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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

511

Solo RSVPs and the Crypt Keeper of the Bride

My childhood friend is getting married! Hurrah! Sadly, I broke up with my seven-year boyfriend mere months ago, and her wedding is in May. She has kindly asked me if I would like to bring someone instead of previously invited boyfriend (there’s no hard feelings, she just didn’t know him well), or would I like to go alone?

I’m quite good at being alone – I often take myself for a cocktail or the cinema with just myself for company and enjoy it. The problem is that weddings require lots of standing-around chit chat, which I don’t really like, and can be avoided by being with someone else. I'll know barely anyone at the wedding. In fact, worse, it'll be full of people I vaguely knew in high school and more than likely who made fun of my glasses or tried to trip me up in the corridor.

I do have a few great friends who would be more than happy to come with me, but they won’t know the bride or anyone there, either. I have this strange leaning to do this solo — to turn up, look fabulous and spend the day not worrying about whether anyone else is having a good time. So here’s the question, Lady — exactly how much fun can a girl have on her own at a wedding, and do you have any tips to make sure I have a great, single, fabulous day?

Oh, LW1! First, I’m so sorry to hear about your breakup. But I love that you’re asking about how to have fun at your childhood friend’s wedding, as opposed to feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of going to a wedding at all. You sound really mature about everything, it’s wonderful.

So, I think if you’re inclined to go solo, I definitely think you should go for it. Yes! First, be sure to tell your friend that you’re not bringing a guest (when you RSVP, of course, but friend-to-friend, too). If she’s making a seating plan for her wedding, maybe she can make an effort to place you among folks you’d be more inclined to get along with? Like, the ones who didn’t make fun of your glasses in high school. (I had gum thrown in my hair in high school! I know!) I remember spending forever planning tables so people really into music would be by other people really into music, outdoorsy people by the other outdoorsies, you know what I mean. Hopefully your friend will be similarly attentive, and you’ll be matched up with some interesting people. Although small talk can be tiresome, “how do you know the bride and groom?” is an easy conversation starter. Maybe they know the groom from senior year abroad in Rome, and you’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Or they know the bride from that crazy spelunking trip, and you never, ever want to go spelunking, but it sounds incredible. Right?

Really, there'll be so much going on — the ceremony, hors d’oeuvres, toasts, first dances — that there'll be lots of time for just sitting, listening, soaking up the joy. Sure, there might be a few awkward moments, and maybe you’ll go freshen up during a slow song, or grab some more wine and chocolate-covered strawberries. Or maybe you’ll dance with someone’s grandma or twirl with a toddler.

I genuinely hope you discover that the making-fun-of-glasses types (and maybe even the gum-throwers) aren’t so bad anymore, and maybe even blossomed into better, hotter, adult versions of my favorite characters on Freaks and Geeks. At the very least, everyone will see how incredibly great you’ve become. Go, dance, don’t get crazy drunk, try to catch the bouquet, why not. It’ll be great!

I need mom-grooming guidance. I'm getting married at the end of this year and the surrounding hoopla will be the first time that much of my fiancee's family meets my mom. Here's the problem: I love my mom dearly, but she doesn't take care of her appearance. Like, at all. She's 60 (I'm 30) and has basically given up making herself presentable. She's like a senior Olsen twin. She wears rumpled clothes that are too big for her frame, she's grown her hair out and stopped coloring it — which is fine — but she doesn't condition or even brush it, and she ends up looking like the Crypt Keeper. She doesn't moisturize, she carries an enormous broken tote bag in lieu of a purse, etc., etc. I've offered to take her to my salon, tried buying her luxury beauty products in hopes that she'll feel pampered and want to use them, bought her a purse she doesn't use, e-mailed her at least 2GB worth of pictures of Helen Mirren's haircut, and she just won't take to any of it.

It feels icky to say, but in her current state, I know I'm going to be embarrassed introducing my mom to my dude's family. It might help to know that his mom is extremely well preserved and nattily dressed. Any tips on how I can get my mom to straighten herself up, both for the silly wedding stuff and in general? She's a little touchy, and I truly don't want her to feel as though I'm ashamed of her, so I'm hesitant to come right out and tell her that her she's going to embarrass me if she shows up to the rehearsal dinner with insane-person hair and things spilling out of her filthy tote. I truly feel that if she took slightly better care of her appearance, she might actually feel happier and more confident — and I've told her this! Really, I just want her to tame the hair, wear a supportive bra and some fitting clothes, and maybe a little lipstick. Nothing crazy, right?! Should I just change my attitude? Are there any mom tricks I'm missing?

I just have to say it: a senior Olsen twin sounds awesome to me.

But okay, to your question. This is difficult, because issues of appearance ARE touchy. Not just to your mom! I mean, if my baby one day grows up to tell me I need new clothes and lipstick and a new hairdo … it’s too horrible, I’m cringing already. (Also, my hair looks awesome, thank you very much, baby that I raised.)

Normally I’d hesitate to support trying to change someone’s appearance *ever,* but weddings are often about getting gussied up and doing things differently. Glamorously. Rather than framing it like, “You look like the Crypt Keeper” (!!!) or emailing her a zillion Helen Mirren pics (really? One didn’t suffice? If she’s not into Helen Mirren-hair, she’s not into Helen Mirren-hair), tell her how much this day means to you, and how you genuinely want to share all the pre-wedding pampering with her. Offer — yes, again — to book a spa day – your treat. Hair, nails, the works. If she seems at all game, suggest going dress shopping together, and help her pick out a dress for the ceremony, and/or a dress for the rehearsal dinner, and/or a purse and flats that she likes. And, for the wedding day, offer to have her hair and makeup done by whoever's doing yours. Maybe if you frame it as a mother-daughter adventure that you’ll cherish as opposed to an overwhelming need to “fix” her appearance, it’ll go over better for everyone?

Honestly, though, it sounds like you’re less concerned about your mother’s appearance and confidence than you are anxious about what her appearance will say about you. Remember that all families have their quirks and then some, and your dude’s nattily dressed mother isn’t perfect, either. So, if your mom says no thanks to all of your offers to get fancified together, you know what? She’s your MOM, the fabulously gray-haired lady who's been there for you all these years, who’ll be there with you to celebrate your wedding day. Show her some respect.

When I was 16, I had this boyfriend. We were best friends, totally in love: perfect high school romance, except for the part where he was very occasionally a bit controlling and would sometimes tear down my clothing choices/makeup/feminist views. We dated two years, had some on-again-off-again drama, dated again — at which point he escalated the manipulation, ultimately dumped me in a horrific way, and then harassed me off and on during freshman year of college.

In the interest of total honesty, I was 18, confused, and didn’t handle this massive mindfuck of a relationship with consistency/maturity AT ALL. But when I finally did cut ties, it didn’t work: he’d just call my mom, and she’d tell me how sad and lost he was, and pressure me not to lose touch with him because “you have so much history." (In her defense, he is very charming/smart/funny and she doesn’t seem to really grasp how scarred I was by the relationship.)

The upshot: between unresolved feelings and everyone telling me to forgive/forget — even my therapist was like, “Really?! But I met him and he seemed so nice!” — I ended up resuming contact with him a few years later. And now we're "friends," and it's not terrible, but ... I can’t.

I hate myself for it. I’m 30, great career, happily married to someone else ... but every time I talk to my ex I feel insecure and defensive and about two inches tall. I don't trust him, and I don’t know whether I’m reacting to something he’s actually doing or just the echo of old wounds, but clearly I can’t handle this. He’s poisonous to me.

So, A Lady, am I allowed to tell him I no longer want to be friends or be in contact at all? Do I have to tell him why? Do I have to tell my family? What if they think I’m pathetic for not being able to get over this (which I suspect I am)?

YES! Yes, you are allowed to tell him you no longer want to be friends or be in contact at all. You are *not* pathetic for wanting this! You are brave, resilient, and ready to MOVE THE HELL ON.

Bottom line: every relationship is different, and everyone copes with the prospect of friendship-after-relationship in a different way. While I personally think that cutting ties is often best — at least until *you* feel like you’ve fully moved on, whenever that may be (if ever!) — no one can tell you what’s right for you. Not him, not your friends, not your family, not the “everyone” who like him so much (not even — yikes! — your therapist?!). It’s very different to know somebody and know somebody, and none of these people have to negotiate through a platonic relationship that’s unreasonably full of emotion and intimacy and painful memories.

But it sounds like you know this already, and you know that you cannot have your life intertwined with his anymore. Really, it doesn’t matter if he’s still belittling you or if you’re haunted by awful memories of the times when he did. (What is it with all this hair / glasses / clothes criticism?!) Needing to cut ties is completely reasonable, and you owe it to yourself and your self-esteem to break up with him, good and proper. Tell him it’s time to let go. And, if you feel you must, tell your friends and family. It they care about you, they’ll understand.

I'm 23 years old and I've been in a wonderful, committed relationship for nearly three years with a great guy I love very much and who I know loves me. Our relationship is actually better now than it was in the beginning, in many ways. Despite technically living in separate apartments, we live together (in my apartment). I have a job and he's in school, so we have our separate time but I rarely get real, unending alone time. I know that all I have to do is ask for it (despite that being incredibly difficult in practice, especially because often I decide I'd rather be hanging out with him).

What I'm more concerned about, however, is that I'm 23 and feel practically married, don't want this relationship to end, yet also want to be ... 23. Both of us definitely see this relationship going somewhere really good, and I can see myself being with him for a very long time, but the idea that I've found someone so great for me this early on is kind of stressful, in its own stupid way. I get that it might sound idiotic and that I'm lucky to be in a happy, loving relationship (the idea of being with or trying to be with anyone else is horrifying), but I barely even know who I am at this point. Sometimes I have dreams about other guys, but nothing ever "happens" because even dream-me never truly wants it to. My parents dated when they were our age, broke up, got back together, broke up, and then got married when my mom was 27 and my dad was 29. They each got to experience other relationships and grow up, until they finally came together again as more-mature people. I want that, but it's not like you can plan life that way. I feel like I've somehow skipped some steps and will end up bitter and divorced, despite my genuine belief that this guy is the one for me. I know I should probably just calm down, but nobody ever talks about this. Thoughts?

Ahhh, LW#4, I don’t think that this sounds stupid at all. On the contrary, I think wanting to have time to become yourself, on your own terms, is awesome.

So, you have a few options here: keep things going as they are (i.e. not rushing into marriage, just letting time take its course, seeing where you’re at in a few years — a lot can happen in a few years!); break it off (abruptly, needlessly); take a “break” (and I do not mean this as a euphemism for or precursor to breaking up); or, finally, carve out some real space for yourself. Based on everything you said — you clearly adore this guy — I think the last option makes the most sense as a starting point.

How about you really do LIVE in your separate apartments, for a while? I know you said that this is difficult, because you want to be with each other all the time anyhow. And I’m not suggesting that it’ll be easy. But if you want some time for yourself, to be yourself, you’re going to have to work at it, in the same way that you have to work at a relationship. Maybe spend weekdays in your own place and weekends together, for a start? Spend more time with your friends, try out some new activities — that figure-drawing class you always wanted to take! Or take a trip on your own, go on that drive across the southwest with your girlfriends. Or hey! Go to Iceland! Or none of these things, but my point is that it sounds like you need time to explore and gain perspective, which is best done with a bit of space and a bit of distance.

Comparing yourself to your parents (or your single friends, or coupled friends, or friends who've dated / backpacked around Europe / experimented with whatever wild crazy thing so much more than you) isn’t quite fair. Alas, there are no “steps” on the path to creating a loving, committed partnership, and I think everyone bumbles along a bit before finding their own way. Your relationship won’t automatically end in divorce just because you’re 23, or be wonderful forever because you’re 29 (!). Above all, I think that if you're having doubts, your instincts are telling you something. Trust them.

A Married Lady is a married lady who doesn't claim to know everything about marriage. Do you have a question for her?

Photo by Marcin Balcerzak, via Shutterstock



511 Comments / Post A Comment

SuperGogo

Ask a Married Lady, yes! There cannot be too many variations in the Hairpin Ask A... series.

chapstick

@SuperGogo Yes! What I currently need is "Ask a potted plant"... (How do I not kill you???)

SuperGogo

@SuperGogo On that note, Edith, feel free to email me when you're ready to start the Ask a Tallish, Single, Wee-Bit-Older Midwestern Lady with Two Bunnies series.

ImASadGiraffe

@SuperGogo Still pulling for Ask a Lady Weightlifter (I volunteer for this post)

noodge

@SuperGogo they could have "ask a divorce(e)" and it would be the funniest, bitterest column EVAR.

BlodwynPig

@chapstick Seconded. My house plants have been hovering in that twilight zone betwixt life and death for YEARS now, they were all presents from either my boyfriend's mother or his grandmother, and every time I look at them I wish either for an "Ask a potted plant" segment,or for them to hurry up and die so I can prove what a bad mother I'd be to any future (human) offspring we might have one day and be done with it! Titles could include: "how to stop feeling guilt-tripped by your leafy, green pals" or "get rid of your house plants, seriously, they are disgusting" or, and I'm going out on a limb here, "Repotting plants is fun! And you really should do it right now!"

Mira

@teenie I...actually think that would be a very useful column.

mustelid

@BlodwynPig "Going out on a limb here"? I refuse to beleaf that was unintentional phrasing.

rararuby

@mustelid took me a minute to twig it

The Mythical Codfish

@SuperGogo I think that "Ask A Grad Student" could be highly entertaining. I also volunteer for this position.

The Mythical Codfish

@ImASadGiraffe I would totally have questions for that. No, really, I would.

Ophelia

@mustelid Did @atipofthehat plant you here to start this thread?

Porn Peddler

@SuperGogo As usual, I volunteer for Ask a Sexual Deviant or whatever you call someone who can dispense the sort of advice I can.

noodge

@Mira I'll volunteer for the divorcee one.

hairspin

@SuperGogo I will read your column!!!

Magpie Shinies

@teenie I'd love to do that one with you.

Fodforever

@BlodwynPig Thirded! I have an orchid that seems... sick? Am I giving it enough light? Water? Why are its bottom leaves yellowing? Is it just doing normal orchid stuff, or does it have some sort of orchid-mange??

Share your wisdom potted plant! I have looked for answers on the internet and come out more confused and unsure than ever before!

EpWs

@SuperGogo Is this actually "Ask a Nicole"? IS IT, NICOLE? (/Is it Nicole?) Please come back we miss youuuuu you can talk about your adorable eyebrow'd baby and such!

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia It's possible. Let's get to the root of the problem.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@SuperGogo I volunteer for "Ask a Blue-Eyed Floozy"! Come on, y'all know you have all kinds of questions for me.

SuperGogo

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ha, don't I wish! No, I have not the utter moxie nor the most-adorable-eyebrowed-baby-ever to be Nicole, unfortunately.

EpWs

@SuperGogo Actually I was wondering if this Married Lady was Nicole!

ImASadGiraffe

@Magpie Shinies @teenie I am also a divorced lady.

@The Mythical Codfish I want to write it! So much!

ironhoneybee

@SuperGogo I volunteer for "Ask An Old".

lue
lue

@ironhoneybee
I love "Ask An Old."
I volunteer for "Ask a Thrifty Person (who doesn't know shit about actual Finance)."

AndSomethingElse

@SuperGogo I second "Ask a Divorce(e)," and "Ask a Sexual Deviant," and would like to request "Ask that fifth-grade girl from the bullying article."

EpWs

@SuperGogo I volunteer for "Ask Someone Who Knows Too Much About Dog Nutrition And Is Also A Grad Student In An Unrelated Field"

AndSomethingElse

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I would read that.

