Happy Hour


#nochillzone

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

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Hey APW,

If life in the APW office in January was no-chill, February is shaping up to have at least some chill (thank the Lord). For the first time in a long time I’ve had a lot of work tasks on my plate that can (and should) be taken care of while binge watching Netflix. Which means, I got down and dirty with United States of Tara this week (a season in three days?), and it is excellent. I should have known, with Diablo Cody as showrunner. Otherwise, I’ve generally had time to chill with my kids and work on projects around the house. (Yes, like everyone else, I’m way into decluttering right now. Of course, that’s been a lifelong interest, but now it’s trendy.)

Here is to chill (but not outside), and your open thread. Take it to the chorus.

xo

Meg

HIGHLIGHTS OF APW THIS WEEK

Wedding dress styling made easy.

Why 2016 is about giving up the scarcity mentality—and embracing abundance.

If only everything was as gorgeously designed as these wedding invitations.

We broke down the budgets of your favorite movie weddings—and they are absurd.

Instead of having a million wedding toasts, why not use Speechbooth to capture them while the party’s rocking?

What’s the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation?

You know what’s really unique (and forever)? Your fingerprint. In a ring.

What is a “wedding ceremony re-do” and can we throw one?

Link roundup

Why Susan Saradon’s sixty-nine-year-old cleavage helped prove how much misogyny there is in Hollywood.

Despite a massive snowstorm (thanks #mynameisjonas) this was the little wedding that could.

Dear “nice guys,” buying drinks and holding doors does not give you access to a woman’s body.

“No one could imagine that behind Newton’s large eyes and frail appearance hid one of the most prodigious brains in the world.”

The CDC wants women to just stop drinking, already. Sheesh.

Why charging for emotional labor is an inherently feminist act.

The best Twitter beef (and hashtag) of all time. Also, bless Amber Rose forever.

The Flint water crises is a bigger deal than the media is making it out to be—and it’s not over yet.

Meg Keene

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

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  • Ashlah

    United States of Tara has been in my queue for ages, glad to hear it’s worth watching!

    Question for the parents and soon-to-be parents of APW: Did you tell anyone in your life when you were trying to conceive, and if so, what was the outcome of that? My husband and I don’t really want anyone to know our plans because we don’t want people asking about it, whether because we’re just not ready to announce or because we’re having trouble. However, I kind of had to tell my mom because she’s planning to volunteer for an active duty deployment, and I would hate for her to miss the birth. I told her our plans and asked her to keep it a secret, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to sit her down when the time comes and tell her not to ask us about it. Basically, I want her to pretend she doesn’t know? Is that fair? Will I change my mind and actually appreciate having someone outside our marriage I can talk to about it? Anyone care to share your experiences?

    • emilyg25

      Yes, I was very open that we were getting my husband’s vasectomy reversed and then trying. And I told our nearest and dearest that I was pregnant as soon as I found out. For the most part, it was great being able to be open (I’m a very not secret person) and having support. My mom was a bit overbearing about asking how things were going, but that’s par for the course with us and I told her to back off.

      It’s up to you and how you are. At the very least, I would have needed one person to know, either my BFF or my mom.

    • I actually just blogged about wanting a baby and starting to try for a baby, and shared it with my FB community this week. I actually got a lot of support, which I’ve also had from people in person. It’s actually been positive and very supportive, which has been helpful.

    • Dynia

      I’ve been wondering this too. When do you tell? My mom knows that we’re trying this year but I haven’t told her this year means early this year. We were talking at Christmas about plans for the year and my husband wriggled his eyebrows at me. I think she thought we’d wait a bit longer and I’m sure she’s secretly pinning things on pinterest.

      I’ve also told one friend – but one who lives in another country. I felt the need to tell someone and it came up in the context of a broader convo. We don’t speak that regularly so I don’t think she’ll ask about it until I’m ready to tell.

      I think I’ll tell my parents early but struggle about in-laws, my MIL is so sweet but I worry that if something went wrong, the sympathy would be overwhelming and stressful? But I’d want my husband to have support as well.

      Sorry for the novel, clearly this has been on the brain.

    • Leah

      Having a community of friends to talk to about my experiences trying to conceive was absolutely essential to my sanity during that process. It is (or at least can be) surprisingly stressful and emotional, and having a crew of 3-4 ladies who had been through it, who I could check in with and say ‘we didn’t get it this month, and then I cried at work when I got my period, and then I felt like a crazy person’ and have them say ‘oh, yeah, that’s totally normal’ was clutch. So my advice: Don’t tell the world (for the reasons you cited) but definitely give yourself a community (even a community of one or two) in which to be able to acknowledge and discuss your experience. Good luck!
      (edit – I didn’t tell my mom because she just tends to stress me out more, but I did talk to my brother and SIL about it because they had just been through it (and have a beautiful little baby to show for it).

    • Amy March

      So, I don’t think it is entirely fair to ask her to pretend she doesn’t know. I mean, certainly give it a try, and remind her that you only told her because of the deployment and you really don’t want to talk about it, but I think it’s only fair to also be forgiving if she does bring it up on occasion. It’s really hard to pretend you don’t know something super important about someone you love!

      • Ashlah

        Yeah, I suppose “pretend you don’t know” is pretty extreme. And even though I didn’t really want to tell her in the first place, there was still some excitement in doing so. And of course I understand that she’s excited! I probably just need to wait and see what happens and ask her to tone it down if that feels necessary.

        • TeaforTwo

          That sounds like the most sensible approach. I told a few people when we started trying (and then more people the longer it went on). Most people were really sensible and didn’t ask intrusive questions. When a few people did, I either offered vague answers (a sigh, “who knows?!” and a smile is a good response to almost anything you don’t want to answer, on any topic) or sometimes said quite clearly that I didn’t want to talk about the details.

          But I think Amy March is right. You told her so that you would make plans around it, so it’s hard now to say that you want her to pretend not to know.

    • another lady face

      My experience – we had to do a lot of prep-work medically before even TTC. My MIL has wanted grandchildren since FOREVER! She would literally ask us everytime we saw her if we didn’t shut it down right away. It was a lot overbearing for me and she would keep asking about it no matter how many times we told her we weren’t prego/weren’t ready/we waiting x years/whatever reasons we could think of at the time. We finally had to spill the beans that we were working on things, but it was going to be a while and I/we told her to back off. My husband and I didn’t really want anyone to know our plans because we don’t want people asking about it (which if this is you – then DON’T TELL PEOPLE! ’cause they will ask!) You already let the cat out of the bag with your mom, so you may have to ask her to keep it a secret (for your sanity and the fact that nothing has happened yet and you don’t want 10000 questions from family or everyone she knows) And, you may also have to sit her down when the time comes and tell her not to ask us about it. I think it’s totally fair to ask her for those things. It could take a while and be frustrating. Maybe throw her a bone everyone once in a while (tell her you are still trying but no luck yet) or tell her you will let her know ASAP once you know!). It’s hard to say if you will actually appreciate having someone outside our marriage that you can talk to about it – only time will tell if that is needed for you. But, be frank with your partner if that is what you want to do. (In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am currently pregnant and didn’t tell many people when trying because of crazy baby fever family members. But, once we were able to TTC, it happened very quickly, so luckily we didn’t have to wait long to tell people. I also had to tell select people pretty quickly after finding out I was prego because of morning sickness and needing to miss events, etc.) Good luck in your journey!

      • Kate

        I had the opposite experience where the people who didn’t know asked a lot. And the people who did know were really respectful of our privacy, probably assuming that if there were news they would hear it. So I think it could go either way.

      • Sarah McClelland

        YES. This is my MIL too!

        And we are both pastors, so we have two congregations asking when we’re going to have kiddos.

    • Christina McPants

      We were very quiet about TTC. My parents didn’t know until I was pregnant, my in-laws only knew 5 months in (to 8 months of trying) because I wanted them to have something positive to talk about while my sfil was gravely ill in the hospital. It ended up being slightly awkward with the in-laws because I wore this shirt when I saw them the next month and they thought it was a pregnancy announcement. We also told my wife’s best friend about it (because my wife shares basically everything with her) and I talked about it anonymously on the internet because I had to share because I was going crazy. We also had a conception process that was difficult (lesbians, fertility clinics, hormones). Being able to share frustrations made them easier to bear.

    • Kate

      I think it’s hard to predict how you’ll feel. We tried for 8 months with one early miscarriage. We told our parents and close friends about that, but most people didn’t know. The hardest part about people not knowing is that they kept hinting/outright saying when are you going to have kids? And that was tough because I wanted to be like I don’t fucking know because my uterus is shit maybe (turns out not shit, just needed a little time). So in long, people will probably ask either way, but I found that the people who knew we were trying were much more delicate than those that didn’t.

      I also learned about being more open about what I want/need. Examples: We got bad news this month and I don’t want to talk about it. Or: Hearing about your friend who got pregnant after 3 years of trying doesn’t make me feel better, I just want you to say I’m sure next month is your month. Even having people say what I literally just told them to say made me feel better, but maybe I’m a nut. I found that to work pretty well though. Like someone else mentioned below, I had an online network of ladies trying to conceive as well and that helped me because they were going through what I was and I could be totally honest without any repercussions.

      I think it’s fair for you to say something like, I know you’re excited about this possibility Mom and we are too. But it stresses me out to talk about it, you’ll be the first person we tell when we have any news (or some true version of that).

      Sidenote: I had an ultrasound this morning got to hear the heartbeat! I can’t believe this tiny blob has a heart. Biology is amazing.

      • Ashlah

        Yay heartbeat!! Congratulations and best wishes! And thank you for your thoughts. I’m sure you’re right that it’s hard to predict how I’ll feel when we’re in the thick of it.

        • Kate

          Thanks!! And also, that wasn’t to say you shouldn’t try to predict how you’ll feel, but more saying give yourself advance permission to change your mind. Though it’s obviously easier to tell people than to untell them.

  • Jessica

    So last night my husband kind of blew up at me because he is frustrated that I don’t like his family enough. In his words, he wants me to *want* to spend time with them more. I have rarely turned down invitations from them to be together, and after his deployment was done it was clear to all of us that we see each other as much as we all want to. This all came together because his family decided to have a big shindig during the Superbowl because his brother and SIL are coming into town, and we had already agreed to go to a friend’s party that she has been planning for 2 months.

    He voiced several frustrations he has with me supposedly putting limits on time spent with his family, like “hey, let’s make a plan for when we’re going to leave.” If we don’t do this, we are there for 12 hours, which is exhausting for me and sucks for our dog, who we have to leave at home or at my parents house. He says neither he or I do this with my family, but my family spends about 3-4 hours together and then is *done* being together.

    He also said I don’t talk to his family and just sit in a corner and sulk, which is simply untrue. Yes, I will occasionally take ‘breaks,’ and will read something on my phone, but when we play board games with his family I’m there, I play with our niece, I ask whoever is hosting if they need help in the kitchen, and I speak with almost everyone there. I simply cannot interact with people every minute over several hours–it’s too exhausting. If I leave the room it appears that I don’t want to spend any time with folks, and cell phones are used by everyone in his family.

    I feel really pissed off at his characterization of me interacting with his family, and even more pissed off that he started yelling because I indicated I was going to our friend’s party and not his family’s event. I also feel that he is judging me far too harshly in this.

    SO, APW, any advice on how to approach this? As far as this Sunday is concerned, I’m pretty much considering just opting out of everything and staying at home, because I feel like there is no situation that doesn’t piss someone off. I’m only half kidding about that.

    • Ashlah

      That sounds like a really hard, frustrating conversation (if you can call someone blowing up at you a conversation). I can definitely relate to you this situation, though thankfully my husband doesn’t like his family that much (har har–though leaving after a reasonable amount of time is still a struggle). I don’t think it’s AT ALL unreasonable to discuss when you’ll be leaving a social event–12 hours is a long time! And I think it’s completely reasonable that you don’t want to cancel on your friend when you’ve had long-standing plans. Also completely reasonable for him to go to his family’s event by himself, and to spend other times with his family by himself. He needs to realize that you not wanting to spend the same amount of time with his family doesn’t mean HE can’t spend more time with them. It sounds like you’re putting in a lot of good faith effort to socialize with his family, it just sounds like you might be more introverted than he is and he isn’t really understanding that.

      • rg223

        Yeah, this sounds like it’s almost more of an introvert vs extrovert problem moreso than a “you don’t like my family” problem. Can you talk to him about it but reframe it as ‘I’m an introvert and these are my needs in social situations” rather than specific to his family?

        • Jessica

          I’m a self-diagnosed ambivert–I can be very outgoing, but there are time limits on that before the exhaustion sets in. He is also an introvert, but it’s his family so he doesn’t feel it as quickly as I do. He also has 3 siblings who all have partners, so he is just used to being around a bigger crowd than I am (one sibling, only recently partnered).

          I think I just need to tell him that he can’t just notice the “negative” behavior (looking at my phone, sitting by myself for a few minutes). It’s uncool to judge my interactions based on a few minutes.

          • rg223

            I see. Fellow ambivert here! I don’t know if this happens to you, but for me, having qualities of both sides sometimes causes conflict / confusion with people when I have to set a boundary based om mt introversion. Anyway, it seems like you have a good idea of what to say, because you’re right, it is unfair.

          • Jess

            Yes to telling him that he has to take all your behavior into account. I have a different family dynamic than his family (everyone in mine has like hours to just go do their own thing, everyone in his sits in the same room forever), and so after a while, I really just can’t sit with them unless we’re *doing* something.

            So my requests to either do something or me just saying, “I’m going to go up and read for a bit.” or “I’m going to go for a run” are seen as insulting. I’m not given credit for the 4+ hours I spent sitting there, discussing or watching football or whatever.

          • Ashlah

            This is so similar to our family dynamics. At his family’s house it’s just his parents and us, and we sit in one place and talk. For hours. It is so draining for me and spikes my social anxiety because there’s so much pressure to be involved in the conversation. And yeah, I definitely can’t just leave (though I find myself taking extended bathroom breaks). On the other hand, my family get-togethers have way more people, involve varied activities, and you can float to different groups of people throughout the time you’re there. For me it’s so much better (I can just sit back and listen if I’m not up for interaction), but for him the big crowd triggers his anxiety.

          • Jess

            Yeah, different family groups have such different ways of interacting! navigating that can be really draining.

        • Jenn

          Didn’t see your comment when I wrote mine, but I interpreted it the same way!

    • MC

      Ugh, family expectations are ROUGH. Husband and I are just now really dealing with issues like these after knowing each other and each other’s families for more than 10 years. I think it’s really important to remember/remind your husband that everyone’s families are different and thus people’s ideas about how you’re “supposed” to spend time with families are different, and it can be hard to realize that there are tons of variations from family to family. So it seems like he is expecting you to act like he does around his family, but since you weren’t raised in his family, that expectation isn’t normal for you like it is for him. Might be good, once he’s cooled down a bit, to talk those points over.

      And I say go to your friend’s party while he goes with his family.

    • Amy March

      Ummm what? Your husband is yelling at you because you’re going to a party you’ve already RSVPed for? Srsly though what?

      Go to the party. Tell him normal people understand that sometimes you have plans, and that its completely unacceptable for him to yell at you about it.

      • Jessica

        That was more the catalyst for larger themes from his viewpoint of me not wanting to spend time with his family.

        • Amy March

          So? Does that make yelling at you about it okay? Maybe “yelling” isn’t as big a deal to you as it is to me (which is perfectly fine) but personally I’d be starting with the yelling, and then moving onto the actual issue, which is that you are his family now and your needs are also important.

          • Jessica

            Obviously yelling was not a great way to introduce the topic, and I did express my distaste for being yelled at (especially yelled at right when I came home) when we both have the training and the wherewithal to have productive, problem solving conversations.

    • K.

      My husband and I have had this fight before. Basically, his issue was with a general feeling that his family and I didn’t treat each other like “family” …which mostly came from different expectations on how to interact (i.e., I was raised that hosts are the ones who should actively engage a guest since they are the outsider, where they believe guests should actively engage the host since they are the outsider…different logic from the same impetus). And it was always easier for my husband to talk to me about being the one to bend because, frankly, he felt more comfortable talking to me about his feelings than talking to his family who he A) didn’t think would change and B) wasn’t the “talking” type. But he blew up at me once because I looked at my cell phone when everyone around the room was speaking Spanish to each other; I guess I was supposed to smile and nod and pretend to understand (that sounds snarky, but it actually *is* the expectation).

      What we did was figure out what actually was “okay.” So if looking at a cell phone is the height of rudeness, even if you can’t engage at that moment, then what was okay? We settled on it being okay for me to go for walks (we can bring our dog though, so that helps) or take out the garbage, put away dishes, etc. Something active makes it seem like I’m doing something necessary, if that makes sense. So I guess my only advice would be figuring out ways in which your husband can be your advocate and where he can meet you in the middle. If certain things trigger him and make him feel like you think his family is “less-than,” ask him what he’d be okay with you doing to get your alone/quiet time. And “nothing is okay” isn’t a good answer!

      • Jessica

        That’s rough. How could you know the unspoken expectations?

        I think families should also be ready to adapt and change with every new person that gets added to the dynamic. I’m not saying a sea-change, but be ready that not everyone is going to be up for a certain thing that your family does.

    • emmers

      My husband and I have had an imbalance about this, too. I grew up spending Sundays with my grandparents, so it’s really normal to just go hang out for a whole day, where he prefers shorter times of hanging out with his family, with a clear start and end point. I’ve also felt upset when he doesn’t want to hang out as much as I do. It’s helped us to talk about it (how we’re imbalanced), and set expectations before each family gathering. Sometimes, I’ll say that I’d really like to stay until X time. Other times, he will say the same.

      And, like someone else suggested, he’s also a big proponent of me going to hang out with them alone sometimes, like for Black Friday shopping, so I can spend all the time I want. I’d perhaps broach it as a family culture thing? And I’d also suggest that it’s OK for him to go alone sometimes. I’d also possibly mention how your ideal time is really 2 hours (or whatever), and for you to be there 4 hours really is a compromise, though it may not seem like it to him, and talk about how this is also true with your own family.

