Saturday Link Roundup

It’s Saturday and APW is publishing! What the what? Now that I’m back from Maternity Leave, we’re pretty excited to try out our new experiment: Saturday Link Roundups. This is for lazy perusing of the internet from the couch, with a cup of coffee. Below is a compilation of links the APW staff was into this week, along with links you shared in the comments or on APW’s Facebook page (keep sharing there and we’ll keep rounding them up). Also, the staff has collected our very favorite APW posts from the past five years (yes, our five year anniversary is this month!) and fancied them up. We’re going to start slowly sharing them on Pinterest next week, if you want to follow along.



West Elm has a killer collection of paper flowers happening (I saw them in-store, and mmmm). Someone PLEASE stock up and make a paper bouquet? Send pictures.

Is this the next grand romantic gesture? Because our advertising rates are very reasonable.

Photographer Anne Almasy muses about the wedding industry’s near obsession with details (you can sell ’em) at the expense of human moments (which are free) on The Huffington Post.

Getting married remotely with the help of an internet connection is on the rise in some immigrant communities, and it brings with it a host of questions and concerns according to this New York Times article.

Do you see what I see in this wedding? Hint: Take a look at this post from February for a clue.

It’s a few weeks old, but if you haven’t read Dan Savage’s advice on weddings, he pretty much covers the bases. Though I remain a fervent advocate of f*cking after, too. Sorry, Dan.

Can we all just channel Jennifer Lawrence when we get asked stupid questions about our weddings? Solved!

Reclaiming Wife

Apropos of this week’s open thread about fears and decisions about having kids, get yourself over to the Rumpus to read Dear Sugar‘s advice on this very subject in “The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us.” Seriously, if you read nothing else in this roundup, read this.

Sarah Lacy’s angry and right-on post about “having it all” is a must-read, especially if you’re freaked out about having a kid and a career. I love it all, but let’s start here, “Every woman I know who feels like she ‘has it all’—and there are many—has done it in a unique way.” There is no perfect, and God knows we have to keep pushing for structural change, but don’t let people tell you there isn’t a possibility for happy.

Also from our motherhood fears discussion, Lonely Planet on traveling with wee ones.

Long time friend of the site Jessica Valenti, has written a damn fine and damn smart article: “Dear fellow feminists, ripping apart Sheryl Sandberg’s book is counterproductive.” I’d like to heartily concur to all points raised.

(Trigger Warning). Slate‘s article about the response to a photo essay of domestic violence: “Don’t blame the victim, or the photographer,” about how internet commenters attacked everyone involved in the situation except the abuser. The actual photo essay is painful and instructive, showing what appears to be a loving relationship exploding into violence behind closed doors.

General Interest

Remember when APWers decided train travel was awesome, during last year’s book tour? The New York Times has joined us in that assessment with their (excellent) story “How to Spend 47 Hours on a Train and Not Go Crazy,” about Amtrak’s Sunset Limited. You can read about my trip on the Sunset Limited here and here.

Moderating comments is the APW staff’s least favorite part of the job (and most human error prone… ah, judgement), but The New York Times explains why comment moderation is important in “This Story Stinks.”

“You can legislate tolerance, you can’t legislate acceptance.” This video on the power of words is smart and funny and important on its own, but OMG THE VISUALS. That is all. Go watch for yourself.

If you liked Not a Rom-Com month, you’ll love this piece from Talk of the Nation. It’s a rebuttal of sorts to the piece in The Atlantic, “Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?” It takes an honest look at the genre throughout its history, plus it name checks some really great movies if you’re looking to add things to your Netflix queue.

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  • Vanessa

    Saturday APW! hooray! I love link roundups!

  • Rachel Wilkerson

    Dear Sugar does it again. Jesus. I am a bit younger than her letter writer but his question gets at something Eric and I have been struggling with — we are deeply ambivalent and wonder, when do you “call it” and say, OK, nope, this desire isn’t going to come? (And also, this idea that a desire for a child could suddenly hit me over the head is terrifying. TERRIFYING. A life changing desire can SNEAK UP ON YOU?! I just…can’t.) I love the ghost ship metaphor; bookmarking that post.

