APW Happy Hour


In which Meg becomes a homeowner

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

HEY APW,

So. This week… I bought a house. Or more specifically, we bought a house. And it turns out signing the papers to buy your first house feels a lot like getting married all over again. It’s just (way) more expensive, and you don’t get a dance party afterwards.

A month ago, we were a hundred percent not in the market for a house, and then on Tuesday we became homeowners. When I can wrap my head around what happened and how massively I managed to shift my feeling about money this year, I’d like to write a little about it. But in short: we saw a house, it was the one, we wrote an impassioned letter, we got the house without being the highest bid, and had a twenty-one-day close. And just like that, lickety split, we became homeowners. We have a few weeks till we move into the house that we hope our kids will grow up in and make East Oakland our home. I can’t wait to document all the projects we have in store, but for now… I’m just enjoying the seemingly impossible happening.

I’m thirty-six years old, I have two kids, and I own a house. I can get down with that.

xo

Meg

And PS: I’m listening to Kanye’s new album on repeat on Spotify, because it is so goddamn good.

LINK ROUNDUP

Are you biased against women leaders? This test from AAUW will tell you what’s what.

Is domestic life the enemy of creative work?

OMG WE LOVE: Ten Life Lessons I Learned From Children’s Book Heroines

Are you sorry? I’m not sorry. Here’s how to apologize the correct way, brought to you by science.

Who snagged some Ivy Park gear this week?!

This mom is selling her son’s record collection for basically the sweetest reason ever.

Sure, Kobe was a great basketball player, but have we all forgotten what happened in 2003?

Move over, Uber and the like. Chariots for Women is coming into town (and prepared to burn it all down).

FYI, Alaska is the cheapest state to get married in.

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.

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Hi all. We just found out that the Steelers are playing a home game our wedding weekend, which will likely make it impossible to get a hotel block (our venue and the football stadium share a common set of walking-distance hotels). What should we do?

    The big day is still 6 months out, so we haven’t sent invitations, but we have sent Save the Dates. Should I email our out-of-town guests to warn them? How necessary is a hotel block? Should I recommend a (still available, but with increased rates) walking distance hotel? Or recommend one further away and look into shuttle services? ‘Just not really sure how this should be handled to minimize stress/expense for my guests…while also keeping them convenient to the wedding venue.

    • Lisa

      We got married the weekend of the Chicago Marathon in the heart of downtown. I was also concerned about the hotel block question at first. We eventually decided to go without it so people could find what worked best for their price range. I put on the web-site the issues about the hotel and encouraged guests to look at other options (AirBnB, Priceline, hotels within a 45 minute drive in the burbs). Our parents called their close relatives to let them know the situation. Most all of our family and friends ended up in the same hotel in Lincoln Park because my husband’s parents put everyone into action almost right away about 6-9 months out from the wedding.

      The guests who didn’t stay at the hotel did fine with Chicago traffic and parking. We didn’t provide anything at the reception (the church had a small lot), but everyone seemed to figure it out. Your guests are adults, and they can manage their time!

    • Amy March

      Start by actually calling some hotels and asking about a hotel block. It might turn out to be doable. If not, personally I wouldn’t do anything. People are generally responsible for their own housing and their own transport to the wedding, and they can handle deciding whether they want to go walking distance and more expensive or further away and a taxi/driving themselves/bus etc.

      • Eenie

        This. We set up a hotel block and a good portion of guests were able to find a better deal through military discounts, hotel points, air BNB, etc. Adults will be adults. If you can’t secure a hotel block for the expected number of out of town guests, I would actually send an email out letting people know hotels will be tight due to X event, there’s limited hotel spots in the block, and book early as a result.

    • Keeks

      One of the few wedding planning regrets I have is the time & energy I expended on creating a hotel block. We weren’t going to do it, then a friend of my husband’s said we just HAD to have one and he’d help set it up – and of course he never followed through on that. In the end, the only people who used the hotel block were us. The bride & groom. Our guests had no problem finding hotel rooms within their budget and managed to navigate parking downtown… and we were close to the stadium on a home game weekend too.

      Granted, I live in one of the Steelers rival cities so take my advice with a grain of salt. ;)

    • chrissyc

      I would give people advanced warning (email and/or word of mouth) so they can book a hotel early if they want. And recommending several opinions, including some within walking distance and some further away, doesn’t hurt. My wedding planning mantra was that our guests are adults and can figure out what’s best for them, so I think giving them the information about the unexpected circumstances is the most important, and then they can go from there. Good luck!

    • Our wedding is the same weekend as an annual town festival, but it was the weekend the venue had open in the time frame that worked for us, so we went with it. We didn’t realize though, how much hotels were going to hike up their rates for that weekend. After a little investigation, doing a hotel block just didn’t make sense. We didn’t want our guests to feel like they had to stay at the hotel where the block was when the rate we would get wouldn’t be that affordable. We also are having a smaller wedding so filling the block would have been iffy. We just put extra info about the festival on our website and told people there and through word of mouth to make sure they booked their lodgings early and recommended vacation rentals since there are a lot to choose from in the area around our venue.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I’m attending a wedding this summer in a location that’s way booked in advance for probably sports reasons (I don’t even know) – but I booked a house on airbnb and roped a few other guests into it too. It ended up being way cheaper for all of us than a hotel would have been AND it’ll be more fun. :) Your guests will figure out their own thing!

  • Lisa

    So many congratulations, Meg!!! What an exciting step for your family. I can’t wait to hear about this next chapter in your lives.

  • Amy March

    Congratulations Meg (and family)!

  • Megan

    Guys, I’ve been so excited for happy hour this week because I have BIG news. After discovering that wedding podcasts were a thing a couple of months ago (thanks to this APW article: http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/02/wedding-podcasts/ ) and not really clicking with any of them… The FH and I decided to start our own! AND IT’S A REAL LIVE THING THIS WEEK. We got on iTunes and it actually exists in the world! I’m so proud! It’s like giving birth to a tiny podcast baby!!!

    If you want to listen here it is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/we-do-podcast/id1102077777
    The audio is a bit wonky because we have been recording in the library on their equipment so it’s not the best but since we’ve gotten things off the ground we’ve purchased a real mic to use going forward. So the audio quality will definitely improve after the first few eps…

    • AP

      Congrats!! That’s so fun!

    • toomanybooks

      Cool! I’m gonna check it out. I listen to podcasts all day and would love wedding content but, like you, haven’t really gotten into any of the ones I’ve heard so far.

  • Jessica

    Congrats Meg! If you love making lists, buying a home is for you.

    I just took the AAUW quiz and was found to not have found a bias for men or women. I took the test and found it to have a flaw, though, in that they set it up to show a bias if you go too quickly (like they suggest) with muscle memory. I’m interested in the science side of APW weighing in.

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, I’ve always felt a little iffy about these implicit bias tests, so I’m curious to hear from anyone who knows more about the science behind it. It seems like they could randomize the order of the sections to reduce the muscle memory problem. I was found to have a “moderate association of Female with Supporter and Male with Leader.” I don’t disbelieve that I have unconscious biases, but I do wonder about the test too.

      • I had a slight association of Male with Supporter and Female with Leader. It was fun to take!

        • Cellistec

          Me too! I was pretty proud of that.

      • Alanna Cartier

        I was neutral apparently :)

    • Ashlah

      And lol at the list-making of homeownership. I have so many home improvement related lists. Now if we could only find the motivation (and money) to actually check things off the list.

      • Jessica

        The money thing kills it. I had plans for our tax refund, only to find we owed money. There went those plans (for now)

        • another lady

          Baby on the way, then get a leak in the basement – guess that is where our tax return and emergency fund $$ are going! And, still not doing the other outside projects that have been on ‘the list’ for the last 3rd year in a row!

          • Eenie

            Yay for emergency funds! We just talked about how if we owed for taxes next year we would use the emergency fund.

          • another lady

            truth – we have also been saving ‘for the baby’ and could use some of that money, too. so glad we are in a good financial place right now (knock on wood)

    • anon

      I associate women with leaders and men with followers. I think in reality, I am more responsive with one hand than the other, and got more comfortable with the test as it went on. But who knows?

    • CMT

      Semi-related to the bias test, I just realized last night that I’ve never had a male boss. Which I totally love.

    • Jess

      I had no clear bias.

      On another note, I did learn that I am very bad at identifing male and female names semi-quickly, but not bad at identifying leadership words vs non leadership words. I learned this because I kept getting name genders wrong.

    • Don’t want this bias

      I strongly identify as being a feminist (and a woman) and I was really sad to be found to have a strong bias towards men and leaders. :( I’m not surprised though… I fight that in myself. Still sad.

  • Leah

    WOW.
    First: Congrats Meg!!!
    Second: This is crazy because I was going to post today to talk about the fact that, due to the arrival of the new roomate in August and our current lack of space, we are all of a sudden trying like crazy to buy a house right now. And it’s crazy. Stuff around here goes in 24 hours, there’s very little time deliberate on a HUGE decision, and it feels like making all these huge decisions all at once: Are we going to have another kid? How committed are we to staying here (a town we love) even in the face of potential job uncertainty? And, you know, what kind of people do we want to be (in a very nebulous way)?
    I seriously did not sleep last night going back and forth over two very different houses we looked at this week and loved that we pretty much have to decide on by…like tonight, or they’ll be gone. One a big grown up future house that feels super nice and roomy and will stretch our finances (but is doable)? Or do we buy one that meets our current needs, but is smaller and in a less ideal location and let’s say our needs for the next 5 years or so, and then see what happens after that – and in the meantime spend a lot less on mortgage payments? Let them both go and see what else comes along? It’s not like we are kids – both mid 30s with full time jobs and a baby on the way. So: HELP! Anyone out there a house-buying guru? OR maybe a guru at helping indecisive people make big decisions quickly?

    • another lady

      How exciting for you all! We went with option 2 – buy the ‘smaller’ house in the not-the-greatest-but-still-decent neighborhood that was bigger and cheaper then the newer houses in the nicer neighborhoods, but will still only fit our needs for 5-ish years (maybe less since baby roommate #1 is almost here and the house is already feeling full! But, it was an older house that needs lots of work and we have had to put more money into it that we might have if we got the newer, fancier house in the nicer neighborhood. We figure that we can move again in a few years if our needs and finances change. Also, factor in the cost of daycare to your future stretched budget with the more expensive house (around here, daycare costs $200-275 per WEEK for a baby!) So, we will be paying the mortgage, student loans payments, and daycare payments that are all essentially the same each month (we call them our 2nd and 3rd mortgages) and we won’t have a ton left over, even with the cheaper house. Good Luck!

      • Leah

        Yep – so many unknowns. We THINK we are factoring in childcare when we envision our budget/possible mortgage payments, but it’s all just estimations at this point. And the bigger house definitely doesn’t leave a ton of wiggle room in our finances. BUT not having to think about moving again sounds nice too…

        • toomanybooks

          I hear you on not having to think about moving again. I just moved from one 1bedroom apartment to another and that was a nightmare, so – an entire house? I basically told myself I would never move again and maybe the next move is to buy if we can possibly afford it.

    • Lulu

      I have zero guru credentials, but if I could afford a “forever house” now, I’d jump on that one. But that totally depends on your definition of/comfort with “stretch,” and your tolerance for various kinds of risks– relating to both your finances and the volatility of the market. Mostly I just really hate moving!

    • StevenPortland

      I’ve owned three houses. In my opinion, I’d give emphasis to the location. Get the house in the area that you like the most — whether it is the starter house or the forever house. You can do lots of stuff to change/improve a house itself, but you can’t move it to a better neighborhood. Hmm. Actually that’s not true. The 1896 house we currently own was built about 8 blocks away and was moved to its current location in the 1940s. But that’s not typically what happens. :-)

      • Leah

        Thanks – location is definitely a #1 priority for us – we are actually not looking at anywhere we don’t like the location – it’s just that the smaller/cheaper option is in basically our second tier of locations, while the larger/spendier one is in our top tier. But both are totally legit locations that made our initial cut!

      • NatalieN

        Haha – yeah, my parents moved our house 2 towns over when I was around 6 years old…. Just picked up a 2 story, colonial style house and moved it. Watching the home video of a house being moved down a street is one of the most bizare things.

    • emilyg25

      I don’t know, it depends so much on you! I’m not a starter home person, so we waited till we could afford a forever home and until we were as sure as one can reasonably be that we want to put down roots in this area. The house we ended up with did stretch our budget a bit, but it had the perfect location and layout and didn’t need a lot of repairs. We were lucky because we didn’t NEED to buy right away. Just because houses are moving quickly doesn’t mean *you* need to move quickly until you’re ready. But do get preapproved and find an agent so when you find the right thing, you can jump on it. (We made an offer on this place two hours after seeing it!)

      • Leah

        We thought we weren’t starter home people either (hence waiting till age 35 and pregnant)! But buying the smaller/cheaper house is way less terrifying – and also in good shape and doesn’t need much for repairs. So we are actually for the first time considering that as an option.

        And yep, we have an agent and are pre-approved – we actually put an offer on one of the first ones we looked at, but were beat out – less than 48 hours after it was listed. So it really does create that sense of urgency!

        • Meg Keene

          You can also look into getting underwritten, which we did. We didn’t move quickly thill we were really ready (it took… years), but then we were lightning quick. We got underwritten by the bank, which basically meant we could put in a no contingency offer (home inspection was already done), and only have it be slightly crazy. I feel you though, everything here goes FAST. We found out we got it 3 hours after the offer deadline passed.

      • Meg Keene

        Yes. Us to. But I think we’re both really long term renters? That plays into it. Like, I rented till I was 36, I have no problem with it. I didn’t want to bother with home ownership till it felt like a really long term solution, I think?

        Of course, if we’d been forced out of our home or something, it would have been a different story. And weirdly, I’m REALLY into fixing a place up. Ours is in pretty good shape, but still… all the PROJECTS!!

    • Meg Keene

      If it helps, we went with the forever house. It’s a not impossible stretch, but we’ll have one kid out of daycare in just over a year, so it’ll get much easier then. But I think personally, we would have just kept renting otherwise if it didn’t feel like a really long term solution. We’ve rented so long we’re just… used to it. And it’s easier to move that way. I would not say our location is what would typically be considered “ideal,” however. We grew up in a really poor area, and we’re not super… comfortable… in really affluent white areas. So we didn’t pick one. Our block is great, but we’re not by the “good” schools. Which is fine we can lottery in or do charters. But we really wanted our kids to grow up around economic diversity so! That’s totally a mixed bag answer!

      • Meghan

        We also favored diversity (racial and socioeconomic) over the “good” schools and it freaked all of our parents out when we explicitly told them that this was the “forever house”. (One [grand]parent actually hinted at it being tantamount to child abuse.) So – solidarity!

        • Jennifer

          We favor diversity in where we live too and a lot of our family feels similarly to yours. No kids though so it’s just the ‘omg this area is so unsafe’ comments.