Can we have, in addition to normal "Ask a Divorce(e)," "Ask a totally bitter divorce(e) who now hates the other gender and also drinks too much"? It would be terrible advice but probably pretty entertaining.

purplewaves

@SuperGogo I think an "Ask a Viking" column could be very entertaining even if the answer was always the same...

ironhoneybee

@lue Other columns I volunteer to shepherd/contribute to:
"Ask Someone Swarthy"
"Ask a Dilettante"
"Ask a Vegetarian Who Frequently Opts to Have Cheezits for Dinner."

gtrachel

@Fodforever What kind of orchid do you have? How long have you had it? This could be normal behavior: orchid leaves turn yellow before they fall off, and orchids shed leaves normally to an extent. Monopodial orchids shed their lower leaves as they grow new leaves on top; sympodial orchids shed leaves from older pseudopods, which then function as water reservoirs. If your orchid is losing more than a couple of leaves, however, and is not growing new ones, it may be unhappy. The most common mistake orchid-tenders make is overwatering them, so make sure you are not doing that. You should water your orchid by immersing the root system in water for several hours, then draining it and letting it dry completely before you water it again (this applies to the most common types you can buy in non-specialty stores). Never leave your orchid sitting in water longer than that (including in a saucer): orchids are epiphytes and they need air circulation around their roots, so they will suffocate if they don't get it, and the roots will turn black and soft. As for the light, this depends on the kind of orchid, but a general guideline is to make sure they do not get direct sun shining on them -- they can burn this way -- but do get full diffuse light. An east-facing window is often the best place for orchids. Finally, remember that orchids can live for hundreds of years, and they are very slow about everything, so if it takes weeks for your plant to lose a leaf and months for it to grow a new one, that is normal.

Fodforever

@gtrachel Thank you for your info and taking the time to respond! I think I have a Phalaenopsis... I'd have to check the tag when I get home to be sure. My windows don't actually get a lot of light, but I put him right by one, but got worried when the yellow leaf thing started happening. It's just the two smallish leaves at the bottom.

A friend of a friend used to put an ice cube in her orchid about once a month and I guess it lived forever (?). I've been doing that, which probably helps keep it dry, right?... but I read online I should be watering him every 7-10 days. Should I abandon the ice-cube thing and soak it?

I did not know the 100 year thing; hopefully I can at least make it through year 1!

Xanthophyllippa

@gtrachel I believe we've found our Plant Lady!

sevanetta

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I think it is Nicole!

Nicole Cliffe

@sevanetta It's not, I promise! If it was, there would be a lot more rambling Doctor Who inspired advice.

AndSomethingElse

@Nicole Cliffe Wait, can we actually have "Ask a Drunk Doctor Who Fan"? That would be the best thing in my life.

not that I'm implying you're drunk. I'm implying that I would enjoy it if you were drunk and then you wrote an advice column.

Chesty LaRue

@SuperGogo Can I be a Nicole in this "Ask a Nicole" series too?

fondue with cheddar

@ironhoneybee That's exactly why I don't buy Cheez-Its.

Nicole Cliffe

@Chesty LaRue Oh, I would love a recurring "Ask a Nicole" series in which different Nicoles would offer advice. And now I want to write an "Ask Nicole Kidman," in which all of the advice would revolve around wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen.

brista128

@chapstick Oh my god, yes. I bought a cilantro plant because it was cheaper than a jar of the stuff and I thought, "NOW I'LL HAVE FRESH CILANTRO FOREVER!!!"

It died pretty much immediately.

Also I have this little square of earth behind my apartment that's mine to do whatever with and I want to grow some vegetables!! SO YES: Ask A Green Thumb!

carolinaclay

Thanks for posting (: Enjoy 'chilling' haha@y

The Lady of Shalott

I like this A Lady, and I like her advice! And oh dear, LW3: YES YOU ARE ALLOWED TO NOT TALK TO HIM ANYMORE GEEZ.

Also, I ALSO had gum stuck in my hair during high school! Seriously, I had my hair in a bun one day and someone stuck gum into it and I had to go to the dean of women and have her cut out a tiny chunk of it and I was just so upset and if I ever find out who did it I WILL CUT THEM.

Ophelia

@The Lady of Shalott SIGTTMWPTGIMHOIGTCYFT?

The Lady of Shalott

@Ophelia Someone is going to tell me who put the gum in my hair or I going to cut you...for....that....I am so bad at this!

Ophelia

@The Lady of Shalott Yours is much nicer...it's from a long ago post where CYFT was "cut your f'ing throat" - NOT that you'd actually do that, of course.

The Lady of Shalott

@Ophelia ..........I probably would. I am very vain about my hair, it was a very upsetting situation, and I conceal a long bowie knife beneath my flowing robes.

Ophelia

@The Lady of Shalott Also, this is OT, but I just realized today how heavily we are both represented in the oeuvre of Waterhouse when I was looking something else up.

purefog

@The Lady of Shalott Au contraire, I thought that was an awesome decryption (though I'd suggest "I'm" over "I"). Now, me, I am bad at this.

CheeseLouise

@The Lady of Shalott Somebody threw gum in my hair three weeks ago. Well, if I'm honest, I was wearing a wig and it was during a Mardi Gras parade, but I did threaten to C[his]FT. All 4'6", 13 years of him. Little shit.

Hellcat

@CheeseLouise If there were no gum, these things would never happen. OK, I know that has really nothing to do with anything here, and who am I to ban gum in the world, but I just had to confess here at the Hairpin that I hate the very idea of gum; it has always grossed me right out since childhood. Which is sad because Blow-Pops are kind of pretty and seem like they'd be good other than the gum part...

OK, sorry 'bout that little ramble there! Some kid recently spat out a big blue clump of gum in the staircase that leads to the parking lot at my apartment, and it's right in the middle and I always have to remember to circumvent it and it just makes my stomach turn a little bit. I know, this is probably weird of me.

theharpoon

@Hellcat I hate gum too.

Nic Knack

@The Lady of Shalott I found gum in my hair in high school too! I found it when I was almost home on the bus, and it took a few minutes for me to realize that it could not have been by accident.:(

Sometimes I am glad I didn't find it earlier so I wouldn't give the person the satisfaction of seeing my reaction... but then I remember I might have been walking around school with gum in my hair for an embarrassingly long time.

redheaded&crazy

OMG WEDDINGS~! I'm going to a family wedding with my family (um) later this year and for a multitude of reasons will not be going with a date, but ... I dunno, I'm not worried? I'll just dance with my cousins. that's like, avant-garde now right? as long as i don't make out with them too much it'll be cool yeah?

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazy this comment makes me sound more worried than i am. really I'll just dance by myself or with like, the ring boy or flirt with the bartender or whatever.

important point: i get a free dress out of it! woooooooo

Lily Rowan

@redheaded&crazy I never bring a date to family weddings! Shit, I have my whole family to deal with. I mean, if I had a partner, I'd bring him, but I'm not bringing a "date." Actually, that's my general feeling about all weddings. I don't need to bring someone I'd have to introduce to everyone.

@serenityfound

@redheaded&crazy Les Cousin Dangeroux!

thebestjasmine

@Lily Rowan Yeah, seriously, me neither. I have a huge family, and the cousins only ever bring a date to a wedding if they're either engaged or that's likely to happen soon. The most fun part is getting tipsy and acting crazy with my cousins! Why deal with all of the questions from the aunts?

oeditrix

@redheaded&crazy Going solo is muy bueno as long as you adhere to some simple rules:
1) do not go with the expectation of meeting a cute guy at the wedding.
2) If you really want to maybe meet a cute guy, AND you can swing it, tag along with the bachelor party the night before. It's fun and you'll have an excuse to leave the wedding reception early if you want (hangover, awkward next-day glances, etc.).
3) When they start playing the bouquet-toss music, have a plan that involves not being in the room for a while.

redheaded&crazy

@@serenityfound Maybe we should kiss again to teach them a lesson.

redheaded&crazy

@oeditrix but ... but ... everything I learned from hollywood has taught me that I can only expect to meet cute guys at weddings!

I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE ANYMORE

Lily Rowan

@thebestjasmine Right?? I don't even want my parents to know about people I am casually dating, much less the rest of the family! That just leads to trouble.

gobblegirl

@redheaded&crazy If it's Alberta that's cool.

oeditrix

@redheaded&crazy God I really hate that convention. It is the WORST. That has never happened to anyone, I don't care how awesome you look in your strapless dress.

Now hooking up after the bachelor party (or rehearsal dinner, if it's particularly lively) does happen on occasion. And all I can say about that is it makes things kind of awkward but at least you have something to occupy you during the reception, which is avoid the hell out of the one person in the room who's as hung over as you.

The Mythical Codfish

@redheaded&crazy Drink heavily and dance till you sweat it all out. Also, wear your favorite jewelry, all of it, all at the same time. That always seems to work for me.

TheBelleWitch

@oeditrix I actually have a couple of friends whose relationship started as a wedding hookup! What's funny is that she was the second hookup he had that wedding weekend, so it was perhaps not the romantic beginning Hollywood rom-coms would have you believe.

redheaded&crazy

@TheBelleWitch IT COULD HAPPEN TO MEEEE

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

Note to self: make plans to crash every wedding in Canada "later this year." How many could that possibly be?

miwome

@redheaded&crazy On my mom's side of the family I just hang with my cousins, yeah. Last time, one of them ACTUALLY DID TRY TO HOOK UP, THOUGH, and I was like WHAT NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING, it was A Sad.

redheaded&crazy

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict I'm happy to decryptify my comment for stalking purposes but I'll just need you to submit a DNA test for genetic matching and/or proof of MD received from reputable university

EpWs

@Lily Rowan Shit, the boy and I have been together for nigh on 8 years and HE'S not coming with me to a family wedding this summer. (If it was even remotely close to here, totally. But it's a 10 hour drive away, and my mom and I are using that as an excuse to go on a road trip together.)

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@rouquine&folle That "or" means so much to me... *sniff*

rucifie

@redheaded&crazy I have a big fam and none of us usually bring dates to weddings and all the cousins just hang and drink. But at the last wedding I went up and grabbed the bouquet, after it fell on the floor with a sad plop. Next thing you know, my younger cousin catches the garter and we just stare at each other in horror as the DJ plays bump-n-grind music.

redheaded&crazy

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict I would never want to discourage internet stalkers admirers friends, I don't have very many and I need them to prop up my fragile self-esteem!

redheaded&crazy

@rucifie BEST. POSSIBLE. OUTCOME.

seriously that's just great. reminds me of a family wedding i went to when i was 10 and for some reason my mom thought i really wanted to have a slow dance (probably because i was like MOM I REALLY WANT TO HAVE A SLOW DANCE *smdh*) so she set me up with this slightly older somewhat cousin and oh god it was so awkward and then after the slow song ended spice girls came on and i really wanted to dance to spice girls with all my other 10 year old cousins but this guy was still slow dancing with me and oh my god i didn't know what to dooo

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazy phew, getting that out felt good. Hey Stu, still wanna come to that wedding? :D

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@rouquine&folle C'est vraiment honneur, Mam'selle.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

Well, that's not really grammatically correct at all, but I prefer to think of that as being part of my "charm"

redheaded&crazy

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict not remembering any french whatsoever (despite being canadian), she responded "But of course" with her best french accent

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@ruiva&louca Eu tenho um porco em meu nariz.

Xanthophyllippa

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict "And I have a pig in my nose?"

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Xanthophyllippa É mesmo

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Voce fala portugues, na verdade? Eu nao posso falar muito bem, mais eu gosto muito.

miwome

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me In his defense, we are in no way blood related, literally zero, and we never actually met each other until like two years ago. But still. You are my mother's stepmother's grandchild, and also I am not attracted to you.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@miwome Ok. Acceptable. I could be open to that. Because... yeah. Not going to try to explain it. Just, if he was hot I might be down.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me Eu estou tendando, mas é lento. Meu memória é má, assim gramática, conjugação... ai ai...

epa: muitos tópicos aqui, né?

redheaded&crazy

si si mey beno mey beno *nods knowingly*

Xanthophyllippa

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Glücklich schätzen!

rebecca@twitter

@miwome Girl ... you have every right to be creeped out that you got unwanted-ly hit on, but you are so many levels of removed from actual blood relations!! I mean, seriously, even if he were your mother's mother's grandchild, you could still legally marry in several states.

That said, as the author of the pending column Ask Someone Who Hooked Up With Her Stepcousin*, I may be a bit biased.

* EMPHASIS ON STEP, ZERO BLOOD SHARED HERE EITHER

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict uh... sim. Muitas! Minha mai e paulista, mais eu nunca aprendi ate' colegio (universidade?). Acho que vc conhece mas do eu. (Also accents, what? Too hard to type!)

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me lol não não não, pela maior parte via o dicionário hehe. paulista é? você ouviste disso?

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@赤毛&気が変 何を話そうとした···

Myrtle

@oeditrix Also, do not have sex with the groom-to-be.

miwome

@rebecca@twitter No no, I know--like I said, In His Defense. But it had just SO not crossed my mind that I was like WHAT. To his credit, he was deeply mature about it. I was all, "no," and he was like "why not" and I was like "because..." and he said "because no?" and I was like "yeah" and he was like "okay." And then he didn't hang around and sulk forever after! Possibly because he lives three thousand miles away from me.

So the Award for Best Grace Under Rejection goes to cousin Larry. This is the positive way to tell this story, yes.

She Saved The World, Alot

@miwome Hahaha minus points for "why not?" because I hate when guys do that! Because I said so, that's why! Like, do you really want me to explain WHY NOT? I would neeeever wanna know the why not! For me, the "no" suffices, knowing the why not would make me be all BUT! BUT! [Too much coffee this morning for me, clearly.]

But plus points for "because no?...okay" and the no sulking.

thebestjasmine

As one of my friends so brilliantly said on an issue similar to LW1: "Don't bring a sandwich to a buffet." Weddings = delightful buffet for the single girl and boy.

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine I LOVE BUFFETS!

Megasus

@thebestjasmine Mmm sexy buffets

WaityKatie

@thebestjasmine I want to get invited to some of these "buffet" weddings. The last one I went to (and was IN), it was exclusively marrieds that I didn't know and who REFUSED TO EVEN SPEAK TO ME, like, even when I tried to talk to them, they just STARED AT ME WITH BAFFLED DISGUST for a moment and then turned back to each other. So I just kind of sat there, and periodically the groom came by and asked me why I wasn't dancing? Are you kidding me, groom?? I'm not going to go out on the dance floor by myself at this cash bar wedding in a bridesmaid's dress and desperately try to "dance" while all these smug families stare at me. God, I hate weddings.

WaityKatie

@WaityKatie Although, obviously, in retrospect, getting plastered on my own dime and spaz-dancing is exactly what I should have done in this situation. Lessons for next time...

Daisy Razor

@WaityKatie Girl, all you had to say was "cash bar wedding." Nothing good ever happens at one of those.

WaityKatie

@Daisy Razor Right? I don't think I'm that stingy (I'm kind of a spendthrift, actually), but I was just kind of like, "I have already spent hundreds of dollars on this wedding, not...one...dollar...more!")

HeyThatsMyBike

@WaityKatie If you bought a bridesmaid dress AND a present, somebody better be feeding you free booze.

MALLROY

@WaityKatie Cash bar=death. I am a firm believer that you should only invite as many people as you can provide adequate booze for.

LRMG

@Daisy Razor I'm so embarrassed for people who do that. Don't you realize everyone is just going to reply "Eh it was a cash bar" after they get asked how the wedding was? So terrible.

realtalk

@MALLROY best rule ever!

Aunt Ada Doom

@MALLROY This is an American rule, I believe. When I (American) mentioned to my (English) husband that cash bars were looked down on, he nearly had a fit: "Do NOT give British people an open bar. We will go broke, and it won't be good." Having witnessed the mayhem of even a cash bar among his friends, this was sage advice. Trips to the cash point seem to act as brief interludes to prevent actual alcohol poisoning.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie I was gonna say - must be wonderful to have friends who are considerate enough to invite a bunch of people who are not only single BUT nice and attractive to their wedding. Weddings of my friends and family are all filled with their couple friends.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie Oh and. I was a single-older-sister bridesmaid at my brother's wedding last year. The other two bridesmaids were 4 and 6 years younger, both had 2 kids and their partners beamed on, looking after the little ones. One of them was pregnant again. I was so damn proud of myself - I only cried ONCE at the end of the day!

WaityKatie

@sevanetta I have a friend who went through being the (eight years older) single older sister at a wedding. Her little sister made some horrible joke/half-suggestion about how there used to be a tradition where an unmarried sister of the bride had to dance in a pig trough at the wedding (??). My friend was not amused! (the little sister is divorced now, also).

sevanetta

@WaityKatie oh man, I would have left! and the worst thing about those weddings is, you can go in feeling great about yourself, looking hot, you may even be totally enjoying being single in your life on every other day, but as soon as you enter Wedding Land that is the ONLY thing about you people see. You just become this character in a play, Single Older Sister Bridesmaid, and everyone tries to make you pair with the lone Single Drunken Friend who is completely unsuitable in every way except that he is available.