    Also related to article and the Sheryl Sanberg articles linked above, I wanted to share this link to an Ann Friedman article about how work-life balance shouldn’t be framed around motherhood, as plenty of people will never have kids, haven’t had them yet, or had them a while ago, and they (we!) need work-life balance too:

    All right, I’m off — hearing Anne-Marie Slaughter speak this morning, coincidentally enough!

    • Katherine

      Cheryl Strayed is amazing. I’ve treasured “The Ghost Ship” for quite awhile now, because FH & I are solidly in the “no kids for us” camp. But every once in awhile I wonder, and that post is just the perfect answer every time. :-)

      • meg

        Having just had a kid (and some confusion about the decision before hand) I think it’s pretty much perfect. She both sums up why it’s life changing (the line about her sons body next to her stabs me in the heart), and why you shouldn’t feel pressure to make one particular decision.

        We all have Ghost Ships, no matter what we decide.

        • I love the term Ghost Ships. I call them The Roads Not Taken, and I often think about them. What if I’d chosen a different college? What if I’d never discovered debate in high school? What if I’d never met my husband? What would my life be like now if any of those things had happened? It’s interesting – as the article suggested – to think about them in advance before you make a decision.

    • Elena

      Seriously. Cheryl Strayed is amazing. I heartily recommend just going out and buying a copy of Tiny Beautiful Things to keep by your bed. (Or at least checking it out from the library and trying not to accrue too many late fees in the process of reading and re-reading it.) I brought my copy on my last holiday visit with the in-law clan, and I’m pretty sure that this book, coupled with regular naps, kept me from losing my sh*t on a number of occasions.

      Basically, I have added Cheryl Strayed to my imaginary family wish-list… Tom Waits as crazy, poetic uncle, Elizabeth Warren as bad-ass aunt, Cheryl Strayed as best older sister ever. You get the idea. I have a pretty awesome imaginary family (fortunately, my real family is pretty incredible, too).

      • Claire

        Your imaginary family IS awesome!!

  • Emilie

    I have been waiting for this day for yeeeeeeeeaaaars. So excited.

  • Carrie

    Best Saturday ever! I’m gonna need to carve out more time for reading on Saturday and Sunday mornings…

    That Dear a Sugar article was…amazing. I read most of out loud to my husband as we were lying in bed this morning. I had tears in my eyes at the end. It was exactly what we needed. Thanks for this link, especially.

  • OneMoreMeg

    Saturdays are traditionally a “less busy” day at work (anyone who uses the s word gets hung by their toenails), and I’m always looking for ways to occupy my time that can be easily interrupted. I can tell this will be one of my new favorite things.

  • Jessica

    Awesome! So excited to enjoy coffee & these articles.

  • Elizabeth

    On a somewhat-related note about wedding details that you can sell, have you noticed how wedding perfume is not one of them? In general, I want to avoid buying too much stuff for the wedding, but smelling nice for all those hugs is high on my list.

    Of course, you can’t capture scent in photographs, which is why I’m assuming perfume is not marketed to brides and grooms.

  • Louise

    Yay! I’m doing exactly what ou described– coffee, couch, (and pjs still!). Thank you for the smart and fun links!

  • Lee

    Another link for your perusal and perhaps for next week:

  • This is AWESOME! I used to get sad when I would sit down with a cup of coffee, and realize it was Saturday and I had already read everything on APW, so thank you!!!

  • Class of 1980

    I have to chime in about the wedding details.

    Yesterday, I looked at my e-mail and got the best surprise ever.

    My mom is writing down her memories of growing up, and she came upon a box with a letter written on December 12, 1934. It was written by my grandfather to my grandmother two days before they got married.