        • ART

          My husband just told me the other week that he’s pretty sure that if we bought a house in Oakland (which I love), his parents would not be willing to give us the down payment help they’ve been telling us about. It’s probably something like 10 percent of the total down payment we think we can put together, so it’s not enormous and they don’t owe it to us or anything, but it hurt to hear that. I’ve heard from so many people who grew up around here that they were just raised thinking Oakland was all bad news and never go there. It’s really disappointing. And by the way, where we’re renting now (great schools, just on the fringes of Silicon Valley – we can’t begin to afford to buy anywhere in our current city), we woke up at 5am a few months ago to the sound of the SWAT team arresting our apparently gang-affiliated next-door neighbor for attempted murder. So…

          • JC

            My boyfriend’s family is from a ritzy part of the East Bay, and when we were living with them and looking to move to our own place (which obviously would be both downsizing and necessitate a much less affluent community, since we’re fresh out of grad school), they wouldn’t “allow” us to live in [insert non-ritzy East Bay town/neighborhood here]. This would of course be our decision and we’d be financially independent, so it’s not like they *actually* got a say in it, but it was really hard to hear, like you said.

      • Jennifer

        We did something similar. We didn’t buy a ‘forever’ house because we don’t know if we’re in the forever city, but we did buy the best house for us in the current city and it’s smack in the middle of the Italian/Polish/Hispanic/Black community lines. We love it.

      • ItsyBit

        “economic diversity” THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s such a simple thing, that phrase, but it’s much better than the line that usually runs through my head (and occasionally out of my mouth, unfortunately) when my husband and I discuss future-plans, which is “But I don’t want our hypothetical kids to grow up in the rich neighborhood!!”

        So yeah. Filing that one away for our next conversation. Because we both very clearly understand the benefits of growing up in a racially diverse area, so this makes it much more clear what I’m thinking. Hopefully it’ll make it clearer for him, too.

    • Caitlyn

      This is a super personal decision. But for what it’s worth – we purchased a home a year ago and it’s definitely smaller and more affordable. We felt it met our needs for now (but maybe not even 5 years). I thought we’d be bursting at the seams almost right away (but we went for it because it was a really good financial investment and I figured we’d move when we could). That said. It’s been a year and the opposite has happened. I’ve come to realize that we kind of fit the space we have. If we have moved into a larger home, we’d have just bought more stuff. Instead we got rid of a lot of stuff we didn’t need and we are actually fitting in the house just fine. It’s inspired me to simply our life a bit and I’m not sure I’d actually want a larger home now. There is less to clean, less to put away. Once we have a kid – I may take this all back. But we have started to think about staying longer and actually considering if this might be our forever home after all? (or at least a lot longer than expected home).

      • chrissyc

        Yes, I think it’s a really good point that we tend to fill the space that we have! And yes to having less to clean.

        That being said, I also don’t have a kid currently, so I too wonder if I’ll change that view down the road.

        • another lady

          I can confirm that I am still prego but have TONS of kids stuff already! We are re-doing the storage areas and have baby crap all over the house! but, YMMV and some people are really good about controlling the baby/kid clutter.

          • chrissyc

            Yep that’s what I’m afraid of! It’s probably unavoidable. :)

    • Mary Jo TC

      When we bought our first house, we didn’t have the option of a ‘forever’ house, all we could afford were ones that we thought of as ‘starter homes.’ I was also nervous about buying more house than we could afford (it was 2009) so I actually felt more comfortable being more conservative and buying something smaller, even if we would want to sell sooner because of that. We ended up staying there almost 6 years. That was enough time for the real estate market in our city to really heat up, so that we looked up one day and realized if we didn’t sell soon we would be locked out of buying anything bigger, unless we moved to a far out suburb. We had to deal with the same kind of quick turnovers you are–the house we bought was pre-market. I definitely sympathize with how stressful that is! I don’t know if I consider it a ‘forever’ house now, but I think we will be here longer than our first house, maybe 10 years.

      I guess I’d say 1. consider what you think the market in your area is doing. Would you be able to make some money when you sell the starter home or not? Which seems like a better investment? 2. agree with others who say to prioritize location, 3. don’t worry now about the stress of moving and going through this again in 5 years. That’s just borrowing trouble. 4. try not to be overly swayed by things like the decorations and furniture of the houses you look at because the current owners will be taking those things with them! 5. agree with others who say to take child care into account when thinking about your new budget

  • Anna

    I’m slated to start a new job in September that I’m incredibly excited about (and we’re moving to New York for), and this morning I got an email from my boss-to-be saying that there’s been a “company restructure” that he needs to “discuss with me”. The earliest he could do a phone call was 2:30 this afternoon and I’ve been terrified all day that this job I’ve been expecting to have will suddenly cease to exist. Hopefully it’s nothing so dire but this is easily on the shortlist of most ominous emails I’ve ever received.

    • Jessica

      Uuuuggghh, that’s the worst. Best of luck!

    • AP

      Ohhh positive vibes for you! I’ve been in that boat before too.

    • April

      ahhh good luck! D:

    • Anna

      As I feared. No more job. Now I get to scramble to find something else… at least former employers-to-be seem to be genuinely interested in helping me find another position elsewhere.

      • Lisa

        I’m so sorry to hear the job fell through. :(

      • AGCourtney

        Oh no! I’m so sorry.

      • Eenie

        No :(

      • Jessica

        Oh no! I’m sorry!

      • April

        Noooo! Boooo. :(

      • another lady

        this sucks! but, at least you have a couple of months to get things figured out

      • Les

        Oh MAN! That sucks to hard.

  • anon for this

    My MIL is sick. My husband wants us to move there, several states away. There is a lot of family pressure to do this and he also really wants to be there for her during treatment. I really don’t want to uproot our entire life (he’s talking about quitting his job, we have young kids…), but I also don’t want him to resent me should the worst happen. Has anyone else gone through this and come out the other side? I’m devastated for my husband, but I’m also scared for what will happen to our life.

    • Megan

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I have not gone through this so perhaps I’m not the best person to comment but from an outsider’s perspective, it seems like your husband is reacting emotionally, rather than rationally. I don’t know who else in your husband’s family is in your MIL’s life but if your husband is the only family member who could be a caregiver for her, he could apply for Family Medical Leave (http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/fmla-faqs.htm). It’s unpaid usually but might be a way for him to move there temporarily.

      If I were in your position I wouldn’t want to uproot my life and my children either and have to find new jobs for the both of you in a new place. Too much uncertainty. But there has to be some middle ground where he can spend a significant amount of time with his mother without moving the whole family there permanently.

      • April

        This was my first thought too. This sounds like a big decision and maybe looking into some kind of work leave would be an option aside from uprooting everything.

      • Eenie

        This also gives you some more time to think through the decision when emotions are less tense and more medical information is known. Depending on his employer, he could take an extended leave of absence or work out telecommuting as well.

    • Jess

      Something my parents have discussed, which is unsettling to me for a variety of reasons, but is actually generally The Best Option is as they age, or become sick, is moving closer to me or my sibling in those events. Is that an option for her?

      Because becoming a caregiver *and* uprooting your whole lives is a lot of change all at once, likely to further upset the balance you have, and cause more stress for everyone involved, and like Megan below, I would not want to uproot everything and (!) risk economic instability by just quitting a job.

    • honeycomehome

      What does “sick” mean? What kind of care is she going to require? 24 hour nursing, or rides to chemo appointments? Is there any kind of time frame for care needed, or treatment? Are there other family members that could also take on partial responsibility? The answers to all these questions are really going to determine the answer to your larger question.

      I’m struck by the fact that you are devastated “for your husband” and that he might resent you. What is your relationship with your MIL? Do you share his grief, or are there other complicated factors at play, here?

      In any case, you should try to think of every single option, instead of conceding that there are only two: 1) move and take on care completely and 2) don’t move and do nothing. There might be options like he travels once a month and stays to help out, either working remotely or taking time away from his job. Or, she’ll try a certain treatment and you will revisit this issue when that treatment is complete. Or, she moves to be closer to you. Or, you hire someone trustworthy to aid her and provide you with information and updates.

      Ultimately, this is a highly emotional situation. You need to take your husband’s emotional needs seriously, and he needs to take your fear and apprehension seriously, as well (which you should ask for, if it seems he isn’t). Tell him exactly what scares you: is it money? Is it moving kids away from their schools? He has to address how these will be addressed, the same way you are willing to address how his and your MILs needs can be met.

    • Truly sorry to hear this. Not the same situation for me (in-laws lived a few hours away, we don’t have kids), but my MIL was diagnosed with cancer a few months after my husband and I got married. This is a good reminder of how everyone handles these situations differently – in our case, my husband became kind of withdrawn and had a hard time wanting to spend lots of time with his mom because it forced him to come to terms with the fact that she was sick. Unfortunately she passed away, and I really regret not spending time with her more. That said, I feel like there are times during the treatment process where it is good for people to be there to support the person in need, but there isn’t always a lot to physically do, especially if your MIL has a partner or lots of other family in the area who will fill the caregiver role. It seems like your husband could still be a very strong source of support without physically being with her all the time. On the flip side, if you stay where you are and if she were to suddenly take a turn for the worse, I could see it being very stressful to have to rush to be with her (god forbid this should happen!).

      I realize I just rambled in a circle without any conclusion or advice – safe to say this is a really tough situation and there are no easy answers. Maybe some kind of compromise where he goes out to see her once or twice a month?

    • another lady

      can husband use family medical leave to care for his mother and go there temporarily to help her and be there for treatments? I think that an immediate family member, such as his mother, should apply for FMLA purposes for 12 weeks within a calendar year. you could also check to see if you could join and take some time off for some of the treatments since you are married and she may also be considered your immediate family member. A lot of the older ladies at my office have had to do this to care for an aging parent.

    • emilyg25

      There are so many ways he can be there for her without actually moving. He can coordinate care over the phone, arrange for home health aids, use vacation time or take FMLA to visit often, trade duties with her spouse or siblings or other relatives. In the last five years, my parents cared for 3/4 of their parents, all over the country, and never thought about moving. It’s generally economically foolish to quit a job without another job, not to mention that moving your family is a big deal. He needs to think of everyone involved here.

      • Amy March

        I agree. It would be very hard for me to sign up for changing my entire life for a temporary situation, especially if it seemed to me like there were other options. But I am also the product of a family where we moved extremely far away from the entire extended family when I was a young child. People got sick and died, important people, and my parents weren’t there and couldn’t be there. And it was hard and awful and, to me, what happens when you live a life away from your extended family. It’s a sad thing that you expect will happen at some point not a reason to completely upend things.

  • Meghan

    Congratulations, Meg! My husband and I took the plunge almost exactly a year ago. It’s been a wild ride already, but I would still make the same decision again today. Mazel tov on the house and good luck with the move!

    Minor feminist-at-work rant of the week – after I got married, I added my husband’s last name to my name, but kept my whole full name (MyFirst MyMiddle MyLast HisLast). At work, I changed my business cards to reflect the name change (because I had to get new cards to reflect a position change anyway), but I continued to introduce myself as just MyFirst MyLast. Once in a while, I might introduce myself as MyFirst MyLast HisLast, but I generally don’t even include HisLast. My email signature doesn’t even include it. My work email address doesn’t include it.

    So why oh why oh why do I have to regularly correct people (almost always external partners, not people in my office) who insist on calling me/introducing me as MyFirst HisLast? I have never (not even socially that I can think of!) used that combination of names to refer to myself. I’ve gotten better about speaking up and actually making sure I correct people, but it irritates me immensely that I have to. Why do these folks think that they can decide how to refer to me? And I should note – it’s almost always other women who are doing this. What gives??

    • Ashlah

      It’s funny (and weird, I think), I’ve had the opposite experience at work. I hyphenated, and I did change it on my business card and email signature, but only one person ever uses my full last name. Everyone else has continued to use my old name. I definitely prefer that to them insisting on my husband’s name, but I just don’t understand what’s so hard about respecting people’s names.

      • Meghan

        My actual coworkers have almost entirely been great about it, insisting on the full name even when it wouldn’t bother me if they just used my old name. But I hear you on not understanding what’s so hard about respecting people’s names. My mom and sister also both hyphenate and I remember my mom dealing with so much last-name-butchering through my childhood. So I guess I’m also primed to be bugged by this stuff!

    • honeycomehome

      Honestly, probably because you changed your name and it’s out of the ordinary for Americans to have double barrel last names (hyphenated or not). Though I’m confused as to why you seem inconsistent in its use. Why add it to your business cards and not your email? I totally get liking one professional identity, but I think you’ve likely made it confusing for people.

      Also, if you’re not even using the name socially, why did you add it? (Asking in a totally friendly, curious tone, not a judging one.)

      • Meghan

        Socially I go by both last names consistently. (I’ve even started hyphenated so that folks don’t think that they can just chop off MyLast.) I added it, honestly, because it was many years ago and I was much more into the idea of a “family name” then than I am now. And I’m okay with the use of “The HisLast Family” to refer to all of us.

        The business cards I rather got pushed into, because the position change was almost at the same time as the name change and I had to fill out a bunch of legal paperwork at work about the name change and so the office manager defaulted to my full name (sans middle name) and I didn’t care about the difference between being “MyFirst MyLast” and “MyFirst MyLast HisLast”. I still really don’t care that much.

        • another lady

          I think you need to pick a name to use professionally with work contacts and office co-workers, etc. and stick with it. It you would prefer to go by ‘your first your last’ from here on out, then get new business cards again and stick with it (assuming that you can actually do that – at my office, you have to go by your legal name for email and official communications, so I am officially ‘my first his last’ because I changed it with the social security office). If you are okay going with ‘your first your last his last’ then change all of your info to that and correct people until they get it right consistently. people change names and get married often, and others will get used to the ‘new’ name after a short time. You could even add a line to your email signature that says, ‘Note: I recently changed my name to add his last”. Socially, you can still go by a different name, as I know lots of people who do that and have a ‘professional legal name’. You just need to be consistent in each area of your life so that people know what to call you and don’t just ‘guess’ the wrong thing.

    • Lisa

      Are these other women married with their husbands’ last names? I’m guessing this has something to do with women policing other women and making (unconscious) choices to protect their own decisions by negating yours.

      • Meghan

        I’d have to think more about that. The quick answer is I don’t really know. They are women who go by one last name, and I believe that most of them are married, but I have no idea if they are birth last names or marriage last names.

        • Lisa

          It’s something to think about. The people who gave me the most pushback about keeping my last name were married women who had changed their names. It felt like they were pressing their agendas on me as a way to validate their own choices.

      • Keeks

        Yup, chiming in on this point too – I’ve noticed that the people who have the most opinions & assumptions about name changes or lack thereof are women that don’t know me very well. Women I know well, and almost all men in general, have made no assumptions or asked any questions about it.

        • AP

          Absolutely the most pushback and assumptions I get about keeping my name are from women who changed theirs.

      • Lulu

        Lisa, I got to use your “we both kept our names” line with the exact intended effect this week– thank you for planting that seed!

        • Lisa

          I’m grinning ear-to-ear! I’m so glad it worked well for you, and you are very welcome. :)

          • chrissyc

            Same! I changed my name when I got married, but I use it to ask newly married couples what I should call them. It’s a great phrase!

        • Sarah

          I love telling people “no, Fiance and I are keeping our names”!

    • Amy March

      I’m confused. If your business cards say Amanda Elizabeth Thomas Adams I’m calling you Amanda Adams, if I haven’t otherwise been told. That’s a fairly standard name convention in the US. Why are you introducing yourself as just Amanda Thomas if that also isn’t your name? Consistency would help.

      • Meghan

        I’ve certainly consistently never referred to myself as Amanda Adams.

