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Friday, January 13, 2012

473

Delicate Subjects, Erratic Cycles, and the "Best Friend"

So I know that as women our bodies are always changing, from puberty all the way to menopause with key stops at acne, slowing metabolism, pregnancy, etc., but a few of my friends and I have been experiencing something else that's odd. We're all in our mid-20s (I refuse to call 26 late-20s but I guess it's approaching it) and our periods have become ... slightly erratic. Not crazy, something's-wrong erratic, but some of us have been complaining that our periods aren't quite as dependable as they used to be. Some of us are on the pill, some aren't. I myself have started to notice that, while I used to wake up with my period on a Monday morning (I am one of the people on the pill), for the last couple of months it's been coming in the mid-afternoon, around 3 p.m. or so. One of my best friends has had her period move from a Tuesday afternoon to a Wednesday mid-morning, also on the pill. Both of us are single, so we're not freaking out that we're pregnant, but it's very odd. Another friend not on the pill has noticed the same thing.

I know that your period can adjust itself depending on the person you live with, but I've lived with the same roommate for the last nine months and my period hasn't budged a second. Is this a thing? Do periods change in your late — mid! — 20s? Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

Yes! When I was in my actual late twenties (get out of here with your 26 *swats you with a dishtowel*), my period basically went through its own version of puberty and acted out, going all crazy in every possible way. I recall a period that lasted for literally an entire month (just a little every day, hello again, and again!); a period that disappeared for months; an unrecognizably heavy period; a period that showed up for a day, then came back a week later; a period that spoke Catalan; and all manner of in-between-riods. (Making your version of erratic seem pretty tame in comparison.)

It messed with my head, but after a while I just let it do its thing, my gynecologist said it was normal, and it all sort of settled down. I had gone off birth control about a year and a half before things went [manageably] haywire, if that means anything. And I'm not a doctor, so this is really a sample size of one, but I remember when I told my friends about each of my new, crazy periods, many said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, that happened to me once, too."* So, you sound totally normal! But, best to talk to your gynecologist about it next time you drop by, to ease your mind.

*A quick poll among friends: was your period weird, mid/late 20s? Yes: 4, No: 4. There you have it?

My best friend is a seriously awesome chick. She's very smart and witty, is into a lot of cool books/music/movies, etc., and is definitely a cute girl. But she has this problem with her wardrobe where she chronically wears clothing that's at least two sizes too small for her, as she gained some weight over the past year. Don't get me wrong, I get it. I recently gained a bunch of weight (like 30 pounds, yikes!) after a bad breakup, and I know how hard it is to look in the mirror and admit to yourself that you have to sacrifice your favorite pair of jeans because the muffin top they give you is legit out of control. Not to mention, nobody wants to go out shopping for brand new fat pants, it sucks. But the way she dresses is usually very unflattering, and when she asks me how something looks on her, I never really know what to say.

Is this something that I should mention to her? I know she's not happy about the weight gain, and she's pretty insecure about her body and her looks, so I'm concerned my mentioning it would just make her feel worse, which is not something that I want to do at all. When we go shopping together she's always picking out things that would look so cute on her, but she refuses to try them on in what her actual size would be now! It's frustrating to me because I want her to look nice and feel good about herself, and I feel like a bad friend not telling her that the clothes she's wearing don't do anything for her figure, but then I always feel like a bad friend because I don't want to be like, "hey, that makes you look fat." Is there anyway to tell her without making her feel more insecure? Should I just let it go? Grace me with your wisdom, A Lady.

Oh gosh. I've been there, too, and there's something about the human brain that just refuses to see the whole picture in the mirror, sometimes ("it's weird that these shorts used to be so loose and now they're clinging alllll the way up my butt"). And I'm not sure whether it's worse to be forced to see the whole picture, or to live thinking that a false mental image is the real one, while other people write in to anonymous advice columns asking for gentle ways to tell you that you look bad. Ugh, they're both so horrible!

Anyway, chances are your friend knows she isn't looking the way she wants to. And chances are her rationale is the exact one you gave — it feels like defeat to buy new clothes in larger sizes, which sucks. The longer she can technically fit into her old skinny clothes, the longer she can feel she's basically the same size.

Ahhh, okay I'm really just beating around the bush. To answer your question: I don't know. It depends on how close you are. Do people actually make fun of her behind her back? Does she look wildly inappropriate for work? Or are you just paying particularly close attention because she's your best friend? (Or — and sorry if this is way off base — is it at all possible that you're projecting your own worries about your own weight gain and subsequent need to buy bigger clothes onto her?) I feel like a soccer goalie during a penalty kick when they have to dive one way or the other, and it's sort of a 50/50 chance, but ... don't say anything. If my best friend told me I needed to buy new clothes because my current wardrobe made me look less than slender, I might never be able to look her in the eye again. Maybe. I don't know. But I once forced — forced! — a friend to tell me how I might improve my eyebrows, and even that was sort of scarring.

That's not to say friends shouldn't be honest with one another, but this seems like a losing battle. Because best-case scenario she says, "Ah, thank you for your wisdom, I hadn't realized I looked like shit and was humiliating myself," and she buys a bunch of new, bigger clothes, which would likely, on some level, perpetuate her feeling of shittiness. Or she keeps on keeping on, and loses weight, and fits back into her old clothes, or gains weight, and eventually has to buy new clothes. I say stay quiet, have fun together, let her wear whatever she wants.

Alternately, if you really feel you must say something, and are willing to risk your friendship (at least, to risk the current dynamic) to help her dress more flatteringly, you can say, the next time she asks you if something looks good when it's way too tight, "Ooh you look amazing in that, but it maybe looks a little snug in the [whatever] area. How does it feel?" And if she says it feels perfect, then it feels perfect, and never say anything again.

I'm 22 and about to graduate from college, and I've been in the same relationship since I was 17. No, I'm not crazy (I don't think?), but that's kind of just how things are. The problem is that I recently got back from study abroad and all that it entails, like soul-searching and realizing Things and intense uncertainty about Who I Am (lame!) etc. etc., and now I'm feeling like it's about time that my boyfriend and I stop being Us and start being individuals. So, breakup, right? Except that we live together and have been going on the assumption that we're going to be Us for a long time. We've talked about how both of us feel like different people, and perceive the other in a different light, and that maybe we might not be right for each other anymore, but for now the conclusion is that I'm probably having reverse culture shock and we're both still adapting to being around each other again and that we should give ourselves time before making a big decision like breaking up.

But, I'm pretty sure that this is going to end with us not being together. I've never broken up with anyone (duh!) and certainly never had to deal with breaking up with someone I live with, so how do I go about all the mess that I'm sure is going to ensue? And how do I make sure that I don't fall apart in the process? I'm pretty freaked out about the whole thing.

Lady! I'm sorry. Breakups are horrible, no matter what. Although it does sound to me like a breakup is what's going to happen, and I think in the long run it will probably be a good thing for both of you. (And you might even circle back to each other later on down the line — but that's never something you can plan on.)

Living-together breakups are even trickier. In the more-difficult scenario, you're the mover-outer (although that does have the perk of being the in-control role). Here's a little checklist for that.

1. Save up as much money as you can, before you break up. Depending on what your living expenses are, and where/how you want to live next, aim for somewhere in the range of $3,000 – $10,000 (not that you need to, obviously). When I broke up with my last boyfriend, it ended up costing $10,000. Which I had calculated before I did it, and which made me feel desperate, because I didn't have that money. So it was like, great, do I stay with my boyfriend because I don't have enough money to break up with him?! What?! (At the risk of discrediting myself, what happened is I ended up cashing out some inherited stocks — a lucky situation, but not recommended, even if it's available to you. If I hadn't had that, I would probably have taken on the credit card debt wherever possible. Also not recommended! So, maybe I'm not the ideal person to be answering this question.) Anyway, my relationship with that guy was a situation like yours, where we got along great, and there weren't any big pressing issues, I just knew it wasn't right, and that it was time to move on. I also knew that I didn't want to live with roommates post-breakup. If you don't mind living with roommates (and you probably don't if you're 22), that cost comes waaay down. By probably 80%. But here's where my money went the week after my breakup: one month rent, one month security, a [staggering] broker's fee, the movers' fee, a nice mattress/box spring, some smallish pieces of furniture, and miscellaneous moving and new-apartment supplies. The vast majority of that was the rent and broker's fee, both of which you could probably spend a lot less on, but sometimes when you need an apartment TONIGHT you end up spending more than you expected. So, the more you can plan ahead, the better off you'll be. Learn from my mistakes.

2. Have a place to sleep lined up for after you break up. And I mean RIGHT after. This might feel sneaky ("I'm going to break up with Mike this afternon, can I crash on your couch tonight?"), but making sure you have a friend's house to stay at for a weekend (or week) while you find a new apartment is critical. I once broke up with a guy I lived with, except without a plan for what to do next, and as the breakup discussion went late into the night and got really teary and sad and difficult, we just decided to stay together and give it another go, because, honestly, I had gotten sleepy and was tired of fighting and crying, so I was like, sure, whatever. Two months later I moved out.

3. This isn't really part of the checklist, but regarding the falling-apart thing, there's not really a way to go through a breakup without falling apart, so that part you just kind of have to experience, figure out, and move past. And sometimes when relationships end in non-hostile ways, mourning it can be almost pleasurable in a bittersweet way. One thing I've found that ultimately makes that mourning/falling-apart process easier is an agreement between the two of you not to talk, call, email, or text each other, indefinitely. Or, for six months. (And then you have to be in strict control of your own Facebook/Googling habits.)

And this might sound cynical, but — I think! — in a year or two you'll be really happy you did what you did. Because once you're out of a relationship, you can see it (and appreciate it) much more clearly for what it was, and appreciate where you're at now. And sometimes that means getting back together later, who knows. But more often it means moving on, spending time alone, figuring out who you are as an adult, and all that. (Also, part of becoming an adult is learning that no one ever actually becomes one.)

Okay, I realize that the answer to this could involve my death for being a Stupid Girl. Oh well, here goes. My ex-boyfriend, who broke up with me in January 2011, and who I've been doing the friends-with-benefits thing with for a few months, wants to possibly get back together. Yes, "possibly." I went on some dates with someone else and all of a sudden he said he realized that he didn't want to lose me. If he had asked to get back together earlier, I would have said yes in a heartbeat, however, I no longer view him through rose-colored glasses and am not sure what I should do. I still have feelings for him, and after dating for three years, this is the person who knows me better than anyone else and who firmly stands in the spot of Best Friend. I'm worried if we give it a go, we'll break up and I'll lose him as my best friend forever. And if we don't get back together and date other people, what if those people don't want us to talk? My question is, what should I do in regards to getting back together, and how I can somehow avoid losing him forever?

Nooo, don't do it! This guy is a number of things (juicebox, coward, laughably transparent), but he's definitely not your best friend — he's just someone you've spent a lot of time with, and who therefore knows your quirks and can put you at ease. But don't mistake proximity for love, or even respect. He's selfish and childish. Run! ... to the bar/restaurant/museum/pottery studio, to go on lots of funny/horrible/good dates with the other people. Cut off all contact with this guy. Seriously. Easier said than done, I know, but you have to do this.

Previously: Idle Friends, Gawky Roommates, and the Nap Dream.

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Lady? (300-word max, please!)

Photo via Darren Baker, via Shutterstock



473 Comments / Post A Comment

The Lady of Shalott

A LADY IS BACK!!! I missed A Lady!!!

The Lady of Shalott

@The Lady of Shalott Also, I have a terrible question to throw out to the Pinners at large, who are all sensible people who will smack me.

In the summer my ex-boyfriend broke up with me by ignoring me in every possible medium and defriending me on facebook. I had to email him to be like "dude, WTF" and he was like "OH I FEEL REALLY BAD ABOUT DOING THIS" but not bad enough to apologize, clearly. It was miserable and I was miserable and I went out on lots of really fail-y dates and missed him terribly and he moved far away blah blah.

THIS WEEK, I have a date with a new guy I've been seeing who delusionally believes I am a queen, and THIS WEEK Doucheface chooses to email me again, just being like "Hey, I hope things are going well for you because you're really awesome and deserve all kinds of great things, and I still feel really really bad about everything, sob sob." So I emailed him back with "Thanks for the good wishes" and tried not to think about it.

I don't want to block him because it feels so final. But I have to go on this date in three hours with this guy whose company I really like, and who is really into me, and this idiot has brought up all kinds of Feelings and I know he is a doucheface whom I should forget but he broke my heart and I can't quite let go of it.

Q: How do you get over the person who ruined the way you trust people?

fairlyalarmed

@The Lady of Shalott Block that dude. It SHOULD be final. And it's so early that you just have to trust this new guy not to murder you in an alley after dinner. Have fun, take your time. You can do it.

missvancity

@The Lady of Shalott I'm still struggling with this myself, but I find it helps to remind me that MOST people are not terrible, and just because one particular man treated me terribly, does not mean all men will. Also, that I would hate for someone to treat me based on the way their ex behaved. It hasn't totally solved things, but it does help.

H.E. Ladypants

@The Lady of Shalott Fairlyalarmed beat me to the punch, but yeah, what she said. (Also, if for some strange reason you want to unblock him in the future that's pretty easy, too. For now though, you just need to do whatever will make you feel better and go out and have a good time with someone who appreciates you.)

Princess Langwidere

@The Lady of Shalott A.: Time and distance + opening yourself up to new experiences with people who don't break your trust.

Emby

@The Lady of Shalott Yeah, he's a shitgoblin. Block him and don't look back. And look forward to your new date! Those are fun! Or can be.

But they WON'T be if you're worried about what the shitgoblin thinks. He's yesterday's potatoes.

A: Realize that people are individuals, and some individuals are relatively trustworthy and others are not. To paraphrase the dude who gave River-Phoenix Indiana Jones his hat in Last Crusade, you lost this time kid, but it doesn't mean you have to like it. So realize that you learned something about trust, learn from it, and use that to inform your discretion in the future. Like, hopefully in three hours with New Dude.

Princess Langwidere

Of course, you don't know that the new people won't break your trust when you open yourself up to experiences with them, and that's the scary part. But trust yourself! You'll recognize shitholes quickly after having been put through their shittiness before and will recognize it and be able to extricate yourself before it gets bad. And then move on to search for better non-trust breaking people. It gets easier, promise!

Kulojam

@The Lady of Shalott yep, like the other commenters said: remember that he was a coward and not all men will act like him. like princess said, give it time and take chances(fun dates!) as they come along even if it is scary. it will get better. have fun tonight!

angelinha

@The Lady of Shalott Block block block block block. It does feel final, because it is, and that's terrifying especially when you don't have someone who you feel equally great about yet. BUT YOU WILL! And in my experience it's not going to come until you let him AND yourself know that It Is (Really) Over.

Es
Es

@The Lady of Shalott God knows, I'm not over my own Doucheface yet. He treated me like shit and broke my heart, grovelled for three months until I agreed to try being friends, and then decided he wanted me back the day he found out I was seeing someone else. I've accepted that I'm not over him yet, and I'm trying like a motherfucker not to let it affect how things are going with Newboy, who is lovely. I have told Newboy I am recently heartbroken and a bit commitment-phobic.
My mantra is currently 'I can't help how I feel, but I can help how I act' so I'm not saying yes to Doucheface, I'm not running in panic from Newboy, despite part of me wanting to do both those things.

My doucheface still wants me back 6 months on, my newboy is lovely and I'm getting there. You will too. Enjoy the date, push doucheface-feelings to the back of your mind and stay in the moment.

Roxanne Rholes

@The Lady of Shalott Something that may or may not be helpful: a past boyfriend cheated on me, and as a result I have a hard time being trusting and not-jealous with my current, wonderful, dude. For me is really helps to frame my thoughts about Cheating Jackass in terms of how his actions have been a pain in the ass to my current relationship. Instead of missing Cheating Jackass and wondering what I did to deserve such bad treatment, I focus on the fact that because of Cheating Jackass, I spent an hour locked in my room with Rad New Dude, explaining why I sometimes panic and think he's doing to cheat on me. What the HELL, Cheating Jackass! Rad New Dude and I could have been making cocktails, or watching Community, or knocking boots! You ruined my hour! That's it, no more thinking about you, go eat a bag of dicks.

lalaland

@The Lady of Shalott Fake it til you make it! Which is essentially, block him, ignoring all urges to unblock, until one day those urges go away you realize you don't care anymore. And that's when you can unblock him, but at that point, it doesn't even matter because you are over it.

Also, as others have said, realize everyone is different. Yes, there are a lot of guys out there who are jerks (and also realize that though they were a jerk to you, perhaps they will not be to someone else, just as you may have been a jerk to someone but is not a Jerk) and then there are people who don't have a hint of jerk in them. Basically, let yourself trust and know that you may be hurt, but it's better than the alternative. That was my eat-pray-love moment for the day. Best of luck!

Definitely block the ex though.

redheaded&crazy

@The Lady of Shalott I have no useful advice to give, I just want to be in on this thread so I can benefit from/receive emails of other advice that is given.

alliepants

@The Lady of Shalott I understand why you don't want to block him, but the fact that brought up all sorts of Feelings means you NEED to. Blocking him will help, I promise (and give you some measure And really I think only time helps.

While there are most definitely Good Dudes and Bad Dudes, a lot of time there are just Dudes, and the way they act is in response to a situation. So it doesn't mean he's a bad dude, it just means he acted terribly in that situation and it was so bad he can never redeem himself. It doesn't mean that you should forgive him at all, but it's the best way I've found to level the two dueling concepts of "I used to love/date this guy" and "this guy was totally awful to me so we're 100% over."

And I can't repeat this enough - time helps! The more time without him the better.

TheUnchosenOne

@The Lady of Shalott Allow me to join in the chorus of people telling you to block this juicebox. I recently went through something similar, where my best friend just up and started ignoring me in every possible medium (I haven't even gotten the courtesy of a "I feel so bad about doing this"). It sucks, but the only way to get over it is time. And not time when you're thinking about the person. You've got to cut them off and spend time doing things that are not thinking about them.

anachronistique

@The Lady of Shalott I can only speak to friend-breakups, but: time. Allowing yourself to fully feel like shit over what the assbasket did to you. Making new friends and being so blown away by their awesomeness that you take a deep breath and make the leap and open up again. Ice cream.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@The Lady of Shalott I dont have the answers, but I'm struck how this is another example of what I call Evil Ex Telepathy. Your ex moved away so he couldn't know you're going on a date tonight yet his Evil Ex spidey-sense activated, saying 'i sense she is happy and moving on! I must attempt to destroy this for I am Evil!' I've seen this happen so many times to so many different people that I'm convinced of the existence of the Telepathy. But unlike Deanna Troi, these jbs use the powers for Evil.

Anyway, its understandable that you feel all Feelingsy, but you should go on the date anyway. Even if your ex is playing on your mind and you don't have a good time, you should still pursue the interest of someone who thinks you're a queen, if only to get accustomed to how you should be treated. Good luck!

leastimportantperson

@The Lady of Shalott Take everything in bite-size pieces. I know everyone's right, you have to block him, but I'm going to say don't do it before your date. Just say to yourself, okay, on this date I am not going to get caught up in the windstorm of intense feeling whipped up by my ex. But! You can do it afterwards. Set a time limit, but just know that going on this date doesn't mean you have to have dealt completely with all these feelings about your ex. I'm saying, yes block him, yes move on etc. But take it in little pieces. Liiiittle inching little steps that you are in control of.

The Lady of Shalott

@ Everyone:

Done and done. I am going to shower and sing loudly and clean up my house in the event that I have company. MOVING ON!!!

Everyone, you are the best, and this is why the Hairpin is so awesome.

redheaded&crazy

I've said it before and I'll say it again, blocking an ex on facebook is the most empowering feeling!!!

Unfortunately I did this in september and still haven't moved on. BUT. WORKING ON IT.

Bebe

@The Lady of Shalott OK how you get over him is time, and taking baby steps towards trusting people again, and meeting a few people who are not total juiceboxes. I wish it were easier or faster, but it's not. It will take time. And, while you are waiting for that time to pass, a little advice that might only make sense or be funny if you were/knew a football cheerleader in high school:

Block that Dick!

eleven

@The Lady of Shalott oh god, you have to block him! It is totally unfair of him, and hugely selfish of him, and hurtful to you, for him to send you messages like that which will obviously confuse you and hold you back from fully moving on. BLOCK HIM.

and honestly, getting over the person who ruined

sox
sox

@The Lady of Shalott Oh and also, AHEM. You are a queen and this new A Dude is not dilusional, it's just that the last one worked really hard to keep your self-esteem down so you'd stick with him thining he was all you could get. And you just keep remembering that, okay missy?

Equestrienne

@The Lady of Shalott It is a truth universally acknowledged that the very day you meet someone you're kind of excited about, you WILL hear from your ex.

eleven

@The Lady of Shalott meant to add on: honestly, getting over the person who ruined your ability to trust people is easy. you'll get over that person quickly because you already recognize what a jerk he is.

what's tougher isn't getting ove rhim, it's learning to trust new guys. after i dated a jerk like that, i got over the jerk surprisingly quickly but it took months and months for me to trust my new boyfriend and actually let my guard down with him. that will be the tougher part... trusting new guys.

JessAndNo21

@Roxanne Rholes I have recently experience my own Cheating Jackass and, while I'm confident there will be a NewBoy in the future, am already anxious that I won't be able to trust He Who Does Not Yet Exist. I also support the idea that Cheating Jackasses should be mandated by law to eat the biggest bag of dicks that has ever existed in the history of the world.