    • AP

      Um, hi, are you me? We have had this EXACT argument, almost word for word. I have a hard time being around my husband’s family because they are very intense, loud, and chaotic, especially when they’re all together. They’re much easier to handle in pairs or small groups. Similar to what you describe, I’m exhausted by interacting with everyone together and need to either leave the room for a moment or read on my phone to decompress, especially during long hang out sessions. They think (or my husband at least, speaking for everyone) that this is rude. But I don’t know how it’s any different from his dad turning on the TV or his sister holing up on a phone call or his mom going off to play with the grandkids. It’s just adults having lives and needs.

      I think the thing that bothers him is his parents and sibling’s families all live in the same city and get together almost every day, while we live about 30 minutes away and have pretty busy schedules. We usually need a few days’ notice to make plans, but usually they don’t call us until everyone’s already together. Or we find out on Facebook that they all went to some city event together and didn’t call us. My husband often feels pretty left out.

      Since they’re not my family, and they make me pretty anxious, I’m not going to be the one to initiate going over for a visit (but I hardly ever skip out on going.) We’ve had fights over this and about my not being excited enough about seeing them. I’ve always been very supportive of his relationships with them, though, and he’s free to go over whenever he wants. It’s just that he wants me to always go with him, and so if I make other plans or don’t feel like going, he feels he can’t go either. It’s totally different for me and my family. My mom and I frequently meet for lunch and I have no expectations that every time I go visit them that he has to come too, although I like it when he does and everyone gets along fine. (My family wears me out too, and I feel pretty good seeing them once a month or so, whereas husband would spend every weekend with his family if he could.)

      Our breaking point was around our wedding a few months ago when his family did/said some hurtful things and I told him I needed a break from them, which led to several (not always comfortable conversations) about needs and boundaries. It really helped to get at the root of what was bothering both of us. Which for us, it’s our shared disappointment that I’m not closer to his family, and his recognition that sometimes his family makes it hard for outsiders to get close. And because his family isn’t great at communicating or expressing feelings, it’s easier to blame me for all this than them, because they are not going to change.

      I told my husband that his relationship with his family is his responsibility, so if he wants to see them more, he should see them more, and not make it my responsibility or put the pressure on me to make sure he gets to see them. I’ll go if I can, I won’t if I can’t, and those are the same expectations I have of him regarding my family. We also have a time limit for most visits, usually no more than 4 hours or so, which I think is reasonable. And it’s his responsibility to tell his family that he’d like to be included more and ask for advance notice or a call if they’re getting together. He’s still working on this part.

      I don’t know if any of this is helpful, but I definitely understand what you’re going through!

      • Jessica

        Umm, we are the same person, I think.

        We also live about a half hour away from his parents and two of his siblings, who live less than a mile from each other. They see each other frequently. Before we were married he would go over to his parents house all the time to use his dad’s workshop, then would stay for dinner or play video games with his brother. Since he got back from deployment he doesn’t do that, or at least not frequently.

        I make plans with my parents all the damn time. I go out to dinner with them when he’s away, my mom and I go shopping together, and my dad and I just bought season tickets to the theater.

        I have reminded him that I’m not his social planner and his family is his responsibility, like my family is mine. He has agreed, but I think he still has this idea that I should plan more shit with his family since I plan so much with mine.

        • AP

          Omg this is wild. My husband isn’t in the military, but he does work offshore and is gone for 1-3 weeks at a time. When he’s gone I see my family all the time, so when he’s home I don’t need to as much. He lived with his parents before we started dating, so he was right in the middle of the action and I think just really misses it!

          I wish I had answers, except the usual ones- this won’t be solved in one argument, it will take a lot of conversations and probably years before we get into a groove with family, and everything will probably change again if we have kids anyway (I have a feeling my boundaries will get even stronger and his family will get even more difficult. So I’m choosing to embrace this time as easy by comparison!) So maybe have an ideal relationship in mind with his family, and then a long-term plan for how to get there, that he’s on board with? And NOPE to being his social planner. That shit’s on him.

          • Jessica

            Yeah, he just got done with a high-stress-lots-of-overtime period at work, and now needs to pick up maintaining relationships again, which is tough. But it is his ‘job’ at home. If he needs help, he can ask but he can’t assume.

    • Jenn

      My fiance and I have had similar issues. For us it boils down to introversion vs. extroversion. I’m extroverted and so are all my family members, while my fiance is introverted. It’s sometimes hard for me to understand that he needs breaks from people to recharge! It took a few years for me to really believe him when he says that it has nothing to do with liking or not liking my family/friends, and everything to do with needing some time to rest from being social. I’m finally getting a sense for the situations that he will be comfortable with vs. ones that will be more stressful.

    • Jess

      Reading other posters responses because I forsee this conversation in my future.

      • JDrives

        SAME.

    • Carolyn S

      We struggled with a toned down version of this earlier in our relationship, except that I was the one getting annoyed my (then boyfriend) wasn’t enthusiastic about family things. The roots behind it were numerous. 1. He grew up far away from his extended family, and saw them only every few years, so he really just didn’t see the necessity in spending time with my aunts and uncles, because he wasn’t close with his. 2. I would get annoyed that he would “never” want to come to things, when we would point out that there were only 2 things he didn’t go to, and just as many that he did. The issue behind this is that I would pre-filter the invites, so in my head he had said no to a bunch of things, but in reality I never even presented those to him.

      So how did we deal? We still work on it. He’s a lot more introverted and a lot more happy to just be home, and doesn’t have the family guilt I do. BUT, he understands its important. So now I present all the opportunities to him, but try to pick and choose which ones really matter to me. So there are things where the conversation is “we were invited to this, but I’m perfectly happy to just go alone” vs. “we were invited to this, it’s a few weeks away and I understand it’s not exactly your idea of a good time, but it’s really important to me that you be at this one because x,y,x”

  • Mary Jo TC

    Can we talk about disagreeing politically with your spouse? It has bothered me a lot recently to hear my husband talking about the candidate I will vote for in the primary as stupid and ridiculous. We mostly don’t bother trying to convince each other of things anymore, so this mostly comes in the form of him saying disparaging things about my candidate to others while I’m in the same room. It bugs me to hear this and feels borderline hurtful because he says this candidate’s supporters are crazy and dumb, and I’m one of them.

    Is this a fair boundary to draw? : “Please do not disparage my chosen candidate a) in my hearing or presence, b) in front of my family or friends, c) with any of our mutual friends and family even when I’m not there, d) in public social media where any of the above people might see it.” I feel fairly confident that A is ok to ask for, but C and D might be overstepping, since it only leaves him with friends of his that I don’t know to talk to about politics. Another possible boundary to draw might be that he can say what he wants about the candidate him/herself without disparaging the supporters, but I think insulting the candidate implies bad things about the supporters. What do you all think?

    I would totally offer to do the same thing for him, except that he hasn’t really chosen a candidate, as far as I know. I find that understandable, as I often feel like I have to hold my nose while I fill in my ballot.

    I’m comforted by the fact that we both agree Trump is a racist dirtbag.

    • Jessica

      Definitely A, and perhaps remind him that when he calls that person’s followers crazy and dumb he is referring to his wife and that is hurtful.
      I would ask that if he has a problem with the candidate’s policies, stick to that instead of ad hominem attacks. In my view, it’s not cool to say someone can’t discuss politics, but that means they have to stick to the actual politics.

      • another lady face

        I agree! Discuss the political issues, differences in candidates, etc., but not the supporters or making judgments or degrading other people!

    • another lady face

      My husband and I have been “cancelling out each others’ votes” for years! (AKA opposite political parties in the US). We have an agreement to either not talk about it, or stop when things get heated and we ‘agree to disagree’ at certain points, especially for those ‘hot button’ issues. But, I can’t really tell him to just not talk about it (it’s a huge passion of his; his family is very political and likes to talk about current events A LOT!) I think your A & B options are good as is the alternative to possibly say what he wants about the candidate(s) without disparaging the supporters (AKA you and your family/friends!) Try to have a frank discussion with him about how this hurts you and makes you look bad to people you care about (But, do not talk about the actual political candidates or topics). Also, advise him that you are a supporter of XYZ candidate and you assume he doesn’t think you are dumb/stupid/whatever other degrading thing. I know some people don’t mind doing it, but I personally prefer not to discuss politics on social media – maybe *suggest* that he doesn’t do it, but it’s a pretty big overstep to tell him he *can’t* do it at all, as it’s his personal choice. Also, get used to the phrases: “we support different political parties/candidates” and “we agree to disagree on this topic”!

      • JDrives

        This is really similar to how my husband and I approach things. When the elections started heating up, we had an agreement that we would stay respectful and not bash each other’s candidates or political views. If a discussion turns heated, we’re both comfortable with “Let’s not get into this right now,” “Let’s agree to disagree,” and “I don’t think we’re going to change each other’s minds on this.” It’s allowed us to have some really cool talks about our different views on stuff, but also avoid fights.

    • Amy March

      I think its fine to say “when you call this person’s supporters crazy and dumb, you’re calling me crazy and dumb. And you know it. What’s the deal?”

      I think it is too much to ask not to say anything disparaging about the candidate anywhere, and I think its besides the point. The problem is that your husband is calling you crazy and dumb, not the implications of his negative statements about the candidate. To me that’s well down the scale and it would be better to tackle the biggest problem on its own, instead of throwing in more borderline issues as well.

      • Mary Jo TC

        Well, he may or may not know that I’ve made up my mind to support this candidate, to be fair to him. Because we don’t talk about politics much because we disagree. But thanks for the advice on where the boundary should go.

        • Amy March

          Oh, well yeah I think you need to tell him then! No fair sitting back and letting him unknowingly do it.

    • emilyg25

      I mightsay, “Can you keep your criticisms to policies, experience, etc.? Because ad hominem attacks just make you look dumb.”

  • I’m an avid reader of The Atlantic, and yesterday they did a post on the CDC guideline announcement and solicited comments…so I sent them the following email:

    Hi, just saw your post on the CDC’s new guidelines for women regarding drinking and I felt compelled to throw my 2 cents in the ring.

    I am one of the women who is offended by the CDC’s guidance. Why? For a variety of factors. For one, the CDC guideline reads as a Chicken Little “the sky is falling!” warning, when the limited studies that are available show that light drinking, even during the first trimester, is fine. Many many women don’t even learn that they are pregnant until end of the first trimester, or afterward, and go on to have healthy, happy babies. Not to mention the millions of babies born in the years when drinking and smoking during your entire pregnancy was considered normal, or the millions of children born in European countries where mothers drink wine throughout their pregnancies. Emily Oster, the author of Expecting Better, dives into many of these studies in her book.

    Second, the CDC guidelines implies that women are here to be human incubators, and they should put their entire lives on hold in order to have children, even children that are unplanned (and in many cases, unwanted). What’s next – is the CDC going to decree that women of childbearing age stop being served sushi or deli meat? Must we give up all prescription drugs other than Tylenol, on the off chance that we may become pregnant? Women must spend decades of their lives held hostage by the simple threat of pregnancy, and that potential baby holds more clout and weight in her life than her own desires? A fetus has more clout than a living breathing human? According to the CDC, it does.

    Finally, the CDC guideline feels extremely heavy-handed, and based on risk to doctors, not mothers and children. Yes, fetal alcohol syndrome is traumatic and devastating, and the CDC ruling feels like it was created to give cover to OBs, so that they can defend against malpractice lawsuits. The majority of mothers, or women trying to become mothers, are rational women who recognize that binge drinking is inappropriate during pregnancy. But there will always be those who make the wrong choices, and choose to go on a bender, or take illegal drugs during their pregnancies, and their children are harmed. Should we treat all women as if they are irrational and unable to make wise choices? Of course not, but that’s what the CDC ruling implies. It says to me that I’m incapable of limiting my drinking to 1-2 drinks per week during the first trimester, and up to 1 drink per day in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, and thus I NEED the CDC to tell me to do the right thing or else my poor baby will be harmed forever.

    I’m not a child. I’m a woman in my 30’s, with a bachelors and masters degree in the sciences, with a successful career and a loving husband. A husband, btw, who supports me having a reasonable amount of red wine during my pregnancy, should I become pregnant. I don’t need the CDC to tell me what to do, or that I must acquiesce my desires because I might become pregnant. If the CDC really wanted to address fetal alcohol syndrome, they should support more birth control options, birth control that is widely available and over the counter. That would do more to prevent more children born with fetal alcohol syndrome than this misguided decree that women stop drinking.

    • Jessica

      *applause* Very well reasoned and non-inflammatory response (which is what my response was)

      • Jess

        My response had much more eye rolling and expletives than Jubilance’s. Many many more expletives.

    • Ashlah

      Fantastic response. I was enraged when I read those guidelines.

    • emilyg25

      I thought this piece was excellent: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/02/protect-your-womb-from-the-devil-drink/459813/

      “Why do it? Why is it that whenever public-health officials talk about alcohol, they act like they’re Puritan robots from outer space who could never understand earthlings’ love of distilled spirits. “Why take the risk?” is a naive question. Both men and women drink alcohol because it is extremely fun.”

      • Ashlah

        Yes! But women are supposed to put the needs and desires of everyone else, apparently even hypothetical fetuses, above their own. Women aren’t allowed fun.

        • Jess

          Ew, fun. Good women don’t have to be disallowed from fun. They don’t even want fun.

        • emilyg25

          YOU ARE A WALKING WOMB AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

      • Lizzie

        I happen to like beer more than babies, so sue me.

    • another lady face

      PREACH! Nice write up! Also, how many babies would not be conceived if women of child-bearing age didn’t drink!?!? Could be good or bad, but I’m just sayin’!

    • Leah

      Thank you so much for sending this their way. I was livid when I read about this, and couldn’t have composed my thoughts into anything half this thorough and non-angry sounding. Seriously well done, I agree with pretty much every word your wrote.
      (also: aargh! this recommendation/attitude is so infuriating! Not to go down the ‘if men were responsible for procreation…’ road, but can you even imagine).

    • VKD_Vee

      GO JUBILANCE!

    • Keeks

      I think you summed it up perfectly.

      I’m still mystified as to how the CDC can take something as reasonable as “probs shouldn’t get schwasty-faced when gestating” and manage to twist it into “don’t drink until menopause because women can’t be trusted.” Like, am I going to have to show proof of birth control before entering a liquor store?

    • Catherine McK

      Thanks for writing this. The CDC recommendation hit me hard this week. I recently found out I’m very pregnant (discovered at 16 weeks) I was on the pill and breastfeeding and didn’t need the government to make me feel more guilty for unintentionally putting my child at risk. Ugh. I do enjoy that I had actually been following their recommendation…

      • Congratulations! And don’t feel guilty, I’m sure you’re baby person will be healthy and awesome :-)

      • another lady face

        congrats (if you are happy about it…)! As my doctor said, don’t worry about what’s in the past. Just do what you can from this point forward. A ton of people I know have taken, ate, or drank things they weren’t supposed to during the first trimester. And, their babies were totally fine! A co-worker also said that she didn’t find out with her third child until like 20 weeks – and she definitely didn’t do ‘all the right things’ during that time! But, he was totally healthy as a baby and is now a thriving 17 year old! So, try to put this out of your mind. Also, the 20 week ultrasound is coming up soon, so you should be able to have doctor check on baby very soon.

        • Catherine McK

          Thank you! We are excited and happy, it was just a bit earlier than planned. Stories like your coworker make me feel better. We had an ultrasound a week after we found out, possibly the craziest experience of my life: expected/hoped to see a blob with a heartbeat. Saw a fully developed baby instead. He looked healthy though!

    • BB

      BRAVO!!!!!!!

    • AP

      YES.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Totally agree, awesome response. The CDC can suck it. I read Expecting Better, weighed the risks and benefits, and chose to have 1-2 drinks on 3 occasions in my first trimester before I was ready to announce my second pregnancy. Because I am an adult capable of making that kind of decision, and I am able to stop drinking at 1-2 drinks easily. The “better safe than sorry” attitude bugs me so much because it justifies so much over-restriction, beyond what the research says is reasonable.

      • Violet

        Ugh to “better safe than sorry.” I guess I’ll just never leave my house, then, because you know, potential dangers abound.

      • ladyjanegreysanatomy

        I don’t often comment (okay never) but in appreciation of this site and the discussions, I want to share more info on this.The seriously flawed elements of the entire alcohol+pregnancy scare tactic just makes me livid. Like pregnant women need another thing to be paranoid about! Well it turns out they absolutely do not need to be paranoid about it, so we can all stop surveilling their every move.

        I first became aware of this via my PhD supervisor, a sociologist who studies pregnancy and discourses of maternal health, as she sipped a small glass of wine while pregnant with her second child. Basically, women drinking is not the most important factor in babies developing FAS; it’s actually really poorly correlated and even then it is related to large amounts, regularly. Secondly, it is a fallacy to assume that not knowing where that tipping point of “too much” is located means there is “no safe level” as the CDC likes to assert. I may not know exactly how many drinks it would take for me to black out, but I do know that 1 beer is not going to do that. The CDC logic is that since some unknown amount might make me black out, I’d better not ever drink.

        So if the correlation is so poor, why does this hard line discourse persist? For the most part, it’s just the easiest way for public health to seem like it’s doing something. It is easier for an organism with relatively little political power to regulate individual behaviour (through guilt!) than to address with the complex environmental and social factors that contribute to a syndrome that is actually not well understood. This article sums it up pretty succinctly:
        https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2015/09/18/fetal-alcohol-syndrome-and-the-social-control-of-mothers/

        • Lisa

          Thanks for this. I was talking to my sister the other day about the fact that drinking moderately while pregnant doesn’t show any increased risk, and she kept going on about FAS and how even moderate drinking could cause it. I didn’t have any facts to back me up, but I like how this study shows that, while tied to excessive drinking, there are many other factors that contribute to FAS.

      • Leah

        Ok…so I am a nerd. What follows is a lot of nerding out on the medical literature. Be warned, and don’t read if you don’t want to come down the rabbit hole with me.
        SO: The CDC statement doesn’t provide citations. But it’s based heavily on a similar report by the American Association of Pediatrics, which came out in November, that DOES provide citations. The report can be found here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/136/5/e1395.

