit card chargebacks are people’s only hope, and the fact the company stopped taking card payments before this went down is one of the cruellest things – people were handing over cash they day before they shut everything, and they have no recourse to get that back. The website still has no hints on it they’ve shut, and the facebook page is full of complaints because they’ve clearly also fired their social media people.

      Someone raised on Buzzfeed about employees who are due to take their pensions soon. How do work pensions work in the US – if the company goes down do they lose them? Are they an asset in the bankruptcy too?

      • Amy March

        I’m surprised Alfred Angelo offers a pension plan. Pension plans are generally speaking not an asset and are still paid out to employees. But bankruptcy law is complex and there are no guarantees.

      • AmandaBee

        So nuts! I was super adament about putting all our major wedding expenses on a credit card so we’d have some recourse if a vendor closed or flaked. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for those who just put in an order, only to find out they’re SOL.

        • This has reminded me that I’ve been pretty slack about using a credit card, especially for honeymoon stuff – it’s good for budgeting when it comes out of the account immediately, but it could come back to bite us.

          • About a year or so ago, hmm maybe more?, I started charging my regular expenses and then paying them off every month, so essentially using my credit card in the same way I had previously used a debit card. I made the change for safety but then also quickly really that I can earn points (and get money back on travel expenses!), so I’m sold on the idea. And then there’s the “insurance” side of things of being protected if something goes wrong with a purchase. I recently have been dealing with a negative experience with an Etsy purchase, so it has been reassuring that I could do a chargeback if necessary. And also I recently realized that insurance comes with my card when I rent a car! I probably should read the booklet again to try to see all the benefits my card gives me…

    • Jane

      Looks like former brides/bridesmaids are trying to match dresses to people whose dresses are locked up using #dressmatchmaker.

      Feeling super grateful myself that my dress is not from AA and is sitting safely in my closet.

  • Call Me Penny

    I received an email from a sales rep today that was clearly meant for one of his colleagues, ridiculing me. So many things about it made me mad, but what really took the biscuit was that he didn’t just own up and admit it and apologise. Instead he spun a complicated tale about how I had misunderstood and was clearly very sensitive. Wwwhhhyyyy mediocre middle aged white men, whhhyyyy.

    • AGCourtney

      what the hell.

      • Call Me Penny

        It took me a few re-reads to get my head around it. Someone needs to learn the difference between the forward and reply button. Plus you know, basic human decency!

    • Alli

      omggggg. Why apologize when you can just gaslight people?

      • Call Me Penny

        Exactly!

    • Amandalikeshummus

      So sensitive to feel insulted when someone insults you. You really shouldn’t let your uterus wander around like that. Grrrr. And you know this is one of those people who would actually flip his shit if he was slighted in the least. But somehow throwing a mantantrum is not being emotional?

      • Emily

        “Shouldn’t let you uterus wander” that’s excellent

        • Call Me Penny

          I’m definitely using it in future!

    • Emily

      like a sales rep trying to sell something to you/your business? I wonder how sensitive he will be when he no longer has your contract!

      • Call Me Penny

        Yep, selling something that’s widely available but that they won the contract to because of the extra design support they include. Part of his issue was that my design skills were awful. No kidding dude, that’s why we’re paying you to fix them for us. Sadly it’s not within my responsibility to drop them, but you better believe I’m passing it on to the powers that be next week.

        • Amandalikeshummus

          Omg, dude, does your Lyft driver make fun of you for not driving yourself? Does your hairdresser make fun of you for not cutting your own hair? Does your IT person make fun of you when you download a virus when you clicked the link that said you’d see a thousand kittens? The last one is probably yes; but the point is, no, people don’t make fun of their clients because they like having a job.

          • Amandalikeshummus

            Also, I doubt he’d make fun of a guy who wasn’t a good designer, because men don’t need to be good at everything to be worthwhile.

          • Call Me Penny

            The funny thing is he thought I was a guy until yesterday – my name is often thought to be male if you’re not familiar with it, and it was only when we spoke on the phone yesterday that he realised I do in fact have a uterus. I’m trying not to give too much thought to there being a connection, but if the shoe fits and all that.

        • Jane

          And maybe, somehow, his manager? That kind of shit should not just be ok. Especially calling you too sensitive afterward!

        • That’s awful! I’m glad you are going to share that email with the powers that be! I am all for not doing business with jerks… In most cases, there are enough nice people (or at least non-jerks) who are equally talented and I’d rather deal with them. Of course, I guess this sometimes isn’t the case, especially when other people are in charge of hiring.