Roxanne Rholes

@JessAndNo Oh babe, no! That's the worst! I'm so sorry!

Just remember: there are Cheating Jackasses, but no one ever talks about Women Who Get Cheated On. That's not a thing. It isn't you, and your new man is quite likely one who is NOT doing to stomp all over your heart.

Also, when you have the "relationship history" chat, just tell NewDude that you've been cheated on. His reaction will probably tell you a lot about him.

gravie

@eleven You're so right. That shit is tough to get back.

I got dumped in the same kind of way as The Lady of Shalott 3 years ago, and I found out a couple weeks ago that I've STILL got baggage over that situation. Turns out it was nothing more than a misunderstanding and lost phone with my current dude, but my reaction to it was waaaaay more hysterical than it should have been. Fucking ex...

meganmaria

@The Lady of Shalott Block that juicebox and forget he ever existed.

slutberry

@The Lady of Shalott Oh boy, the blocking people thing. I feel ya. It took me months (MONTHS! like 5 or 6!) to block my ex-boss who had raped me repeatedly and manipulated me into not telling anyone (eventually a co-worker got his ass fired).

But yes, you should block him. It is better for your head and your heart.

Here is a hug:

phlox

@The Lady of Shalott The emails are his way of trying to stay in your head. You don't want him there, so block those emails. When I broke up with a Doucheface, I set all his emails to go straight to archive. Months later I look at it, and there are a ton of emails - always one saying how awesome I was, he was such an idiot to let me go, etc. followed, about an hour or so later, by another message saying what a bitch I was for leaving him, for not replying to his email or whatever. Crazypants! So yes, block that loser and go out with Awesome New Guy and don't let Doucheface get all up in your head.

Olivia2.0

@The Lady of Shalott Look Lady of Shalott - I got F'D in a breakup - and here's what I realized - I realized I had the power to be the kind of person I wanted to be - and that EVIL EX did not get to decide for me that I was now an untrusting person. I made a choice that I would be trusting, realized there were risks - and took them anyways. B/c I GET TO DECIDE WHO I AM. NOT HIM. At some point I also realized that I had been waltzing around like a totally naive young person, and that taking a risk doesn't mean near as much when you have no idea what's at stake - once I had been seriously hurt by a relationship, I knew what could happen, and I CHOOSE to be trusting anyways...that's a much bigger risk than not knowing what's at stake.

All that being said...time will help you actualize (?) the above idea. And good luck! Sounds like you're doing great!!!

Waiting

@The Lady of Shalott oh boy - I think I understand what you are feeling because after my ex ripped my heart to shreds and destroyed any lingering naivete about the human race, I underwent a huge change personally. Here is what I have to say: if you are getting this upset over a date, then you aren't ready to trust. Maybe you're ready to hook up, have a fling (which I did copious amounts of in the months after our breakup), but you aren't ready to give your heart away yet. There's a lot of discovery and healing left to be done. I found that I was more cautious and realistic afterward, and more intuitive. Now, I have the firm idea that people must earn my trust. If you loved this guy, be prepared to change in ways you probably can't even imagine (I couldn't). My current relationship is a MILLION bazillion times different than my last not only because my current bf is completely different, but my approach to relationships is completely different. Give yourself some time and don't feel pressured to give yourself away to someone just because they really like you. Hugshugshugs! <3

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott It's been said before, but I'll say it again here: I said a-block, block, blockety block, I said a-block block blockety block.

And new dude is not delusional. Is this Mr. Let's Go Get A Puppy? (I hope that was you who was talking about that. If not, ignore me. Except for the part about him not being delusional--you are awesome and deserve to be treated that way!)

Hellcat

@The Lady of Shalott What everyone else said to the tenth power! Yes! We've all had these a "shitgoblin" or two, and we've all probably known others who have talked to us about their own shitgoblins! And we all probably gave well-crafted, honest, and kind advice to everyone else about their shitgoblins... and yet, even though we know better, we somehow hold out hope that our own shitgoblin is somehow different than the ones we advised our friends to leave alone. Don't hold out hope! Go on your new date with a person who may not be a shitgoblin, and try to forget the one you know for a fact is one!

I have officially said "shitgoblin" more times just now than I ever have in my life (which = no times). Thank you, whoever up there said "shitgoblin"!

The Lady of Shalott

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It is The Guy Who Wants To Get A Puppy! You are right!

AH GUYS SO NERVOUS. For no real reason, but whatevs.

treeskier170

@The Lady of Shalott Let go of it. I know it seems really tough right now, but you obvs deserve better than what this douchenozzle has put you through. Sometimes you have to just let go. Realize that you will never ever ever be in a relationship with him again, and block him. Don't respond to emails, don't even open them. Cut off all contact with him and after a few times it'll keep getting easier. Go out with new dude, but don't treat him as a rebound, b/c that sucks for us dudes. Nothing like being into a lady only to realize she's not over her ex. So let go of him, and treat yourself like the queen you are. B/c let's be honest, all of you ladies are queens and deserve to be treated like one.

vodkasaurus

@The Lady of Shalott If I may be so bold to say,* it's not other people you're having trouble trusting, it's you. Douchebags can really do a number on you, and I know I had a really hard time trusting me, my judgment, my decisions after the last one. Once you get that down though, it's amazing (and so great) how less appealing the juiceboxes seem in the first place.

*Who says this??

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott AAAAH YAY. He sounds like a good one, and a fun one, and you deserve a good fun one. Also a puppy!

laurel

"trying like a motherfucker"

Sometimes I think this is all there is.

xoxo, TLoS.

sparrow303

@The Lady of Shalott-- Here's the original break-up column. This helped me immensely once: http://thehairpin.com/2011/05/heartbreak-friendship-and-the-girl-whos-always-on-some-sort-of-restrictive-diet (last LW)

Myrtle

@Teffodee Oh, honey, how monstrously awful. I'm sending You a hug right back. Do you know what a gift you are to us? Even through your pain, you are helping another.
I've been stalked by a sociopathic boss for so long and am now taking action. Right now everyone thinks he's so great and I'm the biggest creep ever and How Could I Do This To Him? But when they see the evidence I hope they realize I'm keeping him from being - your boss.

Inkling

@Teffodee
Fired and on fired? I just feel like it would be a public service to on fired creatures like that. They're not gonna stop and they don't deserve to be.

ETA Myrtle is exactly right. You are a gift.

slutberry

@Inkcrafter Not on fired, though my gentleman would be totally down with it. But fired, and unlikely to be hired for such a position again. I dunno, it was one of those situations where I suppose I could get him in trouble, but he honestly wouldn't have realized that he did an awful thing, plus he's disabled, which adds a whole nother dimension, and it would be hard to have evidence, and it would probably just get nasty and stressful.

I do have lots of fantasies of announcing to everyone how tiny his dick is, though...

slutberry

@Myrtle Boom. You're awesome. Do it.

I was young and clueless and didn't really realize the extent he was taking advantage of me until way after. Now I have learned and am Campaigning Not To Let Anyone Else Do The Same Thing.

excitedheart

@The Lady of Shalott cut him out! for real. block him. he's terrible and there's good guys out there, WHY would you even do that to yourself?

Inkling

@Teffodee
J'ANNOUNCE.

Megasus

@The Lady of Shalott Wow, he just blocked you and defriended you and didn't even talk to you about it? Is he 12? Because that is the only age when that type of behaviour is even remotely acceptable (and even then!). Block him, and forget about him, cuz he's a boy, and boys are not attractive or worth your time.

slutberry

@Inkcrafter :)

Also I sat down last night and wrote about it and all the messiness that comes with the territory and it felt awesome.

Chesty LaRue

@The Lady of Shalott Eeeee! It's morning, how did the date go?

The Lady of Shalott

@Chesty LaRue IT WENT SPECTACULARLY, GUYS!

Hellcat

@The Lady of Shalott OhmygoodnessYAY!

Chesty LaRue

@The Lady of Shalott Hooray! That's so exciting!

Also, someone said to me on the Do This thread about emotionally unavailable people: You've read this story; you know how it ends. Have fun with your new dude and be finished with the old one. You know how that ends.

Es
Es

@The Lady of Shalott Hurrah for spectacular date!

slutberry

@The Lady of Shalott YAYYYYYYYYY

Vera Knoop

@Emby Both "shitgoblin" and "yesterday's potatoes" have just entered my lexicon. Brilliant!

annebee

My period has gotten weird too (turned 26 just last month). I have an IUD, so for a long time it was just nothing, but that ended. And I am getting some weird PMS symptoms that I NEVER used to have - breaking out and acting cranky. It's all new to me, so it's like puberty all over again.

automaticdoor

@annebee Mine has started getting weird too. I'm turning 25 next month, and now I'm starting to get all cranky-pants when I PMS (I'm on the Pill and I never PMSed before much except for breakouts, actually) and I spot and the start-date is roaming all over the place giving me preggo fears. It's a mess. [insert discussion about how Pill periods aren't *real* periods, etc.]

@automaticdoor I'm 25. For years (read: ages 14-22) my period came every 28 days and would arrive at 5am. No I'm serious, it was like clockwork. 5am practice in college every friday, it would start 5 minutes before I got on the horse. Every time. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME.

Alas. That stopped, along with having horrible burping during PMS (overshare, hello!). I started getting weird spotting when I ovulated, which was inconvenient. And then it got weird and heavier and awful and painful and irregular (oh HEY 24-36 day cycle, what's UP!), so I went on the pill.

Lo Loestrin Fe, you are amazing. <3 u birthcontrol!

Also, mid-20s weight gain, can we all talk?

Oh and every time some idiot right-wing nutjob tries to talk about the fucking personhood amendment or other anti-birth control bullshit, I come really close to losing my shit. You will pry my birth control from my cold dead hands before I give this shit up. 3 day periods with almost no cramping = I would die for u, birthcontrol <3!!!

--Gold Star Lesbian

automaticdoor

@S. Elizabeth Ahahaha, whether I'm dating dudes or ladies, I am on the goddamn Orthro Tri. None of this "when will it happen?!?!?" bullshit for me, thanks. Also, my face looks like a pizza without birth control. I stopped it when I was dating my last serious girlfriend and I immediately reverted to having the complexion of a 15-year-old, NO THANKS.

Mid-20s weight gain! The worst! What is this? All of a sudden, just like my mom said it would, my metabolism quit and I gained like twenty pounds in a semester! Awful stuff.

reallykatie

Mine is getting weird too! My pharmacy decided to switch my generic (why is it ok for them to decide that?) and I have been blaming it on that, but it's been starting a week early every month. What gives, ovaries?

Ophelia

@automaticdoor Yes to mid-20s weight gain! Managed to get rid of it now that I've hit 30, though, so maybe it'll be temporary for you, too? I did have to get a dog to make that happen (what with all the walking). Seriously, though, I gained 30 pounds in like 8 months. I have no idea where it came from - the rest of my life didn't really change, it was just suddenly THERE.

jmkimm

@S. Elizabeth Thank GOD for the Hairpin. Seriously. I just took a pregnancy test this morning, even though there is almost noooooooooo chance in hell I could be pregnant, because I'm freaking out that I haven't had my period in like 40 days. Mine have always kinda done their own thing, but recently had been semi-regular. Glad to find out that I'm not the only one, at 26, whose period might have gone pretty haywire.

Also, weight gain. Yeah, that might be happening. Just noticed this morning, my waist looks different. Imagination? Maybe. Or The Hairpin's Eerie Synchronicity With My Life strikes again.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@S. Elizabeth from 26-28 I had the mystery weight gain too, nothing changed in my lifestyle but suddentky there were 2 extra inches on my waist that weren't there before. I assumed my metabolism was giving up the ghost cos of my great age (like LW1, I thought 26 was old!) and it was all downhill from here unless I dieted like crazy, which made me get the angry sads, cos I haaaate diets. Anyway, I'm turning 30 this year and in the last 3 or 4 months those 2 inches has mysteriously disappeared. Again not much change in lifestyle, if anything it has been LESS healthy lately, but still....gone, as suddenly and mysteriously as it came. It must be dome weird mid-20s hormonal thing. It did help me become more motivated about exercise though which can only stand me to good stead when I get Properly Old. Also it showed me that feeling good about yourself really does fond from within, as no matter what size I was if I was feeling good it was cos I was in a positive frame of mind, regardless of weight. So I guess it taught me something important too!

SarahP

@annebee My period went through puberty (thanks, A Lady!) when I hit 22, and I was MYSTIFIED; I had never heard of this happening! (But like A Lady, was reassured by my doctor, and now some friends, that this is a Thing.) Now I'm 26 and I have a new normal (though sometimes it does weird things... it hasn't figured itself out entirely, I guess). But I miss my old normal! The "cramps" I got in my teens were nothing compared to the ONSLAUGHT OF PAIN I now get every month.

automaticdoor

@skyandgorse Oh, fantastic, my weight gain is here because I need a Life Lesson. Awesome. It's even worse than what my mom said. (And no, I don't think I'm old. Though I'm somewhat pleased that I'm more of a proper adult now and not so much a child?)

@SarahP My cramps are 537893742 times worse now too! WHAT IS THIS. No fair.

Ophelia

@automaticdoor If it makes you feel any better, the life lesson I learned from it was "keep eating ice cream, and eventually you'll lose weight anyway."

phlox

@automaticdoor I am so glad to hear this is a thing with other ladies, too! About two years ago I started having two weeks on, two weeks off periods, so I started switching around with pills and spent about six months crying all the time and then spotting all the time before I finally got an awesome new doctor who put me on the ring and things are totally normal now.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@automaticdoor God no didn't mean it like that at all! Sorry for unintentionally sounding condescending, just sharing what happened to me in terms of mysterious biology and how my not-very-sensible brain interpreted it and age and stuff. And of course I don't think that people who are younger than me are silly or anything, I really do apologise if that's what it sounded like. Also apologies for the terrible autofill typos...

automaticdoor

@skyandgorse No, no, I didn't think you were condescending! I just don't want my weight gain to be teaching me life lessons! That's what my other problems and disabilities are for. :)

Waiting

@S. Elizabeth I have heard that once you hit 24, your metabolism hits a landmark and begins to decline. SCARY :-( *cries forever* I am about 10 pounds heavier than I want to be right now, but I know it is because I have been putting anything and everything into my mouth and not exercising at all. I am PRAYING that I always have control over my weight!

lue
lue

@annebee I was a nanny for 3 years ending last September, for a work-from-home single mom, and when she had a miscarriage my period went batshit crazy for like 6 months. It'd go like 6 weeks of, 2 weeks on, one week off, one week on...So weird.

paperbuttons

@jmkimm Seriously, the Hairpin, are you in my uterus right now? Just yesterday was with two of my fellow 29 year olds and was like, hey has your period suddenly gone all missing randomly? They both said no, so I was about to think I was doomed, and then there you were, reassuring me that I am normal, as usual.
Also, yeah random weight gain in my belly out of nowhere. Thinking of installing a little piece of elastic in the waistband. Think Lucia Martinez could help us out with that?

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@automaticdoor Ah cool! And yeah I feel ya on the gradual awareness of adulthood...

marigny

@annebee what the hell IS this weight gain about? i turned 25 about 2 months ago and for the past year i've gained even though i work out 6 days a week and eat organically. i mean, i have the occasional cookie or ice cream thang, but i'm not gorging myself with pizza or anything fun. it seems like no matter what exercise i do (and i've tried them all--zumba, spinning, running, swimming, body pump, pilates, yoga) nothing seems to make a serious dent anymore. it's starting to really depress me, actually, that all my hard work doesn't seem to do shit. i got off the pill 2+ years ago and thought it had something to do with it, but i don't think so anymore.

cocokins

@annebee Don't worry too much about losing control of your body. My mom gained a bunch of weight after having my brother when she was 29. Like, 40 pounds or so. After about 6 or 7 years of steadily increasing the weight, she finally said screw it and got in serious control of her exercise and eating habits. And you know what? That weight MELTED off. A year later she was thinner than she was at 20 when she had me. I guess what I'm saying is, where there's a will, there's a way. Don't let people's scary stories of aging bodies freak you out.

Queen of Pickles

@annebee Yes! I know, right? Those terrible abdominal twinges! And the crazy cranky ragelust!

EpWs

@annebee MID 20S WEIGHT GAIN. Thank god for the Hairpin, because I thought I was going crazy. Okay, part of this has to be that I went from a retail job (standing, moving, throwing around bags of dog food) to a desk job, but COME ON. I just bought an elliptical and am trying to be whoa more conscious of what I'm eating so hopefully this will all just go away before I have to buy new pants.
@S. Elizabeth If we're talking about oversharing strange PMS symptoms, I used to get really gassy during mine. OVERSHARE OVERSHARE IGNORE ME. (Solidarity?)

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher OH ladyfriend, there is NO SUCH THING as an overshare on the 'pin. I, too, get super gassy during lady time and it's awful and sometimes I just want to be banished to a well-ventilated hut. Birth control helps this for me, but yes, my sympathies are with you. *hugs and love*

Today I went to the gym, period-style. I almost made cupcakes for my gyno because whoa, this birth control shit is awesome. I'm only fanatical because I just started it last month and whoa amazing.

miwome

@all talking about weight gain Oh, man, I don't know whether to be OMG RELIEVED or just "man, I wish this were just happening to me NOW," because I had my big weight gain when I was more like 21 and it has just stuck with me ever since (now 23). There are all kinds of extra, fucked up reasons why this might have happened involving Psychological Issues And Whatnot. And so what I could/should take from this is, oh, maybe someday my metabolism will Get A Grip like these ladies' did! but I keep reading this as I AM DOOMED TO BE LIKE THIS FOREVER. (Which I am more at peace with than I once was, but not all the way there.)

Anyway, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who's a little freaked out! All my friends have super high metabolisms/are not having this problem, so.

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth This is why I love the 'Pin. Also, BC, (when it works for you!) is BEYOND AWESOME and should instill feelings of cupcake baking and love for your gyno. It is amazing stuff. I'm so glad it's working well for you!

:Cinnamon Girl:

@Ophelia My lovely midwife (she does my annuals and such) calls 20s weight gain "coming into our womanly bodies," which I thought was rather kind phrasing...

In other news, after accepting said womanly body I mysteriously lost a lot of weight and am now wearing pants that I wore as a freshman in high school?????! My boobs also up and left. Oh welsies! I'm learning to embrace my new super svelte frame.

I do miss the booty, though. Everything's funner with a booty.

@.Lauren. I wish more people would refer to it as coming into a womanly body. That would be way more awesome than just "ugh, I need to go to the gym."

:Cinnamon Girl:

@S. Elizabeth I know! Womanly bodies FTW. Also, MIDWIVES. They can do all the primary care stuff that an OBGYN can, but in my experience they're... cooler? More human? I don't know.... but everyone should have a midwife on their team!!

automaticdoor

@S. Elizabeth My mom calls it that, actually! "Honey, calm down. It's natural. You got your womanly curves." But then that feels awkward because I hate the Real Women Have Curves bullshit (ugh seriously someone on my fb posted an adorbs "All Bodies Are Good Bodies" pic with women of various sizes and this juicebox was all "the girl in the middle needs a sandwich!" and I took him to task and he still doesn't get it but I don't have time) and it triggers my dual self-loathing of wanting to calorie restrict because of depression/disordered eating but also hating the way I look when I'm super thin. So, I'm actually okay with my weight gain! But I feel awkward because I don't know how to talk about any of this without being even more awkward. In summation, I'm awkward. And why can't we ever fucking win? Either you're a fatty fat and should diet, or you're too thin and should eat a sandwich. There is no actual good point. Stupid jerkcircus.

miwome

@automaticdoor Can we also talk about how even talking about it is made out to be a Stupid Girl Thing to do? Like, you should feel FINE, because STRONG WOMEN don't listen to that magazine bs! Baby Got Back and so on! But it doesn't work like that, sorry.

I feel awkward around the subject too! We can be awkward together.

:Cinnamon Girl:

@miwome @automaticdoor I don't believe in awkward, really. Most of the time I'm talking about things that are relevant to the human experience, and it's on other people if they wanna get all awkward about it. I think I got this from my parents, who are what other people might call "awkward." I got over their eclectic nature at a young age because being perpetually embarrassed/ashamed is too much work, and I love them!

I guess what I'm trying to say is: when people say "that's awkward" in response to what I'm saying, I hear "WHAT YOU'VE SAID MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE, PROBABLY BECAUSE I'M EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE AND RATHER THAN OWNING IT, I'D RATHER MAKE YOU FEEL BAD."

So, yeah.... no one can make you feel awkward without your consent? Easier said than done, of course. I've had yearsssss to nail this one and still feel bad about myself sometimes (DUH), but maybe if you start now you can move in my direction? TRUST, it's an awesome corner of the world to inhabit.

automaticdoor

@.Lauren. Haha, this is pretty much the one area that I feel awkward about, actually! It's my final frontier of awkward. Which is absurd. I can talk about my mental health/lack thereof, I can talk about sexuality, I can talk about my history of sexual abuse, I can talk about being queer, I can talk about class issues, I can talk about ... whatever! But I can't talk about weight. I think that's because it's still the one fraught topic in my otherwise eclectic, awkward family where we let everything else hang out. I come from a family of self-destructive body haters whose eagle eyes notice what you eat, what you don't eat, what you're wearing and why, and whether you've lost or gained any weight since the last time they saw you. I just found out I had food allergies (to like, everything in processed food YAY! this is so great! not!) and changed up my diet this fall; this caused a huge uproar in the family because I WAS EATING DIFFERENT THINGS and WAS I DOING IT FOR ATTENTION and WAS I FAKING IT SO I COULD DIET WITHOUT JUDGMENT and I LOST TEN POUNDS BETWEEN THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS and on and on. I caught them trying to sneak ingredients into food and when called on it, they said, "Well, they're not *life-threatening.*" (I spent the next two days throwing up. "That's so psychosomatic. Must be how you lost all that weight.")