        The relevant paragraph is:
        “Multiple studies and meta-analyses have focused on how various patterns of drinking during pregnancy might affect fetal and child development (30–40). Although a consensus is still lacking about the effects of low levels of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE), harmful effects are well documented related to moderate or greater PAE and to binge drinking (32–40). The potential for fetal harm increases as maternal alcohol consumption rises.32,40 Despite methodologic differences, potentially confounding factors, and variable sensitivity among the detection methods applied, these studies support advising that the healthiest choice regarding alcohol use during pregnancy is to abstain.”

        So, the relevant citations are numbers 30-40. I went through each one, and here is a summary of the stated results, in the authors’ own words (I didn’t go full Emily Oster and look at the quality of each study). So this reflects the state of our knowledge about light-moderate drinking & pregnancy. As you will see, it’s hardly damning. Apologies for formatting errors arising from cut-and-pasting into disqus.

        30. Mills JL et al (1984). Maternal alcohol consumption and birth weight. How much drinking during pregnancy is safe? JAMA. 1984;252(14):1875–1879pmid:6471316
        • Results: After adjustment for other risks, a reduction in mean birth weight was seen in
        drinkers compared with nondrinkers, ranging from 14 g in those drinking less
        than one drink each day to 165 g in those drinking three to five drinks each
        day.

        • *note:I asked a doctor friend, and she said these birthweight #s are pretty insignificant.

        31. O’Leary CM et al (201). Prenatal alcohol exposure and risk of birth defects. Pediatrics. 2010;126(4).
        • RESULTS: The prevalence of birth defects classified as Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBDs) was low. Compared with abstinence, heavy PAE [prenatal alcohol exposure] in the
        first trimester was associated with increased odds of birth defects classified as ARBDs. There was no association between low or moderate PAE and birth defects.

        32. O’Leary CM et al 2012. Guidelines for pregnancy: what’s an acceptable risk, and how is the evidence (finally) shaping up? Drug Alcohol Rev. 2012;31(2):170–183pmid:21955332
        • Key Findings. The reported significant effects from low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure are likely due to methodological issues such as confounding and/or misclassification of exposure or outcome and there is no strong research evidence of fetal effects from low levels of alcohol exposure. However, harm is well-documented with
        heavy exposure and moderate levels of exposure, 30–40 g per occasion and no more than 70 g per week, have been demonstrated to increase the risk of child behaviour problems.

        33. Andersen AM, et al (2012). Moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal death. Int J Epidemiol. 2012;41(2):405–413pmid:22253313
        • The adjusted hazard ratios for fetal death in first trimester were 1.66 and 2.82 for women who reported 2–3½ drinks per week and 4 or more drinks per week, respectively, and 1.57 and 1.73 for fetal death during pregnancy weeks 13–16. No increased risk was found for fetal death after 16 weeks of pregnancy.
        • note* drinking 2 drinks/week or more CAN increase risk of miscarriage early in pregnancy

        34. Underbjerg M, et al. (2011). The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children. BJOG. 2012;119(10):1211–1221pmid:22712829
        • Results: There were no significant effects on test performance in children of mothers drinking up to 8 drinks per week compared with children of mothers who abstained, but there was a significant association between maternal consumption of 9 or more drinks per
        week and risk of a low overall attention score (OR 3.50, 95% CI 1.15–10.68). No consistent or significant associations were observed between binge drinking and attention test scores.

        35. Falgreen Eriksen HL, et al (2012). The effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol
        exposure in early pregnancy on IQ in 5-year-old children. BJOG. 2012;119(10):1191–1200pmid:22712749
        • Results: No differences in test performance were observed between children whose mothers reported consuming between one and four or between five and eight drinks per week at some point during pregnancy, compared with children of mothers who abstained. For women who reported consuming nine or more drinks per week no differences were observed for mean differences; however, the risks of low full-scale IQ and low verbal IQ scores, but not low performance IQ score, were increased.

        36. Kesmodel US, et al. (2012). The effect of alcohol binge drinking in early pregnancy
        on general intelligence in children. BJOG. 2012;119(10):1222–1231pmid:22712770
        • Results: There were no systematic or significant differences in general intelligence between children of mothers reporting binge drinking and children of mothers with no binge episodes, except that binge drinking in gestational weeks 1–2 significantly reduced the risk of low, full-scale IQ when adjusted for core confounding factors. This finding may be explained by residual confounding. The results were otherwise not statistically significantly related to the number of binge episodes (with a maximum of 12) and timing of binge drinking.
        • don’t get schwasty-faced, maybe, actually it might not matter.

        37. Skogerbø Å, et al. (2012). The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on executive function in 5-year-old children. BJOG. 2012;119(10):1201–1210pmid:22712874
        • Results: Adjusted for all potential confounding factors, no statistically significant associations between maternal low to moderate average weekly consumption and BRIEF index scores were observed. In adjusted analyses, binge drinking in gestational week 9 or later was significantly associated with elevated Behavioural Regulation Index parent score, and with the risk of high scores on the Metacognitive Index

        38. Kesmodel US, et al (2012). The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child’s intelligence, attention, and executive function. BJOG. 2012;119(10):1180–1190pmid:22712700
        • Results: Multivariate analyses showed no statistically significant effects arising from average weekly alcohol consumption or any binge drinking, either individually or in combination. These results replicate findings from separate analyses of each outcome
        variable.

        39. Zuccolo L, et al. (2013). Prenatal alcohol exposure and offspring cognition and school performance. A “Mendelian randomization” natural experiment. Int J Epidemiol. 2013;42(5):1358–1370pmid:24065783
        • Results: Women reporting moderate drinking before and during early pregnancy were
        relatively affluent compared with women reporting lighter drinking, and their
        children had higher KS2 and IQ scores. In contrast, children whose mothers’
        genotype predisposes to lower consumption or abstinence during early pregnancy
        had higher KS2 scores than children of mothers whose genotype predisposed to
        heavier drinking, after adjustment for population stratification.
        • * used a genetic type that makes people drink less booze to ID people with lower booze consumption. Don’t know much about what this means. Emily Oster has a response to an earlier article here: https://www.facebook.com/profemilyoster/posts/533329066786412

        40. Flak AL, et al (2014). The association of mild, moderate, and binge prenatal alcohol exposure and child neuropsychological outcomes: a meta-analysis. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014;38(1):214–226pmid:23905882
        • …Based on 8 studies of 10,000 children aged 6 months through 14 years, we observed a significant detrimental association between any binge prenatal alcohol exposure and child cognition…Based on 3 high-quality studies of 11,900 children aged 9 months to 5 years, we observed a statistically significant detrimental association between moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and child behavior. We observed a significant, albeit small, positive association between mild-to-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and child cognition, but the association was not significant after post hoc exclusion of 1 large study that assessed mild consumption nor was it significant when including only studies that assessed moderate alcohol consumption. None of the other completed meta-analyses resulted in statistically significant associations between mild, moderate, or binge prenatal alcohol exposure and child neuropsychological outcomes.

    • Jess

      YES!!!! This is SO GOOD.

      This is the problem with so many women’s related things “Second, the CDC guidelines implies that women are here to be human incubators, and they should put their entire lives on hold in order to have children, even children that are unplanned (and in many cases, unwanted).”

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      AFUCKINGMEN

    • MC

      Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

    • And looks like The Atlantic ran part of my letter – http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/02/drinking-and-conceiving-contd/460122/

      I kinda wish they run the whole thing but I’ll take what I can get.

      • Lizzie

        Hooray! For an excerpt, at least.

      • C_Gold

        You are AWESOME, Jubilance! That was so well-written!

    • Amusingly/interestingly, this was one of the few times when my female friends on both sides of the political spectrum were angry about the same thing — the (conservative) Catholic ones because the recommendation is basically “be on BC if you’re drinking” and the feminist ones because once again this is the patriarchy telling women what to do. And of course, both groups like wine. ;) So yay for widespread anger??
      The worst part of it is, IMO, that the fact sheet on alcoholism for men (http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/mens-health.htm) lists many negative consequences of binge drinking (including lowering sperm counts) BUT DOESN’T GIVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WHAT TO DO. (To be fair, I guess there is a similar fact sheet for women that doesn’t give any recommendations, but only one gender gets the shiny infographic version.) Like women aren’t capable of assessing risks and making decisions based on those risks…we have to be told what to do? Arggggh

    • Beautiful.

    • Poppy

      This is all excellent. Thank you for posting it.

      I especially love:
      “the CDC guidelines implies that women are here to be human incubators, and they should put their entire lives on hold in order to have children, even children that are unplanned (and in many cases, unwanted).”

    • Meghan

      Great response! It reads a lot like the “laundry list” of problems journal entry I wrote the other night after raging through the entire day.

      I was especially glad you included – in fact, led with – the idea that there’s no reason to believe that light drinking during pregnancy is harmful. I, too, am a big fan of Expecting Better… and, well, science. What drove me crazy about most of the reactions to the CDC report was that folks tended to take the stance of, “Sure, we can all agree that you shouldn’t drink if you’re pregnant, and you should probably stop drinking when you’re trying to conceive.” NO! We can’t all agree to that, because it isn’t supported by scientific evidence or logic. It felt like the CDC got people to concede on that front because the rest of what they said struck people as even more ludicrous.

      So, from someone who prefers to rage privately (journal-keeper since 1994!), a sincere thank you for putting these thoughts out for the general public to read!

      • Yes! I really hate how very few people have been pushing back on the idea that women shouldn’t drink ever during pregnancy. Like when did we concede that point?

    • AMcCRead

      Whoa. This response articulates all of the things I thought but couldn’t find the words to say. THANK YOU!

    • JDrives

      Yes to all of this. I also found it particularly galling that the risks to “any [non-pregnant] woman” of drinking “too much” included violence. It smacks of victim-blaming. If a woman drinks, and her partner hits her, is that the woman’s fault? No, CDC. No. Not to mention the swaths of women who are completely left out of this campaign, including transgender women and women who (GASP) don’t have sex with people who produce sperm. Just completely missed the mark with this guidance, as well-intentioned as it may be.

      • Amy March

        The key factor that puts women at risk of violence is not alcohol. It is men.

    • educateallCO

      Your letter is awesome! What I’m most upset about is the fact that this is an issue that should be addressed but this recommendation undermines it. By asking doctors to cry chicken little to people who are not at risk rather than focusing on women who are making poor choices often times through addiction. We should be focusing on energy on helping doctors identify women at risk and finding the services that are most effective at helping those women like addiction counseling not creating a sweeping policy recommendation that recommends something highly restrictive and completely unnecessary.

  • VKD_Vee

    I have been waiting all week to poll the emotional labour-obsessed APW crowd on this recent HONY post… Lots of “THIS IS SO SWEET!” in the comments but I’m sure you can guess where my mind went first…

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BBNg_uEtrCA/?taken-by=humansofny

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god, yes!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who had a little cringe at that post. Like, yeah, it’s great that he appreciates what she does, but I sure hope he and the kids do incredible, thoughtful things for her too (without her having to tell them what to do).

      • VKD_Vee

        Exactly!

      • VKD_Vee

        I’m sure that’s EXACTLY what it is. “Women are so AMAZING! They memorize everyone in the families likes and dislikes, go above and beyond to took after everyone before themselves, and best of all they just LOVE DOING IT! It comes NATURALLY! ….. What, it’s a *compliment*!”

        • Keeks

          My husband’s done this to me a few times – acted like I make it all seem so effortless – and I’m like, no I worked my ass off and make plans upon plans for the things I do. It isn’t like I’m able to do this because I’m Harry Potter and he’s just a Muggle…

          • MC

            Ha! Love this metaphor.

        • Danielle

          I’m sick of cultural sh*t being considered “natural” or, like, fated.

          Slightly tangential, but this article in the NYT last week got me thinking about how hatred (and other things) can be tied to “oh it’s just natural” or “I can’t help it”: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/magazine/how-phobic-became-a-weapon-in-the-identity-wars.html?_r=0

          Ugh.

    • Jess

      I had so many conflicting “That’s such a nice thing to say” and “WTF GET OFF YOUR OWN DAMN ASS” responses inside my head to this thing.

      Also, the things she does is a list of things I would never expect from anybody, ever, and would feel really awkward with someone doing for me. So… I was also like, “Wow this mom is insane and probably needs to take a step back from her family’s lives?” but I think that’s just a personal reaction.

      In the end, if he genuinely shows his appreciation often and gets his children to recognize that it is special and they all reciprocate, that’s fine.

    • Sarah E

      Oh yeah, I saw that post and was like, “Oh, how nice that you don’t have to do any work to keep your family together, and instead she has to do all these amazing things all the time! Which may be why she chose something that entertains/educates your daughter for your freakin’ anniversary rather than celebrating adult time with just the two of you.”

    • AGCourtney

      At least he appreciates it, I will say that. I can’t tell whether he takes it for granted, so, fingers crossed? ….yeah.

      On an EL-related note, the other day my husband picked up a sheet of paper that was by our computer and said, “oh, this is yours,” and put it by me. It was the list of contact info for everyone in our daughter’s class. And I immediately snarled, “Oh, yes, because Autumn’s school stuff is automatically mine” and to be fair he didn’t really look at it at all – actually, hell, that’s another problem in and of itself. He didn’t recognize it as being relevant to him and therefore, it was mine – and he backpedaled right away, but it was defensive. Sigh….

      • Mary Jo TC

        Well, handing it to you is better than just throwing it out without looking at it, like my husband did with my parents’ Christmas card, my gift card for a prenatal massage, and OUR SON’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE. I know I need to do a better job managing paper clutter, but, as you point out–why is that entirely MY job?

        • AGCourtney

          !!! how…why…I’m at a loss. That’s frustrating beyond words.

        • D: yikes.

        • Eenie

          I had to make my partner sort through AN ENTIRE TOTE OF UNOPENED MAIL when we moved in together. Deed to his house. Car registration, proof of insurance, health insurance cards, among other things were “found”.

      • VKD_Vee

        It’s funny, b/c my temp job right now is doing data entry for children’s vaccination records and I’ll tell you what… It’s ALL mothers that call in. I think in the last three weeks I’ve overheard ONE conversation take place between a FATHER and one of the RNs here regarding their children’s vaccinations schedules. The rest has been hundreds and hundreds of visits/phone calls from MOTHERS. I pointed this out to a couple of the RNs I’m sharing an office with and they were like, “Oh, yeah, never noticed that…funny” but didn’t seem to think it was any big deal either way.

        • Lisa

          Oof, that hits me right in the feels. We’ve discussed that, depending on how careers shake down, husband would be totally fine with being the primary caretaker of our hypothetical children. But then I think about the administrative side of it and wonder if he’d even realize what he needed to do. We’re already having conversations like “I have a sympathetic gag reflex so I won’t be able to deal with puking kids” where I respond “You’re going to have to get over that pretty fuckin’ quickly.”

          • Eenie

            Hahahahahaha. I will say my dad was not allowed to do any Dr visits because he fainted. My mom told the nurses to leave him on the floor during my older brothers birth because she didn’t want to deal with him fainting twice. He got to deal with puke though.

        • Eenie

          I hate that the cats are registered at the vet under his name, yet I was taking them in for appointments and making appointments, etc. So I stopped. He now gets to plan that shit. I love it when I get to solve my own problem!

        • E.

          Same at school! I always try and use gender neutral language when I’m talking to the kids(and actually relationship neutral in general because it’s not always a parent), but it’s almost always the mom who gives me their number, comes to meetings, etc

        • Sparkles

          I need to do some reading about this whole emotional labour thing, apparently, because I’ve been feeling off for the past year, and I think THIS is what it’s all about. This idea that it’s always mothers calling in the vaccination records.

          My husband was raised with a VERY traditional mother-father dynamic, and he’s in the same profession as his father and it works out really well if I stay home with the kids, but I feel like I’m falling into this super traditional role and taking on all this responsibility that I don’t know if I want to take on. Or that I don’t mind taking on, if I just knew that it was fair somehow. It doesn’t feel fair. Because I AM the one dealing with all of the doctors with our son’s recent health scare. And my partner is interested, obviously, but doesn’t have the time to come to doctor’s appointments in the middle of the day. And I don’t know what the hell I’m doing any more than he would. And he’s very understanding if I don’t get all the information he thinks we should have, but why isn’t he there to ask the questions? And I feel like it would be easier to work out the balance if I was working, because then all the household stuff would just be divided in half. But I’m not working, so it doesn’t work like that.

          And he is a feminist, and when we have rational conversations about these things he’s willing to help out. But it’s still all on me somehow. And it’s all on my female friends to do all of this too. And it’s starting to piss me off. But how do you know how to balance it all?

          Sorry, vkd, for dumping my rant on your comment, but it just hits me right in the gut and I don’t know what to do about it.

          • VKD_Vee

            Girlfriend, rant away! I think this topic has become really emotional for a lot of folk :)

          • Eenie

            I’m not sure if you were asking for actual advice or not but…

            Can you make the appointments around lunch time and call him in? Can your husband schedule the regular checkups after work or early morning so he can share the “regularly scheduled” burden? I know sometimes there’s only one appointment slot to see such and such doctor in the next three months. I don’t have kids, but I’ve done this with my health scares because I’ve needed help making decisions. I’ve also started a shared note in google doc with relevant health information for each of us (when was my last tetanus, etc.). If he was in charge of updating that after each appointment, that could be a way to share the burden-even though you went, he has some reason to talk about how it went and follow up with the doctor as needed.
            And maybe you just need the acknowledgement every once in a while that this is something that you do because it makes sense and not because you want to.

    • Oh god, all I can thinking about reading that is how exhausting that sounds. I hope she gets time for naps :(

    • Uggggh hadn’t seen that but yes.

  • Alanna Cartier

    WE BOOKED OUR VENUE. It’s offical.

    • Jenn

      Congrats! As my mother pointed out when we booked our venue, “Well, now you have to have either a wedding or a really awkward party, because was are not losing our deposit money.” Not that she had any reason to think we won’t make it to the wedding, but venue was the first concrete step of the wedding planning.

    • Poppy

      Congrats! That’s when planning started feeling more fun to me – with some big things set in stone, I’m suffering much less from the tyranny choice!

      • Alanna Cartier

        Things are feeling more real, but at the same time, my anxiety is kicking in with: “THE DAY DRAWS NIGH- YOU MUST PLAN ALL THE THINGS RIHT NOW!!!!”