    • somanypseudonyms

      oh *wow*. I’m pretty sure you could crowdsource a scathing reply in here, if that helps…

      • Alli

        I’m not the best with words but I’ll help!

        “First of all, fuck you.”

        • somanypseudonyms

          what are you talking about, those are excellent words

        • Call Me Penny

          I need nothing else !

        • Emily

          Short and sweet–should do the trick lol

    • Les

      Duuuude. If one of my vendors did that, they would be apologizing so fast… but none of them are middle-aged white dudes. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

      • Les

        Oh? You don’t want our money?

        • Call Me Penny

          So misguided. I work for a large university so it would stand to be a lucrative contract for them as well. Not anymore!

    • Cellistec

      Wow. Just…wow.

  • nutbrownrose

    I’m getting married a week from tomorrow! Which means today is my last Happy Hour as an unmarried woman! FH’s family arrives Sunday, and then we’re off to the races! We’re 98% done with music, and then only have the vows left to write. (And a corner of a cross-stitch to go between photos of our grandmothers to finish, because I am determined to finish and frame the damn thing in time) And since we had a big fight about only talking about the wedding this week, I’ve been making an effort to leave it alone later in the evening. Definitely should have been doing this for the last 18 months, because my mental health/relationship health has made a big turnaround since I tried that.

    If you’re planning now–Listen to me! Let your bride brain take a break and be a person brain with opinions about non-wedding things in the presence of your person you’re planning this damn thing for in the first place. Your person will thank you. And so will your brain.

    • ssha

      This is good advice.

      …Is your username from the song “star of the county down”?

      • nutbrownrose

        OMG you are the first person i’ve met who knew that! It was one of the only songs I knew where the girl the guy loved specifically had brown hair. So I’ve been using it since I was literally 12.

        • ssha

          Haha, that’s a fun story! I thought of it the first time I saw you post a comment. :) Husband and I bonded over The High Kings very early in our relationship. :P

          • nutbrownrose

            I actually have only ever heard the Roger Whittaker version, I thought it was an Irish folk song?

          • ssha

            It is! The High Kings (Irish folk band) is just the version I’m familiar with.

    • somanypseudonyms

      this is very good advice. (but howwww)

      • penguin

        What I’ve been doing is just finding something to watch, like Great British Bake Off (it’s on Netflix in the US as Great British Baking Show). I get into it, and I get to enjoy some no-wedding time.

        Or I’ll listen to an audio book in headphones, while playing something dumb on my phone like 2048 or candy crush.

  • Transnonymous

    It looks like we’re staying put for at least another year. I received personal news from my boss that there was an opening in my office for a position that I’m much better suited for than my current one, and my husband’s been advancing at his work at an incredibly rapid rate. That combined with being three and a half weeks out from my first endocrinology appointment (it can sometimes take months to get in) and a great community of people has given us reason enough to stay. I mean, unless I get fired after officially coming out at work, but we already have our plan in place for that.

    Also, now that I know what one is, I really want a Bee Smoker.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Sounds like progress! I’ve been following your HH updates, don’t think I’ve replied to you before but just wanted to say this Internet stranger is rooting for you. Hope your situation improves with the appointment and coming out at work (or at least that it doesn’t get worse), and best of luck on going after the new position!

      Also definitely ready for a Bee Smoker.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Guy, I’m going dress shopping tomorrow, with my two best gals!I had my heart absolutely set on a dress I found on Etsy, and for over a year I knew that this. was. my. dress. Well, after some spotty communication with the lady who makes it, we determined that it’s not a good style for my body type, and it’s very difficult to make alterations to the bodice. So I would be dropping $1k on a dress I’d never tried on, and if it didn’t fit right…So, I’ve mourned the vision I had, and I’m ready to start fresh. Yay, adult dress up time!

    • Yael

      Good luck!

    • Transnonymous

      Have fun! And don’t forget water and snacks – trying on dresses is so exhausting.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Hahahahaha, noted!

        • penguin

          And if you’re somebody who typically wears something under dresses/skirts (like I always wear something like bike shorts), bring those and wear them! It helped me not get wicked overheated and chafe haha. Good luck!

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Totally wore my little anti-chafe shorts. I was wearing a skirt today anyway, because I wanted to feel cute when I walked into the appointment.