        • Amy March

          But it is part of your name, and it is what you are telling people your name is when you hand them a business card. I can see correcting them to Amanda Thomas Adams but I really think you are causing the confusion here by mixing the names up. Particularly since it is external people doing this, and especially other women, its possible they are the ones checking your name in writing to make sure they are getting it right, and still getting it wrong because its just not very clear. They don’t know you never use Amanda Adams if that is what you put on your card and they aren’t around often to notice other things.

          • Meghan

            I probably shouldn’t have led with the business card example, because I’ve maybe given out a dozen business cards in the last 4 years. I actually never gave my business card to the person who made the mistake today.

          • Meghan

            But also – no – it’s not my name. My name is MyFirst MyLast HisLast.

          • Amy March

            I guess I just don’t think it is unreasonable to assume the middle of three names is a middle name instead of a last name. I don’t really understand how people are even finding out that HisLast exists if you don’t use it anywhere and aren’t handing them cards, but I just don’t see assuming the last in a group of three names is the last name is out of line, even if it is incorrect in your case.

          • Meghan

            I think it’s generally from being introduced to external partners by coworkers using all three names? And I understand the point about having three names and the assumption that the second is a middle name, but in my office absolutely no one uses a middle name on their business card.

            That all said, it’s not like these are folks who were introduced to me as MyFirst MyLast HisLast and then referred to me as MyFirst HisLast in immediate follow-up contact and then I’m freaking out. These are people I’ve been working with for months/years and who I’ve spoken with/emailed with so many times. It feels like them overruling my decision about my name, as opposed to making an honest mistake, and that’s why it irks me so much.

          • another lady

            then, you are going to need to be consistent about correcting people and putting the your first your last his last on all of your communications until people get is right. It’s your name, be firm with what you want to be called! It’s like that person who’s name is Jonathan, and prefers to be called Jonathan, but because it is a common name, people assume that he is ‘John’. This person would need to correct new people by saying, “actually, I prefer to be called Jonathan, thanks.” until people stop assuming he is ok with ‘John’. So, you just need to say, ‘actually, I prefer to be called my first my last his last, or just my first, thanks.’

          • Meghan

            I agree that that’s what I need to do at this point, and I do it when people make the mistake, firmly but kindly. But I don’t think that people are right to make the mistake in the first place, just like in the example people aren’t right to called someone “John” who has only been referred to as “Jonathan”. People are never right to assume that your name is something that it’s not just because the other way might be more common.

          • Jessica

            Yup. My husband is from a Latin American country where kids get both parents’ last names, so he’s HisFirst HisMiddle Dad’sLast Mom’sLast. However, the custom is generally to drop the Mom’sLast in all but the most formal occasions, and most people probably don’t even know his Mom’sLast. It causes a bunch of complications and he has been debating for a long time just legally changing his name to HisF HisM Dad’sL. In the US, I think it’s pretty far outside the norm for people with two last names to put the socially used last name in second-to-last place, and there’s a long tradition of maiden names being changed to middle names, so I can understand the confusion.
            Obviously, you can continue to correct people and you deserved to be able to choose what you’d like to be called. But I think the default assumption in the US is that the very first name listed is your “primary” first name, and the very last name listed is the “primary” last name, unless it’s hyphenated. So I’d think of this less as a feminist issue, and more as just something you’ll have to explain to people.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I understand your frustration, but I think you may have to choose to let this one go. Women changing our last name to our husband’s has been a custom for way too long for people to automatically assume you didn’t do it. If they know you personally, that’s one thing, but I wouldn’t expect the average work colleague to be all that invested in getting it right, especially if you’re still using his name as well. I don’t really like the custom either, but the only thing you’re accomplishing by taking this personally is you being upset. Maybe try to find some comedy in it?

      • Meghan

        Definitely with you on nothing positive coming from my frustration. I basically just make the correction and move on; I certainly never make a big deal out of it with folks. I just wanted to vent a little and figured that this was a good venue :-)

      • Eenie

        “Women changing our last name to our husband’s has been a custom for way too long for people to automatically assume you didn’t do it.” – I want to push back on this. There is enough variety in naming decisions that this should no longer be the assumption in most areas. A thoughtful colleague can always ask a man or a woman who is about to get married/recently married what name he/she will be using after the wedding. Anyone who assumes a name change in my mind is being rude. And I will loudly and proudly correct them.

        • Cellistec

          I was going to say the exact same thing. And name choices are important enough that we should insist that people call us by the right name.

          • Eenie

            If it’s important to you. I think it’s also your personal decision if you correct everyone or not. It’s a hill I’m willing to die on, but not everyone has to.

          • April

            This is one of my hills too.

          • Lisa

            I’m pretty sure I look like that guy in Monty Python at this point from all of my fighting up on this hill. “‘Tis only a flesh wound!”

          • Eenie

            The fiance rolled his eyes at the wording you had mentioned last week but said it’s fine to keep in! So we’re officially being announced as: “Ladies and Gentleman, it is my pleasure to present the newly married couple with the exact same names as before: MyFirst MyLast and HisFirst HisLast.”

            I’m so fucking excited. In other news he still hasn’t told his parents. I thought he had told them months ago.

          • Lisa

            Love it!! And I’d make sure he tells his parents soon. You don’t want a bunch of pictures of shocked family during your recessional!

          • Eenie

            I’ve told him to do it multiple times. I was visibly angry and hurt when he told me he hadn’t told them. I’m hoping this very blatant remarks in the ceremony will get his but in gear to tell them before next Friday!

          • Ashlah

            Or maybe…you totally do? Ha.

            (Side story: Apparently my FIL hadn’t heard that we were both hyphenating beforehand, but also failed to hear it the two times it was announced at the wedding. He cried when he saw it on Facebook, but thankfully never said a word to us.)

          • Eenie

            We actually won’t have a recessional ;) That story about your FIL is a really sweet one after the fact.

        • Her Lindsayship

          I didn’t mean to say that it’s completely unimportant. She says the people who are getting it wrong are not people in her office, and to me it doesn’t seem that unusual for people to get it wrong if they’ve never met her and HisLast is still in the mix. Not saying I wouldn’t correct them – looking back at my comment I shouldn’t have started with ‘let this one go’ – because you’re right, she has every right to ask that they call her by her preferred name! I got the impression she was expecting people to know her name without having been told, and people aren’t mind readers, but if they’ve been corrected and are still doing this.. yeah, that sucks.

          Anyway the more I type the more my brain is like ‘now watch me backpedal’, so ok, I have to concede I worded my comment crappily. Sorry @@Chiquita689:disqus !

          • Meghan

            I didn’t quite lay out the story completely when I first told it, so some confusion was fair! I should have mentioned that everyone has always been someone who I actually know, even if they are external partners. Probably an important detail! I’d still correct people who were cold emailing me, but if it was confined to that, it wouldn’t bother me.

          • Eenie

            See hill dying mentioned below :)

      • Kayjayoh

        Noooooope. Going to have to respectfully disagree with you here. If you are not introducing yourself and/or using your husband’s last name on it’s own, then neither should anyone you are dealing with in a business. It’s one the same level of bad as reading someone’s full name on every bit of correspondence, and replying to them with a diminutive nickname.

    • chrissyc

      That’s frustrating! Usually I look to email signatures and/or addresses to make sure I’m using the correct name, so I could see people making the mistake of calling you YourFirst HisLast if your signature was YourFirst YourMiddle YourLast HisLast. But that doesn’t sound like it’s the case! It’s good you’re correcting people though; usually people do want to get it right but they don’t know they’re getting it wrong.

      • Meghan

        Yeah – I always obsessively pay attention to people’s email signatures as well. But years of people spelling my first name wrong in emails suggests that maybe others don’t share our careful attention there.

    • Cellistec

      I think a few months of correcting people every.single.time will pay off here. My office has several women with double last names, and without fail, everyone refers to them correctly…because they’ve been here for decades and everyone got lots of practice using said names. Stick to it and it’ll get easier, I bet.

      • Meghan

        Thanks for the encouragement and the light at the end of the tunnel!

    • NotMarried!

      Double names are just hard. I have a double first name (no change, always have). And my work-partner now joins me in laughing because very time we meet new folks (frequently in our area), my name gets cut in half. Despite my ID, email, and signatures all showing it correctly. Typically after hearing HER refer to me by my full first name a few times, folks will pick up on it, but it is a never ending battle.

      • Mary Jo TC

        I agree, double names are hard. I have a double first AND a double last. I hate when forms only have a spot for 3 names. I sometimes use only the very first and the very last (husband’s) just for ease with service providers of different kinds. Also, when someone asks for just my first name on the phone, I know it’s not someone I really know. Personally I don’t have a problem with people dropping my maiden name either professionally or socially, but for everything written that is official and not-so-official, even my signature and my social media accounts, I use it. But then I introduce myself using my husband’s name and Meghan doesn’t. There is a difference in expectations in how acquaintances or new contacts can be expected to use your name (give them lots of grace until you correct them), and how long-term friends or coworkers should use your correct name all the time.

    • Kayjayoh

      I tried on my husband’s last name, planning on doing the non-hyphenated double, but after a full year I dropped it and never legally adopted it. I *do* correct people right away when they call me “Mrs. MyLast.” Nope.

    • emilyg25

      I’m all on board with different last name options–I kept my own and we hyphenated for our son–but I always find the two last name things confusing. Especially if you have one thing on your business cards and introduce/sign stuff with a different thing. I think it’s pretty common to assume the very last name is the surname. So I really think it’s just an honest mistake that you should politely correct and move on.

    • TeaforTwo

      I get why that’s frustrating, and I get why it’s happening sometimes.

      Personally I can find double last names confusing when they aren’t hyphenated. Especially when one of them sounds like it could be a middle name. When I worked in a bookstore, we alphabetized by first name of the last last name, unless there was a hyphen (i.e. Author A-B was filed under A, and Author A B was filed under B) and that stuck.

      I am obviously very willing to call people by whatever they want to be called, but I find that newly married folks with new names aren’t always clear and consistent. Some use one at work and one at home and haven’t updated their email addresses and have both on Facebook, etc. etc. So during a transition period, it can be hard to KNOW what to call someone.

      I think consistency is the key. Like @lizzie_c:disqus said, correcting people every single time will pay off, because then they know both what you want to be called and that it matters to you. But I would also advise anyone who’s making a change that the change should be as clear as possible, and used every time.

  • Hell of a week

    Usual commenter here, but going anon for this because I’m still feeling so violated.

    Last night was the memorial service for a family member who died very suddenly and tragically. It has been a rough month for that side of my family and we’re all still in shock.

    In the middle of the reception, out of nowhere, my ex husband showed up. This is a person who I have blocked from all contact and haven’t seen/spoken to since our divorce four years ago. I’ve since remarried and moved on. My ex looked terrible, possibly on drugs, and came right up to me wanting to talk under the guise of “offering condolences.” He barely knew this family member, but I guess he saw the obituary and knew I’d likely be there. We only interacted for a few minutes, and I refused to go outside and talk with him, and thank god he left without making a scene. But it left me shaking and I can’t get it out of my head. I know time will heal this, but I’m so angry for so many reasons. It was a huge reminder that my comfort/safety/feelings were never his priority. Plus I’m scared that he might know where I live and show up other places, too. I’d had no idea he was even in the area. I know this is typical for his style of baiting me to draw me back into communication with him, but I just thought I was beyond having to deal with this.

    I don’t know what I’m looking for by writing this comment, really. Just needed to get it off my chest.

    • Lisa

      Oh, my goodness. I’m so sorry you had to put up with this, especially at what was already a difficult time. I don’t have any advice to give really, but I have internet hugs and sympathy.

    • Ashlah

      I am so sorry. What an awful, awful thing for him to do.

    • Kalë

      I really feel for you. My deepest condolences about the loss of your family member, and my most profound anger and disgust toward your ex-husband for putting you in that position. He violated your space when you were already feeling vulnerable and that must be so, so tough to deal with. Positive vibes, lady. Sorry this happened to you :(

    • Alanna Cartier

      Ugh. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I had an ex who liked to do similar things (including sending letters to my family to find out information about my life). It’s profoundly unsettling.

    • Danielle

      That truly sucks.

      If you’re really concerned about your safety, you may want to consider filing a restraining order. (In my experience, police are not the most sensitive when it comes to this issue, but it might be worth it to at least have a paper trail in the worst case scenario… or maybe it will make you feel better to know you tried SOMEthing.)

      ETA: I am NOT a lawyer; just speaking from personal experience. You should do what you want to take care of yourself during a very difficult time. My condolences <3

      • another lady

        my thoughts exactly about the restraining order, if needed. Current husband and friends might also have some additional in site into how this situation may/may not progress.

    • April

      Ugh, that is terrible :( I’m sorry that happened, it sounds so stressful.

    • Sarah M

      As someone who works at a law enforcement agency in Texas – see if your state has the equivalent of a protective order, which is a little different from a restraining order. A restraining order is a civil matter and pretty much you have to take your ex to the court if he violates it. But a protective order is enforceable by law enforcement and comes with criminal sanctions. Also, don’t go to the substation and talk to the officer at the desk; look at your primary law enforcement agency’s website and see if there’s someone in Community Outreach or Victim Services you can make contact with to get information. They’re more used to talking to people in your situation than the average beat officer and typically have a little more sensitivity to what you’re going through.

      • Jess

        Thank you for telling all of us about this – I did not know this was a thing, and it would have helped a lot of friends in the past, as going to court frequently gets very expensive and doesn’t always go well.

      • Danielle

        YES to not talking to the officer at the desk.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, and for the fact that you had the deeply unsettling experience with your ex-husband and now have to figure out how to proceed. Thinking of you…

  • Alanna Cartier

    That Kobe Bryant article is even more infuriating when you compare with the recent decisions in relation to the Jian Ghomeshi trial here in Toronto. :(

    • Kayjayoh

      ^This

  • Alanna Cartier

    Also guys, the fiancee and I are going to sign a lease for our new grown-up apartment. I could not be more excited :)

  • Kayjayoh

    “It’s just (way) more expensive, and you don’t get a dance party afterwards.”

    Wait, you *didn’t* get a dance party afterwards?

    • Cellistec

      If I ever buy a house, I want to have a post-closing party. Maybe just a kegger in the backyard, but still!

      • Lisa

        I guess there’s something already kind of built in for this. Are house warming parties still a thing?

        • Jess

          I had an apartment warming party, so I sure hope so.

        • Cellistec

          House warming parties always feel like a high-pressure event to make your new place look perfect and then show it off, both of which I am bad at. A post-closing party could just be pizza and balloons!

          • Ashlah

            Yeah, we planned to have a housewarming party after we finished certain projects and got our house to a place we were proud of. Three years later, we’re still not there. *insert crying laugh emoji* Our realtor had pizza delivered on the day we moved in, so I guess it was sort of a mini party with the people who helped us move?

          • gonzalesbeach

            we just passed the one year mark and have yet to schedule an official housewarming because new projects pop up so frequently or others are 90% done… we should have just had it on the first day we were in there amid all the sawdust and paint equip. (the first month was owned it was still filled by tenants so day 1 of ownership was really anticlimactic)

          • Meghan

            Amen to that. We kept thinking we’d have a house-warming party and then ultimately gave up and called our annual holiday party (8 months post-closing!) a holiday/house-warming party. Our post-closing party was probably when we managed to convince our friends to come over and help us paint with just bagels/pizza/beer as payment!