So, anyway! Basically, I live in your world 99% of the time, but then this happens and I lose my shit.

miwome

@.Lauren. @automaticdoor I am a couple notches down the comfort scale from where automaticdoor is? I think? I dunno, I don't really understand this particular issue of mine enough to talk about it as clearly as y'all are (automaticdoor your folks sound INSANE in this regard, I'm so sorry you had to spend the holidays throwing up), but basically: I agree, .Lauren., that most supposedly-awkward things don't need to be! But this is one about which, for whatever reason, I continue to feel that way. I have hopes for the future.

:Cinnamon Girl:

@automaticdoor Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to you! Family + body stuff can be super toxic and tricky territory. Good luck charting those waters, comrade!

@miwome Never underestimate the power of "having hope for the future." I sound like a fucking cheerleader of the internet tonight, sheesh. Sorry.

Kinda related sidebar: my therapist asked me to decorate 3 rocks with the words "Shame," "Fear," and "Guilt" on them, and carry them around in my bag for a month (she is kinda new age-y but I adore her), and for the first time I really started thinking about shame and all of the ways I feel ashamed, how our society is so wrought with shame, how we throw shame on each other and bathe ourselves in it, and how unproductive and hurtful most of this behavior is (DUH, but whatever). Thinking about shame helped me to be more conscious of its presence in my life, and acknowledging its power diminished its power? I dunno, still working through a lot of this body stuff too (am realllllllly thin right now and am not particularly happy about it), and probably will be forever, but shame. Look into it. And don't be ashamed of your body or feelings or feelings about your body! Or the fact that you feel shame about feeling ashamed! All lofty and unattainable goals, but I'm feeling optimistic tonight so....

automaticdoor

@.Lauren. @miwome Thanks! It was mostly my younger sisters, truth be told. They have not quite figured out that happiness is not a zero-sum game. The holidays were SUPER FUN. My parents are generally awesome people (though they have their own body issues). My mom inadvertently made me sick, but she misread the packaging and it was a freak incident wherein I let my guard down and didn't double-check it myself. Amusingly, my dad has been all CONSTANT VIGILANCE except last night he asked me, completely sincerely, if I wanted apple pies from McDonald's while he was out. "Um... yes? But I can't eat them?" "Oh god, that's right! Shit! I'm so sorry!"

Megasus

@annebee This might explain why I haven't been able to drop a pound (when I was actually trying to, the past year kind of put a kibosh on that) for the last couple of years?

tea for all

@reallykatie pharmacies switch generics when their suppliers run out, or so cvs has told me, but pharmacies with different suppliers will more likely have your previous generic. if you want you can transfer your prescription to, say, a walgreens really easily as long as it's not expired/they can get in touch with your prescribing physician.

JessicaLovejoy

Cut off all contact with this guy.

Flawless. 10. Would read again.

It'll hurt like hell at the start, and sometimes you'll find yourself unnervingly reenacting feening-junkie scenes you've watched on TV or in movies, but after a while, the empowerment kicks in when you see his name on your phone (you'll have to keep the number for now so you know not to pick up, but change his name to "Juicebox" or "Assface" or "Lord Withholdington") and you can cheerfully hit "dismiss."

angelinha

@JessicaLovejoy If he has an area code from outside of your city/state, I really support deleting the number so that you cannot initiate contact. I did this, and when the texts came in I recognized the area code so I knew it was him, but in my own moments of drunkenness/despair I couldn't scroll to Juicebox, Assface or Lord Withholdington and send the messages I knew Tomorrow Klibberfish would regret.

a horde of great crab things

@JessicaLovejoy I have another solution to the 'taking their number off your phone' thing: memorise the last three digits of the number. No more than the last three digits. Then delete that shit. There's no way you can lose your dignity in a glass of Long island Ice Tea and ring them at 2am to ask if they've seen it, but if they call at 2am you can be all like '593? I'm ignoring the fuck out of you with your 593 bullshit! Woooo!'.

emilylou

Yeah, dude. PERFECT answer.

Because, LW4, I'm worried if we give it a go, we'll break up and I'll lose him as my best friend forever. = Yes. I gave waaaay too many chances instead of cutting off what I knew was an emotionally unsafe situation and this was the final outcome of my experience. I seriously could have written your letter word for word. I was a Stupid Girl for three years. (And, as A Lady said and I have realized, nope, he's not your best friend in the first place.)

Shitty situation. LW4, you deserve more! Go back and read the epic comment threads on this post.

karion

@JessicaLovejoy: honestly, the no-contact thing is the Most Important Thing. I completely effed this part up years ago and lost a whole lot of time.

A break up requires a break. No matter how friendly, no matter how amicable, no matter how much love there once was. Break all the way up, for at least six months. No contact. Nada. Every single time you have an urge or whim to call him, the answer to the question is "no."

Contact restarts the six-month clock, and you are just postponing the getting over it process. When you break up, make it clear that there will be radio silence for AT LEAST six months. Say goodbye and break up. You know how diet and exercise are the only things that work for losing weight? Time and distance are the only ways to get over a broken relationship.

applestoapples

@JessicaLovejoy The no-contact thing is key. It's called a break-up for a reason, otherwise it's the equivalent of sliding slowly out of a chair and finding you're not able to pull yourself back upright.

But it's easier said than done. Sometimes you end up kicking yourself in the butt many times over (as I have in the past) until you learn your lesson.

laurel

@applestoapples "the equivalent of sliding slowly out of a chair and finding you're not able to pull yourself back upright" is, um, evocative.

joie

LW #1, I've been on both sides of the fence there (the weight gainer and the friend) and it's just fucking tough. Because I think it can only work in a very unique, brutally honest friendship, and even then...chancy. And honestly, even if your friend does have a rockin' muffin top, does it really affect how she is as a friend to you? Is this something that she will look back on 5 years from now and say, "Wow, I'm so glad that LW #1 told me I needed to move up to a size 12" or is she going to say, "I can't believe how shitty it made me feel when I was already struggling with my changed body and my friend pointed out how my favorite jeans didn't fit anymore." And really, that all depends on the friend.

I have a dear, dear friend who has put on about 40 pounds in the last year, and I haven't said a damn thing. Why? because she knows she's put on weight. It's been a struggle for her as long as I've known her (14 years). So I sure as hell won't be the one to point out what she already knows. Instead, I give her lots of hugs, buy her beautiful earrings for her birthday, and continue to be her friend.

Her weight doesn't define her as the awesome person that she is, and it doesn't define our friendship. I understand where you're coming from in trying to help her be her best self, but yeah, check your intentions here.

automaticdoor

@heyits I really, really like this.

oh, disaster

@heyits I agree, it definitely depends on the relationship in the friendship. A friend of mine is known for her brutal honesty- not harsh, but she doesn't sugar coat things either. People seek her out for her advice, but I'm not sure someone else who is more concerned with feelings* could say the same things she does or be taken the same way.

*Me, I'll totally admit it.

Ophelia

@heyits Just to add to this...maybe a shopping trip--for accessories and shoes--is in order. I've also been on both sides of this fence, and sometimes having something nice, that fits without having a size attached to it (I realize shoes have sizes, but...), both makes you feel better about the way you look, and also sort of flips the switch to wanting other things to fit you better, too (and whether that means losing weight, or an emergency trip to old navy is then up to her).

joie

@andrea disaster YES. If that's who you are in the friendship and that's who you're known as, then I think brutal honesty is maybe at least more expected? If the friend hears it from someone who they know is always going to be brutally honest with them, then it's different than coming from a friend who doesn't really say stuff like that. And it's good to have both kinds of friends.

@Ophelia Yes! Accessories. A girl's best friend, regardless of size, and especially when other things don't fit as well.

joie

@heyits oops, just realized that whole original comment should have been aimed at LW#1. geez! get it together, heyits.

miwome

@heyits YES. During a very deluded time of my life (I was brutally insecure re: appearance, happened to be going through a very skinny and clearskinned phase and so felt euphoric and therefore stupid/superior), I made all kinds of unnecessary comments on the haircutting frequency/dress sense of one of my best friends. The comments weren't catty, precisely: more of a Mom-style, "honey, if you just trimmed your hair regularly" kind of thing. Anyway, she demonstrated remarkable forbearance, and now I look back in horror at the things I SAID! My goodness.

packedsuitcase

@andrea disaster Definitely. I have friends that are concerned with feelings, and they're fun to shop with because they enable. I am the "You can find something more flattering than that, I don't want you to spend money on something and get home and realize it looks like a giant turd" friend. Unfortunately, fewer people want to shop with me. But the ones that do are always impeccably dressed.

AKA - LW1, if you're that friend, say something. If you're not, love her no matter how tight her clothes are.

Hamburger Hot Dog

@heyits All the high fives in the world to you, and also a big foam "I'M #1" hand. Or, if you are not comfortable getting yourself a big foam hand, I will get one for you but it will say "You're #1" and then people will be confused about why you are calling them number one.

joie

@Hamburger Hot Dog aw, shucks! I would take a high five, but I've never really been able to competently give a high five. I panic at the last second and end up fucking up that perfect *high five* sound. So, foam hand! All the way!

Hamburger Hot Dog

@heyits If it's any consolation, I apparently hold my waves for too long because people always high five me when I'm just trying to say goodbye.

cinnamonskin

@Hamburger Hot Dog @heyits - the secret to a high five is to look at the other person's shoulder. The shoulder that's about to five. And if you mess up, say "oh, that was a terrrrrrrible one, repeat high five!"

Also, have children who you can practice with, as this game can continue for long stretches.

zirzabella

@heyits If my best friends wouldn't tell me when I look horrible, I would defriend them instantly. I think that if you can't tell your close friend (with lots of love and sugarcoating of course) that the new jeans she's going to spend a fortune on make her look like a whale... there's something wrong with your friendship. And I think it should be like this with every other aspect of our lives. My friends are my friends because they're not afraid to tell me that my obsessing about a certain dude is goddamn annoying, that my joke sucks, or that my 'innocent' remarks are actually hurting someone.

Just think about it, what would (has?) become of us if we can't be honest even with our closest friends?

selkie86

@heyits Honest shopping advice is always a good thing, but I think the letter writer was asking whether or not to offer unsolicited advice about the fit of her clothing.

the zazu

LW2 - Maybe taking her out for a shopping date? That way she is trying on things that she might hypothetically buy instead of things she already owns. (When you are each trying on new, pretty things, it might be easier to say, "ooh, this looks a little tight?" versus "hey, your present wardrobe does not suit you.") I also mean to say, it's always nice to have a supportive friend while shopping for clothes that will make me look and feel good as the awesome person I am.

LW4 - I like this answer a lot. It's the health dose of reality I need.

snuffleupagus

@the zazu This what just what I was going to say. Shopping for new pants a little while ago and finding that the ones in my "usual size" were too tight made me realize that I'd gained a few pounds and no, I hadn't just shrunk my current pants in the laundry.

Also, shoes for everyone!

H.E. Ladypants

@the zazu Also, if you go to a new store you can always deflect sizing comments with "oh, so-and-so runs a bit small."

It's silly but as a lady who gained quite a bit of weight for a time, little bits of denial like that can be a helpful stepping stone on the way to a wardrobe that actually flatters. And funny thing- once you have things you look good in it's a lot easier to come out and say, "oh, I wear an X now," now that you know that an X is not the end of the world.

sarah girl

@the zazu Also, maybe take her to a store she doesn't usually go to? With the way women's sizing works, it can be VASTLY different from store to store, so maybe you can preface the trip with "ugh, the sizing here is so out of whack, don't even pay attention to it." So she isn't focusing on the fact that she's in a 12 instead of a 6 or 8. Just an idea!

Marzipan

I kind of feel like things like this are all a bit sleazy and insulting?

I just know, if I was in this situation, already hyper-aware and sensitive about it, my friend made even a subtle comment, I would notice it, and file it away as evidence in my "Yes, people absolutely are noticing all of your flaws and judging you constantly, THUS all of your most insane, irrational fears are in fact TRUE" folder. I feel like the subtle tricks are the worst, actually, because it very much feeds that paranoid feeling.

So say it straight out, gently obviously, if you MUST but honestly, unless she is ASKING, don't say anything. And maybe asking for her is more like, "Gosh, we should go shopping sometime." or "I feel so depressed, I know I gained weight and..." or "At work, someone said this thing and what should I do...". Wait for a pretty strong cue before you get involved.

Frankly, this is So Not Your Problem (SNYP), so unless she seems to be in trouble, or asking for help, or is somehow making it your problem, stop even thinking about it.

miwome

@Marzipan SNYP! I love it. Sounds like snip. I am thinking of all kinds of scissory cutting metaphors, like, SNYP your way through the bullshit, &c.

tea tray in the sky.

@miwome I had parSNYPs in my dinner! ... I don't think I understand the activity.

@Marzipan YES. Quite frankly, I'd be a little miffed if my friend tried to be weirdly passive aggressive about this stuff. SNYP = the answer.

noodge

LW1: I'm 34, and my cycles are still changing (from semi-normal in teens, to non-existent in my late 20s, to semi-normal again in the last few years). We're dynamic creatures, it will probably change through your whole life.

:Cinnamon Girl:

@teenie DYNAMIC CREATURES, FTW!!!!!!!!!

Slapfight

@teenie Yeah. Mine got weird around 28. Super crampy-painful, heavy, insomnia, fits of rage, yet oddly consistent. Good times. Now it's gotten light. There's always more to look forward to!

oyster

A Lady, where were you when I broke up with my live in boyfriend this summer? Perfect answer.

missvancity

@The Lady of Shalott I'm still struggling with this myself, but I find it helps to remind me that MOST people are not terrible, and just because one particular man treated me terribly, does not mean all men will. Also, that I would hate for someone to treat me based on the way their ex behaved. It hasn't totally solved things, but it does help.

Bretley

Having your period show up in mid-afternoon vs. in the morning is a thing? I have never, ever in my life had a period that was that damn specific, birth control pill or not.

muralgirl

@Bretley Yeah, me either! I'm not very good at keeping track of it, but when I've tried, it's certainly never even started on the same day of the month, much less day of the week or time of day.

ilikemints

@Bretley Seriously. I have a 3 day window that seems to be accurate, but time of day has always been a crapshoot, and I'm the same age as the LW.

Porn Peddler

@Bretley My period used to specific to mornings in the most evil way: it would always happen that I would sleep through my alarm and then my period would show up as soon as I got to the bathroom for maximum awful morning.

Dorothea

@Bretley i just kind of operate by intuition. like if i cry during an episode of grey's anatomy, and i feel like i haven't had my period in a while, i'll start wearing pantyliners.

(also, when i was on the pill, it was in my boyfriend's gcalendar.)

@Bretley 5am, every 4th Friday, for years. Yes, this occurred naturally.

Porn Peddler

@blahstudent Oh dear, I want that to work for me so much, but I have started PMSing for at least twice as long as I used to all of the sudden. CRYING AT EVERYTHING FOREVER.

Faintly Macabre

@Bretley Yeah, I'm lucky if mine's in the same week as the month before. People getting freaked out about a change of a few hours kind of boggles my mind.

Ophelia

@Third Wave Housewife Mine would not only show up in the morning, it would show up after I had some sort of violent dream about blood. So that was helpful, if a bit disturbing. For some reason it doesn't do that anymore.

Bretley

@S. Elizabeth That is nuts! Not to say you are weird, just what individual lovely people we all are. :-) Mine has always been more like Faintly Macabre's, and my "head's up" is when my tits start to hurt a bit.

FloraPosteHaste

@Bretley Mine used to (in my teens through early-to-mid twenties) ALWAYS start in the wee small hours of the morning, luckily (?) waking me up with cramps. No birth control. It wasn't predictably regular in how many days apart, but time of day was quite consistent. Now, not so much. Our bodies are weird. And, yeah, they've definitely gotten weirder and heavier since I started nearing 30; I just assumed it was my body whining "WHY aren't we making BABIES yet??"

oh, disaster

@S. Elizabeth Whoa, 5 a.m?! I'd be so pissed at my body for picking such an awful time (unless you are an early bird, in which hopefully that was convenient).

SarahP

@Bretley Mine (before it had its period puberty) always started first thing in the morning; I'd have a bit of spotting when I first went to the bathroom, and it would start within a couple hours. Now that I'm in my mid 20s, that warning spotting almost always comes in the late evening, and I have till morning to prepare myself. Bodies are so weird!

WaityKatie

@Bretley Hahah, me either. I also thought it was a bit strange that she's so worried about this when she's on the pill. The pill overrides everything your body does, so...maybe you took your pill the night before a couple hours earlier or something? There are better things in life to obsess over. (like Downtown Abbey).

EpWs

@Bretley I'm on the pill, so feel free to disregard, but mine will incrementally move later and later in the day (like an hour or so later each month) until daylight savings time hits, at which point it usually jumps back to the morning and then starts getting later etc. I cannot explain this at all, even a little.

WaityKatie

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher When I wasn't on the pill, my periods were never even regular within 2 days, so now that it comes on (usually) the same day every month with the pill, that is more than good enough for me. People who can track theirs down to the hour amaze me. Also, people who miss periods, I envy you so freaking much. If mine ever lasted less than 4-5 days even, I would throw a party. You guys should throw missed period parties, why are you not doing this?? (unless you're missing it because of something bad, like illness or a baby, god forbid).

alliepants

LW3: DON'T DO IT DON'T DO IT. He's afraid of losing you and being forced to come to terms with himself (and what a juicebox he's been.) "You've been dating other people" is NEVER a valid reason to ask someone to be in a relationship. You'll just end up losing him for good later on, and it will be even messier. You need to extract yourself from this, STAT. And also, "I'm afraid to lose you" does NOT mean "I love you" or "I want to be with you."

It's totally scary and awful to just cut off someone who knows you that well. And it's going to suck for a while. But you WILL find another Best Friend/person to love, though. And he'll love you wholeheartedly as a person, not a security blanket. Because really, right now you're just an emotional security blanket.

Losing someone forever sucks and hurts, but it's actually freeing. Once you realize you can be without that person, you realize you can be without all sorts of unhealthy things you thought were necessary and totally intrinsic to your identity. Then YOU get to choose what you want to be part of your identity, instead of sharing those decisions with this juicebox.

- someone who has been through this three times and no longer puts up with any of that bullshit (and is 100x happier for it)

Princess Langwidere

@alliepants Someone who says "I don't want to lose you" when you start seeing someone else is usually someone who will drop you lightning fast when they find someone else THEY want to date.

Dorothea

@alliepants has anybody here watched the only way is essex? because this is EXACTLY why the handsome footballer guy proposes to his on-and-off girlfriend (right after she got a tattoo of his name removed from her crotch!!!), and it is painful to watch!

ilikemints

@alliepants PREACH.

LW3, get yourself to The Breakup Bunker stat, and read this comment over and over.

alliepants

@Princess Langwidere TRUTH. I learned that with the first one. Then I learned it can also mean "I don't want to lose you because I still want to sleep with you and I have a personal policy of staying friends with my exes," or "I don't want to lose you but I also definitely don't want to be with you because I'm totally f*cked up and an emotional cripple."

wee_ramekin

@alliepants

And also, "I'm afraid to lose you" does NOT mean "I love you" or "I want to be with you."

Holy shit. You know how sometimes someone says something - something obvious, something pertinent to the thoughts that run through your head on a near-daily basis - in a specific way and it sheds sudden, clarifying light on something?

That just happened right here. Happened so swiftly and so blindingly that I am actually tearing up at my desk.

Thank you so much.

claire-de-lune

@alliepants Nothing like dating emotional cripples, amirite? Nothing like someone telling you they need you, want you, love you and when you come running back, they push you always like the plague and act like they never said or implied a goddamn word.

Hot Doom

@alliepants Oh my goddddd, yes! My emotional fuckwit of an ex pulled this with me too, and after some deliberating on my part, I gave in, because I just HAD to know if it could work (ahhh, naiveté) and he didn't want to lose me as a friend because he was still friends with his exes, whom he thought of as sisters, and knew we could stay friends, etc, etc, barf, barf, etc. when in reality he didn't want to see me cry/date other people.
Anyway, we broke up again a month later, but you knew that already. He tried contacting me 4 months later AGAIN and then I blocked him. And that was fucking GRAND.

miwome

@claire-de-lune Sometimes it's even better to Fake-Date them (no sex) in a whiplash-inducing cycle between constant flirting and not talking while they oscillate over whether or not to break up with their long-distance girlfriend, never talk to each other about what you're doing, keep the whole thing on the DL with your group of mutual friends, and then have the whole thing end with said emotional cripple breaking up with the girlfriend and...Real-Dating someone else in the group of mutual friends. Sometimes.

Hot Doom

@LolaLaBalc Oh, he didn't want to see me cry, because it would make HIM feel guilty and bad about his already insecure self. So really, it usually comes down to being an insecure juicebox, who may or may not change down the line, but why should you be subjected to the pain now?

alliepants

@claire-de-lune YEP.

Y'all can I ask a question now? It's about the emotional cripple (naturally).

