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Friday, February 3, 2012

373

Secret Weddings, Self-Googling, and the Unfriend

I've been in a wonderful relationship for about five years with a man in the Air Force, and we're currently living together. We had wanted to wait until we were more established (we’re 24, and I’m in grad school) to get married, but he's now going to be stationed in Hawaii for several years, and it appears that getting married now makes the most sense. We're leaving for Hawaii in a month, so there's no time to have a decent wedding. Our current thinking is that we'll have a quick courthouse wedding with just the two of us now so that we can be married before moving, then when we're settled we'll do the whole wedding-with-friends-and-family thing.

I'm pretty sure that if I tell my friends we're getting married now, they'll not see the importance of my other wedding in a year or two. My friends are the type who don't spend a lot of money on travel (unless it's to Disney World with their families), and I'm really concerned they'll view the second wedding (the one that really matters to me and my guy) as unnecessary, and will therefore make no effort to travel to it, wherever it may be. Because of this, my boyfriend and I are seriously considering keeping the courthouse wedding a secret from everyone but our parents. It's only paperwork to us at this point, and the second wedding is the one where our hearts will really be in it.

Does keeping this a secret from my friends make me a bad person? Does it mean I need new friends?

I don't think it makes you a bad person, but it might mean you need new friends. Luckily, you're about to move away from all your current ones! But let's see what we can do here ... From your letter, I'm not sure why you think your friends will react that way. If it's just that they don't travel much and you're assuming they'll look for an excuse to not come, I think you may be underestimating them. Are you the first in your circle to get married? This would not surprise me, given your age, but it means that you haven't had various wedding situations come up, to see how people react in real life. In general, many people who don't regularly take exciting trips will travel for weddings, because they want to celebrate with their loved ones. Your note about Disney World makes me think that money wouldn't be the only issue keeping people from your wedding (or related celebration), but that's a place to give people some slack. If your event is far away from where your friends live, and they don't have hundreds of extra dollars, they might not be able to come, no matter how much they love you.

I really do think that good friends will want to come to your wedding, though, regardless of legal status, especially if they understand the practical reasons for being legally married before you move. (I'm guessing there's stuff about living on-base together, and likely other benefits I'm not familiar with.) But I don't think you need to tell anyone the date of your legal marriage if you don't want to. If you're planning on having a ceremony at the big event, it will feel as much like a wedding as anything. (But note, if that ceremony would be a religious ceremony, you might want to check with the potential officiant to make sure having a courthouse wedding beforehand is okay. Some religious folks might have an issue.) I myself have (at least?) two friends who had courthouse weddings before their big event weddings, for various reasons. I think most people knew in one case, but not in the other, although I don't actually remember, because ultimately it doesn't matter. As long as you're just having one party that you're inviting friends and family to, the legality is a minor part of it.

I'm part of a relatively tight group of female friends, and two of the girls have a friend from college who's also in the group. She's horrible. (I know, that makes me sound bad, too, but she's legitimately horrible.) She's super insecure, to the extent that she wouldn't leave her seat at the middle of a large-ish table at her best friend's surprise birthday dinner to make room for said best friend, because then she "wouldn't be able to talk to anyone." She doesn't understand boundaries or the word "no," and still freaks out when anyone talks to the guy she hooked up with two years ago (and somehow thought she was dating even though he only called her at 3 a.m.?). THAT is a story for another time, but for real, lady is crazy.

I reached my breaking point with her when she accused me in a bar a couple of months ago of spreading rumors about her. (Yes, we are apparently still in middle school, and, no, I was not.) This all became a shitstorm today when I sent out an email inviting everyone (but her, I KNOW) to come see a show with me and my ex-roommate. My argument is that being with her frustrates me and stresses me out, because everyone is constantly walking on eggshells around her. That's no fun, and I want to enjoy some Kaiser Chiefs. I'm also not the only one; most of us are tolerating her only for the two girls who knew her in college. I don't know how to defriend her without causing drama. What to do?

You have no obligation to be friends with people you don't want to be friends with. I almost don't care why you don't want to be her friend — if you don't want to, you don't have to. But we do live in the real world, and friend dynamics do exist in groups, not just one-on-one.

What was the shitstorm? Her closer friends defending her to you? Telling her she wasn't invited, so she would confront you about it? Third-party people yelling at you? Let's assume some combination of the above. If you're looking to avoid confrontation (is that what drama is?), the easiest thing is to keep hanging out with her, and just let her BS roll off you. But it doesn't sound like that's what you want, and it doesn't sound like you want to talk to her directly, so you're going to need to be explicit about it with at least the friends of yours who are better friends of hers. (I wish we had some code names here...)

If the two who are better friends with her are still really close to her, you can't cut her out without hurting them, or at least having a frank discussion about why you don't want to hang out with her anymore. (Although her accusation of you spreading rumors seems like a pretty solid reason not to want to hang out with her any more.) Try talking to the ones who are closest to her about your desire to see less of her, and maybe try smaller-group activities sometimes. If you aren't always doing stuff with the whole group, it's a little easier to edge her out of some events, and maybe she's less problematic in smaller doses. In the current example, you could have made plans to go to the concert with just your ex-roommate. Then, maybe it comes up in conversation with other people, and they end up going, too. But it's not a blanket invitation that explicitly excludes one member of the group.

Good luck, at any rate.

Lady! How often do you Google yourself? Google Image-search yourself? I probably do it two or three times a week, is that crazy, am I normal? Are you normal, are you crazy? I mean, I'm probably not going to stop either way, but I want to know. Shit, I'm probably going to have to Google myself right now. And then there's that special way to search yourself on Tumblr, and Twitter. Where does it stop, Lady?

I'm really not in the business of telling people whether they're. Because seriously, that is a professional job. Is your self-Googling habit driving you nuts? If so, stop! Or at least cut back. Is it like the thing where you get really close to the mirror and pay super-close attention to any flaw you find? If so, that is probably not a good thing for your mind-space. If you're just curious how you come across on the internet, that might not be so bad. Personally, I Google myself occasionally, like a few times a year, probably? (I mean, not counting right now, of course...) But my public internet presence is pretty light, and I like to keep it that way.

PS: What is the way to search yourself on Tumblr? Asking for a friend... (Ed. – "Search term" site:.tumblr.com.)

My roommate is a lovely, wonderful friend who recently started dating an equally lovely, wonderful guy. I'm really happy for them and want to show nothing but support for their relationship, but there is one thing that's driving me crazy: they can't stop touching each other!

It's like the world will explode if they ever break skin-to-skin contact. It doesn't matter if we're out to dinner with a big group or they're sitting around our apartment — they're constantly draped over each other, complete with hair-petting and hand-stroking. I get that some couples like to be a little more PDA-ish than others, but it's really distracting to have a conversation with them when her head is his lap or she's tracing her fingers along his arm. How can I let my friend know that the cuddling is nauseating while still making it clear that I'm genuinely happy for her relationship? As a side note — and I'm not sure if this matters — I am sans significant other at the moment. But I don't want the conversation to go in a "You don't have a boyfriend so you wouldn't understand," or a "You're just jealous" kind of way. I do want to continue hanging out with the two of them and don't expect them to go hide in her room when he's at our place or anything like that. I'd just like them to ease up a little on the touchy-feely when I'm around.

Ugh. Lady, I feel you. But not literally, because I am not a touchy-feely person myself, as it turns out. So yeah, I fall pretty heavily on the side that two people canoodling in public or ESPECIALLY in a three-person hanging out situation is just rude. You should definitely talk to your roommate, and talk to her alone — it's absolutely a reasonable request to ask that they hold back just a little. I'd recommend against using the word “nauseated” in this conversation, though. “Uncomfortable” should work well, and do lead with how much you like both of them, and how much you like them together. It wouldn't hurt if you can point to your own past behavior with significant others — if you've hung out with a lovahhh and not been all over them all the time. If she does go to “You wouldn't understand” or “You're just jealous,” well, then her new-love hormones are just blinding her, and I'm sorry but you'll just have to wait it out. They'll get over it eventually.

Previously: Unmet Demands and the Eternal "Are You Sure You're Sure You're Sure?"

A Bowl of Hummus is one of several rotating bowls of hummus who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Bowl of Hummus? (300-word max, please.)

Photo by margouillat photo, via Shutterstock



373 Comments / Post A Comment

theharpoon

But really, what are you actually made out of? Like, besides chickpeas?

EpWs

@theharpoon Tahini! And lemon juice!

Barbara Gordon

@theharpoon Or peanut butter! http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/peanut-butter-hummus

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Barbara Gordon that is of the devil.

Judith Slutler

@theharpoon

1 can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon of tahini
Juice from 1 squeezed lemon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 pinch of chili powder
Some olive oil (idk, like 1/4 cup? less??? SOME.)

+

your stick blender

=

hummus

cherrispryte

@Barbara Gordon No.

c.
c.

@theharpoon with homemade pita chips! cut pita into triangles, toss with a little olive oil, little salt, spread on baking sheet, bake for 8-10 minutes. experiment with other seasonings. best thing ever.

hahahaha, ja.

@theharpoon: With sun-dried tomato and basil!

sweetleah

@Emmanuelle Cunt chili powder? I'm sorry but as a Syrian I must disagree...the spice you need is CUMIN!! and mayyyybe a little paprika sprinkled on top for color, but chili powder makes it more latin, but hummus is middle eastern and our go-to spice is generally cumin :)otherwise we agree perfectly!

theharpoon

I feel that I should come clean here. I am actually quite familiar with hummus (although not peanut butter hummus, what the hell) and just could not think of a good hummus joke. I did not deserve first comment. Therefore, I abdicate this throne, prostrate myself before the Hairpintariat, and leave you in order to read some douche analytical philosopher talking about the history of science.

leonstj

@theharpoon - this is semi-unneccessary sounding, but once you try it you will not go back.

You must use dried chickpeas. They must be tiny, not giant mexican garbanzo beans. You must start the night before, and cook them in salt and baking soda for a couple hours, then let them soak overnight.

I'm sorry that this is so much work, but like the best masonry, roses, and sex, you will find that your hard work makes all the difference.

phipsi

@Emmanuelle Cunt OH STICK BLENDER YOU ARE GENIUSSSSSSS

theharpoon

@leon.saintjean Or I can just continue to be lazy and buy it at the grocery! But keep telling me about all of this hard work that you do, I find it fascinating.

thebestjasmine

@leon.saintjean No salt! You can't cook dried beans in salt, you only salt them at the end, because if you add salt at the beginning or when they're not softened, it will take forever for them to soften and they may never be right. Also, isn't it the other way around -- soak overnight and then cook for a few hours?

Bitterblue

@sweetleah Oh man, yes, cumin. I will put cumin in EVERYTHING. It turns ordinary egg salad into smoky, savory deliciousness.

thebestjasmine

@Bitterblue Okay, have you toasted cumin seeds yourself and then ground up the cumin? I know, I know, I'm like telling you to soak your own beans here, but it is INCREDIBLE the difference it makes. You don't even have to grind them if you don't have the ability (I use a cheap coffee grinder), you can just toast them and use a cheap mortar/pestle or just crush them anyway that you can, but omg.

Bitterblue

@thebestjasmine ...No I haven't, but that seriously sounds like the best thing ever. I grate my nutmeg fresh with a micro-plane (even though the pattern in the half-grated nut is creepy-looking, like you are grating a teeny-tiny brain-nut into your hot cocoa) so I would totally do this!

thebestjasmine

@Bitterblue Totally do it next time! It's amazing.

Also, I just got a hummus based lunch. And another girl there ordered just a small container of hummus and some pita, and I really wanted to give her the Hairpin sign (I didn't, I should have).

bloodorange

@thebestjasmine I'm pretty sure the no-salting-dried-beans thing is a bit of a myth. I haven't noticed it being a problem myself, and neither has Mark Bittman apparently? Anyway, probably the best way to get beans to cook in a reasonable time is to buy the freshest ones you can!

And YES to dried beans and grinding your own cumin. With simple recipes, every little step up in quality is exciting.

thebestjasmine

@bloodorange Harold McGee says so, and I always trust him. He says salting the soaking water is good, but honestly I can never remember to soak beans and always end up cooking them sometime when I'm home and have time (and then I just bag and freeze them so I have them easily to hand), so I don't salt until halfway through.

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine wait wait wait, what is the hairpin sign?!

i imagine a little snap of the fingers up where you would put a bobby pin.

and i can also imagine me going around doing this to everyone and looking like a fool because OBVIOUSLY the hairpin sign is nothing even close to that, god don't you know anything?!

Hellcat

@leon.saintjean The more I read this site, the more I suspect you are some kind of renaissance man.

leonstj

@Hellcat - I haven't ridden since I was a little kid, but there is a scar on my chin courtesy of an adventure on horseback. Does that help?

Judith Slutler

@sweetleah Cumin sounds pretty good too! I actually learned this recipe from a Turkish guy, I think they are more about adding sweet paprika + a little chili.

rararuby

@Emmanuelle Cunt put some caramelised onions in there!

kate sweet@twitter

@theharpoon Hello,my friends!Here's the most popular dating site for now__SeekCasual*com, a place for people who wanna start a short-term relationship.And also for finding soul mate.Over 160000 happy members are waiting their lovers.Join free and have a try,nothing to lose!

sceps yarx

@theharpoon I'm pretty sure the hairpin sign is running two fingers (kinda like a peace sign) alongside your head in the temple-area in a combing/hairpin-putting-in motion...I remember reading about it somewhere on the site before. Anyone?

roadtrips

@thebestjasmine RE: cooking beans - put a little piece of seaweed (preferably kombu or nori) in there while they're cooking - it'll give them a hint of seaweedy taste and makes them easier to digest.

thebestjasmine

@roadtrips OMG, that is the best tip ever!

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@redheadedandcrazy @sceps yarx ugh you guyssssss why has no one definitively answered this yet??????? I NEED TO KNOW THIS STUFF, I AM TERRIFIED OF APPEARING A RUBE.

thebestjasmine

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me SO SORRY. Wine, you know. Yes, it is the little sign with two fingers like a hairpin that someone up there said. It was posted here in a Hairpin meetup post, I think someone said LA? AH, here we go! Jane would be so proud of my googling skills.

AniaGosia

@theharpoon What are you reading?

Hellcat

@leon.saintjean Chin scar -- just like Harrison Ford. More points to you!

GoToaster

@Barbara Gordon Oh man, I am going to be the sole voice of non-reason and say that using unsweetened and unsalted peanut butter instead of tahini sounds like an amazing idea. I can't stand tahini and usually only put it in my hummus for the sake of authenticity. But I'll be sold if that turns out to be as good as it sounds. I've fallen madly in love with peanut butter as well as all things chickpea-based since going vegetarian.

And to those of you following Emanuelle Cunt's advice be careful using a stick blender to make your hummus! That's exactly how I broke my roommate's stick blender, and it was not a shoddy off-brand one. His new Cuisinart food processor, on the other hand, makes hummus beautifully.