Cha dTuigim

@Aunt Ada Doom Also Canadian, as far as I'm concerned. One of our charming shared innovations or something. Cash bars are kind of ridiculous. When my best friend got married, I made sure he and his wife got their money's worth on the open bar.

WaityKatie

@sevanetta Yeah, and the only single guy the people in Couples' World ever know is always like the 40 year old virgin without Steve Carell's charm. "Hey, I know someone for you! It's this freak! You don't like him? Whyyyy are you so piccckkkyyyyy????"

sevanetta

@WaityKatie YES oh god 'whyyyyyy are you so pickkyyyyyyy' arghhhh. Last year I was set up on a date with a guy who turned out to have teeth problems from too many drugs. I have never even smoked a cigarette. beautiful.

WaityKatie

@sevanetta But he was single and you were single! You had so much in common (both being freaks/lepers and all).

sevanetta

@WaityKatie yeah, that wasn't my freakiest story by a long shot, either. I've copped that attitude in online dating in the past a lot, I like to call it the 'I'm Single, You're Single, Let's Go For It' approach.

Hellcat

@sevanetta Oh, I remember these days! Why do otherwise sensible people seem to do this to their single friends? I mean, thanks for thinking of me and all, but really? I've noticed this phenomenon sometimes happens to the gay folks too; someone has one gay friend and the minute another strolls into the picture, gears start turning in the brains of those well-meaning and otherwise sensible friends! I wonder if these are the same people who also like everything in life to be neatly matched into pairs or even numbers, like books on a shelf or the arrangement of candles. Oh, I have no idea what I'm rambling about again... and this coffee is terrible.

Bitterblue

@Hellcat ...You are brilliant and that is the most charitable thing I can think of to explain some people's Emma-instincts. "Oh, I just want you to pair off because odd numbers make me have panic attacks, and I picked Rob for you because you guys are nearly the same height and have the same hair color! It's a perfect match!"

Hellcat

@Bitterblue Ha! One of the men I know who was almost dragged into this compulsion is actually named named Rob. He would not have been a good match for the other gay man in question, and the would-be matchmaker should have known this. I guess she got excited at the idea of helping!

leastimportantperson

My mom hates anything spa-y or pampering-ish and would know something was up if I were like, let's go get mani/pedis/hairdos! LW2, pick your battle. I say the tote, because it's not physically a part of her. Be blunt. Be like, "That tote is broken and dirty. Don't take it to my wedding." She can deal with it. Past that, it's her business.

highfivesforall

@leastimportantperson This really bothered me, because I am a person who only recently started wearing any makeup at all, and I am still totally against the idea of lipstick (I can barely stand chapstick on my lips), so LW2 adding that in there like it was such a small thing to ask really threw me. I think taking her shopping for some wedding appropriate clothes and bag would be fine, but don't force her out of her style - there are plenty of nice looking clothes (esp. for older women) that are very baggy/flowy that she could still feel like herself in. But give it a rest on the hair and makeup. Not everyone likes to feel "pampered".

wallsdonotfall

@highfivesforall I got the impression that the letter-writer's mother used to wear more makeup, and that might be part of why LW2 is bothered. "If she could look nice then, why can't she look nice now?" or something like that.

LW2, moms are people too. You're not the same person you were twenty years ago, and she's not either--it's okay that she doesn't dress the same as she did when you were a child. If you really must insist on trying to change her appearance, offer to buy her an understated bag that will at least hold together in one piece.

fabel

@leastimportantperson yeahh, that letter bothered me too... If she was just concerned about her mother dressing in appropriate wedding attire, then fine, but everything else was a little control freak-y. And yeah, not everyone loves being "pampered" at a salon or a spa or whatever. I'm "girly" by all appearances, and I would vigorously turn-down any propositions for a "fun day of pampering!!!!!" because I find it tedious.

dj pomegranate

@highfivesforall Agree--in my experience, clothing is touchy, but make-up is touchier. People get that wedding = fancy dress (generally) and will go along with expectations, but many people just don't like lipstick/makeup/etc. If it comes down to it, prioritize! (My opinion of order of importance: tote, outfit, hair, makeup.) I'd say something like, "This is really important to me, festive occasion, nice venue, look the part, blah blah, let's get you a nice new big useful bag and a new outfit that can work in many occasions!" At my bro's wedding, my curmudgeonly grandma, who sounds awfully similar to LW2's mom, did concede to get a facial and new pants for the event, which was HUGE and much appreciated by all of us. It would have been nice if she'd also maybe not worn Teva's, but yeah, pick your battles and then stop worrying about it.

I do like the idea of making it a mother/daughter adventure! If you're having your hair done, maybe you could also get hers done in something very simple (chignon?) at the same time?

werewolfbarmitzvah

@leastimportantperson I read that whole letter envisioning Mac's mom on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And interpreting "spa day" as "spaghetti day."

HeyThatsMyBike

@werewolfbarmitzvah I was picturing Cheri Oteri as Collette Reardon on SNL.

TheCheesemanCometh

@leastimportantperson That letter bothered me too, but for different reasons. I think that if we took away the wedding layer, it's pretty concerning that her (relatively young) mother is wearing ill-fitting, possibly dirty clothes and doesn't seem to be interested in such basic grooming as brushing her hair or tending to herself. And, if this is different than how her mother was previously, I'd say it's a pretty significant indicator that something's wrong. After all, she does indicate that her mom at some point was coloring her hair, which implies a certain level of dedication to grooming, but now she's completely let herself go.

I almost think she needs to put this on the back burner until after the wedding, so that she can maybe express her concerns about this in a way that her mom can't dismiss as "only being worried about the wedding."

TheCheesemanCometh

@TheCheesemanCometh Or, I could be completely misreading the whole thing, and she just needs to let it all go.

jule_b_sorry

@leastimportantperson Argh I even hate the WORD "pampering". Like how some people can't stand the word "moist". I hear "pampered" and all I can think about is cheap plastic diapers, along with the combined smells of baby powder and poop. Do not want. I also hate the word "splurge" (it just sounds gross, to me), and so it's possible I was just an overly cranky ascetic nun in a past life which now makes me associate all excess with something disgusting.

MrsLlama

@TheCheesemanCometh I took it this way as well.

treeskier170

@leastimportantperson and now I'm laughing because I'm picturing her grunting a certain way when LW2 makes the suggestion. Anyway though, I think this concern is more about her mom looking scummy than anything else. If you want to look "natural" on your own, great. But I can completely understand her wanting her mom to look nice for an important event. Anybody criticizing her would be like someone saying ok to some dude who wants to wear a dirty tank top with his mullet to a wedding.

Mingus_Thurber

@TheCheesemanCometh YES! Thank you. I thought the same damn thing as I was reading the letter. LW, if this is a relatively new thing for your mom, let it go for now. Bring it up later, couched in terms of concern for her mood/how she's feeling/how she's coping--something like that, instead. It sounds like Mom might be at least a little depressed.

thebestjasmine

@TheCheesemanCometh Well, but if you're reading it right, the letter bothers me more, because instead of caring about her mom's mental state and health, all she cares about is whether her new husband's family is going to be sufficiently impressed.

TheCheesemanCometh

@thebestjasmine I can see that, but it seemed to me that this is an issue that she's been trying to tackle for a while, and the wedding thing is maybe bringing it to a head, and possibly giving her an excuse to try to push the issue with her mom.

Again, I could be totally misreading it, but knowing that the LW is likely a regular 'Pinner, I'd like to think that very few of us would be so completely hung up on impressing the in-laws to the point of hurting our moms. I have been accused of being a Pollyanna though, so who knows?

thebestjasmine

@TheCheesemanCometh But her focus is trying to get her mom to give in and wear a nice bra and some lipstick, and not if there are underlying issues. And there may BE underlying issues, but the way for her kid to help fix them isn't to email her over and over again about Helen Mirren.

hijabeng

@Mingus_Thurber DITTO, I was gonna say, her mom might need a checkup. With a doc who could also do a depression screening.

TheCheesemanCometh

@thebestjasmine And I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I think that maybe the response to the LW shouldn't only be, "You're a terrible daughter - love your Mama the way she is!!", but instead, "If this is how your mom is, then you need to just relax, and know that it'll all come out in the wash BUT if this is a significant change from how she used to be, maybe she should see a doctor/therapist?" I guess my initial reaction was surprise that what is described as a significant deterioration in physical appearance was overlooked, and the focus seemed to be more of a "you're getting awfully close to bridezilla territory there..." (which she might be!)

I should add that I love makeup but almost never wear it, often forget to moisturize for months, and went about a decade without owning a hairbrush, but I always spiff up for my family and friends' special events.

thebestjasmine

@TheCheesemanCometh The thing is, though, it isn't described as a significant deterioration in physical appearance. The only hint that we have that the mom hasn't always been like this is that she used to color her hair. The LW says that she's "given up" but doesn't say that she used to wear well fitted clothes and brush her hair or wear makeup. If it was described as a major change, I would agree with you, but that's not at all what I got from the letter.

Hellcat

@fabel Oh, agree, agree! I'm fairly girly too (though not an extremely makeupper) but even the idea of a professional manicure is awful to me (pedicure is not so bad because I can read during it, but I'll never accept the massage portion of any of it!). Hair, OK fine, because I need a pro and I love my hair guy, but even then I get all antsy and impatient. So, yeah; pampering = not for everyone! I can't even begin to understand a whole entire "spa day," or even just a massage.

Hellcat

@Hellcat (*extremely skilled makeupper)

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@TheCheesemanCometh Yep. I was totally thinking this too. As the child of a mentally imbalanced parent, I can relate to LW2. And I have to say, if you have been dealing with a family member in this state for a long time--especially one who denies they are ill and refuses to seek medical/psychological aid--you get to a point where you no longer expect, or even hope, that there is any help for them. It then becomes a game of hiding away your family "shame." Because this is a person who was responsible for raising you, so how can that not (and I am speaking from the child's perspective in the thick of it all, not a new unbiased person) look at least a little bad for you? And if it IS an issue of mental illness, what will your future husband's family think of this? What if suddenly your genetic contribution to their son's offspring is worrisome/now a topic for discussion at future dinners?

My other parent is a flawed human being, and embarrassing in many ways, but since I am no longer a teenage girl I'm pretty much apathetic towards that now. But mental illness is still SO taboo/stigmatized in so many cultures/homes/minds that it is very difficult to share this part of your life/gene pool even with your closest friends.

Geez, VMISTM, you already went to therapy today. Get a grip.

Vera Knoop

@thebestjasmine I got the sense that there was some denial going on there but that she knew it on some level, and that's why it was bothering her so much. But maybe I'm too optimistic?

Myrtle

@wallsdonotfall If she used to take care of her appearance and now she's unkempt with sloppy, dirty things, sounds like a trip to the doctor would be a good idea. That's an odd change for a person to make by their self.

Bitterblue

@TheCheesemanCometh I'm going to agree with you here, and advocate strongly that the LW try to get her mother to the doctor for a physical/mental exam, because major changes in behavior like this -- or, at least, what it sounds like anyway -- can be an indicator for neurological or mental health problems that can onset with age.
Even if it turns out her mother is just an old-fashioned slob, it's better to know for sure, than to think in 5-10 years, "Oh my god, my mother had ~disease~ and all I could do was pressure her to wear lipstick, I'm such a monster!" etc. At least, that's how I would react, in such a situation.
Maybe I'm just being sensitive, because my own mother (with whom I have my own issues, but who I still love) is going through some health issues of her own, and making me confront my own, less-than-awesome behavior towards her in the past.

Ophelia

LW3 - I had a wonderful relationship with my high school sweetheart, I have no issues with him, and STILL we only talk/see each other probably every 3-5 years, at someone else's wedding. And that is TOTALLY OK. If it works for you to NOT see this guy any more, and to not be friends, then that's what you should do. You don't necessarily need to make a big proclamation, just be busy, and ignore him.

ETA: Also, it seems like an extension of the creepy/controlling that he just HAS to be friends with you now. Or am I reading too much into that?

Lily Rowan

@Ophelia I don't think you are reading too much in -- I bet it's part of his self-image that he's so great, he's even friends with his exes. I have totally dated that guy. Now I respond to him on Facebook every so often, but not even as much as he reaches out to me, years and years after we broke up.

HereKitty

"You don't necessarily need to make a big proclamation, just be busy, and ignore him" -- @Ophelia

LW #3, THIS!!! No need for a big scene that may just turn into more emotional damage for you and ammo for the people who are supposed to be on your side. (That's some therapist!) Don't get in touch with him, ignore him when he gets in touch with you, and when your mom/mutual friends/terrible therapist ask(s) about him, just say, "Oh, we haven't been in touch lately." Good grief, your therapist ... ***SMDH***

WaityKatie

@Lily Rowan Yeah, I've dated that guy too. That guy is a pain in the ass. Also, soooo many times have I gotten the "I want to apologize for being such a juicebox to you" emails from exes, RIGHT before they get engaged to their One(s). It's like some purification ritual they need to undergo before they can be ready to treat the new girl As She Deserves To Be Treated (i.e, the opposite of the way they treated me). Awesome!

Lily Rowan

@WaityKatie Oh yeah. Fuck you, dude.

VolcanoMouse

@WaityKatie Getting his pathetic emails was more obnoxious than the actual dating of that guy. Ugh.

Atheist Watermelon

@WaityKatie yes. this. why do they do this. every damn one of them. fuckers.

miwome

@WaityKatie Arrrrgh. One of my best friends has, like, a mentor in her field, and he one time went WAY OVER THE LINE and started spilling all about his marital problems and how she reminds him of The One Who Got Away In Grad School and so on. And she has been very mature and wonderful about just Moving On, Please Just Finish Helping Me Get Into Grad School, and he KEEPS SENDING HER THESE STUPID PATHETIC EMAILS full of self-flagellating apologetic bullshit. I WANT TO STRANGLE HIM WITH A DIRTY DISHRAG.

WaityKatie

@miwome I recommend that she reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

hijabeng

@HereKitty Also, dump your therapist. Aren't therapists supposed to be nonjudgy professionals? Yeesh.

saul "the bear" berenson

@hijabeng Yes! Dump that therapist! That is not a real therapist, that is a bad friend.

sevanetta

@HereKitty YES. Just stop talking to him. you do not owe him or anyone else anything! I was JUST talking about this on another thread too - about the expectation that people have for others to be friends with their exes, like it makes you a better person. I don't know what started this stupid cultural expectation that you MUST be friends with someone, not even just someone who you broke up with for fairly amicable reasons, but someone who was really horrible to you... but it is fucking ridiculous and unreasonable. How marvellous for everyone else in your life (I want to smack your therapist and then send her back to uni, because she needs revision on controlling a-holes) that they think he's such a great guy. THAT'S HOW SOME A-HOLES OPERATE. They are SUCH A GREAT GUY to everyone and a nightmare in private.

Also a comeback for if someone notices your ignoring thing and chides you for not keeping up more of a friendship, you can say 'Look, I don't feel anything bad towards him, and I don't feel anything good towards him. I just feel nothing, I'm neutral.' Also, who cares if you are or aren't neutral. Just quietly, it doesn't mean you're not over it if you are still cranky about that experience. If you're not going out there and seeking your revenge, frankly, that guy should be pleased his karma hasn't dealt him more of a judgement.

I know I'm going on a bit but one more thing - you are married! Pretty good sign of being over it! This guy is SO far in your past! Why are other people so invested in the idea of you having a good relationship with him???

ok will stop ranting now. but LW, I am with you 100%.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Moxie @hijabeng
Yesyesyes! GROYTS(H/S)IR.

Cha dTuigim

@WaityKatie OMG yes, this, so much.

dracula's ghost

The mom one made me kind of sad! I see the LW's point, and I know that wedding-madness that creeps up on a person who is trying to make a fun party for 100 totally diverse guests...but all I can think about is the memory of my sweet, traditionally feminine Texas mom in her pretty dress and her makeup, so happy at my wedding where I was NOT AT ALL dressed traditionally/wearing makeup, even though I knew she secretly wanted me to be all dolled up. Instead of ragging on me she told me I was beautiful. Moms and daughters = different people, can have wildly different feelings/'tudes about their appearances. Can't we all just get along? Imagine the role reversal, and it's your MOM who is telling you you don't look pretty enough for your wedding. That wouldn't be cool, right?