    • penguin

      Good luck! Try on different dress silhouettes, even if you think you’ll hate them. I never thought I’d get a ballgown dress, but I look elegant as hell in it so I got it. I tried on one dress in each shape, so I confirmed that I really do hate mermaid dresses on me, now and forever.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I am always drawn to mermaids, and I think I might actually look good in one, but I think it would drive me to tears to have my legs wrapped together all night. Definitely on the list to try, if just to rule it out, once and for all!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Update: We had a lot of fun! Started off a little awkwardly when I explained to the lady that I didn’t want white, and she assured me that they have plenty of ivory and blush. No, lady, give me purple! Give me blue! Give me color! She also kept making comments about what “looks more bridal,” and I mean, I get what she mean, but that gets to be whatever I want it to be. It’s my wedding, I’m the bride, so whatever I wear will be bridal.She was super helpful and friendly, though, and I walked away with a much better idea of things I want and things I don’t. There are two dresses that really stood out to me. One is pretty much what I thought I’d want, and one is not. (Read: an actual bridal gown in the not-white-but-dammit-that’s-white realm.) But it’s damn pretty, and aforementioned besties did The Thing when I put it on, so it’s still in the running. (You know, The Thing?) So I’m gonna look at the pictures and let them marinate a bit, and may look at some more options in other places, just to know.

      • I’m glad it went so well and that you have two real possibilities that you like!

      • penguin

        I had almost the exact same experience when I was looking for a blue dress (oh we have oyster, and blush, and eggshell too!). I ended up going with an ivory ballgown but in an alternate universe I found my blue wedding dress with sleeves.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          The lady who owns the store also came in and asked why I wanted a color, and it…kinda pissed me off? I tried not to be defensive or hostile, but I also have no poker face, and I had to talk myself down as she questioned me. I told her I don’t ever wear white, and that I asked for colors that I think I look good in, and that I don’t value traditions purely for the sake of tradition. She goes, “No, I would never put you in white. I would put you in [other basically white color],” so I clarified that I don’t ever wear white, or blush, or ivory, or ecru, or beige, or… She got the idea.

          • penguin

            Yeah that would piss me off too. “Why do you want to wear a color?” I am looking to purchase a dress. This is what I want to buy. When you go area rug shopping the store clerk doesn’t ask why you want that color, they just help you find stuff.

      • ssha

        “I’m the bride, so whatever I wear will be bridal.” Yessssss.

  • AmandaBee

    Practical adult question for y’all: How do you find yourself an ethical financial advisor?

    After moving and settling into my new job, I think H and I could really use someone to help us set some realistic financial goals and make a plan to achieving them. We have some vague goals (like buy a house…soonish), but aren’t always good at figuring out stuff like where to put our money and how much we really need to save. Plus, I need to figure out things like what retirement plan to choose and whether to roll my current retirement plan over…and we need to start my husband a retirement plan of his own.

    So I feel like a financial advisor could help us sort it all out, but then I hear that a lot of them are just trying to sell you on products they get paid commission to sell. I reached out to someone in my current state, but got a weird scammy vibe from him. Are there certifications or something that would tell us that someone is really working in our best interest?

    • Lisa

      Look for someone who is a fiduciary and works on a fee-based model. Fiduciaries are legally bound to act in your best financial interest.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        How much do these people generally cost?

        • Lisa

          Honestly, I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t looked into it. (I do our own finances.) I think I’ve read people paying like $100-200 per session? But I have no idea where I got that number from or if it’s realistic.

          From my highly scientific sample size (the one guy I found on Google in my area), looks like he charges more than twice that up-front ($500) plus a monthly management fee of $100. I’ve definitely read of other planners who will just look over your finances and make suggestions for you though, but they offer the option to invest with them.

          According to Olen in Pound Foolish though, some of these fee-based advisers can still be getting commissions from company’s whose products they push on clients. That’s why it’s important to make sure you ask whether the planner is willing to act as a fiduciary.

          • AmandaBee

            That feels like a good bit of money, but it’s probably less than we’re wasting right now by not having very focused financial goals.

      • emmers

        I was gonna say fiduciary too! I also don’t know the cost.

      • Emily

        Fiduciary, yes! The guy we use was originally a gift–now we pay him $225 to do our taxes, I think he charged us to set up our wills but I can’t remember how much. From what I’ve researched you either have a person who works on retainer that you pay a fixed amount each month or they are fee-based. I know that some places will offer free consultation which may be good just to get a feel for the quality of the person you’re dealing with.

    • AGCourtney

      @disqus_ShkBoOhlEN:disqus ?

      Fee-based will help protect you from the commission problem.

    • Yael

      Helaine Olen talks a lot about this. She used to have a column on Slate called The Bills. Not sure where she is now, but I got my sister her book The Index Card.

      • Lisa

        I’ve been reading Pound Foolish recently, and it’s fascinating.

      • AmandaBee

        The Index Card is on my to-read list soon.