Nate Jones@twitter

As a collection of mashed chickpeas blended with tahini and olive oil, this bowl of hummus is completely ignorant of the notion that women might share some fundamental experience and interests.

Vera Knoop

@Nate Jones@twitter I feel that I have moved beyond sisterhood with this hummus, into a curdled BFF-ship.

itmakesmewonder

I don't want to objectify, but that is a really attractive bowl of hummus. I'd like to ask it to (be my) lunch.

applestoapples

@itmakesmewonder Is it hummus-shaming if I say that bowl is really asking to get grabbed and eaten?

Tuna Surprise

@applestoapples
I'd love to dip my carrot stick in it.

lisma

@itmakesmewonder I think you need to check your privilege. We don't know what it is like for a bowl of hummus.

annepersand

@itmakesmewonder As a baba ganoush, I'm really uncomfortable about all of the erasure going on in this thread. There are more middle eastern dips than just hummus, okay?

SuperGogo

@itmakesmewonder Sorry, I know it's crass, but I can't help myself: OH GOD, BOWL OF HUMMUS, I NEED YOU NOW!

miwome

@annepersand Yup. It's even worse as a muhammara. If it's not total erasure, it's spicy jokes.

nyikint

@miwome You guys. You're going to make falafel my chair from laughing.

nyikint

@applestoapples I, on the other hand would like to pea all over that chick..

shows self out

annepersand

@miwome I feel like you're trying to create a hierarchy of oppression here. This is not the Oppression Olympics!

mustelid

@itmakesmewonder I know, I'm laughing so hard I just peed a tahini bit.

miwome

@annepersand Ha! Tell it to the shankleesh.

applestoapples

You guys really need to tabouleh all these bad puns on Middle Eastern foods, because they're starting to get bulghur.

Achyvi

@EVERYONE: I feel like I'm on Reddit, doling out so many thumbs-up. I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING.

EpWs

Weddings are such personal things--if the bride and groom (or bride and bride, or groom and groom) want to have people at one ceremony or the other, the "legality" of it shouldn't matter. What matters is the importance the couple places on it.

Edit: and as long as the couple serves hummus, of course. I refuse to attend weddings without it.

Bitterblue

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Well then it's a good thing that my aborted didn't-happen wedding was going to have hummus as one of the toppings at the crostini bar!

waitykaitie

include tahini: yes or no? it's just that, you know, i've read different recipes...

Clare

@waitykaitie YES. Love me some tahini. There's a place in Philadelphia that makes tahini gelato. FABULOUS.

Pound of Salt

@waitykaitie I am firmly no. Doesn't need it.

MilesofMountains

@waitykaitie I am of the belief that if it doesn't have tahini, it's not hummus, it's just flavoured chickpea paste and "chickpea paste" sounds gross.

Daisy Razor

@waitykaitie My Syrian mother-in-law is pro-tahini, and who am I to argue with her? (Seriously, I am not going to argue with a Syrian mother-in-law.)

MatildaGold

@waitykaitie not NECESSARY, per se, but it adds a delightful creaminess.

monicamcl

@Clare WHAAAAAT? WHERE?

Faintly Macabre

@Clare But why would you eat that when you can eat apple-mascarpone gelato? Or quince?

Faintly Macabre

@monicamcl Capogiro! Though their flavors rotate, so it's not always there. And tahini gelato sounds too reminiscent of when I tried pad thai ice cream in Boston and it was HORRIBLE.

lisma

@waitykaitie yes! and roasted butternut squash. and so many cloves of garlic.

sweetleah

@waitykaitie tahini is the thickening, creamy agent to make it a nice dip. also gives a nice sesame flavor. I'd include it!

leona

@waitykaitie My ex and I once made hummus for a party and forgot to put tahini in it. Even though we both like hummus to be REALLY tahini-y. People really loved it, and said they didn't usually like hummus. So. I still like it with lots of tahini. Also that picture is making me really sad and hungry because I can't pita like that here- only the puffy kind. And I'm seriously thinking about buying a stick blender or food processor after work so I can at lease make some hummus the way I like it. Puffy pita be damned.

travelmugs

@clare @monicamcl Capogiro, right? I haven't tried it, but I've tried their other weird flavors (avocado, salt, cilantro pineapple, etc.) and it always works. I put my trust in Capogiro.

Inspector Tiger

@waitykaitie also very good: tahinade - which is equal parts honey and tahini blended together. mmmmmh. I want it now, on some toast. (or dip apples in it)

monicamcl

@Faintly Macabre @travelmugs Oh, duh, yes! I should have known. I haven't been there in ages. The Franklin Fountain have stolen my affections with their single-malt butterscotch.

wee_ramekin

@waitykaitie I grew up eating the hummus of a full-blooded Lebanese grandmother, and she used tahini. BUT, I honestly prefer to substitute olive oil for tahini when I'm making hummus. Tahini tastes too...burnt nuts?...for me.

bloodorange

ugh GOD I LOVE CAPOGIRO. <3 u, Phillie!

oh and tahini gelato is extremely appealing to my imagination. I also love and highly recommend the tahini-and-strawberry-jam sandwich!

travelmugs

@bloodorange @monicamcl <3 u Capogiro. And <3 u Franklin Fountain's single-malt butterscotch (over the Hydrox Cookie ice cream). We're a privileged city.

bnna

@waitykaitie Sorry hummus is not hummus without tahini. I was born in Israel and have lived there for years of my life and I refuse to acknowledge anything without.

GoToaster

@Faintly Macabre ROSEMARY HONEY GOAT'S MILK GELATO FOREVS. Indeed, we Philadelphians are blessed.

Also, tahini _anything_ sounds gross.

werewolfbarmitzvah

The hummus speaks truth! For serious, though, this is your wedding, not your friends' wedding. If they have to wait a year or two to go to a reception, they'll survive.

For the record, I got married at city hall, a lot of my friends didn't know until after the deed was done, and I have no regrets whatsoever.

themegnapkin

@werewolfbarmitzvah I think Miss Manners (and maybe Carolyn Hax?) has a different take - the wedding is where you get married, and if you have a party a year later to celebrate, it's an anniversary party, not a wedding. The idea of *lying* to your friends about it sounds really bizarre, and un-friendlike, to me. Just call it what it is, and don't try to trick your friends into coming.
But for the record, I am single, I have attended too many weddings (they all tend to run together, and at the large ones, the bride and groom usually don't have much time to hang out with their friends anyway), and my favorite wedding story is one where the couple got married in a hot air balloon 2 days after getting engaged.

@themegnapkin With all due respect, I think you are wrong. There are lots (lots LOTS) of reasons why people get married at city hall, most of them for legal, military, or work reasons where timing is of the essence.

A wedding/reception is where you celebrate the beginning of the couple's life together. If that celebration and acknowledgment needs to happen a few weeks/months after they sign a slip of paper and file joint tax returns -- before they are acknowledged by their religious group, their family, their friends as a married couple -- so be it.

To be clear, I worked at a military academy where there were some pretty strict rules about who could live with you (it was an awful place to live and work, but that's a different story) and I knew quite a few couples who did this because in order to live on campus, you had to be married, but the school didn't pay them enough to live off campus without it being a pretty significant burden (I KNOW, it was truly awful). Most of them had lived together before, and this was merely a means of cohabitation while not going broke. This situation is pretty common in the military.

saul "the bear" berenson

@themegnapkin Yeah, agreed. You have to make a lot of priority calls when planning a wedding, and if your friends are in their 20's and traveling far might make it tough for them to come, then you may decide to get married in a more accessible location. If that's not possible because of his military job, then maybe you decide to wait until it is possible? Or you decide to have a smaller wedding with just those who can make the trip. You're probably going to have to compromise somehow no matter what, nature of the beast.

But if you're honest with your pals, and then they're all "but you already GOT married, why should I travel for a fake do-over 'real' wedding??" then it sounds like they might kind of suck.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@themegnapkin Well, whether you want to call it a wedding or an anniversary party or Grand Hoopla of 2014 just seems like a matter of semantics. The point is that the LW's marriage is a time-sensitive issue - she needs to do this very soon so that she can be stationed with her dude in Hawaii. I also had a time-sensitive marriage situation (green card stuff!), and thinking about whether my friends could come to the ceremony and whether they'd feel left out was honestly not a realistic priority, because this wedding just needed to get DONE. I guess I agree with you that lying to one's friends about it seems unnecessary, and I don't see any legitimate reason why the LW would need to do that. But truly, if she tells her friends that she needs to get married at the courthouse next week (or whenever) and their first reaction is to get all butthurt about not getting to come along, rather than simply being happy for their friend who is getting married and understanding that she's under some tricky circumstances in doing so, then those friends are being selfish and immature. A big party for one's friends is NOT that important in the grand scheme of things. The marriage itself is the thing that's important.

saul "the bear" berenson

@Moxie das Maven Oops I mean to say that I agree that it's cool to be honest, I don't really agree that you should do that because of manners or whatever. And I don't think you should call it an anniversary party, if that's not what the event represents for you. Like @S. Elizabeth said, the military makes this issue unique for a lot of people so do what's right for you, but it seems like it would feel crappy to have to lie to get your friends to attend.

miwome

@S. Elizabeth Agreed. My good friend who is in the military got married and told me, but she didn't tell her mom (I KNOW) because her mom would have never forgiven her for not having a big proper ceremony that she could attend. They were planning the big-party thing for a year later.

Annnnd then they got divorced, and it just occurred to me to wonder whether her mom ever knew anything about it, so weird.

themegnapkin

@S. Elizabeth Gah! "With all due respect" is the kiss of death, like "no offense"! I have no problem with getting married and then later throwing a party to celebrate it (calling it an "anniversary party" was too glib, sorry, call it whatever you feel like), and there are totally legit reasons to do it. But I stand by my position that (1) lying to your friends and extended family (everyone but your parents!) and (2) compounding that lie by acting out a pantomime of a wedding and all that that entails - possibly bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, and then acting out the ceremony again, while pretending you're not married (and then lying about your wedding date for the rest of your lives! Like, would you celebrate your 10th anniversary a year later than it actually is?) all so that you can have the wedding of your dreams? - is weird. I guess, call it whatever you feel like, but lying about it is wrong + bizarre + way too complicated.

Ellie

I really liked the advice to this question. I honestly do think that getting married, and then having a wedding celebration AFTER, is a little different from having a wedding at which you get married. But I also honestly think that true friends would recognize that the wedding is the time to come and celebrate just as you would if you were getting legally married at that time as well! I would travel to such a celebration in a heartbeat. It's different, but it's not worse, so I thought the advice was perfect.

saul "the bear" berenson

@Ellie One more thing - I actually know someone who went through exactly this situation (minus the long-distance move part) and got married at the courthouse long before the "wedding". She told only a very few people. All her friends and "friends" from high school and stuff came to this huge wedding, and they managed to find out that it was a "fake wedding," and trashed the bride on facebook. They were really sh*tty about it and revealed their true colors as Not Good Friends, nearly ruining her memory of the whole wedding. It's their fault they're jerks, not the bride's, but if she'd been honest with everybody in the first place it would have been avoided. Even if they'd just declined to go to the wedding, it would have been way better in the long run. Basically I'm saying if your friends are jerks, better to find that out and not plan your wedding to accommodate their jerk-ness.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Moxie das Maven Wow, now those are some messed-up "friends." I still haven't had an official wedding celebration/reception/etc. since my courthouse ceremony, but my sister-in-law also did a courthouse wedding for green card reasons, and two years later she had her big Official Wedding with all the friends and family, and not one person said a word of complaint about it not being the "real wedding." Nobody cared! Everyone just came and had a great time and congratulated the bride and groom and took hearty advantage of the open bar. Because, really and truly, what difference does it make whether the celebration happens on the exact date of the legal marriage or not? Whose business is it, really, besides the two people getting married?

Inkling

@themegnapkin
At first I thought it didn't matter if they knew the legality, but then: if you go to your friend's wedding, you're gonna be focused on encouraging/dissuading them about their big step and maybe doing a lot of emotional support. What if you went and you were like "It's okay, Girl Who Writes To Hummus, being married could be wonderful who knows" and then later you find out GWWTH has already been living married?
On the other hand, you could just go to show your support for the union and celebrate and see them in their new town, etc, if you know the marriage is a done deal. Right? I guess she'd be tricking people into having some uncalled for emotions, is what I mean.

Lily Rowan

@Inkcrafter There should be no encouraging or dissuading at a wedding of any sort, only support and compliments. IMO.

Hellcat

@Moxie das Maven My mother and stepfather did this (official wedding before family-event wedding) and, while I actually don't know if anyone knew it at the time, I don't recall anyone having an issue with it at all. Except Grandma but... well, grandmas can get that way sometimes. Also, those friends of your friends--what immature jerks, man. Trashing on FB... really? Oy.

This topic is interesting to me; I can take or leave being married (I'm not), but I feel like, if I did do it, I'd want to have a no-frills/no-guests wedding and then, you know, throw a big bash (sans ceremony) after the fact. It never occurred to me that it might upset people (like Grandma, probably).

nonvolleyball

@themegnapkin my husband & I got legally married exactly six months before our "real" wedding (the planning of which was already in progress). coincidentally, I was also 24 (although 25 for the actual wedding). the original plan was to not tell anyone at all ever, but then we found out that the Catholic church requires your parents to fill out this "yes, my child is of sound mind & isn't married to anyone else" paperwork, & so we had to tell them, "& hey, when you're filling that out...we are actually already married. but to each other!" (FYI, re: the hummus's point about religious-ceremony issues, the priest totally didn't care, & we checked with him beforehand.)

over the years, we've slowly let more people know about our "secret" official marriage, & not a single person has been remotely bothered by it. not everyone knew at our "real" wedding, but the wedding party & our inner circle of friends did, & no one cared. when you think about it, the point of a wedding is to celebrate your commitment to your partner with your friends & family as witnesses--if your marriage technically began in a courthouse basement with no one else you knew around to see it, did it really even happen?

for what it's worth, we only celebrate our actual wedding anniversary, but we will verbally acknowledge our "fauxnniversary" for the fun of it.

in conclusion: LW1, marry the shit out of your guy, go live with him on base, & have a "real wedding" whenever you can/want to. anyone who can't understand your reasons & gets all butthurt about it isn't a real friend.

meetapossum

@werewolfbarmitzvah Yeah, I'm trying to figure out what sort of person would even care so much to begin with. They care so much that the LW is contemplating lying to them! My good friends had a ceremony this summer although they were married about a year before (same sort of issue - he was in the military). Everyone knew about it, and we all still had a wonderful time because we were celebrating our friends!

LW1 - get new friends!