        • Oh gawd, this, yes. I’ve been whittling down photographers for a month. ONE MONTH. It is, after the venue, the most important thing to me. But I seriously thought I’d be further along by now. The fact that I’m not gives me anxiety.

          This whole thing is stupid.

          • I’ve got the venue and the photographer – I’m stuck on trying to find a day of coordinator for $1,000. I know they must exist somewhere! I might just have to bite the bullet and go over budget so I can just keep going. I also thought I’d be further along by now!

          • Alanna Cartier

            I’m so lucky in that my venue has a magnificent co-ordinator on-site, and I’m getting married in a restaurant so there’s minimal decor/ other type stuff. I started looking at the cost of day of co-ordinators and I just walked away in fear.

          • eating words

            @ankuhlman:disqus, try just asking, even if people quote you more. That was my DOC budget too, and most people were asking for WAY more than that, but one person — who had amazing reviews — wrote back and asked my budget. When I told her, she said she’d do it as long as I didn’t tell anyone the rate she was giving us. And she was amazing to work with, so I felt doubly fortunate. Don’t lose hope yet!

          • That is a really good thought! Also something that I really need to work on being more comfortable doing. I am actually really good at haggling/negotiating in the context of the farmer’s market or the shops we’ve been to in Mexico, where it’s kind of expected, but have a really hard time with it in other contexts. I feel so awkward. Maybe I should pass this on to the fiance, he never shies away from asking “What kind of deal can you give me?”

          • eating words

            I used to be so shy at negotiating, but I finally realized that there’s no shame in stating honestly what your budget is. I think I wrote something like, “You sound like a really great fit for what we’er looking for. I’ve arranged X, Y, and Z already, and our wedding won’t have A, B, or C traditional things, and we’re hoping to spend no more than $1,000. Do you think that might be possible?” Most people said no, but you only need one to say yes.

          • Yeah, be sure to phrase it well. This is pretty polite. “What kind of deal can you give me?” only works if you’re off seasons, or weekday wedding, or need smaller amounts of coverage.

          • Try posting what you need to Thumbtack. Be very specific, if you can, even if there doesn’t appear to be an entry box for it, reappropriate!

          • Thumbtack? And be verrrry specific about what you’re looking to hire for (budget, responsibilities, level of formality, size of bridal party, etc)

          • Alanna Cartier

            This happened with the venue for me, and now also with the dress. But at least I’ve made one decision now.

            I’ve started meetings with officiants and florists now. Whew. It’s like having a second full-time job. But then I had a super-lovely floral meeting today and that made me feel SO MUCH BETTER.

    • WE DID TOO!!!! It is such a good feeling to get that big first step out of the way and move on!

      • Alanna Cartier

        CONGRATULATIONS :)

  • lady brett

    for reference, “can i sit on your bed?” actually means “can i climb in your lap, headbut you in the stomach, poke your tablet and lick your teddy bear” in four-year-old. it is fairly lovely. and the minor surgery recovery that is keeping him home seems to be going well.

    • Jess

      I just burst out laughing at my desk. Thank you for this. Glad to hear the recovery is going well!

      • lady brett

        and by “going well” i mean that we both keep forgetting not to have wrestling matches, so i guess it doesn’t hurt too much? i am not the caretaker in this house, and this is our wild child – we’re doing our best, lol.

  • DRE

    I’m having dress problems. Originally, my mom wanted to sew my dress. I like the idea and what I want is relatively simple-tea length, lace-and said as long as we could find a pattern and do a mock up to adjust fit, that would be great. Fast forward to 4 months before and there’s nothing. She claims to have not had time to look at patterns but when I offered to buy one since she’s busy she got angry and offended and said she would just use a dress pattern she’d made me before that isn’t what I want. Just making it in white fabric instead of red doesn’t quite make it a wedding dress. I’ve tried really hard to be patient but she just keeps telling me to stop being so picky, it’s just a dress, you’re taking away the only thing that had meaning for me, ect. I’m feeling really guilty and she has a tendency to guilt trip people relentlessly and so far I’ve avoided buying a dress because of it. But it’s now 4 months out, the dress I tried on and liked is on sale and I’m worried. I don’t want to spend the foreseeable future hearing how the dress I bought isn’t as special as one she would have made and how I ruined the wedding for her. But it’s my wedding. I want to feel pretty. It’s the only thing that’s stressed me out at all about wedding planning and it’s turning into a black cloud over things. I just buy the dress right? It’s my wedding and you can’t please everyone? Help?

    • Alynae

      Buy it. Buy it! Maybe she comes through and the dress is awesome and then you can wear that one, but if not, you have a dress you love. Or could she help you modify the dress you like?

    • emmers

      Could you buy the dress, and if she does come through, use one as a reception dress and one as a ceremony dress?

      • Amanda

        This is a great idea!

    • Amy March

      Go buy the dress!

    • Ashlah

      1. The “one thing that had meaning for her” is to make her daughter’s wedding dress, yet she doesn’t want to make the dress her daughter actually wants? Isn’t making *your* dress, not just *a* dress what makes it meaningful?

      2. Buy the dress!

    • genevathene

      Please please buy the dress. At the very least, you can keep it as a backup, but you’re right — it *is* your wedding, and you’re allowed to choose what you wear (that’s not “being so picky” at all!). No need for guilt here.

      Long term though, does your mother use guilt trips often? (And, do they work?) If so, reading up on family boundaries could be incredibly useful to you, not just personally but also as you enter marriage. I went through a lot of “boundary training” during my engagement and into our first year — it’s tough, but so worth it!

    • Jess

      The dress is ON SALE. BUY IT. If you don’t use it… well, now you have a fun white dress to wear for your rehearsal, or reception, or brunch, or just freaking because you feel like looking pretty.

      But don’t let the guilt trip trap you into not having something you’re comfortable wearing on your wedding day.

    • AGCourtney

      Yep! Buy the dress.

    • Bethany

      Buy the dress. Tell her it’s a backup and then if she makes a dress you don’t like, crap, you dropped your lipstick on it that morning and need to use the backup dress.

    • Yup, time to buy the dress.

    • JDrives

      Buy the dress (on sale right now?!?! AAHH DO IT), and allow her one snarky comment before saying “OK Mom, I think you’ve made your point clear. It’s a done deal now, so I’d like to drop this subject now and forever, please. Thanks! *subject change or moonwalk out of the room*”

      • Jess

        *Moonwalk out of the room* I’m solving all my disputes this way. This is brilliant.

        • JDrives

          I take my inspiration from Drew Barrymore’s character in the “Charlie’s Angels” movie.

    • toomanybooks

      4 months before and no dress? Yes, at this point you don’t have to assume it’ll be done in time. Go for the dress on sale!

    • Buy the dress!!!

  • Elizabeth

    It’s been a pretty good week for me. Last week some work things exploded, and I ended up asking for help. The shocking thing is that I got it, both in my boss assuring me that he will fight for me to continue to care (I’m a very passionate/impassioned person, and most people at my workfplace seem very jaded) and with other support. Some of my issues were ongoing into this week (and forever forward) but one of my main issues was a disagreement with someone much more senior than me over how to do my job. Well, Monday he came to me, apologized, said he thinks I’m a great engineer and he was clearly going about this the wrong way, and that he was going to try to do better in the future. It’s been clear through the rest of this week that he’s trying to establish rapport and while we’re both engineers so small talk isn’t easy for either of us (and he’s very intense and two levels above me) it’s also incredibly good that he’s willing to try. I never thought of him as a bad person, just overbearing, but my opinion of him has increased a lot in the last week.

  • Catherine McK

    Anyone find a great bridesmaid dress for nursing? Apparently going to be 6 weeks post-partum and wearing coral…

  • reller

    question. We are not in the trying to conceive phase, but I am starting to think about when that will be (likely 6-12 mos). I am a bit of a worrier/planner/Type A person and I have been really mentally hung up on the idea of getting our relationship ready for this big step. Does that make sense? Are there any resources out there that you guys know of that help cover the “getting relationship and life ready for baby” process?

    • emilyg25

      I think the biggest thing is to make sure your partnership is strong–that you both step in and regularly give your all to make things work. Meg also once said that it’s better (if you’re hetero) if the guy is already doing a little more around the house. The nature of things is such that no matter how hard you try, a little more of the early child-rearing is going to fall to the mom. So it’s easier if the rest of your life balances that. You might also talk a bit about how you were each raised and the things you liked and didn’t like about that.

      I have to say that I was really worried about how having a kid would change our relationship because everyone always says the first year is the hardest, etc. etc. It has only made us stronger, only confirmed that I chose the right man. That’s because he was there beside me, every step of the way, as much as he could be, like even massaging my breast to help relieve engorgement while I needed both my hands to latch my newborn. And I made room for him to be an equal parent.

      • TeaforTwo

        I remember that interview with Meg, but I would be careful with that particular advice, that the non-birthing non-breastfeeding parent should be doing more domestic labour in advance.

        I get that they’re going to need to step up in a huge way once one parent is physically recovering from birth, and nursing for up to 12 hours a day. But I also know that my husband would balk if I’d told him a year before I got pregnant that he should be doing most of the housework and cooking for practice. In the same way that I wouldn’t have done most of the cooking while he was unemployed, on the grounds that once he was working long hours, I would have to pick up more slack.

        That said, I also wouldn’t have a child with someone who hadn’t already proven to me that they could take care of laundry/grocery shopping/cooking, etc. It’s never been 50-50 in my house because either my partner has been unemployed (and so doing almost all of it while I was at work) or working way longer days than me (and so doing less of it because fair is fair). But I do know that when I’m feeling pinned to the couch nursing for hours, he’s got it covered.

        (The first trimester is also excellent preparation for this, or at least it was for us. I just couldn’t cook/clean/do anything but work, puke and nap.)

    • Lulu

      One friend randomly found that a lot of good topics emerged in the context of talking to a financial advisor, who prompted them to be really concrete around expectations for staying home, switching careers, weighing day care options, considering private schools, and devoting time and resources to aging parents.

      Some friends have also done individual therapy, on the rationale that getting better at processing your own stress and anxiety only helps as you take on this inherently stressful change.

      I personally found “All Joy and No Fun” to be a straightforward compendium of relationship stressors, and it helped me think about which ones we’re well-equipped to handle and where we might want to do some shoring up.

    • Christina McPants

      I cringe a little about getting things ready before trying to conceive because I was the same way. And then the conception process took 8 months. And it was really hard for me because I’d done all the work! We had savings and an office I could convert into a nursery and a dog and a car that could easily accommodate a baby seat! I was ready for it! But the universe didn’t cooperate. And then remember it takes 9 months for the baby to grow. What I’m saying is the work can be done during the TTC / pregnancy process and that they are both long ones. You may be one of the people lucky enough to get pregnant first go, but you may not. It was a really unpleasant surprise to me how long our conception process was, and since we worked with a fertility center, I felt like it was my fault we were hemorrhaging money.

      Doing work on your relationship is never bad and I’d suggest couples counseling. Going to counseling doesn’t mean your relationship is failing. One of the best things we did in our relationship was premarital counseling, not because there was something off in our relationship, but because it changed the way that we fought and interacted about stress points.

      Also, a TTC / pregnancy discussion for you – child care. What will that look like? If it’s a daycare, where are the ones near you and how long are their waiting lists (you may need to sign up now if you’re in a city, I wish I was kidding). Who will be the parent that deals with doctors appointments? What about when the baby is sick at daycare / the sitters? Someone will need to drop everything for situations like that.

    • Alexandra

      I got pregnant while trying to use the Fertility Awareness Method as birth control. We didn’t have sex until we got married and three months later, FAM turned out to be a hilarious joke (I use real birth control now). Pregnancy was fine, but the first six months of having a child was really hard. I think it was just me–my husband recalls that period as a wonderful time.

      Honestly, the hormones and the lack of sleep made me feel like a crazy person. I spent hours at night not being able to sleep and seriously planning revenge on my husband for never having to get up since I was the one who had to breastfeed.

      My theory is that we had been married such a short period of time at that point that I didn’t have that deep trust that other couples have in each other. Our first anniversary happened two weeks after our son was born! And we only dated for seven months before we got engaged, and then five months until we got married.

      It’s now been three years, and my husband has made so many deposits in the “awesome husband bank” that I have a lot more faith in him, even when it seems like I’m always the one who unloads the dishwasher. When we have our next child, I don’t think I’ll have all the rage at him the second time around. He has been with me through so much and is so freaking reliable and helpful, our marriage really works well at this point.

      Strong partnership, strong faith in the other person being on your team no matter what, those are the things to get nailed down before a newborn completely bulldozes your life. Also, make as many good friends as possible. You’re going to need a strong social support system.

    • macrain

      If this makes you feel better, I am over five months into pregnancy and besides some light research here and there have done almost nothing to prepare for the new baby. Pretty soon I’m going to register, sign up for childbirth classes, and start thinking about the nursery, but seriously- after you get knocked up you have sooooo much time to get ready!
      In terms of getting your relationship ready, the best thing we did was take a trip, just the two of us, before we started trying. Once you do start, it’s such a mental shift. It was really good for us to just not worry about it and be together. So I’d say make sure you take the next year or so to focus on each other and try not to worry about baby making.
      And again- once you are pregnant, there so much time to mentally prepare. I don’t know that I really could have wrapped my brain around this big life change until it was really, truly happening. The pregnancy was the catalyst for having lots of those conversations. You certainly don’t have to wait, but it does happen naturally.
      Good luck! And check back in if you need once you start trying. <3

  • B.

    So this is a political post, just so everyone knows if they want to avoid, but I have something I want to get off my chest:

    I really, really, really, REALLY want a female president. And I’m tired of being constantly told that my desire for a female president is irrational and shouldn’t impact my decision in any way.

    Now to be clear, I wouldn’t vote for *any* woman. If Carly Fiorina ended up miraculously being the GOP candidate, I would vote for Bernie Sanders a thousand times over. And I acknowledge that Bernie and I are generally more ideologically aligned. And I disagree with a lot of Hillary’s policy positions–I think she’s typically been hawkish with foreign policy, her stances on welfare (and subsequent impact on PoC; my biggest issue) is problematic at best, and of course, she was definitely more or less in the pocket of big banks during her tenure as Senator. I do care about all of these things, truly.

    But on the other hand? I also agree with a lot of her other policy positions, which are only negligibly different than Sanders’ and are arguably even more liberal than his in some cases, when it comes to women’s rights, women’s healthcare, and gun control. She’s weathered storms and seen some shit, and overall comes across as a smart, competent badass.

    And she’s a WOMAN. And I care about that! I’m so weary and drained from being told—mostly by men, but all genders too—that I’m being weak or stupid or shortsighted for caring about that. I want my grandmother to be validated in all her hard work for women’s rights, years ago. I want my nieces to see that women really can be ANYTHING they want. I want my hypothetical daughters to grow up in a world where a female president is no longer a “someday” goal, but an actuality that’s already been lived. It may be a superficial milestone in some ways, but it’s one that’s close to my heart.

    I’m thinking I might take an imperfect candidate for that, and I’m not really sorry.

    • Totally agreed. I felt the same way in 2008, when Barack Obama was running. I remember being in the voting booth for the primary and thinking “this may be my only chance to vote for a Black person as President”. I have the same feelings for Hillary – she’s not perfect by any means but she symbolizes a lot, being a woman and a frontrunner for the Presidency.

    • april
      • Jessica

        I was just about to post this!

      • emmers

        Yea, that article made me realize how much I do care about this. I’m considering donating to Hillary’s campaign now, and maybe getting a shirt.

      • Ashlah
      • Mary Jo TC

        Gloria Stienem’s new memoir My Life On the Road talks about supporting Hillary in 2008 and makes a lot of the same points as that article. It’s a good read.

    • Amy March

      #readyforhillary #hillsyeah #imwithher #theonlyburnifeelisthefireofrighteousfeministrage

      Basically, no one tells me that I’m being weak or stupid or shortsighted for caring about having a woman president because 365/24/7 no one tells me I am being weak or stupid. I won’t put up with it or accept it as just conversation or not a big deal. I don’t try and talk people into my position, and I know there are lots of perfectly lovely rational thoughtful people who disagree, but my stance is that I am a true believer, I genuinely think HRC will be the best President we have ever had, and there’s not point in telling me otherwise, and certainly not by insulting my intelligence about this decision.

      And, in a pinch, I just tell people I think they’re being sexist jerks and leave. Because they have to learn somehow.

      • Caitlin

        Omg, I’ve been debating my brothers about my unabashed support for Hillary over Bernie and one of them just texted me today asking if I was feeling the Bern yet. I’m definitely sending him back #theonlyburnifeelisthefireofrighteousfeministrage. Thank you for this gift and I’m really happy to hear that others on apw also feel that she really is the best choice and not a begrudged second option.

    • Ashlah

      This has been SUCH a hard primary season for me. For once I’m kind of glad my state is so late in the season that our primary vote is pointless because at least I don’t have to decide. Like you, I align more with Sanders politically (I’m super stoked that a self-identified socialist is running so well and that the Democrats are fighting over who’s the most progressive), but there’s a big, huge part of me that wants to see Clinton become president. I just want it for her (and us) so bad.

      • Jessica

        Feeling the same. I also can foresee electing Sanders nothing getting through Congress because he doesn’t play the game. While we all want a candidate who wants to break the game, it doesn’t happen.

        Hillary has the know-how, she has the political capital, and she has the relationships needed to get shit done. She will be moderate. She will fuck up. But she’ll get shit done.

        • MC

          Also, I feel like at this point, can we just ban white men from the presidential races for awhile? Because yes, she will fuck up, like any president inevitably does, and I kind of feel like women and POC should have at least an equal shot at trying to balance fucking things up with doing the right thing.

          • Alanna Cartier

            Yup. As a Canadian, who has one female Prime Minister, who was only in office for a couple of months, following one of the most unpopular Prime Ministers we’ve ever had. THIS. When men make mistakes it’s personal, so why do women and POC get judged as representative of an entire gender/race. UGH.

            Poor Kim Campbell is always pegged as dead last in rankings of Canada’s prime Ministers.