Plus I wholeheartedly second the advice: EVERYONE'S FAMILY IS FULL OF WEIRDOS, even your dude's, you maybe just haven't noticed it yet. Only a complete asshole would even for a second "judge" someone because their mom's hair wasn't brushed. What?? At most people will be like "Hmm, it's so weird how the bride is so done-up and the mom looks like a weird old hippie, isn't it amazing that we are all different people, la la la the winds of change"

DONT SWEAT IT, weddings are hard enough without worrying about this kind of thing. Your mom sounds kind of badass, frankly.

rararuby

@dracula's ghost Right, and would you rather be the bride with the polished, stylish mom, or the bride who obviously loves and accepts her quirky, disheveled mom?

Katie Aaberg@facebook

@dracula's ghost SO TOTALLY AGREE!!!!

SarahP

@dracula's ghost The letter made me sad, but your comment is awesome.

H.E. Ladypants

@dracula's ghost This. A thousand times this.

laurel

@dracula's ghost Yes. And also, the bride may feel a little awkward introducing her mother to her in-laws for about two seconds but the memory of having dissed her mother and maybe hurt her feelings will last a lifetime.

miwome

@laurel On the serious. Yes.

Mila

@dracula's ghost My mom is someone who feels unattractive and awkward all the time, and also suffers from anxiety, and I have watched how nervous and unhappy she got in the lead up to my brother's wedding, where she had the preception that they were all stylish and fancy people (I mean, they are actually nobility, so I kind of see where her nervousness was coming from). Anyway, it might be a really hard time for the LW's mom, and maybe it will help the LW get over her own insecurities if she focuses on what her mom may be going through (I don't mean that in a judgy way. I can be tremendously insecure too, but when you can get outside of your own head and think about someone else and what they are going through, it can help calm your own demons).

Funny story: my dad is a big old sloppy hippie, and at my rehearsal dinner, he spilled something down his shirt and didn't notice (though if he had noticed, probably wouldn't cared). So this was how he looked (plus he was already pretty dressed down) when he met my husband's step-grandmother, who is very old money country club type. Apparently she totally trash talked my family to my m-i-l that night and said that "after meeting her family, I don't think I am going to wear my nice dress to the wedding" like we didn't deserve to be graced with her high class clothes. So she wore this really hideous dress to the wedding (to spite us, I guess?), and everyone kept asking me after the wedding "who was that weird lady with the, uh, colorful dress?" We all thought it was pretty hysterical.

rayuela

@dracula's ghost OK, so my favourite thing about this is that your brother IS MARRYING INTO NOBILITY. Girl, shouldn't you be making more of a thing of this? I mean, who are you, Fannie Price?

SarahP

@Mila My mom also got all nervous and flustered about what to wear leading up to my wedding, and it made me really sad that she thought people would judge her for her looks and not how awesome she is. That's why this letter makes me sad!

But also, your dad sounds awesome, and your husband's step-grandmother is like a walking example of the phrase "cut off your nose to spite your face."

steve

LW3, if they think you pathetic for not being able to get over this, feel free to gently point out how pathetic they are being in failing to listen to you/comprehend your problems, and for blindly romanticising the high-school sweetheart ideal.

candybeans

LW1: total downer advice here, but I went to a wedding alone where the only people I knew were the bride and some people I barely knew from law school, and they wouldn't even make eye contact with me, for some reason. I showed up to the reception, despite my instincts telling me not to bother, and after trying to say hello to the people I knew and being ignored, I dropped off the card, left, and cried on the bus ride home. i also happen to love doing stuff by myself (movies, dinner, bar, you name it). win some, lose some.
edit to add: i've got a serious case of the sads today, so, whatever, you sound much cooler and more socially capable than me, so do it!

Pizzahut

@candybeans I don't think that is downer advice. I've been to weddings single, with a date, with a boyfriend, with my sister as my date (THE BEST EVER!) with my gay male best friend as my date, etc. and my experiences have varied wildly, it depended more on the other people in attendance and the atmosphere. So just do what you want to do because you won't be able to predict what is going to happen.

WaityKatie

@candybeans This happened to me too, see my comment above! And I go freaking everywhere by myself, including to other countries. Weddings are crap for single people.

entangled

@Pizzahut yes, definitely agree. depends on the crowd. I'd say for a wedding where you barely know anyone it might not go so well, but if it's a wedding full of friends from a high school or college crowd then going alone is often more fun especially if lots of those people come solo.

Tragically Ludicrous

@arrr starr Yes, definitely. Although even if you don't know anyone, it depends on the crowd. I went to the wedding of one of my best friends from high school recently (I'm 26), but since high school we've moved to different countries. I didn't know the bride or any of his new friends, didn't bring a date, but my friend set up tables really well for dinner and the drinking/dancing afterwards was fun as hell. I met a lot of cool people that he hangs out now, and I drank way too many gin & tonics and sang along to Pulp and the Talking Heads. So it could be cool even if you don't know people!

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@WaityKatie @candybeans Guys! Seriously! Who are these assholes who don't know how to be human beings??? Like who actually consciously looks at a person and thinks "I know we aren't really friends so she is probably only talking to us because she doesn't know people here, but ew, gross, let's Hester Prynne this bitch."

Megoon

@candybeans I would neeeeever go to a wedding alone if I weren't going to have at least one friend there. Actually, any party. I don't think I've ever had fun at a party if I didn't know at least one person besides the host... having flashbacks to a quasi-fancy Christmas party last year where I spent an hour traveling from random group to random group, trying to find someone, anyone who would talk to me without craning over my shoulder to find their friends... argh. But yeah, since the LW in question is invited with a guest, why NOT bring a friend?

Bitterblue

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me "ew, gross, let's Hester Prynne this bitch." is the BEST THING I have read all day. I want to use proper names as shorthand for verbs for EVERYTHING now.
"If you don't piss off I am going to Julius Caesar you in the face."
"Whoa, that guy went totally Edmond Dantes on his ex."

MissWorst

@candybeans Yeah, I think this totally depends on the type of wedding/couple getting married. I go to lots of places alone - movies, stores, vacations, etc. I've been to two weddings sans date and many weddings with one. One wedding without a date was awesome because the dancing was fun, the couple was fun, the booze was flowing and the food was tasty. I even made friends! The other wedding... wah wah. It was in the morning, no booze, no music, no dancing, nothing to distract from me sitting with the bride's elderly relatives with nothing to talk about for hours on end. That one would have been more enjoyable with someone to talk to.

oeditrix

Get your dress on, get your drink on, and get your grind on: That is how to have fun at any wedding. I used to think that I was bored at weddings because I didn't have a date (I was single for 7 years, which is as long as you were in your relationship, and I went to a lot of weddings alone). Then I started dating my now-husband and realized that all weddings are just boring, even the interesting and cool ones, except when you're singing "All the Single Ladies" and slopping champagne all over the dance floor. That is what I did even at my own wedding, and it was no more nor less fun than when I actually was a single lady.

CAVEAT: If you even suspect that there's going to be a bouquet toss, ARRANGE TO LEAVE THE ROOM WELL IN ADVANCE. Pretend you're a smoker or just get some air. Hopefully your childhood friend is not a bouquet-throwing jerk, but even the best people get weird around their weddings and insist on that degrading shit. Be polite, just find out when it's happening and book it 'til it's over.

redheaded&crazy

@oeditrix oh man the bouquet toss is THE. FUCKING. WORST. Who does that shit? Probably lots of people, yah no way I'm involving myself in that. I don't care if I look like a curmudgeon. I'll be over there doing tequila shots with the bartender.

Ophelia

@oeditrix Alternatives to bouquet-tossing:
- My friends got engaged at the zoo, so when they got married, they had a co-ed (stuffed) monkey toss, instead of the bouquet/garter belt
- I dismembered my bouquet and used the flowers to decorate the cake

oeditrix

@redheaded&crazy I was one of five single women at my sister's wedding, a group that includes my five-year-old niece and two divorced aunts. When the music started, I looked around and there was a cloud of dust where the other single woman my age had been standing. My brother's wife had this tragic look on her face, like, "In this dimension, I have no power to help you. Go with God."

The bouquet was tossed and my little niece caught it. Then - I KID YOU NOT - everyone at the wedding began chanting "Give it to [Oeditrix]! Give it to [Oeditrix]!" There's a picture of me accepting the bouquet from my niece and another one of me mugging for the camera, holding it aloft with this faux-triumphant look on my face. I TOOK ONE FOR THE FUCKING TEAM at that wedding.

@serenityfound

@oeditrix My cousin and I got forced into the bouquet toss at her brother's wedding. We actually planned escape routes should it come our direction.

redheaded&crazy

@oeditrix UGH. WHAT. UGH. WHAT. UGHHHHHH WHAAAAAAT IS THAAAAT.

I laughed at your story, a laugh of disbelief and horror accompanied by a slight twinge of crazy eye. bitches pull that shit with me, I will cut them. (no i won't because they are family oh god oh god oh god)

noodge

@oeditrix wow. i haven't been to many weddings (3 or 4?) and I had NO IDEA the bouquet toss was so heinous to people. making notes...

Ophelia

@oeditrix Also, I caught the bouquet at a wedding when I was 11. Some lady (who I didn't know) burst into tears, so I gave it to her. I think that's the moment I became a miniature feminist.

redheaded&crazy

@teenie I'm sure lots of people like it. the only wedding i've been to in recent memory, my super feminist friend who was getting married participated in the tradition. most people seemed cool with it.

i don't like it because it's like, all of that ridiculous pressure to just settle down already, combined with pitting women against each other, blech, yeah, i'm opposed. not happening at my wedding and i probably wouldn't participate in it in the future

but i'm equally certain that there will be people at my wedding who will be like but whyyyyyyyyyy nooooot, so pick your poison i guess?

WaityKatie

@oeditrix You have such restraint. The photo of me would have been of me grinding the bouquet under my shoe, giving the "two thumbs-down" sign.

oeditrix

@Ophelia OH MY GOD that story makes we want to rededicate my life to feminism again for the first time, preferably with some kind of blood rite.

travelmugs

@Ophelia Am I the only one who loves the bouquet toss? I played softball in high school and catch the bouquet at about 3/4 of the weddings I attend. I don't care about the symbolism at all--I've been catching these things since I was 8--but if everyone is trying to catch something, I'm going to gracefully jump and catch it.

noReally

@redheaded&crazy Once I was at a cool, pretty small wedding. And someone said, "Time to toss the bouquet!" And the bride said she didn't think so, and all of us looked relieved, but as these things will happen sometimes, she got prodded and we got corralled together, and she threw the thing. And without a word, we all sucked back, like a red sea of girls in sundressses, and the thing fell on the ground and sat there. And the bride looked at us and cracked up, and we all walked away. And it was fucking awesome.

LRMG

@oeditrix I don't know why people think they need to do these wedding things, no one says you have to have one "wedding" cake or a first dance or toss a bouquet. I did none of these things, no one cared. Also, not gonna lie, my bouquet was awesome, I'm pretty sure I took it home? I did at some point hand a bouquet to a friend because she likes flowers. Like here - I love you take these flowers.

redheaded&crazy

@travelmugs ughhhh you're right, what is the graceful and courteous thing to do in this situation - if it's another person's wedding and they want to engage in that tradition, the best thing is to just go along with it. I GUESS. *huffy sigh* *emo poetry*

oeditrix

@redheaded&crazy Well, as we know, most women will basically claw through their best friend's intestines if there's a single doctor standing on the other side. Why not make an entertaining spectacle out of their hilarious desperation, which we are pretending exists and then reinforcing with this ritual?

Haha, as I said, single for 7 years, lotta weddings solo.

redheaded&crazy

@oeditrix in my defense I could tell that doctor was my soul mate.

travelmugs

@redheaded&crazy Exactly. It makes the bride happy, it's a fun game, and you get FLOWERS if you win.

I understand the terrible heteronormative, patriarchal symbolism and all, but my love of both flowers and competition wins every time.

oeditrix

@WaityKatie She had a very traditional wedding, and that moment of awe-inspiring theater was basically my wedding present to her. I would walk over hot coals for my sister. That said - never again.

hairspin

@noReally Yes, thank you, this.

WaityKatie

@redheaded&crazy And I didn't come to this wedding to make friends.

oeditrix

@travelmugs Fair enough. I can see how some people think it's fun, and I would never express my disapproval to the bride. I just hate that it's semi-compulsory - if you try to back out of it, people will quite often find you and physically drag you onto the floor. I have always hated being put on the spot, and at a wedding - it's like, dude, I bought a dress and a present and a plane ticket and I'm sleeping on the floor of a hotel room with four other people, who are married to each other and thus taking the beds. I don't want to spoil anyone's fun, but is it okay if I just watch the gender circus from the sidelines?

WaityKatie

@travelmugs But there's a risk that if you catch it, you might actually have to get married. I don't want to take that risk.

dormilona

@oeditrix As the dj was starting to announce the bouquet toss at the last wedding I attended, I started to gear up for my anti-bouquet toss rant (soliloquy?). But then the groom's sister told us that the bride had attached an Amazon gift card to it, and everyone (gents and ladies) got out to catch it! I like to think that the bride was bribing us all to go out and participate in the bouquet toss. Clever...

noodge

@dormilona oooohhh, that IS a good idea!!! (taking more notes)

alannaofdoom

@oeditrix I have a bouquet toss alternative! My best friend took apart her bouquet* and gave a flower to all of the single ladies she had invited. Not a big production or anything, she just walked around finding everyone and passing out blooms. It was lovely.

*She actually brought additional flowers rather than take the bouquet apart. She was a boy scout.

EpWs

@dormilona That is perhaps the only occasion on which I would go for that bouquet.
@teenie If you're soliciting "what to do with the bouquet" idea, the cutest thing I've heard is this one:

Figure out some way of determining which couple there has been together/married the longest. (Some people do this with dances, start out with all couples dancing, DJ eliminates people married less than a day, a year, 10 years, etc. You could also just hand out surveys. WHATEVER WORKS.) Bouquet goes to the couple with the longest track record. ADORABLE.

Hellcat

@oeditrix UGH, at my mom's wedding I stealthily (or so I thought) went to the bathroom right before the bouquet toss and... they noticed and waited for me. So, on top of making the walk from the bathroom with all eyes on me to the spot where all the single ladies were, I was about 30 and my date was a BF I'd been with long enough that the "So when are you...?" questions had already started anyway. And no matter how long I know these people (a.k.a. my family) they think they just know that all I ever wanted to do was be a married lady (probably because maybe once, when I was 11 or something, I said so?). Ugh, so bad. So I just stood off to the side and didn't even flinch when my mom threw the flowers. And I bet suspect that I was being a bitch or suspected that I was pissy because maybe my BF didn't want to marry me or some notion or some other weird hypothetical thing.

EpWs

@Hellcat Dear lord, that's terrible.

Hellcat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Judging by the run-on post I made, I clearly haven't gotten over this yet. But! My family doesn't tend to bother me about this sort of thing anymore (at least not to my face; I'm sure Mom and Grandma still have discussions). Either they respect my life or... think I'm a lost cause. Whatever keeps them quiet is fine with me!

Also, I have no problem with marriage (I'd marry my BF in a second if he felt like it) or even really with the bouquet toss--if you want to do it, you have a blast. And by no means would I "ruin" someone's reception by making a huge fuss. My confusion lies mainly in the idea that there is someone who actually believes that one woman could conceivably ruin anything at all by not caring to participate! And I do really hate that it makes people get all, "OOOH, IT COULD BE YOU SOOOOOOOOON..." They probably mean well, if they even mean anything at all beyond wedding smalltalk, but still ICK.

ample pie

@Hellcat: That reminds me of my grandmother, who apparently spent my wedding reception telling everyone in attendance how the "big day" was a fulfillment of all of the dreams had since I was a little girl.

About which: I had an amazing wedding, I'm thrilled to be married (specifically: to my husband, not married in general) and so on ... but I'd pretty much never dreamed about my wedding.