MilesofMountains

@themegnapkin I agree. While I believe the celebration with your community is the wedding that counts the most, apparently she doesn't think her friends feel that way. So it seems like a bad idea to try and trick them into coming to an event they wouldn't go to if they knew what it actually was. It's too bad she doesn't think they will respect her wish to make her post-marriage wedding as important as the legal wedding, but I also think it's too bad she doesn't respect their right to decide which events they want to sink time and money into. Especially because it sounds like the whole point of the quickie wedding is to save her the money of travelling to Hawaii.

zavrrr

@werewolfbarmitzvah My husband and I got engaged when I got a job across the country, and it obviously made financial sense for us to be legally married sooner than later for benefits purposes. However, we both really wanted to have a wedding celebration with lots of friends and family, so what we did was start planning the big celebration for a bit over a year away, and then we went to the courthouse and did the legal part of it on the same date. No family was able to be there, just a couple of good friends who were also getting married soon and understood the whole situation. We didn't hide this fact from anyone, it was just sort of an open secret...if anyone asked, we told them, if they didn't ask, they didn't know. Nobody got upset about it, and we had an excellent turnout at the wedding itself, including among people who travelled a pretty good distance.

This worked out really well for us in certain ways, notably that my husband had health insurance for a year that he wouldn't have otherwise had, and it also allowed us to have the secular ceremony that we wanted for the legal marriage, and then a slightly more religious ceremony that made my parents happy. A friend of ours who is a Unitarian minister used a ceremony called "blessing of a civil marriage," which was nice and I believe is also what would be used at a gay commitment ceremony. And doing it on the same date means we don't have multiple anniversaries to remember, although I can see some people liking the idea of having a "bonus" anniversary.

In short, I say if you want to get married, go for it, and don't necessarily hide it from anyone unless you know they would have a huge problem with it (great aunt sally or your weirdly religious coworker, whoever), but you also don't need to hang a sign or send a mass email that says "we've really been married for a while, this is just an excuse to party." For us, the legal aspects of it were obviously important and serious, but the celebration with friends and family is what counted.

thebestjasmine

@themegnapkin I agree with you, I'm just anti lying to your friends. I've had a number of friends do a tiny wedding and then a larger reception (either because it was a destination wedding that only family went to, or because it was a gay couple that got legally married when/where they could and had the big wedding another time) and no one thought it was weird or that it wasn't something worth going to. Your friends may or may not come to your big ceremony/reception/fake wedding, whether or not they think that you're already married or not, but don't start everything off wrong by lying to them about it.

Inkling

@Lily Rowan
Oh geez, I meant ASSUAGING. Like assuaging worries. You are probably correct, though.
*goes back to watching Deal With It hummus*

Lily Rowan

@Inkcrafter Oh, assuaging seems fine!

Das Rad

Edith, I'm disappointed that you could not find a stock photo of a bowl of hummus wearing sunglasses.

EpWs

@Das Rad Google is giving me people wearing sunglasses, and hummus, but no combinations thereof. The internet has failed me, I'm going home.

Edith Zimmerman

@Das Rad Oh my god that didn't even occur to me. :-/

B-/

itmakesmewonder

@Das Rad Y'all seen the .gif of the "DEAL WITH IT" sloth? We need that except with hummus, okay go!

The Lady of Shalott

@Das Rad This is why Photoshop exists, no?

EpWs

@itmakesmewonder DONE

Das Rad

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher That made my day.

itmakesmewonder

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Did you ever know . . . that you're my hero? DEAL WITH IT.

MatildaGold

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I have a feeling I am going to make frequent use of this link.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher i want to make you my personal .gif creator. i will pay you in compliments to your astounding beauty, creativity, and intelligence.

EpWs

@teenie :D

True confession: I actually know nothing about .gifs, just googled "Deal with it gif creator" and lo, the internet did provide. Hooray for smart interwebs!

emilylou

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher AHHH seriously the best! Make more gifs, make more .gifs. Can I email you a bunch of photos of myself and you put pixelated sunglasses on me?! FRIDAY!

EpWs

@emilylouise Of course of course! I would be happy to do all of these things. (wordsnatcher DOT everpresent AT gee mail you know the rest) Also, there is this: Deal With It GIF maker

emilylou

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Haha! Nooo I would not actually make you do that for me. Look what I just created for myself on this most productive of mornings: http://i.imgur.com/AJAxB.gif
Added bonus, I am eating a giant crawfish. Taking this art to a whole new level.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher OMG! I feel so accomplished! I actually made my own (of my boyfriend , natch)

EpWs

@emilylouise LOVE IT
@teenie ALSO LOVE IT (Also, adorbs boyfriend!)

I know what I'm going to be doing with all my facebook photos all weekend.

nevernude cutoffs

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher @emilylouise @teenie ... my dog. http://i.imgur.com/KP6pe.gif

emilylou

@nevernude cutoffs You have succeeded in combining two of my favorite things ever: DOGS and SUNGLASSES <3

Although, dressing him up like a seeing eye dog seems a bit cruel.

EpWs

@nevernude cutoffs Amazing!

Because the logical extension of these things (hummus, crayfish, boyfriend, dog) is "baby"... (Please don't hate me, Nicole! I really do like your baby! Here, she encourages formula haters to Deal With It.)

noodge

@nevernude cutoffs @emilylouise @everpresent wordsnatcher
my nephew

(I can do this all day...)

wee_ramekin

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I can't imagine Nicole getting mad at you for that since I imagine that is the kind of mom she will be when wee Cliffe throws unnecessary tantrums.

itmakesmewonder

Seriously though, the idea of emailing all your girlfriends except one to ask them to a show . . . That's pretty dirty pool. It really really is.

cheeseandcrackers

@itmakesmewonder I totally agree. I think the letter writer showed her hand there, and I think both are probably horrible. I wonder if the other girlfriends ever go out without EITHER of them. I would.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@cheeseandcrackers Yeah, the group email is pretty cold. I favour the hummus' advice and keep it snowballing-invitation-casual, that way you can avoid mangling feelings. However, I was a fairly terrible person during university, so trust me: you will regret dirty pool emailing. Exclusion hurts, even to supremely annoying people.

timesnewroman

Yep. She sounds like a pain though. Definitely should have texted them all separately, at different times (e.g. over the course of a week).

machinesss

@itmakesmewonder Yeah, I think that was kind of cruel.

Also, it does sound like the LW has been talking shit about this girl (LW seems to have talked about her hatred of her with all her friends), so I think it may have been kind of valid for the girl to call her out at a bar.

itmakesmewonder

@marley If the lady in question is really so insecure and socially uncomfortable, the idea that she'd call anyone out must have taken SO MUCH psyching up and bravery on her part that I'm impressed by it. And I want to know how the LW responded to the accusation in the moment.

This is one of those "between the lines" types of letters where someone really wants to appear as the victim but sounds kiiiind of like the Mean Girl in the group.

slutberry

@marley I think I just figured out that "LW" is Letter Writer. "LW" *is* Letter Writer, right? Or is it something else? Laughable Walrus? Limpid Whirlpool? Lardy Walnuts?

itmakesmewonder

@teffodee Secret's out, Lardy Walnuts.

EpWs

@teffodee Lucrative Wasabi.

slutberry

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Llewellyn Waters

machinesss

@itmakesmewonder Totally. Maybe this girl is really annoying and awful, but if the LW isn't willing to talk about the girl's behaviour to her face, then she needs to stop talking about her behind her back.

@teffodee Haha, yeah, it's Letter Writer.

timesnewroman

I have to disagree here - the kind of person happy to loudly declare that they won't make room at a table because they have to be in the middle is not the kind of person unwilling to start fights in bars. In my experience. By insecure I do not think the LW meant shy.

EpWs

@itmakesmewonder We've got another batch of potential new Hairpin names, here! Paging all lurkers to the thread!

slutberry

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Lurking Writer!

Loosening Windpipe

Leftist Weevil

Lentil Weekend

Loopy Wombat

Languid Witchcraft

Laughing Woodwork

Lumpy Whale-oil

Lascivious Wellies

Faintly Macabre

@itmakesmewonder My friend group has had people a bit like this before, and their insecurity is usually part of what makes them such a pain. Instead of dealing with it inside their heads or privately, they try to compete with other friends for attention, cause huuuuge drama from minor/imagined slights, and generally shoot themselves in the foot, friend-wise. I agree that LW didn't deal with it wisely. I usually just avoid or am polite but not cuddly with people like that, and try not to fuel their drama by being catty. (Also, it feels much better when you resist being bitchy!) If they're really so obnoxious, and you're such a good friend, eventually their histrionics will drive everyone else away without you needing to create some mean group cold-shoulder.

Inkling

@teffodee
Lentil Witchcraft is my new imaginary vegan/vegetarian cookbook.

Alixana

@itmakesmewonder I don't knoowww, I very mean-girlishly invited all my closest girlfriends except one to my birthday brunch. Because this friend, she must always be the center of attention at all things? And I wanted people to pay attention to me on my birthday? Does that make me a terrible person forever?

itmakesmewonder

@timesnewroman @Faintly Macabre

You both make excellent points!

I still strongly dislike the idea of leaving out one person only for a lot of reasons, but primarily because I can picture the conversation about it AT the event, when it leads to saying negative things (even if they're true! I don't care), and afterward when everyone either pretends the event didn't happen or just openly acknowledges that one person wasn't invited. It's crappy to do to someone you still have in your group.

timesnewroman

Oh yeah I don't think she handled it well either! But I do think the horrible friend in question probably is quite horrible, the LW's description of her rang some bells. Faintly Macabre's way of dealing with people like her is best.

automaticdoor

@Alixana Depends. How teeny is your circle? Did you tell everyone not to tell her? How did this go down?

Alixana

@automaticdoor It was a group of about 10 including, but not limited to, the 3 close mutual friends I have with this person. I didn't tell anyone not to tell but I assume no one told, because there was no drama. As far as I know she remains unaware that the event happened. I am a terrible person! Oh no. :(

automaticdoor

@Alixana Just pray no one brings it up and also try not to do it again? That's all I've got.

madge

@itmakesmewonder so wait we are now obligated to invite everyone to everything ever?

i've done the selective invite thing before ... especially to avoid certain people i don't like very much, who are friends of my friends and who tend barge into all plans made unless i go out of my way to ensure they don't know about it.

that sentence makes little sense, i am sorry. guess i'm just saying sometimes i'd like to hang with my friends without their hanger-on friends who i don't like very much. and i don't think i should feel guilty about that. wrong?

itmakesmewonder

@madge I don't really know how to answer that. Do what you feel good about doing? (If I found out people I wanted to hang with were referring to me as a hanger-on who barges into their plans, I'd be humiliated beyond belief. I'd rather not be invited than deal with something like that.)

Faintly Macabre

@madge If they're just your friends' friends and you just happen to be in the same room as them occasionally, I wouldn't feel bad about not inviting them. I'd just tell the mutual friends that if said people hear about the plans, tell them they're welcome to come. I think the key point is if they consider you their friend--if they don't, I don't think it counts as excluding them.

Laughable Walrus

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher (Formerly) lurking writer reporting in!

EpWs

@Laughable Walrus I am SO GLAD you're here! Besides YAY and welcome to the commentariat, this means I can maybe officially start my tally of lurkers-I-have-lured-out-of-lurking-by-offering-up-good-usernames? (Up to two!) Hooray!

oeditrix

@itmakesmewonder You know, the problem with that letter writer is her investment in the seductive concept of the FRIEND GROUP.

Friend groups are awesome while they last, but they're illusory. No matter how cohesive you feel your friend group is, everybody in the group experiences the dynamic from a different angle, which means someone probably feels left out, and someone actually secretly hates some other one, or secretly likes some other one, and believe me eventually it will all fall apart, which will be painful, but will end with everyone just being friends with the people they actually like, on a person-to-person basis.

In the best case scenario, things just kind of slide apart over time and settle naturally. But unfortunately it also happens suddenly sometimes, in the form of a falling-out over some big event - someone starts dating someone else, or cheats on someone else, or confronts someone at a bar, or fails to invite someone else along in a conspicuous way. Somebody finally says the one true thing that had to be suppressed in order to make everyone feel okay with the way the group organizes itself.

Or punches someone in the face like in Whit Stillman's Manhattan! That movie captures so perfectly how group dynamics quickly organize themselves around something that feels real for a while, and how when you're in a group it feels so stable and comforting, like it's always been that way forever, and then suddenly it just dissipates and you don't really know how or why, but the dissipation feels inevitable.

This bad apple that the LW is complaining about is probably acting like a jerk because she rightly feels that the group dynamic is unfavorable to her and she's freaking out. And the LW is also acting like a jerk because exerting alpha-girl power over the group makes her feel temporarily in control. It doesn't really matter whose fault it is, the group probably won't be able to sustain the power struggle much longer anyway. Then the LW won't ever have to worry about Ms. Look at Me ever again.

lilsebastian

@itmakesmewonder I was reading this a little bit similarly to you as well -- it's a little hard to tell if when she's described as "insecure" she's the type of person who is actually MEAN to other people out of insecurity, or if she just has a really hard time with social interaction. I felt a little pang reading this, because the only example given, that she refused to move from a seat at a large group dinner, reminded me of ways I might have behaved a few years ago, when I was living in what was basically a private hell of social anxiety disorder. I've managed to make it to a point where I'm comfortable with myself and with social interactions now, but for many years I wasn't. So with that POV, it's really difficult to go to group outings where you don't know how to talk to most of the other people there and you know that if you are on the outskirts you will be ignored the entire dinner. And yes, obviously, the answer is to just speak up and talk to someone, but in this state of mind it's next to impossible to think of anything to say or how to entice someone's attention away from the group and toward you. And forget finding an opening to say something loudly enough and interesting enough to gain the entire group's attention. You will feel like a mute the entire night. The worst part is that you generally KNOW that there are people there who find you annoying and weird and are just tolerating your presence, but you have no idea how to change your thoughts and behaviors. I don't think there was enough info given to know if this is on-base at all, and she might be truly awful to people, not just insecure and "annoying," but just a consideration to make.

lilsebastian

@oeditrix Yes! It's probably difficult for BOTH people in this story to be trapped in this dynamic. It sounds like the two friends of the non-friend probably ONLY hang out with this group of people, as does everybody else in the group, so for non-friend to spend any time with them she has to be a part of the group, if they never do group outings with separate groups of people. And for LW to spend time with those friends, she has to spend time with the girl she doesn't like. Don't they ever integrate other people in, just sometimes? Or do they ever integrate into other groups of people? It sounds so difficult to only have the one all-inclusive group of people you can spend time with, because you don't have an alternate group of people to spend time with when people you don't like are around, and there are also hurt feelings if anybody isn't invited somewhere.

itmakesmewonder

@oeditrix Apropos of nothing, you really have the best name.

whateverlolawants

@oeditrix @lilsebastian Both very relevant points. I can't stop thinking about my college "friend group" now, and how three of members spectacularly booted me out, but how the dynamics had been shifting and souring for quite a while before "the incident." The whole concept was an illusion. It's kind of odd for me to consider now, this idea of inviting "everyone except so-and-so", because I run with so many crowds now. A lot of them know each other and hang out together, but there's no "group roster" and very rarely a legit reason for someone to feel left out.

etoile

@Faintly Macabre I had to come out of my mostly-lurking mode to comment! What you describe sounds so like a group I was briefly a part of, but imagine LW2 and LW4 in the same group, and both of the LW descriptions are putting it mildly compared to what I saw/heard! The insecurity-based but oh-so-mean drama competitions were almost always at the cruel level (oh and everyone was in their 20s and 30s btw). I don't think some of the "friends" in their group knew what god-awful things were said behind their back. (Think personal detail slut-shaming or making someone look bad to a supervisor to cover up their own lack of work.) And they would also insinuate awful things about my friends they didn't realize I was so close to, also trying to trip me into badmouthing them.