Basically, he and I had been great friends for a year, then had this awful awful back and forth for like 5 months after he broke up with his girlfriend of three years. "I WANT YOU, wait I'm not ready, YES I DO, no I can't." Besides that bullshit, which I attempted to hold him accountable for (and probably failed at), he was great for me. I know it sounds silly, but he has pretty much always been there for me no matter what. He also really took care of me when I went through some pretty terrible stuff. I've had boyfriends who haven't done that for me. We haven't spoken in a month because he finally crossed the line and intentionally did something really shitty. And of course, infuriatingly, after that he decided to be mature and apologize. He said he was acting out because he really wasn't sure how he felt about me, but he wasn't comfortable with things not being defined. So we decided to stop all contact, and if/when/if he figures it out he'll call me. Now I know that doesn't excuse what he did or make it okay that he jerked me around. But it sucks because I'm in this place still where I want to tell him things.

Now I'm approaching the end of this no-contact time with a whole fucking ton of trepidation, because I'm realizing now I used to have some pretty serious capital-F Feelings for this person but just never really admitted it to myself. I've moving on, too - seeing a great new guy who I like a lot! So basically I should be in better shape. But I almost don't want to start talking to him again. If my former "friend" says he's interested in dating, I'm not sure if I can get over the mess that was fall 2011. If he doesn't, I almost think that would be better, but then I'm scared we'd fall back into old co-dependent habits (and current boy would not be happy with us being close again, as he almost beat "friend" up bc he made me upset).

What do I do? Maybe I just need more time. I don't know. Should we just stop speaking forever? Or should I just be extra-vigilant with keeping the wall up? BAH. I know that's a lot, but I think typing it out helped? I don't know.

claire-de-lune

@LolaLaBalc Oh my god. Your ex sounds exactly like my ex. I too had to go back just to see. And then one month later...bam! Broke up with me in a text message after a short fight about him not seeing me on his day off, but not actually saying anything so I became aware of the breakup the next morning via facebook. And his only response after my early morning voice-mail of hate was a pathetic little text about how he never meant to hurt me. Fuck Insecure dudes, or better yet don't fuck them.

alliepants

@alliepants Ugh I just realized my whole question boils down to "I don't want to be with him but I don't want to lose him what do I doooo?" TIMELY

leastimportantperson

@alliepants I have been in a similar-ish sounding situation, and the only advice I wish I had been given is, if you feel yourself willfully ignoring something...stop doing that. I maintained for like a year that I was blindsided when my situation turned into a heartbreaking nightmare shitpile, but I wasn't. I had felt myself ignoring important things all along, due to the heroin-like high I was on from this guy. Not saying be paranoid, just, be mindful of how you're thinking.

claire-de-lune

@alliepants From what you've said, I would say don't be his friend. I think that if he's going to negatively affect your life right now then he doesn't need to be in it. Sometimes you have to lose people to be happy. Even if those people have been good to you in the past. It can be hard, but it sounds like you need more time to detox .

alliepants

@leastimportantperson No, that's a fair point. That's why I'm REALLY trying to move on (this is the most thought I've given it all month, to be honest). I keep oscillating between "he used to be a very good friend but nothing's going to come from it so you should move on" and "he used you for personal validation that whole time and it meant nothing you dumb slut." So! I can't trust myself to see the important stuff, but I'll try to be pessimistic enough that what I'm ignoring won't be as bad as what I'm imagining!

leastimportantperson

@alliepants Dude, that's so hard. And I recognized those thought patterns sooo instantly. You're smart for trying to move on. It just sucks that in these situations doing the smart thing feels so completely unrewarding, whereas doing the stupid thing can feel like, WOW FUN why reflect on this when I'm having the BEST TIME!

FWIW, my current beau is my love, and he has never made me think any of those thoughts. So I know you know this, but the angst is not mandatory for happiness.

alliepants

@leastimportantperson Good to hear! I mean. It was made exceptionally more difficult because I kept trying to do the smart thing and he would get really upset. I tried to cut off contact before our final falling-out and he actually cried. I'M NOT A ROBOT I CAN'T HANDLE THAT GODDAMNIT.

alliepants

@alliepants Plus he had reasonable concerns about the dating thing like "I'm not over my ex-girlfriend." Which I think is an entirely valid point. That sort of stuff takes time. But unfortunately by the time he's done sowing his wild oats I'm going to be over him entirely.

leastimportantperson

@alliepants Manipulative and unavailable! Fun combo pack. Um cha, you are in a diiifficult situation, which I can tell because I even was like, aw poor guy, for a second. But like no. Manipulative. Unavailable. Also you are already obviously on top of it, and probs it's just a matter of living through it at this point.

semolinapilchard

@wee_ramekin YES. THIS. It happened to me on the new year's resolutions/emotionally unavailable thread. @S. Elizabeth said something that just gobsmacked me, and I was like, "Oh. OH. THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME AND NOW I SUDDENLY SEE IT."

alliepants

@leastimportantperson "I even was like aw poor guy, for a second. But like no. Manipulative. Unavailable." --> my new mantra re: this dude. THANK YOU.

Also new dude is pretty great. Him (he was at the party where me and Awful had the huge falling-out, and may have been part of the reason for it?): "I mean, I have good friends of the opposite sex, but they baked me cake on my birthday, instead of picking a fight." But he helps :)

Thanks lady!!

Inkling

@wee_ramekin
I knooow I just had that point of realization too!
The LDR ex used to be a really good friend! And now 100% mixed messages/"maybe it'll work outs"/(I am ashamed to admit it) sexytimes. I mean, I have a THRIVING sex-friend relationship with a stellar buddy, and what he was doing was not the same.
And now I wanna be like "you've been jerking me around on purpose, so I can be an open option to you. Never talk to me again."
Except maybe harsher/in an open conversation? So he sees it? 'Cause I think he thinks he's being mature and not jumping into things?
I read all the questions first and then waited for the comments to roll in, and now it's just SO CLEAR. I feel like a dummy, but I am also, for the first time, feeling like AN ANGRY GODZILLA, WAITING TO TRAMPLE HIS FACE AND BODY AND WEIRD HAIR.

Inkling

@all
Infinite loop of
This Is Letting Go - Rise Against
Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
and.. who else has really good, upbeat songs for this situation?

miwome

@Inkcrafter ADVANCE WARNING: OOPS I RAN MY MOUTH

Winter by The Dodos for an "I miss you but OH WAIT THIS IS MUCH BETTER" acoustic jam; Shores of California by The Dresden Dolls for "well, things have always been this way but HAHAHA I AM OUT OF IT, SUCKERS" (seriously, lyrics include "that's why god made escort agencies" and "stupid little bitch romance"); Time To Get Away by LCD Soundsystem is pretty self-explanatory.

Also, it seems like you like GUITARZ (which, yes), and for music featuring GUITARZ that will make you feel aggro, badass, and sexy (for your future conquests), I recommend the entire The Dead Weather album, particularly this jam.

Finally, You by Atmosphere is pretty good for a "FUCK YOU, DUDES, I AM ON MY OWN SHIT" moment, even though in some ways it's not the happiest? Like, it's a tale of struggling to hold your own in a shitty world, but at the same time there's an anthemic "fuck off asshole jerkoff dirtball" (direct quote) part that is very important to my sanity.

Inkling

@miwome
I liek guitarz
Psyched to listen to all of these at work tomorrow.

Hot Doom

@Inkcrafter

If you want to have a little self-pity while still calling someone out on making you feel shitty, "Bruises", by Chairlift is upbeat and great.

Anything by Sleigh Bells is great for screaming and feeling like a mutherfucking badass who can piece up the pieces and move on.

My ultimate song I want to scream and yell from the mountain tops is O.N.E. by Yeasayer. The line "No, you don't move me anymore/and I thought you should know/ 'cause I can't take it anymore" is my anthem.

miwome

@LolaLaBalc O.N.E. is amaaaaazing. I love that song, I can't believe I didn't think of it. And yes, Sleigh Bells!

Shorter me: YES YES YES.

leastimportantperson

@alliepants <3 the Hairpin, right?

singstrix

"[...] he's definitely not your best friend — he's just someone you've spent a lot of time with, and who therefore knows your quirks and can put you at ease. But don't mistake proximity for love, or even respect."

I cannot express how much I love this advice, and think more people need to hear it.

Jinxie

@;€ SERIOUSLY dude. If I thought she'd actually read it, I'd forward this to a friend of mine who, well over a year after she and her ex split, still defends the juicebox because "He's my best friend! We were together for so long!" Well, my dear, MY best friend is my bestie because she 1) never broke my heart, 2) made me feel bad about my looks/weight/getting older, 3) likes my family/friends and enjoys spending time with them, 4) is interested in what I'm doing with my life and supports and encourages my goals and I could go on and on. Point being, I think it's really sad if you consider still your ex your bestie when he dumped you after years only to start dating a younger version of you a month later NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT HE DOESN'T EVEN TALK TO YOU ANYMORE ARGH. WHY DO YOU DEFEND HIM HE'S NOT EVEN CUTE. Ahem. Sorry - this is an issue that's been bugging me for some time. Obviously.

singstrix

@Jinxie My ex and I had been together for 8 years when I suddenly realized a] that I was miserable, and b] that having 'a history together' didn't mean a crappy relationship deserved a FUTURE. Staying together for the 'but we've been through so much, we know each other so well' reasons are TERRIBLE when that's all the glue you have! He gave me a teary 'but you're my best! friend!' during The Breakup, and just.. no. Nope. I'm not. (We haven't spoken in nearly a year, and we broke up in December 2010. BESTIES, amirite?)

Nicole Cliffe

I was just ranting to Edith that if I was offered a single ride in a time machine, I would use it to hand my younger, breaking-up self a card saying "Dignity. DIGNITY."

Ophelia

@Nicole Cliffe Oooh. This would be a great topic for an open(ish) thread.

Jane Err

@Nicole Cliffe I agree. I just posted my wish for A Lady's advice when I was 20 downthread. Life would be so different.

leastimportantperson

@Nicole Cliffe Oh that I could believe my past self would have understood anything about that note.

Bro-lo El Cunado

@Nicole Cliffe I am, at nearly 30, giving the post-breakup maintaining dignity thing a try for the first time (to my credit, I was single for a looong time) and it is SO HARD. But worth it. Though a big part of me wants to call him and wail into the phone, "Why don't you love me eeeeeenoooough?!" But. Dignity.

melis

"Well, Dora, I've had one motto which I've always lived by. Dignity. Always dignity."

noReally

@Nicole Cliffe I refer to it internally as "Playing a relativity card."

Ophelia

@noReally Does that beat an Infinite Sheldon?

WaityKatie

@melis You win FOREVER for the Singin in the Rain reference!

HoliandIvy

@WaityKatie
My dad told me to 'never run for a boy or a bus as there will always be another right behind', or as I like to shorthand it, 'dignity'.

WaityKatie

@HoliandIvy Although, having lived in Philadelphia, I have to disagree on the bus part. If you miss that bus you could be waiting a looooong long time in Philly.

thebestjasmine

Okay, LW2, I would say that the major situation in which you should say something to your friend is if she's (as A Lady threw out there) looking wildly inappropriate at work. Because if she is, NO ONE at work is going to tell her, but it could seriously damage her career.

Though I have to say, either way I would tell her, because those are the things that I trust my closest friends to be able to tell me.

Porn Peddler

LW1: My theory is that periods are the Iago of our bodies: evil for the sake of evil. After almost eight years of right-as-rain, down-to-the-minute standard periods, mine have been totally out of fucking whack for the last year or so. I think periods just like to fuck your shit up from time to time because they're not nice. I've had more pms, more cramps, more late periods, etc., but not regularly! It isn't always late and I don't always pass out on the bathroom floor at work from ovulation-madness.

LW3: You sound somewhat convinced that you're heading for a breakup, based on having discussed things with your boyf, but, at the risk of putting forward an unpopular opinion...how much of this is the sudden rush of upheaval from study abroad and being so close to graduating? Def. give yourself time to wind down from the emotional rush of things! I just about stopped functioning at all for a week after I graduated from college. So I know that life-things can throw you for a major loop sometimes...

automaticdoor

@Third Wave Housewife I agree with both of those! College graduation fucked me up. Law school graduation is about to really fuck me up. Maybe it's possible that the LW is feeling like she HAS to break up with her boyf because she's moving on in every *other* life sense? I definitely think she needs time to calm down, readjust and reassess. Knowing how to break up with someone is good, sound advice that she should keep in her back pocket, because she might not end up staying with this guy the rest of her life! But she doesn't necessarily have to do anything right now. (Also OMG WTF if I had to have 10k to break up with someone I would never, ever break up with anyone. I don't even have 1k on hand in spare, extra, unaccounted-for cash. Jesus.)

Porn Peddler

@automaticdoor RIGHT!? Moving is fucking expensive, I know, but TIME TO START SAVING RIGHT NOW IN CASE I EVER BREAK UP WITH MY PARTNER?! It definitely did not cost me 10k last time I moved!

automaticdoor

@Third Wave Housewife I live in DC and I'm doing the math. Even if I moved into a luxury studio, skipping the brokers fees (because that is bullshit and we all know it, why would you ever use a broker), $1500 rent + $500 security deposit (true deposit facts here!) + $100 for a Zipcar truck and a pizza to bribe dude friends into moving my shit + ...let's go *wild* and say $1500 to outfit my place in the best IKEA/Target can provide plus the cost of another day or two of a Zipcar truck and buddies and pizza... we're still only looking at $3600, the very lowest range of A Lady's advice. Dang. Is A Lady in NY/SF? IDK.

February Revolution

@Third Wave Housewife Definitely agree that it doesn't sound like she has to rush, and 10k? For real? In college? Surely she has friends with couches or dorm rooms or something!

BUT on the other hand this is almost exactly The Tale of My College Roommate/BFF (except I was the roommate, not the boyfriend!), who had been with this guy since high school and he proposed freshman year and they were so together and regular and used to each other, until she did the study abroad thing and realized there was more to life and also Exciting European Men and Living It Up. So she did break up with the guy, and it was sad and painful but absolutely the right thing for both of them. As in, they're actually both happy and have since met other people who make them glow inside.

Maybe the high school sweetheart really is perfect. It absolutely happens! But you have to be with someone you can grow with, not someone you're growing apart from.

Lizanne07

@automaticdoor Yeah I actually spit out my late-afternoon coffee at the $10k. Is that a thing that people in their 20's can do? Even now(27) it would take me over a year to save up that kind of money.

aproprose

@automaticdoor I feel like the $10K is partially result of higher rent/utilities/whathaveyou over time.

Meaning you're no longer splitting one bedroom for super cheap.

KeLynn

@automaticdoor Agreed. Especially if you're in college - you probably don't have that much stuff to move anyway at that point, and you can buy a few pieces of furniture on super sale at Value City or Goodwill or some shit to get you through. You don't have to get a fancy apartment and outfit it right away. Get a studio, get the absolute basics, then take stock and figure out what you want to do from there.

AniaGosia

@February Revolution My college roommate/friend also broke up with her bf who she'd been with since day 1 of freshman year after going abroad and meeting a hot foreign guy. And then she regretted it but it was too late because he'd moved on. She was Very Sad for a long time. Now they're both happily married to other people though, so all's well that ends well. Still, caution.

Emby

Off-topic, but I kind of rhetorically want to Ask A Lady:

Posting on facebook questions like "Why am I single????" when you were the one who broke up with a guy you dated for a year, ostensibly because you thought the relationship was too serious, just a couple months ago, is kind of shitty, right? And related question: Just to put his thoughts at ease, that guy sort of dodged a bullet then, right? And he should stop thinking about this?

insouciantlover

@Emby Yes, and whoever he is should probably hide that person from his facebook feed because he/she sounds like a total mindfuck.

Princess Langwidere

@Emby Yes, yes, and yes. That guy should find someone not-shitty to start thinking about, instead. And probably defriend (or at least hide) the breaker-upper single status-worrier on Facebook.

lalaland

@Emby YES. Major bullet dodged. People who ask things like "Why am I single" in a public* forum tend to be awful people (generalization, I know, I know), similar to people who ask things like, "you're great, why are you single?"

*It is totally acceptable to do it in a private forum with your closest friends and alcohol.

Emby

@insouciantlover Yes, yes. This is good advice. Thank you.

Ophelia

@Emby Ugh, yes. It's good to know you aren't dating a 12 year old any more, though. Congrats! Other, awesome ladies are out there. (also, I vote for "hide" over "defriend" as it is the path of least drama here...)

Emby

@Princess Langwidere I sort of have! And I think Old Her is impinging on my thoughts and feelings about New Her, which is counterproductive to happiness and everything else.

Emby

@lalaland @Ophelia Yeah, I kind of do recognize it as such. That more than anything has actually kind of helped the getting-over process. I think, wait, would I want to be a in a relationship with someone who says such things? Probably not.

Jinxie

@Ophelia Oh, see, I am ALL about "defriend" as a viable option. When my ex and I split I just hid him because that was easier (and, I'll be honest, less "final" than defriending) but after a few months he started popping up on my wall randomly like-ing posts and I cannot tell you how ENRAGED that made me. He violated my wall! The NERVE. So I defriended the f**ker and now I have no compunction about defriending folks as necessary. I'd never do it to anyone I actually care about so if a defriended person gets offended...who cares? (Maybe this makes me a coldhearted person?)

Ophelia

@Emby And that, my dear, is why you are awesome, and New Her is a lucky gal.

@Jinxie Oh, that's totally justified. I was just imagining a scenario wherein he defriends her, she realizes it, and then has a dramatic THING about it. Whereas she'll never know if he just hides her (at least for the time being).

Princess Langwidere

@Emby Aaaah, bummer. I feel ya. The ghost of Old Him sometimes pops up and gives me crazy-ass ideas about Now Him's motives and actions and is generally counterproductive to my and Now Him's happiness (STILL occasionally after four years!), but fortunately Now Him is amazing and patient while I remind myself that Now Him is not Old Him. Here's hoping New Her is awesome! And yeah, get Old Her the hell off of the Facebook feed. Posts like that are obnoxious even to people who are in no way related to Old Her's single or coupled status.

Jinxie

@Ophelia Hmm, good point. But if she has a dramatic thing about it and he's not her friend then he probably won't ever see it! It's the whole "if a tree falls in the forest..." thing

lue
lue

@Jinxie
So at first glance I somehow read 'he started pooping on my wall' and snorted with laughter at work. Thank you for that!

EpWs

@Emby Yes, she is. Yes, he did. Yes, he should.

insouciantlover

LW1, I don't know if this would work for you. But I've occasionally happened to have a cute blouse that "doesn't fit me quite right" but "is totally your color!" so you should "just try it on to see if you like it."

Basically, I can be passive as all fuck in my attempts to help my friends wear something more flattering so that I don't hurt their feelings. Granted, I tend to occasionally shop for friends if I'm at a thrift store or there's a Target clearance, so I'm not out a lot of money and it's not completely out of character for me.

Anyway, this has been useful before when I have had friends who don't know how to shop for themselves. Not just for weight gain, but people who don't seem to see what colors and styles work for them.

paddlepickle

@insouciantlover This has just confirmed my suspicion that every time my Grandma tells me "I bought this (pink blazer/sequined blouse/any other thing that is completely not my style) for me but it doesn't fit!", she is full of baloney. I was pretty sure already, but now that I know it's a thing. . .wait a second, ARE YOU MY GRANDMA?

insouciantlover

@paddlepickle Oh dearie, I didn't want you to have to find out like this.

paddlepickle

@insouciantlover I'm just glad you've figured out how to use the internet!

Does Axl have a jack?

@insouciantlover Haha, yes! I finally figured out that this is the only way I will ever get decently flattering clothes onto a friend of mine who has no idea how to dress herself (everyone thinks I'm being horribly bitchy when I say that, until they see her/pictures of her). "Hey, try on this dress, turns out it's a little bit too short and small for me...omg, it looks soooo much better on you than it did on me! You should wear it all the time. Always. Never wear anything else you own ever again."

New Hoarder

"On Friendship"

I saw you enter the train. You were shy and lovely, trying to see if there was a place you could fit in. It was a harsh environment, and I was a beacon of light.

I graciously scooched over. Pick me, pick me! I am a cool chick! We're the same.

You hesitantly sat down, and it was quiet for a bit. Slowly our friendly chemistry permeated the air- or was that your sweet-scented perfume? You relaxed your posture and we were the closest of companions in our double bench for a while.

Oh! After a couple of stops you decided we must go our separate ways for awhile. No problem, we need to discover who we are without each other. This happens with all relationships. Still, you wavered in this decision and only moved into the seat in front of me.

And THEN you departed at the airport. I sighed. Of course this was coming- I always knew you were meant for greater things. Go out and see the world; I wiped a tear from my eye (after I sneezed).

No no, don't look back. I'll never forget you. You smelled like cookies, and you were my friend.

karion

LW#2: Have you ever wanted to be told that you gained weight and your clothes don't look good on you? Have you ever been unaware of your weight gain and the tightness of your clothes? Not denial - that's something different. I can't think of any circumstance under which your friend would appreciate your pointing it out.

Here's another obvious fact: she isn't asking you for your opinion. Read that again. She isn't asking you for your opinion on how her clothes look on her.

likethestore

@karion Exactly. Be a good friend and keep your damn mouth shut.

joie

@karion Yes! I mentioned that up-thread, and you said it far more succinctly.

thebestjasmine

@karion She is, though -- " and when she asks me how something looks on her, I never really know what to say." I mean, the friend could just be asking that question rhetorically, but when I ask my best friends those questions, I want to know the answer. Especially if the answer is no.