    It began with … “Hello almost wife.” … and it was like going back in a time machine to hear him mention my grandmother telling him she was “all jumpy” in the countdown to getting married. He recounts a funny dream. He laments about his previous letter getting lost in the mail, just when it mattered most. He mentions how glad he was to hear that her doctor said she was well, but that her health wouldn’t change his feelings for her. (My grandmother had just gotten over scarlet fever.) He says that life will start for him on the day he marries her and he hopes the same for her.

    They married during the depression. My grandfather picked her up and they went to a minister’s home and got married, going out for a dinner and a movie after. There are no photographs and no details, but they remain my best example of a great marriage.

    His closing words … “Look for me Friday then Honey cause unless I break a neck, I’ll sure be there.”

    I cried buckets reading this letter. It was like my grandparents stopped by and said “Hi” from Heaven. This simple letter documenting their feelings was better than a fistful of diamonds, let alone a bunch of details … at least to this granddaughter.

    Nothing to see here, but love.

    • meg

      I’m writing those for the baby.

      • Class of 1980

        Aww. Where’s a heart icon when I need it? ;)

        It will mean the world to him, like this letter meant the world to me. I’ve been crying on and off since I read it.

      • Bryan’s parents started doing this when he was born, but they only made it through two before life got a bit in the way with having babies eighteen months apart. Still, they saved the two letters and gave them to him on our wedding day. Hands down, they are worth more to him than anything else he’s ever been given.

        • meg

          That’s an amazing idea. Giving them to him to mark a major life event.

        • Class of 1980

          There’s no explaining the emotional impact of a letter written before your time (or when you are just born) by people you love.

          He must have been blown away.

    • I’m getting teary just reading your reaction to reading the letter. What a beautiful memory to uncover.


  • Sara

    What a well put-together, smart, and varied round-up. Nice work, Meg, and thanks.

  • LIZ (SINCE 1982)

    That Sugar column is amazing. I was strongly reminded of one of my favorite books, in which the “sister ship” idea is a through-line for many of the characters:

    “He thought of his own bizarre tendency to long for other lives; just a few days ago, on the four-lane highway between Hopwood and Haddington, he’d been passed by a decrepit, fumey old Cavalier, packed with people. It was an Hispanic family, the father driving and smoking, the mother looking out the window with a wistful expression on her face. There must have been four children in the backseat, and two more between their parents, and for just a moment, Amos couldn’t swallow, so dearly did he wish to be one of them … Certain houses caused the same wave of longing – the look of a particular curtain in an upstairs window, or a bike left on the lawn – and some movies did it, too.

    “Why? he wanted to ask. ‘Why does this happen to us? Because we have abandoned an infinite number and variety of pure possibilities, and perhaps they live alongside the choices we did make, immortalized in the cosmic memory. Perhaps there are unknown lives walking alongside ours, those paths we didn’t take, and we reach for them, we ache for them, and don’t know why.’ …No, no, it was all wrong … what he really wanted to say was: have you felt this? this phantom life streaking like a phosphorescent hound at the edges of your ruin?”

    • I like that passage- could you share the title? I’m headed to the library soon :-)

      • LIZ (SINCE 1982)

        Oh! I totally meant to say! It’s The Solace of Leaving Early, by Haven Kimmel. I have a super puzzling relationship with it – the main character was SO unlikeable that I hate-read it the first time; then I found myself picking it up again one day; now, years later, I must have reread it half a dozen times. Have no idea how I ended up loving it, but books work in mysterious ways, I guess!

  • Hannah

    Oof that Dear Sugar article. So good! The Ghost Ship is a beautiful metaphor and I thought that was great advice. I also loved the HuffPo article about details. I might have teared up a bit. I also kind of couldn’t care less about flowers/pictures of my shoes/details in general, so I’m a bit biased.

    I love this new link round-up!! Perfect for a lazy Saturday!

  • Claire

    I have always LOVED that Ghost Ship article!

  • Analise

    Amazing! Great reading, already looking forward to next Saturday!!