Several of my friends who were only partly in this group tried to invite "everybody" to events (30 or so people), but after awhile, only a handful would regularly show up because they wanted to avoid the "others". Or someone who wanted to test their "friends" or "dibs-guy/girl" would schedule something at the same time to see if they could win. Meanwhile at events, several people were involved in cuddle piles (and people had to cuddle with the LW2 person or she would pout and hate you). The actual couples looked like they were a minute from getting it on in front of everyone at the party/bar. But if partner 1 wasn't letting themselves get felt up at the moment, well partner 2 might drunkenly get cozy/proposition someone else to make partner 1 feel insecure (i.e. NOT in a happy poly way with their partner's consent)! I honestly tried to be mature and talk to the person who usually invited me along about how uncomfortable I was, but was pretty much disregarded and maybe even mocked?? Because they were so cool, and I was the square, you know?

Sooooo, since I was clearly the one who couldn't handle life in the "cool" crowd, I drifted away and now attend mostly small group invite only things with a much smaller circle or two. I still talk to a few people, who managed to stay a part of the first group but never spread the meanness or tried to play people against one another. However I no longer attend any of those social events. I never had any illusions that I was a "good friend", even when they flattered me.

Vera Knoop

@lilsebastian It sounds exhausting.

loopywombat

@teffodee Ok, you've lured me out of lurking as well. And yes, both people in the situation sound toxic. I feel bad for the rest of the friends though.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

I'm of the opinion that if your friends aren't going to accept your decision, even if they don't agree with it, you are friends why exactly?

(Also I'm generally much more upset if people hide stuff from me because they're afraid of confrontation. Welp you should have told me up front because CONFRONTATION HERE WE COME)

Sorry, I'm feeling pretty black-and-white today.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) OK, I regret it, keep your friends they are probably good people. Who am I to tell you what to do? I'm just a fig, okay

slutberry

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) IMAEETCHOO

slutberry

@teffodee @fig. 1 ....sorry. I have had craazy fig cravings lately.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@teffodee Between this and the hummus there is entirely too much eating of anthropomorphized food items in here to make me comfortable.

slutberry

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) It's hard to cook when you anthropomorphize your vegetables (or fruits, as it were)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

Well! This is not to be borne lightly.

slutberry

@P.S. Please don't hate me IT IS BOTH A FIG AND A HEAD OF GARLIC?

Seriously, fig. 1. Get ready. I am coming for you. I am whetting my teeth.

(I am... being really needlessly creepy. I need to not work in a basement any more)

slutberry

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) MELIS WILL EAT YOU TOO. TOGETHER WE WILL FEAST, WE WILL FEAST.

miwome

@teffodee "WHETTING MY TEETH?!"

slutberry

@miwome My teeth are made of tempered steel.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

Alas I must resign myself to my fate. I shall endeavor to give you all horrible indigestion.

slutberry

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Your stoicism is an inspiration.

hahahaha, ja.

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy): Speaking of anthropomorphic vegetables, everyone needs to check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4i-F0gwwzs. WTF JAPAN WTF

slutberry

@ietapi
O_O
All I was trying to do was make a Calvin and Hobbes reference, and now.... this??
the potato peeling itself is like my worst nightmare

EpWs

@ietapi WHAT THE HELL

hahahaha, ja.

@teffodee: hahaha D: D: D: D: D:

slutberry

@ietapi Between this and the fear of holes thing posted on the phobia post, my skin is actually trying to crawl off my body and climb into my nostrils (this is an exact description of how I feel)

Barbara Gordon

@teffodee Don't you worry, I totally got it. Calvin's mom had it rough.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@ietapi Sorry, ietapi, but I'm about to one-up you on the anthropomorphized veggies front: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OkMqp_a188&feature=youtu.be

bloodorange

@Barbara Gordon Calvin was probably formula-fed, right?

(sorry)

purefog

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Excuse me, I am the head of garlic. (Flatulent Division)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@purefog And I am a fig, although I think some people here think I am a head of garlic. Clearly they have been sniffing too much bleach.

slutberry

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) JOLIE TOLD ME TO.

Also,


figs and garlic I can totally get down with

Vera Knoop

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Get rid of your friends they are REVOLTING.

tea tray in the sky.

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) I'm a toast! Hurrah for food! (I loaf you guys dough much!...)

slutberry

@wamanda YES BUT THAT IS AWESOME. Not terrifying. Also, I'm writing a paper on Oedipus-- think my prof would accept that video instead?

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@teffodee Absolutely. Just be sure to tell them that you filmed, edited, and did the vegetables' costumes yourself, and you should be fine.

cheeseandcrackers

I feel that the power of teasing could be harnessed when it comes to the PDA couple. If you make a few jokes about their behavior you will communicate that it makes you uncomfortable in a very gentle way, and if they don't stop it gives you an outlet to complain without necessarily making them defensive. It's a great tactic, mockery and teasing and laughing. I strongly recommend it.

theharpoon

@cheeseandcrackers Or maybe just join in? Like, start petting their arms and shit. That would be good and awkward, and would at least probably make them think twice about pda'ing around the LW.

LornaLoo

@cheeseandcrackers Or do what I did in college to some overly touchy friends, yell from across the room, "I CAN'T EVEN LISTEN TO YOU TOUCH."

fabel

@cheeseandcrackers Yeah, I definitely feel as if this is a better way to go than pulling one of them aside all serious-like. "Just to let you know...I'm really uncomfortable with your PDA."

automaticdoor

@theharpoon HA. I like this one. If asked, just say, "Well, you two looked like you were having fun, sooooo..." The only thing is maybe it might backfire and they'd want a threesome.

lovelettersinhell

@theharpoon as a pda inclined person, I have to warn you, petting ny ARM would probably end with me trying to cuddle you too.

crane your neck

The new word limit is so beautiful!

wee_ramekin

@crane your neck I...I miss the long letters. I get why they did it, but I miiiiiiiss them :(.

roadtrips

@wee_ramekin I kind of miss them too... I think it's because I tend to describe situations in a similarly long-winded way - lots of exposition and conjecture. I always liked the ones that were like "if I do this, but then again, and actually now that I think about it, and I should probably also mention" It was like having a conversation with myself.

reb
reb

@wee_ramekin You got so much delicious context! Necessitating more complex responses! And more details of other people's lives to mull over!

The Lady of Shalott

I love cuddling, but I hate watching other people cuddle, so I refrain from cuddling people when other people are around. Unless I am hanging out with a certain group of friends in which cuddling in a big pile is not only recommended but practically mandatory. Everybody cuddling = everybody wins!

I WOULD, however, like to cuddle that bowl of hummus to my bosom.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@The Lady of Shalott I would like to know more about this group of friends who mandate cuddle-piling.

The Lady of Shalott

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) We hang out every summer and basically drink in hotels while lying around in a big cuddle pile. Sometimes we go out to eat before returning to lie in piles.

Tuna Surprise

@The Lady of Shalott

I was dating a guy and we were in the very early stages of being in love and we went out to a late dinner at a nearby restaurant. We got put in this back room area with maybe 10 tables...all couples. The two of us nuzzled, cuddled, fed each other, held hands and generally made a nuisance of ourselves (I'm embarrassed even recalling it now). BUT! At the end of our dinner, every other couple in the room had mimicked our lovey-dovey behavior by scooting closer in the booths, holding hands, pecking or all of the above. Love. It's contagious (or sickening, depending on your viewpoint).

SuperGogo

@The Lady of Shalott A cuddle puddle

saul "the bear" berenson

@The Lady of Shalott Me and my friends do this too, we call it the Real Pile, like what the wild things do in Where the Wild Things Are.

packedsuitcase

@Moxie das Maven We call them puppy heaps. So glad I'm not the only one that does massive group cuddles!

JessicaLovejoy

Broccoli, you need to hang with uglier friends. You ain't pullin' tonight, brother.

Clare

@JessicaLovejoy I think it's a sprig of parsley, and he is all. Up. In. That.

applestoapples

If they can't travel for monetary reasons, that's one thing, but only a right asshole wouldn't attend LW#1's wedding because they think it's insignificant under the circumstances. That is all.

Megasus

@applestoapples I do think though that her friends might not be able to come though, because they are 24 and still going on vacations with their families, and probably don't have money to fly to Hawaii. So honestly, I would have a little reception before they leave, because I really, really doubt they will be able to go otherwise.

WaityKatie

@Megan Patterson@facebook I agree, it seems like a choice between friends being there and big fancy wedding. I would choose friends being there. Or I guess wait a couple years until they make new friends in Hawaii?

_questingbeast

@Megan Patterson@facebook Yeah, I thought the LW and the Hummus were both a bit dismissive of that part; if you can't afford holidays often, flying somewhere for a party is a big deal, even if the party is a wedding. Which is another reason not to lie about what they're flying out for.

WaityKatie

@questingbeast And maybe her friends only go to disneyworld because that is what they can afford? I couldn't afford a vacation on my own until I was like 32. I remember how annoying it was when I started my first job after law school and all my older and much more monied colleagues were constantly asking me "why don't you travel?" Um, because I live in a studio apartment without controllable AC or a dishwasher and I still can't afford my student loan payments?

lilsebastian

@WaityKatie Yeah, they live in Hawaii so it isn't a destination wedding for them, but for everybody else it would be. Destination weddings are expensive! If they don't have time now, but still want their friends there, maybe they could fly back in a year and have a ceremony in their old town. If money, and not all that other stuff she is afraid of, is the issue with them coming.

JessicaLovejoy

THAT is a story for another time

No. Nao. We're all hanging around with a huge bowl of hummus, I can't think of a better time!

KatieWK

LW1: It's your wedding/marriage, do what you want! I had a courthouse wedding, can't recommend it enough. But I kind of do not understand this mentality: "It's only paperwork to us at this point, and the second wedding is the one where our hearts will really be in it."

Not to sound like a total pessimist, but two years is a long time to wait between courthouse and big to-do weddings. As in, enough time to split up (especially with the added stress of a cross-country move to a place where you know no one and will be semi-isolated on a military base). The legal difficulty of moving to Hawaii NOT married, and giving it a six-month test run to make sure you don't freak out and break up, will be MUCH less painful than the legal difficulty of a divorce if you rush into a "meaningless" courthouse marriage.

All of which is to say, courthouse marriages are very real, hearts or no hearts.

Frankie's Girl

@KatieWK

The likely reason she's wanting to get married now (I am addicted to advice columns, and have seen this before) is that as a married couple, the military will pay for all moving expenses for both of them. If they move as a co-habitating couple, then his move is covered and she's stuck with a bill for her plane, stuff, etc...

The LW and her intended have already been together for 5 years, so I figure they're stable, but gotta wonder why they didn't get married before she started grad school, since her being 24, means that they could have gotten married in the last year before she started grad school... this is just me, but seems like a bit commitment phobic to not do it if they already knew, but whatevs.

That being said, I really really don't get the idea that they have to have a "decent" OMG-frilly-wedding EXTRAVAGANZAAAAA after they officially get married.

You can do a pretty nice wedding fast and cheap if you don't get it stuck in your head that it is the MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN MY LIFE AND I AM A PRINCESS and must include the 200+ dinner and swans and violins and the gown that costs as much as a house... your wedding day is cool and all, but it's gotten way out of hand. It's a day. It's a party celebrating two people deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. But the bells and whistles are really just not that important in the grand scheme of things and usually a huge money pit of stupidity.

The wedding is just window dressing - the thing that matters is what comes after. So making it "official" with just the two of you and a few friends or a big-ass party isn't really important - you're just as married either way.

(hopping off the soap box now)

That being said, a month to plan any sort of wedding bash and a across-the-ocean move is pushing it.

In any case, do what you both want and what works out best for you, but I would NOT lie about a big event a year or two down the road. Tell your friends and fam that you got hitched when you actually did the deed and throw the party when you want and call it a vow renewal or "Wedding 2: Electric Boogaloo" and have fun with it - just please don't pretend you're both unhitched; that seems silly.

EpWs

@Frankie's Girl As my darling boyfriend put it when I was having a future-wedding freakout, "Nobody at the game cares about the tip-off." What matters is, as you said, what comes after.

Also "Wedding 2: Electric Boogaloo" is the best.

KatieWK

@Frankie's Girl Oh I totally get that's why they want to marry now. I just don't understand rushing into a marriage just so one doesn't have to shoulder the cost of a one-way plane ticket and Fedexing a few boxes (I mean, he can claim all their shared furniture and possessions as his own during the move, right?). She didn't say they were already engaged, so it's hard to know how seriously they considered getting married prior to this.

It's just, ahhh, divorce is so scary and protracted and rough, even if you don't have kids. I have seen friends go through it (including--guess what?--everyone I ever knew who had a rushed military marriage) and it terrifies me. Rather than viewing a wedding as the solution to the moving problem, maybe moving is the answer to the wedding question--going through the hassle of moving would be a great test to see if one could handle being married.

Frankie's Girl

@KatieWK
Totally agree with you! Love the "moving is an answer to the wedding question" - excellent!

paddlepickle

UGH LW4, I am dying for a way to make people understand that shit is annoying. Specifically, my best friend. I basically dread him getting into another relationship because he has no filter about over-the-top PDA and we just get in fights when I call him out on it (I STARTED off being polite but at this point I will just be like "FUCKING STOP MAKING OUT I AM RIGHT HERE, ASSHOLES). I am a pretty touchy-feely person and will hold hands with an SO in public and maybe occasionally give 'em a quick peck, but that boy is just constantly over the top. Love him otherwise but UGH. SO ANNOYING.

So, yeah. . .what do you do if you love the person dearly and you've addressed it but it nevereverever stops or even cools down until they've been dating for like a year?

EpWs

@paddlepickle I've found that a squirt bottle full of water helps discourage unwanted behaviors in cats and pups. Could be applied here?

reebs14

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Like Jim squirting a concussed Dwight (and an intefering Michael) in my favorite episode of The Office? Seems reasonable.

nevernude cutoffs

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I believe you can also shake a can of pennies at them.

WaityKatie

@nevernude cutoffs I read this as "shake a can of penises at them," which also works.

backstagebethy

Ahhh LW4, speak up now or else her bf will just quietly move in and bring his dog and his collection of Beatles glasses and there will be no room in the cabinets and even though he sprung for Netflix Instant and you guys kind of bonded over a shared love of Saves the Day in the end you'll just hate your roommate and desperately want to live alone and you'll just keep telling yourself "Just three/two/one more month(s) till the lease is up" and surely you can hold your tongue for that long to salvage the friendship that doesn't exist anymore because it's not like your roommate hangs out with anyone besides her boyfriend now anyway. (Just two months left! I can do this!)

angelinha

@backstagebethy You can do it!

timesnewroman

@backstagebethy :(

bangs
bangs

This bowl of hummus is the best bowl of hummus!