Jinxie

@karion WORD. It took me a long time to learn this as I really love being a know-it-all and giving folks unsolicited advice but then I realized that it drives me bonkers when people do that to me so I've learned to keep my opinions to myself unless requested to do otherwise and even then, there's a lot to be said for being gentle and positive.

likethestore

@thebestjasmine Sometimes I ask my friends "Does this make me look fat?" (I'm such a cliche) but I most definitely do not want them to say YES. I want them to tell me I'm pretty, because I need the little boost. And my friends know that. I guess it depends on the LW's relationship with her friend.

joeks

@karion Wait, what?

"...when she asks me how something looks on her..."

rararuby

@thebestjasmine I would want to know too. I think I've quite a thick skin, growing up with a mother and sister who are brutally, but lovingly, honest when you ask the "how do I look" question. I agree with the other commenters up-thread who say it depends on the friendship, it totally does and only the LW can judge that in this case.
This isn't about conforming to norms of beauty, maybe she would look great with the weight-gain if she dressed right for her new shape. Nothing feels or looks better than clothes that fit, and there's a gulf between giving that kind of guidance (when solicited) and actual body shaming.

thebestjasmine

@likethestore Yes, it would definitely depend on the LW's relationship with her friend -- I only go shopping with certain friends, because I want them to tell me if something looks terrible on me, and I don't ask that question if I don't want a real answer. If the friend doesn't want a real answer, that's one thing, but if this friend genuinely is asking that question, then yeah, her friend should give her a genuine answer.

karion

@joeks @thebestjasmine: Sorry, I did skim over that because I don't put a whole lot of stock into the "how does this look" question in a dressing room. My guess is that the friend is looking for assurance, not criticism, in that scenario.

I often need advice from close friends about Big Shit. I never ask for it casually.

But, I guess if you feel compelled to point it out, the most tactful way to do it is to answer the question "how do I look" with a "I would size up - it pulls in the wrong places."

I don't think either party will feel any better about themselves after this exchange, so I'll stand by my earlier advice. She knows she gained weight, she knows her clothes are tight, and man, the last person she wants to hear criticism from on this matter is her best friend.

Bebe

@karion Yes. Having been the friend who has gained weight and is still wearing too-tight clothes (for financial and denial reasons): Chances are high that she is not asking you for your honest opinion, but for your reassurance. Trust me, she knows she's gained weight, she knows her clothes are tight, she knows they don't look as good as they used to. She's not asking you because she has suddenly gone blind, she is asking you because she needs a friend's kind and loving voice to help drown out the nasty, terrible voice in her head telling her she's Fatty McFatterson.*

Presumably, you know your friends, and whether they'd really want an honest opinion or if they'd just like you to join them in the Land of Denial. Do what you think they would want.

*Er, that may have been a touch of projection.

elizabee

@karion Not LW#2, but I actually do tend to be unaware of weight gain. The first time I gained weight, probably 20 pounds (I weighed exactly the same from ages 12-32, which was almost certainly part of my cluelessness), there were MONTHS of being convinced the housecleaner was shrinking all my clothes and stores were mistagging things. I was actually grateful when my husband finally broke it to me.

That being said, I'd have a really hard time being that straightforward with someone else. I kinda suck that way.

Guybrush

@karion I say if she asks - which she apparently does from time to time - go ahead and tell, since it's apparently so jarring. Personally I would just go about minding my own business - she probably knows but plans on losing the weight soon, or she might not afford to completely upgrade her wardrobe.

likethestore

@Guybrush There's also the possibility that GASP she's totally happy with some extra pounds.

KeLynn

@elizabee Yes this! I gained something like 20 lbs in college and I remember the exact moment I finally realized it. I put my favorite top on and looked in the mirror and suddenly OH GOD THIS DOESN'T EVEN FIT ME IT IS SO TIGHT AND I'M HANGING OUT EVERYWHERE even though I had worn it literally a week earlier and thought I rocked it so hard. Sometimes people don't know.

pinkmoon

@karion Ha! This happened to me in college too. I remember asking my friends (on the way out to a bar) if the t-shirt I was wearing was too tight, and a girl I barely knew saying, "It would look fine if you didn't have that gut"
Seriously. And all my friends were like, Oh no it looks great.
It did not look great. I did have a gut. That's what beer does to a body. But who cares? I had a great time that night, from what I can remember.

bookbike

@karion I wish that I had heard your (& A Lady's) advice years ago before I devastated the sweetest of girls. I truly felt that I was doing her a favor - but now I just see that I was being a stupid, immature jerk friend.

Lady, I know you're probably just a stock photo, but you're really pretty.

WastedPaper

@S. Elizabeth and so fancy! sipping her tea/coffee/vodka like that!

@WastedPaper YES! I want to be her friend and try on her sunglasses and buy her more tea/coffee/vodka and be all "Ladyfriend! You're pretty!"

TimeLordNinjaWizard

@S. Elizabeth When I first saw that pic, I was "The First Lady is A Lady? No way!". But I agree, the picture is lovely and I want to be her friend.

Xanthophyllippa

@beccajanae I would totally read A Lady even more enthusiastically than I do now if she were The First Lady.

Slapfight

@Xanthophyllippa @beccajane Ask a First Lady! "Dear A First Lady, I think my bf is cheating on me. Help!" "My dear, I don't mean to be harsh with you, but even if he doesn't have use of his legs, he probably is. My advice to you is to work really hard, sleep very little, and surround yourself with amazing ladyfriends, and be the most awesome person you can be. Oh, and as long as it's not a political relationship, DTMF!"

Slapfight

@Slapfight "Co-signed by another First Lady. Only stick around if you have your own political aspirations."

chickaboom

I am terrified to learn that not only is there second puberty, there is period-shift age! I feel like maybe I will never be able to rely on my body to be constant, ever.

ilikemints

@chickaboom Oof, honey. Your body is like that girl in middle school who you thought you'd be best friends forever ever with because she really listened to you and you had so much fun together, and then you find out she's been spreading crazy rumors about you and kissing that boy you like, but you CAN NEVER UNFRIEND HER.

Your body is a total vessel of deceit, is what I'm saying.

@chickaboom Listen to @ilikemints. 2nd Puberty is real. Enjoy your normal nice body while you can before she turns into that evil bitchface who made fun of you at the 8th grade graduation dance because you didn't get the memo that pantyhose were gauche and your mom made you wear them with a sundress.

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth All I want to know is DO DUDES HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANY OF THIS?

chickaboom

@S. Elizabeth Don't worry, I already experienced second puberty, just without even knowing and being all WTF! Nobody told me about this! What is happening to me?

IT IS SO REAL. Now just waiting for period shift.

Flora Poste

@chickaboom

There's SECOND PUBERTY??!!

ama
ama

My period has never, ever, ever been close to regular. Three-week cycles, then five weeks, then a run of exactly 28 days for a few months. Everything's fine, "normal", just annoying. Just wait until you hit your 40s, then the fun really begins.

apples and oranges

@ama Me too! My doctor always tells me we're gonna "figure out what's happening" and then--we don't. -__-

OhMarie

@ama Yeah, what the hell?? Went from Monday morning to Monday afternoon? Are you fucking kidding me???

fleurdelivre

My sister and I are literally ALWAYS talking about how we think it's just a thing that happens in your twenties that your period goes haywire. The two female docs I've seen in the last two years (one gyno, one GP) when I brought it up in appointments were totally unfazed and said, "sounds about right for someone with your thyroid condition." The one male doc (GP) I saw a few months ago freaked the fuck out.

fleurdelivre

@fleurdelivre Okay, now I've read the rest of them and want to applaud A Lady for "Also, part of becoming an adult is learning that no one ever actually becomes one." Aaaaaiiiieee! So true!

February Revolution

Side note for LW #1: Menstrual synchrony hasn't really been demonstrated in humans. It is probably Not A Thing We Do! Go read Kate Clancy!

likethestore

My period went crazy last year. I asked my doctor about it and she attributed it to weight gain (I'm not crazy obsese or anything like that, but I don't weigh 105 pounds like I did in high school). She said if it didn't settle down she would do some tests, but it did, although my periods are farther apart than they used to be (like 35 days vs. 30 days). I don't know. TMI Fridays!

Beericle

@likethestore My periods are getting farther, and farther apart too. (But I had convinced myself it was super early onset menopause) Thank you for mentioning it! I've always been on a long cycle, like 32 - 35 or so days, but I am up to like 40-45 now.

likethestore

@Beericle To be honest in the back of my mind I am completely terrified I'm turning infertile, but I'm most likely going to die alone surrounded by dogs so I guess it doesn't matter! Hahaha sob.

EpWs

@likethestore Dogs are the way to go and will always love you and never need braces! Just throwing that out there. :) Also I started out with 40-day cycles for the first few years I had my period, and from what I've heard that's not terribly rare.

Beericle

@likethestore Yeah. Me too. Like, don't want to ask the Dr. about it, because I would rather just sorta wonder about it and scare myself with dog pictures than know for sure I'm turning infertile. Not that I am dying to have babies, but there is a comfort in knowing that it is still an option. But I guess dogs are pretty good options too. heeheehee sob.

isavedlatin

Broker's fees are the biggest bullshit scam on planet Earth. Just putting that out there.

Jane Err

Oh I wish I had A Lady's advice to LW3 when I was 20.

I'm still paying off my Breakup Debt, which I didn't even realize until right now, and that juicebox constantly stopped by my apartment for months after we broke up because he "saw my lights on". We'd hook up, I wouldn't want him to leave, he'd go, and I would be relieved. He also would always dissuade me from picking up any stuff from the house we'd shared because we "didn't know if this was permanent" for months. I still don't have any of my old crap, and he still sends me random texts every now and then wishing me well (the breakup was horrrrrrrible).

Get out LW3, and get out clean.

Jane Err

I should probably mention the part of the actual breakup when ex-dude had to call my ladyworkfriend to come get me in the middle of the night, and she subsequently told her cophusband, who had to file a report and call an ambulance. Nobody left in it or anything, but it was there, lights-a-flashing.

EpWs

@Jane Err Wait, what happened? I'm slightly confused/alarmed/curious.

Jane Err

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I lost my shit and we got into a scrap, mostly just awkward wrestling where he tried to hold my hands down so I wouldn't scratch his eyes out, and I fell and hit my head. He told that to ladyworkfriend, and she (a former victim of domestic abuse) told her (non-abusey new) husband she was coming to get me. As an officer, he was obligated to file a report, and the police always arrive with an ambulance.

It was awkward and extremely dramatic. Weee!

EpWs

@Jane Err OH wow, that is a lot of crazy. I am glad you are okay and out of there. Sounds like a not-fun situation for anyone. (Also, good on officer spouse. Always better to overreact on potential abuse situations, right?)

noodge

one positive note to ongoing pubescent changes as adults: my boobs grew!!! woo hoo! this last year, for the first time since I was 16, my boobs increased in size (not related to overall weight gain). BIG UPS TO TEENIE*!!!

*president of the IBTC

@teenie Me too! Man oh man, I went from IBTC to D-cups. No seriously, barely-B to full D. The type of boobs that make J. Crew a crapshoot and Natori my savior.

noodge

@S. Elizabeth ...well, I haven't gone THAT far (more like 30 b to 32 B or maybe C) but yeah. How is it? that big of a change? I mean, mine are pretty manageable, and I'm stoked about having cleavage for the first time. Is D a pain? or are you liking it?

EpWs

@teenie My boobs decided they were going to grow a cup size (B to C, so I'm with you!) this year. At the age of 23. I don't even know.

I've gained a little weight due to a sedentary job blergh and apparently a chunk of it is settling in my cleavage? Of course, I am certain that if I end up losing weight with this whole exercise thing it'll flee from my breasts first and remain on my belly and hips FOREVER.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher haha, oh, i don't know about that. When I was in my 20's weight seemed to like my face and my waist, and suddenly now I have a woman's figure: hips and boobies and a little waist and sharp face. I love it. late bloomer? So - i guess just to reiterate what everyone says, BODIES, right?

@teenie D is actually not bad. They look very normal on my frame. I have a weird body -- a solid frame, but a really feminine shape, short in height but petite clothing doesn't fit me, broad-ish shoulders, a broad back, a relatively small waist, but I'm short waisted so it's a ridiculously weird notch-like waist. I am a compact little motherfucker. So the Ds actually balance everything out.

That said, they're not big enough to cause back pain, and I strap them down like whoa for the gym (to the point that they look like some odd floatation device). I mainly notice that because they're big, they're not nearly as perky without a bra, not saggy but just... not like two golf balls stuck to my ribcage. The other thing I've notices is that when I lose weight, THEY DON'T LEAVE. It's a little depressing because my size 10 dresses fit everywhere except my boobs, which is a fucking outrage.

@The Everypresent Wordsnatcher, they could get bigger. Trust me.

@teenie, I would LOVE for that to happen to me. LOVE. Esp the sharp face. I look like a babyfaced 14 year old.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher: I know things are different for gals and guys, and between individuals. But I'm thinking, there is a second 'puberty', around 23-25, where your metabolism goes from hyper to normal, and exposure to primary sex hormones gives your body the next set of instructions about what and how much to put where; I went from scrawny and unable to weigh more than 124 at 5'9" to 165 between 22 and 25.

emilylou

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yeah, when I was about 22 I went from a 34B to a 34D! I don't even know. It was insane. My hips also got a lot wider. I was not pregnant or gaining tons of weight in other places? My body just decided to be different? I liked it the way it was, but I also like it a lot now, so hey.

My ex-stepmom(?) would always dramatically tell me that "a woman's body changes every 7 years! TRUST ME, Emily" when I would complain about my boobs in high school. Turns out she was right? Mysteries.

lisma

@emilylouise I think this is real. I gained a lot of weight in college from birth control (even though I read this is not a thing that happens) and college diet. Then I lost some, then I lost A LOT, and since then I've been in varying stages of losing it and having it back, etc. And even now, when I weigh about what I did at my heaviest in college, I don't look the way I did back then. My face doesn't hold weight in the same weight and stuff.

EpWs

@emilylouise Oh god, I'm two years off the 7-year plan (the weight gain/bigger boobs thing hit right at 23) but this puts me in line for some sort of something right at 30. Interesting!

I am not sure whether I want my boobs to continue getting bigger, as I am fairly attached to my bras and I am a pretty small person and anything bigger than what I've got right now would probably start looking odd on me.

Also, again, I am so glad this is actually A Thing and not just me being lazy and sedentary.

noodge

@S. Elizabeth WHOAH. just actually remeasured myself tonight, went back to my ACCURATE online bra size calculator (that accounts for petite sizes and doesn't just tell me I'm 32A because that's as small as they go) and was told that I'm 30C. WHOAH. I think that makes me the first woman in my family who is a C cup. HIGH FIVE!

(although, this is my premenstrual size, but it's probably good to have at least one bra in this size so I actually am semi comfortable during this time of the month)

EpWs

@teenie I measured myself online and went to a random online bra size calculator (please send me yours?) and it seems to think I'm a 32D. I about had a heart attack. And I guarantee a D cup would swallow me whole.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher the thing is... IT MAY FIT YOU! take a look at this blog - she shows how the reduced band size reduces the cup size too. it's a really good case for petite women getting properly fitted. and this is the bra calculator I use... you would be shocked how many bra calculators just give up when you're either smaller than normal or larger than normal - I had many calculators tell me I was 32A or 32AA when I put in my measurements (and there is no heavenly way I can fit into a 32A - the cups are too small, and the bra keeps on sliding up ALL THE TIME).

EpWs

@teenie EGAD. That calculator put me in a 30DD/E. That blog post was fascinating, I had no idea cup size changed with bra size! Next time I go bra hunting, I'll attempt to find a 30DD(??) and try it on, just for kicks. (And if it fits, I can just call up/freak out the boyfran by having the the "Congratulations, you're dating a DD cup!" call. Love it.) Thanks for the tips!

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher glad it helped! you MAY have to go to a specialty bra store online, or (depending on where you live) there may be a specialty store in your city. Most online stores offer a very generous and nice return policy, since it's difficult to find stores that carry what you don't know will fit or not! The pictures on that blog were really helpful for me (the underwire pushing aside breast tissue under the arms? yeah, I hate that)

@teenie YES! I'm so glad everyone is starting to get this! A/B/C/D have to do with the ratio between the ribcage and bust measurements in inches. The cup size of a 36C is the same as a 34D or a 38B. However, these sizes are drastically different in fit.

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth @teenie It makes so much sense, but of course it did not occur to my silly brain until I read it. Now I want to go bra shopping! My boobs will thank me!

(Of course, I've also just started an exercise routine, so maybe I should wait until this summer for bra shopping just in case my chest decides it's going to be the first place that loses weight?)

Kira-Lynn@twitter

Okay I read every single thing on Hairpin and usually love it. I am logging in to comment for the first time ever:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OUT OF CONTROL MUFFIN TOP.

Her body is fine. It is not your place to tell her you don't like her sides/tummy/hips/whatever you are calling muffin top.

Yo, the top of the muffin is the best part and everyone knows it.

Please get over this idea of "flattering", and the idea that it is your place to worry about her weight.

If you just gained 30 pounds and you have feelings about that, keep it to yourself. You say you "know" she is unhappy with her size - that is because our society judges fat people! Don't be part of that. Be a friend. There is nothing to do with being a friend where you should care what size pants they wear.

You are not on Jenny Jones "You're Too Fat To Wear That". Get over it.

Maybe tell your Black friends that their skin is a little dark or tell some women that their breasts are too big while you are policing people's bodies. God.

paddlepickle

@Kira-Lynn@twitter Hmmm. I dunno. Believe me, I'm all for jumping on people for body policing and fat shaming, but I don't think that's quite what's going on here. Giving the LW the benefit of the doubt, I'm assuming she said she knows her friend is upset about it because she's said she's upset about it. And she's not saying "it's terrible that she's too fat now", or that she needs to lose weight, just that she doesn't look as good as she could in clothes that are too small.

Personally, a big positive fat-acceptance moment for me was when a friend I was shopping with very respectfully and delicately helped me realize that I was wearing pants that didn't fit me right. I was doing that because I was desperate to fit into the smallest side I could possibly attach to my ass. My friend's words helped me realize that hey, I'm a bigger size than that, and I look much better wearing a bigger size, and who gives a fuck if the number is bigger? It wasn't just about looking better, either; I feel better and am way more comfortable when I'm not squeezing into clothes that are too small for me.

"Out of control muffin top" is probably not the kindest way to put it. . .but I think there is a fat-positive way to help a very close friend wear clothes that fit better. I definitely agree with everyone else's comments about approaching it VERY carefully or not at all, depending on the nature of the friendship.

Nicole Cliffe

I honest-to-God was singing "Muffin Top" to my baby when I read your comment.

thebestjasmine

@paddlepickle I totally agree with this, especially the message that it is A-okay to go up a size, and that doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't make you a bad person either to not go up a size, but people already know that part.

@Nicole Cliffe LOOK-LOOKIN AT MY SWEET HIPS, MY SUGAR COATED BERRY LIPS, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO GET WITH THIS BUT I'M JUST HERE TO DANCE.

...so baaaack up off of meeee, you're weee-ee-eee-eeeirding me OUT. I'm an independent lady! So do not try to play me! I own a tidy bakery! The boys all want my cake for free!

oh, disaster

@Nicole Cliffe ... but I just wanna dance!

oh, disaster

@S. Elizabeth I'm just here to dance? Well, damn.

melis

"Seriously, though, do I look good in this, do you think? I can't see the back very well and I'd like a less subjective third-party opinion."

"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it may incriminate me."

"I - what? I just wanted to get your thoughts -"

"I AM NOW SCOOPING OUT MY EYEBALLS SO AS TO AVOID SEEING YOU WITH MY WHOLLY UNNECESSARY 'OCULAR JUDGERS.'"

"...Kelly? Oh my God, Kelly, you're bleeding!"

"MY BODY MAY OR MAY NOT CHOOSE TO EMIT BLOOD AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND AUTONOMOUS RESPONSE TO THE FACT THAT MY EYES NO LONGER CHOOSE TO IDENTIFY AS A PART OF MY FACE, YES, BUT WHAT BUSINESS IS THAT OF YOURS?"

WaityKatie

@paddlepickle Well, and there's also the issue that not all pants are cut for all bodies. FOR EXAMPLE (ahem), SOME PEOPLE (i.e., me) carry all our weight in our stomach/torso, so anytime we go above maybe a size 12 (which is, like, alll the time), most styles and brands of pants are just not going to fit, in any size. That's a fun shopping excursion, trying on every pair of pants in the store, and every single one gives you "out of control muffin top." I think if I had a friend sitting there who was the valued "pear shape" or "hourglass" or anything other than my shape, telling me things weren't "flattering" on me, I would punch her in the face. I KNOW the pants are not flattering, but I have to wear something, so I keep trying them on until I find something that is slightly less unflattering, and then I buy and wear that. It's not as simple as "going up a size" sometimes, especially when you are gaining weight (and weight gain is rarely evenly distributed). I think she should stop worrying about her friend's clothes and get a more productive hobby.

likethestore

@Kira-Lynn@twitter Thank you. My god, I though I was the only one who was thinking that gaining 30 pounds is not a national emergency.

ilikemints

@WaityKatie I just need to say, although I agree completely with the sentiment of your comment, I REALLY must correct you that pear shapes, at least, are definitely not valued. Jeans shopping isn't any easier for us. Just imagine it being loose where it's tight and tight where it's loose, and you'll see we're all in the same boat in terms of clothes that make us feel gross and misshapen.