Hellcat

@ample pie I too have no recollection of putting a towel-veil on my head and pretending to be a bride. So, contrary to what TV might have you believe, not all of us do this as little girls!

Chesty LaRue

@noReally I was at a friend-of-a-friend's small-town wedding, and they of course forced me to go in for the bouquet toss, and I caught the thing one handed while taking a swig of my beer. I think she tossed it right to me just for the white trash factor.
Also, all the other small-town girls were mad at me for catching it and not really wanting it? I was totes like, "I like pretty flowers, also more beer, thanks."

Hellcat

@Chesty LaRue This is awesome! I do love me a "white trash factor." The other night, I said to the BF, "Can you bring me a beer? Oh, and my birth control pills too." I mean, not that this was bad, really, but it sounded funny. Too bad we were alone in my apartment.

lobsterhug

I feel for LW4 just wanting some alone time. My fiance and I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and due to our work schedules, I'm the first to leave in the morning and the last to get home. I rarely get time alone at home and sometimes it starts to get to me.

I sort of miss that single gal freedom to spend all day watching hulu or playing Zelda on the weekends and have it be ok. Not that I couldn't do that now if I wanted, but I wouldn't be alone to do and there's all this expectation that I should be adulting on the weekends by grocery shopping and running errands and ugh, sometimes I just want to stay in bed all day. Don't judge me!

dracula's ghost

@lobsterhug ZELDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE SISTERS

mackymoo

@lobsterhug Seconded, even down to the schedules. I took a "sick day" yesterday, had the whole day to myself, and it was so amazing. I feel really recharged, both personally and professionally. My boyfriend doesn't expect me to be an adult, but I don't feel like I can put on whatever steamy period movie I want because he's around, doing homework, and wanting to tell me about every idea he has.

I definitely have the same fears as LW4, and I agree with the answer. Find time to do your own thing, even if you miss him during that activity, it's nice to at least have that feeling for a while.

Ophelia

@dracula's ghost Slightly OT, but my husband, a ginormous Zelda fan, just tried Skyrim and LOVES it. I confess to not being a huge fan of either, but figured I'd put in the plug in case either of you are thinking of trying it.

lobsterhug

@dracula's ghost Yes!!! I'm playing Twilight Princess now because I got stuck on the second battle with the Imprisoned in Skyward Sword. Those stupid fingers!

@mackymoo I definitely need to work on doing my own thing. I let myself get into anti-social ruts that are not good for my head. I also need to get better at asking for time to do what I want. We do a lot of his things or things we both like so it get to seem like I don't have my own interests. Which is so not the case! I just added a bunch of British period dramas to Netflix. I'm so excited for Upstairs Downstairs.

dracula's ghost

@Ophelia Right now I'm embroiled in Twilight Princess for Gamecube. I only have Gamecube so I can only play Gamecube ones. Next up I think is Windwalker, which I've heard good things about, but come on, in Twilight Princess you CAN TURN INTO A WOLF AND SMELL GHOSTS.

H.E. Ladypants

@lobsterhug My boyfriend and I recently got a bigger one bedroom after living a teeny one bedroom forever. We spend a lot of time being on opposite sides of the house sort of relishing the feeling of both being home but being alone at the same time.

Co-habitation! Sometimes it is weird.

Ophelia

@dracula's ghost I think the problem came from the fact that the first time I tried Zelda it was on the original GameBoy? And so I would just wander around aimlessly picking up leaves? And I've never gotten over it. That said, the wolf thing sounds freakin' awesome.

lobsterhug

@dracula's ghost Windwaker is so much fun!

@Ophelia I tried playing the old Zelda and it is not the same! Ocarina of Time was a game changer, literally. You get to ride horses! Not to mention later games that let you turn into things, like wolves.

AndSomethingElse

@lobsterhug Here's my thing: I'm not sure that's all of it. LW4 does talk about alone time, but she also talks about having other relationships, and about just...being a single person.

Which I totally feel. After a breakup with a long-time relationship last year, I was kinda planning to date around for a while. Slut it up, y'know. Have loads of short relationships with people who were in no way relevant to my interests. Instead I tumbled immediately into a Very Serious Relationship with someone who I suspect is the love of my life. That's terrific! But, um, I kinda missed out on all that meaningless sex.

I have no answer. I'm hardly going to risk this incredible relationship I'm in for the sake of some experimentation, so...oh well. (I did bring up the idea of an open relationship with her. She was not at all into it.) I'll regret not whoring it up a bit, but not as much as I'd regret not being with this person. There are much, much worse fates. Like being eaten by bears! That's probably worse. Or like not being in love.

LW4, if you're sure about this dude, make the sacrifice to stay with him. Note: you do not sound sure. You say things like "I could see being with him for a very long time." So...not forever? I was not sure about the aforementioned long-time relationship; I had doubts and misgivings, although I was happy with her and she was nice and she loved me. I should have listened to the doubts, though. If you're not sure, do what you have to do to get sure. If that means risking a future with this pretty cool guy, my personal advice is to do it anyway.

lobsterhug

@Alexander True, I was not responding to that part of it so much. More of the co-habitation is weird that @H.E. Ladypants was talking about.

I want to keep cohabitating! Just in a bigger apartment and with two TVs maybe.

EpWs

@dracula's ghost GUYS, I got stuck in that damn dungeon where you turn into a wolf and then have to wander through the watery crypts or whatever the hell they are and I couldn't get past it so I ragequit and just spent a couple hours playing Super Mario Galaxy instead. I don't want to look up how to get past that dungeon either so I'm just...stuck. Galaxy is lovely and sparkly and shiny so I'm letting my brain do that for now.

This is all a long way of saying MY PEOPLE, I LOVE YOU.

lobsterhug

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ugh, that part is the worst! Learning to be a wolf and those weird bug things attacking you. If I remember, I think there are a couple levers you have to pull to change the water level in order to reveal tunnels.

I am constantly having to look up walkthroughs. IGN.com's are great.

SarcasticFringehead

@lobsterhug You don't need to hit the imprisoned's fingers! Just the toes, still! The fingers are just misleading.

dracula's ghost

@SarcasticFringehead I totally use walkthroughs. Not to brag, but that watery dungeon part was so long ago for me that I literally don't remember how I got out of it. NO BIGGIE, JUST REALLY UNASHAMED ABOUT LOOKING UP WALKTHROUGHS

SarcasticFringehead

@dracula's ghost Walkthroughs ALL THE TIME. Especially for Skyward Sword (especially now that I haven't played in weeks because stupid school and work and grownup things), because maybe it's just me, but I feel like parts of that game are super-explainy and parts of it are just completely counterintuitive, and I refuse to feel ashamed of needing help for that.

angelene

@Alexander Is meaningless-sex really so desirable? I was kind of annoyed by the advice for LW4 as it implies that sowing-wild-oats is a totally fulfilling and necessary stage, but it does take a strong risk with the relationship, and what if it's really not that great? LW4 can't guarantee her ex will wait around for her to figure out what she wants, so she has to be pretty sure of her unhappiness before she *takes a break*. Constantly fantasising about freedom suggests that there might actually be something lacking in the relationship, OR that you're commitment-phobic and think the grass is always greener, OR just that there's something you need to work on/communicate about. I don't think people should stay together if it's making them miserable, but I do think the LW should find out if there's really something wrong with her relationship.

AndSomethingElse

@nestingdoll I totally think you have great points there! I think some meaningless sex has three benefits:

1) It educates you about the wild variety of sex that's out there. That's valuable! You pick up tricks, you might find out you're into a few things you hadn't even thought about before, etc.

2) Same for the wide variety of relationships, for that matter. Let's say you've only had one serious relationship before, and that dude chewed with his mouth open. And now you think, "I have this one pet peeve: I hate when guys chew with their mouths open." And you find a guy who doesn't do that, and it turns out he does fifty other things that are really annoying. Well, if you've had a bunch of relationships that were mediocre in a bunch of different ways, you have a wider base of experience on which to define what you want out of a relationship.

3) And this is largely what I was after, and I think what you're getting at: I actually wanted a reminder that, as you say, the grass is actually kinda stunted and shitty over there on the other side. I wanted to get it out of my system! So that when I did settle down again, I would have no little nagging voice saying "Man, you should've had a wild & crazy single life!" Because the single life is, fairly often, a pain in the ass. But it's been a while since I've been reminded of that.

disco_clone

@lobsterhug I got married at 23, kind of had similar thoughts to LW4 beforehand but life is awesome now... BUT it led to me literally living the life of playing Zelda (and SM Galaxy) all day! Twilight Princess is awesome, my husband is playing Skyward Sword (see, separate lives!) which I'm not head over heels about. BTW, I ragequit Twilight Princess a few years ago when I KEPT WALKING INTO LAVA OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

marz1

@disco_clone Same sort of experience. I got married at 23, and I knew he was who I wanted to spend my life with (which you'd like.. hope, since we got married and all), but there were absolutely those "I'm this age and I'm supposed to be doing this that and this other thing, not getting married. Turns out, for us, being married is like spending your life with the person you love, who listens to your boring work stories, who meets you for drinks, who does the laundry more often then you (but then again, you cook most meals) and oh, who doesn't tell you not to follow a crazy dream, or get annoyed when you talk endlessly about maybe getting your masters, or poo poo your plan to hike the PCT by yourself (even if they express some concerns regarding that one).

The point being, LW4, if you're with the right person then you'll speak up for what you want (alone time) and it'll be fine. But if you honestly want to try being with other people, that comes to accepting that you are letting go of the person you are with, with no guarantee that you'll re-enact your parents' pattern. And that's fine too, but you should do it because it's honestly what you want and not what you think you should want/should be doing because you're 23.

Hellcat

@H.E. Ladypants These are all the things I remind myself of if I get impatient or bummed that the BF and I don't live together, or if he's got a particularly busy week(end) musician-wise (or if the idiots who live downstairs from me are making horrid smells and sounds as they are right now). I remind myself that we will share a place eventually, and that, as wonderful as he is, I will miss my time and space, and having things set up the way I like them, and all that stuff that goes with "creating" a living space for oneself, sans roommates...

EpWs

@Hellcat I'm right there with you, friend. Living by myself was something that was important for me to do, and I am doing my best to enjoy the hell out of it (which I do, most of the time!) because I know it's not going to last forever.

Hellcat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yeah, it's not that I think living with the BF is going to be somehow worse than this; it's just that I also like THIS and there won't really be a THIS anymore once that happens so why not revel in it for a while... especially when I have no choice at the moment for anything but THIS? Carpe diem and all that.

I have a friend* who asked me one night if the BF was at a rehearsal or a gig or something. When I said that he was at home sipping his bourbon and catching up on his comic books (oh my goodness, he's so cute!) and DVR, she was taken aback, mainly because this was "OK" with me! So many things wrong with that pattern of thinking... I can't even! I feel like everyone in the whole scenario, her included, should somehow feel insulted!

* Mainly FB; we knew each other in grammar- and high school, which explains why she didn't already know that this was so not a thing that would bother me.

EpWs

@Hellcat Truth. (Also, confidential to The 'Pin: I am spending my evening wearing NO pants and playing SM Galaxy. I love living alone.)

Hellcat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I ate the whole thing of mac & cheese while watching Hoarders and yelling "EW!" every two minutes. I do have pants on though--baggy drawstring Star Wars pants!

EpWs

@Hellcat DUDE I forgot that I have leftover mac & cheese in the fridge. Hello, second dinner.

Hellcat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher You want to know what I did that is simultaneously gross and awesome (or, something else rather, as the Hoarders while eating thing probably already classifies as such). I had these Blair's Death Rain potato chips that are simply way too hot to eat the way you would standard potato chips (like, the hotness is less a matter of taste/endurance than it is, like, a joke you'd play on some unsuspecting victim). Well, I crumbled a whole bunch up into tiny bits and I totally stirred that shit right into that Velveeta Shells & Cheese. And that was my delightfully trashy dinner!

tashie two shoes

@marz1 That's exactly how I feel about this one (especially the bit about going on and on about getting my masters - I swear I'll do it one day). My husband and I got together when we were both 21, got married at 23, and our fourth wedding anniversary is next week. In that time we've both changed a lot, but we've changed together and it's made us stronger. We're doing all the stuff with our lives we always planned on doing when we were single (travel in particular has been a big part of our lives), the only difference is the fact that now we're married. I have to admit that I have sometimes wondered what my life would be like if I hadn't married so young, but most of the time it's awesome.

Having said all that, we have worked out a few things that make us feel less like we're living in each other's pockets. We have our own hobbies and groups of friends, a couple of times a year he goes back to his home town to visit friends, and I've done a couple of overseas trips on my own. But even though I enjoy spending that time apart fom him, it's when we're together I feel like I'm home. I think the point I'm trying to make here is that it's pretty normal to want time alone, and it doesn't have to spell the end of a good relationship. But I do think that if you need breathing space (or it turns out to be something more terminal than that) you should spend some time apart, even just a week away somewhere, to help you figure out what you need.

Guybrush

@lobsterhug I love this thread, there should be a Zelda-discussion intertwined with all the relationship-talks on the Hairpin. Co-habitation has its pros and cons - I actually like that it kind of makes you clean up your act a little, like eating at the dinner table and holding in at least some of your farts. But at the same time I really miss those long solitary days of lounging around playing video games or the like. Not that I can't do it when the Mr. is home but... it's just not the same, dammit!

AndSomethingElse

@Guybrush It's NOT the same, is it? I remember explaining to my ex that I wanted some alone time to drink a glass of wine and read. And she was like "But that's what you do anyway!" But it's not the same.

lobsterhug

@Guybrush and @Alexander It's not at all the same! I've played Zelda when my fiance is around or tried going into the bedroom to read but I can't forget that he's there. Also, when I'm in the other room, he'll come in every hour or so to check in, so that kind of ruins it.

Hellcat

@lobsterhug It's so hard to do! When mine is at my place, I could go about my business and put him in front of the DVR with some movie I don't care about and clean the bathroom or whatever, but I end up wanting to hang out with him, even if we're just lounging on the couch! My chores suffer!

lobsterhug

@Hellcat Yes, this too! It's like I'm damned either way. Plus, I hate the housewifey feeling I get when he's just sitting there watching sports and I'm cleaning.

Hellcat

@lobsterhug In theory, I don't like the "housewifey" thing, but in reality I'm just A Clean Person and I kind of like he's there even if I'm doing other things and he's cackling at whatever thing is on TV. The bad part, though, is that I can't blast my "Housework Hair Bands" playlist! Bah.

lobsterhug

@Hellcat I have an excellent Housework 80's mix that I play when I clean the bedroom. I've tried listening to my iPod while cleaning, but I usually don't have a good place to put it and the earbuds hurt after a while.

Passion Fruit

@Alexander Heeeyyyy, Alexander. First I'd like to preface this by saying that I feel a little weird being new to commenting on the Hairpin (long time, pervy lurker, though! FWIW) and having all my comments be questions along the lines of, "Hmm, interesting! Tell me more!"

But, seriously, Alexander. Tell me more. How is this new relationship different from your old relationship? What makes this relationship work? What does feeling sure feel like? I can't even imagine that. I can't even imagine calling someone the love of my life in my head, let alone out loud.

AndSomethingElse

@Passion Fruit Hi Passion Fruit! Man...okay, I will try.

First: I could be wrong. I could just be in the rebound to end all rebounds. People get surprised all the time.

I know it sounds like I'm saying I'm not sure I'm sure, but here's the thing: I'm sure I want to be sure. (Do I sound like the Donald Rumsfeld of love right now? Sorry.) I'm certain that I want what it to be real; that if I can maintain exactly what I'm feeling now, it will be perfect.

I remember the early days of my last relationship. We barely got out of bed for six months; we stayed up all night talking and screwing; it was great! But I remember specifically that I wasn't sure. I suspected this was a nice, medium-sized relationship. As we continued to...not break up, I continued to have a pleasant time with her, but I would sometimes wonder if it was good enough. I never had this thought: "I definitely want to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but loving this person." And I do feel that, literally every second of every day, with this new woman. (It's very distracting at work.)

Sadly, I'm not sure whether my last partner was sure about me. She said she was? But she's sortof a concrete person. I think for her it meant maybe "I know you'll support me when I need it," which is great, but I wanted something...squishier? More about writing sonnets? An all-consuming inferno of passion?