  • alyssa

    YES, you linked to Linda Holmes! She’s brilliant! I joined Twitter just so I could follow her live-tweeting the Oscars… fangirl over here. I love when two of my favorite things combine! APW+MonkeySee

    • meg

      See, I did not know who she was. Bingo! Fun times. However, since she recapped at Television Without Pity, I love her already. Heeeyyyy Web 1.0.

  • This is awesome! I hope these continue for a long, long time. And I’ll join the chorus of people cheering the Dear Sugar post. Just brilliant.

  • Rachel

    I love how varied this round-up is – I’m excited for this to be a regular feature! Great food for thought and lazy perusing on the weekend…

    I thought the Jessica Valenti piece was spot-on in her assessment that we can and should learn from Sheryl Sandberg even if there is room for constructive criticism. Obviously, feminists tearing any woman down left, right, and center is not very productive. In light of that article, though, I’m surprised that the Sarah Lacy piece was recommended; I was really put-off by her tone in discussing Anne-Marie Slaughter. Obviously, fair criticism can be made of Slaughter but the downright nasty jabs were not what I expected APW to endorse. Take these sentences: “In the case of Slaughter, I’m sorry It [sic] didn’t work out for her to have it all. But I don’t see what the hell that has to do with Sandberg, me, or any other working mom. Why should she get to continually inflict her bitterness over her own choices onto everyone on the planet with ambitions and a uterus?” I disagree with a healthy chunk of what Slaughter wrote in her Atlantic piece but I found it thought-provoking, cogent, and, most importantly, respectful – unlike Lacy’s piece. I’m interested to hear what others thought…

    P.S. Also love love love the Dear Sugar piece. What a gem.

    • Brenda

      I agree… that line you quoted was the point at which I stopped reading the article. I’m surprised by much of the reaction to Slaughter’s piece – I thought she did well at acknowledging her privileges and pointing out that if these are problems for her, they are much more serious problems for women in lower income brackets and with less flexible jobs. I find Sandberg much more irritating than Slaughter, because she seems to entirely discount women who don’t WANT to be high powered executives (like me). Some of us are quite content to be mid-level employees. I don’t want to be at the top of the food chain, but my life outside of work still deserves consideration.

      • MIRA

        I think Sandberg has a very specific goal and a specific message. I don’t think she has a responsibility to speak for all women – she is using the particulars of her own experience to start a conversation with other women like her. This seems entirely reasonable to me.

        Look, successful women have all kinds of extra burdens. Some of those burdens are the result of sexist social structures– others, sadly, come from other feminists. I thought about this a lot when I was organizing a national meeting in my field, and was trying to recruit women a keynote speakers — and I realized that these women get many, MANY times the number of requests to speak that their similarly-famous male counterparts do. Just because they were Successful While Female. That’s just a fact of their world — I don’t feel bad about asking them to speak, but I also wasn’t going to get offended if they declined. I don’t think I have the right to expect anyone to behave in certain ways *just so that they can be a role model for me.* Sandberg is taking time away from all the other things she might be doing in order to write down her thoughts about success, based on her own experiences, for other women in similar situations. Good for her.

        Now, the folks a CNN who decided that some overly-dramatic dude should tease their special report on “what women want” professionally (“are they failing because of their families? or is it their own fault?!”)…and the idiot who decided that crap should be playing on EVERY TELEVISION in the airport this weekend while I was trying to get home…they can go *straight* to hell :)

    • meg

      I really, really did not like and was and still am, offended and upset by Slaughter’s piece, her message, and her teardown of Sandberg. I of course agree with the idea that we need structural change, but that wasn’t the fresh ideas in that piece, we’ve been discussing that for years. That said, I know lots of women have very different opinions on that, which is part of the reason we didn’t discuss it on APW. It was one of those cases where I really didn’t feel like my personal opinion needed to have a place here.