          • MC

            We are having a housewarming party tomorrow, 3-months post-closing, because we realized we just needed to set a date and do it then regardless of what our house looked like. I know people that have put off a housewarming party for years because their house to-do list is neverending!

      • emilyg25

        Most of the folks we’d invite to a house warming helped us move and we enjoyed pizza and beer with them after. It was nice!

      • April

        A kegger in the back yard sounds like an AMAZING post-closing party. We’ll be looking to buy soon and I am keeping this amazing idea in mind.

    • MC

      Our realtor got us balloons! And we had a pizza party with all our friends who helped us move. So there was kind of a party!

      • Eenie

        We got wine from our realtor :)

      • Jennifer

        the couple we bought the house from gave us their tequila? actually they just left it in a cupboard but we figured what the hell.

  • April

    Feminist Rant Incoming:

    1) Yesterday I was at work and a male coworker actually used the phrase “What are you, a female” to insult another male coworker. My manager was present and then the three of them continued to have a conversation about shows women watch (like, how dumb they are because ladies are dumb and don’t like cool things like men like, also we are all the same because we are all women first and people second and don’t you forget it). I SAID NOTHING. I wanted to say something, I thought about saying something, but I was kind of frozen and just sat there and listened and said nothing. Sure would be nice to not have to point out at work that it’s not cool to use what people are born as, as a slur or insult. This was following a pretty brutal mansplaination about something I won’t provide detail on, but rest assured when I texted my partner about it, his response was “why on earth would he think you don’t know that”

    2) I was talking to my lovely partner about above situation (which believe me, is not the first situation that has caused me to go home, rant a lot and drink all the beers and sob “WHY CAN’T I JUST BE A PERSON”), and he’s pointed out that even though I’ve mentioned that I don’t want to be a “stay at home lady” it’s really REALLY okay if I want to take some time off after we move and not jump into another job right away. So I think I might do that, even though it feels weird. Because I’m really fucking tired.

    • AP

      Ugh. That sucks. I’m sorry.

      • April

        Thanks, there’s kind of a long history with this particular dude. VERY excited for my last day.

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, gross. I hate hearing stuff like that, and I also hate the feeling of sort-of-guilt for not speaking up. But I also hate the act of speaking up because we shouldn’t fucking have to. Sorry you had to deal with that, but I’m glad you have such a supportive partner.

      • April

        Right? I’m normally so good at speaking up too, and I just kind of dropped the ball on this one and let that trainwreck happen. Ugh. I have situations here fairly often but usually it’s a bit more subtle.

        The worst part is that I feel like maybe I am over-reacting when stuff like this happens, because there is a room full of people involved and NO ONE is saying anything.

    • Danielle

      Ugh.

      I hope your next job (whenever you get one) will be in a much more egalitarian, non-asshole environment.

      • April

        Thanks, me too. I think I’ve been burning a slow-rage flame for the last 3-4 years. It’ll be nice to not be angry almost every day.

        • Danielle

          Oh no. Girl, I feel you. That sh*t can burn away at you.

          Internet hugs <3

    • StevenPortland

      It is bad enough he said that, but even worse that the other two went along without calling him on it. Don’t beat yourself up that you said nothing. You were in shock. If you feel like making a response now (in person or via email), feel free. I originally was going to say that you should print out this portion of the Happy Hour and leave it on his desk, but embarrassing him probably isn’t the right approach.

      • April

        Thanks. You are probably right about the embarrassment approach not being the right one but I might just savour it in mind a little bit before letting it go completely. lol

    • kth201

      For next time: men watch wrestling, which is hands-down the dumbest thing on TV. Anyone can like it, but anyone who does has no business critiquing other’s viewing habits.

    • toomanybooks

      I always freeze in disbelief when something like that happens. There’s a moment of “did that really happen? Is that really what they meant? Is it safe for me to say something? What do I even say to that?” combined with, you know, enraged panic jitters, and by the time you’ve gone through all that, it’s too late and they’ve moved on. It’s also really hard when the person isn’t talking directly to you so you don’t know how weird it would be to speak up.

      Someone said something homophobic (like, not just oblivious but in actual disgust of gayness) in front of me recently and that was about my reaction. She stage-whispered it, which is a big joke on her given that I’m gay and was sitting right in front of her. Wish I had said *something.* I wish anyone else present had, too.

      And if I had the option, I would love taking a break. You’ll probably feel recharged for work afterward too!

      • April

        Yeah, that’s totally it like “Wait a minute, is this really happening?” I’ve had a couple of run ins with this dude usually about his opinions on news stories etc. but I think the boldness of it just shocked me.

        Ah boo. I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s so infuriating.

        I’m pretty lucky that the option is even open to me. I feel weird about it, but I’ve been burnt out and angry for years now so it might not be a bad idea.

    • eating words

      I always freeze when something like that happens, and then I sink into guilt for not saying all the TRUE things that would combat it. A friend posted this link today, and it’s really good advice on moving from reaction to resistance. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2016/04/13/how-be-ally-someone-experiencing-microaggressions-essay

    • Stacey Cuddhy

      Go to HR! That’s an incredibly offensive thing and completely inappropriate in the workplace. You’re not obligated to say something to them in the moment, especially because your manager was engaging as well. That’s definitely not leadership material to say the least.

  • Ashlah

    There’s a park near my work where I like to take long walks on my lunch break. There’s a middle-aged man who walks his dog at the same park, along the same circular path, seemingly everyday. I had never said more than hello to him when he stopped me one day after he saw me petting my boss’ wife’s dog. He made some joke about how he/his dog saw me cheating and petting another dog. I laughed it off, pet his dog (who I had actually never pet previously), and went on my way. That was the full extent of our interactions.

    Then earlier this week, I was sitting up on a hill, just off the walking path, reading on my phone, when he shouted out hello. I waved and went back to my phone. A couple minutes later, I hear him and his dog slowly climbing up the hill behind me. Without looking back at them, I just got up and started walking to the other side of the park. I figure he’d take the hint, if he even was in fact coming up to talk to me, but no. As I’m walking along the path on the other side of the park, I see him and his dog cutting across the park, him saying to his dog, “We’ll just get over there, and then you can say hello.” I pretended to take a phone call and left the park.

    I’m just…I mean, I’m pretty sure he’s harmless. Probably he’s trying to be friendly. I’m just so irritated that he feels entitled to my attention when I’m clearly not offering it. He’s ruining my park walks, and I hate it. I just want some quiet alone time on my lunch break. I’ve been considering wearing headphones, but I don’t know if it’ll help. Just ugh. Men.

    • Lisa

      Maybe try headphones and a book? To me that definitely gives the “Leave me alone” vibe. If you get sucked into conversation with him again, maybe try to weasel in a comment like, “Yes, the weather is lovely today! I’m so glad I get to get outside and spend some time alone after working with others all day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some very important reading to do.”

    • Danielle

      Ugh x 1000. This reminds me of Emotional Labor, but the acquaintance (rather than partner) version.

      I feel this way about many men, and don’t really know how to deal either. There must be some internet genius answer to this… right?

      • Totch

        Emotional labor with acquaintances and coworkers is the woooorst. I purposely avoid letting my co-workers know when it’s my birthday, but one of them found out and arranged a little thing today (even though I asked him not to). I know they’re trying to be thoughtful, but now I have to spend the rest of the day arranging my emotions around what an appropriate amount of gratitude should look like.

        • Danielle

          Ugh. In the words of some wise elders, “A simple thank you will suffice.”

        • I hope you had a good birthday anyways!

    • Carolyn S

      I always worry I’m being overly sensitive to male attention. I had a similar experience waiting for a VERY long light to change while I was in my running clothes. Which I’m always slightly more self conscious about because they are tighter and flimsier than regular wear. But I was wearing earphones and this awkward guy would not stop talking to me. And if it had been a lady chatting with me I probably would have perceived it as friendly stop light talk, but because it was an awkward guy it feels like unwanted attention….

      • Amy March

        I don’t think that’s overly sensitive at all. Maybe its the New Yorker in me, but why are we talking?!? You are a stranger. Unless we are stuck on a broken subway, there is no reason for you to be chatting with me. We are not Midwestern.

        • Jessica

          I am Midwestern. I’m the comment person (but not a conversation person). I’m also that person who will make eye contact with you when someone is being weird. I blame my mother.

          • Lisa

            Oh, this is totally me, but I’m also a born and bred Hoosier so it’s practically in my DNA. And I’m no where near the talk-to-stranger level that my mother is!

          • Carolyn S

            Ha yeah.. i’m middle-canadian? Is that a thing? But it’s probably midwestern adjacent and I totally make grocery store line small talk.

        • emilyg25

          My husband is a stranger-chatter. It’s the worst.

        • I grew up in the Midwest and when I moved to DC and then NY I was so relieved that I was no longer expected to even make eye contact with strangers, much less conversation.

        • Lilly

          Definitely don’t move to the south. Everyone talks to everyone everywhere.

      • toomanybooks

        Here’s what I realized – the thing is, it’s NEVER a lady chatting with me in public while I’m on my way somewhere. It’s always a man.

    • Jessica

      It does suck to have that put upon you. As a dog lover, there are some dogs who freak out when they see someone they like. That said, there are some dudes who cannot take a fucking hint. I’d leave out subtlety in the future, and the next time he tries it just say how much you like to walk by yourself on your breaks and don’t feel the need for company.

      Again, it sucks and I’m sorry you’ve been caused anxiety by a stranger without a sense of boundaries.

      • Ashlah

        Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure he just uses his dog as an ice-breaker, dog’s never looked excited to see me before, haha.

        • Jessica

          Yeah, then I suggest shutting him down rather than relying on visual cues. I work with a lot of retired people who are just bored and lonely, so they’ll talk at me for hours if I let them. I have to just shut them down at some point, and it’s easier to do that early on than after letting them go on and on for a while.

    • Eenie

      I once had to explain to my fiance that when talking with strangers in public, he looks intimidating. He’s been in situations where women acted weird around him, and he couldn’t figure out why. I explained that I often feel vulnerable or unsafe when a stranger, specifically a man, takes too much of an interest in talking with me. He just never made the connection. Sorry your walks are ruined.

      • Kalë

        Good of you to explain! At least that way he gets why, y’know? My partner is so, so paranoid about being “weird” or “creepy” since I first explained this phenomenon. It’s almost comical how over the top he goes to not be creepy. Like, he won’t go into the weight room if a woman is in there alone, he doesn’t address female strangers (like to ask for directions or whatever) if they’re by themselves, etc. Maybe a little TOO far, babe.

        • Emily

          Haha my husband has also gone from one extreme (saying hello, opening doors, making small talk in the grocery aisle…typical Northern Michigan friendliness) to the other. I mean, I appreciate him getting it, but it’s become kind of comical.

      • Your comment reminded me that I came across this study this week – apparently is the first empirical study of “creepiness.”

        “The goal of this paper to introduce a theoretical perspective on the common psychological experience of feeling ‘creeped out,’ and to uncover the cues that we use to label other people as creepy. In other words, we are attempting to identify the building blocks of this thing we call “creepiness.”
        http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/McAndrew-Koehnke-2016.pdf

        I found it very interesting, as I’ve often had a hard time putting into words the cumulative cues that make me perceive creepy dudes when talking in general terms to friends about someone who bothered me.

      • Kat

        Oh man I had a roommate who was this 7 foot, bulky, bearded viking looking dude, and he was from the Midwest and friendly as they come. He was extremely sweet and it would hurt his feelings when a woman on campus at night would cross the street if she was alone, or look uncomfortable when he struck up a conversation in the grocery store. My other roommates and I had to explain what is like to be s woman and be constantly vigilant, walking to class, carrying groceries home, getting in your car in a parking garage…..we’ve been conditioned to be afraid, and for substantial reason. Bless his heart though, he made such an effort after that to respect boundaries and make people feel safe. Our proudest day was when he casually mentioned being a feminist in an academic paper. Success! Lol

    • macrain

      I am 8 months pregnant, and there is a man on my work commute I do not know who likes to tell me “congrats” in a raspy, whispery voice. This is not welcome attention. In fact, it’s even less welcome since I’m pregnant and feel pretty vulnerable.
      I had a co-worker tell me he was just being nice and I should say thank you, and that upset me almost more than the initial encounter.

      • Lisa

        This reminds me of the time last year where some creepy guy hit on me while I was taking some company mail to the post box across the street. I came back and told my co-worker how skeeved out I was, and another older co-worker told me I had better enjoy the attention while I could because I wouldn’t be young and pretty forever. It makes me angry just thinking about that. I’m sorry that happened to you.

        • Ashlah

          Oh my god.

        • AGCourtney

          ?!!!

        • Kalë

          PUKE

        • Keeks

          And let me guess, was that older co-worker a woman? That sounds like something my mom would say.

          • Lisa

            Yup. I reeeeeally disliked this woman. She’s in her early 50s, I think.

        • Cellistec

          Ugh, no. I would facepalm so hard.

          • Meghan

            Maybe that’s what we should all start doing in these situations – actually physically facepalming. I’m running out of other ways to express the frustration I feel in these types of encounters.

          • Cellistec

            AHAHAHAHAHAHA. And when the offender looks puzzled, look up slowly from your palm and bust out the classic Captain Awkward line “Why would you say that?”

          • Danielle

            You mean, put your palm in the other person’s face? Because that’s what they deserve.

        • April

          Ahhhhhhhh nope nope NOOOOPE

      • Lulu

        I want to make that co-worker (and lots of other people) read the Gift of Fear: https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/b/becker-fear.html

        • Eenie

          This book ^ Read it! It’s really great.

      • chrissyc

        “I had a co-worker tell me he was just being nice and I should say thank you.” Oh my god no. That’s terrible.

      • Ashlah

        Ugh, seriously. No.

      • Danielle

        Would they ever say that to a guy?

        This #DudesGreetingDudes thing makes me laugh so hard: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/dudes-greeting-dudes#.qn13J0OjlO

        • April

          This is amazing. :O

    • Totch

      Sorry, this sucks. Headphones work for me, but also make it harder to have the little friendly “hi” and keep walking with people who don’t concern you. I have a dog, and headphones on dog walks are a godsend for avoiding people but a bit of an extra barrier when another dog owner is just kindly hollering “don’t worry, he’s friendly!” It just adds that little dance move where you have to pause and take out the headphones, which often extends things.

    • Eh

      It really annoys me that men think that they are entitled to a woman’s attention. A few years ago a man followed me for a couple blocks and then decided to approach me. I repeatedly made it clear that I was no interested in talking to him (e.g., “I have to go”, “I am busy”). He continued to follow me down the street. I was going to a small, one screen cinema and I did not want him to follow me there. I went into a grocery store near the cinema and he continued to follow me. I made sure that there were lots of people in ear shot and told him to “stop following me”. That’s when he finally left me alone. Being polite did not work. And for me it was a huge safety issue (e.g., being alone in a dark cinema).

      • Ashlah

        Oh, that is so scary. Why would anyone think that’s okay? The level of entitlement is baffling. Good thinking going to the grocery store.

        • Eh

          I needed him to stop following me and the grocery store was one of the last stores before the cinema.