          • PB

            So, I’m kind of late to the party, but what about religious minorities? Something that makes me love Bernie even more, even though he’s a white man, is that he isn’t Christian, and he understands that morals don’t have to be derived from your religion! In my opinion, this is a more pressing need in US politics than more women (and overlaps with more POC), because many issues I see that are “women’s issues” or “LGBT issues” are actually “the Christian majority pushing their views on everyone else and calling it morality” issues. And maybe the time for women needs to come sooner than the time for religious minorities, but I still feel like it’s something that people don’t recognize as a need.

        • Ashlah

          Exactly. My husband and I talk about this a lot. Clinton might not be the revolution we want (other than, you know, being the first female president which is revolutionary in and of itself), but Sanders might not be able to deliver that revolution, and given that, Clinton would probably be a more stable, effective president. But then sometimes I feel like I’m just old and jaded.

          In reality, I’m not sure how much either of them will be able to get done, if we continue to suffer the obstructionist Republicans in Congress.

          • lady brett

            as a diehard leftie, i feel like the attitude that clinton will be able to get more done is either b.s. because congress will be just as obstructionist as they have been, or unencouraging because she’ll get things passed that are very conservative.

            i feel like sanders winning the presidency will have a huge effect on the political discourse and things like the definition of “moderate. ”

            but I find myself getting far more radical as i get older. and my personal circle is full of extrordinarily respectful sanders supporters and eletist, insulting clinton supporters. so, while i don’t disbelieve the sexist bullshit i hear about online (sexist bullshit is for sure a true thing!), it is practically the opposite of my personal experience, and i see no equivalent pushback about the bs from clinton supporters.

          • Ashlah

            Yeah, I’m sure a lot of it boils down to what you’re exposed to. I don’t know anyone in my circle who is a die-hard Clinton fan, so I only hear it from Sanders supporters. But I’m also a die-hard leftie, which is what makes this tough for me. I like Clinton, but I get really frustrated by the way she talks about progressive policies, especially healthcare.

          • Lizzie

            I’m sorry the only Clinton supporters in your personal circle are elitist, insulting ones. That would certainly make her seem unpalatable. But a lot of us are respectful and down-to-earth, I swear!

          • lady brett

            haha, I didn’t mean to imply that that was indicitive of all clinton supporters!

          • Kayjayoh

            They hate Hillary Clinton even more than they hated Bill, and they hated Bill Clinton a lot.

          • MC

            One thing Obama said in an interview recently that really struck me was : “The nature of democracy means that progress is slow.” Which is very frustrating for progressives (myself included), but also makes a whole lotta sense. Not to say that it’s hopeless to work for progress, because it is obviously so important, but because our government requires that a majority of people are generally on board with things, change can’t happen overnight – which is why all the activism & push for progress is important! Anyway, that’s something I’ve been reflecting on a lot this election.

          • Jessica

            To quote the Hamilton Soundtrack: The Art of the Compromise–hold your nose and close your eyes.

            Things getting done involves compromising. I don’t think Bernie will do it. That makes him really popular to the left who has had to compromise every fucking step of the way in the last 8 years with an unyielding right, but that’s how it’s done.

          • lady brett

            getting things done isn’t inherently good, though. doing nothing can easily cause less harm.

          • Jessica

            I think that rails against what Bernie Sanders, a progressive, stands for. If I thought everything was going well I would vote for the side that says “I’m going to do nothing and keep things going as is.” But the way things are going involves doing something. Inaction, to me, is not a good plan.

          • lady brett

            not a good plan at all. disastrous. but i stand by the idea that getting things done is not *inherently* good. and at this point, when I hear “compromise” i often see “more conservative than the status quo, just not as conservative as the conservatives would like.” and I would rather nothing than that.

          • Jessica

            At the same time, shit needs getting done to continue the government. Budgets, continuing resolutions, general management of programs. Compromise is almost always needed, sometimes in an infuriating way.

          • Lizzie

            Sometimes it’s more a matter of stopping OTHER people from doing bad things.

          • Eenie

            This. I align with Bernie, but I think Hillary will be able to make more happen.

        • Kayjayoh

          There’s also a strong chance that the GOP will stonewall Clinton, just because their hate for the Clintons is boundless and irrational.

          • Kayjayoh

            What will break the gridlock is the end to gerrymandering, overturning Citizens United, and re-enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

      • Essssss

        I feel the same way. I’ll vote for whoever wins the primaries, but was surprised at how on the fence I was. I guess that means we have two pretty damned good choices. The powerful thing for me is the idea that with a woman as president, it wouldn’t just be “women’s issues” as a side note. Women’s issues would just be, issues.

        • Ashlah

          God, the supporters on either side who claim they’ll refuse to vote if their non-preferred candidate gets the nomination make me want to scream. They’re both great candidates.

          • Essssss

            Especially compared to the alternative !!!

    • MC

      Yes x1000000. So tired of people mansplaining to me why Bernie is *actually* the better candidate for women – turns out I, as a woman, can have my own well-informed opinion on that. Also alllllll the inherent sexism in claiming that Bernie is a perfect uncompromised candidate that Hillary can never be, because it turns out that being a woman in politics is FUCKING HARD and comes with a lot less privilege of being able to be principled and stubborn in your beliefs. Also, representation matters, as in, it gets more women to the ballots and encourages more women to be politicians, which is a not small task. (I just read a book about Sandra Day O’Connor and RBG being on the Supreme Court so I am REALLY feeling how important representation is.)

      If you want more articles to justify your rage, look up everything written by Rebecca Traister, and this article was also pretty great:
      http://www.thenation.com/article/why-im-supporting-hillary-clinton-with-joy-and-without-apologies/

      • Kate

        What was the book? Would you recommend it?

        • MC

          It was called Sisters In Law (10 points for a punny title!). I thought it was really interesting! I am not a lawyer so I skimmed over some of the legal jargon and in-depth discussion of court cases, but I thought the book did a really good job of putting their court and career decisions in the context of the times they were raised in, their life experiences, etc. Also fascinating to learn more about SDO, who was definitely not a “perfect” representative of women on the court, and see how she engaged with women’s rights as a moderate Republican. I’d recommend it!

          • Kate

            Thanks! Add this to my list for book club recommendations :)

    • reller

      I actually struggle with this a lot. I kind of want Bernie to win (and issue-wise, I am a much strong match with Sanders) … but I don’t want Hillary to lose. The idea of a very qualified female candidate losing twice in the primaries and never even making it to the main election hurts my heart a bit. It’s a major internal struggle at the moment!

    • Not Sarah

      I’m not a US citizen, so I can’t vote, but I would LOVE to see a female president. People complain that Hillary has changed her stance on popular issues when it became useful for her politically (e.g. gay marriage), but you know what, Obama did the same thing! So many of the things they attack her for…are really just her being a woman and she is so strong at standing up to people for it. You are not irrational to want a female president. I want one too.

    • Ravenclawed

      I was thinking a lot about this issue, and your comment made me realize something – “I’m thinking I might take an imperfect candidate for that, and I’m not really sorry.”

      If she wins, it will be that much sweeter because she IS imperfect. If she wins, it will mean that she didn’t have to be twice, thrice, or 982374x as good as the next man. If she wins, it means that all the nitpicking over ridiculous “flaws” won’t have meant as much as her credentials.

    • emilyg25

      I, on the other hand, am tired of being told I’m a bad feminist or just too young to know better because I’m not behind Hillary 100%. I’m probably going to vote for her, but only because she’s the okayest candidate. (And I think she’ll make a fine president. I just want better.)

      • B.

        Oh gosh, I don’t think those who don’t fully/at all support Hillary are bad feminists! There are plenty of reasons not to love or like Hillary. Just to be clear. :)

        Part of the reason I wrote my comment even is because most of my friends are huuuuge Sanders supporters and they are all awesome, smart, social justice-oriented ladies who are unabashedly feminist. I was just more surprised how much Hillary being a woman mattered to me and how much I’ve had to internally fight that.

        Overall I think women’s political beliefs and values are too culturally policed in this country.

        • emilyg25

          No, no, I definitely didn’t get that from you. It’s just a general vibe.

          • AP

            I totally get it. My boss for sure assumes I’m a Hillary supporter because I’m feminist (so is she.) I have no plans to tell her I’m still on the fence, because she will definitely let me know her opinions on that.

        • JDrives

          Your last point is so true. Let’s say we end up with a Hillary vs. Whatever GOP Dude race – do you think *any* men are going to be asked if they’re voting for the Republican candidate just because he is also a dude? Nope. And they’d probably be really insulted if they were asked. Yet I see that happen all the time – assuming I will vote for Hillary “just because” I’m a woman, or my favorite, assuming I’m voting for her AND judging me for being shallow before they even find out my actual stance!

      • Sara

        This is an argument I keep having with a friend of mine. She loves Hillary. I prefer Bernie. I’m sure if Hillary got the nom, she’ll be who I vote for but I prefer Bernie for now. She gets a little agitated when I don’t back her up (though not like crazily, just healthy debate wise).

    • Juliet

      I’m very much struggling with this issue myself. I supported Hillary in 2008, and I was very ready to do it again because I was not expecting someone coming in on her left whose policies and a record I liked more.

      I asked on facebook a few days ago how my feminist Sanders-supporting friends got excited about doing so, because I wasn’t excited to support another old white dude. And while some wonderful women gave me great responses, I mostly got a lot of mansplaining B.S. about why I shouldn’t vote for Hillary “just because she’s a woman.”

      1) That’s not even what I was asking, dum-dums.

      2) I think it is very valid to consider her gender, because SO MUCH of politics is imagery and symbolism. After Obama’s generally ineffective presidency, I think it can be argued that his most powerful and lasting progressive legacy may be his image as a black person leading the
      United States. If the leader of our country is so limited in his or her ability to implement change (because of a military industrial complex, because of absurdly gerrymandered districts that keep the most radically far-right representatives in congress, because of corporate influence and greed that
      cannot be dismantled by one person, etc. etc. etc.) then why *can’t* the symbolism a candidate may bring to the office be a totally reasonable factor in your voting decision?

      • E.

        I teach first grade in DC and it is SO COOL that for my Black and Latino students their concept of president is Black. They were shocked when I told them Obama was the first Black president! (side note- one of my kiddos this year once said out of the blue, “did you know Obama is the first president?” lol). And I would love to have that same thing for them with a woman president, because it really is powerful.

        • Danielle

          That amazes me and gives me so much hope that they didn’t realize he is the first black president. Wow. Wow!

    • anon

      Honestly, the amount of people calling me a bad feminist for supporting Bernie is getting on my nerves too, so maybe it all evens out.

    • Kayjayoh

      One of the things I love about APW, and why I am still reading it over a year since my wedding, is conversations like this. Everyone, whether they support Sanders or Clinton or just don’t know, is focusing on the frustrations of being a female voter, and no one is trying to point fingers or tear down because someone isn’t backing their preferred candidate.

  • AGCourtney

    I mentioned last week that I would have a video interview with a tutoring company – it went really well and I was hired! I’m technically an independent contractor, so I’m not guaranteed hours or clients, but the hourly pay is quite nice, and I’m excited. It seems like it will be a great side job. I mentioned this in the financial goals open thread, but this money is going towards dental crowns and student loans. (Because insurance doesn’t cover permanent crowns. asdfjkl; that’s another story.)

    And I think we’re really getting there on organizing the house! I’m going to feel so much more relaxed when everything is finally settled in.

    We had a huge snowstorm, but it’s MN, so, pretty par for the course. My daughter and I had fun going out to the backyard and making snow angels the next day. (…I have a backyard now, you guys~ ah, this home-owning thing still excites me sometimes.) Compared to the last couple weeks, things have been pretty chill!

  • Eh

    This week has made me so thankful for being close to my husband’s family (since we live 8 hours from mine) and the fact that we put the effort in to improve our relationship with my BIL/SIL. One of my closest friends moved away last summer, right around the time my daughter was born. So when I ended up in emerg the other night we did not have many options of who to call to watch my daughter. We had to take my daughter with us because it was 1am. The nurse at triage was great and made sure I got a bed in a quieter part of emerg and she made sure I got in right away (it luckily was not too busy at that time). They tried to get my pain under control as quickly as possible so I could go home (get some sleep and then come back for tests in the morning). I didn’t make it an hour at home before the pain came back worse than the first time. We went back to emerg and they decided to keep me until I could get the tests and results. As it got closer to ‘normal people’ wake up time we decided to text my SIL to see if she could watch our daughter. She came with her preschooler and hung out with my baby while my husband got some sleep at home and I got my tests at the hospital. I know we would have managed if my SIL couldn’t come but it made things much easier for us.

    • emilyg25

      Community, man. It’s the best thing there is.

      • Eh

        It sucks when part of your community moves away but I am glad we have a few people we can trust. Considering two years ago (after our wedding) we were barely talking to my BIL/SIL, I think we have done a good job of rebuilding our relationship. (Which is good since I am not comfortable leaving my daughter with my FIL/MIL due to some recent behaviour.)

  • a non

    I think someone posted about this in a hh recently, but… tips/things to read on getting through the first year/marriage in general when it is so, so rough (besides individual and couple counseling, which we are looking into)? I read the “sometimes the first year of marriage totally sucks” this morning and it was helpful but we’ve been living (and sleeping, and banking) together for years. I’m not sure why so much feels like it has changed.

    adding to all of this is that two very close friendships ended abruptly and rather uncivilly a few months ago, so I feel completely isolated and without any sounding board. I’m feeling like a bit of a secret keeper for my partner, and it’s becoming a little too heavy to carry.

    • Danielle

      No advice, just, ugh. Sorry :/

    • Fiona

      Ok, so I’m coming up on the end of the first year, and it was rough at times, especially in the beginning. We were totally committed to working through it, but it was exhausting sometimes. And that’s ok. We went to counseling together (5 or 6 sessions) and it was amazing. It helped us to identify that we were putting a lot of pressure (some of it unnecessary) on each other and come up with some better expectations and strategies. I can’t recommend counseling enough.

      Second, is there a reason you can’t share the friendship issue with your partner? If it’s really bothering you, that’s a pretty big negative influence to hide from the person with whom you spend the most time…would it help to at least explain the issue a bit with your partner and let your partner be a sounding board? When I learned to do this with mine, it helped both of us soooo much.

      • Not Sarah

        I think she/he is saying that their partner is now their primary confidante because two good confidantes just disappeared recently. And they’re really missing those confidantes now with the rough first year of marriage.

        • a non

          yes, this is mostly what I meant. sorry. it was unclear. there are kind of two separate issues – I have been keeping some of my partner’s secrets for a long time, used to have some people I could talk to about them, and now those friends have abandoned me and it’s all building up (I know the first comment didn’t say that at all, lol). I kind of feel like I’ve lost both those two friend confidantes and my partner as a confidante as well a little.

    • Jess

      This sounds really difficult, and I’m sorry that you’re carrying the weight of it. Losing a friend at a time when you really need one is so hard – normally that’s my solution, calling a person I really trust to hear me out and help.

      As somebody who already lives with and sleeps with and pays for things with the person I’m marrying this year, but is still having panicky reactions to any and all discussions of planning my wedding, things do change when marriage comes into play. Even if they don’t seem to change on a surface level…we’re still going to be living and sleeping and paying together, but it feels somehow bigger? heavier?

      We are just starting to get to the other side of a five month period of just complete disconnectedness and half relationship apathy/half random arguments that aren’t even about anything.

      Good luck with everything, and I think finding a counselor who can create a safe place AND a hope in there being a way forward will probably be the best help.

    • Sarah McClelland

      I was in a similar boat… We moved twice in the first year (we’ve been married for just over a year now) and it was HARD because things just kept changing… I leaned on a journal after the move. And we’ve both finally been able to open up about things a little more in the last couple months. Therapy helped- because I had my own stuff to deal with- and we started walking together and talking more. Those walks helped SO much.

      I think it’s legit to feel like the weight of marriage is different, because it is in a weird way. I don’t know if this is helpful, but I wanted to say I feel you. And I hope therapy helps.

  • Jess

    I have a story that is still making me cringe.

    I got engaged about 4 months ago, it’s pretty well known at this point and most everyone I work with knows R pretty well. Last week an olderish (late fifties/early sixties) guy I work with had gotten some sort of mailing ad for a minivan sale. He brought it over as a joke to my desk and was like, “Hey you’ll need this soon, right?!” My (mid-30’s, male) boss was also walking over to my desk at the time.

    I could only look back and forth between him and my boss with this expression of, “What the actual fuck” on my face. My boss stands there for a minute and says in a very flat tone, “So, you mean, because she’s getting married soon?” and then stares at said older guy.

    At which point I finally found words and said, “No, but you should probably show that to R. I know that whoever drives the minivan gets put in charge of child care, and that ain’t gonna be me! Or maybe I just won’t have kids.”

    Older guys seemed pretty uncomfortable with that and kind of walked away.

    But guys. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?

    • AGCourtney

      WHATTTTT. Oh my god. At least your boss was there! But wow, what a stupid, awkward situation to be in.

      • Jess

        Right? I’ve been thinking about this every since just like… Ugh!? What was I supposed to say?!

        • emmers

          I hatttte things like this (including, but not limited to, “when are you having kids?” “when are you getting engaged?” “am I invited to your wedding?”). You handled it well. I tend to freeze in the moment, and come up with zingers later.

          • Jess

            You know, I can sometimes handle those questions so well, “Oh, well, I don’t even know if we’ll have kids.” “We’re really enjoying this phase of our life”

            But this level of assumption (1- I’m going to have kids 2- I’m going to have enough to justify a minivan 3- I’m going to be the one driving it because I’m a woman 4- I’m going to be the main caretaker because I’m a woman) It was just too much awfulness rolled up into one thing and I couldn’t see straight.

          • Keeks

            Sometimes I throw the question right back at the person asking me something personal/none of their business. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean?”, or in your case, “Why am I going to need a minivan soon?” And then when they open their mouths to explain, they realize how ridiculous they sound.

          • Jess

            I really wanted to do that, and I was so glad that my boss managed to do that for me.

          • Kayjayoh

            “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. You forget yourself.”

          • JDrives

            I see you, Hamilton fan. I see you.

          • Kayjayoh

            I got to see it last Saturday!!

          • E.

            so jealous!