      • Lisa

        Reading financial books is my secret hobby, which is funny because I make no money as a grad student (but that will hopefully change someday). I also love Jean Chatzky’s podcast Her Money.

    • I’m a fee-only financial planner (and a fiduciary … which means that everything I do has to be in my client’s best interest). Unfortunately, anyone can hold themselves out as a financial advisor, and there are lots of people who are just selling you products and have conflicts of interest because of that. I would recommend checking out a few databases/networks with there types of advisors: NAPFA (fee-only planning), Garret Planning Network (by-the-hour fee-only planning), and XYPN (mostly financial advisors who work with Gen X and millennials, typically charge less than older established firms and don’t require a minimum amount in assets). You can search for someone in your area, and reach out with a recap of your situation, and ask if they work with people like you and what the process and cost would be.

      Also, look for the CFP (certified financial planner designation) – this means the advisor has taken courses on areas of planning and passed a 6-hour exam, and keeps up educational requirements to maintain this designation.

      • Ah, that’s something I encountered a lot….the minimum amount of assets! As a dual citizen, my tax situation is pretty complicated, but I am an artist, so I am laughably below the minimum asset level, so it creates a bit of a problem of needing expertise but not having the budget necessary…

    • I thought I had found a financial adviser who was qualified for my special dual-citizen situation. After multiple exchanges where I explained that I was looking for someone to sit down with once and ask a lot of questions so I could learn how to handle everything myself and that as an artist I could not afford to have any kind of continued service, I went and then we talked for less than an hour, then he said he knew what I needed and would follow up with a call the following week and we could talk through it. Then he never followed up (he already had my money! a lot of it!), and I had to write to request the follow up of information I had paid for, and then ALL HE DID was send me forms about how much it would cost for me to have their services!!! And it was $3000 a year for them to not do much more than the things I was already managing decently (but not perfectly) on my own!!! I was mad. Really mad. Finally we worked it out and I told him what I thought and he ended up giving me some advice and offered to refund me what I had paid. I said I knew he had offered his time, so I didn’t want a full refund, so he refunded me half. The whole experience was so disappointing because I had been looking for an adviser for a couple of years (and had found one that was nice but did not offer me the investments I wanted to make- index funds, and did not have the expertise for my tax situation), and then I finally thought I had found someone with the right expertise who could help and be objective and fee-based….and he ended up just wanting me to take their services when I had said from the beginning I did not want that. So all that to say, I’ve given up on advisers (at least for my very specific situation!). I have decided that as J.D. Collins says in The Simple Path to Wealth….as soon as you know enough to be able to choose a good adviser, you know enough to do it yourself. Ugh. So I am educating myself and going to do it DIY…

    • anon

      Honestly, 80% of what you need to know can be learned from r/personalfinance (or the appropriate sub for your country e.g. r/personalfinancecanada. Do some reading there before deciding to pay for an advisor because it’s very possible you won’t need one if you’re read-up on their flow chart and policies.

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks, I’ll bookmark this for later. Sounds like I need to read up before I decide to outsource this.

  • Lisa

    We just returned from a last-minute meximoon! (I’m purposefully calling it a meximoon because it is fun, and because we plan on having a longer honeymoon early next year.) It was amazing! We had no time to plan a honeymoon before the wedding, and afterward we went straight back to work, our house was filled with wedding paraphernalia and gifts, and we were so exhausted we couldn’t think straight. So Friday night we booked a cheap flight to San Diego that left 36 hours later. No joke, we decided it would either be the best decision or worst decision. Sunday morning we flew to SD and walked across the border into Baja. And it was the best! We spent two days in Tijuana eating delicious food and sampling their micro-beers, two days in Rosarito at the beach, two days in the Valle de Guadalupe (Mexico’s wine country, which was phenomenal), and a day and a half in San Diego on our way home. It was so nice just to relax, eat good food, and not worry about anything. We just booked hotels and airbnbs the day before we moved locations. We had nothing lined up, and it worked out perfectly. If you are in need of a last minute get-away, I highly recommend going for it.

  • Lexipedia

    So I have a dentist appointment on Monday and am wondering what other people do to cope with the sort of anxiety caused by dreading an upcoming event.

    I’m not exaggerating in saying that I have an actual phobia of going to the dentist. I hadn’t gone in 5 years after an awful experience which just exacerbated my anxiety about the whole thing. I finally got a cleaning (and cried the whole time – FI had to come in and hold my hand) and was told I needed, like, fillings, crown replacement, and a root canal because I didn’t go forever and have a family history of bad tooth enamel. I looked into sedation dentistry and they told me that it would mean they could do all of the work at once and I’d be done with it. I had my appointment a few weeks ago, can’t remember a thing, and thought I was all done with it.