      • Lisa

        That is absolutely terrifying, but you did everything correctly. I spent three evenings this week taking a self-defense course at the Badtown U PD, and it made me feel much more confident about being assertive with creepy strangers.

        • Lisa

          This of course came with the added bonuses of getting to beat up a cop repeatedly. We did a final “fight night” on Wednesday where we were put in a situation, and I’m super proud of my generally non-athletic self for taking the guy down in under two minutes.

          • Her Lindsayship

            That sounds amazing! Are self defense classes usually that hands on?? I’ve been meaning to take one and now I’m even more inclined!

          • Lisa

            This is the first one I’ve taken so I have no idea! We had practice dummies and bags to kick and hit, and on the the third day we started working more with the officers on how to get out of choke holds or off the ground if someone is on top of us. The fight was at the end and was designed as a way for us to test what we’d learned and put it into practice. Granted, since the guy was decked out in padding, he couldn’t do much besides hold on to us, but it was still a great experience! Afterwards, I got to discuss what I did with the three officers, which was really helpful.

          • Jennifer

            It depends on the class, but if you want self defense that is very hands on you can look for Krav Maga classes in your area.

        • Cellistec

          To be fair, even if things had been done “incorrectly,” nothing gives a person license to stalk, harm, or intimidate anyone else.

          • Lisa

            Oh, trust me, I totally agree. I actually took a lot of issue with that section of the class (especially the 20 minutes spent on why we needed to get our conceal carry licenses and which guns were best for it). I should have put “correctly” in the air quotes that I meant.

        • Eh

          I am glad that my instincts were right on what to do. It terrifies me that he followed me for two blocks without me noticing. It is a very busy business area so people walking in the same direction isn’t alarming. I had never felt unsafe in the city I live in until that day. After that I found out a lot of women feel unsafe in my city because similar situations.

    • toomanybooks

      Seconding “ugh. Men.” Every day. I wish I knew a magical quick way to turn them away.

    • emilyg25

      Next time: “I don’t mean to be rude, but I come out here for alone time during my lunch break. I hope you understand!”

      I realize that’s scary and possibly risky, but worth a shot!

    • Kayjayoh

      Ugh, men indeed. Can we all just start a colony somewhere?

    • emma

      Adding a different perspective here. Granted you being there can read the situation the best, but I have two brother-in-laws who have social and learning disabilities. They’re friendly (once they work up the courage to talk to someone they don’t know which is a feat within itself), but they lack knowing social norms or filtering “what’s right”.

      Recently my husband and I have met a few individuals in our community that are very similar to his brothers in that way. While this may not be the case for the man you mention I encourage you to consider if they *just might* have benign intentions, but don’t know social boundaries the way you and I learned naturally so early in our life. My brother in laws are in their 20s and spend nights on the phone with my husband upset, often in tears, that they can’t read situations or make friends the way their siblings or peers do.

      I apologize if this comes off harsh, or as a targeted comment, that is not my intention. But, it is my intention to have at least one person read this comment and at some point in the future, if only for a split second, stop and consider if that person that makes them uncomfortable is intending to do that, or simply lacks the ability to know otherwise and could benefit from a friendly gesture. [steps off soapbox]

  • Did anyone have live musicians perform at their ceremony and/or cocktail hour? We would really like to have live music, and while I love classical music I have no frame of reference for sound vs space. We are debating between a string trio (viola, violin, cello) and a duo (violin, cello). The duo is much more affordable, but our ceremony is in an open outdoor plaza and I’m a bit concerned about the acoustics. Any musicians that can weigh in on this or those of you that had live music?

    • Lisa

      Any chance of amplification? If it’s an open air space, it’ll probably be difficult to hear them from one side to the other anyway. My friend had a quartet at her cocktail hour in an enclosed room, and you couldn’t even hear the quartet more than 30 feet away. (There were probably 200 people in there, but still…)

      • I’d like to stay away from amplification if possible, just for the added cost. But we are only having 60 guests, so that helps. Didn’t even think about competing with people talking!

    • Ashlah

      We had a violin duo in an open park for our ceremony, no amplification, and it was plenty loud. Cocktail hour might be different because they’ll be competing with people talking.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, that’s the issue you have to contend with for the reception. I know my husband plays outdoor weddings all of the time ranging from duets to quartets, but there aren’t usually people talking then. Once you had voices, it becomes really hard to hear from even a slight distance.

    • Carolyn S

      We had a classical guitarist with a small amp in a small outside open space and it worked great.

    • StevenPortland

      We had a quartet of saxophones. I loved it because it was something different than strings, and I played sax for 8 years in school. Personally I would go with the trio if you can afford it. I like the sound of trio music more. But in the end, either will be great.

  • A.

    Hey all! Any science-y types out there that can confirm or deny something for me that’s somewhat related to last week’s AAPW? My mom just texted me because he said the CDC just updated their travel recommendations for women of child-bearing age. Basically, she said the CDC published today that any woman who contracts Zika should wait ~2 years to get pregnant. I’m heading to Oaxaca, Mexico this summer and would probably like to get pregnant in about 2-3 years, so it’s somewhat concerning (though not necessarily a deal breaker)

    I can’t find the source she’s referring to on their site, so wondering if anyone else had heard this? It seems extreme to me and I’m a little skeptical, though of course I’d rather know for my own knowledge if this is indeed their warning (i.e., then I’d load up on DEET, make sure I got tested when we returned, etc).

    Admittedly, I’m also super excited about our trip, so it will definitely put a bit of a damper on things if I constantly have to be worried about hypothetical reproduction the whole time. :-/

    • Ashlah

      Whoa, I posted about this issue a week or two ago, and just bought tickets to Costa Rica a few days ago, so I certainly hope that isn’t the new guideline! Last I heard, it was 8 weeks if you come back from somewhere with Zika without symptoms and six months if you do have symptoms. Off to Google furiously about the two year requirement…

      • A.

        Right?! My stomach totally dropped. I’m hoping she misinterpreted something. She’s in science, but also very invested in my eventual pregnancy, so hit or miss

      • Ashlah

        Also, if you go here, you can sign up for email updates about Zika from the CDC, if you want to.

      • Meg Keene

        That’s what I thought.

    • Amy March

      Nope! And pretty sure if the CDC had published that info today it would be a) on their website, and b) all over the news. It certainly was not the position of the CDC in this extensive article by the NYTimes on Zika recommendations from earlier today:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/health/zika-virus-pregnancy-delay-birth-defects-cdc.html?_r=0

      • A.

        Good point. That’s logical. It would be a huge tourism hit. Phew. Deep breaths.

      • another lady

        there were national news stories this morning about the CDC discussing possible recommendation changes for ‘women of child bearing years waiting to get pregnant’ (ugh), but I haven’t heard if that was the official recommendation or what was actually decided. (it may still be in the works and she may have mis-heard/misread it.

        • A.

          I’m guessing this is what she was referring to. I’d appreciate it if you happen to have a link offhand (my googling didn’t show this)!

          • another lady

            http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/doctors-divided-over-how-to-guide-women-on-u-s-zika-threat/

            “One big question facing U.S. health officials is whether the government should recommend that women avoid getting pregnant if they live in areas where Zika is spreading.”
            They talked about the virus being projected to spread to about 1/2 the US this year and possibly having the CDC recommend women avoid pregnancy for the next 2 years and using contraceptives. (From what I remember of the story – can’t get the video to play on my work computer)

          • A.

            Thank you!!

    • chrissyc

      I just read this article earlier today: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/health/zika-virus-pregnancy-delay-birth-defects-cdc.html . It says the official recommendation, as mentioned in comments below, is 8 weeks without symptoms and 6 months with symptoms.

      I haven’t heard of the two year recommendation. Perhaps there’s confusion between the official CDC recommendations and the personal recommendations from health experts (who certainly may be knowledgeable but have different levels of risk tolerance).

    • Carolyn S

      This is directly from the CDC website:
      Based on the available evidence, we think that Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood. From what we know about similar infections, once a person has been infected with Zika virus, he or she is likely to be protected from a future Zika infection.

    • Jessica

      Doesn’t directly answer your question, but Oaxaca is beautiful! If you’re going to Oaxaca de Juarez (the main city) I have recommendations for airbnb options and restaurants, tourism, etc. Also, I was there in January while 5 months pregnant (the CDC warning came out WHILE I was there, lovely) and I don’t remember seeing a single mosquito. Lots of other bugs, but it’s pretty high up in the mountains so I don’t think it’s a major hot spot for Zika.

      • A.

        We are going to Oaxaca de Juarez! I’m SO excited. We already booked a hotel, but I’d LOVE any recs you have. And thanks, I’ve heard the elevation will make it a little better, but I was worried about Hierve el Agua, etc because of the summer air moisture + standing water.

        That must have been stressful to get that warning while you were there, but I’m glad it all worked out.

        • Jessica

          It is an awesome city! First piece of advice is to not book tours in advance — there are dozens of tourist agencies in the city and they are all pretty similar. They charge between 200 and 250 pesos per trip per person for a daytrip, and there are pretty standard routes that all the companies take. They usually can pick you up at your hotel.
          Definitely visit Santo Domingo — both the museum (closed Mondays, free to Mexican citizens on Sundays) and the garden (daily tours at 11 am, enter at the corner of Reforma & Constitution). I like the Santo Domingo area better than the Cathedral/Zocalo, it’s a little quieter. My favorite park in the city is called Jardin Conzatti. Make sure you get a torta from the truck in the corner, they are delicious! I think they’re usually there M-F from 11ish to 5ish, and the truck is called La Hormiga. Cafe Arabia on the corner of Jardin Conzatti also has nice salads if you get tired of tacos. :) The Quinta Real hotel (in the ex-convento de Santa Catalina) has a buffet dinner and dance show on Friday evenings, it is super cool. Obviously it’s designed for tourists, but a lot of the tourists are Mexican, and IMO the food and dance was still pretty high quality.
          A cool early-morning activity is to take a hike up the Escaleras del Fortín and walk to the observatory. The area is under construction/being developed (controversially — it’s an old sacred site and they’re building a convention center there) but at least last summer it was pretty common for people to be doing a morning hike there.
          It’s a super safe city and I’ve never heard of any tourists encountering even petty crime (I’ve spent about 10 weeks there on 3 different trips), although the usual cautions apply (stow your wallet carefully, be aware of your surroundings, etc etc). Have lots of mezcal and enjoy!

    • They recommend that women who live in the areas affected wait until 2018 to conceive, because it’s an ongoing outbreak, but I think that most healthy people who get Zika get over in under a month, so I would concur with the 8 weeks thing posted above (below?).

      I also read recently that they expect that Zika will migrate up to the US within the next year or so. :/

      • A.

        Yeah, I have a lot of family in south Florida (all of my in-laws, basically, except the ones who live in South America). That will definitely be a much bigger issue over the next couple of years than this vacation will likely be, for sure.

  • AGCourtney

    Congrats, Meg! That’s awesome. We are loving the homeowner thing – the weather has been gorgeous this week, and my daughter has been playing outside all the time: in the back yard, in the driveway, with the neighbors. It’s wonderful. And we’re getting closer to painting the kitchen! I bought the paint and spackled and sanded the walls. The previous owners took out a counter next to the oven and there’s still backsplash and some wood on the wall from that, so we’re going to take that off before painting that wall. But I might say eff it and paint everything except the counter-area walls until we get that taken care of. My father-in-law will hopefully come over one of the next few days and give me some tips on what tool to use and how to do it.

    This Sunday, we hosted a little gathering in honor of my in-laws’ 25th anniversary. My husband has two sisters and they came over and we grilled and stuff. We’ve only had them over a couple times, so we didn’t have to do much to make it special, haha. It went well! A thought occurred to me that made me laugh: not many couples get to celebrate their 25th anniversary with their granddaughter. Whoops~

  • Ms. Yes

    Just stopping by to say congratulations Meg and family! Home ownership is awesome and was probably my most meaningful life milestone (I bought as a single lady) and given you bought in the Bay Area, no doubt this is a VERY. BIG. ACCOMPLISHMENT.

  • Kalë

    Baby rant here, yall. My boyfriend is the best man in his best friend’s wedding. He and his friend are extremely close, and we have spent quite a bit of time with the couple as well. Got the wedding invitation today in the mail aaaaand…. they addressed it to both of our first names, with HIS last name. Jane and John Smith, when I am Jane Miller. So much WUT because a) we are not married b) we are not (yet…) engaged c) they know us well and know both of our DIFFERENT last names d) they know me well enough to likely assume that, when the time comes, I will be keeping my last name. So WHY WHY WHY WHY, would they ever address it this way? Such a minor thing in the scheme of things, I know, but just got my goat.

    • Cellistec

      Wow, I’ve heard (and experienced) some egregious name assumptions, but that one takes the cake. You can write in your correct names on the RSVP card, right? And maybe that’ll clear things up, though maybe not….

      • AP

        I just had to do this for a family member, who definitely knows that we both kept our names. So annoying. But I’m hoping our RSVP will be a stark reminder.

      • Eh

        I am the only women in either family that kept her last name so we always get wedding invitations addressed to Mr and Mrs His Last (at least we are married). I always write out our full names on the RSVP (and then usually it is correct on the seating chart etc). Our daughter has our last names hyphenated, and we use that name as a “family” name so we have been getting mail addressed to that name which is fine with us.

    • Not Sarah

      Ugh! I’m sorry. If it were me, I’d probably only RSVP John Smith to the wedding since them not knowing my name means I wasn’t invited to the wedding. But this is a hill I will stand on and Cellistec’s suggestion is probably more polite…

    • Jessica

      We had our moms address the envelopes. I noticed that all of my MIL’s envelopes were addressed to “Mr and Mrs His Last Name” (despite what was on our spreadsheet), and half way through the stack my mom’s envelopes were also “Mr and Mrs His Last Name.” I got extraordinarily angry about it, but ultimately did nothing except to note to my friends that it was not my doing and I did not have the time to re-address them.

      ETA: I guess I’m saying assume some ignorance for now.

      • Kalë

        I’m mustering my most compassionate and understanding Kale and just assuming ignorance. I’m guessing it is something like what happened to you, still just ruffled my feminist feathers a little.

        • Meghan

          You’re entitled to those ruffled feminist feathers! And solidarity on the name nonsense this week.

        • Jessica

          I get it. And definitely say/write something to make sure it doesn’t continue (in case it wasn’t ignorance)

      • Jess

        The list of people we got from both sets of parents was Mr & Mrs HisFirst HisLast.

        I changed this for younger couples, but I was not tracking down first names of family friends on his side of the family.

        So yeah, I would assume ignorance/parental influence.

      • Mary Jo TC

        I was about to write this possible explanation in too. My mom addressed our invitations too. It’s totally possible that someone other than the bridal couple is responsible for this and it’s an oversight.

        • gonzalesbeach

          thought this too. ps. How’s the new little addition? :)

    • Megan

      My best guesses are:
      1) They roped someone else into addressesing invites and that person didn’t read very closely
      2) There was some sort of technical glitch in the creation of their wedding invite excel spreadsheet/mail merge issue

      • Stacey Cuddhy

        That’s probably exactly what happened. My go-to phrase for these types of situations is “never attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity.” It allows for the benefit of the doubt.