          • Kayjayoh

            Wait for it…

          • JDrives

            I am so happy for you!!!! And also wildly, wildly jealous!!

    • Jessica

      UUUUGUGGGGGHHHHHH.

      Points to your boss. Negative points and a mini-van related fender bender for your dumb co worker.

      • Jess

        Right? I’m very grateful my boss was able to diffuse that one for me. So many negative points for co-worker guy.

    • emmers

      Yea, it makes me wonder what “funny guy” would think if you gave him an ad for a retirement home, “Guess you’ll be interested in this soon, har har har!” So not cool.

      • Jess

        I love everything about this. I may actually do it…

    • Not Sarah

      That is just so many assumptions, transitions, stages, and assumptions all rolled into one sentence. That would drive me bonkers. I’m pretty sure my favourite part about not being engaged is that people ask “Oh, you should get married!” and I shrug my shoulders and the conversation ends. This is so much easier to deal with to me than the question of having kids. Also, your boss’s response was GOLD!

      (Also, I’ve taken to referring to my boyfriend as my husband to randos. Oh painter, you would like to come out for a quote? My husband can meet you at home. Here is his phone number – contact him to schedule a time that works for you. Oh person selling something my boyfriend wants? Thank you for confirming you still have the item available. Let me double check with my husband if he wants it and I’ll get back to you. I pretty much only don’t do that with people I see on a regular basis. I started doing this with contractors because they default to husband/wife labels anyway.)

      • gonzalesbeach

        yeah usually contractors who don’t know us call us wife/husband. although last summer an appliance delivery repair guy, looked over at my partner and said “I was telling your little woman here that XYZ…” and then they bonded about weird things that the contractors do in old houses… maybe he was trying not to presume our relationship, but it felt like I’d dropped back in time and I had to look down to double check I hadn’t put on my poodle skirt and pearls.

    • Lizzie

      I think the worst part of that awful story is the fact that your awkward colleague actually WALKED the ad over to your desk. As in, he had many opportunities to keep that to himself, but he blithely ignored them all. And it’s not even a funny joke! It’s like a joke my father-in-law would make!

      Oh no, please tell me your colleague isn’t my father-in-law.

    • Eenie

      Our elderly office manager said something along the lines of “Oh it’s so great what young people are doing these days with their modern marriages” in response to me explaining we were both keeping our name. It made me smile that she clearly didn’t agree with what I was doing, but didn’t question me or push back. Small victory!

      • Not Sarah

        Lol yes my aunt said something that us young women are fighting the good fight that her generation gave up on… I’ll take that though.

  • savannnah

    This is me and my new new fiance in indulgent selfie mode just after he proposed last Friday in Paris. Getting back to work this week has been way rough since a full week off wandering the beautiful streets and eating far too much cheese.

    • Kate

      Congrats!!!

    • Alanna Cartier

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  • Laura C

    Does anyone have any daycare suggestions in San Francisco/Oakland? We’ll be moving there in August, don’t know exactly where we’ll be living so want to get on a couple wait lists. We’re on the list at one place right where my husband will be working in San Francisco and we have been calling (and calling and calling) a place in Oakland and never reaching the magical person who can put us on the list. So an Oakland option especially would be a huge bonus in case we end up living there so it’s not as much of a hassle as getting baby back and forth to husband’s work area.

    • Lulu

      One good initial filter is whether places are NAEYC accredited: http://families.naeyc.org/find-quality-child-care

      It’s an intense, rigorous accreditation process, so much so that not all high-quality centers are willing to undertake it or the associated costs — so these are by no means your only good options– but most if not all who make it should be strong on the factors that really matter for quality environments and instruction.

  • I just need to complain about the state of the Canadian dollar for a minute. We are planning to order our rings this weekend and I found this one from ashhilton.com (thanks APW) that I LOVE. I didn’t notice that even though he’s based in New Zealand that the prices were showing up for me in US and that the ring I want is actually almost double what I thought it was. D:

    I’ve been looking at rings by local designers and there just isn’t anything I like as much. BOO TO YOU Canadian dollar.

    • Carolyn S

      #preach.

      It’s not going to work for everything, but when we went to San Francisco for our honeymoon in September we just ignored the exchange rate. We could afford our holiday, and so decided not let let every meal end with the conversation “THIS IS HOW MUCH CANADIAN$$??” *crying emoticon*

      • Oh man, I can picture the sad emoticon just sobbing into dessert. lol

        Probably best just not to think about it. :|

    • raccooncity

      Yep, fun US vacation that we planned like, a year ago is now going to be just us sitting in our hotel room because that’s all we can afford.

      FWIW, I’m not sure if you’re in the Toronto area, but we got my spouse’s ring at the devil’s workshop and their prices were reasonable (to me?) and their work available in the shop looks similar to the stuff on that website….the custom work page is basically a mishmash of what other people have ordered, I think.
      http://www.thedevilsworkshop.ca/

    • Well the Australian and Kiwi dollars are also equally low right now…in case you have the means to make it that far haha

  • Lynly

    After three years of first stumbling on APW, almost two year engagement, lots of stress, a postponement, tears, smiles, snuggles and love, my partner and I were married 1/31/16 in a crazy El Nino day in San Diego County. Our photographers are pretty amazing and already had pics up by Monday night. I’m sleep-deprived, lonely, sad, and happy all at the same time.
    Whose wedding can I help plan next??? I’m here for you!

    • Rose

      Beautiful! I love your bouquet!

    • Alanna Cartier

      CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Danielle

    I need some feminist perspective: I just started taking a calligraphy class with an older (88-year-old) guy. It’s private one-on-one lessons in his house, a former colleague recommended him. He’s a small, short and pretty frail guy (ya know, 88). His wife has MS and is in the house during the lesson.

    Last week was our first lesson and it went pretty well. Then he hugged me goodbye. I’m not really a big hugger with new people, but whatever, I went along with it.

    Then today I emailed him to confirm our lesson tomorrow, and he wrote back, “You’re on, babe.” I feel kinda uncomfortable with his using the word ‘babe’.

    What is a good way to handle it? I’m thinking generational differences are the main issue here, because he does not seem like a predator. Thanks.

    • Sarah McClelland

      If he uses ‘babe’ in person it’ll get easier to address… Or just reply to the email. Compliment sandwich style. “I think I’m getting the hang of this technique and looking forward to our lesson. But I’m sorry, Mr. ____ but I really don’t care for pet names. I enjoy being on a first-name basis with you though- please, just call me Danielle.”

      • JDrives

        I like this but would drop the apology – nothing to be sorry for here. Maybe to transition unawkwardly, something like “Just a quick note” or “As an aside” could take its place?

        • Kayjayoh

          Cosigning this. Nothing to apologize for.

      • Danielle

        Thanks, Sarah. I like the compliment sandwich.

    • AP

      Maybe in a light-hearted way, like, “Hey now, the only ones who get to call me babe are my parents (and my partner)” or “I thought we were on a first-name basis? You don’t have to call me babe, you can call me Danielle.”

      • Eenie

        I would change to: “I thought we were on a first-name basis? Please call me Danielle.”

  • Kayjayoh

    I’m leaving work early, so will be in transit during any responses (and APW doesn’t work well for me on mobile) but…

    I’m starting to think I need to have some talks (a small series, rather than a big come to Jesus) about the balance of work in our relationship (housework and emotional labor) and the context of our finances. Tax time seems like a good catalyst for it, since I do the taxes for us, but his investments are what make them complicated (and, apparently, mean we get no refunds).

    It’s a balance of “things I knew when we got engaged, don’t try to change him” vs “I’m doing so much of the work, but also putting in about 50% of the money” (which is also offset and complicated a bit by the fact that all our downpayment money was from him).

    I like to cook, and do so. He doesn’t like to cook but loves to order delivery. He will clean things or do tasks when I ask him to without complaint, but I sort of resent the fact that I have to ask. These are such basic things, and at least I know I’m not along in the large boat of women having to have this same damn conversation. (At least kids aren’t an issue.)

    So yeah. Not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. At least I feel well-armed with the knowledge that everyone in heterosexual relationships these days does seem to be having this exact same challenge. Stupid patriarchy.

    • Jenn

      I feel like almost all of our fights come down to emotional labor lately! I have a tendency to bottle it up and then pick a fight with my fiance over it, and then he doesn’t really get the message because I’m so upset. So I finally brought up emotional labor over dinner recently when I was very calm and when it wasn’t connected to a specific incident. To make sure he didn’t get defensive, I used lots of examples and stressed that I love him, but he could make some improvements. And that I appreciated improvements he was already making (man, the male ego is so fragile sometimes). I think it was the first time I got through to him! He has been making an effort since then.

      TL;DR Bringing up emotional labor when you aren’t emotional is much more effective!

      • Danielle

        After reading an article or 2 about emotional labor this week, I realized it affects my life too. One night this week my husband complained for like 30 minutes about an a**hat at work, the same a**hat as always, and I was really tired and changed the topic. He got annoyed, and I was like, “I’m tired.” [To be fair, he listens to me complain quite frequently (he is an excellent listener), but I was not feeling great and just didn’t want to hear it for an extended period that night.]

        Later that night he was in the doorway starting to talk about something, I honestly can’t remember what. I was in bed reading an article I wanted to read. And I just kept reading and did not really acknowledge him. It worked pretty well!

        So the lesson I took away from this is that sometimes with body language and being unresponsive, he will get the hint and stop pouring his guts out. I don’t need to be available for EVERY SINGLE drama-filled detail of his life. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about him in general, and love him very much, but jeez. There comes a point when you just have to say no.

        Has anyone seen the Amy Schumer clip on the Listen Alert? So good! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHCXk48EDq0 Sometimes I do feel like I deserve $100,000 for listening to people’s lives.

      • ART

        I totally had this conversation with my husband the other week. I told him that while it might not seem like it, it’s *work* for me to *own* all these tasks. I said you do help, I know that, but I need to you be the keeper for some things, and you can ask ME to take out the recycling if you need to, but I would like you to be the one that “owns” that chore. Because right now I “own”: making sure you giving me a check in time for the rent check, me writing and mailing the rent check on time, doing the taxes, making the investments, tracking our savings, planning our vacations, scheduling dinners with your mother, RSVP’ing to and picking out gifts for showers and weddings even if it’s your family, making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, taking the recycling/trash out, vacuuming, working my full time job, helping you run your business, AND WE DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS YET AND I’M TERRIFIED OF ADDING THAT!

        It was kind of hard to explain the whole ownership concept but I was like babe, there is a cost to me every time I have to even think about these tasks, even if it just means asking you to do them and then you do them. I actually think that made it a lot more clear to him than other ways I’ve tried to approach it in the past (we’ve been married a year and a half FWIW).

        It was a really hard conversation because his reaction is “well, I am trying to get this business off the ground and I’m just giving it all I’ve got!” And I had to muster my strength and say that the other side of that coin is the implication that I don’t even get the choice to give MY job all I’ve got, because I have to take care of the whole entire rest of our lives when you’re not doing it. And that’s truly unfair to me. And that I grew up socialized with the expectation that I WOULD take care of all of the household-y life-y stuff because I’m a woman, and I’m pretty sure you didn’t, so I understand why you can only see your side of the coin, but now you really need to see mine. And by the way, it’s *work* for me to explain all this to you, so please listen and internalize it so that I don’t have to do it again. That was a hard conversation but I’m super proud of how it went.

        • Jenn

          Yay I’m glad it went well! I hear you about being worried about adding kids into the mix, that used to worry me too. But I am telling myself that the balance of emotional labor is a work in progress and we will work on kids when we get there. I’m also refusing to take care of his family for him, even though I could do a better job, because I shouldn’t have to. If he doesn’t want to get his Mom a birthday gift, why should I have to do it? On the other hand, if he asks my help to come up with idea, I would be happy to help.

    • My partner is really good about doing anything that’s asked but I hate asking (for a lot of the same reasons, why is it my job to manage who is doing what?).

      We ended up making a chore chart in a shared google calendar since neither of us seemed to want to do the daily work of thinking about what needs to be done around the house. I get alerts telling me what days I need to grocery shop, cook dinner, clean the bathroom etc, and the rest of the time I just don’t think about it because I’m not scheduled.

      It’s been awesome.

      • reller

        I was totally going to say google calendar! I created a “house” calendar and will put in service appointments and errands, but also add things as I do them like “cleaned dog crate” or “raked yard.” We’re imperfect in our application of this strategy, but it helps each of us acknowledge the work the other is doing. It also helps us work toward being better at the adulting aspects of having a house to manage.

        • MC

          Yep, we love our Google calendar. It’s helped (a little) with Husband always asking me, “Are we doing anything this weekend?” or “What time is that event again?” because I can remind him to look at his calendar instead of always relying on me to remember everything.

          • Kayjayoh

            I keep thinking about a Google calendar for this exact issue. I’d need him to commit to using it.

            Also…I keep my appointments in an actual book. So *I* would also need to commit to using it.

        • Sarah McClelland

          YES! We may try this.

        • Natalie

          this is brilliant. I may do this. I can set up recurring tasks for him so *I* don’t have to tell him to do things every week.

        • Not Sarah

          We have a “joint” calendar and a “meal planning” calendar. Google calendar is great for meal planning as you can just drag things to another day if you don’t end up cooking it that day or you want to swap things around! It took some time for him to use them, but now we’re both on board and it is so helpful.

    • AP

      Good luck! I work from home, so I’ve slipped into the habit of straightening up the house when I’m taking breaks from work. Which means he’s coming home to a clean house every day. Which, I’ve recently realized is not a good thing. He’s starting to forget that a clean house takes work, and he’s starting to drag his heels when I ask him to do things. And I’m starting to resent that my free time is spent cleaning and his is spent doing whatever he wants. So we had a similar conversation this week, mostly me reminding him that stuff doesn’t get done by magic just because he doesn’t see me do it. He heard me, but I’m still having to ask him to step up on things like dusting (which I prefer not to do because of my serious allergies) and cleaning the bathrooms. Wish I didn’t have to ask, though…solidarity, friend.

      • Kayjayoh

        We have the opposite, in that he often works from home, but doesn’t do any house work while he is here most days. So I come home (like tonight) and the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied but/so dirty dishes are piled up in the sink and on the counter. And I’m thinking, WTF, really? And he’s *still* working, so I end up feeling bad because he’s trying to beat a deadline when I’m all “honey, can you come down and help in the kitchen?” when it isn’t exactly urgent.

        So, feelings.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m so in this boat with you…. and yeah, I don’t want to have to ask. it makes me feel less of a partner and more like (ick factor) his mother. but he’s apparently blind to the dust bunnies swirling around the room.

      • Natalie

        We just had a conversation about my having to ask him to do things.
        Him: “if you make me a list, I’ll do it.”
        Me: “Can I put ‘wash sheets & duvet cover every 2 weeks’ on the list permanently?”
        Him: “No, I won’t remember to do it regularly then. You need to put it on the list when you want it done within the week, then I’ll do it and cross it off the list.”
        Me: *fuming*

        Seriously? I have to remind him every week that the sheets need to washed?

        • Not Sarah

          He needs to get an app that will remind him to do this every two weeks. We have a similar conversation every once in a while:
          Me: “Could you do X tomorrow?”
          Him: “Sure, could you remind me tomorrow?”
          Me: “Ask Siri to do that.”
          Him: “Fine…” [rolls over, grabs his phone, and asks Siri to remind him to do X tomorrow]

          Technology FTW. Usually he just sets a reminder in his phone, but that particular time he was tired and wanted to go to sleep.

          • gonzalesbeach

            ooo I like this. and MrGonzalesBeach is surgically attached to his phone so it would probably work

          • Not Sarah

            It just hit me that maybe this is why Siri is a woman. Because basically men can use Siri to do some of the emotional labour their wives have been doing for centuries.

          • Jenn

            Whoa, that was unexpectedly insightful!

          • Danielle

            There is a great article about the sexism behind Siri being a woman: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/why-siri-cortana-voice-interfaces-sound-female-sexism/ Basically, women are less authoritative than men so we trust them more :/

        • Eenie

          My partner requested a chore chart. We rotate the chores. It helps because we can both keep each other accountable. I’ve been trying very hard to not do “extra” stuff that isn’t listed.

        • gonzalesbeach

          yeah last night I had to remind him that he was fully responsible for washing his own dirty work clothes and that I don’t monitor that (because I could tell from the giant heap that he was probably low…)

          • Eenie

            It was nice of you to remind him, but he may only learn when he has to wear dirty clothes.

          • Danielle

            This was exactly what happened with an ex of mine. He learned pretty quick how to do laundry when he had no clean underwear left.

          • Eenie

            I was irrationally worried about combining dirty laundry. I have started less than half of the loads! It helps I have more undergarments than he does.

          • Combining laundry is the worst because I wear t-shirts and jeans (and rewear my jeans!) and he has two sets of clothes that need to be ironed for business-work and then also clothes for normal-times (and his clothes take up like twice as much space as mine!) So we do joint laundry every two weeks and it takes up half an afternoon because we have to go to the laundry room in the basement (at least we don’t have to leave the building) (but he does the ironing. I purposely don’t own any clothes that need to be ironed. Even my business clothes don’t need to be ironed. One time I tried to iron for him since he is working 14 hour days since it is accounting busy season and it took 4 hours and it was awful so I don’t do that anymore.

        • StevenPortland

          He needs to put a repeating event on his Google calendar to remind himself.

    • Les

      Solidarity, sister.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, I have no great advice on this, but I am right there with you all.

    • Carolyn S

      I was hanging out with a group of girlfriends that are all in VERY traditional role marriages where they are either home full time or work a shift every couple weeks and therefore do all the housework. One of them is going back to school, and as part of it, has to work full time for a couple of months in a practicum. She was going on about how she doesn’t know how groceries are going to get bought, how the house is never going to get cleaned, how do people who both work full time do it!?! And I don’t have kids, so I know I can’t speak with total authority, so I try to be gentle… but I just said “..um.. your husband has to do some stuff now? like just a couple things?” And the look on her face (and the groups in general) was one of uncertainty but also literally that this option hadn’t even occurred to her. Her husband hasn’t had to do a dish in 7 years. They might have a rough transition… And it drives me crazy because he would have to do all these things if he had never gotten married, and so where did we decide that just getting married gives (men in particular) a free pass to give up most personal responsibility and have to solely be responsible for getting out of bed and being at work on time….