      So yes, I really liked the Lacy piece. Her tone is is definitely a harsh, and not what I would have written, but I mostly agree with her message. It’s come up in APW comments by people who liked it, this week as well.

      In general, however, I’m going to link to stuff the staff finds interesting here, which you are empowered not to like.

      Brenda—I’m sure you wouldn’t like Sandberg’s book, but all reports say she spends a huge amount of time making sure everyone knows that she’s aware of issues with women in lower income brackets, wants to work hard to change them, knows most women don’t want to be high powered executives, thinks that’s great, etc. Apparently a good chunk of the book is her making sure everyone knows she’s a feminist who supports all women, and that she clearly feels like she has to spend a huge amount of time saying that, just so she can say what she does have to say to women who do want to lead. So far from discounting, she’s bending over backwards to include. And at the end of the day, her message is very very important for those of us that do want to lead, even though we want to support all women everywhere as well.

      I think it’s important to get to a place that every individual feminist doesn’t need to speak in universal tones for all women everywhere, because the whole point is that women are really different from each other.

  • So… wait. That wedding that you linked to above: did they not want it posted onto social media? Does the blog it is currently featured on count? It was gorgeous and all, but if they didn’t want photos going out into the world it feels a little uncomfortable to be looking through the photographs online! Perhaps now that they have digested it themselves they are ready to share it with the world. Funny that there is no commentary about that at all on the blog…

    • meg

      There is a note at the top that says that the wedding was actually posted on one of the biggest wedding blogs online. Which is a whole other interesting conversation. I have no idea if they wanted that, and they just wanted to control where their images went, or if their photographer did it, or what. It definitely prompted staff discussion though.

    • KC

      It’s possible that they wanted editorial control over the images, either for the sake of any guests who need/want privacy (in which case the couple could trim out all photos that contain them before the wedding photos were submitted) or just for no-bad-camera-angles reasons.

      Or it’s possible that they wanted it posted all at once rather than in isolated drips and drabs – some parts would look more strange out of context, perhaps (with this wedding more than others, I think).

      Or maybe they wanted people to be as fully mentally present as possible, and did not think that included them being on their phones live-tweeting the event, and the sign was the easiest way to accomplish that with this crowd. (if they can’t put the photos on social media, fewer people will have their iPhones in the air during the ceremony…)

      I’d be really curious to know, though, too! :-)

      • Samantha

        Yea, my fiance and I are announcing no photography during our ceremony also. For one we are having a religious ceremony and I feel like that would be in poor taste – you should be participating in Mass not on your phone . . . But also we want people to be present! Really pay attention to what is happening here. We have our own photographer who will capture the moments we’ve agreed upon. For the party snap away. – which I’m using for our wedding website has an app that people can download to share the pictures they take directly to our website – I’m sure other websites probably have something similar – but it seems like a cool way to get those crowd sourced photos and for people to share without them ending up on Facebook 1) unfiltered by me, 2) before our official photos are shared at my own discretion, 3) on a platform I want to control. Now if only I can get this to happen. I feel like there are always leaks with this age of media . . .

    • Maddie

      You know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. There are lots of things I’m willing to share with the internet at large (for example on this site) than I am on places like Facebook. There’s a distance thing at play, I think. That and editorial control. Everything I put on APW gets my approval first. But things that randomly pop up on Facebook don’t have to pass through any filters. So I’m much more guarded about what might end up there than here.

      But it’s an interesting dichotomy.

      • KC

        I totally agree on the editorial control – what you put up here, you are willing for people to see. (at least APW people, who, unless you guys are moderating 90% of all comments into oblivion, seem to be generally more civil than many other audiences)

        And while technically someone could see you here and copy over a photo that’s on APW and save it to their computer and then upload it to Facebook and it could travel from there, that’s a whole lot harder than when it’s *starting* in a share-friendly/viral-friendly format (retweets: really, really easy). The blog-to-facebook barrier also provides a bit of a mental/social block, more for some people than for others (similar to how some people assume that you shouldn’t forward personal emails and some relatives… don’t quite get that concept), although Pinterest is messing with that flimsy partition in some ways by making it easy and more acceptable to snip and recycle and repurpose content.