    Then I got a call from the dentist last week to arrange a follow up, and give me two more fillings! Like, she didn’t do two of them while I was under because it was taking too much time, then apparently told me that she didn’t while I was sedated so I can’t remember a that she did. I thought I was done, but apparently not, and the hygienist’s insistence that they would “only use the baby drill so I would be fine” sent me into a sobbing panic attack at work. I don’t want to pay for sedation again, and they told me I can take a heavy dose of valium, but I’m still really nervous about the whole thing. I’m planning on noise cancelling headphones and eye cover, and FI is going to come sit in the waiting room, but any tips on not spending the weekend in a panic spiral?

    • Noooooo, ugh, they told you that while you were sedated?? For intrusive thoughts one of my hacks for getting out of obsessive thought spirals is “playing” the thoughts in slow motion in my head — I find it helps cut the cycle/fear pile up. Also, writing down the plan you have here so you have a physical point you can refer to when you start worrying about how you will deal with it.

      Otherwise I’d say distract like a mofo… Literally any activity that will help you repress that this is coming up. For me that’s usually friends or home improvement type projects, but whatever works. Also, planning some kind of major “treat” that you can give yourself when it’s done so the anticipation is at least a teeny bit mixed sometimes helps for me.

      Also weird suggestion, but if it’s going to be quick fillings I’d ask them about using novocain that doesn’t have epinephrine since that can give you physical symptoms similar to anxiety. DON’T do that if pain is the biggest fear for you because not having epinephrine it can make novocain not work as well and it wears off a lot shorter. But if your phobia is more free-form/attached to other aspects, I’d definitely suggest trying a no epinephrine novocain.

    • Em

      I’m glad you are already onboard with the headphones part of this – I got a truly terrifying number of fillings last year because my dentist phobia had gotten in the way of dealing with my teeth for years. I found listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on loud was a very good way to help tune out what was going on, so would strongly recommend that sort of escapist music. Sending hugs and good luck xx

  • mmh

    Hi friends! My husband and I are going to Seattle for the first time to celebrate our second anniversary — its been at the top of our bucket list and we are so excited! What recommendations do you have for what to do/where to eat/etc??

    • Cellistec

      All the things! Hiking around here is gorgeous in the summer–try the Issaquah Alps (30min drive east) and have a beer at the Issaquah Brewhouse, which is my favorite of all time. Spend half a day at the Seattle Armory, which is the same complex as the Space Needle and MoPop; try Seattle Fudge (full disclosure: I used to work there), saltwater taffy, and whatever else calls your name. Browse the Chihuly museum gift shop. Go to the overpriced but worth it Starbucks roastery on Capitol Hill. Go paddleboarding on Lake Union + lunch at Agua Fresca (north end of the lake) + drinks at one of the yuppie bars around the Amazon campus. Walk around Gasworks Park with a view of Lake Union. Ride the Great Wheel on the waterfront. I could go on….

    • AtHomeInWA

      What do you like to do? Where abouts will you be staying?

    • LazyMountain

      Echoing the “all the things!” Come hang out in my neighborhood (Ballard) and do some great microbrewery crawling, take the Theo chocolate tour, rent bikes and go sample some wine in Woodinville, get picnic things from Pike Place and walk up to the Olympic Sculpture park on the water and enjoy them, go see a (very cheap) Mariner’s game… there are outdoor movies in Seattle Center pretty much most Fridays and lots of outdoor music happening throughout the city. Take a ferry to Bainbridge or a water taxi to West Seattle. I personally love most of the Tom Douglas or Renee Erickson restaurants, Ethan Stowell establishments are also pretty reliable and have a decent price point range. There’s too much great food to really even try to list… If you want to be adventurous in that regard you can hop on the light rail to the international district and have some pretty incredible food experiences. And if you have time and a car, I can’t recommend hiking enough. There is so much… Snoqualmie pass is the most accessible (I-90, past Issaquah), but if time and weather cooperate to get you into a national park (Rainier, Olympic, North Cascades is probably too far and pretty snowy still) I would do it. Wildflowers are poppin! Check out the Washington Trails Association website for sure. Enjoy! It’s the best time to be here!

    • Louise

      This is an awesome time of year to visit Seattle! I live here and my favorite thing to do is picnic (with fresh baked goods from Macrina or a farmers market) in parks (Gasworks or Discovery are my favs). I also just recently rented a kayak from Agua Verde on Lake Union and it was really fun. They also make awesome food and have a lovely covered deck overlooking Lake Union. Little Water Cantina is another good option for food with a view. There’s also the Sculpture Park, which has music and food trucks on Thursdays I think. It has a beautiful view of the water and some fun art to look at. One of our favorite date nights is Molly Moon’s ice cream on Capital Hill, wandering in Cal Anderson Park and then browsing books at Elliot Bay Bookstore.