      • Not Sarah

        I know so many guys that without a partner, they would eat all of their meals out and thus not dirty dishes or learn how to cook. My boyfriend included, but he is at the very least fully involved in the process.

        • Kayjayoh

          That was how my husband was. It was something I observed quite clearly, and at the time I thought, “Ok, you know you don’t marry people with the intent to change them. You have to marry people as they are. Look around and know that he keeps his house a giant mess and lives on take-out and microwaveable meals. This is who he is.” Which did make me cringe.

          But not marrying someone with the intent to change them doesn’t give anyone a free pass at skipping standard household chores.

          • Not Sarah

            True. He still hates dishes, but he dislikes putting them away less than washing them, so sometimes I do more of the washing and he does more of the putting away. He has gotten super involved in the cooking, finding new recipes and trying things. My parents were so confused that when I went to visit them one weekend, he spent the weekend cooking things. And when they visited us, he cooked most of the stuff we ate. I think my dad felt bad. He got involved in the cooking because it was important to me and I’m important to him and he didn’t want me doing all of the work. It was definitely a HUGE adjustment for several months though and a really hard part of our relationship.

    • Kayjayoh

      Side note to this: he works from home a lot. Even on days that he has also worked from the office. And when he’s frustrated and under stress, he yells at his computer a lot. And it stresses me the fuck out. It was worse when we were in a smaller apartment, but even in a house, it is hard not to hear it. I’m not entirely sure how to address that one. It’s a different issue from the division of labor thing, so I won’t bring them up together.

      • Not Sarah

        My boyfriend is a mumbler and I hate background noise. So we tend to hang out in separate rooms a lot. We’re in a two bedroom condo. My computer is in the second bedroom and his is in the living room, which share a wall. I have a nice speaker that mostly blocks out his mumbling with lovely music. Can you find a similar solution? I know it would drive me crazy if he yelled all the time at his computer.

        • Kayjayoh

          Based on the layout of the house, we have a “stoffice” which is a combo of art studio and office space. Both of our desktops are there, as is all my art stuff. Currently, I’m on my laptop in the kitchen. If I turn some music on it would drown him out. But I don’t always want some sound going.

          • Not Sarah

            Is there a room you can hang out in that doesn’t share a wall with his office space? We put a chaise in the window corner of the master bedroom to help with this too and I go there sometimes. It’s like the far opposite corner – no mumbling happening there. And no video game noises either!

          • Kayjayoh

            I am literally downstairs and at the opposite side of the house from him right now. No walls shared. I suppose I could go up and close the door, but then I’d have to text him or something if I needed him.

          • Not Sarah

            Bah that sounds like poor soundproofing in the house. I’m sorry :( We iMessage/Hangouts all the time within the condo. And closing the door to the second bedroom aka my office is crucial to keep his mumbling out. I would start by messaging him to please close the door if he forgot to close it. Or maybe you might want to reconsider who gets to use that closed door room as their quiet space.

      • Ashlah

        Oh god, that would stress me out too. My husband gets frustrated trying do music stuff sometimes, and his attitude/negative comments/yelling really gets to me, even though it’s not directed at me. Part of it is that I’ve always hated yelling (child of divorce and fighting stepparents, whattup), but I think part of it is that I feel like I’m supposed to respond somehow? Like be reassuring, I guess? Not sure if he actually expects that, or if it’s just my female socialization creeping in, but it’s just…not cool sometimes.

        • Kayjayoh

          ” I feel like I’m supposed to respond somehow?”

          Yes. This. Also…okay, I know *you* are apparently working 24/7, but I am home from work. I put in my hours and now (when I’m not doing chores) I am trying to relax. And that isn’t helping.

        • Danielle

          Can you just try not responding one time, and see what that’s like?

          • Ashlah

            Oh, I don’t usually respond! It’s just the feeling like I should that stresses me out. That’s partly my own issue I need to resolve.

          • Not Sarah

            I’m like Ashlah – it’s just the feeling that stresses me out. So I hang out in another room.

    • Kayjayoh

      A thing I have been considering a possibility is calculating the value of what I do around the house: cooking, much of the cleaning, accounting (budget and taxes), much of the shopping, etc. and put a monthly $ value on it, and then adjusting how much I personally contribute to our household accounts based on it. If it is going to be a part-time job for me, maybe I should just treat it like on for real, and have more money in my personal savings and spending account.

      I’m not entirely sure if that would work out for me long term, but it might mean less resentful, “Why the fuck am I doing this? Oh right, because otherwise it won’t get done.” And I don’t think it would mean that he never has to help or contribute, but it would be an acknowledgment of the existing imbalance.

      • Not Sarah

        What does your husband do around the house? If you do most of the cleaning, cooking, accounting, shopping, etc., what does he do? I’m not seeing that here. Does he just work and do nothing around the house? Why isn’t he doing anything? What were things like before you got married? What kinds of discussions have you had around this?

      • Not Sarah

        Can you work it into your budget to hire a cleaning person? That has reduced so many arguments for us. (Though we mostly did it because I am taking two grad school classes this quarter while working full-time and he didn’t want to do more cleaning.) Have you considered grocery delivery? We used that for a long time and that significantly reduced the amount of time acquiring food, actually kept our grocery costs down, and got him into cooking. Could you try something like Blue Apron or Plated? Would he be on board with that? Friends of ours have had good luck with that to get both people on board with cooking and finding dinner ideas.

        Have you considered finding a couples counselor?

        • Kayjayoh

          I don’t think we need a cleaning person or grocery delivery, honestly. And I would rather we pay *me* to do these things than someone else. Blue Apron or Plated would end up with me cooking, and I know that pretty well. :)

          I’d think about couple’s counseling *if* I bring these things up in conversation (as mentioned in my original post) and it doesn’t go over well. But I haven’t brought it all up yet because I’ve been figuring out what *I* want as an end result and how to best approach it because #malefragility and all. I don’t want to rush into the conversation willy nilly or at a bad time. I’d like to be able to say, “Look, this is how things are, and these are the things I can see us changing to make this more equitable.” That way the talk can stay focused on concrete results and not end up being about hurt feelings. (I mean, it is about hurt feelings, but hurt feelings around concrete things.)

          • Not Sarah

            For us, getting my boyfriend to do more cooking and getting us to do cooking at all was a long series of baby steps. He didn’t like my lack of variety in food choices and was intimidated trying to pick up recipes I had been working on for decades, but I didn’t want to eat out all the time. So, I asked for “Help My Apartment Has A Kitchen” for Christmas in 2014 and I got it. That was so helpful for us finding recipes and him getting more confident in this process. We started out using a grocery delivery service because that saved time and got us cooking and got us to make lists for going to the grocery store. We’ve each tried every role. Him doing the meal planning failed miserably. Him cooking is great, him going to the grocery store is fine (thank you shared grocery list in our shared to do list app via telling Alexa to add X to the shopping list), him remembering to make an order with the grocery delivery service did not work, but him putting away all of the groceries does, etc. We stopped using the grocery delivery service and go to the store now, but it was a good stepping stone.

            I didn’t think that we needed a cleaning person either. But he did because he would just not clean things and having things not be clean is really really stressful to me. We eventually figured out that I’m better at doing weekly cleaning and he’s better at doing infrequent cleaning, so he does a lot of the infrequent cleaning. I have a feeling we’ll keep the housecleaner even when my workload drops because I want to be able to go to the gym in my free time and not spend all of it cleaning because cleaning up after two people is a lot of work.

            Thinking about what you want is a good idea – but I wouldn’t wait TOO long to discuss these things as it sounds like they’ve been really stressing you out and that’s no good. For example, it drove me crazy that I would wash all of the dishes in the evening and come home from work the next day and they would STILL be there, so I asked him if he could put the dry dishes away before he goes to work in the morning so that I don’t feel like I am the one washing the dishes AND not putting them away. That actually was a huge weight off of my shoulders.

      • Eenie

        Not all of it was relevant but I thought this was an interesting article
        http://www.ijreview.com/2015/04/287991-fathers-cant-afford-stay-home-mom/

        • Kayjayoh

          I remember that one.

          • Eenie

            Also my partner said something to me the other day after I thanked him for committing to our agreed work so thoroughly. He explained he was constantly just trying to do a little bit more than what I did. Which means he actually did more than what he thought I did but slightly less than what I really do. But his mindset was fully in the thinking: I don’t want to be the slacker. It really made a lot of sense. That was something he could accomplish, where this 50/50 egalitarian ideal is really not going to happen.

          • Kayjayoh

            This reminds me of studies where men think women are talking equally when they talked 20% of the time, and though women were dominating the conversation when they got closer to (but not passing) 50% of the talking.

          • Eenie

            I remember those too! Sigh.

      • Not Sarah

        (I don’t know if all of my questions are helping or being annoying. Let me know if I should stop! We’ve had these discussions a lot – about a year in to living together now – and I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere. There is still room for improvement, but I’m at peace with where we are now.)

        • Kayjayoh

          Your questions are reasonable ones! And while I prompted the thread here, I’m not the only one getting ideas from it. :)

    • Rose

      The counseler we saw a few times pre-wedding said exactly what you just did–every couple she sees, one person’s keeping The List, and in heterosexual couples it’s virtually always the woman. But even with us with two women, it’s still not even, it’s absolutely me. And this is making me think that we probably need to have a conversation or two about it soon, because it’s starting to build up a bit again. Seriously, though, I hate having to ask. I know it seems simple and easy when you’re not the one doing it–how hard is it to say “Hey, honey, would you wash the dishes?” But it is hard, even if I can’t quite fully explain why.

      • TeaforTwo

        For me, the problem is that sometimes the answer is “no.”

        It makes sense, sort of. I often notice something needs to be done and think, “meh, later.” So of course my husband does, too. But as the Listkeeper, when I say “will you xyz?” and he doesn’t want to do it right away, it stays on my list until he decides it’s time.

        Sometimes that is fine, sometimes it’s not. Around big transitions, it drives me crazy. now that I am pregnant, I will ask him to take care of some detail like life insurance, and he is thinking “we have four months.” That’s true, there is time, but it’s hard to get across that I don’t want to spend four months thinking about how we need to get life insurance. I want to have it done, so I can figure out what’s next on the list!

  • Jess

    Susan Sarandon is amazing and wonderful and her outfit was amazing and wonderful and can I please steal it and wear it out to dinner tonight?

  • Anon

    I have a personal question that I’m a little embarrassed to ask my friends. I figure this is a good group of women that I trust to help me out.

    I think I need a new gyno. But as a 30 year old virgin, I’m not exactly sure how much is the doctor just being terrible and how much is pain from not using that area of my body that much. I go in every other year or so since I’m not sexual active for check ups, and I’ve been going to the same woman for the last three or four appointments. The last pap was so incredibly painful, and I feel like it shouldn’t be THAT bad. I will say I had another friend with a bad experience at this clinic who has switched to a new doctor. But should paps be painful? And how do you find a GOOD gyno?

    Thanks!

    • Not Sarah

      I usually try to make sure to have extra sex within the week or two before the pap so that it is less painful. It’s still going to bleed, but it’s not nearly as bad. But the gyno doing it also makes a difference, I think. But I mean they are putting a metal pokey thing inside of you, which is just not destined to be comfortable.

      I have just been going to my PCP (who I randomly picked and turned out to be awesome) for my paps, but I’m going to switch to a gyno because my PCP left her practice. I asked around to my friends for recommendations for new doctors and I’m going to follow up with a friend’s gyno soon for my next physical.

    • Ashlah

      Paps have never been painful for me, save a tiny bit of cramping (like period cramps) when she scrapes the cervix. But all people are different. So I don’t feel comfortable saying straight up “If you have pain, they’re doing it wrong.” That said, if you suspect things aren’t as good as they should be, I would suggest finding a new doctor (especially given you have a friend who already left due to bad experience). And if you’ve discussed the pain with your doctor, and they’ve brushed it off, then I would absolutely leave that clinic.

    • emilyg25

      I find paps uncomfortable, but not quite painful. But I have had very unpleasant exams (tip: don’t go to a family doc for vagina stuff! go to a gyn!) and better ones. Find a new practitioner! You can ask friends or even coworkers if they like their person.

    • I think the pain you’re describing is more than you should experience. Is there a woman you can trust to give you a recommendation?

      • Anon

        I was going to ask my friend that switched clinics since she seems to like her new doctor a lot, but I wanted to crowdsource opinions before I switched. Plus, now I have a bunch of things I can bring up with a new doc :)

    • Laura C

      Even Yelp or Zocdoc reviews can be helpful. You need to read them individually and not just go by the stars, because for instance I once had a doctor who had very mixed reviews and it turned out they were good on the gyn side and terrible on the OB side, and since I wasn’t planning to be pregnant while I lived in that city, I figured he’d be ok for me, which he was. But people get into surprising detail on those sites!

      • emmers

        Yes! Or Angie’s list.

    • AP

      Have you told your gyno about the pain? Paps shouldn’t be so painful that you want to quit going. Mine are uncomfortable for 15 seconds, then over (usually a pinching feeling around my cervix.) I did have one gyno tell me that my cervix is kind of hard to get to, so she used a different kind of pap stick (?) that was more flexible and hurt less. So there may be an adaptation your doc could make. Or the pain could indicate something is going on that needs to be addressed.

      I wouldn’t assume your vagina is any different from a sexually active woman, especially if you use tampons.

      • Anon

        Once, when it started, I began to tear up from the pain and she just panic quit the whole pap exam and did a physical examination. I was on my period (bad timing with a really far out appointment date) so while I thought it was weird but she said the pain was from being on my cycle. Which ended up not being true, but I didn’t know better.

        • Not Sarah

          Wait, what? I’ve accidentally made an appointment while on my period and then my doctor didn’t do the pap that appointment. My doctor said that the pap doesn’t produce as good of data when you’re on you’re period, so she doesn’t do paps then.

          • Anon

            Yeah, she said we could try to do it since I don’t come in that often and then just quit once it became too painful for me.

          • emmers

            I’ve had drs who don’t mind doing a pap during a period. They did make me aware that I might need to come back if they didn’t get what they needed, but it’s worked for me before, when I get surprised by my period.

        • another lady face

          that should have been a red flag for your doctor. definitely get it checked out and mention to the new doctor that you have had painful paps and are concerned about other possible issues.

        • AP

          Yeah, sounds like you’re going to have to advocate for yourself and make someone take your pain more seriously, whether you change doctors or try again with this one. That doesn’t sound like typical pap discomfort. You could try to make a separate gyno appointment that isn’t a pap just to talk about that pain and make sure everything’s ok. But I’d switch docs if you feel that you’re not being heard or taken seriously. Then if you switch, you can make sure to bring up your pain on any new intake forms and the way the doc responds can be a good way to evaluate whether they’re a good fit.

    • CP2011

      Most gynecologists I’ve seen have lidocaine available upon request or if you have vaginal pain on your intake forms. You apply the lidocaine and then a few minutes later they do the insertion stuff.
      But go with your gut on something so personal– if you want a new doctor you should change. My experience has been that it’s pretty easy to switch doctors. Honestly, they spend so little time with you for routine stuff I’ve never developed any sort of doctor loyalty.

    • Jess

      The worst it’s felt for me is like a strep test, never quite as bad as a shot. But I know some people do find them really super painful feeling.

      Have you brought up the pain to your gyno? The gyno’s reaction should tell you a lot about if this is something that 1) shouldn’t be happening and they’re concerned about your health 2) they don’t know what they’re doing and don’t take it seriously 3) you’re feeling a typical amount of pain in an unusual place for you

      If you just aren’t all that interested in your gyno anyway, try switching over to a different clinic and seeing what happens. Mention ahead of time the painful paps so they can look out to see if it’s abnormal or not.

      I’ve done mostly asking around and working off referrals, but overall it’s just trying people until you get one you like.

    • another lady face

      this could be a sign of bigger issues going on with your body. Since you are a virgin, you may not know if you would have painful sex issues. but, these symptoms sound really similar to my symptoms and I was eventually diagnosed with vulvodinia and painful sex issues. have the doctor do the swab test where they lightly touch you with a q-tip and see if it hurts in different areas. if it hurts, you probably have other issues going on. for me, it was excruciating! also, mention it to your current or new gyno and have them use a smaller speculum (metal thing they put in before the pap) and have them be extra gentle. Also, they can give you a numbing cream to use before hand to make it less painful. (and, your doctor could suck, so there is always that! don’t be afraid to speak up and switch doctors if needed!) fight for yourself and good luck!

      • Anon

        Ok, this is something I was actually really concerned about. Thank you! I will bring it up with whomever I go to next!

      • ML

        Yes, another vulvodynia sufferer here, though I am mostly recovered now. I used to have a LOT of pain with exams. It was often traumatic before I had a diagnosis because many providers didn’t believe me and just shoved it in there, leaving me in tears. Now that I am better, rough experiences don’t bring me to tears, but I still let my provider know when I first visit them. The good ones take it seriously, use the smallest speculum, go slowly, and tell me what they’re doing as they do it so I can mentally brace myself.

    • emmers

      Get a new gyno! I’ve found it helpful to ask friends for recommendations. I’ve had some gynos where it’s been really painful, and some who did a better job. With your new dr, I’d also tell them that it’s been really painful for you in the past, so they can be gentler if possible.

    • toomanybooks

      Get a new one! Ask for recs from friends or go on Zoc Doc to look one up (that’s what I did and it worked out well – they have reviews so that’s really helpful).

      (also, idk if this is the case for you but from my experience I would say it is also not *super weird* to find penetration painful if you’re not, ahem, used to it, even though people would act like it was. But still. Gonna say new doctor.)

    • Kayjayoh

      Aside from the pain during exams, do you have any other reasons to want to switch? Do you otherwise like/trust your current doctor? If you like/trust her otherwise, I’d say talk to her about the pain first, and then consider switching. If the pain is on top of not feeling comfortable talking to this doctor and you have the option to switch, I’d go for it.

  • Les

    Re: the ‘nice guys’ link, Dylan Garity’s ‘Friend Zone.’ It’s awesome.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xHp5iTtWRc

  • Ashlah
    • Les

      Another pro in the Hilary column!