    • Lisa

      Wow, ick. I don’t know what goes through people’s minds. One of my best friends moved in with her boyfriend last fall, and his grandmother sent them a check for Christmas addressed to both of them but with his last name. And she’s a doctor who definitely won’t be changing her name after getting married.

    • Keeks

      This sounds like one of those really baffling instances where I’d say, “do not attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.” Maybe somebody else addressed them, maybe they had a crappy spreadsheet, poor quality control on their part, etc. For example, my husband forgot that 2 of his friends’ wives were actually Dr… I would have been mortified if I hadn’t caught that.

      Now, if you correct your name on the RSVP and the name on the escort card/seating chart is still wrong, then you’ve got a problem!

      • Kalë

        Yeeeeeah, I’m practicing my patience and chill here. Probably just a mistake, but sigh.

        • accidental_diva

          Blame it on the mail merge or an unknowing bridesmaid/groomsman who just had Mr. John Smith and they had your name in a separate column and it got cut off in the print.

      • Caitlin

        I agree, this is weird, it sucks, and you’re (Kale) entitled to feel privately a bit miffed about it. However, there is a very, very good chance that it was an accident. I’m currently working on labeling invitations and it is so hard, like way harder than it should be. A lot of times you have multiple (bad) sources of information and multiple people working on things. I’ve had a few times of scratching my head on how to invite people with different last names on the same invitation, especially when it was a whole family being invited. For example, I’m inviting my aunt, uncle, nephew (who lives with them) and his fiance (who lives in Norway). My parents gave me the address for all four combined on the same invitation, since the fiance is technically a plus one. My rather inelegant solution was to write:

        John and Jane Smith
        Jack and Jill
        Address

        I could totally see someone being slightly confused, or possible miffed by this, but darn it, I didn’t know what else to do, my hand was cramping, and the invitations needed to be out yesterday.

        TLDR: this stuff happens by accident, it’s still annoying, but probably not malicious

        • I’d send multiple invites to the same address. One for each party in the house.

          … But I also just leave off last names of plus ones if I don’t know them… So… My level of caring may be different.

    • AP

      WHAT. That’s bizarre.

    • Eenie

      Can you maybe chalk it up to the fact that it wasn’t on purpose but an oversight? I remember making a pointed effort to get the names correct for all of our 100 guests…and I still screwed two of them up. Mention it next time you see them/talk to them? As a joke (we’re not engaged *yet* and we actually both plan to keep our names).

      • Kalë

        Yeah, this is probably what happened. Still yucky but hey, mistakes happen. Not the hill I’m going to die on or anything, just my first instance of name replacement… and I’m not even married yet *insert eye roll*

        • Totch

          Yeah, I get it if this feels particularly sucky because the boyf is in the wedding party. So many thing can slip through in a wedding and it’s just not fun to think of yourself as one.

      • Keri

        Or, maybe someone else addressed it and they didn’t catch it? My future mother in law is doing our envelopes for us and while I’m going to stamp them and send them out, and I could picture something getting lost in translation in the kind of scenario… :(

    • April

      Erm, so when I was sending out Save the Dates I actually messed up the last names of both of my partners SIL’s. I was just going through the spreadsheet and writing down what was there (in this case, they had both changed their names and we had both of their previous last names). My future MIL let us know and it was updated for the invites but WOW embarrassing (and a totally innocent mistake!). lol

      It’s a bit weird with you guys not even being married though. Even with being married, His First & Her First His Last ALWAYS gets my goat tbh

      • Laura C

        My MIL messed up a bunch of her guests in these ways. We felt terrible each time we found out about one, but…we were just working with what we had.

    • Amy March

      That just strikes me as lazy, inconsiderate, and thoughtless.

      • Cellistec

        Or the best friend is trying to be cutesy, like “Well you two are practically married!” Still, NOPE.

        • Kalë

          I think I will decide to be kind and generous with my judgment and go with this one, @lizzie_c:disqus . The lady-half of the couple strikes me as the type to do this (and, FWIW, is changing her own last name as well). Still, @amymarch:disqus has my initial WTF instinct pegged.

          • Cellistec

            Ugh, that’s what I was afraid of. I guess not everyone got the memo that patriarchal assumptions are never cute.

          • Amy March

            I think trying to be cutesy is even worse!

          • eating words

            Yeah, this is not the place to be cutesy.

    • eating words

      I hear you on this. My wife and I recently got a BIZARRE wedding invitation. From (a) another lesbian couple who (b) hand-addressed their invitations themselves. They sent it to:
      Mrs. and Mrs. Myfirstname Ourlastname.
      One, my wife is not my subjugate. We both have first names and would like them to be used. Two, no Mrs. for either of us, please-and-thank-you. Just… what.

  • StevenPortland

    Congrats, Meg! I can’t believe you went through the entire process from start to finish in a month! That is just amazing. Have you yet mapped out the closest Home Depot or Lowes? You will surely go there much more often now.

    • Lulu

      “I’ve been to more Home Depots today than in the previous entirety of my life,” was definitely something I said shortly after moving in.

      • I’m on a first name basis with many of the employees at my local Lowes, Home Depot, and Ace, because I’m there so often.

      • another lady

        when I told a new friend of a friend that I was married and had a house in town, his response was, ‘so do you just go to home depot and fix your house on the weekends now?!?’ … yep – pretty much! We have and old house and live within 3 miles of home depot, menards, and fleet farm. so, we tend to go to one of those stores on a weekly basis, at least!

      • Jennifer

        definitely. sadly the big stores aren’t in our city so it’s just Ace. But we know the local Ace cat by name.

    • AGCourtney

      Haha, yes to this! For us, it’s Menards. I’d been in there once before in my life, and now I’m in there so often, especially with this kitchen project. It’s actually on my to-do list for today to pick up some stain for the deck.

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, this is my life now.

    • SLG

      Congrats on the new house, Meg! And congrats on being OK with changing your mind about something that momentous, and just going for it.

    • MC

      Seriously – we had a 45-day closing and it seemed like it went so quickly! 21 days sounds bonkers – congrats to Meg & co for surviving it!

  • Anon for this one

    Soooooo….

    I’m pregnant. We stopped trying not to get pregnant last month, and I’m still in the whole shock phase, although I’m moving more towards freaking out. I have an ultrasound, but not for 2 more weeks, so I guess I’m just going to freak out for a couple weeks? Haha, the only difference so far is that I’m EXHAUSTED. Holy crap.

    PSA: I bought the Target brand tests, and then when I got a positive, I had to Google a negative test to show DH, and found that a lot of women get false positive results with those tests. So, I bought Clear Blue ones to double check. Of course, I tested shortly before leaving town to see my family for a couple days and then had to silently freak before I could get home (my family lives in the country and NO WAY was I going to the only store in town for a test. Nope, nope, nope) and buy more tests.

    • another lady

      so exciting! congrats! we also go prego in 1 month… oops/yay! I silently freaked out and freaked with my hubs for quite a while before we could/did tell people. Hubs also asked, ‘is that real?” are you sure?’ ‘does the doctor do another test to verify?’ yes, yes, no. I hated the waiting until 8-10 weeks before having the first appointment! I must have called the nurses line 20 times during those few weeks! hope things keep going well! And, I literally could not stay awake past 8pm during the first trimester… hubs got to catch up on his Netflix shows, though!

      • Anon for this one

        The whole lack of testing thing surprised me too. I guess I expected it to be more of a big deal? My doc does want me to go do a blood test, but the nurse was all “you can just wait til your appt at 8-10 weeks to do that.”

        • Anon for this one

          Should clarify: get a bunch of blood work done, like, the nurse listed off all the tests, and I don’t think any of them were to actually test my pregnant-ness, but things like HIV and diabetes.

          • another lady

            right – “don’t you want me to pee on a stick again just to be sure…”, “nope, we trust the test you took and your ‘symptoms’.” they can test with a blood test for pregnancy, but they usually don’t unless it is needed for some other reason.

          • Yes, I think they took about eight vials of blood when I had my initial bloodwork done after getting pregnant and none of mine was to check for pregnancy. We did IVF and had already had three ultrasounds at the fertility clinic before switching over to the regular OB/GYN so the pregnancy was well established to be fact.

          • Anon for this one

            Yes! Went in and did the blood draw this week, and it was quite a few vials.

    • emilyg25

      Congratulations!

      First tri exhaustion is no joke. Also, I had to wait till 13 weeks to hear the heartbeat for confirmation. Those were very long weeks. Hang in there!

      • another lady

        I did, too! It was so nerve racking! they couldn’t hear it at 8 or 10 weeks, so I didn’t get to hear it until 13 weeks at the ultrasound. I was freaking out, but that is apparently pretty common especially when the placenta is in the front of the uterus.

        • Anon for this one

          Aaaah, good to know! Since my doctor’s office doesn’t do US on site, I won’t be seeing my doctor for another couple weeks, so that will save me from freaking out too much. I’m hoping I kick the exhaustion somewhat, because we’re traveling a bit next week, and then in May too. This exhaustion is crazy, because my body wants rest but my brain won’t shut up. Where’s the off switch?!?!?!

          • another lady

            there …. isn’t one… sorry!

    • rg223

      Congratulations and good luck!

    • raccooncity

      I’m feeling you on the tired thing. One day this month I was only awake 5 hours. Get ready to silently freak out about many, many more things! Exciting.

      • Anon for this one

        My brain won’t let me sleep all day, I just can’t stop thinking, but I’ve had the hardest time concentrating. Took me forever just to answer my emails the other day.

    • learned the hard way

      Mmm… Not sure if that’s the case. Generally, there aren’t false positives for a pregnancy test (unless you’ve had an HCG trigger (like for an IUI) or something recently). The tests are pretty sensitive though, so the results that show up with them don’t always show up with a digital test. And if you start a period soon after, it might seem like you had a false positive rather than just a chemical pregnancy (which are SUPER SUPER common). And yes, totally not a big deal for the doctors – they can’t hear a heart beat until at least 6 weeks any way. *sigh*

      And many congratulations and best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

      • Anon for this one

        Yeah, I was confused by that as well, but one of the boards I read about the Target tests said that it’s something to do with the line showing up faintly, but not quite in the right spot? I didn’t see a photo, so I can’t be sure.

        It could be that some of the women had chemical pregnancies, I never thought of that!

        Thanks for the congrats…it’s finally starting to sink in. :)

  • Eenie

    One week! We get married in one week! I thought it would never get here. Send me some good APW vibes for the 23rd (and 22nd and 21st since some people flew in early)! The house was professionally cleaned today, and I can’t wait to leave work and enjoy it all weekend long.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!! I can’t for you to tell us all of the details in a couple of weeks. Have a wonderful day!

      • Queenmcarr2

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cs58ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cs58n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsWatchGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cs58n….,….

    • Ashlah

      Eep, so excited for you! Have a blast!

      • Christinekellis4

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cs78ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cs78n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFoxGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cs78n….,…

    • Totch

      Congrats! Can’t wait for the details, especially with how the pre-ceremony cocktail hour works out. Such a good idea.

    • April

      Ahhhhh have fun!!

    • Lizzie

      ME TOO HELLO DATE BUDDY!!! Sending us both good APW vibes!!!

      • Eleanorbblake2

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”..,n….,……!cn173ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cn173n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsInstituteGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cn173n….,….

      • Kimberly Atkins

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cn702ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cn702n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsMetalGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cn702n….,….

  • AGCourtney

    Ah, forgot to mention this – update on my dental situation. I don’t qualify for medical assistance anymore. :( I thought we were fine when I filled out the recertification form, but they use gross income, not net income. Mercifully, MN has a 12-month transition program where I’m still covered. So, now I’ve got 12 months to get as many crowns done as I can. I saw a virtual assistant position on Craiglist the other day and applied, but I haven’t heard back yet. It would be typing up appraisal reports, about 5 to 10 hours a week. Something like that, typing work that I could do it anytime, would be the best. Fingers crossed!

    • Megan

      Just a word to the wise – 90% of all remote positions posted on craigslist are scams. It’s totally possible that the one you applied to is legit but I wouldn’t leave all your eggs in that basket. Try sites like Idealist.org. or Indeed.com for postings that are verified and require the employer to identify themselves…

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, thanks for your concern, but I’m not a complete idiot! :) I searched the email and it’s a reputable company based in a nearby town.

        • Megan

          LOL I used to be a Career Developer and I cannot tell you how many times I had to explain to people that not all jobs on C-list are real. Just wanted to make sure :) :)

          • AGCourtney

            Completely understand! And thanks for the links – I already have two jobs, though, so positions with set hours probably aren’t going to work.

    • CMT

      I think you’ve mentioned you receive disability, right? And it sounds like you were applying for Medicaid? Does your state have a working disabled Medicaid buy-in program? It raises the income limit so disabled people can still work and not lose their health insurance. I think it’s optional for states, though.

      • AGCourtney

        No, I don’t receive disability. I was on Medical Assistance, which is insurance for low-income people. Thanks, though.

        • CMT

          Ahh, sorry. I must have been thinking of something else!

  • Maybe Not Mom

    So, this might be weird, but I’m thinking this community is the right place for this. My husband (of 7 years) and I have been laboring a bit over the question of whether we want kids or not for the past three years, both leaning pretty solidly towards no, but also feeling really uncertain about whether no, not now means not, not ever. We have said that we’re not super worried about “missing the boat” on being able to have our own, because we’re both into the idea of adopting if we were to change our minds later on down the road.

    We get a fair amount of pressure from my mom, a little pressure from his parents, and neutral support from my dad. It’s kind of an ongoing topic that we’ve learned to live with as uncertain, but it’s also one that we’re always kind of trying to come to closure on.

    Anyway, this week during casual dinner conversation, the question of birth control methods came up again since I’m not on the pill and we’re still definitely in “Not Now” mode. My husband floated the idea of a vasectomy (not the first time it’s been mentioned), and I felt way closer to ready to pull the trigger on that. It was partly because we were also talking about adoptions and in particular a study showing the amazing ability of human connection to help drug-addicted newborns overcome various developmental/physical issues. During and after the conversation I felt a strong, positive connection to both possible futures given a vasectomy – 1) we don’t have kids, or 2) we adopt. And that is a relief, because Hey, I’m feeling much more certain about what I want now than I have in the recent past, and it just shows me that I’m less afraid to make the “wrong” decision, or randomly change my mind out of nowhere down the road. (And it’s also cool that the hubs and I are on the same page, since my other worry has been that this will somehow become a dealbreaker).

    But mostly it means that I am moving towards clarity and discernment. And for someone who doth love certainty so, this is a very calming feeling. I would LOVE to be able to close the book on this decision for a while, if not forever. So, yay. Maybe a weird yay, but a significant one, I think.

    • Cellistec

      High five to you and your progress toward clarity, even if it’s a winding road. I think the deliberative process even by itself is super valuable…and underrated, considering how many people advise couples “Just don’t overthink it!” When it comes to how we build our families, there’s no such thing as over-thinking.

    • C

      There’s a picture on my phone of pie from March 2015 because I thought we should do something to celebrate deciding we were 100% sure that if we have kids, they will be adopted. I’m adopted, many of our family members are adopted, he never wanted bio kids because of some serious family issues, and I never wanted to be pregnant (but might have considered it under certain circumstances). Since our decision, I had a hysterectomy because of some health issues (and the fact that I didn’t need a uterus) and he’s had a vasectomy (because we match and because we sometimes have sex with other people). It’s nice having this decided.