      Outside of town, Snoqualmie Falls is a short drive from Seattle and has a beautiful little hike and view. There’s also Salish Lodge there, which is lovely and I’ve heard it has great food. Bainbridge Island is also a great day trip– you can walk on the ferry because it’s a short walk up to town.

      Have fun!

    • Jane

      Take the water taxi (it’s a ferry) from downtown Seattle to West Seattle and get drinks and snacks at Marination – an outdoor bar right at the dock. Awesome views of Seattle. I would say do this for sunset, but it stays light forever now! Or – if you want fancier/more expensive and you like sea food – you can go to Salty’s. Either way, you can take a long walk around Alki Beach, which is pretty and fun.
      If you go to Ballard – which people have suggested – I really like going to the Locks, and you can see the fish ladder and feel a bit like you are a child on a neat educational field trip, and there’s yet another nice park there for picnics and stuff. I just find there to be something soothing about watching the boats go through and the water levels change. Also – if you go to Ballard and it’s a clear day, go to Golden Gardens and get a view of the mountains from the water! Or go to Discpvery Park (which is in sort of Magnolia, very easy drive from Ballard) and that’s huge and has got lots of pretty walks and great views. My favorite restaurant in Ballard is La Isla, if you’re in the mood for Puerto Rican food.
      If you’re in town for long enough to enjoy having them – I highly recommend going to Pike Place or a local weekend farmer’s market and getting flowers!!! They’re so cheap but they’re AMAZING this time of year.
      Finally – they redid the Museum of History and Industry (Mohai), located in South Lake Union, and I hear it’s really great. I keep meaning to go!

    • Kelly

      Oysters! and boats! and Dicks drive in burgers!

      I also think the Visit Seattle Instagram has some really great ideas- it usually makes me homesick though :)

    • suchbrightlights

      I am commenting to bookmark this thread for myself- we are spending a few days of our honeymoon in Seattle with no particular itinerary besides I WILL DRINK ALL OF THE COFFEE and then go to the zoo. These are some great suggestions.

      • Jane

        What time of year will you be in Seattle? A lot of these suggestions are based on the fact that we are having gorgeous weather right now, but Seattle is a rainy city and there are things to do the other 10 months of the year too!

        • suchbrightlights

          Late October, when I will want to walk around and explore even if it is raining sideways, and my fiancé will be sleeping in until I get back. :)

          • Jane

            If you’re into books or architecture, you can check out the downtown public library – its very neat. And the Elliott Bay Book Company in Capitol Hill is great. It’s been a while since I did it, but the Underground Tour of Seattle is neat (starts in Pioneer Square, I think). And, if it is raining, get pho! There’s a pretty sizeable Vietnamese population in Seattle so there is good pho everywhere. In my book, there’s no wrong weather for pho, but it’s particularly good when it’s raining.
            Fremont has a lot of good bars – if you’re into cider, which is popular here, you can try Schilling Cider House, which has board games and tons of ciders and you can do flights.

          • suchbrightlights

            Thank you!

  • Bsquillo

    Headed out on vacation tomorrow to Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks, and I’m SO EXCITED. I realized this will be the longest vacation that my husband and I have taken since our honeymoon three years ago. Can’t wait to plough through the rest of my to-do list today and hit the road tomorrow!

    Also, I know I’m way late to this party, but has anyone else been jamming out to Chance the Rapper recently? I’ve got his “Coloring Book” album on repeat at my desk to get me through this afternoon.

    • Jess

      R has been listening to so much Chance the Rapper lately and I gotta say, I have been loving it.
      Enjoy the national parks, both of those are gorgeous!

    • ssha

      Jealous! Always wanted to go to Glacier. Have so much fun!

  • Nicole

    Hey dudes. I am popping in with life updates! My partner and I have successfully moved to Portsmouth, NH! We moved from a few hours away on the east coast, so it’s not a huge cultural change, but different in pretty much every other way: moved where neither of us has a friend or family community, moved for his job and I left mine, this is the smallest city I’ve ever lived in, moved in together for the first time, etc. We are both SO happy to be living here – and it’s awesome so far – but I am hardcore in liminal life stage place. Work was so nutty over the past year, I knew I needed a real break to be able to be patient and find the right next position, so I moved here without having a position lined up. I still think it was the right thing to do, but I am currently feeling frustrated and sad and missing work. Why is it SO hard to break through HR departments at universities! Geez.