      • Lisa

        Apparently Hillary and I have the same favorite food!

    • scw

      oh carly.

    • Jess

      Hard hitting journalism at its finest!!

  • CP2011

    We joined the YNAB club! Still waiting for the bank transactions to be available to import (2 full days now), so we can’t actually log anything, but I enjoyed setting up our budget categories for little things I want to save for.

    • Lisa

      Welcome to the club! Best of luck on your journey. I love logging into my app every day just to see all of my happy little dollars waiting to complete their assigned jobs.

    • Sarah McClelland

      LOVE YNAB!

      We manually log everything. It’s made us more aware of what goes where and how much we are spending.

      • Ashlah

        Yep, I’m all about manually logging transactions. That’s part of the fun for me!

      • CP2011

        But it does have the option to automatically sync with your accounts in real time right? I’ve been a little confused with the setup because of the import delay (using ynab 4 not classic)

        • Sarah McClelland

          We have ynab4, which does not… However I think the newest iteration may indeed offer that option. And for us that is part of the point. If our bank account synced with ynab, it would give us more of an oppurtunity to automate and be less aware in some cases.
          What I think is invaluable about ynab is the availability of tutorials and webinars. Check those and the forums out with your questions!

    • Violet

      Oh my god, you’re gonna have so much FUNNNNNN!!!!!

  • Jenn

    Today I started randomly looking at ceremony musicians and now I am really tempted to hire some for the ceremony music. It’s kind of a frivolous purchase, but I love music and listening to the samples made me choke up a little. Originally, the plan was just to have the reception DJ also take care of ceremony music, but it will be in an outdoor meadow with no electricity so live musicians seems to fit better.

    Did any of you hire musicians for an outdoor ceremony? Was it worth it?

    • Carolyn S

      We had a local classical guitarist play for our outdoor ceremony and it was $300 well spent. He basically picked the music, brought his own amp, showed up and packed up without us ever having to even talk to him. He even played a bit through our (outdoor immediately following the ceremony) champagne toast. I barely noticed the music, but I think it would have felt awkward to have none, and it was a relatively cheap special touch.

      • Jenn

        One of the options I was looking at was classical guitar, like you are describing! Thanks!

    • Laura C

      We had a friend play piano and sing during our ceremony and it was wonderful. She did it for free, but we did have to rent her a keyboard and pay the DJ extra for the appropriate microphone, so it ended up probably being a couple hundred dollars. Which was totally worth it.

    • We hired a Jarocho trio to play for our ceremony and for cocktail hour. I totally loved having them there (we’ve known the harpist for years), and it wasn’t expensive. In retrospect, however, we should have miked them up. I could hear them playing quietly as I walked up, but from what I understand, folk sitting on the other side of the aisle had a hard time hearing them which was unfortunate.

    • eating words

      We had a friend (guitarist/cellist/singer) and her musical partner (violinist) play for our outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. We did amplify them (with lots of extension cords running from the nearest building), and it was amazing. The arrangements they did of the songs we chose were beautiful — I started crying as soon as I heard my processional. It mattered less for cocktail hour, because everyone was eating and chatting and playing lawn games. But I can’t imagine our ceremony being any other way.

  • InTheBurbs

    Adding to the link round-up for all the classical music fans out there…Cantus and Chanticleer are both touring right now – and they came together in a bar to sing the Biebl Ave Maria, I was sobbing at my desk at 7:30 this morning…It’s on the Cantus Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/CantusSings/?fref=nf

  • Sarah McClelland

    I have forgotten what an awesome thing Happy Hour is. Y’all are AMAZING, and it makes me feel all the feels to hear feminist, open voices.

    Can I just say I’m super excited about my garden? We planted seedlings for our tiny greenhouse so that they can get in the ground soon.

    And YNAB is finally clicking for us. Very exciting stuff.

    • Ashlah

      Seriously, I was just thinking that Happy Hour is one of my favorites parts of every week!

      Yay gardening! What are you planting? Food? Flowers? Both? I’m really not super garden savvy, but we try to grow a bit of produce in our raised beds each year, and I get such a thrill whenever I see the first signs of edible bits.

      • Sarah McClelland

        We have 3 raised beds because we moved to the country. It’s mostly food, with companion flowers to keep the bugs away and sunflowers because pretty. Onions and garlic are going in around the roses this week- companion planting is my favorite.
        This is my first year with a good table/canning garden. We have a real yard with real sun and I’m so excited. It’s a little melencholy because I am doing it all without my grandmother, who died a little over a year ago, who taught me all I know about garden.

        • Sparkles

          How did you learn all of this? I had a garden for the first time last year and I loved it. I was still canning from the farmer’s market, but eating fresh food out of the garden was amazing. I want to can more of my own stuff. Like roma tomatoes. Any resource suggestions? I’m flying by the seat of my pants with this whole gardening thing.

          • Sarah McClelland

            Postage Stamp Garden is an amazing book for planning and figuring out, and they have a pretty good little description about the care and keeping of a variety of vegetables. There are some things on Pinterest… If you can find me I have a board called Playing in the Dirt, and I have collected the things that seem to be in line with what Nana taught me.
            Pick up a Farmer’s Almanac- it’s a wealth of information about what to plant when, and planting things at the right time with the right amount of sun and drainage is the first thing.

            But my best advice is to talk to other gardeners. If there are friendly faces at your farmer’s market, have a couple questions ready about your squash or your tomatoes.

            (And for tomato specifically, I would go with sungolds and heirloom San Marzanos. Check out Baker Creek Seeds- rareseeds.com)

          • Sparkles

            Thanks for the suggestions. Also, I found you on Pinterest and then your blog and saw the wedding dress you apparently made for yourself!? Wowzers. That is super cool and it looks gorgeous.

          • Sarah McClelland

            Aw thanks!

            I’m hoping to blog more about the garden this year, so you might find tidbits there too!

    • Natalie

      We just set up YNAB. I like it so far. Of course, the night we set up our budget we were thinking we had TONS of money to play with. Then we realized we forgot to include the dog in any of our expenses. And cell phones. We have not so much play money in our budget after adding those things. :-/

      • Sarah McClelland

        We did the same thing with the dog! Argh!
        It gets better. Stick with it. And check out the open forum about financial goals if you need more positive feedback/encouragment!

  • Carolyn S

    On the lightest possible note, we found out we have the same wedding anniversary as Bob and Linda Belcher on Bob’s Burgers.. and that felt like a pretty good omen.

    • Ashlah

      I would be very tickled by that. You are now one step closer to the ultimate goal of being Bob and Linda Belcher.

    • raccooncity

      the ultimate good omen!

  • BSM

    My husband and I are in the process of working through this issue, but I’d love to hear if anyone else has found themselves in a similar stand-off and how they handled it:

    My husband hates tattoos, and I like them. I have 2 small tattoos that I got before we met: one on my finger and one on the inside of my wrist (both are flowers). The (obviously) larger one of the two is on my wrist, and it’s generally looking a little dated and faded. I got it 8 years ago when I was 18, and my style has evolved and developed quite a bit since then. I’d like to get it covered up with a slightly larger and much more beautiful floral piece and have been thinking about and planning for this for a few years now. I had periodically mentioned this to the hubs as I thought about it and did get pretty serious about it last year in the hopes of getting it done before our wedding. He was not into the idea, and we were so stressed out and busy and cash-strapped at the time (wedding!) that I didn’t dive too deeply into what was going on. Now, I’m thinking about it seriously again, and we are having that terrible discussion that we punted on last year, and it sucks!

    How much input does one give their partner on the issue of permanent body art?

    • Kayjayoh

      Input? It’s your body. I’d say a partner gets as much input on that as they might get for a hairstyle. (Hairstyles aren’t permanent, but they are big visual day-to-day aspects of ourselves that we might keep for years.) For example, if you had very long hair and decided to go for a pixy cut. You might give him some notice and maybe solicit an opinion, but ultimately, it would be your hair, your call.

    • Amy March

      I think it depends on ones views of the partnership. You might view it as equivalent to a hair cut in your partnership, others might view it as like buying a boat, or defacing your body, or taking up cross-fit, or gaining weight. I don’t think there is any right answer on how much input to give your partner- its a matter of figuring out how you can both live with the decision, whatever it is.

    • Carolyn S

      This is tricky! We are on the same page on tattoos, but my personal clothing style has definitely changed since getting together with my husband. I’ve brought things home I thought were super cute, only to have him not like them all that much, and I’ve returned them. I feel SUPER conflicted about this.. does it make me a bad feminist if I dress in a way that I know pleases my husband and forgo certain outfits I sort of liked because they make me look like a sack? Honestly his taste is good so maybe this is just like listening to a girlfriend when she tells you those pants aren’t your friend. I’ve gotten off track. Anyway. It’s tricky.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqpSzNGqBBE&list=PL6abPzY300GUJQic25ynhTLup1YTqmvOX

      • gonzalesbeach

        I don’t think you are a bad feminist if you like to wear things that your partner finds you attractive in. My bf gets particularly um excited if I wear a red dress. I like wearing black and grey most of the time. But he enjoys the brightness. So I purchased a red dress. And his appreciation made me feel like a super hot firecracker. And I get pretty hot and bothered when he wears certain things like crisp dark jeans and a nice wool sweater with a collared white shirt underneath or his soccer kit or his… I digress. note that he wouldn’t tell me that I had to return something that he didn’t like. He’d just say that he prefers me in the other item or that he doesn’t love it but it’s my choice. And my choice is to pick the item that will make him want to remove it off of me the quickest… So if he said ‘I love you but I’m just more attracted to you without an eyelid piercing’, then I’d probably not get my eyelid pierced unless I was so sure that I wanted the eyelid piercing more than I wanted him to be attracted to me. because he can’t just magically change his sexual attraction to my new eyelid piercing if it’s freaking him out, anymore than I could become attracted to him if he removed his facial hair save for a little creepy soulpatch in the shape of a four leaf clover… I want to want to f my partner and I want him to want to f me. and if he permanently changed his appearance (and I’m not talking about a health issue like weight loss/gain because that would be addressed way way differently) in a way that made me not want to f him then it would really suck ( and not in the good way).

    • Eenie

      I’m not a huge fan of tattoos but my husband has eight. They are large. His all have meaning behind them. Whenever he gets a new one he shows me the design and explains why it’s important. I haven’t ever told him not to get one, but even if I said I hated it I think it’s still up to him. I kind of figured the tattoos cane with the package. Not sure why your husband thought they didn’t?

    • Laura C

      This may be really unhelpful, but … in theory I wouldn’t give my husband a ton of input over a small tattoo (I think the input I’d give him would correlate with the size, come to think of it), but in practice, I’m aware that when he’s not enthusiastic about an outfit, I tend to wear it less, because while I might disagree with him about it, on a lot of nights his view of me is what I’m going to see reflected back at me and if he’s unexcited I’ll feel it.

      That said, the big difference here is that you’re talking about replacing an existing tattoo. If the choice is tattoo you don’t like vs. slightly larger one you do like, and he’s not excited about either of those options, then why not? It seems like if he’s been able to get used to the one you have, why would a slightly different thing in the same location really be so different as far as his feelings? Whereas it sounds like it would make a significant difference to you.

  • nosio

    We’re planning our Chicago wedding from LA and this week we found out our venue is going to hold our date for us sans deposit/contract signing until we can fly in and make things official. I am SO relieved and excited!

    • StevenPortland

      You might consider asking for the opposite — see if you can put down a modest deposit, which would be refundable if you do not choose the venue after seeing it in person. I think that would give you more confidence that the venue won’t rent it to someone else before you see it, and if you don’t like it then you can just get your money back.

      • nosio

        We actually have seen it; it’s a restaurant we both really like. We offered to put down a deposit but the event coordinator was like, “Don’t worry.”

        • Lisa

          Oooo, which restaurant is it? I was a Chicago restaurant-wedding bride, too! We had our reception at the Hubbard Inn in River North.

          • nosio

            Ooh, lovely! We’re planning on having ours (knock on wood) at Honky Tonk BBQ in Pilsen.

          • Lisa

            That looks like lots of fun! Best of luck to you guys. I know how hard it can be to nail down a reasonable venue in the city. :)

  • You guys, I started my morning with my cousin posting the stupidest MRA bullsh*t meme on facebook, that was like “If women are getting paid less, why does anyone hire men?” Now, there’s not a lot that my cousin and I agree on politically, and I have learned to just scroll by the pictures of his AR-15s and various crazy things he puts up, but stupidly, I just couldn’t pass this by. I commented, “Do you really not see women getting paid less for doing the same work as being a problem?” The next time I looked at my phone, my comment was barraged with crazy nutso arguments from him and a few of his buddies (that I’ve never even met) saying that the whole concept of women making .79c for every dollar a man makes is a myth and other gems like, women do more administrative work because they’re better at it, so they inherently make less. I just…can’t…with this. I haven’t responded, but I kind of want to, even though it’s obviously a battle already lost.

    Anyway, just needed to vent to some people that could understand my anguish. Happy Friday! I get off work early today to go have a cocktail with my coworkers to welcome new employees!

    • Lizzie

      Gah, I feel your pain. I get a surge of adrenaline when I realize multiple people are dogpiling on my carefully considered internet arguments with their bigoted soundbites. I keep forgetting that rational debate never changes anyone’s minds. Better to let it go and save my attention for something worthy. (Like APW, clearly.)

    • kestrellowing

      I will say that the $0.79 on the dollar thing is not so oversimplified as to be basically inaccurate. Basically, when everything (age, education experience) is accounted for, women make 95% of what men make (so still a gap, but obviously less). The key here is the difference in jobs that men and women take. Freakonomics did a really good podcast on it that really delves into the actual complexities of the issue: http://freakonomics.com/2016/01/07/the-true-story-of-the-gender-pay-gap-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

      Sorry, I’m one of those people how also just HATES when that $0.79 is toted out because, frankly, it just doesn’t mean what people think it means (no, a man hired for the same job is not paid that much more than a woman) and doesn’t even begin to actually address the real problems with wage discrimination.

      • Aubry

        Obviously not all the time, but sometimes they actually do. My old professor and her husband graduated from the same university program (they met there) in the same year. She actually did better, and had more teaching experience. Her permanent job got paid at pay grade 4 (not totally sure what that means in real dollars) and his extended illness coverage job (basically the same thing as her, but temporary and he has less experience teaching) is paid at grade 6. She was not happy about this.

        As someone who hires people I can totally see how the social norm of men asking for more money plays into this. The men I interview or even have as subs ask for consistently more for the same job. Often quite high and then get negotiated down. There are a few *ahem* “aggressive” female negotiators as well, but statistically less. It’s a complicated conundrum for sure. But most definitely not one what can be shluffed off as not a problem by some jerks on social media. Sending you internet comfort cocktails Ashleyn!

      • If women are taking lower paying jobs, it is because of notions that are ingrained into society that still need to be addressed…

  • Angela

    Struggling a bit with wedding planning at the moment. I am so ambivalent about wedding dress shopping without my mother (she died when I was 11) and my sister who is one of my bridesmaids is having All of the Opinions while shitting on my carefully considered choices as “overthinking” and no budget concerns i.e. I should invite 3 cousins that I am not close to and don’t really like very much because they want to come. My Dad, who I do not have a close relationship to, has the pip with me because I want to walk down the aisle by myself with him and my fiance’s mother proceeding down together before me and thinks that is too feminist but at the same time is annoyed that my fiance and I have decided to change our surnames to a mash up of the two and I won’t be carrying on my Dad’s surname as he is concerned it will die out on our branch of the family. He is also making lots of odd vendor recommendations.

    APW did warn me there would be opinions and I expected them from my sister. But I didn’t think Dad would have so many. And he is not financially contributing which was completely not expected, but then I would have anticipated him not expecting to have input in the vendors.

    Right, vent over, *squares shoulders*.

    • Kayjayoh

      “And he is not financially contributing which was completely not expected, but then I would have anticipated him not expecting to have input in the vendors.”

      I know you probably never would say something like this, even/especially without a close relationship. But imaginary you, who doesn’t have to worry about consequences because imaginary versions of us don’t, imaginary you will look at him when he’s trying to give unwanted vendor input and say, “Pay to play, old man. Pay to play.” <—which is entirely unhelpful, and thus is relegated to imaginary land.

    • reller

      A lot about that sucks and you are totally entitled to the feelings you are having. I lost my mother when I was 9 and I ended up struggling with a fair amount of the wedding planning stuff. What traditions did I want; what didn’t I? Sometimes, it was lonely and not fun.

      In terms of wedding dress shopping, though? I actually went to several stores by myself … and it was not awful … and sometimes, kind of awesome. Truly. Having the quiet to see myself in the different dresses, talk to informed salespeople, and decide what I wanted to be on my wedding day, was actually relaxing and cool. I ended up buying my dress at a trunk sale & brought a friend along with me to that. It was really nice to have someone jump up and down when I picked “the one,” but it wasn’t essential and you have the freedom to decide what you want and need out of your engaged/ wedding planning experience.

      I had the opposite problem with my dad (not involved as much as I would have liked), but a piece of advice I loved about receiving unsolicited advice was to have a “file” and tell everyone “thanks for your advice, I’ll add that to our file.” Not that exact language, but you get the gist. I think the story I read had a google doc where the couple would put the suggestion and the person who suggested it & then ignore anything they didn’t like. Or, if you want to put your dad to work & help him give you better recs, I would give him guidelines and goal budget (2 of my friends helped me research caterers and bakers this way).

  • Eenie

    We got legally married last weekend! Stupid health insurance reasons prompted it, but we had our photographer marry us during our engagement session! So we have lovely “wedding photos” too. It honestly doesn’t feel any different, so we are still excited for the planned wedding and thankful that I have health insurance coverage. BUT I HAVE A HUSBAND!!

    • gonzalesbeach

      congrats!

    • Sparkles

      I know it’s probably not what you wanted, and I do hope the wedding you’re planning is wonderful and turns out to be what you want, but that story sounds terribly romantic from over here.

      • Eenie

        It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but I can’t really complain about being in a position to get really good health care coverage! I’m mostly bummed we can’t tell people because we don’t want them to be offended our wedding isn’t “real”. And it was romantic :) We finished the night off at a romantic burger place!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

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