My friend's mom had a secret wedding, for reasons that never really made sense to me. I happened to be in town at the time so was invited and I felt SO bad that my friend wasn't there and I was. I thought that when she found out she would be super mad at me, but she either didn't find out or didn't care.

whizz_dumb

@Xaxa Damnit I was gonna say "This is the best Bowl of Hummus Yet!". You win this round.

bangs
bangs

@whizz_dumb I was surprised no one had said it.

whizz_dumb

@Bowl of Hummus: *call me

Marzipan

I sort of have the same touchy-feely couple friends, and I sort of feel like it's something you gotttta let go. I mean, I feel like the only reason it's a problem is more about me then them? Like, my personal boundaries, and how irritating I find it, and how distracting and frustratingly cute (frustrating because, well, how can you say "Wow, you are really physically close, and that is sweet. Stop it.") and fine, mostly, but sometimes it grates, and also, NO TOUCHING.

The thing is, I can't usually even put together a sentence, in my head, to say to them that doesn't sound whiny and entitled. It's distracting, and uncomfortable, but it's also just...people gonna be people. And this is the kind of thing you should probably let go, in my opinion. They aren't going to change, they like it, it's nice for them, and I just cannot picture that conversation going well.

@Marzipan Yes, thank you! This was really well written and articulated!

This reminds me of the "What Not to Do with Weddings" post a while ago, where the woman was all "I'm so sad because my friend got engaged and it makes me feel lonely!" Ugh, I wanted to slap that woman. That shit is about you, it's not about your friends, or that friend, or their relationship, it's usually about YOU. And asking people to stop engaging in their weird/normal behavior because it makes you feel weird often involves a fine line between "please stop making me feel uncomfortable" and "please stop being you."

slutberry

@Marzipan I get not wanting people to make out in front of you (because seriously, ew) but cuddling? Cuddling is a problem? I never knew this. Gentleman and I will cuddle around my roommates-- not all the time, but sometimes. Especially if we're all sitting in the living room. This is a problem? It's not like lapdancing cuddling it's just like holding hands cuddling or playing with the nape of my neck cuddling. Not petting. Is this a problem? Am I being obnoxious and horrible without realizing it?? WILL SOMEONE HELP ME??????

Also, if they're in a new relationship, it'll probably wear off. At least a bit. (not the relationship, the constant PDA)

DickensianCat

@Marzipan I'm grossed out by it, but if it involves someone who's in my life for the long haul I don't say anything and just ride it out. It's been my experience that even the most moony, egregious PDA'ers stop 1) when the honeymoon phase fizzles out or 2)in one girlfriend of a friend's case, when she was finally convinced none of his female friends secretly had designs on him, and she therefore didn't have to keep "silently pissing on him through back rubs to mark her territory" as one of them eloquently put it.

Dusk

@teffodee *phew* I was starting to feel worried and weird. Especially with the "tracing of the arms" comment, which, dammit, I do, even ten years on. Mostly when I'm bored or just need an extra shot of comfort. So now I've been maybe making my friends uncomfortable? This is news to me! Augh!

But the cuddling, surely that's okay. That's not in your face. That's just a locality thing, right? Two people taking up space for 1.5 people? Efficiency! Totally not discomforting... I hope!

noodge

@Marzipan great response - this week's letters seem sprinkled with control issues... you can't make people stop being sweet, and you're likely to just alienate them if you ask them too. just look at the "deal with it" hummous and let it go.

slutberry

@Dusk I'm particularly careful about it because all my roomies are single and, to the best of my knowledge, haven't been in serious relationships. (although last night I had a dream that Gentleman broke up with me by marrying one of my roommates and bringing her to a family event.)

packedsuitcase

@Marzipan Thank you! I am one of those people that just has to touch people I love. It means I'm a hugger and a cuddler with my friends, and it means I'm totally that person that cuddles with their Dudefriend around their other friends. The longer the relationship goes on, the less I touch (I went from full on lap-sitting to resting a foot on my ex's lap over the course of a few years), but I still touch. While I don't want to make my friends uncomfortable, and if a friend is feeling super sensitive about being single, or is freshly single, I'll try to tone it down, but honestly? I'm not going to stop cuddling my boyfriend just because that's not how my friends like to show affection.

nyikint

@Marzipan Or just email her this clip.

WaityKatie

@S. Elizabeth I really have to disagree. I don't think it's about being "jealous" of the wonderful coupley couples. It's more that, well, excessive and ornate touching of another person can be really irritating to those around you. It's just too much. The situation described in the letter was of that variety, not "oh no, a couple held hands in front of me and I'm single, wahhhhh!" I think people should comport themselves in a way that doesn't make most other people uncomfortable, and I really think the "Hello schmoopy, sit on my lap dovey, kisskisskiss hunnybunny," type couples are pretty much universally recognized as obnoxious. I just...don't see a reason why two people can't sit next to each other without constantly "tracing each other's arms." Sit like a normal person!

noodge

@WaityKatie I hear you, I really do...
BUT, (unpopular opinion probably following) - I think you just can't control what people do. Even if they're being coarse, rude, or awkward, you just can't, even if (or maybe especially if) they're your friends.

maybe not the best analogy, but I hate loud eaters/gum smackers - it honestly makes me want to rage, no idea why. and loud eaters/gum smackers are generally seen as rude and gauche. but I honestly believe that although I could bring it up, it's not adviseable - it could definitely alienate myself and make things awkward. Chances are the people are not likely to change their behavior much, and if they do, they'll feel really awkward about it and it may make some bitterness. So I guess it's a personal choice - you can do it, but there may be consequences. I would rather just take a deep breath and remember that I can't control my world and the people in it (as much as I may want to sometimes)

highjump

@Marzipan These things can really depend on the social situation of course, but I dislike interacting with couples that are all over each other because it feels rude. They are obviously paying as much attention to each other as they are to the conversation. To me it is like someone reading a magazine or talking on the phone when you're talking to them. You're having this whole other interaction that I can't be a part of WHILE our interaction is going on.

WaityKatie

@teenie But, aren't you really just taking the awkwardness upon yourself, out of a fear of making others feel awkward? They're making you feel awkward! I understand feeling uncomfortable bringing it up, but I think you're being way too nice here. If one of my friends was bothered by loud lip smacking and she asked me not to do it, I would probably be a little bit embarrassed that I did that at all in public, but if I liked her I would definitely try not to do it around her! We all have weird things that drive us crazy, and I think part of being friends with someone is knowing about those little things and trying to not irritate your friend with them. It's like remembering that your friend hates chocolate, or is afraid of dogs, or whatever.

WaityKatie

@highjump OR TEXTING DURING A CONVERSATION.

noodge

@WaityKatie Yeah, I hear what you're saying - I guess it comes down to personal preference. I know I can control (or kind of control) my thoughts and reactions, but I can't do that for others. I can make a request, but then maybe they'll ignore it, or get miffed, or feel bad, or not want to hang out with me then - all these things don't improve the situation for me, I just end up feeling bad. There are so many variables, and so many opportunities for hassle or stress, that I'd rather just own my own reaction to it instead of making it someone else's problem. I think both approaches are valid, it's just a question of temperament or something like that :-)

Bitterblue

@teenie I get what you're saying, here, and it's how I try to go through life, too.

Behavior I dislike, I don't engage it, but I can't control it when others do. I can either sit across the table slowly letting my rage and irritation build inside my skin like a termite nest underneath your house (ew...) or I can choose not to let it bother me.

Just acknowledging the annoyance as what it is -- petty and fleeting -- and then letting it go, as opposed to stewing in my own annoyance juice, has released a lot of stress from my life.

tl;dr You can't control other's behavior, just how you react to it. I feel better choosing not to let it bother me. So I don't.

Mira

@WaityKatie Co-signed! Maybe it's because I'm not all that touchy, but the thought of having an obnoxiously cuddling couple all up in my space grosses me out. It just seems so...unnecessary and rude to be pawing at each other in front of other people. Ugh. You like each other, I get it! No touching!

I still probably wouldn't say anything. But I would definitely back off from hanging out with my friend if I could only see her with a dude (or lady) draped all over her all the time.

wee_ramekin

@teenie I think that your example of the gum smackers/loud chewers is a little different than a couple engaging in near-constant PDA. In the chewing example, those are life-long habits that people probably don't have a ton of control over unless they are being incredibly conscious of something that should require very little conscious thought.

For me, at least, PDA falls into another category. It's not something that you're entirely unconscious of. Even if you're not actively dedicating all your brain-space to thinking "I am going to put myself on my partner right now", there is definitely a part of your brain dedicated to consciously thinking "I've got to get closer" (I know, I've been there), and for me at least, that is a conscious enough part of my brain that I can control it without an undue amount of effort.

I get uncomfortable with heavy PDA when it is a three-person situation, and *especially* so if it is happening in my home. Firstly, it makes me feel like a third wheel, and as if the other two parties would honestly rather I not be around. Normally, I just choose to not hang around folks when they're in this stage, but if it's in my home, I can't really get away from it. For me, home is a place where I shouldn't have to feel like I'm a third wheel. So, since this LW is saying this is a problem with her roommate, I'm imagining she's feeling something like what I feel in these situations.

packedsuitcase

@wee_ramekin But at the same time, it's her roommate's house, too. I think there's got to be a middle ground. The two roommates need to sit down and figure out something that will work for both of them. I definitely wouldn't take well to somebody telling me I wasn't allowed to cuddle with my boyfriend in my own home, but if my (hypothetical) roommate came to me and said, "Okay, look, this is driving me nuts, can we please figure out a way that both of us can be happy?" I'd be willing to work it through.

WaityKatie

@Mira I think these kinds of couples are like ice dancers - they can't be out of physical contact with each other for more than 10 seconds at a time. Yeah, I know too much about ice dancing.

wee_ramekin

@packedsuitcase Oh yeah! Most definitely! I'm not saying she should put a kibosh on EVERY INSTANCE of them cuddling in her house.

I guess I should have stressed the fact that when there are only three people in a situation and two of them are incessantly touching each other while the three are trying to engage in conversation, it can be reaaaaaally awkward for the third person. The reason I stressed the part about it being the LW's house so much is that in a different social setting, the LW could more easily get up and do something else or go somewhere else. In your home, if you were all having a discussion in the kitchen or living room and you felt uncomfortable, the only way to physically remove yourself would be to excuse yourself to your room or leave the house, and I just think that's an unfair position to put someone in.

For me personally, I say cuddle away even in a three-person group if we're all watching a movie, or we're all just kind of lounging about or whatever. If we're all actively sitting in one place and trying to discuss things, but you're all over each other and dedicating a ton of brain-space to cuddle-times, that's when it becomes rude.

[HOLY SHIT I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS.]

WaityKatie

@packedsuitcase Maybe the boyfriend could pay cuddle-rent?

Mira

@WaityKatie Maybe they're working on their twizzles!

packedsuitcase

@WaityKatie Okay, not going to lie, I totally made my ex pay cuddle rent. He knew that if he was coming over and it had been particularly frequent or my roomie was in a bad mood, he was to bring wine or ice cream. It's hard to hate people that bring you wine and/or Ben and Jerry's.
@wee_ramekin I get what you're saying. I think it's a hard medium to find (as somebody that's just super touchy in general). Honestly, it makes me insanely sad to have my dudefriend around and not be able to touch him. I end up feeling like I'm being punished and just find ways to escape so that I can be places where I don't feel like a horrible person for wanting to be close to him. Which, I imagine, is how you might feel if you felt like you were being forced to watch too much canoodling. And that's kind of how I went from being all super cuddly to the aforementioned foot on leg deal. I got to touch him, but it seemed fairly minor in the grand scheme of ways I've touched my dudefriend in public.
Also, situations like this are why I refuse to have roommates anymore. I hate compromise when I can't even make the person I'm living with give me an orgasm afterwards.

oeditrix

@packedsuitcase Cuddle rent is a brilliant solution to so many problems. I wish I had known about this concept earlier in life.

As for the cuddle debate, I think most people have been on both sides of this experience, which to me means that a little flexibility and understanding is called for from everyone involved. Perhaps a timeline?

0-2 months: obnoxious public cuddling whenever and wherever you want, as long as it doesn't affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
2-6 months: obnoxious public cuddling only when drunk OR around other obnoxious cuddlers
6-12 months: obnoxious public cuddling only when drunk AND around other obnoxious cuddlers
1 - 25 years: obnoxious public cuddling only when everyone's watching a movie together
25 + years: whatever, if you still want to cuddle go for it, everybody thinks it's cute now.

whateverlolawants

@teenie Selective sound sensitivity syndrome. My sister has it.

alexandra

I... I don't know, about this whole bowl of hummus thing. It lacks empathy! It lacks... animation.

Valley Girl

@alexandra Lack animation? You must have missed this:

(all credit to @The Everpresent Wordsnatcher)

oh, disaster

@Valley Girl You win today.

whizz_dumb

@Valley Girl Yet another hipster pita beard. Now put a flannel shirt on it.

oh, disaster

@Valley Girl Oh wait, @The Everpresent Wordsnatcher wins, but you get second place. Silver!

EpWs

@Valley Girl THANK YOU, how do you do this thing where you get the pictures to show up here? My html skillz are...not skilled.

Valley Girl

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ha, and my GIF skillz are not skilled. When our powers combine...

The tag to insert a picture is <*img src=www.yourpicturesname.gif>, without the * in there. It can get more complicated if you want to resize the picture but I like to KISS: keep it simple, stupid.

EpWs

@Valley Girl Hooray, thank you!

whizz_dumb

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I still don't know how to make my text a link :(( This would be helpful to know.

EpWs

@whizz_dumb <*a href="your link here.com">Text you would like to link<*/a*> Without the stars!

whizz_dumb

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Hooray, thank you!

iceberg

Wise, wise hummus.

(HUMMUS! so 'Pin.)

wharrgarbl

Dear self-Googlers (ego-searchers of all types, really), use a different search engine than the one you normally use for crap. That way when Google gets hacked or fucks up and releases all our search records like AOL did that one time, it will be a little more difficult for your embarrassing searches to be linked with your real identity.

katherine

@wharrgarbl Or use incognito mode. This is pure speculation, of course.

lisma

@wharrgarbl what? this is horrifying. and I'm already embarrassed for my future self.

wharrgarbl

@ginalouise Wiki has the deets and Something Awful put them together into what murderers, perverts, and adulterers individuals were looking up.

emilylou

@wharrgarbl This is why I use stupid Bing for all my embarrassing/indulgent searches. If anyone ever unearths my Bing history, it will be a shameful day.