WaityKatie

@ilikemints No, I realize that it's hard for pear shapes too, because you're never going to be the RIGHT EXACT KIND of pear shape to fit what the random fit model looked like, but I mean...there's a difference between pants being too tight on your butt and literally not being able to button the pants. If you can't button them, you can't wear them at all. (if they're too tight on the butt, you can't sit down, which I admit is also a problem). And there's the whole "baby got back" societal love of women with small waists/big hips. There's no love for giant-torso-and-waist freakazoids, and we get to constantly hear about how "mannish" we are when we aren't be told how "fat" we are. Obviously being skinny and rail-like is the only truly prized female physique in our culture, but it's pretty frustrating to be lectured on "muffin top" by people who complain about there being a "gap" in the waist of pants. I would pay extra for a gap, oh my god!

EpWs

@S. Elizabeth WHOLE GRAIN LOW FAT.

ilikemints

@WaityKatie I totally feel you, but honestly, it's way more than being too tight in the butt. It's mostly not being able to get them past mid-thigh because the leg openings are so small, but half a foot of waist fabric just TAUNTING you. I'm, um, very sturdy from the hips down, and I can't wear skirts or shorts because of the disproportionate thickness thereof. I would kill for the nicely shaped legs apple shaped girls always seem to have no matter how small or big they are. But I realize we're just arguing two sides of the same coin, re: why can't our bodies just make sense/why can't clothes be made to fit all the shapes that ladies come in.

TimeLordNinjaWizard

@WaityKatie I loved this "Obviously being skinny and rail-like is the only truly prized female physique in our culture" - I'm convinced that clothing designers are so out of touch with real female shapes since all they see are models.

cee
cee

@WaityKatie this tumblr post might be relevant to your interests?

"he said that everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear. Jeans, blazers, dresses - everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles. He pointed out that historically, up until the last few generations, the vast majority of people either made their own clothing or had their clothing made by tailors and seamstresses. You had your clothing made to accommodate the measurements of your individual body, and then you moved the fuck on. Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered. He said that what they do is ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit. That’s how celebrities have jeans that magically fit them all over, and the rest of us chumps can’t ever find a pair that doesn’t gape here or ride up or slouch down or have about four yards of extra fabric here and there."

WaityKatie

@cee Ha, I am perpetually whining about how much I want a personal seamstress! I have even considered trying to learn to sew in order to be my own seamstress, but it still seems like it would be impossible to make jeans? What Not to Wear makes me mad because the only alterations they advocate are always "buy a size up and tailor it down to fit your tiny waist. Your waist is so tiny!!!" at which point the woman shrieks in self-love and they all pat themselves on the back. I always have to restrain myself from yelling "F you, tiny waist women!" But apparently the alter the crap out of everything, that's innnnnterrressting....

WaityKatie

@ilikemints Yeah, that does blow. Although I am still jealous of the "half a foot of waist fabric." I seriously fantasize about anything ever being big in my waist. That is one pretty sad fantasy. But, I have plenty of friends who have the pear-shaped problems and I know that they would love to ever have extra fabric in the butt. I have saggy-butt pants all the time, so I realize how much the extra butt fabric actually blows. And not all of us have lovely legs, either, actually! Personal seamstresses are basically the only possible answer. I may at any point stop being a lawyer and go into this line of work.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@WaityKatie: 'Pear-Shaped Problems' is a good blog name.

oh, disaster

@cee @WaityKatie @ilikemints I actually did see that post (or a reblog of it) this summer, so I decided to get a few things altered that I would normally just deal with- a dress taken in on the sides, another one shortened- nothing that seemed too major to me, a non-sewer. And, yeah. A couple hundred dollars later, I haven't taken anything back since. It pays a lot more to look good than I thought it would. I'm lucky to have a friend who can fix the minor things, but otherwise, I try to find what works best with my weird pear-apple combination shape.

ilikemints

@WaityKatie Oh, man, I realize in retrospect how humblebraggy that "half a foot" comment must have seemed to you. I'm genuinely sorry, sometimes it's hard to see outside my own problems. If I ever somehow miraculously become a bajillionaire I will personally hire seamstresses for all the Pinners and other cool ladies who need them. Or maybe I'll start some kind of Scared Straight program for fashion designers that need to be harshly be brought down to Earth about how actual bodies look.

Clothing fit discussions always make everyone feel like garbage, ugh.

lue
lue

@WaityKatie
If you really have an interest in learning to sew to tailor your own pants, totally do it! I'm like a size 8 human with size 12+ butt and waist, so I only buy pants that fit those areas and then just sew in like 1-3 inches all along the inseam. I don't even pin. My pants fit great now! Such freedom!

sophia_h

@WaityKatie As a fellow apple-shape who's normally in the 14-16 range, I can tell you that the best solution is to eschew pants entirely and wear skirts. Get ones that fit around the biggest part when you're at your skinniest, and then you can move them up to your natural (smaller) waist if/when you put on weight. Wear tights and leggings when it's cold, and voila. A wardrobe that doesn't disappear when you gain or lose weight, and if you buy the right skirts, drapes attractively over the parts you don't love. I wear jeans like twice a year now and I am so much happier.

(I'm also an attorney and I know professional wear is a nightmare, but long blazers that go over pencil skirts also help with the draping line.)

WaityKatie

@sophia_h You're right, of course, I just...I really don't enjoy wearing skirts. I know that they fit better and look better, but what do you wear when you're just going to go lounge at a friend's house or something? A skirt? So uncomfortable! You have to sit all "ladylike" and upright and I feel like I'm trying to go back to the 1890's or something. I'm trying to get better at being a real adult who wears real grownup clothes, but most of the time I'm just more comfortable in jeans and a hoodie, even if the jeans do make me look like crap. I kind of don't care that much? I don't know.

sophia_h

@WaityKatie Well, being comfortable is important, and I wouldn't want to make you feel bad! But I wear all kinds of skirts, and my most comfortable outfit is a pair of leggings with a stretchy, ruffly knit skirt layered over it. You do kind of have to embrace the '80s, but if you wear leggings with the right skirts in casual settings I think it's actually more comfortable than jeans. Because ugh, jeans dig into my waist and slide down my ass and just generally make me feel yuck. Whereas you are always dressed up in a skirt!

Anyhow, like I said, it's obviously about what you feel best in, I just wanted to do a little skirt evangelism because they have personally made me feel much better about myself. :)

thebestjasmine

@sophia_h I am totally with you, I find skirts way more comfortable than jeans (and all pants) almost all the time. If I'm just hanging out in jeans, I'm super anxious -- jeans never come up high enough in the back for me, so I'm constantly afraid of showing butt crack or underwear, and I don't have that issue with a skirt/legging combo.

WaityKatie

@thebestjasmine You're right, I know I'm being difficult. Skirt with leggings probably is comfortable, I just can't bring myself to do it because I was around the last time that look was popular (DEBBIE GIBSON) and it just makes me feel kind of weird whenever I contemplate it. I mean, I loved Debbie and all. The real problem is that the skirts that look best on me (pencil, knee length) are also the least comfortable. A long stretchy skirt would be comfortable, but looks crap on me. The war between comfort and fashion continues...

thebestjasmine

@WaityKatie Oh, I know -- I'm currently wearing a knee length stretchy skirt from Old Navy that is so comfortable I sometimes forget I'm wearing it. It's probably not so cute on me, but so comfortable. But seriously, I think the jean skirt is the answer -- I live in them on the weekends, either barelegged, with leggings or tights.

AniaGosia

@WaityKatie I almost always wear leggings with a skirt when hanging out and it's so comfy. I still lounge around like I would if I were just wearing leggings and assume that my friends wont be bothered by it.

sophia_h

@WaityKatie I know what you mean about having worn the look the first time around -- my friend and I mocked leggings for like two years until I finally broke down and bought a pair due to a much younger coworker. Once the barrier was broken, both my friend and I started buying them all the time. She'll still only wear hers with boots, which helps avoid the Debbie Gibson look.

As for skirt types, I bought this one in red on Monday and got a ton of compliments the next day. It's stretchy but still looked good with a shirt tucked in so the cute belt showed, and was super-comfy with leggings and ankle boots.

redheaded&crazy

since i clearly use this space as my weekly airing of breakup related anxiety just checking in to say i met up with my ex this week and guess what, he still doesn't get it! what is "it"? ANY OF IT! ANY OF IT HE STILL - what were you expecting? what could you possibly have been expecting??????? UGH SETBACKS I KILL YOU.

:(

Ophelia

@redheadedandcrazy but now you KNOW you made the right decision (even if you only know it for the next 72 hours, at least you know it now!)

noodge

@redheadedandcrazy sweetie, he won't get it. i saw in another thread that he was texting you and in my head i was all "redheadedandcrazy, GURL, why are you even in CONTACT with this dude?" but i didn't let it go to my fingers.
Is it time for the calendar with the stars and the weekly prezzies to reward yourself for not facebook stalking/texting/calling?

rayray

@redheadedandcrazy Your small font makes me feel like you're saying that from the fetal position. Get yo'self a drink, love, and celebrate the fact you're not with this idiot any more!

redheaded&crazy

@teenie ughhhh i know i know i know i know
I have him blocked on fb! And I didn't text him, he texted me accusing me of going after his friends :\ i was tricked into responding! and then he was all *totally deluded and inaccurate and clueless reasons why i broke up with him* so i was all "YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED" and yeah, obviously it did not get me anywhere. which I knew. ugh.

yes gold stars and weekly presents are needed.

@redheadedandcrazy You've changed his name in your phone to "hopeless juicebox timesuck" right?

noodge

@redheadedandcrazy well, lucky for you there are all these ladies who are CRRRAAAZY about you to help support you. if a guy is a douche, he will likely be a douche until some sort of equal and opposite asshattery makes him change his course. (the law of conservation of douchebags?) ANYWAY, this won't happen overnight, and he's clearly all Bob Bitterman about the break up, so there's no talking sense to him for a long time it sounds like.

Princess Langwidere

@redheadedandcrazy Exes like that never get it. ANY of it! And it's infuriating and kept me from getting over my Big Bad Ex for a long time because I JUST WANTED HIM TO GET IT, DAMMIT! But he won't, and he doesn't have to for you to move on and get over him, because he's not part of your life anymore! And when you realize that (I mean, REALLY realize it and not just know it intellectually but don't really grasp it fully), it's much more freeing than blocking him on Facebook. Lets you move right on with your life, I'm tellin' ya.

Princess Langwidere

@redheadedandcrazy Know what else kind of helped me in the sitch with my Big Bad Ex? To pretend I was a celebrity. It sounds stupid, I know, but when I thought, "People write and say all kinds of batshit crazy stuff about Angelina Jolie every day and it doesn't actually affect her life and I think she's awesome. And if my ex or members of our shared friend group write or say batshit crazy things about ME that aren't true, it doesn't affect my life! Because it's not the truth, even if a few people get duped into buying it, and I'm still awesome!" So whenever I got frustrated about his epic not-getting-it or paranoid about other people believing his whacked-out fictional version of our breakup, I just imagined it all being a big obviously false yellow headline on Life & Style, and it made me feel a lot better. It works in other situations, too!

automaticdoor

@Princess Langwidere Oh my god, that is the best idea ever. I am adopting it immediately. (Is it sad that I could see myself on some of my worst days amusing myself by photoshopping Life & Style covers of myself with horrible obviously false things in yellow? "AUTOMATICDOOR IN BREAKDOWN MODE: Sources say she's racking up thousands of dollars of debt in daily online shopping sprees, drinking herself into a coma every night")

noodge

@redheadedandcrazy WAIT! there is a silver lining! I've been ponderin' this, and reading what the others have written, and realizing that the fact that you have had contact with him, and he's all STUPID still, is kind of a blessing, because it helps you know that he's still stuck, he's still got issues, and it's even more reason to move on, ya dig? I found myself sitting here thinking "man, if only I'd had ANY interactions (that didn't involve a lawyer) after splitting with my ex, it would have helped me a TON with realizing he's still a jerk, and that I'm way better off..."

Katie Scarlett

@redheadedandcrazy I'm also still recovering from a very long and drawn out terrible horrible breakup! And he doesn't get it! Or maybe he does at this point, but I haven't spoken to him since July so I wouldn't know! But we stayed really close for a long time after our breakup. Like p in v close at some points. I cut off contact with him in May and when he still tried to call/text this summer I finally had to tell him (nicely) to stop. But uh, his 30th birthday is coming up very soon and he was always super weird about aging and I kinda feel bad not calling him... but I think not calling is the best decision. ...Right?

God, this A Lady is bringing up so many Feelings for me!

P.S. I'm a redhead too! And I'm crazy! Like, I have to take pills for it! :)

Atheist Watermelon

@redheadedandcrazy In my experience, one of the most difficult things about moving on is realizing that the guy. will. NEVER. get. it. There is absolutely nothing you can do or say to make him get it. All you can do is give yourself the time and space to heal, and (I know that right now it's impossible to believe) by the time that has happened, you will have stopped caring about whether or not he gets it. On the bright side, the way he's behaving now should show you what a huge gift you've given yourself by breaking it off with him!

formergr

@redheadedandcrazy At some point you have to reconcile the fact that not only is he never going to get it, but this isn't something you need to "win" at. You will never convince him or get him to admit (thereby "winning") what actually went down because he doesn't want to and therefore won't.

And that's what you need to somehow convince yourself to let go of-- the need to be right in his eyes in how the relationship ended. You *are* right, and you're right to the one person that matters in all this, which is you. So eff him! I know, easier said than done. Also, some phones and even some cell carriers let you block a specific number. I'd do a quick Google or call your carrier and ask if it's possible. It'll stop him from being able to get in your head like this.

redheaded&crazy

also I should probably go for a booster session with my therapist. clearly.

here's the thing that I feel bad about THAT I SHOULDN'T I KNOW. I have all these amazing sources of help for me getting over this. You guys, and my dog that I cuddle, and my other girl friends, and my therapist, and my own innate emotional capacity to reason through these things and think about them and blah blah blah.

And he has NOTHING. His friends who *I* have told to ask him how he is doing since I obviously cannot, have said nothing to him. Plus he's a guy. Sooooo obviously he would not be coping well. Especially since he DOESNT EVEN GET IT (AND NEVER WILL I KNOOOW)

So yeah. Anyways I do think it is a silver lining because I had this SUPER clear explanation where I was like "see when I did this thing that you were mad at me for, and I apologized; and then you did this thing that I was mad at you for, and you never apologized; and see how that's super harmful to my health?" and he was like "you make a great point (he actually said that) BUT the thing is that, that thing you were mad at me for, other girls would have taken that as a joke." A) NO THEY WOULD NOT HAVE. And B) WHY WOULD YOU GIVE A SHIT WHAT OTHER GIRLS THINK AND NOT WHAT ME, YOUR GIRLFRIEND, THOUGHT?!

oh my god rage. so anyways. really really the fact that he didnt get it IS the silver lining, like you all say.

I still feel kinda bad for him.

redheaded&crazy

also he's in my phone as ZDNC so that he's way at the bottom and I know not to contact him and I really don't! But I do respond to his contact. Which is just as problematic. But anyway.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@redheadedandcrazy: Maybe this will help; you want something that everyone wants, and in fact, is perhaps the most desireable thing that ever could be - the ability to make people see things from your perspective. However, this ability would actually be our destruction, as being different and having differences is one of the cornerstones of how we survive and grow.

He will always have a different view of how things went down because he is him, and you are you. You cannot make him see your way just as he cannot be you; he may come to see it that way (someday, in some respect), but that is not something you can really foster, nor is the effort involved symmetrical to the result. His subjective reality has no bearing on your life.

emilylou

@redheadedandcrazy GIIIIIIIIIIRLLLLL I am late in the game responding to this thread (busy day at work = cutting into my precious, precious hours of Hairpin time! Unacceptable) but I am here, supporting YOU! And your choices! Let me know if you want presents or check-ins or supportive joke emails or anything!

Also I looooooove the advice of @Princess Langwidere, not even kidding, I totally pretend I'm a celeb all the time. Sadly, it really helps. i.e. "If Mary-Kate could get through her eating disorder/cocaine/rehab gossip and disgrace in 2004, and is now a high-end fashion designer, I can get through my stupidass break-up of 2011 and someday... be a high-end fashion designer! Or something." Then I put on my gigantic sunglasses and conquer the world.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@emilylouise: Em, you *are* a celebrity (I've seen you rap.) <3

emilylou

@Too Much Internet Ah! YOU. :)

laurel

@redheadedandcrazy "And he has NOTHING."

This may be true, but it's of his own design. Because you're kind (and maybe because you're female) you feel his isolation, but you can't fix it for him. By interceding, you take away the impetus for him to grow into someone who can cultivate and maintain the relationships all primates need.

It's sad and I totally get why you feel sorry for him, but you can't fix his isolation for him. He has to do it on his own or the effort will never mean anything to him.

Myrtle

@S. Elizabeth I recommend this name change thing. I changed the boy's name to No Way. And turned off the ringer.

redheaded&crazy

sigh. I don't know what I would do without y'all. I really don't. I would be a puddle on the floor. I mean I know all of the above sounds bad but ALL THINGS CONSIDERED I do think I'm managing pretty well.

Anyways. Life goes on. Thanks friends!

redheaded&crazy

@Too Much Internet alsoooo but it's not like this is some crazy unheard of thing! it's called empathy! the ability to see things from other people's perspectives.

my problem is actually that I (think that I) have a LOT of empathy, so it's actually really easy for me to see things from his perspective. Like I understand why he thinks I broke up with him out of the blue, and I understand why x thing that I said was really rude and hurtful to him, and why x thing that I did made him angry. even if I see those events differently, and you know, my perspective is still valid and all.

he has no empathy. as far as I can tell. I think I just need to find somebody a little bit higher on the empathy spectrum.

AniaGosia

@Katie Scarlett Don't call him, even for his birthday because it is Over. It took me a long time to realize that with my ex and I'm so glad I did.

rayray

Mkay so guys, I am googling this and reading literature and stuff, but you're real ladies with real bodies. I'm about to start hormonal birth control pills (partly due to irregular periods since, um, forever) and I'm sposed to take my first one on the first day of my period. But my period is a namby pamby little thing which likes to dip its toe in the water and just sort of spot in a brownish sort of way for the first day. This just started happening, which means full flow will not be under way til tomorrow. Do I take my first pill now or wait?

noodge

@rayray I would, but honestly it won't make a huge difference whether you take it today or tomorrow or even two days from now.

Jinxie

@rayray I'd go ahead. I mean, nambypamby or not that's the start of your period, right? Or close enough anyway?
BUT I am not a science-tician or anything official I'm just a lady who's been on the pill for over a decade and hasn't gotten pregnant in that time so clearly I'm doing something right. (For me, at least!)

thebestjasmine

@rayray You can start taking it anytime, really. You just need to know that you're not protected by it until your 7th pill if you start anytime but the first day of your period.

Ophelia

@thebestjasmine And actually, if you would prefer to, say, not get your period on weekends or whatever, you can start it any time; it also may just take your body longer to adjust to the schedule, so you'll spot more at first.

EpWs

@rayray What all the above ladies have already said so well. I've actually successfully moved my period a couple times (didn't like it starting on weekends) after I'd been on it for a while, so that's totally doable.

HOWEVER, [minor threadjack] has anyone ever successfully just skipped a period like it says on the package? Because I did that once and while my period obligingly didn't show up that week, I proceeded to spot for a month afterward. Tips, tales, anyone?

KeLynn

@rayray If I were you I'd wait until Sunday to start it, just so you don't have to fuck with those little stickers that change the day of your starting pill every single month until the end of time. I mean, the first month's pretty much a throw-away anyway, you don't get pregnancy protection until at least the second month (I think, obviously check the literature that came with your Rx, I've been on the pill a long time now so I forget all the details) so I don't think it matters as much if you wait an extra day.

ormaisonogrande

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher my understanding is that the skipping your period only works well if you are on a monophasic pill. If you are on a biphasic or triphasic pill then you'll skip your period yes, but will then probably spot the next month. You can tell if your pill is monophasic if all the pills are the same color (other than the sugar period days pills). If not, you probably are using the bi/triphasic pill.

The times I skipped my period it was for a vacation with a long-distance boyfriend so not having my period for those days was uber worth the spotting, but I would think in most situations it wouldn't be.

thebestjasmine

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I've successfully skipped the period, but then either spotted for like two weeks, or my next period came super early. Also, I become SUPER emotional and anxious with that many hormones in me. I've determined that the best way to move your period is to do it the month before you need to (if you know that far in advance) so then your period just comes a week earlier.

And KeLynn, most pills that I've taken just give you stickers that you can put on anyhow, and I've never ever started on a Sunday and it's never been a problem (I figured out a start date that makes me never have a weekend period, which I love). Any pill is always effective after 7 days, not a month.

EpWs

@ormaisonogrande OOH good point. I know I was on a different pill at that point but I'm not sure whether it was monophastic or not. I know the one I'm on now is.
@thebestjasmine The situation I'm looking at is for way in the future--potential wedding/honeymoon/I could really use eight straight weeks without a period type thing--so it's definitely not one where I'd want to risk spotting in the second half of it. I may do a test run sometime this year just to see.

Thanks for the advice!

Ophelia

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I managed to do that and skip it for my wedding/honeymoon, but it did come way early (like 2 weeks early) the next month, and was kind of spotty for a while after that. But I got married in the carribbean, and was OK with the after-effects, since it meant both wedding and beach were period-free.