My new partner is equally sure about me. (I know that because we have conversations that would make you puke your brain out.) And that's one of the things that's different: not only do I know we're both 100% gone for each other, but I know that means the same thing to both of us. And..."gaze into each other's eyes" sounds so gross. We can just look at each other for ages. It's weird. Neither of us are used to it.

She's very kind, and sneaky-funny, and extremely cool, and a responsible adult, and we're wildly sexually compatible, and she's achingly beautiful...so she is perfect in every way, which totally helps, but I think one of the biggest things that's happening here is that we both really, really want to be in love with each other. Not in love! In love with each other specifically. We both feel that the other is just the right person to be in love with. There was a mutual defense-surrendering startlingly early, sortof a joint agreement to be not at all cool about this.

And we are so, so uncool, Passion Fruit.

Sorry about the length. I actually went through and deleted like half the dreamy bullshit I originally spewed out. When you're sure you're sure, I guess. I was surprised by it. I didn't know it was even a real thing, or I thought if it was, it was only for a lucky few and I probably wasn't one of them. You know that advice you hear sometimes, "Love is hard; you have to work at it every day"? This does not feel like work.

Hellcat

@lobsterhug They hurt my ears too! Earbuds are weird!

slutberry

@Alexander Oh man, I understand LW 4. I'm on a shorter time frame (we've been together a year and a half) but I had this sudden freak-out where I realized I'm 21 and want ADVENTURES DAMMIT (Gentleman is 5 years older, so he's HAD adventures!) So I am going on a cross-country Greyhound trip and spending the summer in California at a gated old peoples' community with my gramma, yay. And ever since I made the decision to do that, I have been much less freaking out (though still slightly freaking out because I Suck At Being In Relationships)

AndSomethingElse

@teffodee woohoo, geriatric sex! That's why you're doing this, right? To mack on your grandma's octogenarian buddies? ...No?

Actually curious about this, partly because I suspect you don't suck as badly as you think you suck: how do you suck at being in relationships?

(And who is awesome at it? You know who used to brag ALL THE TIME about how awesome he was at being married? Will Smith.)

slutberry

@Alexander Awww, you nailed it! (no pun intended [pun slightly intended {pun intended}])Naw, it's mostly because my gramma has lived on the other side of the country for my whole life, and I want to spend time with her before she starts forgetting who I am (Alzheimer's). Hoping to find a job there.

Annnd as far as sucking at relationships... I think mostly I'm insecure because I have never been in a long-term relationship that wasn't long-distance before, so it feels like it takes up So Much Time. Also Gentleman is much more talk-y and sappy than I am, so I often feel kind of cold and standoffish (I should probably note that this is not a thing Gentleman has complained of, but I overanalyze all the things). I like to have lots and lots and lots of time by myself and get vaguely irritated with everyone when I don't get it, and since I see Gentleman more than anyone, he gets the most irritating. Also I wanna have adventurrrrrrres and sometimes having a stable relationship feels like TOO MUCH STABILITY. (but then when I'm single I get all sad because there is so little stability).

Passion Fruit

@Alexander Huh.... Interesting, interesting. Your last relationship seems good to me, and your current ones seems even better. How did you know to end your previous relationship? Staying up all night, talking and doing it frequently, having someone to rely on/be relied upon all sounds hard to leave. BUT, it also sounds like you were sure about this breakup too, like even if you didn't have this current magical relationship, you'd be secure in ending that first relationship.

In regards to your current relationship, I guess I can't imagine loving someone like that as an adult. I remember having those type of feelings for various and sundry j-boxes as a teenager, but not so much now. I'm not sure why not.

My relationship now is loving, calm, comforting, sextacular, and we definitely enjoy a good long bout of eyeball gazing. But wanting to "spend the rest of my life doing nothing but loving this person?" I don't know about that. I've got healthy groceries to not actually buy, taxes to put off 'til tomorrow! I just don't have time in my busy schedule for that type of commitment. But it does sound nice, and I am happy for you, dear internet stranger.

AndSomethingElse

@teffodee Oh you're right, now that you've explained it: you do totally suck.

That's not the truth! That doesn't sound all that sucky!

Can I tell you something? When he says horribly sappy shit to you, it's not because he wants sappy shit back; it's because he wants to impress you. If you can muster up a "That was a really sweet thing to say," he'll be happy.

"Also I wanna have adventurrrrrrres and sometimes having a stable relationship feels like TOO MUCH STABILITY. (but then when I'm single I get all sad because there is so little stability)."

This. Right? Life is such a pain in the ass! You know what I want? I want a relationship for like three months and then singleness for a month and then back to the relationship. (Okay, I don't want that right now because new relationship, hopeless love, etc., but it's what I used to want and may want again once I'm cohabitating with this woman. Loving someone and wanting a little singleness are not incompatible.)

AndSomethingElse

@Passion Fruit well, you may have missed a key part of the description of my last relationship: "We barely got out of bed for six months." Then there were years of relationship time where we absolutely could and generally did get out of bed. And I totally didn't know to end it. We stayed in it way past its expiration date and when we finally did break up it was sad and I hurt her feelings and generally just cocked the whole thing up.

"I guess I can't imagine loving someone like that as an adult." Me neither! I was surprised! And you bring up a good point, I think: that this sort of wild-eyed love is not the only kind of Pure Awesome love. It's a particular kind that appeals to people who enjoy being wild-eyed? When I re-read that post, it sounds...well, it sounds a little smug. Like, "Check out my awesome love which is way better than yours or anyone else's!" But it is not. It's better than Will Smith's! But perhaps not better than yours, in which you get to have sex AND unhealthy groceries. Yours sounds nice too, and I am happy for you, dear internet stranger.

Passion Fruit

@Alexander Firstly, some LOLs for your Will Smith reference. Lol! Lol! Loved it.

And, ahhh, yes, ok. For some reason I thought the previous relationship was for a year or so, not multiple years. I imagine if there were many fine-but-not-spectacular years following those six magical months, I too would want to leave.

And also, I didn't think you sounded smug. You sounded honest. And happy! And grateful! All good things. Because I'm doing the long distance nonsense right now, I have too much time on my hands to contemplate my relationship. I'm like, is this passionate enough? Is this My One True Love? (Or as I like to say, My One Twue Wuv?) Is there such a thing as a one true love, or a few true loves? Is this even love? What's going on here? Who am I, really? And so on and so on, until I see Mr. Boyfriend and swoon and demand snuggles and some banging and ice cream.

So I guess what I'm saying is I have no idea what is actually happening in my own heart/vagina/mind. I wish I had that certainty you describe, but maybe mine will come with time, or with another person, or never because I'm not built that way. Who knows, who knows. Anyways, it was nice to read about your experience, thanks for expanding upon it.

rararuby

LW3 - please get a new therapist

Megasus

@rararuby Seriously, if even the therapist can't recognize the sociopath (because that is clearly what he is), she is not a good therapist.

rararuby

@Megan Patterson@facebook just by invalidating her client's authentic reaction to the person she is Not A Good Therapist. I can't even!

miwome

@rararuby My jaw pretty much hit the floor when I read that. I am so lucky to have found an awesome therapist on the first try.

SarcasticFringehead

@Megan Patterson@facebook And it doesn't even really matter if he is or not - if he makes her uncomfortable, the therapist needs to support that. IF the therapist thinks that's unreasonable (which is clearly not the case here, I'm getting shivers just thinking about this guy), then they can work in a GENERAL way to deal with the client's issues. It is not helpful in therapy to tell your patients, no, you actually don't know how you feel, sorry.

RK Fire

@rararuby: yes yes yes I was going to say this if you weren't.

MissT123

@rararuby et al. Oh my god yes. All of this.

Judith Slutler

LW2: Leave your fabulously unkempt mother ALONE, geez. Like, it could be constructive to do the whole mother-daughter shopping adventure thing. But then again I think of what your mom must think of your attempts to get her into a Helen Mirren haircut and a tasteful pantsuit or w/e, and the simple fact is that you've been harping on this point for a while now. So she is likely feeling disrespected and annoyed by the whole thing. Perhaps you remember a time when, say, you were wearing micromini skirts in high school and your mom kept showing you pictures of tasteful trousers or ankle length hippie dresses? Maybe you remember how this made you even more determined to run around in miniskirts all day everyday? This is exactly what you're doing to her.

What is the worst that could happen if she shows up with wild gray hair and an overstuffed tote bag? What if you decided to just smile, enjoy your wedding rehearsal dinner, and accept that this is the way your mother looks and you love her anyway?

Just wondering.

dracula's ghost

@Emmanuelle Cunt The last wedding I went to involved the bride's drunk sister getting SO WASTED, and everyone on the bride's side of the family trying to manage/contain the totally sloppy awful drunk sister who was making such a scene. Oh wait a second this describes every wedding ever in history. Somebody always cries; somebody always screams at their boyfriend; somebody always gets too drunk; somebody's shitty kid sticks his hand in the cake before you've gotten to cut it; etc. etc. etc.

Nobody's like "I can't believe the bride has such a drunk for a sister. She is truly a terrible bride and I am appalled."

@serenityfound

@Emmanuelle Cunt On the one hand, I agree. If her mom just owns her self-presentation and doesn't give a shit, then daughter needs to back the fuck off and deal. On the other, if her mom has "let herself go" (God, I hate that phrase) because of confidence/self-image issues, showing up frumpy or unkempt and getting "shown up" by the new in-laws might hamper her own enjoyment of the day. Either way, I agree with A Married Lady that the mother-daughter wedding prep program should be offered and the whole issue be dropped if it doesn't take.

Judith Slutler

@dracula's ghost Right? How does it happen that a person gets to the age where they want to get married, and yet is so concerned about how Mom might embarrass them.

I'd love to know if the inlaws have shown themselves to be super judgy, or if this is a class consciousness thing, or what.

oh! valencia

@Emmanuelle Cunt yes, yes, yes! LW2, if my daughter treated me like this I would feel really hurt.

Donovanesque

@dracula's ghost Well said. On a side note, I was both the too-drunk sister at my brother's wedding (well, so was my sister) and the too-drunk person at my own wedding, actually, and everyone continued to love me afterwards.

Chesty LaRue

@dracula's ghost My dad's side of the family is the crazy side from way back, and when my cousin got married, the ceremony ended at maybe 5 or 5.30, the dinner was supposed to start at 7, and didn't start till probably 9 (crazy-side-of-the-family-circumstances) Sooooooooo, my entire side of the family proceeded to get too drunk because it was 9pm and all we'd had was alcohol, and the groom's family just stayed quietly on their side of the hall, mildly horrified.
I'm pretty sure they still like the bride, we all don't care what they think of us.

Mary McKenna@facebook

I'm thinking about LW2's predicament, and I wonder if she's ever tried to understand why her mom presents herself the way that she does. It seems clear from the description that it is not a matter of her not having the resources or opportunity to look polished, so maybe she has good reasons for preferring a disheveled appearance.

Clare

@Mary McKenna@facebook That was a gentle, polite, and tasteful way to put it and I totally agree with you.

Maria

@Mary McKenna@facebook That was my first thought too. It sounds like it's a big change, and made me wonder if mom is suffering from depression.

TheCheesemanCometh

@Maria Me too. I posted something upthread about this, because I sort of get the feeling that this "unkempt" appearance is a relatively new thing, and that it worries her daughter independantly of the wedding/meeting the future in-laws.

Megasus

@Mary McKenna@facebook It's also possible if it's a really new (and uncharacteristic) thing that something's wrong with her as well.

frigwiggin

Ah! I feel the same thing as LW#4 sometimes. I'm also 23, over 4 years in a relationship with the same guy--I had maybe one boyfriend before him, I'm his first relationship. Sometimes I feel sad that I'm not freeeee, freeeeeee as a biiiiird! But knowing me, if something were to happen and I were on my own at this point...I would probably do all the same things I do now, sitting around at home reading and occasionally hanging out with friends. The dating scene has never been my thing, I don't drink or do any fun drugs, I'm kind of a bore, so I'd probably just be a bore on my own instead of a bore in a relationship. Plus, you know, I love him and stuff, you know, whatever. But who knows what will happen in the future!

I probably should take a trip on my own, though, because the idea terrifies me and I would probably learn a lot about myself. Or crash and burn and be very lonely in Iceland. One of the two.

nonvolleyball

@figwiggin I made out with the cute guy from my improv troupe when I was 18...I didn't intend for it to go anywhere, but we kept hanging out, & it kept being fun, & hey look, now it's 10 years later. before we got married (~4 years ago) my mom asked me if I regretted not sowing my wild oats more, & I was just like, "...no? because I'm happy?"

everyone's different, & one should certainly listen to inner voices saying "run away! you're trapped!" or whatever. but some people are more naturally monogamous &/or manage to find someone who makes them feel that way, & it's silly to turn your back on that just because it's not for everyone.

(& for what it's worth, I did a 3-month study abroad to Barcelona back in college, including a weekend solo trip to Amsterdam, & while it was very fun & life-instructive, I also missed having a partner around to share those things with.)

steve

@figwiggin
Surely one who reads the Hairpin cannot be considered a bore?

olivebee

@nonvolleyball @figwiggin (and LW #4)
I am 24 and got married at 23 to the guy I started dating when I was 18. My parents, who didn't get married till they were in their 40s (they dated around a lot, and then ended up divorced anyway) think it was a terrible decision because I was "too young to not see what else is out there."

I, like you nonvolleyball, am all "no thanks, I'm perfectly happy and in love, so who cares what else is out there?" And like you, figwiggin, I am not really into the dating, partying, drugs, etc. scene...I like my monogamous, "vanilla" lifestyle, and it makes me happy. Plus you guys are right, when I have opportunities to do adventurous things and travel and stuff, I like having my husband there to do it with me. It's a shared experience, you know?

My advice to LW#4, though, is that you have that underlying urge to go out and be 23, and the worry about having that urge is only going to nag you more as time goes on. So in your case, it might be worth thinking about taking a (completely amicable) break and, knowing you love your boyfriend, going out and trying the things you want to try, and see if what "feels right" afterward is still being with your boyfriend. Obviously you run the risk that one or both of you may date other people during a break, but I'm of the mindset that if it's meant to be, it will be.

sophia_h

@olivebee Your timeline is identical to mine, I'm 30 now...and those urges really cropped up badly for me a few years into my marriage, around age 25 or 26. (Not to be the voice of doom, everyone is different!) I kissed someone else at a party (on several occasions), I struggled in law school because it felt like everyone was single and partying and I wasn't, etc etc. I got through that time and now my marriage is very solid, but I would definitely suggest to anyone who is in that kind of relationship but not married yet to do whatever they can to work that stuff out early, so it doesn't suddenly blow up later on. There's a lot more flexibility than one might imagine in a relationship where both partners are committed to making it work long term and they trust each other.

olivebee

@sophia_h Yeah, I totally agree. My husband and I took a (month-and-a-half long) break when we were dating, around age 20, and both of us went out more and had hook-ups with other people. Obviously, it didn't take long for us to realize that it just wasn't for us, but I am glad we did take that break in the first place, because it got that curiosity to see what else is out there out of our systems.

sophia_h

@olivebee *nod* My husband has had no problems with monogamy, so I wasn't ever able to suggest anything like that without feeling like I'd just be cheating on him. Which I eventually kinda did, in an extremely minor brief drunk kiss way. But we're good now! It's just unfortunate that humans have urges and feelings that have to be accommodated.

AndSomethingElse

@sophia_h stupid urges and feelings!

stuffisthings

@figwiggin I'm really happy to read this thread, because my girlfriend is a few years younger than me and hasn't sown her wild oats (I have) and we're Getting Serious. I'm worried that in five years she'll snap to and be like "OH NO what I have done!" So it's nice to hear it does really work out for some people.