    Related but maybe creepy question…any APWers in Portsmouth? Portland? The general seacoast area? I’d be super into recommendations, cheerful hellos, or even likeminded-internet-friend meetups.

    Weekend ahead includes an incredible farmers’ market trip, some gardening, lobster roll explorations, and beach time. These are good things without qualification.

    • jem

      Omg best city EVER. I don’t live there, but we go up there a lot because our parents are in northern MA. If you like hiking, check out Mt Agamenticus– it is my favorite place in the world (mountain and ocean views from the top!!!!).

      The Beach Plum in North Hampton has one of my favorite lobster rolls (and um, they’re right across the beach…).

  • Mary Jo TC

    I got to meet Roxane Gay! She came to my city for the second-last stop on her book tour for Hunger. She was delightful and hilarious in person. She expressed a wish for “a year of male silence” — and as a mom of 2 toddler boys, I heartily sympathize. I read the first 100 pages of the book already and It’s awesome. Not like, happy fun awesome, but like hard topic, impressive writing awesome. Highly recommended.
    And I finally got to see Wonder Woman! Very fun and kick-ass.
    It’s husband’s birthday weekend so I’m fixing fancy dishes with “help” from the 4 year old, while he day-drinks, and we’re going to his mom’s and the zoo on Sunday.

    • AmandaBee

      Roxane Gay + Wonder Woman sounds like a winning week to me.

      (I definitely read the last line as your 4-year old would be cooking while day drinking…)

      • penguin

        I read it that way too, like wait the 4-year is day drinking? Careful on the juice there buddy.

    • I LOVE Roxane Gay – she’s so hilarious and charming. I missed her on the Hunger tour but I did see her a few years ago. And I just got my copy of Hunger, which I want to read but I also hear is heavy so I’m preparing myself.

  • jem

    You guys, I’m drinking wine with my dad and he’s playing all of the songs he picked out all week to suggest for our reception. Next, fiancé and parents and I are going to a Bastille day party to EAT CHEESE. SELF CARE FTW!

    • somanypseudonyms

      this sounds GREAT

    • suchbrightlights

      Can I live vicariously and retrospectively through you?

  • This week I had 2 calls with 2 different recruiters in our preferred city, and I’ve learned that if I want to maintain my current salary, I have to move into management. This is not something I’m super interested in doing, but I’m also not interested in taking a large pay cut. *sigh* Decisions, decisions.

    • AGCourtney

      Ooh, that’s hard. I don’t have anything particularly helpful to say, but sending positive thoughts your way as you figure things out.

    • BSM

      Solidarity from someone else not interested in managing people. Not much advice, but maybe it will be an interesting challenge? And you’ll gain a lot of new, very marketable skills?

      • I feel like I should suck it up & try it? And if I find I absolutely hate it, at least I have that experience and learn from it.

        • BSM

          I think that’s what I would do in your situation. Good luck, and keep us updated!

    • emilyg25

      How does the cost of living compare? Maybe it’s not such a big cut in terms of actual purchasing power?

      • The cost of living is comparable except when it comes to home prices – we can get way more house for the money in our preferred city. My worry with taking a lower salary is what it will do to my future earnings, not necessarily what it will do to our family budget. I don’t want to end up with a lower salary for the rest of my career.

  • Alyssa

    Friends of APW, I have an etiquette question.

    We are having a Post-Paris wedding celebration tomorrow for people who did not attend our Paris wedding. Our families will be there, as well as a few friends. A good friend of ours came out to us as trans a couple years ago, and while he easily fits into the category of a cisgender male in appearance, I know we have some conservative family who are going to be there, and I am wondering if I should reach out to him and his partner in advance to just give them a heads’ up and let them know that we have conservative family there who may or may not say something offensive — and I don’t want to excuse or defend their actions if they say anything, but I also don’t want either of them in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Any thoughts or suggestions? I thought back to a previous APW post that encouraged the bride to reach out and talk about a safe space, and I’m fine doing that but don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill and make him panic if he might not end up having reason to panic. Whaddaya think?

    • somanypseudonyms

      I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a cisgender queer-passing-as-straight woman with a moderately liberal family, so I am maybe not the most useful voice available when it comes to lived experience. (I am hella sensitive to social awkwardness, though, so maybe that’s relevant?)

      I think your situation is a little different from the one in the APW post earlier this(?) week, because you’re approaching it from the perspective of having a single person that you are particularly concerned about protecting. The social dynamic in sending an email to a single person/couple to give them a heads-up is very different from that in sending an email to almost all the wedding guests: for better or worse, I think most people in the uses-email-all-the-time-for-everything 20-40-year-old age group consider bulk emails either Very Important, Very Apocalyptic, or both. Writing an email to a single person/couple avoids that dynamic and allows it to be clear that you’re focused on his and his partner’s comfort.