P.S. Please don't hate me

@emilylouise
"kei$ha t-shirt coupon"
"what are stripper boobs"

Also, this post has made me aware that I must now also monitor Tumblr and Twitter for mention of myself. Thanks for the near-unique name, mom and dad!

emilylou

@P.S. Please don't hate me HAHA !
Sadly, not that far from reality...... you know me well

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@emilylouise It's all about DuckDuckGo. They don't save your search info at all, or sell it off to advertisers!

tortietabbie

So, recently-ish I defriended this girl on FB who I absolutely cannot stand. She behaves like a child, has to constantly be babysat whenever there is drinking going on lest she be arrested (again) or need to be carried out of the bar (AGAIN) or get us kicked out (SO MANY TIMES), blows every imagined slight completely out of proportion and is just general terrible to be around. Of course she is also the cousin of one of my best friends and deeply ingrained in a huge group of friends that I am also a part of (though they talk about her non-stop behind her back, which is another issue with these people and why I'm not heartbroken to splinter away from them). But anyway. I defriended her and apparently this turned into A Big Thing and now I barely see that group of friends anymore. But you know what? It's fine. I've shed a TON of negativity from my life just from clicking that little button and even though, yeah, I get super sad and lonely (and depressed that my so-called friends would choose HER over me, sob) sometimes, I've found that reaching out to other people has produced some wonderful friendships in unexpected places. Grief and stress and not-having-fun shouldn't be a consequence of friendship, and if that's all you're getting from the relationship, it's time to shake shit up.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@tortietabbie I'm of the opinion that quality over quantity matters when it comes to friends.

tortietabbie

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) Absolutely. And as a pretty introverted person, big groups are overwhelming anyway. This is better all 'round!

emilylou

@tortietabbie Whatever, soundsthis group of "friends" is full of immature assholes. I can't stand drama and taking sides. We're adults, right? Totally shake shit UP.

Know what I've learned? Life is too short to surround yourself with negative, stressful people. Friends should make you feel good!

redheaded&crazy

@tortietabbie I had my own little rant fest of this below, but yeah, I feel ya. Time to make new friends! I need to take a break from people who do things that are hurtful to me. Yep. I do!

Two-Headed Girl

LW: Honeymoon stage, maybe? My boyfriend and I were like that for a long time at first, because we were just so HAPPY. Now we still like touching, but we at least have limits. So. Talk to your roomie, and remember that they'll probs get over it.

slutberry

@Two-Headed Girl Exactly.

MatildaGold

Oh, A Bowl of Hummus. Such wholesome advice you give. So much better than that Bowl of Jello Pudding I had previously consulted.

RK Fire

@MatildaGold: Now I'm beginning to imagine the kind of unwholesome advice that a Bowl of Jello Pudding would give. "LW4: throw a balloon filled with paint at her and tell her she's going to have many ungrateful children!"

She Saved The World, Alot

@MatildaGold Rock on, Bowl of Jello Pudding! That's fun advice!

whizz_dumb

TJ's garlic hummus is the best store-bought kind, right? Especially with the everything pretzel chips.

tortietabbie

@whizz_dumb The cilantro layer at the bottom of their three-layer hummus is the best EVER. But of course they don't sell just that flavor. :(

Jinxie

@whizz_dumb Whole Foods own-brand jalapeno hummus is the best I've ever had. Seriously, that stuff is magic. It's like crazy-smooth. If I didn't know any better I'd swear there was cream whipped into it.

oh, disaster

@whizz_dumb Roasted red pepper hummus + carrots = my dinner most nights.

Frankie's Girl

@andrea disaster

that's my go-to snack, along with a ripe avacado, eaten with a spoon. Bitefuls dipped in garlic hummus...yuuuuum.

SuperGogo

@whizz_dumb I'm a big fan of Tribe. I'm really picky about the texture, and Tribe not only tastes great but gets the creaminess juuuust right.

H.E. Ladypants

@whizz_dumb Sabre all the way, baby. Especially the roasted pine nuts kind.

RK Fire

@whizz_dumb: I'm a big fan of Tribe's 40 spices hummus, spread over a pieces of toasted bread. That was the foundation of many a meal of mine in grad school. I'm eating a lot more/better now (for me, that means more protein) since I have a job and I'm sleeping more than 6 hours a night everyday but thinking about it brings back many lovely memories.

P.S. Please don't hate me

@whizz_dumb I got some fat free hummus once because it was on super big sale. But it was the worst, like a malicious parody. What is wrong with olive oil, people? I should have guessed from the sale price--no one else was buying it, just penny-pinchers like me!

miwome

@H.E. Ladypants I agree, I am all about the Sabra. I like the roasted red pepper one.

tortietabbie

@SuperGogo I am SUPER picky about texture, and the only attempts I've made to make my own hummus resulted in something completely inedible (texture-wise, the flavor was probably fine, but I don't know because I could not keep it in my mouth). Ugh. Horrible memories.

katherine

I find it unlikely that hummus has a merely light Internet presence.

(This is some kind of inside joke, right?)

Emma Peel

If they're making out all over the living room and you want to watch TV, no shame in telling them to get a room. Otherwise, though, I think you have to let the PDA go. It sounds like you genuinely like the roommate and the beau, and this may make them like you less, and if you're OK with that, then go ahead! If not, they're still all over each other after 6ish, 8ish months, then maybe say it can make them seem unapproachable or something. But, realistically, newly all over each other couples are unlikely to change, so keep that in mind if you decide to ruffle feathers.

H.E. Ladypants

@Emma Peel As a lady who's very touchy, dating a very touchy dude, and who has been through that phase- let it go. It'll pass. Right now it's a stupid shock of drugs that they cannot get enough of but the system will level off and the hand-holding, constant cuddling, and canoodling will taper off, too.

People in new relationships are pretty frequently a little unbearable for a few months. Not calling them on it is a kindness we can extend because even if they suck to be around for a bit, they're very happy and we can just let it go at that.

cinderellen@twitter

Your're already having your wedding. At city hall. Why not have an informal reception at your home with your friends before you leave? I admit I lack the big wedding gene, but even minor deception added to the gigantic expense you expect your friends to shoulder by traveling to Hawaii for your fake wedding seems unfair to me.

Emma Peel

@cinderellen@twitter I kind of agree. I think a big reception/party in a couple of years wouldn't be out of line but a second wedding is a little much. I understand that weddings are a really big deal for people etc etc, but sometimes life lines up differently than you expect and you change your plans. You can't always have everything that you want all at the same time! Plus, after two years, you might feel differently (not about the guy -- just about the need to have another wedding).

reb
reb

@cinderellen@twitter Hiding the courthouse wedding from her friends seems overly & unneccessarily complicated but the bit I don't understand is the whole expecting friends to all travel interstate to watch LW get married? Is that a thing that happens? Is it common?

moonshine

LW1: My aunt did a similar thing-she and her husband got married at a courthouse before he left for Iraq and didn't tell anyone, then had an official wedding far away from where her family lives (but near his more elderly family) when he got back. Most of the family found out the day of the wedding that they were already married and a few were mad, but most were grateful to celebrate the day with them even if they were already married. So if you do decide to get quietly married then have a traditional wedding and not tell people you're married, be ready for some people to be mad but most to be happy for you.

Ladies Who Punch

How did you know today was the 5 year anniversary of my secret wedding? No seriously it is.

My husband & I got married 5 years ago in a wedding we planned in less than 3 weeks. We had friends come from all over the country. We did have a second wedding later that was more a family affair & larger & more planned out & traditional etc etc. It also worked out nice that some folks who didn't come to one had a chance to go to the second.

oh, disaster

LW2, I agree with the hummus. If you want to keep the friends you have, you either have to 1) address the situation with your friends and with her or 2) deal with it, which as the lady hummus said you don't want to do. If you really feel that miserable when you're around this girl and your friends aren't willing to cut ties with her, then maybe it's time to look for new friends. I know that's not an easy thing to do and may seem a bit extreme, but silently stewing and planning outings that exclude her will just make you feel worse AND make the situation worse.
(I also agree with the people above that emailing everyone but her to go to a show was not the right move, but can't do anything about that now.)

Titania

I think if you're having a wedding, it would be wrong to keep it a secret--I'd be kind of sad if one of my friends turned out to have been married for two years when I showed up at her wedding expecting to congratulate her on this huge new thing that actually wasn't new at all. Send out a card notifying everyone, and let them know that you're planning on a celebration like, I don't know, September 2014 when you come back to the US. Being open about it will keep your relatives and friends from feeling sad they were out of the loop, and it will allow you to register for fun things like trips and outdoors gear and honeymoons (although I don't know if you'll need that after living in Hawaii for 2 years) instead of pretending you need things that you've already had for several years. Also, some old traditional types will probably be pissy about this and not buy you gifts, but at least they won't feel lied-to and be mad at you and your parents!

redheaded&crazy

"it's not a blanket invitation that explicitly excludes one member of the group."

having had this happen to me super recently, I would just like to say that it is a seriously shitty feeling. so sorry, LW, and yes my recent experience biases me, but the fact that you did that makes me think you are, in fact, kind of horrible.

redheaded&crazy

@redheadedandcrazy no no no, you're not horrible. i'm being a jerk. just, invite smaller groups to things so it's not quite so blatantly obvious. that's why I would do I guess.

redheaded&crazy

@redheadedandcrazy anyway LW you really could have been a lot worse so i do apologize for my initial rude response.

for example you could have made a public facebook event that literally contains the words "open event, invite everybody" and have your entire friend group make a decision to invite everybody in that group except for you.

you know, i mean to give one hypothetical example.

Faintly Macabre

@redheadedandcrazy Ugh, I'm sorry, that's awful. I once had a girl who I was technically friends with (but who I'd always suspected of secretly hating me) carefully invite all of my other friends to her house--the night before we all moved away from each other.

zavrrr

@redheadedandcrazy having also been on the receiving end of this kind of thing, for reasons I still can't figure out, I would say that the small group outings do also sort of start to add up as well =(

redheaded&crazy

@zavrrr yeah.... i don't actually have good advice. i think that in a large friend group the best thing to do is to learn to tolerate the people that you don't like. if they do something truly heinous, you can call them out on it.

it's amazing how well i connect today with people who used to irritate and offend the shit out of me. people can change, especially with consequences to their behaviour

redheaded&crazy

@zavrrr I'm like riiiight in the middle of this right now and it's been on my mind a lot so i do apologize for my one million comments, but

personally, I just feel better about myself as a person when i rise above this bullshit and include people. even if i don't like them. even if i don't want to see them.

some people are more okay with engaging in behaviour that is hurtful to other people, especially if they perceive that person to be kind of a shitty peson. but, i am not okay with that. because I hate being excluded from things and it feels awful. it just feels awful. especially if you don't know that somebody thinks you are an awful person or don't understand why you're being excluded?

I understand fully well why I'm being excluded. still makes me just feel so devalued and just plain sad.

DickensianCat

@redheadedandcrazy Yup, this is the sort of exclusionary bullshit that has resulted in me taking a step back from one set of friends I have where all but one or two "queen bee" types in the group have seemingly taken turns playing the odd man out after petty arguments or due to someone "getting on my nerves lately," etc. Myself included.

One-on-one time with one friend in any given "group" is one thing and totally understandable, but the more people you tack on to a brunch, dinner out, shopping excursion, etc,, the more conspicuous and lame it becomes when you leave someone off the email list, or "just kind of forget" (Right).

itmakesmewonder

@redheadedandcrazy All I want to add is I'm sorry this happened to you, I'm glad you're bravely offering it up as food for thought about the situation, and I totally agree that it's shitty to do!

skyslang

@redheadedandcrazy This happens in my friend group. I was the lucky recipient of exclusion over the summer and it sucked. I do think there's a natural ebb and flow to friendships and group dynamics, you know? At least that's what I chalked it up to (after feeling terrible and quietly freaking out for a month or two). I don't know. All I do know is that the LW really should talk to this girl--what is worse than being excluded is not knowing why you are being excluded. At least give the girl a chance to work on her shit, you know? Just dropping her is likely to heighten her insecurity and send her on a major shame spiral.

redheaded&crazy

@skyslang i agree, at least things should be out in the open. if you don't have the guts to say something to somebody's face, it looks pretty underhanded and rude to do it behind their back.

for me it's tricky because i know that my friends do want to spend time with me, but feel pressured not to invite me to things due to a certain someone. and i can understand that, and i put up with it for six months, but i'm not going to anymore.

what's hard is that i really want it to be out in the open and clear that i'm taking an extended break from the group, but i feel like i can't do that without being accused of being a drama queen. maybe it would be acting like a drama queen, i don't know. it's weird.

i guess it will just become obvious over time. but I don't think that things will get fixed if it happens that way?

ugh whatever. stupid situation that has taken up way too much emotional energy this past week.

skyslang

@redheadedandcrazy Your dilemma sounds pretty similar to mine. I actually wrote out what I wanted to say to the group/the one person I thought was causing the exclusion. I came across that paragraph recently...and I'm glad I did not say anything. I think just being cool, and doing my own thing, and not letting the drama get to me, or better yet, to play into it, really worked...not just with my friend group, but with my mental health. It made me realize that I didn't NEED those friends, that I had other people to hang out with, and better yet I could hang out on my own (I forgot at some point that I LIKE alone time).
Now I think my friendship with that group is healthier, and more importantly I feel much better about myself and more relaxed in general.
I'm not saying this is what you should do. But the experience definitely lead me to believe that sometimes you just need to let things go, and let them be. I'm so Zen! Ha.
Hope you get to a good place soon! I totally understand how much time and energy this all takes.

redheaded&crazy

@skyslang man I really appreciate the advice. and I'm going to take it and not say anything! It's hard for me to know what to do, and also of course I'm worried that I'll lose them as friends permanently? But I guess, if that happens, c'est la vie.

Time for me time! And making new friends! And everything else :) I'm trying really hard to rise above the drama. It's only working semi-successfully.

It kind of helps to know that the other person in this situation is DEFINITELY being, and being perceived as, a drama queen :P but only in like, a vindictive kind of at least i'm behaving myself better way, which is really not that great.

rise above! keep calm and carry on! deep breaths! etc etc :)

skyslang

@redheadedandcrazy I'm so glad I could help! Honestly, reading your responses has helped me, too. I kind of felt silly for being so upset about it all, you know? I don't even think I talked to anyone about how hurt I felt! It's nice to see that others have gone through something similar.
I do think you're doing the right thing and it'll all work out!

Vera Knoop

@redheadedandcrazy First of all, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I haven't experienced this as an adult (mostly because I'm a hermit), but I remember the sting of it SO VIVIDLY from my teenage years. I raise a toast to you with my "Keep Calm and Carry On" mug.

Your comment about wanting to be open with them about what you're doing and feeling but being afraid it will be perceived as drama crystallized something for me: there are two mutually exclusive definitions of drama, and by the time we're in our late '20s or early '30s, our style is pretty much set. Some people will always think that trying to have an open conversation about what's bugging you is "creating drama." Others (can you tell where I come down, here?) will always think that denying what you feel, repressing, and trying to fake it is what leads to drama. I'm not sure there's a solution, except to find your sort of people and either process or repress your feelings with them to your heart's content.

OH, and, for what it's worth: someone who was definitely that girl I can't stand who hangs out with my friends in high school is now one of the few people with whom I bother to keep in touch from that time. You're right; people change.