AndSomethingElse

@stuffisthings Yeah, but some people have said they DID kinda regret the oats, too. You're not picking out the stories that back up what you want and ignoring the others, right?

stuffisthings

@Alexander Obviously. I just meant it's nice to hear (for once) a couple of generally positive takes, rather than "ugh bad idea" which is generally what most people say, and what makes me so nervous.

sophia_h

@Alexander I feel like I'm kind of arguing for both sides -- it CAN work out, and has for me in the long run, but I've personally also hit a few bumps along the way that I'm not sure could have been avoided other than by us taking some kind of extended break early on the relationship. I guess my advice to LW4 and stuffisthings and anyone else is just to not downplay natural feelings, but also weigh that against the long-term good of a happy relationship, and see what accommodations and trade-offs can be made.

nonvolleyball

@Alexander it's not that I didn't sow ANY oats; I basically dropped an oat or two & then was like, "enh, I think this is overrated" right around the time that now-husband came into the picture. but everyone's different, & my wild-oat-sowing also included a hookup with a lame guy who I'd nevertheless probably Always Wonder About if that hadn't happened.

I think this issue actually gets at a larger Problem of Long-Term Relationships, which is that you can never absolutely be sure that you'll change in a compatible way with your partner as you get older, or that your needs/wants/priorities/interests won't develop in a way that's incompatible with being in a long-term relationship at all. there's no magic titration of pre-commitment boning & solo travel that'll create a 100%-breakup-proof relationship.

I think the key is to tune out the societal chatter (both "hayyyy, come with me to hook up with sexy foreigners on our 3-month trip around the world!" & "but what if you break up & then never find someone this good again & DIE ALONE") & ask yourself what actually works best for YOU. your mind may change down the line, but at least you can say, "I honestly thought that I [was ready to settle down]/[needed to be on my own for a while] back then, & if I hadn't followed that instinct then I wouldn't be who I am today."

AndSomethingElse

@stuffisthings fair enough! Good point.

@sophia_h I'm arguing both too. I mentioned somewhere above that I totally screwed up and fell in love with this one lady when I was planning to not at all fall in love, and that sucks a little! But not nearly as much as not being with this lady would have sucked. One makes one's choices; this one was easy.

@nonvolleyball, that's a great point! I think you're totally right, now that you mention it: it's not about missing out on this or that tepid / awkward / hot-but-chlamydia-inducing experience. It's about many (all?) (all sane?) people have periods during their long-term relationships where they get bored, or curious, or whatever. And for some people it turns out that's permanent because they're outgrown each other. And you can't plan for that, so you might as well fall in whatever love presents itself, huh?

stuffisthings

@nonvolleyball Very good point. It's kind of funny, because my girlfriend is not worried about this AT ALL, so I guess I should just go with that until she tells me different.

Hellcat

@stuffisthings If it helps, I know two couples who met in high school and have been happily together ever since (we're early 40s), and a whole smattering of "met in college" examples (I just called my friends "examples"), who are just as happy. Now, if someone in that bunch (almost all close friends of mine, and not just acquaintances, if that makes a difference) got a divorce, I suppose I wouldn't fall over with shock--it happens. But I'd be pretty surprised.

@Alexander I feel like the point here is less "I want to have the meaningless sex" than it is "I want to see if I want to have the meaningless sex," which you really can't do if you're in a committed relationship without already established caveats of the meaningless-sex ilk. When I was single, the whole "slut around" thing sounded like a lovely idea in theory, but it ended up that it wasn't my thing. But I found that out only because I was "allowed" (for lack of a better term) to try it out.

Xanthophyllippa

@figwiggin I'll travel with you! Where do you want to go?

WaityKatie

@Hellcat Well, ok, but there's way more to being single than "slutting around." You learn all kinds of things about yourself by having to do everything for yourself, for a real length of time, not the length of time it takes to set up 3 dates with teh "next one." But I guess that is something that perma-couples will never knooooowww. (now I get to use my imitation smug-couples-pity-face).

frigwiggin

@Xanthophyllippa So many places! Australia? Norway? Brazil!

AndSomethingElse

@WaityKatie I've been thinking about this a lot lately because this gf of mine is actually one of my major high school gfs (after a 20-year hiatus...yay Facebook?). I think you imprint on these early loves, right? Maybe not always in a totally specific way - maybe they just influence the type of person you're attracted to, or whatever. But specific, often, too.

I'm convinced that this lady is the most beautiful woman ever, even though I know, intellectually, that she's probably really only like top ten. (I hear Helen of Troy was quite a piece of ass.) She thinks we imprinted on each other like baby birds. except with sex.

I'm glad I had a ton of time to find myself and be with some other people (and I DID have a fair amount of meaningless sex...just not recently). I was pretty lame in high school (I know, crazy! Everyone else was GREAT in high school!) and if I'd just stayed with this woman I would have screwed it up. But I don't think there's nothing to be said for just marrying your first love. Especially if you're way less lame than me. These people are important.

Hellcat

@WaityKatie Well, yes--there's definitely more to being single than the free-agent stuff, and what you said was significant part for me too (and I think, to this day, I'm still in the "just do it myself" attitude--so much faster most of the time). Just in keeping with the discussion, I focused on the sex-exploration part. I think it's perfectly valid to wonder if you're going to wake up one day and regret not doing single-person things, so taking the chance while you have it is a good idea if you're concerned about missing out.

Xanthophyllippa

@figwiggin You pick!

Porn Peddler

1. GO ALONE YOU RULE!
2. Leave your mother alone, omfg. You can ask her to get pretty with you for the wedding but you sound just like my vain-as-hell sister with all this sending her pictures, asking to help her pick stuff out, etc. omg stop right now, I feel bad but your letter makes me SO ANGRY
3. holy shit yes you can stop talking to him and you should give anyone who pressures you to remain in contact with this guy A Major Talking To.
4. Hi, are you me? Well actually no there are some telling details indicating that you're not, but still, I have been DESTROYED this week by my desire to fuck the guy who sells hippie food at the farmer's market (I stave off the daydreams by telling myself that he might like Ron Paul, or have a weird dick or something)

redheaded&crazy

@Third Wave Housewife A Stern Major Talking To no less!

Seriously, I would write a script and just read it word for word. Hey mom, I know you love me and I love you. I know you want the best for me. This guy is not a healthy person for me to interact with and I will not hear any more comments from you otherwise. If you bring him up at all, particularly in the context of wanting me to be friends with him, I will excuse myself from your company/the room.

Or whatever.

smidge

@redheaded&crazy And, LW3, your now partner is probably totally cool and not jealous and fine, but I'm sure would also be happy for you not to be in touch with the ex-juicebox who just makes you feel bad all the time.

fabel

@Third Wave Housewife "or have a weird dick or something" Yes, this is exactly how I ruin daydreams for myself-- replacing the gorgeous fantasy cock with one of the stranger-looking ones I've seen in my life

Porn Peddler

@fabel It just occurred to me last night when I was talking to a friend about a date she'd gone on. I think I said something along the lines of, "And if you don't get to see him again, whatever, maybe he had a weird dick. That would suck" AND THEN IT HIT ME....

You'll be sorry Jo March

@Third Wave Housewife OMG liking Ron Paul = major boner-killer.

Porn Peddler

@You'll be sorry Jo March There were a pack of Ron Paul campaigners at the farmer's market on Saturday and I was so tempted to push them into traffic/scream "GO FUCK YOURSELF, SIR" when they said, "Hey, how ya doin" as we walked by. UGH UGH UGH. and then if he had a weird dick too? omg nightmares, nightmares forever

AndSomethingElse

@Third Wave Housewife Not that this is really relevant, but Ron Paul has a beautiful dick.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Third Wave Housewife Woooo #4. Woooo fantasizing about other cocks. (Dear A Married Lady, what do you do when you can't stop having awesome dreams about sexing a guy you lusted after in high school and pretty much haven't seen in 8 years?)

redheaded&crazy

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me i'm not married, nor do i know the answer to your question but ...

tell me more

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@redheaded&crazy I'm not married either, but probably seven-year-itch-ing? Like seriously, this guy was, personality wise, a loser. But we flirted from, uh... 7th through 12th grades? And only kissed right before college? And nothing more? And he is LITERALLY HAUNTING MY (wet? ew gross) DREAMS.

AndSomethingElse

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me - Can you FB him, trade a couple of "Oh, nice to get back in touch!!" messages and realize that he's a divorced, bitter, unemployed alcoholic? That would help, huh? (Unless he's totally awesome now, in which case you are SCREWED.)

FB has made me notice a weird thing where I think my high school friends are all weird-looking now...unless I went out with them, in which case I invariably think they're really pretty.

Porn Peddler

@Alexander ugh, you guys, the guy I was fucking futs about through most of high school and college (college also entailed grope-y makeouts) and still see when I go back to my hometown tried to pick a fight with me on facebook recently. about nothing.

because apparently he's single and wants to fuck/fight. OH FACEBOOK.
edit: I should really have included the information that he was a philosophy major and that was kind of our thing, fighting about ethics and then taking our clothes off.

Porn Peddler

@Third Wave Housewife WOW nucking futs* is what I meant up there...geez, morning...

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Alexander He has NO online presence which makes it so much worse! He's on FB but neeeever posts anything or comments on anyone else's stuff. Other people post pics and tag him and they are always either fun party shots or action sports shots (which, wow, does not help to curb the fantasies).

I look at these pics and think "wow, he kind of has a super awkward face" and then STILL compare myself to every girl he is in a picture with! Ugh I think this is basically all just like, leftover sexual tension from middle/high school? Is that a thing that can still exist a decade later? It is also significant that I barely ever thought of him for the past bunch of years, and then a couple months ago he's like "oh hai, i'm in ur dreams makin u horny."

smidge

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me Oh man, high school stuff never goes away. My ten year reunion was last summer and I avoided it because frankly, I still did not want to face some of those people--even though I totally have my shit together I promise aaaaugh

AndSomethingElse

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me - I'm with smidge. It never goes away. These early sexual things are so formative...they have more of an impact on us than they should. (Shame that most of them are so weird and incompetent and poorly chosen.)

It is kinda interesting that this is popping up now. Any theories? Well, seven year itch is a pretty solid theory. I mean, are you happy in your relationship? Don't answer that to me, just answer it in your head.

Man, I don't know many questions as difficult as "Is this relationship good enough?"

angelinha

Respect your mom! I would hope that your future husband's family would be way more impressed with a future daughter-in-law who LOVES HER MAMA JUST THE WAY SHE IS than one who is embarrassed by her (and this would become very obvious if you prefaced their meeting with statements like "My mom's so embarrassing" or "My mom dresses really poorly" BTW). Nothing less attractive than someone badmouthing their parents...in my opinion.

drose

LW4 : story of my life, only I'm 22. So happy to see that other people go through this too! Not that it's a good thing to go through, but the whole I'm-not-alone thing. In any case, here's to the future!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@drose On the scale of things one can 'go through,' finding a happy relationship just a smidge too young is pretty bearable. Or so I'm told.

smidge

@quickdrawkiddo Yeah--I understand the fear and hesitation, but it's kind of like what A Queer Chick always says--any relationship will require sacrificing something else you want to do, but you have to figure out if it's worth it.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@smidge Totally! And not to belittle LW 4's question at all -- the fact that she's asking it at all shows that she's pretty mature for her age. Nor am I trying to do that bitter single 30s lady "you found a man?? Better hang on to him while he still wants you!" thing either (I've actually been hearing that a lot from women slightly older than me and it makes me really depressed). I'm just sayin that for the time being, LW 4 seems to have solved what is for most of us the Big Problem: finding a significant other you actually want to stick with for a while. If the only issue is that she's still got living to do before they settle down, I'd say she's doing pretty good.

EpWs

@drose Me too me too! Except I'm 23, so LW4 is basically me/I am her/etc. [Note: I am not actually LW4] But yes, I am right there with you. And while I have to keep reminding myself that even though "no one marries their high school boyfriend what is WRONG with you IT WILL ALL END IN TEARS" is the accepted narrative (and some people should totally not marry their high school boyfriends, for real), I actually know a for-reals married couple who met when they were teenagers, married when they were 20/21, and are still together and stupidly happy. Three kids, couple cats, a dog, the whole shebang. Statistics are phooey, do what makes you happy.

timesnewroman

How is "do I have to still speak to my evil high school boyfriend" even a question...you're THIRTY.

And why has your therapist met him? How much in your life IS this guy?!

oh! valencia

@timesnewroman Sounds like a small town situation.

timesnewroman

God I hope so!!

winslow

@oh! valencia LW3 here, and yes, this all occurred in the smallest town EVER. I don't live there anymore (and never saw that therapist again, which I'll count as the one tiny victory I've ever achieved in this situation) but my family and his family still does, so cutting ties is a lot harder than it should be.

timesnewroman

@winslow Haha that nakes more sense, I've always lived in cities so I was finding it hard to grasp!

Daisy Razor

I'm trying to think of what I'll say to my daughter if she someday starts sending me pictures of famous people with the intention of "improving" my look. It'll probably be something like, "Sweetheart, you once vomited in my hair. You don't get a vote on how it's styled."

dracula's ghost

@Daisy Razor "Sweetheart, in the early 90's you were fond of wearing a men's baseball cap with the bill flipped up, a neon windbreaker four sizes too large for you, and one of those 't-shirt scrunchies' where you put the tail of the t-shirt through a weird plastic holder shaped like a tropical fish. Pretty sure I'll be making my own fashion calls, but THANK YOU dear"

dracula's ghost

@dracula's ghost See also: my parents allowing me to pick out my own glasses beginning in 3rd grade, with the result that I literally looked like some post-apocalyptic dystopia-dweller who had scavenged her glasses from the dessicated corpse of a 70 year old secretary in the 1950s from a collapsed office building

Ophelia

@dracula's ghost This would also work well with my 4th grade decision to wear a knee-length sweatshirt that said, "LEAVE ME ALONE," and my sister's 3rd grade attempt to cut her own bangs for school picture day.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@dracula's ghost Oh god I will never forgive my parents for letting me pick my own glasses. One word: plastic.

Daisy Razor

@dracula's ghost Oh my god, I always INSISTED on picking out my own glasses, and yes, I looked like I'd mugged an octogenarian for them. I don't think I owned a cute pair of glasses until I was 22. My mother would be completely correct to disregard any fashion advice I tried to give her.

meetapossum

@dracula's ghost This sounds exactly like what my mom would say to me. She would also probably add something about the gypsy skirt with the bells on it that I wore all the time with a giant dark pink t-shirt.

ironhoneybee

@Ophelia I am not able to express how much I want an adult-sized knee-length sweatshirt that says "LEAVE ME ALONE."

Ophelia

@ironhoneybee Even better, my best friend had one too!

pixieg

@ironhoneybee I know! This just made me think that a sweatshirt like that is what is missing from my life.

dracula's ghost

If I ever broke up with my old man and then went alone to a wedding I would devote 100% of my energy to PULLING SO MUCH TAIL. I would dance and drink champagne and wear a sexy dress and just be like "Hello, friend of the groom I will never see again who is also here alone, LETS SEXY DANCE," and the thing is, he totally would do it, and it would be so fun, because literally everyone who goes to a wedding wants it to be like what I just described.

rararuby

@dracula's ghost I like how A Married Lady's response didn't focus on the tail-getting but, yeah, also what you said

steve

@rararuby
Stay classy, A Married Lady.

EpWs

@dracula's ghost I believe that it was @thebestjasmine who put it best on the Brigitte Bardot thread:
[when you are single and solo at a wedding] ALL THE ASS ARE BELONG TO YOU

Inkling

Maybe this is the reason the aforementioned Married People kinda haughtily ignore the single people? They assume single people are there for tail and tail alone?

CupcakeTattoos

@dracula's ghost unless you're The Only Gay in The Village (Wedding) and then ALL THE ASS ARE BELONG TO EVERYONE ELSE whilst you awkwardly avoid the 'When are yooooou getting married' questions and chug free champagne.
Also, LW4 hello I am 24 and worrying about my relationship because it's going well but WHAT IF WE STAY TOGETHER FOR A REALLY LONG TIME AND THEN BREAK UP AND THERE'S NO ONE LEFT HOMG?!?
I generally just tell myself I'm being an idiot and to relax. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But knowing other people are doing this makes me feel better, because sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with the 'LOL LONG RELATIONSHIPS ARE FOR YOUR 30s NOT NOW, SILLY WOMAN'
(apologies for caps. I yell too much)

SarahP

Ask A Married Lady! I was actually going to suggest that this column should exist! And here it is! Oh Hairpin, you just get me.

Snicker-snack!