      Also, people often take their social cues from the tone of people’s initial messages. If yours is phrased as “my/my partner’s family is very conservative and says bad things, be warned,” it primes a different reaction from “I know you deal with a lot of stuff, so I just wanted to give you a just-in-case heads-up that my/my partner’s family is very conservative and can be bad about it.” This doesn’t mean downplay the risk of harm! (you know that, obvs) But being careful to protect people in more vulnerable social situations doesn’t necessarily mean sending the most apocalyptic message, because spurring anxiety is… not a form of care. Unfortunately you’re the only person with the know-your-people info to guess what the right tone to set is.

      <3 tl;dr I think sending a calm but sincere heads-up email is probably a good decision, depending on what you think the level of risk is.

    • rg223

      I vote for a heads-up phone call – that way, if they have specific questions or concerns, they can voice them during the call.

  • E.

    We got our marriage license today! 7 days to go! I keep going through waves of feeling totally calm/on top of it and being anxious and stressed about how much we have to do. Trying to take lots of deep breaths and do something active and in nature every day.

  • Kelly

    Hi all! Attending a black tie wedding in September, and was planning on buying a gown but closing on a house in a few weeks and just can’t prioritize a few hundred on a dress. Wondering if I can get away with a more fancy cocktail/midi length dress? I would like to buy something that I can wear again as opposed to renting. Any tips?

    • Amy March
      • Kelly

        Yes! I’m actually checking out Nordstrom today, maybe something will go on Anniversary sale :)

    • somanypseudonyms

      hey! fwiw, I have both been in this situation with other people’s weddings and am throwing a black-tie-encouraged wedding. If it’s “black tie,” a really fancy cocktail/midi dress with fancy accessories is totally fine; if it’s “black tie [optional/encouraged],” you’re good with a moderately fancy cocktail/midi dress. also: glitziness of shoes and accessories will strongly influence how “dressy” your choice is perceived to be if you’re wearing something shorter. also: embroidery/lace/other embellishment are your friend (provided it’s not summery cotton eyelet lace).

      Gilt (which is now also tied to Saks Off Fifth, the … nordstrom rack of Saks?) now does regular “sections” instead of just sample sales, so it’s a lot easier to find things on sale than it used to be. (Hautelook and Bluefly are also good options here — though in all of these cases, make sure it’s shipping immediately, because sometimes they’ll have a few weeks’ delay.) Also, I’ve had really good luck with the regular sale section at the regular Nordstrom (though it’ll be crazy with the anniversary sale this week), so godspeed there!

      I wish I could pull this one off: https://www.gilt.com/brand/fame-partners/product/1190519863-fame-partners-hartley-draped-low-back-dress?origin=cat

      You could go as plain as this, provided the accessories were Very Glitzy: https://www.gilt.com/brand/ava-aiden/product/1156701051-ava-aiden-asymmetrical-neckline-sheath-dress?origin=cat

    • I went to a gala a couple of years ago and thought it would be mostly long gowns and was surprised there weren’t many. Most people wore shorter dresses. I was told that it was becoming more common for people to wear shorter dresses at formal events. I ended up finding mine at a thrift store for $12. I was lucky and I did alter it and take it in, shorten it, and add a slit on one side. But I’ve worn it again since then and love the dress. :) It was fun to feel elegant and have the opportunity to wear something long. (I went with plain black, so it’s also pretty versatile for a long dress.)

      • Kelly

        Don’t get me wrong, I love any occasion to get fancy, just don’t have the budget to spend $300 right now lol. Which is too bad because I tried on a gown I loved that just wasn’t in the cards. I am getting my hair and makeup done, so I think that will help too

        • I think having your hair and make-up done will do a lot for upping the fancy feeling! And I bet there will be quite a few people in shorter dresses too. I think a lot of people won’t be able to justify spending a lot on a gown that they might not wear again… Too bad you don’t have some magical past long bridesmaid gown that actually IS “something you can totally wear again!” that you loved and wanted to wear again!

          • Kelly

            haha yeah no such luck! I did find a dress yesterday at Nordstrom that’s about knee length that was a great price and I feel really good in, but it’s not overly fancy (no embellishments or anything else that would elevate it) so I may keep looking to see if anything else pops up

          • Ashley

            Rent the Runway!

    • Jane

      And if you can’t find anything fancy enough, you could do rent the runway.

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