KeLynn

@rayray I know they come with stickers, I just meant I think they are annoying and I'm glad I don't start on Sunday for the simple fact that then I dont' have to mess with them every month.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@rayray Like, how irregular, and for how long (how old are you)? I dealt with massive irregularity--like, VERY HEAVY, anywhere from a month to four months between periods, and they would last 5-14 days--from the month of my 14th birthday (when I got my first period) until now (26). I got a *good* GYN a year or two ago who diagnosed me with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) [nb: THESE DESCRIPTIONS MAKE US SOUND LIKE DOOMED HIDEOUS FREAKS; WE ARE ACTUALLY PRETTY COMMON/NORMAL]. It's pretty common and not that life-altering. I am actually really surprised no one else in the commentariat has brought this up yet? (Although I haven't yet read all the way down)

With PCOS you need to be on BC if you want to have a normal-ish cycle. Even all the times in my life that I have been on BC (and I've tried multiple daily pill brands) my "regular" was still like, "oh I guess now that my placebo week started this Sunday, my period will show up sometime between now and Saturday, possibly continuing into the first days of active pills." I stopped taking my BC a few months ago when I lost my insurance coverage and the purriod is (quite annoyingly) back to following a schedule more attuned to its whimsical nature.

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I successfully skipped periods a bunch on the pill! I started by skipping my off week every other month, and eventually made it up to only having 1 period every 3 months, which was A.MA.ZING.

Tropical Iceland

I think I win the fucked-up period prize. This summer the damn thing went away completely. It's always been erratic and I'd just moved and was working 60 hour weeks, so for a while it didn't faze me. Then it was really late, and after a pretty promiscuous summer (ok, very). Cue me freaking out, taking tons of pregnancy tests, hearing from everyone that it would come any minute, etc. It didn't! At the same time I found out I couldn't go back to school, lost my job, moved twice in a month, and when I finally got to a damn doctor they had no idea. They did a billion tests, all of which were normal and in the end wanted to do an MRI to check for a brain tumor, even though I had no signs.

A few days later I lost my job again (background check), got offered one in another city, and moved that week. Period came back that month after about five months without and has been normal since. TAKE THAT, BIOLOGY.

noodge

@Tropical Iceland periods can be SO WEIRD! I lost mine for 4 years! then magically got it back once I left my ex husband. hmmm....

automaticdoor

@Tropical Iceland Mine tends to fuck up under stress which makes me more stressed which makes it fuck up more, etc. It has never done that though! You win!

meetapossum

@Tropical Iceland This sounds pretty similar to me, except it's been going on since I was a young'un. Sometimes it will be lovely and regular, sometimes it will be 2 weeks late, sometimes it will be 3 months late!

gravie

@Tropical Iceland When I was younger I'd get an extra in the spring and fall, right around the daylight savings time changes.

@automaticdoor Saaaame.

entangled

@Tropical Iceland I went on birth control for a few years (skipping months so I got ~4 periods/year) and when I went off of birth control in my early twenties, my period NEVER came back. There were two days of spotting, conveniently timed while I was traveling, but other than that nothing until more than a year later, when I was having sex with dudes again and went back on birth control.

EpWs

@teenie FOUR YEARS? That is terrifying. I'm so glad your body has figured itself out now!

skillzworth

Anyone think LW2 could do a sort of solidarity thing? Like, "Hey, BF! I I wanna start eating better and exercising and stuff, but I need someone to help motivate me and also to help me figure out how to rinse quinoa without dropping it all in the sink. Can we do this together? Pretty please with maybe the tiniest dollop of whipped cream on top? Or local honey or something? If it's organic? I don't know. Think about it."

nevernude cutoffs

@skillzworth how DO you wash quinoa?

wee_ramekin

@nevernude cutoffs I put it in a bowl of water and let it soak a lil', and then I stretch a thin-weave dishtowel over it and flip it upside-down over the sink. Definitely not the most graceful thing ever, but I don't lose any quinoa either!

Ophelia

@wee_ramekin do you spend a lot of time picking it off the dishtowel? because I tried this with a strainer, and wound up kind of scraping it out with my fingers, and still had some go down the drain :/
(plus that yucky nails-on-metal-strainer feeling. life is so hard.)

wee_ramekin

@Ophelia Confession: I have only actually ever cooked with quinoa once, so maybe my answer is something of a fluke. BUT...

I didn't spend a lot of time picking it off the dishtowel. After straining the water through the dishtowel / twisting the water out, I flipped the bowl right-side up and then smacked the taut dishtowel with one hand so that most of the quinoa fell back into the bowl.

I never said that this method was graceful.

Atheist Watermelon

@skillzworth YAY!!! I'm so glad this is a thing!!! (the quinoa, I mean.) I thought I was nuts and that everyone else in the world found it effortless to rinse quinoa! I started rinsing it using a cheesecloth over a strainer, but then all the quinoa stuck to the cheesecloth. I found a solution, though: I just stopped rinsing the goddamn quinoa. I know, I'm gross. But a lot less frustrated. ;-)

Ophelia

@wee_ramekin Nothing I do in the kitchen is particularly graceful, so I will totally try this approach!

Also, the last 3 times I've made quinoa, I have made VASTLY too much quinoa. Pro tip: if you re-cook it with milk and maple syrup, it makes very good breakfast - sort of like steel-cut oatmeal!

Alixana

@skillzworth Wait, I'm supposed to be rinsing the quinoa? Is it going to kill me if I just don't bother?

meatcute

@Alixana I stopped rinsing quinoa after the metal strainer got to be too much of a hassle... and honestly it's never been a problem. I've done this now with quinoa from bulk containers at various co-ops and other grocery stores, and it's been fine.

mackymoo

@Alixana I never rinse because I'm lazy and I'm not dead yet.

hedgehog

@Alixana No. I'm not bothering either and I'm fine.

rabswom

@Alixana It won't kill you, but quinoa has a natural coating called saponin [I had to google for the name, I don't just know this stuff] that tastes bitter (and, for some people, makes their tum hurt).

So you'll probably like it better if you rinse it. And you probably should rinse it if you're making it for anyone else, as their body might have a stronger reaction to the saponin.

skillzworth

@nevernude cutoffs Usually in my own tears of frustration...

(No, but seriously -- have you ever started making spaghetti and, when it's ready, you realize the strainer is still dirty from the spaghetti you made last week, and you're too lazy/don't have enough time to wash it out, so you end up trying to drain all the water out of the pot by making a little opening between the lip of the pot and the lid, and it takes forever, and every time a noodle slips through the crack you feel a little twinge of failure? For me, rinsing quinoa is a lot like that.)

Alixana

@rabswom Good to know! Thanks!

@skillzworth You need one of these. I have been using and abusing mine for 10 years and it is the best.

skillzworth

@mackymoo I wish I were brave enough to stop rinsing! The packaging is so insistent about it...

spoondisaster

@Alixana You're supposed to rinse it because it's got this stuff on the outside (it's a natural part of the quinoa) that is a pretty serious diuretic. So.

skillzworth

@Alixana Oh my god. If it comes in stainless steel I'M SO THERE.

thebestjasmine

@wee_ramekin I just put it in a fine mesh strainer and run cold water over it, and then I use a rubber spatula to scrape it all into the pot. A little bit does hang back, but oh well, and I find washing quinoa and running it through my fingers totally fun and a little meditative, and holy shit that's the most granola sentence I've ever written in my life.

Also, I always toast quinoa before simmering, it gives it such a great nutty flavor!

AniaGosia

@LittleBookofCalm I don't rinse my quinoa either. I'm boiling it, right? Then again, I don't rinse rice either and everyone says you should.

Etruscan Duck

LW2: Isn't the most cowardly and effective approach to wait until the next time you both are hanging out at your place, take something out of your own closet that no longer fits you right (due to your own recent weight gain), and say "I really love this, but is it time to admit it doesn't fit me anymore? I guess I have gained some weight." I imagine she will either say "Oh, me too, let's go shopping for clothes that fit" or give you a steely-eyed denial. Either way, you will know how to proceed.

On preview: skillzworth and I are saying similar things.

mmwm

LW1, ha ha ha ha ha! Your erraticism is nothing. Wait until you turn 40.

WastedPaper

@mmwm IKR? Hahahahaaaa *weeping*

Tuna Surprise

We need to put together the Office Hairpin Guide to Breaking-Up as soon as possible. May I suggest Chapter 10 being something along the lines of Q. Can We Get Back Together? A. 99.9% of the Time, the Answer is 'No'.

First off, if you 'broke-up' with someone and didn't take a break (i.e. you're still sleeping with him and calling him your best friend), you didn't break up. You let some douchebag keep the benefits of a relationship without any of the burdens.

The only way people can ever successfully get back together is if they spend real time apart and learn and grow independently. LW4, this guy doesn't want to get back together, he wants to keep sleeping with you until he finds someone else.

eleven

@Tuna Surprise Hairpin Guide to Breaking Up = best idea ever. Edith, Jane, are you listening? We should start by compiling some of the best A Dude/A Lady responses that deal with breakups/heartache.

redheaded&crazy

@Tuna Surprise Yes yes yes I agree so much.

Equestrienne

Credit where credit is due: both of Greg Behrendt's books ("He's Just Not That Into You" & "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken") are must-reads. Reading the last letter on here has led me to conclude that there are still some lost souls unacquainted with these tomes.

Myrtle

@Equestrienne I'd also recommend "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout, and the old classic "CoDependent No More" by Melody Beattie, if you think you're in a pattern and need a boost. These books helped me.

meatcute

This is vaguely related to weird-period-stuff, and I need heeeeeelllllllpppppp, 'Pinners. I went off of hormonal birth control in August, and since November or so my skin has gone CRAZY. Horrible acne unlike what I ever experienced as a teenager on my cheeks and along my jaw. Painful, horrible, ugly, etc. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time and money trying to fix this, and nothing is working. So tell me: Has this happened to anyone else?

She was a retail whore

@meatcute Yes! How old are you? If you're around 27/28, you may have just reached that magical age where your skin decides to act out in a way that it never did even in high school. This is what happened to me and several of my friends, regardless of birth control-taking status. Either way, consult a good dermatologist. I had success with the DDF system of acne products, but maybe you don't need something that strong.

packedsuitcase

@meatcute Yep. And my dermatologist told me the only cure was to get back on hormonal BC. I'm going to the GYN to get my beloved IUD removed soon. Ultra reliable BC is awesome, but so is not wanting to cry every time I look in the mirror.

formergr

@meatcute I went through the exact same thing (those giant, painful, deep in the skin so you can't pop them zits), and what helped SO much more than any soaps, cosmetics, creams, etc that I could buy online or at the drug or department store, was a prescription for Differin (sort of a diluted Retin A) from a dermatologist. If you don't have the funds or insurance for a derm, a family doctor will prescribe it too. Make sure you ask for the generic version, as it's much cheaper whether you have insurance or not.

It doesn't work instantly to stop zits (though your skin becomse SO soft almost instantly, to the point that you'll find yourself stroking it), but after a few months I am back to being largely acne-free. Heaven!

meatcute

@packedsuitcase Oh no. This is devastating. Lalalalalalalaaaaaa.

meatcute

@formergr Thanks for the advice! I was just prescribed Epiduo by my primary care doctor, which I think is similarish: a retinoid smashed up with benzoyl peroxide — and I'm only a week in. I'm trying to take the long view instead of the "Oh no! It's not working IMMEDIATELY! Doom!" approach.

She was a retail whore

Lady #3, I just lived through this situation, and please take it from me when I say that you should definitely not get back together with this guy. My BF broke up with me, and then regretted it when he saw that I was moving on and generally not wallowing in misery (at least, not overtly; nobody said that misery had to be unattractive). He spent a long time trying to convince me to get back together. I was flattered that he put so much effort into it, and convinced that since he seemed so sincere and we'd been able to forge a best friend-like (note the "like") relationship, we should give it another go.

I did, and it was awesome! Awesome! For like, 8 months. And then he turned into a wicked hosebeast for a while. And then he turned back into an amazing person for a few months. And then the hosebeast was back. And then his two personalities just seemed to start splitting the day. It was exhausting. I never knew which one he'd be, until the end, when the amazing person went away and never came back.

I've seen successful relationships work after people have broken up and gotten back together, but the relationship that you're describing doesn't sound like one of those.

AniaGosia

@taigan Word. Similar thing happened to me. Ugh.

Lizanne07

I love this A Lady but I gotta say, 10K? Come on, that's ridiculous from every angle. And I live in NYC.

rararuby

@Lizanne07 I just shrugged and thought "I guess every, single life-choice in the US costs a fortune." Glad to hear a statesider thinks it's ridiculous too.

@Lizanne07 I, too, am wondering how A Lady came up with this number, but I actually sort of assumed a lot of it was breaking a lease, finding a new apartment, paying extra for a deposit because of the broken lease, moving (with a van and movers and stuff), and then furnishing a whole new apartment in the manner to which she was accustomed (i.e. minimal IKEA). Which is basically "moving is expensive," not "breaking up is expensive."

WaityKatie

@Lizanne07 Well, I mean, with the broker fee 10k in NYC is not that crazy. If your apartment costs 2500, two months' rent down is 5000, then 15 percent of the yearly rent would be 4500...that's almost 10k right there, and she said she also bought furniture. Plus the movers. PLUS, often you end up being on the hook for double rent for one month if you can't move out exactly on time, etc. etc. I've moved cities twice in the past 3 years and it cost me around 10k each time, with the interstate moving. Although splitting up shouldn't force you to move out of state, but you never know...

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie oh god people pay 2500 for apartments?! (no I know that lots of people do i just ughhhhh shoot me)

WaityKatie

@redheadedandcrazy I deliberately chose a number that was less than what I pay for my 1 BR in Brooklyn. I think the median in Manhattan is like 3200 now or something. And...this is why I will not be able to live in NYC forever...

I mean, if you have roommates, live in Jersey, etc., you can do much better than that, but who wants to do any of those things?

H.E. Ladypants

@WaityKatie I've lived in NYC for 11 years and I have to say, I'm pretty sure this is not just a moving question but a moving and "living in the manner to which you would like to remain accustomed" question. If you want to live in downtown Brooklyn, sure you can pay more than 2500 for a one bedroom. But you can live else where in Brooklyn for less. Or even (god forbid) get a cozy studio. (I lived in a cozy and utterly lovely space for three years for 900/mo.) Also, brokers are not a must (I've never used one.)

I agree that a chunk of change should be saved up but one should also look realistically at the neighborhoods/costs/etc. where one is. If one is determined to live in downtown Brooklyn or Manhattan- sure- but really, I've moved five times since I moved to New York and not one of those times has it cost me 10 grand. Really, it's all sort of relative.

Verity

I wish my period had ever been non-erratic; I got it at eleven and waited in vain for years for a regular cycle. After ten-day-long bleeds, cycles of 40-odd days swiftly followed by one of 17 and having it start unexpectedly and stain my sheets one time too many, I went on the Pill. It is bliss to actually know, to within a day or so, when it's due. I do not look forward to it going haywire again in a few years. (Also, despite living in the same house as my triplet sister, to who I have always been close, and my mother, I've never noticed any cycle synchronisation.)

EpWs

@Verity YES. This. 40-day cycles, pain, mess, craziness. They will have to rip my pills from my cold dead hands, because they are The Best.

Verity

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher The tipping point was when, over the course of a three-hour French exam, I managed to bleed through a heavy duty tampon *and* pad and onto my jeans. Pills forever!

EpWs

@Verity Oh wow, I am so sorry, that sounds absolutely miserable. Pills forever indeed!

Xanthophyllippa

@Verity Have you talked to an endocrinologist? A lot of that sounds like PCOS symptoms. Also, I once bled through a tampon, a very thick Stayfree, my underwear, a pair of spandex shorts, and the half-inch foam pad I was sitting on, because I was at rowing practice when this happened. I lifted up the foam to get out of the shell and saw a smear of blood on the seat. (Full disclosure: that was when my endocrinologist put me on progesterone to kick-start my periods after three years without out in my early 20s.)

EpWs

@Xanthophyllippa Oh god, I am so sorry about that too. I just want to hug all of you. (I had some pretty bad periods, but nothing that level.)

If we're telling cray-cray period stories, though, I had to do a tampon-free period last year (had to have a chunk of my cervix lasered off, no fun) after YEARS of being a tampon purist and that was just horrifically unpleasant.

febflower

@Verity Yeah, I have to agree, that sounds a lot like PCOS. I never had anything approaching a regular period either (it varied in frequency from 4/5 weeks to like 4 months), and I figured maybe it wasn't PCOS because I don't have any of the other typical symptoms other than irregular periods (decent enough skin, no hair issues, average weight, normal bleeding when it finally did show up, etc), but yeah, no such luck. Thank god for HBC.

apples and oranges

@slushlily Oy this is me. Super irregular periods but no other symptoms. How do they diagnose it/how is it treated? (I could Google but I like hearing these things from real Pin ladies...)

Faintly Macabre

@kangerine Usually your GP will decide if it's a possibility, and then you get labwork checking certain hormone levels, among other things. I think if those aren't right, you have to get further testing to confirm the diagnosis. It's not as easy a diagnosis as it sounds, though--I have pretty irregular periods, some hair issues, and bad skin, and my tests came back normal. It's also not an easily-cured thing--a friend has it (though she also has clear skin, average weight, etc) and had to start eating really carefully, and it can have longer-term health implications.

Verity

@Xanthophyllippa I think when I went to my GP about it they checked various things (this was about five years ago now, so I'm a bit hazy), and nothing was obviously wrong. Being on the Pill has calmed things down a lot, though (it actually arrives at a set time! If I want to delay it I just take two packs back-to-back! Best thing ever), which is a relief.

Xanthophyllippa

@Verity @Faintly Macabre Bonus! Glad to hear everything came back okay. The thing about PCOS is that it isn't so much one disorder as it is a lot of variable symptoms that, taken in combination, fall under the same header. Amenorrhea and thicker hair growth can end up lumped under the same heading as no hair growth and menorrhagia, which can end up lumped in with completely normal periods but high hair growth and unexpected weight gain. Plus sometimes problems that are possible symptoms can be completely different in orgin, just for kicks. It's part of why there isn't one easy treatment and finding what works best can involve a lot of trial-and-error.

OxfordComma

Does anyone else have problems with birth control causing suicidal thoughts and behavior?

'Coz, um, yeah.

EpWs

@OxfordComma Oh, god, honey. No, not for me, but you need to call your doctor ASAP and get yourself on different hormones or levels--they have a lot of different options, and I had to try a few different ones before I found what worked best for my body. Please call a doc soon?

noodge

@OxfordComma *raises hand*
I struggled SO MUCH with the BCP causing problems like this. I tried them AGAIN about a year ago, and I definitely got so depressed/anxious that I felt trapped in my mind and needed to find a way out. No birth control is worth it, get off NOW. And speak with a doctor, they're VERY helpful. I ended up on the copper IUD and have had NO recurrences of those types of thoughts since a month or so after going off the pill.
Please take care of yourself!!! <3

rararuby

@OxfordComma I was on birth control for acne from 17 til mid-20s without a break. Finally coming off it was a revelation - I realised I was not actually a moody, jealous, depressed, anxious, and paranoid person after all.
Hormones are just so integral to who we are as individuals, and so important to the decisions we make. I was in a long-term relationship in my early 20s that baffles me in retrospect, why I was attracted to him in the first place, and why the relationship endured as long as it did, and I put a lot of it down to the pill clouding my judgement. I never went as far a suicidal thoughts, but it came to a head with crippling anxiety. I will never, ever take it again.
Take care, and speak to your doctor.

She was a retail whore

@OxfordComma YES! I had these symptoms when I used Ortho Tri-Cyclen. My doctor put me on the low dose version of this medication, and the depression and suicidal thoughts cleared up pretty much immediately. I became 100% less depressed right in the middle of a particularly miserable Montreal winter, so I'm fairly certain that the regular dose version of this birth control was the cause.

bookbike

@OxfordComma Yeah! Hey! Totes. When I was on Yaz I had a day pre-period where I truly believed I would never be happy again. As soon as I got my period - suicidal thoughts Over. I went to the gyno the next week because I knew something was up. I switched to Zenchent and I like it a lot. In fact @rararuby I feel so much more even-keeled and sane when I'm on the pill than off!

sal291

@OxfordComma Yaz made me want to DIE!!! I was a horrible, crying, paranoid person. I went onto Gianvi (generic Yaz) and finally feel like an actual human being again.

redheaded&crazy

@OxfordComma I agree! Tell your doctor. She may write you a prescription for a lower dose hormone, or she may reduce your prescription so you're forced to follow up with her more often (which is what mine did when birth control made me crazy volatile emotionally)

OxfordComma

Thank you, loves.

It's just so frustrating that my options seem to be:

1) Stay on birth control (this is my third try) and want to die
2) Go off birth control and want to die because my PMS, cramps, skin, and emotional state are completely volatile.

There *has* to be another option.

noodge

@OxfordComma Mood swings, PMS, cramps, and acne all stink, but they can be somewhat controlled by strategic help from a doctor, and you can grow out of it with therapy/meds/work. Suicidal ideation can also be helped by a prescription and therapy. But as an outsider, I like the odds with dealing with the side effects of your period rather than the mental state that hormonal birth control brings.

EpWs

@teenie THIS. @OxfordComma, a doctor should be able to help out with things! Also, for what it's worth: I was on the traditional dual-hormone cocktail pill for a loooooong time and then went all crazy and it fucked with my mood and sleep and everything. Switched to generic Yasmin, which I know has some issues, but since it's a different hormone it worked totally differently and much better for me. So if you've just been on the same type of hormones for all three tries, switching it up might help. BUT, again, @teenie has it right here.