      • Jess

        I love “Not having bio kids” pie!!

    • another lady

      yeah! consider starting to look into the process of fostering or adopting children with special needs or babies with health issues. there is a huge need for this and it sounds like it would be something you would consider in the future. good luck with pulling the trigger and making the final decisions. maybe don’t tell the parents right away as to not break their hearts and have them attempt to influence your decisions. but, hopefully they will embrace the possibility of adopted grandchildren! I know my parents have! And, so has my boss… she just loves on the little foster babies that her daughter and SIL get to care for! It’s so neat to see!

  • Jessica

    Can I put in an APW request for wedding guest and awesome gift round ups this spring/summer? I have 3 weddings to go to this summer of varying dress codes and I’m having trouble finding stuff. I always appreciate the APW staff fashion choices.

    • Cellistec

      Ditto, especially gifts…4 weddings between June and September for me, plus all the related bridal showers and other parties. I understand there are registries, but I don’t want to give my nearest and dearest a set of salad tongs, come on.

      • Eenie

        Everyone is welcome to their own opinion on registries, but I really truly didn’t understand how meaningful a registry gift really could be until the last couple weeks when we started getting gifts. It depends on the couple, but my go to gift is silicone covered tongs if it’s on the registry. That is the number one used gift in my kitchen.

        • Cellistec

          You’re right about registering for nice versions of things that seem sedate…a bunch of my kitchen stuff is from the dollar store, and if we’d registered for fancy replacements, it would be way more fun to use!

        • emmers

          Yep, ours is silicone spatulas. Use those suckers every day, and often think of my roommate who got them for is!

          • Eenie

            I have four of them. We use them daily.

        • TeaforTwo

          Yep! We got some very wonderful non-registry gifts that are super meaningful to me, but the stuff from the registry was all very meaningful too. I really do think about the people who bought our vacuum/dutch oven/colander/flatware all the time when I’m using them.

      • Jennifer

        I agree with Eenie. It is so weird how getting married and starting a home (and moving across the country in my case) makes those mundane items SO much more meaningful. I personally am crafty so I like to make up a ‘first dinner’ box with something like a recipe, a baking pan, a mixing bowl, measuring cups, and a spatula… (or honestly just the spatula and a recipe.) My spatulas are ALWAYS in the dishwasher.

        • Cellistec

          Ok, that is adorable.

      • Lisa

        We do something similar to @disqus_XrGwVExZXl:disqus. Since the way we commune with our friends is by having dinner parties and drinking, we usually get some booze-related items off the registry (glasses, wine opener/preserver, etc.) for the showers, and then for the wedding, we get a good bottle of wine and explain that it’s to be saved for the couple’s fifth anniversary. (Something good can become something great in five years! Plus, I think there’s a good metaphor for marriage and love in there.)

        • Cellistec

          I love the idea of a bottle of wine for later anniversaries!

    • emilyg25

      $$CASHMONEY$$

      ModCloth for dresses.

      • Jessica

        I buy a lot from ModCloth and am in decision paralysis.

        I also just lost ~20 pounds and may lose more, so I’m trying to spread out my buying and get used to my new body shape before purchasing all the things.

      • Eenie

        Or registry. It has been so meaningful to receive the gifts off the registry. Bring me to tears meaningful. I WILL FOREVER THINK OF YOU WHILE USING THIS POT!

      • Kara

        ModCloth and HauteLook (part of Nordstrom Rack….excellent return policy!) :) for dresses, jumpsuits, and more

    • accidental_diva

      This – I have at least 2 showers and a wedding for my brother & sister-in-law to be! I need a small gift for one and a good big one for the second (I think I’m doing the wine/booze basket for the 2nd one but keep changing my mind)

    • eating words

      Yes to this, especially because I have to go to a formal wedding this summer. I am grumpy about buying a gift for a wedding that I have to spend SO much money just to attend.

      • Eenie

        Get them a card! No gift required.

        • eating words

          I know technically a gift isn’t required, but they got us a nice gift when we got married last September. Granted, our wedding was not a formal Saturday night affair in a major city. So, guilt.

      • Lulu

        Rent the Runway?

    • Amy March

      I love to see awesome gift round ups even though I’m pretty exclusively a registry/cash gifter.

      • TeaforTwo

        Me too! Because then I have ideas about stuff to buy for myself.

  • Amy March

    Odds on the chances of a future President Clinton changing her name to President Rodham by Executive Order? I think slim to none but I like to imagine she occasionally contemplates it whilst sipping wine and texting bitmojis with Madeleine Albright.

    • emilyg25

      #RememberRodham

    • Meg Keene

      I cosign this fantasy.

    • A.

      “I’ll be Mrs. Bill Clinton. I suspect people will be getting tired of hearing from Mrs. Bill Clinton.”

    • another lady

      I like when they refer to her as Hilary Rodham Clinton – at least it acknowledges her preferred official name!

      • Meghan

        That’s actually not her preferred name! She is officially running as Hillary Clinton, no Rodham: https://blog.ap.org/announcements/updating-ap-style-on-hillary-clinton

        • another lady

          very interesting – guess I was behind on that change

          • Meghan

            Easy to understand, since it’s relatively recent and given that she has a fairly complicated relationship with her name. I actually love (and very much understand!) her complicated relationship with her name!

  • Caitlin

    Excited to see the AAUW link here. My mom has been a local chapter president for most of my life and it really impacted my view of women and leadership in a positive way. Get this, when I take the implicit bias test, I am slightly biased FOR women in leadership roles (as in I implicitly link women to leadership, the opposite of what most people do)! I think AAUW is a great organization!

  • joanna b.n.

    I am DYING to read about how you got your head around buying a house/shifted your feelings about money. :) But in the meantime, just YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for you and David and the kiddos!!!!!!!!!! Anything that “feels like getting married again” sounds like the bees knees to me.

  • emilyg25

    I actually find buying a house to be bigger than getting married–I came of financial age during the recession when so many folks were underwater on their homes and couldn’t just sell without losing a lot of money. Plus way more expensive. But it’s so cool. We were walking around our house after closing and I said, “If we owned this place, I’d change this. … OH MY GOD, WE DO OWN THIS PLACE!!!” It’s such a shift after renting. Mazel tov!

    • Eenie

      My friend bought a house in 2008. He says he’s just recently recouped most of it’s value. He likes to say he saved a hell of a lot in property taxes ;)

  • Rachel

    Congratulations!!! Home ownership is scary and awesome all at the same time. We did the same thing. Completely not going to buy a house and then a week later yes we are going to buy a house and then four months later we are moving into our new house. What??? Anyways, Congratulations to your whole family.

  • lady brett

    y’all! such the *big things* going on here! meg has a *house* and navja has a *girl* and maddie’s gonna have the kid(s) (at some point, no pressure, for real)! y’all!

    also, i am so very adulting – i called (on the *phone*) more than one insurance person for information, and i got what i need to know. i am stupidly proud of this, but now i know how much it will cost us to buy a minivan *and* to buy a house, which used to be kind of mysterious due to the opaqueness that is insurance. (for anyone following along, the minivan part is because the *baby* part i was panicking about last week is becoming more real.)

    • StevenPortland

      In case you don’t know this…house insurance is required by the mortgage company and (at least for the three houses we’ve purchased) one of the closing costs is 6 months of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Each month, your mortgage payment will include the cost of 1 month of insurance. That money goes into an escrow account and your mortgage company will use it to pay the insurance premium when it is due. In other words, the cost of the insurance rolls into the monthly cost of your mortgage payment.

      • gonzalesbeach

        our house insurance was separate from mortgage. mortgage company just required proof of insurance coverage (I think it was a binder sent to the mortgage company from my insurance broker). and I also petitioned to keep my property taxes separate instead of rolled in. I just need to give them a proof of annual payment. but possibly Canada vs US difference.

    • Phone call high five! I also had to force myself to make a few this week. It is my most hated adulting task and I’m so glad it’s over with! You know, for the moment.

  • Not Sarah

    Can I take a moment to rant about ergonomics? I’ve been with my current employer for about 14 months and I still do not have an office setup that doesn’t leave me with pain at the end of the day. By the end of the day, I have back pain throughout my lower to upper back and wrist pain to the point that I go home and veg on the couch watching Netflix. I’ve seeing a chiropractor on average once a week for the last two months (meaning I met the deductible on my health insurance in two months) and I still don’t have an adequate chair at work. I am sick and tired of this. I’ve been to the ergo department five times, three times in 2016 and complain to my manager in every 1:1 and still no dice. I have been jokingly saying I’m going to write into my next job contract that if I don’t have an ergonomic office setup that doesn’t cause me pain within 3 weeks of starting the job, they will give me paid medical leave until the issue can be resolved or they give me a budget to simply solve the problem myself before starting the job.

    • Eenie

      Tell your manager you’d like to report a workplace injury. That will get them moving.

      • Not Sarah

        I’ve already gotten a doctor’s note and been put in touch with someone in accommodations and I’m still not getting anywhere :( I will follow up with my manager again next week and set myself a reminder to tell my chiropractor that I’m experiencing back pain and get yet another doctor’s note.

        • Eenie

          That is horrible! Do you have an environmental health and safety department or person? They should care. I would care. I’m so sorry. You can threaten to use workman’s comp insurance for your future medical treatment if you want.

          • Not Sarah

            It looks like if my doctor agrees it’s a workplace injury, then the workman’s comp will cover my medical costs, rather than my health insurance covering them. I kept thinking it was just going to go away, but it isn’t, so I should print out that form and take it with me next time I see the chiropractor. I also finally found a therapist because this pain is affecting what I can and cannot do in my life so badly my depression has resurfaced.

          • Eenie

            Laws that govern workers comp vary by state, but this is not ok. HR sometimes does WC so if you start asking the right questions you may magically get your ergo equipment. Good luck. Have you done anything to attempt to adjust your desk yourself? Using boxes and such as needed? Take plenty of walk breaks.

          • Not Sarah

            I’ve adjusted my desk and chair as best as I can. The problem is with the chair. They can’t seem to find me a chair that works. The arm rests bump into my desk so I can’t sit properly. Walk breaks are helpful! I just can’t be productive enough or make it through more than five hours of a work day without pain. You’re right – thank you. I have a tendency to minimize my pain sometimes.

          • Amy March

            Can they unscrew and remove the armrests? This was key for me!

          • Not Sarah

            Nope! I’ve done that on every other chair I’ve had and it’s worked great. They’re trying to order a new chair for me but it’s been over a month now and I still don’t have the new one.

          • Amy March

            Eye roll. At them, not you!

          • Not Sarah

            Indeed. The last “improved” chair didn’t fit either so I’m not optimistic. I have a good chair at home that I bought myself and I’m going to take it to work and see if it works better so that I can go back to being productive. I wear a 28″ pant inseam – chairs are hard to fit me, but it’s not impossible. Thanks for listening :)

          • Lilly

            Oh God. Me too. Short legs make it much harder to get a good chair fit.

  • gonzalesbeach

    this week, my honey bought a new-to-him (used but still newer) work truck. in cash! because we planned ahead! and I won’t be worried about him sliding around in the rain like I did with his old-last-legs work truck. neither of us have ever owned new – we tend to get/buy the older model vehicles off family/friends because they still get us from Point A to Point B [I just gave my ’92 truck to my dad so it goes both ways]. the new one just feels so fancy! of course it got me thinking that if we move forward in our baby plans that we’ll need a good household vehicle. because I’m pretty sure that I can’t put a newborn on my bicycle – or can I?. and speaking of baby plans. baby planning has me thinking about ALL the stuff. like how I’m in the groove at work after starting new mgmt. position 6mo ago, and my boss wants to groom me for her job when she retires in 2 years (or for equivalent one) . and will I miss out on opportunity if I left work for a year. but then again, any grooming/stretching time during pregnancy or pre-pregnancy won’t be lost. And also, we tend to go back on forth about actually weddinging. but the thinking about a baby makes me actually more want a wedding – ‘hey, we’re a family and we want to celebrate with our community of people who be part of our lives as we raise this kidlet’. which means I have to break it to my honey that turns out I do [maybe] want a party. possibly. not 100%.

    • Nicole

      I have a coworker who has a seat and helmet for his 6 month old to ride on. He rides to her daycare, drops her off, and rides here. I’m not sure if there are things you can add to regular bikes for cycling with newborns, but you could do this: http://www.tagabikes.com. I think there are some other specialized options (maxi cosi in a bakfiets and whatnot) but they’re all pretty expensive. Although as a bike commuter thinking about having kids, I don’t want to give up my cycling just because I have kids, so I’m keeping my eye out for this sort of thing.

      • gonzalesbeach

        tagabike is so cool!! omg.

  • Kayjayoh

    Super late question, so I hope someone sees it. What do you do if you are doing your taxes at the last minute, and discover that, due to faulty withholding, you owe a little over a thousand dollars to the IRS? When you have basically no money at all?

    Asking for a friend. I have no idea what to tell her. It is my understanding that extensions are just for filing, and that you need to pay what you owe by 4/16. Anyone?

    • Ashlah

      I have no experience, but I think if she can get in touch with the IRS (she might be on hold for a long time, given the date), they might work with her on a repayment plan.

      • Kayjayoh

        I’m pretty sure she isn’t going to have the mental spoons for that. Argh.

        • Eenie

          File them figure out paying later. But pay as much as you can. Do not wait to file.

          • Lulu

            I am somewhat shocked that the IRS says, “put it on credit.” But there is also a link to the form where you ask for a repayment plan: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Four-Tips-If-You-Cant-Pay-Your-Taxes-on-Time

          • Eenie

            The website I linked to was not IRS. Just summarized the options well.

          • Lulu

            Your link was way more clear and helpful than the IRS link (shocking, I know), which really did say “credit card interest is probably lower than IRS fees.” It seems so irresponsible of them to not consider low-income folks who are potential victims of predatory lending!

          • Eenie

            Oh my goodness. I have no idea what the IRS penalty fees are lol.

          • Amy March

            Their stand point is that failing to pay taxes you owe is helping yourself to a high-interest loan courtesy of the government, and yes, they do tend to suggest/require that you implement these strategies in order to get relief: credit cards, second mortgages, selling assets.

          • Aubry

            wow that’s horrible! I didn’t know that the IRS were such jerks. I owe the CRA (I’m Canadian) about $1000/year and as long as you throw them 50 bucks once in a while they don’t bug you. And they charge like 3% interest on amounts owed, so I always putter away at it over the year.

    • Eenie

      You can set up a payment plan. File and pay as much as you can now.

      http://www.efile.com/help-with-irs-tax-debt-I-owe/

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks, that seems quite useful.

        • Eenie

          If she owes slightly over $1000 maybe the 120 day option would work. If she has friends and family that would be willing to help out or just scrimp to the max for four months.

    • MC

      Not that this will help much, but the IRS extended the filing deadline to the 18th this year. So that might give her the weekend to figure out payment plan options. That is a rough situation though, oof.

    • Laura C

      We just found out we owe way more than that … luckily we can pay it but not without a lot of stress about upcoming bills for the birth of our son and a cross-country move. Ugh.