        I also have no idea whether blogs ever pay for real weddings (or, for that matter, how the fake weddings are funded), and hence whether the “previously unseen” aspect might be a selling point – it’s a scoop and shiny new idea/detail content, so you should pay (or pay more?). But that feels kind of potentially squicky/weird and I would assume that wouldn’t be a driving factor.

      • meg

        Yeah. Also, sharing things with friends of friends you knew in High School is different. Or WORSE, people you couldn’t invite to the wedding in this awkward “party you weren’t invited to” kind of way. Sharing things with the public at large is not quite the same, and feels more intentional, often. So yeah, that, or wanting control over images, or wanting people to be present. It all makes sense to me, but I was curious.

    • Victwa

      I totally agree. I was confused by this as well.

    • Phil

      Hi everyone. I noticed I was getting some heavy traffic to my site from this feed so I thought I’d head on over and check it out. Reading everyones comments I thought I would just like to clear this up for everyone. I was their wedding photographer. They were stoked to have me. I was stoked to shoot their wedding. Too often at weddings during the ceremony in particular, guests and families are distracted from the reason they’re there and are busy snapping photos on their iPhones instead of being tuned in. The sign was placed outside the ceremony spot so guests would be reminded to stay off their mobile devices and be present in the moment. It’s another way to word “Please, no phones” Sounds better : ) Actually a lot of people do this, google “unplugged wedding”.

      Yes, this was featured on both my blog, a wedding industry leading wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes and Lynnette and Gris could not have been more stoked about it. All of their hard work they slaved over making every detail count over those last 6 months, constructing the perfect wedding. Green Wedding Shoes is a fantastic blog to give up and coming brides ideas and insights and inspiration. Lynnette and Gris loved their wedding photos. We became really close over those 3 days I spent with them and it’s just fun for everyone to show off what a good time we all had :)

  • Kat

    Loving the link days, thank you. (Although it does eat into my weekend reading them all!)

  • And that is why NPR rocks. What a great breakdown of the most modern of the rom-coms. I particularly appreciate the honest assessment of the actress hating that seems to circulate right now.

  • Shawna

    Super excited about Saturday posting! I work on Saturdays and am always super sad that I have nothing to read over breakfast. I know that most people work Mon-Fri, but for those of us with odd schedules, HOORAY!

  • Kelsey

    This is a brilliant feature- thanks APW! I’m so excited to read and discuss!

  • Kate

    APW on Saturdays, it must be Christmas!

  • Anne

    Fantastic round up. I love dear Sugar. Valenti’s post was spot on and the photo-journalism post on DV was excellent.

    Thank you!

  • Moe

    That Anne Almasy article was so spot-on. I want to enshrine it and light little candles around it.

  • jlseldon7

    I know you guys hate moderating comments, but I’m so glad you do it. This round up was fantastic.

    Dear Sugar- Rocked my world. I love the Ghost Ships. It reminds me of the Strangers in the Night song. Love.

    The others were fantastic also. Thank you for adding some intellectual to my weekend, it was a bit frou frou (my fault entirely)

    • KB

      I second this – I feel like there is definitely a “third way” when it comes to commentary on websites and moderating. Namely, that active monitoring of comments doesn’t mean that you’re doing the cha-cha over the First Amendment. Rather, just like parks and streets and other real-life areas, these areas may be public, but there’s also a code of common decency, conduct, and respect that should be observed when you’re there. And it may be my First Amendment right to get all crazy and up in strangers’ faces, but who DOES that, right??? I feel like this site is an example of one of those rare spaces on the internet because I’ve read so many heated debates here on APW with completely divergent viewpoints where readers vent and rage and completely disagree, but do it in a way that doesn’t invite/propogate hate or vitriol or just plain crazy. So, yeah, thanks :-)

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