WaityKatie

I don't know, I feel like getting all pre-emptively upset that not a lot of people are going to be able to come to your future wedding in Hawaii is kind of ridiculous. Travelling to Hawaii is super expensive, especially if you live anywhere other than the west coast. I wouldn't expect anyone other than maybe my one best friend in the entire universe to make that trip for my wedding, and I would expect her to only do it if she wanted to go there on her own vacation. My parents probably wouldn't even come, because they couldn't afford it. Why not have a "real" wedding now (city hall followed by a cheap reception at a restaurant or something), enjoy your friends' good wishes, and leave it at that? Or if you can't, have your big Hawaii party later, but you don't get to be offended if people can't afford to come. People need to stop expecting everyone to bankrupt themselves to celebrate other people's weddings.

P.S. Please don't hate me

@WaityKatie I have decided that, except maybe for my sister, I never going to fly for a wedding again. Just not worth it!

rocknrollunicorn

@WaityKatie Yeah, honestly, I really do enjoy attending my friends' weddings, and a lot of them live like a $200 flight away, which is annoying enough. But... um, the economy as it is, a lot of people aren't really in the position to travel to Hawaii, and may still not be in that position in 2 years. Plus I'd imagine a lot of LW's friends will be like 26 then? I'm 31 and still living paycheck to paycheck. Call me a bitter single lady, but I really think, when choosing a location for your wedding, you need to figure that the farther away you are from all the people, the less will attend, and be okay with it. Otherwise, have it back home and more people will come.

Mira

@rocknrollunicorn Yeah. I would very happily spend my limited money to go to a friend's (non-ridiculous) out-of-town wedding, or on a friend's after-the-fact out-of-town wedding celebration party, but I would be very annoyed to spend the money on what I thought was a wedding, only to discover that I was an unwitting participant in a weird re-enactment ceremony/gift grab. (Not saying this is about gifts, LW, but I'd definitely be giving you side-eye about this whole sitch if you were my friend.) Just be honest!

I think the Princess Wedding Complex has turned otherwise reasonable people into strange human-like bride creatures who feel that it is totally acceptable not only to make massive demands on their friends' time and money to attend weddings in faraway and expensive destinations, but to lie to them so that they'll be sure to do it? Sorry, LW1, a courthouse wedding isn't "just paperwork," it's your actual wedding. Your hearts need to be "really in it" the first time. And you need to accept that if you want the Air Force to pay for you to move to Hawaii, you may not get to have the giant white wedding of your dreams. However! You will be living in Hawaii with your great new husband, your friends will visit you when they can, and you won't have to wonder about whether you're a bad person for starting your marriage dishonestly. I think you come out ahead on this one. Use the money you'll save for a down payment on your first house.

WaityKatie

@Mira Weird re-enactment ceremony! I would go to this if they did it in civil war garb.

Personally I think courthouse/city hall weddings are freaking awesome and even though I don't believe in the institution of marriage, I kind of want one.

purefog

@WaityKatie Some of the most fabulous weddings I ever attended were in San Francisco City Hall (okay, it's not your average courthouse, more of a Beaux Arts pile), at least in part because there were OTHER bitchin' hitchin' couples there at the same time.

EpWs

@purefog "Bitchin' hitchin'" is the best phrase ever, along with "Wedding 2: Electric Boogaloo." I am filing all these away for my potentially-impending wedding (although it would be wedding #1. I just love me some Electric Boogaloo.)

oeditrix

@WaityKatie Whatever, the reason women act crazy over weddings is because they are caught in the biggest gender shitstorm of their lives and they don't know how to deal with it.

I'm not saying they're not jerks, I'm just saying - I've been there, believe me, the crazy catches you completely off guard. You are being culturally initiated into your social role as a woman whether you like it or not, you are now a "bride," shudder, and even though you're finally getting all the privileges of social recognition, it's a devil's bargain and you know it. Or you don't know it, as I suspect is the case with the unreflective women who turn into "bridezillas" - oh look another way to turn women into monsters! I mean YES these women are awful, truly awful, but I'm just saying. It sounds so familiar.

As soon as you're old enough to understand it, society tells you that your wedding is the most important thing that will happen to you in your life, that your every fantasy ends in marriage, that it is the crowning pinnacle of your princess-like existence. And then the final touch to this lifelong exercise in feeling not good enough - thanks patriarchy! - is that it punishes you for believing the lie. See, women are so narcissistic! These bridezillas! It's just like every other fucking gender trap in existence, from virginity to maternity to the fucking grave.

Sorry, I loved my wedding, I really did, every hand-crafted DIY task I invented and then obsessively carried out, but man I felt like I was living in upside-downsky world the whole time. The stories I could tell! Social recognition, filling your role, is just a mindfuck the whole way.

I can only imagine how motherhood is going to hit me.

WaityKatie

@oeditrix Being a woman, I know all this. And being an Olllld ollld sad single spinster at age 35, I perhaps understand the social approval lavished on brides even more than someone who has been in the "privileged" bride status. But the fact that these things exist doesn't mean we should all go along with them, reap the rewards, and say "oh well, that's how sexist society is! Now, where's my attention?" I understand why women fall into it and the pressure to fall into it, but it's still falling. I don't really think society does punish women for believing the lie, exactly - if you go along and play your perfect wifely part for your entire life, society will reward you. Well, until you get "too old," at which point your husband will be totally justified in divorcing you, bleh. Just one more reason why I hate having any involvement in weddings...and I do actually blame the bridezillas for playing into it. It's a way to work your social "superiority" according to the current established system, and a lot of women just don't care and really want to milk that shite. I'm still not flying to Hawaii for anyone's princess wedding.

oeditrix

@WaityKatie I get what you're saying, and I'm sorry if it sounded like I was dismissing your POV. I didn't mean to at all. Or course you know this stuff, you're a lady who thinks.

But I would really hate for my comments to be interpreted as "it's a sexist world, there's no fixing it so we should all go along with it." That's the opposite of what I meant. I really really care about how women, both single and married, are treated, and I also care about analyzing the causes of women's behavior, even when it's bad behavior, and those two things are not incompatible. I don't mean to excuse the me-me-me wedding syndrome. I don't doubt that it exists and it's horrible, and when I was planning a wedding I tried like hell not to do it and I hope I succeeded. I do tend to think it gets overrepresented in the media, but that's just because I've been fortunate enough never to encounter it among my own acquaintances who have gotten married. But I would never doubt that it exists - I read too many advice columns for that - and moreover I feel like I've experienced the pressure to be that way. Which nobody has to cave in to, sure, but some women have more and better resources than others - resources like feeling supported and valued in other ways, or being a little more conscious of this stuff, or just being a superlatively nice person.

I especially don't want to minimize the experience of being a single woman in her mid-thirties in a patriarchy. Until a month ago, that was me, which is part of why I feel so strongly about this stuff. I was pretty angry about being treated like a non-person (or a lesser-person), and I still am angry about it. Before I started dating my husband, I was one hundred percent single for 6 years. I spent a lot of time (not all the time) feeling unrecognized, socially invisible. And after I got engaged, I spent a lot of time wondering why I was doing it, whether I was somehow caving in to something that I hated. I always said I wanted a courthouse non-wedding (well, I said that when I was in my mid-twenties and actually talked about marriage at all), but when the time came, there were a lot of reasons why I wanted a wedding. My way of working out my mixed feelings about it, and my loathing of the wedding industrial complex, was to try and do everything myself as cheaply as possible and involve as few people as possible. But who am I kidding, it was expensive and weird and there was a lot of stuff to work out and a month later I'm still thinking it over and processing it, or trying to.

When you're planning a wedding, there's this loathesome phrase People are constantly throwing at you: "This Is Your Day" (TM). Which is ridiculous, because shouldn't every day be your day in some sense, but also everyone else's day too? But the flip side of "This Is Your Day" is "Make Everything Perfect, Be Happy All the Time, and Above All BE A FUCKING WOMAN Or You Fail." There are a million ways to "fail" at a wedding, from accidentally pissing people off by caring too much, to accidentally causing alarm by caring too little. When my future mother-in-law hinted around that I would look fat in my wedding gown (which she had not laid eyes on), her excuse for being a rude bitch was "Look, those pictures are going to last FOREVER." In other words, it's the gender performance of a lifetime, don't fuck it up.

Anyway, that's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to play who's got it worse or claim that being married sucks, it doesn't. I'm saying that even when you're very conscious of all this stuff, it's still kind of hard to figure out how to deal with it in a way that doesn't make you feel awful. I think women have different coping mechanisms for it, and the dreaded b-zilla word is one of them, which a lot of women who have been rewarded for their narcissism all their lives are kind of encouraged to do. Those women are responsible for their actions, just like me and you, but I'm just more interested in figuring out why it happens than blaming them for it.

And for the record, I don't want to fly out to a destination wedding either, or spend millions of dollars on other people's weddings, or cosset a hysterical bride, but like I said, I'm lucky I've never been asked to do any of those things, and I hope that continues to be the case.

oeditrix

@WaityKatie I want to say one more time that I think you're absolutely right and I identify pretty strongly with what I think is your position - I'm just trying to work out my own thoughts on the issue, now that I feel like I've crossed some kind of weird line in the sand.

WaityKatie

@oeditrix I have to admit that part of my objection to the whole wedding thing is that I personally don't understand why anyone would want a wedding. And this is just an entirely subjective, personal reaction of revulsion to everything about weddings. I find them boring at best and torturous at worst. To me, weddings are pretty much like church. You sit there, in uncomfortable clothes, for hours and hours, listening to droning talking, and it's just...not fun at all! I mean, I do think that the institution of marriage is entirely outdated, sexist, and unnecessary in today's world. (but I like married people! some of my best friends are married!) I guess it's just that I don't GET it. But I didn't get wanting to be a princess when I was younger, either. I don't think dressing up in fancy dresses is fun, I don't think getting my hair sculpted for hours is fun, I don't think spending time with my family is fun...but I do understand that a lot of women enjoy these things. It just seems that the letter writer wanted to impose this on all her friends, i.e., use up all your money and vacation time to celebrate MY SPECIAL DAY. (you're so right about the my special day thing, blechhh). And friends I have seen get married have been far from bridezillas, but I have seen them getting caught up in the SPECIAL DAY-ness, including people who never previously expressed any desire to get married or be a princess. It's pernicious, for sure.

rocknrollunicorn

@oeditrix I get that you just got out of the whole wedding shitstorm thing, but I hope it was just a bad choice of words when you referred to a woman's wedding as "being culturally initiated into your social role as a woman." I've never been married and I like to think that society still considers me a woman, socially and otherwise. And I've felt plenty of pressure to conform to the expectations that go along with that, even without having ever had a wedding.

oeditrix

@rocknrollunicorn It was definitely a sarcastic, bitter choice of words, because as a single woman in my mid-thirties, yes, I spent a fair amount of time feeling undervalued in society. I don't claim that everyone feels this way, but a lot of my friends who are single in their thirties do. I felt invisible a lot of the time. To be fair, this probably also had a lot to do with where I was in life and who I was surrounded by.

Regardless, when I did get married, I felt a lot of ambivalence over "winning the prize," as it were. (That is also sarcastic.) It felt like everybody breathed a sigh of collective relief. My dad (a wonderful sweet guy) actually made one of those cracks during his toast, like "it's about time, we thought it would never happen, phew." Although I love him to pieces and he meant nothing by it, I was kind of like DUDE I just got my PhD a month ago! There are other important things in my life that I have done!

I've felt other types of gender pressure throughout my life too, but for some reason I always felt like I could handle it by just ignoring it. I have been rebelling against that shit my whole life. But I think that's exactly why the wedding thing blindsided me. Just wasn't expecting it to feel like much of anything.

oeditrix

@WaityKatie Yeah, I always hated weddings too, at least the ceremony part. But I do like getting drunk in a fancy dress and dancing like a crazy person at receptions. I really enjoyed the chance to wear my vintage 1920s dress, which I bought ten years ago, to a fancy party.

Also, since my earlier comment I have spoken to several women who are currently dealing with unreasonable wedding demands. Maybe I'm in denial about how common this is.

Vera Knoop

@Mira So I've been having all sorts of FEELINGS about this letter, and having trouble figuring out why, but here's the thing. I'm married to a woman. We got married in Boston three years ago, because it was not yet legal where we lived, where our friends and family are. So by this logic, if we had come back from Boston and thrown a party, exchanged vows before our people, that would have been a gift-grab, a re-enactment? We didn't, but that's mostly because we couldn't afford to. I guess for me, the wedding is about the community acknowledging the bond, while the actual getting-married bit is more about legal recognition.

Then again, my parents got married because of the GI bill, so what the hell do I know about romance?

EpWs

@Vera Knoop Yes! This! All this! I wanted to articulate something like that but you've got it all down.

Mira

@Vera Knoop Oh man, so this is way late to respond but for some reason I'm reading this thread again and I really didn't want to leave this hanging, so here goes. I'm a lesbian myself and would like to get married to my partner of almost 6 years, so I hear what you're saying. I definitely don't think of it as a gift grab if a couple gets married in a place where it's legal and comes back to a place where it's not to celebrate with their people. What else are you supposed to do, fly everyone you know to Massachusetts because some fuckwit state congressman thought it would be cool to write a ballot initiative so all your fellow citizens could vote on how icky they think you are?

Our dear LW is not in that situation, though. She can get married anytime she likes, she just wants to do it now so that they can take advantage of the privileges offered to them by the Air Force as a married heterosexual couple (i.e. the taxpayers can pay for them to move). But they don't want to see doing that as an actual marriage, because she wants a Big Wedding, so they want to do a fake Big Wedding. And because she's worried that her friends might not want to spend their vacation time/money on a fake Big Wedding, she wants to trick them into thinking they're seeing an actual Big Wedding when they aren't. So this LW strikes me as kind of a greedy juicebox, and also as one who is infuriatingly unaware of the privilege she has to be all, "Oh, this old thing called a marriage contract? It's just a legal document giving me a shitload of rights I've never really had to think about, nbd, we're not actually married until my Giant Heterosexual Performance Art Piece!"

Ugh, I probably sound like an even bigger juicebox now that I've said this, but hopefully I've clarified that I am a juicebox approaching this from probably a different angle than maybe it first appeared. Sorry for my earlier lack of clarity. I would personally have been very thrilled to come to your celebration of being married. I just don't like the idea of someone who is able to get married whenever she wants putting on this big charade about it, like a legal document that says the state now recognizes that you are married to the person you love is no big deal. To me it's a very big deal indeed.

And congrats to you and your wife.

Vera Knoop

@Mira Okay, so I'm even later with my own response, which you may never see, but! I don't think you're a juicebox at all. I see where you're coming from. My own thinking has certainly been informed by resentment of the status quo, and my compartmentalization of the legal and the social is obviously defensive, to some degree, in a world where the state lege could decide tomorrow that my marriage is invalid. I guess I've got a little pre-emptive/defensive sour grapes about which part of the marriage *counts* most (i.e. the part that strangers can't revoke), and that's obviously not cool or healthy.