  • Sarah

    So, this is really hard to say but I’m hoping someone here can help: I’ve been engaged about three months, and… I really don’t like my ring. Firstly, it’s just not my style. It’s a 2 ct brilliant cut (moissanite) centre stone with a (diamond) halo and diamond studded band. Perfectly lovely, except I prefer other shapes and don’t really like halos.

    Secondly, it’s too big – I feel self-conscious wearing it, and it sits so high that it gets caught on everything. I take it off as soon as I get home every day because it’s just not practical for cooking/housework/washing my hair etc and it’s not comfortable to sleep in.

    Thirdly, I’m really upset about the situation. I told my partner it was very important to me that we choose a ring together. He wouldn’t even discuss it with me so I put it in writing and explained my reasons. I suggested other options (propose with a cheap ring and pick the real one together after, get a friend to go shopping with me and report back, look at a bunch of styles together for ideas but he could make the final decision on his own etc). I pointed out that we would both be very disappointed if I ended up with a ring I didn’t wear. But he went ahead with this anyway, thinking that what would really make me happy was to be surprised with the perfect ring. I’m so hurt that he disregarded my wishes over something so important, and that he thought he knew what mattered to me better than I did, and that a special experience I’d looked forward to for a long time was spoiled by this. The ring feels like a reminder of these things.

    We can’t return or exchange it and we’d barely get anything back if we sold it. I can’t think of much we can do to modify it given that the solitaire is unsuitable. I wouldn’t mind it as a necklace, but I wouldn’t think of it as an “engagement necklace” and if I’m just going to have a nice piece of going-out jewellery I’d rather just have it as a ring. My fiancée has suggested we get a new ring but I’m worried that it just won’t be the same – that it will just feel like another piece of jewellery without the significance of an engagement ring, that it won’t undo what happened or give us that moment back or change my hurt feelings.

    Obviously there are some issues in our relationship that we need to work on, but does anyone have any thoughts on what we can do about the ring? Has anyone else been in this position? (I googled “I don’t like my engagement ring” but apart from Meg’s post about her second ring and a couple of forums where people said really mean things to women with this problem there wasn’t much.) I feel so lost and isolated dealing with this.

    • Violet

      First of all hugs!

      Secondly, you’ve already pre-empted us all—“Obviously there are some issues in our relationship that we need to work on.” Yes, in that he did not listen to you when you clearly stated your own needs.

      But now that he IS listening, I think you should get a new ring, as he suggested. Basically, this was your idea all along. He’s coming to the party late, that’s all. He only realized he should have listened to you AFTER he didn’t. If he’s learned that lesson, then I think that’s that. He made a mistake. He realizes it. The new ring is the price of learning a lesson. Well worth it. You can both fix this, by getting a new ring, together, which is exactly what you wanted anyway. Let that ring represent redemption, and the beautiful imperfections in life that are still good enough. Let that new ring shine as a symbol of how much stronger you both are when you work together and respect each other’s wishes.

      Then get thee to couples’ counseling to put safeguards to get some skills so that this is less likely to happen again in future.

      • AmandaBee

        This x 1000. I will say that we found negotiating the engagement ring thing to be surprisingly hard. The usual rules about engagement rings (he picks it out, you don’t talk about money, etc.) were so outdated, but then the narrative of this being a special piece of jewelry because it’s part of this grand gesture of love is hard to shake. That is to say, I can sort of empathize with why he felt he needed to surprise you with it.

        BUT that doesn’t mean that you need to pretend to love it. You don’t. And the fact that you don’t should be a good lesson – it should signal that he really needs to listen to you when you explain your needs, and not assume that he knows what you want better than you do. If he’s willing to listen to that lesson then awesome! You’re now moving toward working on an even more honest relationship.

        I would definitely tell him just what you told us here, so he understands that the issue isn’t just one of style but is related to larger issues of partnership and having him listen to you. Going to counseling is not a bad idea in general, but definitely have a conversation and make sure he understands that this is an issue that goes beyond the ring.

        And if he’s willing to accept responsibility and wants to get a new ring – do it. That ring isn’t meaningless, because it symbolizes your movement toward a more equal and open partnership. At the most basic level, all engagement rings are just jewelry. But if you two both agree upon a ring that symbolizes your (honest, equal) partnership, and you pick that out together, to me that is much more meaningful than wearing a ring you don’t like just because he felt pressured into surprising you with it.

      • Eenie

        Seconding get a new ring. And violet put it perfectly!

    • emilyg25

      Violet gave great advice. As for what to do with the moissanite ring … it’s okay to just put it in a drawer and forget about it for a while. You may find a nice use for it in a few months/years when it’s less painful.

    • Amy March

      Take this ring off and hide it. Work through the issues you need to work through. Then, if and when you have, decide together how you will acquire an engagement ring, go get one, and get engaged again.

      Completely ignoring your express wishes because he knows better just isn’t okay, and it’s okay for you to want no part of this ring.

    • Sarah

      Thank you all so much for your helpful and supportive comments. I had been thinking that a new ring was the logical solution but felt that it wouldn’t have the same significance. Now I’m convinced that it will be meaningful to wear a new ring that we choose together as a team. Got some work to do first though (and for the record, we have already talked about how this isn’t just about the ring itself) – and we are already figuring out a plan for counselling, which we would have done before getting married anyway.

      Oh, and I stopped wearing the ring a few days ago. I felt a bit guilty about it (and I am dreading going out tonight and all our friends asking where it is – almost as much as I used to dread going out and all our friends commenting on it) but honestly I feel a lot more comfortable without it and I’m reassured that everyone here thinks this is okay.

      The last few months have been really hard because I can’t talk about this with many people IRL; I feel so much better now! Have a super weekend everyone.

  • Anon for this

    This week has been a bit of a doozy. Fiance and I have been chugging along with wedding planning, dine with big stressful decisions and starting to get super excited for our wedding this summer. Thanks in no small part to this site, we’ve planned a celebration that fits our budget and very much feels like us, and are excited to have our friends and family there with us.

    Then earlier this week, fiance lost his job. Thankfully, we’re naturally frugal and can afford the wedding and our normal life expenses on my salary, even if he doesn’t get another job right away. The bigger issue is that he has specific health needs and really needs health insurance that’s better than what he can get in the market (we’ve been there, done that and it was not good).

    So now we’re looking at getting legally married this month so he can get on my (awesome, affordable) health insurance. We’re so privileged to even have this option so i know I should be super thankful, and I am.

    BUT.

    It’s brought up all these other questions and issues like – do we tell our friends and family that we’re getting married sooner rather than later? If we do, will our wedding in the summer feel fake? If we dont, will that be dishonest? Should we even have a wedding this summer?

    Having my friends/family there is important to me, but I feel like if they know about our marriage now, it means we can’t really ask them to come to our wedding this summer. We could get married now and do a reception in the summer…but to be really honest, I really wanted the wedding. I wanted the ceremony and the vows and to have our whole community there when we tie the knot. I also wanted the stupid fancy dress I already bought, and the photographer I already paid for, at the location we’ve paid to reserve. But is it dishonest to do that if we’re already married? I don’t know.

    I feel like getting married now rather than later so fiance can get the healthcare he needs is the right choice. But what I could really use perspective on is whether we should still do a whole wedding this summer, even if we’ve already legally been hitched. And if anyone read this epically long comment, I would love perspectives.

    • We were legally married six months before our wedding also for insurance (and military) purposes. It’s super common in the military community, so nobody on that side even batted an eye at the idea that we’d still have a wedding. We didn’t broadcast the news that we were already married, but didn’t actively keep it secret either. Our families knew and if anybody asked (mostly these were the military folks who kind of assumed we probably were) we wouldn’t lie. Even our civilian friends and family didn’t seem to feel our wedding was “fake” or less desire to come if they knew we were already legally married. We kept the legal ceremony super low key (five minutes and with only one guest who came to take pictures for us) so the wedding did really feel like the real deal. I think it also helps to sort of separate the legal side of marriage from the emotional and community side. Our legal wedding for us was really just about the government-recognized contract. The wedding was about everything else that marriage is to us and having our community there was very important to us. So yes, get your fiancé the coverage he needs and then have your wedding with your people!

    • Eenie

      We did exactly this. Our officiant, my best friend, and our photographer know! Our photographer was ordained and actually married us after our engagement shoot. We plan to not tell anyone. It was strictly for insurance reasons. I don’t even remember the date. There are some very strong feelings about not seeing a legal wedding. One of my fb friends just did a “whoops we got married! Wedding in October is still on (immigration)”.

      • Eenie

        Oh and I’ll report back in two weeks about the wedding feeling fake, but right now it feels 1000% real. It was strictly a “I need health insurance and don’t want to be forced to take a job I don’t like to get it.” Stupid health care system.

    • lady brett

      “the ceremony and the vows and to have our whole community there when we tie the knot. I also wanted the stupid fancy dress I already bought, and the photographer I already paid for, at the location we’ve paid to reserve.” then do that! none of that is tied to your legal paperwork. (we got legally married 5 years after our wedding; the wedding was very much a “real” wedding.)

      as for what to tell your people, you probably know your people better than i do, and some folks might feel like the legal bit takes away from the ceremony/party bit (i have had a very few people tell us we weren’t “really” married before we made it legal).

    • Amy March

      Others have covered the ceremony part better than me, but if you’re really concerned have you looked into continuing his coverage under Cobra until your regularly scheduled wedding? I’m sure it costs more than adding him to yours but if you’re really concerned about this maybe a better option than the market place plans?

    • CP2011

      I’m attending a wedding this summer for a couple who were legally married over a year ago in a civil ceremony with no fanfare for legal reasons. I’ve never thought of it as any less “real” than other weddings I’ve attended. I think your guests will feel happy just to be able see you declare your commitment!

  • You guys, I think we might have named our baby girl, who is due in July. Josephine Ruth. Jo March was my childhood hero and we both think Ruth Bader Ginsburg is pretty much the most incredible human ever. We’ll likely be second-guessing for the next few months and it’s still subject to change, but I’m starting to think of her that way. (We’ve been calling her Hiccup up to now, based on the very loud single hiccups I’ve had since getting pregnant.)

    • emilyg25

      That’s a beautiful name. I second guessed till … my baby was like 6 months old! Naming a whole person is hard business. (Also, just wait till *she* starts hiccuping in there! So weird.)

      • I felt her hiccuping for the first time the other day! So weird, but so cool.

    • Lisa

      As a huge fan of those women, I ADORE this name! It’s absolutely perfect to me.

    • macrain

      I LOVE THIS. Now can you help me name my baby boy, because time is tickin.
      And yea, my kid gets hiccups in utero ALL the time. I didn’t realize that’s what they were, but now I notice them all the time.

      • We were fortunate that ours turned out to be a girl because it turned out we didn’t agree on any boy names before we found out, so it would have been a real struggle for us had she been a he. Best of luck to you!

  • Eleanorbblake2

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”..,n….,……!cn173ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cn173n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsInstituteGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cn173n….,…

  • We bought our minivan, Cumulo (because he’s silver and clouds have silver linings), on February 28, 2015. Today we paid him off!!

    And who says you can’t have a dance party for buying a house? We have a dance party at our house because it’s Tuesday. Toddler dance parties are the best! Baby girl (the twins will be 1 in a week, but they’ll always be my babies), is turning out to be just as good a dancer as her older sister if we measure greatness in terms of enthusiasm.

  • Kilodeuce

    I’m defending my master’s thesis on monday! and two weeks from today we get married!!! and on Wednesday it’s my 29th birthday! It’s been a long journey and I’m not totally done yet… but i’m closer to the finish line. I can’t wait to have my life back! But first, I have to spend all weekend memorizing my thesis for a defense and making presentation slides…. AHHHHH. Hopefully this is the last weekend that I have to spend holed away working on it!!!

    • Lisa

      Good luck today!!

  • Hippocritter

    Hah, we’re about to sell our house in the East Bay because the market is so ridiculous. Home ownership is great, and, if you’re in a hot market, I highly recommend what Meg did in terms of getting fully underwritten before putting in offers. That way you can go in with no financing contingency and close super quickly. I actually wonder if we had the same broker.

    Very curious about Meg’s whole turnaround on it, since last I recall she was proselytizing renting forever in the crazy Bay Area market.

    • Hippocritter

      Also, I wouldn’t knock your local schools or rely on the Oakland lottery. The strongest indicator of student achievement (from the data I’ve seen in Oakland) is the level of family income, NOT a school’s GreatSchools rating. So, unfortunately, even when kids from East Oakland win the lottery and get to go to Peralta Elementary (clearly I’m making huge generalizations), they perform about the same as they would at their local schools.

  • sophia.s

    *delurk* hi! I’ve read this site for awhile. I feel that this just something I need to grit my teeth and do but: my partner and I have been long distance for awhile, and he has recently gone for another job opportunity. And I just want to tell him ‘If this falls through through, you always have a home with me, as long as i can economically provide it’.
    Given the country I live in, doing so would almost certainly require a marriage. Just… I’ve always been the one pushing for greater intimacy (I love you. Lets move in together. Do you want to stick it out over long distance?) and, something in me feels like I want him to take this step without pressure. One step I want him to move towards, rather than me. I cannot get over the feeling that i’m kind of forcing his hand here. I need to give him the offer, but I want to do it without pressure, and every time the offer catches in my throat…

    • Kelly

      I would say exactly what you did above. I’m sure he can figure out what that would mean(moving, marriage, etc.) but they way you phrased it is the opposite of forcing- it sounds open and loving and without pressure. On the other hand, in many couples there is one person who takes the initiative most of the time. Though society can portray this as a negative thing (women nagging/pushing/forcing men into commitment) I think it can be either person in a relationship who plays this role. It is often necessary to move a relationship forward for one person to take the lead.

  • Kimberly Atkins

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cn702ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cn702n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsMetalGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cn702n….,…

  • Shawna

    I PASSED! Not only did I pass, I rocked the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (woohoo!). And before I got my letter this week, I heard from someone who once treated me (not with acupuncture) and she wants me to work in her office to bring in acupuncture for her patients. This gives me two amazing places to practice (one on each side of the bay), each with a teacher/mentor I admire and personally like. 40+ days til the wedding and everything is settling into place for a great year. I am so psyched.

    Congrats on the house, Meg!!! I love happy hour for all the celebrating and support in this community.

  • PW

    My wedding dress arrived. It cost £150, was made locally, and is perfect. Feels like a real landmark on the way to the day.

  • congratulations! I wish that it would happen for me too! :) :)

  • Emily

    Late to HH, but hopefully someone can still help? Can anyone tell me the etiquette for tipping a caterer? Not for a wedding–say Qdoba provides and delivers food for about 40 people for an event. They set up but don’t stay or serve–deliver and setup is all they do. How do I tip for something like this?

    • Lisa

      Arrgh, as someone who works in administration with frequent food delivery/catering, I always struggle with this! I’ve been leaning towards 5-10% given the level of complication of the order and the level of service. It doesn’t sound like much when I type out that percentage, but $25-30 feels like a large tip! I have no idea if it’s right or not, but it’s what I’ve been doing. I also tend to tip on the lower side if there’s a delivery fee added.

  • Queenmcarr2

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cs58ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cs58n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsWatchGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cs58n….,…

  • Anna Plumb

    This is late, but CONGRATULATIONS! Such a big deal. I’m very happy for you and wish you many happy, healthy years in your home.

  • Christinekellis4

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cs78ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cs78n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFoxGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cs78n….,..