OxfordComma

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher, @Teenie:

All three BCs I've been on (Yaz, Microgestin, Lo-Ovarol) contain ethinyl estradiol, but the other main hormone is different in each.

I'm definitely going to see my doc, hoping to get in in a couple of weeks...

EpWs

@OxfordComma Unless there's an extremely pressing reason not to, maybe stop taking the pills until you can get in to see your doctor? And tell them about what you've been feeling, maybe/hopefully they'll be able to get you in earlier.

florabora

@OxfordComma There are SO MANY different types of birth control to try, just tell your doctor exactly what your problems are. the unhappy months and sometimes years (ugh) of trying to find the right HBC suck, but it's better than having elements of menstruation interrupt your life.

angelene

@OxfordComma I switched pills (to cerazette, tho it may not agree with you so well) and the physical side effects became much more mild, having been quite bad before. However, the first time I went off that pill for a while my body went hormonally insane. The second time I went off it, nothing seemed to change! So don't assume your body will respond in the same way twice, go off the pill if it's causing depression and def. try a different pill/speak to your doctor.

I guess it's also worth considering if anything else in your life could be causing this. I've had suicidal thoughts, now and then, for a while, not that I would ever act on them - they're just a particular thought pattern that I've come to accept as part of low/self critical moods. That said, if they became more insistent and frequent, or I was unable to suppress those patterns of thinking alone, I would def. consider cognitive behavioural therapy as well as considering if it's pill-hormones etc.

laurel

@OxfordComma Maybe try acupuncture? I have endometriosis (wackass periods, cysts, nausea, tons of pain, wild mood swings, etc.). I finally got off HBC and started acupuncture (once a week for a while, then once every two weeks, then once a month) and everything got so much better.

Xanthophyllippa

@laurel Acupuncture made everything so much better for me in general. My only reason for not continuing is that my insurance only covers 9 appointments/year, and after that it's $90/session. Eeek.

redheaded&crazy

it really is pretty nuts how different birth control works for different people. I mean you look at any one review board for a product and every other review is different! people are so individual, man. (that's so deep, dude.)

anyways it's totally the same with antidepressants, personally I am not in favour of fixing one prescription problem with another BUT lots of doctors prescribe that anddd lots of people do it.

also, I noticed that my "normal" periods became a lot more similar to my HBC periods after I stopped taking it. like they seem a lot more manageable than they used to and less bleeding and less painkillers. ugh that's probably just the above phenomenon of changing periods and doomsday will rain down upon me soon enough.

laurel

@Xanthophyllippa Is there an acupuncture school near you? There's one in my town and they have one evening a month where they see GYN patients specifically. The student (overseen by a professor) I saw did fine by me. They charged me $20/. I combined that with the appointments my insurance covered and it worked well for me.

anachronistique

@OxfordComma No joke, I think I've been on eight different types of birth control (I have ridiculously heavy periods and a lot of spotting) over the past four years. And two of those did cause suicidal thoughts during PMS week, which was scary as hell and sent me running back to my doctor - I may be depressed but suicidal thoughts have never, ever been part of my symptoms. Please take care of yourself.

OxfordComma

@anachronistique : Thanks, lady. :)

OxfordComma

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher : I'm holding off on them until I can get to the doctor--thank you so much for your encouragement!

redheaded&crazy

and also, so this a lady picture doesn't really look like michelle obama, but I guess she has kind of similar hair (that's so racist) but anyways never mind that but it just made me think about how relationship advice from michelle obama would be SO don't put up with shit girl! You know it would be!

WWMOD

carolita

Most breakups are inevitable, so my motto is, make sure you manage your breakup so that a) you don't have anything to be ashamed of later, if possible, and b) you can tell a nice story about it later. It doesn't have to be all cowardice, subterfuge, confrontations, or slime. It can be quite civilized.

Also, periods: my period went nuts one time when I was in my twenties, and I found out it was due to chlamydia! So get a checkup if your period acts weird. Mine is acting weird now in my 40's for perimenopausal reasons -- all I can say about that is, at least I'm in the final countdown! Hooray!

And friends putting on weight, what's the point of pussyfooting around it? If I have a friend who I go shopping with and they choose stuff and ask me what I think, I'll ask straight out what their plans for their weight are, so they can just answer me quite frankly. I can totally appreciate how a person looks when they've gained weight and find the beauty in it if that's how they plan to stay, as much as I can support someone planning to lose weight. I think it's often a relief to be spoken to as if you were actually a responsible human being.
Of course, I don't have too many oversensitive friends... Phew.

pinkmoon

@carolita Thank you! Keep it civilized would have been the first thing I said to that letter writer. Honestly tempered with sensitivity and kindness are always the way to go in a breakup. They don't have to be totally awful.

Prairie Dawn

@carolita Wonderful advice re: breakups, although the "most breakups are inevitable" line was very depressing. Also, true.

carolita

@capital K It's only depressing if you make it so! ;) Seriously, there is no relationship that isn't subject to the natural erosion that happens in relationships due to ageing, overwork, travel, simple maturing... It's just life. It's almost a relief to know that it doesn't always have to be forever. In fact, it makes a very intense relationship all the less frightening, if you think, "well, you know, I might actually get sick of this guy someday, or he might go through a midlife crisis and run off with a dingbat, thereby saving me having to watch this gorgeous hunk begin to look like a middle-aged woman, or deal with his enlarged prostate or gout, or long-term bad health issues..." It's a saving grace, not knowing what the future holds. "Forever" is a scary word till you realize it's a fiction, then you just take it one day at a time.

Xanthophyllippa

@carolita Not sure if this is what you meant to imply, but someone taking offense to a friend saying, "Actually, you look horrible in that; you need a bigger size" doesn't make them "oversensitive." If I went shopping with a friend and she looked me up and down and said, "Huh. Well, before you buy that, let me ask what your plans are for your weight?" I wouldn't be hurt, but I would be furious: I'd look her squarely in the eye and say, "None of your goddamn business," then never go shopping with her AGAIN. Weight isn't always something that can be planned for; I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd never consciously decide that okay, I'm just going to chill out at 15 lbs overweight, then sometime next spring I'll be back down at my usual weight. Having someone ask me about my weight as if they were inquiring into my weekend schedule would ensure I didn't voluntarily spend much time around them again.

Lollisoda37

LW#2: I'm currently wearing my "a bit too snug pants"! But I have an idea where you can tactfully get her to try on other sizes. Consignment shops! I don't know anyone who doesn't like to scavenge for cheap clothes and people tend to try other sizes just to make something they like fit for the cheap price. If you go to a regular store with multiple options you're only less likely to try other things, or even see if you can get clothes swaps to happen again!

florabora

LW#2, if your friend is really not wearing clothes that fit (as opposed to maybe could look a little better), and you're going shopping with her and she's trying on things and asking what you think, just tell the truth. "That dress looks awesome, looks like it doesn't fit well, want me to grab the next size for you?" Something like that.
Alternatively, pick up things off the rack and tell her you think she'd look great in them. Obviously pick them up in what you think is her size.

miwome

@all talking about weight gain Oh, man, I don't know whether to be OMG RELIEVED or just "man, I wish this were just happening to me NOW," because I had my big weight gain when I was more like 21 and it has just stuck with me ever since (now 23). There are all kinds of extra, fucked up reasons why this might have happened involving Psychological Issues And Whatnot. And so what I could/should take from this is, oh, maybe someday my metabolism will Get A Grip like these ladies' did! but I keep reading this as I AM DOOMED TO BE LIKE THIS FOREVER. (Which I am more at peace with than I once was, but not all the way there.)

Anyway, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who's a little freaked out! All my friends have super high metabolisms/are not having this problem, so.

E Monayyyyy@twitter

oh my GAWD study abroad. such a relationship killer. i was so nervous for my boyfriend to come visit me in europe because LITERALLY every other couple that i knew either broke up or got ENGAGED when the significant other came to visit. but SURPRISE things worked out great because he's the coolest and i am still totally obsessed with him and we are not broken up or engaged.

but i mean that was the second time i studied abroad. two years before when i was abroad and my previous boyfriend visited i had to spend the whole trip trying to hide him from everyone in my program so they wouldn't say..."aren't you dating (insert other guy in the program's name here)?" Needless to say that was the visit and break up variety of study abroad. I did learn how fun/scary it is dating two people at once. STUDY ABROAD! Finding yourself! Classic.

apples and oranges

@E Monayyyyy@twitter this comment gave me the sads. I am putting a relationship on hold for study abroad. Hopefully we'll get together when we're back but obviously can't know that now.

I'm glad things with the one guy worked out though :)

paisami

"But don't mistake proximity for love, or even respect."

ouch, too true. that is what i needed to hear this time last year. great advice all round, a lady.

Barracuda

All this talk about unfriendy-blockity-block-BLOCK!!! had me thinking, "Hmmm, yes, I could do with unfriending [for the second time] that ex who snooped through my stuff to find my passwords to everything online and then emailed a guy friend, who I used to date a long while back, telling him to back off, when said guy friend was thanking me for mailing back a book I borrowed from him."

But, I just remembered I unfriended him a few days ago. Ha!

Mimi Killjoy

Lady with the fat friend: people remember how you make them feel. If you hurt her feelings, she won't soon forget it. People don't always know what they really want until they get what they don't want. They may think they want another person's honest opinion and then be hurt by it if it catches them off guard or isn't what they expected- or isn't what they wanted to hear. You and your friend may have different perspectives/ideas about what she is talking about when she is asking for your opinion. It's very likely that when your friend asks you how she looks, she's just concerned about a particular outfit or an aspect of a particular outfit. I suspect that when she asks how she looks, she doesn't want to hear an indictment of her figure and her entire wardrobe. She may want another set of eyes to catch a glaring mistake, like her underpants showing through, visible panty lines, or some other random thing. Tread very carefully. I ask people's opinions when I'm not sure if a particular outfit or combination of pieces are working. I don't want them to tell me I need to lose weight or that they think my whole wardrobe stinks. On the other hand, I know people who buy things too tight and they don't want to hear it. There's no way to approach it without them hearing "You're fat." It's best to err on the side of not saying anything than saying something and offending them. You're not doing them a favor. Do yourself a favor and leave well enough alone. She may be in denial about how much weight she's gained, but she knows she's gained weight and probably doesn't even want to deal with the details because it's so upsetting to think about/deal with.

Prairie Dawn

@Mimi Killjoy Agreed. If she comes out of the dressing room and asks, a simple "I'm not crazy about it"/"maybe [something else] would work better" would be appropriate. But if someone said that to me when we were getting ready to go out or if I was wearing something I already owned, a comment about the fit, no matter how well-intentioned, would send me into an anxiety spiral questioning everything else in my wardrobe. Because in those situations I'm mostly asking to see if I'm over/underdressed or if my accessories don't match.

WaityKatie

@capital K Exactly. There's nothing worse than thinking "I hate x about my body" and then having someone else confirm that they have noticed that x on your body looks like crap too! Like, wow, I had convinced myself that I'm the only one who notices my muffin top, but in fact my BEST FRIEND notices it and is so concerned about it that she wrote in to an advice column to find out how best to tell me how horrible my muffin top really is. I truly hope this woman's friend never finds out about this, because if I were in her place that would freaking crush me. To know that my friend thought that about me and was basically going behind my back talking about it...not cool. I've gained and lost weight throughout my life and the one reassuring thing is the friends I have that treated me exactly the same regardless of where I was on the scale, and didn't seem to really even notice when I gained or lost. The ones who immediately jump on the "you've lost WEIGHT" compliment bandwagon every time you lose a pound are the ones I generally don't keep around very long.

alliepants

@WaityKatie UGH I hate when friends do that. They're also the ones who decide to tell me they binge-eat every time they see their therapist. Because that's healthy/something you want to tell people?

Mimi Killjoy

@WaityKatie Ugh! There's nothing worse than being told constantly that you've lost weight after you've lost weight. It's like constantly being reminded of 1) how fat you were before you lost the weight and 2) that they thought you needed to lose weight. You look great now. Isn't that enough? Can't we just agree that the complimentee looks great and call it a day? Why keep referring back to the past when the person was heavier, which any reference to weight loss automatically does? It reminds the person they have a problem with weight, even if they're doing well at the moment. Keep in mind most people who lose weight gain it back with interest. Saying 'you lost weight' is saying 'you were fatter before'- unless they're saying 'you're too skinny now', and that's just as insulting. Remarking on someone's weight is rude. Why don't people get this?
Sorry to go on and on, but once, my weight spiked up dramatically, and I lost it. After I had lost the weight, people would NOT shut up about it. The same people who felt the need to point out that I had put on weight in the first place by screaming about 'Oh my god, look how much weight you lost!', seemed to forget that I had already lost the weight, and would remark about it every goddamn time they saw me, even if they had seen me and remarked on it only a couple of days before. They would shout and draw huge amounts of attention to me overandover again. I think they thought they were being nice and making me feel good. It was really humiliating. Literally, over a year after I had shed the thirty or so pounds, they were still going on about me losing weight as if it were yesterday. I would tell person b how rude it was that person a wouldn't stop telling me that I lost weight for reasons stated above, and then person b would proceed to do the same thing. The horrible thing is, they would continue to do this even if I had gained back five or ten of the original pounds I lost. My weight fluctuates a little. If I said, 'actually, I'm gaining weight lately,' they'd act as if I was just self-deprecating and putting myself down and argue. Maddening.

carolita

Ladies, I cannot believe with all this talk about irregular periods nobody has once mentioned Chaste Tree Berry, or Vitex, as it's also known. Not to mention Dong Quai. They are both powerful regulators of womanly functions gone awry. Vitex is best, because it actually does everything -- if you have too much of this, it decreases it, and if you haven't enough, it elevates is -- all without introducing hormones into your body.

When I came off the Pill, I took both, along with Evening Primrose Oil, and it was amazing how quickly I got regular again. And this might be a little odd-sounding, but I threw in Ovarian Kung Fu, which definitely helped. Ovarian Kung Fu, you ask? I got it from this book that a friend who is very good friends with her reproductive system gave me: Healing Love Through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, By Mantak Chia. Amazing exercises in there that really do help. You have to have discipline to do it, but it's worth it, and quite fun. It'll make you really good in bed, too. (And no, I didn't do the Kegel weight-lifting, though I was intrigued.) I am a firm believer in not using the Pill to regulate your periods if there are other ways available (and better for your health in the long run). I did that myself, and ended up deregulating myself even more after ten years on the "minipill." It only helps for so long.

Also, another thing that might be a clue as to why periods get irregular in one's twenties is the accumulating years of overwork, irregular hours, too much caffeine -- don't tell me you don't have too much coffee, I see the way my friends drink all that coffee all day long -- , too much booze, and way too many plastics in your diet. All those plastics (bottles, BPA can linings, etc.) are hormone deregulators. Cut down on petroleum products wherever you can. You're already surrounded by petroleum products in your environment, in the workplace, in your makeup, everywhere. You don't have to go nuts, but you can cut down when practically possible.

Also, I can't remember why they help, but when I started taking calcium citrate capsules, after two months, things got better for me, too. I read somewhere that it would help, so I tried it.

There! I have pretty much exhausted everything I know about outside forces that may be causing irregular periods! :)

BTW - for the medievalists out there, I discovered Chasteberry during my medieval research. Looked it up, and voila, they sell it in health food stores under the name "Vitex." It's very popular in Europe, they actually prescribe it for menstrual irregularities.

:Cinnamon Girl:

@carolita I LOVE YOU! If you live in Northern California, we should be friends.

Vitex is amazing and I would recommend them to everyone!! Super cheap (available at most drug or natural food stores). My midwife (who does all of my primary care) recommended I take it, and it's pretty mainstream outside of the US (eg: in countries where things are done because they work, and not because there is $$ to be made).

Also, for anyone coming off of the pill, it can take a long time for your cycle to regulate itself (mine took over a year). Be patient.

I am terrified of hormonal birth control and really wish it weren't handed out like candy. Then again, I tend to be super sensitive to medication and get lots of side effects. Birth control made my sex drive decrease to nil over 3 years (and I'm a horny lady!). It kept my skin clear and periods regular/light, but it also made me gain weight (I don't care what the studies say, I lost 12 pounds with no lifestyle changes in the 2 months after I went off the ring), and I WASN'T ATTRACTED TO ANYONE. I already have a proclivity to be alone/too picky... if I don't want men for sex, I'm probably not gonna want them period. Anyway, I didn't even realize what'd happened until I went off and was like WHOA HOT GUYS EVERYWHERE. And then the feeling didn't go away. Yay! I also felt more emotionally sane off BC, which was an added bonus.

Now I have a copper IUD (Paragard), which I adore. It's 99%+ effective, good for 11 years, no hormonal side effects, and no user error or having to remember to take a pill. My periods are heavier and I have some cramping, but it's nothing a little advil doesn't fix. Basically, I <3 Paragard.

noodge

@.Lauren. @Carolita - HAY! so vitex helps many ladies, but there are a large number whose cycles can be roughed up by using it (I'm in that group - it made my acne worse, made my moods worse, and i still never got my period), so as always, tread with caution!

carolita

@teenie Woah, seriously? That's too bad! How about Evening Primrose Oil, or Dong Quai? Or Ovarian Kung Fu? (I've tried everything, so I'm not really sure which worked when it did, I just know something worked among all the options!)

carolita

@.Lauren. I have the same wariness towards the Pill, so I know where you're coming from. I also hate giving my $$ to The Man, ie Big Pharma. Drives me nuts. I use condoms, myself, because I like making my man take responsibility for his sperm's whereabouts, rather than doing stuff to my body to make life easier for him. And why not? I spent all that dough and abused my reproductive system for the first 15 odd years of my active sexual life, so why shouldn't I pass the burden on to a man now? But that's just me. I'm a pain in the ass. ;) (Also, having caught a cootie or two during all that time, I realize the condom is my friend. It was "no condom, no sex" from the second cootie debacle on! However, I believe my Ovarian Kung Fu exercises have made it totally worth it to my BF. Wink, wink.)

My period was amazingly regular in the first trimester of its onset, came at 10am on Saturday mornings, exactly a month apart, and then it stopped and came back as an irregular and painfully heavy bat out of hell. Dunno what that was all about. It's finally pretty regular, now that I"m in the home stretch to menopause! Ha! But I try to save other women the trouble if I can, with my experiences.

Mad as a Hatter!

Hi, everyone, I'm LW4. I really appreciate all the responses, I kind of knew what I should be doing, but it was nice to have the opinion of a professional Lady and all the other Hairpinners. Love you all!

P.S. I would have replied a lot sooner, but it was a day put to good use! (Shopping)

automaticdoor

@Sherlock YAY SHOPPING! I'm glad you know what you should do, and that hopefully you'll be good to yourself and do it! ♥

:Cinnamon Girl:

@Sherlock Yay!!! We love you! And we've been there! And you'll get through it. Time heals all wounds; life goes on; love yourself; TRITE CLICHES AD INFINITUM.

BScottie

"Don't mistake proximity for love, or even respect."
Wow. I wish I had read that statement about a year and a half ago! Brilliant. I feel like I've just been punched in the face, but in a good way. Things are so clear to me now! I'm going to repeat it to myself 20-30 times a day, and 20-30 more right before I go to bed. This along with that New Years' Resolutions list and thread, and 2012 is going to be the year that I break unhealthy patterns once and for all. I've already quit smoking, and sober me loves the feeling (drunk me gets very angry about it).
Thanks, Lady!!!

smartastic

@BScottie Yes. Agreed. Thanks A Lady!

selkie86

@heyits Honest shopping advice is always a good thing, but I think the letter writer was asking whether or not to offer unsolicited advice about the fit of her clothing.

lizlabacz

Re: weight gain and clothes
Eeep. I've gotta say, I lean toward honesty when it comes to shopping and dressing. My friends know this and it's made me a popular shopping partner. I will not lie to spare your feelings, but you will not look stupid in a photo. I know I've had the experience of seeing a photo of myself and thinking "holy pajamas, why didn't anyone TELL me that shirt doesn't fit?!" I know I'd be more upset with a friend letting me walk around in ill-fitting clothing (or spinach in my teeth, or tragic hair, or any of the other myriad things it's awkward to bring up) than a good pal gently giving it to me straight.

Dress the body you have, not the body you think you should have. Love the body you have, even if it take a little more fabric to cover it! I feel like lying by omission to your friend is just feeding into the idea that it's somehow shameful to go up a size.

Of course, I say this having cultivated a persona where friends simply won't ask me for a fashion opinion unless they want the/my opinion of the truth. That probably buffers me from some of the blowback.

I think you should test the waters. Tell a story of your own, when someone pointed out something about your appearance that you might not like. See how she reacts. Start a dialogue about the concept. If she has strong feelings one way or the other (sweep it under the rug!/I always want to know!) she'll share them. Plus, offering a story makes you a little vulnerable, so that if you do eventually share your fashion opinion, you're coming at it as a peer who has gone through the same thing, not an Almighty Fashion Judge.

Also, take note of her health routine. Is she making a concerted effort to lose weight? Then she's aware of the change and just doesn't want to spend more money on pants. If not, then I think you should consider talking to her. It's pretty possible she'll stay at this weight for a while. Wouldn't it be better to get started on accepting it?

myshone

I don't know. But I once forced — forced! — a friend to tell me how I might improve my eyebrows, and even that was sort of scarring.Wireless training

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