And thank you for the good wishes. I hope that you and your partner have the chance very soon!

Dorothea

LW1: my boyfriend is the best man in a destination (australia!!!) wedding this summer, where the couple was secretly married last year (for immigration purposes). i think he might be the only friend who knows? anyway, it never even occurred to us to be mad about it. i imagine that if we didn't know, and later found out, we might feel a little excluded, but also not that mad--it's their lives, and we trust them to live it in the best way they can, given the circumstances. if we weren't able to make it this summer, it would be because it's really expensive to go to australia and takes a long flight, not because we were miffed about greedy wedding people.

Inkling

Regarding the PDA:
One time my cat was so sick during Thanksgiving break that we couldn't go to my parents' house. The guy I super crushed on forever called me up to bring me food after his Thanksgiving. (<3!!) I planned to make a lemon meringue (meaning lots of beating egg whites).
He also brought his girlfriend.
There were three chairs at the table.
Three people.
She sat on his lap and they just stroked/touched/kissed while I was whipping egg whites, dying. And eating their food, dying. And I was finally like AHH I RUINED THE MERINGUE IT WON'T GO OKAY BYE NOW and rushed them out the door, worst Thanksgiving ever. I take a LOT of pride in making people food, it's like my only way of satisfactorily conveying affection, but I could not staaand it. It was like a bunch of holes. Appearing in my romantic future. With grubs coming out. Making kissy noises.
More PDA nightmares plz.

oh, disaster

@Inkcrafter Ahhh, that's awful.

dokuchan

@Inkcrafter
"It was like a bunch of holes. Appearing in my romantic future. With grubs coming out. Making kissy noises."

I have had a similar experience and this is the perfect description!

The dread and horror of it. Yikes.

phipsi

LW1: Have considered secret or not-so-secret courthouse wedding with my man of 5.5 years (we're old). I've run this by a few friends with the potential of having a party later on, and they've all been pretty pumped. Maybe mention it to one or two really close friends and see what they think? If they have time to prepare for the trip, they might be more excited about it in a year or so. Good luck!

Buffy Summers

LW2: That sucks. I feel like, as we age (tear), two things happen with respect to friendships:

1- Becomes so much harder to make real, serious friends. Between work, romantic relationships, family, and whatever else, people are BUSY, which doesn't leave a ton of time for cultivating deep friendships. Plus, when you are younger you have more formative experiences over which to bond. Overall, this isn't terrible- actually, it makes one more selective and serious about who they choose to become close to.

2- The realization that some acquaintances (however much you dislike them/however much they annoy the shit out of you) are completely necessary. You straight-up just sometimes have to put up with people you don't necessarily love. This isn't bad either, because it forces you to become tough about creating boundaries, which is SUCH a hard thing to do.

So yeah, I don't think what you are doing (excluding her from emails) is going to do anything but poison the well for everyone. If you want to keep your other friends, you are going to have to hang out with her. So keep things light and airy, don't get pissed when she acts like an idiot- don't engage. Focus your energy on your actual friends and making those relationships stronger, instead of being consumed by issues with people who just aren't that important in the grand scheme.

fondue with cheddar

Googling myself is nearly impossible because my name is so common. I share my name with a children's book author, a journalist, and an actress, so most of the results belong to them. I'm okay with that. My married name was extremely uncommon, and it bothered me how easy it was to find stuff about myself online. I'm happy to have my anonymous name back!

MrsLlama

I know you're trying to protect your friends and family, but It's insulting to your family and friends to try and trick them. If you get courthouse-married (which is AWESOME- I did it), you can have another party in year (or whatever), I am sorry but you can't call it a wedding. Call it a celebration of your love and just rock out but don't pretend like it's a real wedding with all the trappings of a "real" wedding, because it's not. It will probably actually be more fun than a "wedding" wedding anyway. No stress! Just partytime!

The thought that one would have a "real wedding" when they are already married is kind of crass, and it looks like a grab for attention and presents. I am not at all LW is doing that, but that is what it would look like. Like, "hey we lied to you all and we're already married, but we didn't get the chance to get stuff so here we go!" It also cheapens your real wedding- a courthouse ceremony and dinner isn't any less emotional and special.

Do it at city hall and then have a rager afterward for those who can attend- invite the far away people too! The have a party later. My husband and I got married in NY and then had a separate party in California for all his family and friends a couple of months later. He kept calling it our "wedding" which got my dander all kinds of up. It's a party.

Rant over!

KatPruska

@MrsLlama That's what we did too! Courthouse in Brooklyn, then six months later my parents held a dinner party to celebrate. Our invitations clearly stated we were already married, and everyone was cool (as cool as the dysfunction-junction that is our two families colliding ever could be). It's the planned deception here that is super uncool.

EpWs

@KatPruska A friend of mine got courthouse-married a few months prior to her long-planned wedding ceremony, because her fiance was getting ready to re-deploy (returning shortly before the wedding) and they wanted to be on the books just in case. I'm not sure how secretive they were about things (I knew, obviously, and I'm sure family knew), and never really batted an eye about it before now. Marriage seems to be about balancing the romantic and the pragmatic, which is what this felt like to me--and, in my eyes, not a bad thing. (To be fair, I'm not sure if this was something they'd planned to do from the start, which seems unlikely to me.) Thoughts?

insouciantlover

I used to have a roommate who loved to throw huge parties. She had an enormous range of friends and acquaintances and she would just invite all of them.

Once she was throwing a particularly ginormous party (and at this point I'll say that I hated all of her parties) and asked if there was anyone I didn't want to invite.

I mentioned a woman who was on the outer fringe of the acquaintance ring who had been super oddly competitive all the last times I had interacted with her and was generally a big ole drama queen. But no big deal. Just a preference.

I guess I should make it clear that I'm not particularly social and I tend to have a few very good friends.
Anyway, the fallout was INSANE. A few mutual friends got looooong emails from uninvited woman, who, as far as I could tell, was still harping on how tremendously betrayed she felt at not being invited.

Roommate moved out a year ago. I invited six people to my birthday party. LW2, I feel you. The trimming of the toxic friendships is messy but sometimes necessary.

Emma Peel

In case anyone made it to the depths of the commentariat, can I threadjack and ask a roommate advice question? I live in a group house. Somehow I have ended up as the Responsible One on money. Every month I e-mail everyone around the 29th to remind them to put rent checks on the kitchen counter. Fine, right? I mean, I feel a little naggy, but someone has to do it.

But then my rent check is sitting out all by its lonesome while the first of the month comes and goes. I end up nagging people again by email a few days later. Then in person. Then standing there watching them write checks on the 5th or 6th of the month so I can take the checks to our landlords (who live relatively nearby and prefer that the rent be delivered, all at once, in person).

I am sick of feeling like a nag for requesting four adults (we range from 22 to 27) to do the most basic, adult-like task in a normal manner. And it's every month. Is an email that says something like, "Guys, I am sick of having to remind you all multiple times to pay the rent, which is technically due on the first. From now on, I am taking my check, and any others on the counter on the 1st, over to the landlords'. If yours is not there, you can deal with them on your own. If you can't remember when the month starts, buy a fucking calendar already." Is this out of line? (PS: I would not actually swear.)

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@Emma Peel It's not your job to take responsibility for other people paying their rent - and you are not a terrible person for refusing to do so. I know because I've been cast as "The Mom" in some friend groups (and have done so to others). Stop making yourself be the Mom, you hate it. It's Not Your Problem. (Incidentally, it's the landlord's problem. Don't worry about protecting them from the landlord, they have to fucking grow up sometime.)

wharrgarbl

@Emma Peel Nope! Your roommates are being ridiculous. You are not their mom, they know what rent is and when it's due.

insouciantlover

@Emma Peel Goddamn that's so disrespectful that they make you do that. I think an email is in order that says some variation on what you wrote(minus the swearing, god people get all bent when you swear whilst chastising them).

Herding cats is exhausting, but I think that you're protecting them from the annoyance of the landlord by enabling their laziness. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd do the same damn thing. But it's seriously not your problem.

Emma Peel

@insouciantlover Thanks guys. I just needed some validation on this. I've brushed it off in the past with "well, some people are better at remembering to take out the trash than I am," but in the past 2-3 months not only have I gotten better at remembering to take out the trash, being the Official Rent Nag every month has gotten totally exhausting because it's just been the last straw on top of a bunch of other stuff.

And all my roommmates may be moving out due to various life changes (graduations, engagements, etc) meaning I will really be the Mom if new ones move in. GROUP HOUSES, WHY.

insouciantlover

@Emma Peel Dude, I can't imagine. I'm the master tenant and the bills are in my name so just getting a check from my boyfriend on the 1st stresses me out.

Emma Peel

@insouciantlover The finished product: "It's now Feb. 3, and if I drop off the checks tomorrow, this will be the earliest we've paid rent in the past 4 months (except January when everyone was out of town). Our rent is always due on the 1st. From now on, I'm taking checks to the landlords' on the evening of the last day of the month. If your check isn't ready by then, you can deal with the landlords directly. I'll send a reminder at the end of this month since it's a new system, but let's make that the plan from now on."

I will nag about weird smells in the refrigerator or paying each other for the bills in a timely fashion, but I am no longer the Rent Nag. Thanks for the moral support, all. (And if one of my roommates is on here, I love you guys otherwise, just... please don't make me nag you anymore.)

Judith Slutler

@Emma Peel I have dealt with this before, I handled it by creating a seperate bank account to handle rent and utilities, and everyone had to deposit an extra month's rent into the account when they moved into the apartment. Part of the issue was that some of us didn't necessarily get paid until after the 1st and were living paycheck to paycheck.

purefog

@Emma Peel Um, not to go all lawyerly on you (although it's my day job, I don't know what state you are in, etc., cannot give advice in state not licensed, etc.), the people who say "let them deal with the Landlord if they're late" are kind of missing the point. Basically, you are ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. The landlord does not care about your intra-house squabbles. All s/he wants is to get the rent paid on time. If Roomie 6 wanders in on the 15th with his/her rent, the landlord is going to likely affix a late charge. And everybody will be liable for it. Similarly, if Roomie #5 doesn't get around to paying the landlord ever ("oh, it was a terrible month, I had vet bills, my student loan payments were overdue," etc, etc, etc, all excellent reasons but [see above] THE LANDLORD DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT), then ALL of you will be subject to an X-day (varies place to place) notice and eviction and -- probably -- liability for the landlord's fees and costs of eviction.
Which is just a TL;DR way of saying: NEVER GROUP-HOUSE WITH DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES. And move.

Rant over.

wharrgarbl

@purefog It sounds like the sort of situation where the renters are in individual agreements with the landlord, though? I've only had one landlord ever agree to take like, five individual checks for one rent payment, and he was a complete clownshoe. As opposed to rental agreements where you're each basically renting a room, and if you individually don't pay rent on time, the landlord can kick you out and rent your room out to someone else. It's a popular model in college towns partially due to apartment complexes being run in a quasi-dorm style that cater to students normalizing it within local regulations and partially due to landlord laziness (your existing tenants work to get you a new tenant they know rather than being saddled with some rando). I might have read too much into Emma Peel's post, though.

Megasus

@Emma Peel No! It's totally not. I was in a similar sort of situation and I sometimes wouldn't get the money until mid-month (after having already paid), and it was so annoying! I wish I had done this!
(this is most of the reason why I live alone now)

roadtrips

@Emma Peel I would also add - if/when you get new roommates, be super upfront and sort of intimidating about the rent situation - tell them that their rent is due on the first, and no exceptions. It sounds like your landlords are pretty forgiving, but your new roommates don't have to know that - especially if you're the one who's dropping the rent off. I don't know. Roommate situations :( I had a roommate once who'd consistently forget to shut the door when he left (not lock - shut) and when confronted said "he couldn't be expected to remember to do that all the time." Just. ugh. Good luck!

Emma Peel

@roadtrips Oh man, so much helpfulness! No, legally, we are all on the hook for all the rent -- the lease specifies... whatever our individual rents add up to, per month, and that's it. Which is one of the reasons I've been willing to pay Rent Police until now. And, as surmised, our landlords are pretty lackadaisical about the whole thing, which is how people have gotten away with it so far. I don't know if it's a cash flow problem or an inability to remember when the month starts or what, but at this point I don't care -- I'm hoping that the hassle of having to get checks to our somewhat capricious landlords, who live somewhere not accessible by public transit, will serve as enough of a threat that people write the checks on time. (I have written rent checks I thought would bounce rather than make my roommates deal with it.) And yeah, if I end up staying and these guys leave, will be VERY clear with the next group that rent is due on the first, no exceptions.

And yeah, none of us are perfect roommates. This has just become a pet peeve because unlike not doing the dishes or something, which allows infinite chances to redeem oneself, not paying rent on time is 1) screwing up on something incredibly simple and easy to remember and 2) is kind of a finite thing; there's no remedying it.

oeditrix

Man people are so judge-y about weddings. Weddings and babies.

Weddings and babies are when the gender train really comes barreling toward you with a pair of angry eyebrows drawn on the front.

Chuggachuggachuggachuggayou'renotgoodatbeingawomanchooochooooooo!!!!

Vera Knoop

Okay, so LW#2, I have no idea whether you and your friends are involved in any subculture/genre/fandom that would cause you to identify as geeks (I am, so please trust that I don't mean this pejoratively), but the Geek Social Fallacies are instructive to think about in relation to any kind of friend-group dynamics.
It's only in the past year that I have become comfortable articulating the concept "I have no ill will toward her; she's just not for me." The idea that two people can be perfectly decent people and just not get on is a liberating one. In this framing, it's not her fault you find her horrible (it might well be, but we pretend for the sake of your mutual friends), and it's certainly not yours. Think of it as an allergy.

tawdryelephant

I Google Myself
(by Mel Nichols)

I Google myself
I want you to love me
When I feel down
I want you to Google me
I search myself
I want you to find me
I Google myself
I want you to remind me

I don’t Google anybody else
When I think about you
I Google myself
Ooh
I don’t Google anybody else
At home alone in the middle of the night
I Google myself

I Google myself
And see you before me
Any fool could see
Just how much I Google myself
Get down on your knees &
Friend me and Poke me

I don’t Google anybody else
When I think about you
I Google myself
Ooh I don’t Google anybody else
At home alone in the middle of the night
I Google myself
and I like what I see
Oh oh oh oh I can’t stop Googling myself
1,690,000 results for Googling myself
When I haven’t Googled myself for a while
You’re the sun who makes me shine
I’m one of millions who constantly Google themselves
I want to make you mine
I don’t Google anybody else
And when I think about you I Google myself
Ooh, ooh, oo, oo ahh

(http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/237048)

Angora Holly Polo

#3, as a newlywed I've been on the other, snugglier side of this scenario and the best thing to do is be humorous about it and yell "GET A ROOM!" or "Aren't you two just sickeningly sweet?" They'll back off and almost take it as a compliment, and if they keep doing it, you keep doing it until they get the hint. I would avoid pulling her aside for a serious conversation because then it becomes Heavy and Weird.

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