WTF kind of world do we live in where a 30 year old, married career-lady feels like she has to ask permission to not be friends with her juicebox ex from high-school? Seriously, lady, you're a grown-up and you have my personal permission to not be friends with any person you don't want to be friends with. And "I don't like him/her/whatever," is ample response to any one who wants to know why you aren't friends with whoever you aren't friends with.

leastimportantperson

@Snicker-snack! Yeah and also? Can we talk about how that guy is in no way her "friend"? Someone repeatedly forcing their way into your life only to suck out all your energy, remind you of bad memories, and make you feel small is not even on the friend spectrum. Girl should be like, oh hey idiots in my life. Just fyi, this guy is not my friend, so. That's all I'm ever going to need to hear about it, thanks.

Snicker-snack!

@leastimportantperson Yes! Abusive assholes are not your friends and, frankly, your actual friends and other people who claim to care about you should maybe believe that you know what you're talking about when you say that some dude who you know better than they do is an abusive asshole. God, people!

miwome

@Snicker-snack! RIGHT?!?? People.

Lorelei@twitter

@leastimportantperson @Snicker-snack! uuuugh yes! calling your ex's mom to guilt her into talking to you is so fucked up and manipulative I can hardly stand it! If I were the mom in this hypothetical I'd have stopped taking his calls completely. It doesn't matter how charming you are, people who are not shitty DON'T DO THAT.

and the therapist! "he was so nice!"?? abusers are frequently charismatic and persuasive because that's how they get away with their shit and find more people to abuse! a therapist who doesn't understand that is probably fucking endangering her clients!

Myrtle

@Lorelei@twitter This is so describing a sociopath, I can't stand it. Textbook Anti-Social Personality. Run away! Lock the door! Keep these people out of your life.

Briony Fields

LW3 : Whoa. I had this exact situation recently. I dated a guy and didn't speak to him immediately after the breakup, but he kept sending me these friendly emails and acting all kind toward me and I finally relented and was 'friends' with him, but I was never comfortable with it. I just didn't like who he was, and as I got older and got more perspective, I realized he hadn't treated me that well and was manipulative in some ways. Like yours, he was kind and sweet and loving in many ways but also a jerk? A sneaky jerk! I finally cut of contact with him, and when he emailed me asking what was up I went bawling to my therapist for advice, and after I finished describing my ex and how he made me feel, therapist said 'why don't you tell him exactly that?' So I did! I figured, he'll probably hate me but at least I've gotten it off my chest, and it had been bothering me and ONLY me for so long. I wrote to him and explained why I had cut off contact and that I didn't appreciate many of the things he'd done to me over the years, and asked him not to write back. Then I added his email to a spam filter. Voila!

Anyhoo, long story short, maybe try that? Tell him straight up that you don't appreciate his manipulative ways of getting in touch with you and that you don't want to be friends. Tell him not to contact you, or your mother, or your friends or your dog. Then delete his number, remove his email, and take a deep breathe of relief.

dracula's ghost

@Briony Fields You could also just set him on fire

Briony Fields

@dracula's ghost ...but gas is so expensive these days, and covering him in kindling might rouse suspicion!

Xanthophyllippa

@Briony Fields Cheap booze. Goes up like you wouldn't believe.

@Xanthophyllippa Amen, sweet sister.

Brunhilde

Oh LW4, I was you. Now I'm trying to re-live my 20's in my 30's. Try and get out/ go camping with your girlfriends/ go to music festivals/ go on a trip/ something that you're interested in without him once in a while! Please, for 22 year old me.

Vicky

LW2: for the tote bag, can you make her one with "LW2 + Mr. LW2, [date of wedding]" or something similar, done in the wedding colors? That would be in keeping with her style but fresh-looking and new? It could end up a cute keepsake.

dj pomegranate

@Vicky Johnson Love this!

solidgold

Oh, LW2, I wish I could see you in person and give you a sympathetic eye-roll. Are you worried about how she will present herself when she meets your future in-laws, or at your actual wedding? Because my mom has a similar "style," and on any given day (whether she is hanging around the house or at a restaurant with my in-laws) cannot be removed from her baggy jeans and Crocs, but she got excited to pick out a fancy outfit and dress up for the occasion of my wedding. And maybe when she does meet your fiancee's family, you can do it in a more casual setting so you feel more comfortable?

I understand everyone saying just respect/accept your mom the way she is, but it can be hurtful - more than embarrassing - when an occasion is important to you and dressing in more-than-casual attire would suit the occasion, and your mom is all "Real bra? Hairbrush? What's that you say?"

redheaded&crazy

@solidgold I agree they are definitely two very different circumstances. I mean the in-law thing, sure meeting in-laws is stressful and you want it to go well and everybody to like each other, but quirky in-laws do kind of go with the territory.

weddings on the other hand, there is a certain dress code expectation, you're going to have pictures, I think it's reasonable to go dress shopping with her, or something. I don't know I don't have good advice for this, but I can understand the wedding nerves.

Mira

@solidgold Yeah. I am actually sort of Team Let Your Mom Do Whatever. On the other hand, putting in a little effort for an occasion that is important to someone you love is a way of saying, "I care about you and what's important to you, even if I personally think that what's important to you is kind of superficial and even if I do not give a shit about this occasion." I have never had a manicure in my life, but even I would be a little hurt if someone I loved refused to polish up a bit for my wedding (or other major life event, w/e).

sevanetta

@solidgold I hear you. Weddings are an event, meeting future in laws is an event. Maybe the LW should hold off on insisting on makeup, because that is pretty personal taste, but brushing your damn hair is basic neatness, and people do mark special events by making an effort to look nice. It's fine to say 'It would mean a lot to me if you would dress up a little for this event.' My dad lives in old clothes, because he's always gardening or fixing stuff, but he has 'good clothes' for going out and got a suit for my brother's wedding, even though he hates suits. I'm wondering if the LW is concerned about this being a bigger sign of problems with the mum, it sounds like it is to me. Most people do have 'good clothes' or would be willing to buy, hire or borrow one nice outfit for their kid's wedding.

noReally

Try to keep in mind too, LW with the slobby mother, that from her side of the glass, your future hub's well-appointed family might look a little bit like a pack of superficial asshats with the world's worst priorities, ie. spending quantities of their time and money trying to impress other people with their appearance. And that making pointed requests about her spiffing up for the wedding should really not be about the impression she makes on them, even if that's how you feel. Though she might sniff you right out even if you don't mention them at all. Mine would. But I wouldn't admit it talking instead about all the photographs, and that of all special occasions this is the most special, and all that. You'll be wearing a wedding dress, after all. It's practically a costume party.

Ophelia

@noReally Oddly, this was more my concern than anything on my side of the family? My family all dresses like they might go hiking any minute, whereas my husbands family is very Bloomingdale's. I was kind of afraid my family would think they were too superficial (they're actually very nice people, and my family is less judgmental than I apparently feared).

LRMG

So LW2, are you actually concerned that your Mom has some other issues going on besides the grooming? Maybe you are worried she is depressed or something and can't come at it so you are going after the grooming. I mean the wedding is a convenient excuse to possibly tackle these in a superficial way? Well maybe I am reading too much into this but I do think how people present themselves via dress etc says a lot about whats going on inside. I may be totally over reading though and if so I apologize.

However! My Mom and I have never agreed on appearance since I was born. She says when she tried to put things on my head as a baby I would rip those off. If its just you don't agree on appearance you are gonna have to let it go and stop making her over in your mind whenever you see her.

maebyfunke

@LRMG That was totally my first thought too, fwiw.

anachronistique

@LRMG Yeah, my mother's chronically ill and appearance maintenance is the first thing to go. Some weeks it's a victory if she manages to brush her teeth, let alone her hair.

NorthernLights

@LRMG Goodness, thank you for saying this (when nobody else seems to be!). Maybe I read too much Carolyn Hax, but this was my very first thought, especially since LW says mom has "given up" and "stopped" doing things she presumably used to do. I'm no expert AT ALL, but that does send up a mild illness/depression/similar red flag, and would be worth exploring. I feel like Carolyn would suggest LW stop trying to force Helen Mirren haircuts on mom and have an actual conversation with her to find out if there's anything behind this change in behavior, then try to resolve issues (hers, mom's, or both) based on that.

TheBelleWitch

@NorthernLights Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only person who reads all advice columns through a lens of "What Would Carolyn Hax say?" In this case, I think it's definitely: Look for mental health red flags, and if there are none, buy a ticket to GetOverYourselfville and accept your mom for who she is.

(Not that I disliked A Married Lady's answer at all. In fact I'm in awe at her ability to remain nice and helpful after the "Crypt Keeper" comparison.)

PistolPackinMama

@LRMG My first thought, as well.

Focusing on "shallow" things is so much easier than tackling really big ones. And changes in behavior and such... I dunno. Seems like there might be more there?

The Mythical Codfish

For LW1: I am the terminally single Sexual Cactus of my social circle, and I ADORE going to weddings all by my onesies. There are a bazillion happy people there who are happy all over everything, and there's excellent food (and often free booze), and it's like the great big party of your dreams where nobody has to stand against the wall. The one time I thought things would be awkward (a friend's wedding where I wasn't friends with anybody but the bride and groom), I ended up sitting with the groom's family, and they loved all over me and got me blind drunk and made me dance until I had to go barefoot, and it was excellent.

In summation: you are obviously too beautiful/accomplished for your ex, so you should put on a pretty dress, pretty shoes, your favorite jewels, and go have an absolute whale of a time. Tip: dancing constantly at the reception makes everything more awesome.

H.E. Ladypants

@The Mythical Codfish Yes, this. I went to at least half a dozen weddings on my ownsies in my terminally single days and loved every one of them. The key to this (I think) is to remember that weddings are about someone you love doing something very happy and important in their lives and that you are there because they love you so much they want to share it with you. Which. Just. How can you not just be totally happy under those circumstances?

The Mythical Codfish

@H.E. Ladypants EXACTLY. Which is why I dress up and drink and dance (and usually get drunk under the table by the bride, these are the women I roll with)and generally act like a happy fool, because it's an awesome day for everyone involved.

Also, I'm not complaining about the free food. And CAKE. And usually some silly cute little party favor.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@The Mythical Codfish I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter (apologies to whichever Pinner I stole this saying from. Obviously I want to subscribe to your newsletter too!)

WaityKatie

@The Mythical Codfish Excellent food? Pretty clothes? Fun people? At a wedding?? I have never experienced this!

Alter Kocker

@quickdrawkiddo That would be Homer Simpson, who uses a different name on this blog.

teaandcakeordeath

@The Mythical Codfish
From now on when people ask why I am terminally single I will reply, "I'm a sexual cactus, BUT OF COURSE'. Thank you!

Passion Fruit

@The Mythical Codfish Oh my God, this whole sentence is just complete yes: "I am the terminally single Sexual Cactus of my social circle, and I ADORE going to weddings all by my onesies."

If I may, I too was a Terminally Single Sexual Cactus for about 6 years, from ages 19 - 25. Some of my prime sexing years*. I have this obnoxious desire to rub it in people's faces, like "Oh, boo hoo, you were single for a few months? I WAS SINGLE FOR SIX YEARS, MY VAGINA AND I BECAME ESTRANGED. TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, I AM STRONGER, BETTER AND COOLER THAN YOU."

I'm pretty annoyed with myself for feeling this way, and in retrospect, I was probably more anxious, self-loathing and insecure than most, not the harderbetterfasterstronger Daft Punk'd version of me that I wish I was/am. I wish I could have done "being single" better than I did. Instead I spent a fair amount of time obsessing about why I was single. Was it the ladystache? I can NAIR it! Was it the weight gain? How about this delightfully "flattering" vertically striped cape-shirt! Was it the mild depression that led to a persistent, misanthropic introversion? Sorry, can't do much about that right now.

*Ideally, if I have my way, I'll be steady macking until I'm 85/my titanium hips give out. So, while having roughly 10% of my prime sexing years wasted is not awesome, still, all is not lost.

WaityKatie

@Passion Fruit Dude, six years? I've been a sexual cactus my whole life! I think I was more like a cactus bud from 19-25, but now I am a mature flowering desert cactus. I don't even have anything good to blame it on, because I know people far more hideous than I am who are constantly paired off. I guess I just don't like people that much.

Passion Fruit

@WaityKatie Ah, yes, Priscilla: Cactus Queen of the Desert. Lady, I salute you. I found it hard to be single in a very relationship oriented world. I felt a lot of condescending judgement imposed upon me, and I internalized all of that nonsense. I wish I had been stronger.

You, however, seem cool as shit. Rock out with your cocktus out, gurl. (Ugh, awful, I know. Just can't stop.)

literary_hippie

@WaityKatie I am not sure this exists.

thenotestaken

I'm in a pretty similar situation as LW4, and it truly is a strange situation to be in. I know how good I have it, and I wouldn't cheat on him, but I'm naturally a bit of a flirt and I naturally find myself thinking a lot about what it would be like to be with other guys. Grass is always greener, etc. We actually live a few hours apart and usually go stay with each other on weekends, so I'm not lacking for alone time like she is, but the problem is kind of exacerbated by not seeing him all the time. It's easy to forget how good we are together when we're just talking on the phone and I'm getting to see and hang out with all the great dudes in my social circle, and the longer I go without seeing him, the more I think about how fun it would be to be single for the first time in 2.5 years. And then I see him again and he/we are so good together it makes me ache with guilt about the scenarios I was entertaining.

sophia_h

LW4, I'm you in seven years, except we actually started dating when I was 18, and I never seriously dated anyone but him (two brief things in HS and one ill-advised college fling). We got married and I still adore him but I won't lie, both long-term monogamy and never being an independent adult are a challenge. We have navigated the first one to some degree -- we built in a "flirting clause" on our honeymoon, and I have some friends in an open relationship who are my approved drunken makeout partners, though that latter part took several years to get to an okay place. Honestly, the independent adult part is the trickiest for me, especially since I never lived on my own. I would really suggest doing whatever alone things you can now, from spending more time in your apartment to going on trips with friends, maybe even spending six months living somewhere else if that makes sense for you. I turned down a chance to teach in Japan right after college and I've always been sorry. Long distance can suck and you might be tempted by meeting new people... but I also think if you spend six months in Spain and come back super-happy to see him and settle down to coupled life, that will make it really mean something, rather than never exploring your options.

Despite the challenges, settling down with someone you met that young can work out! I have been kind of annoyed all along that we didn't meet when we were older, but I knew that my guy and I were so well-suited it was dumb to throw it away for casual sex or the thrill of paying my electric bill alone. Plus, who knows if I would have ever met anyone as great. But the doubts are definitely still there, so whatever you can do now that makes you feel more committed in the long run is good, and know that you can probably renegotiate some things, like total monogamy, as time goes by. Good luck!

AndSomethingElse

@sophia_h Flirting clause! Is there any more to that than the obvious? I like that idea.

sophia_h

@Alexander Well, we just agreed that flirting is super-fun and makes people feel good, and plus I have a few guy friends I've always had that kind of bantering relationship with, so we decided it was fine to flirt with whoever as long as it just stayed there. We've both been pretty happy with now that's worked out.

AndSomethingElse

@sophia_h Totally agreed: flirting is fun. As long as it's done well! Bad flirting is terrible. Good flirting is (almost*) always harmless.

* Although almost is kindof a key word here. You ever have one of those rare situations where you thought you were just bantering and all of a sudden you realize that the other person took you seriously and now they have A Whole Thing for you? Or that you're unexpectedly naked? I wish I could say that flirting has never gotten me in trouble.

sophia_h

@Alexander Uh, yeah, one of those guy friends is also one of the aforementioned drunken makeout partners, and that was not really intentional or husband-approved at the time. Alcohol + flirting can be a problem! Fortunately for people I don't know, I wear wedding rings so there aren't any misconceptions (that I know of). The problem is more likely to be in the grey area with people I'm friendly with already.

AndSomethingElse

@sophia_h Agreed. Friends are dangerous. Because you have the banter already, and sometimes you those intense conversations that sometimes happen with booze, and then one time everybody else sortof disappeared? And the two of you were like fuck it, we're buds, we can hang out alone! Let's do shots! And then.

And then there's the Wedding Ring Backfire: it's okay to banter and flirt because you're obviously safe, like a gay friend! but it turns out that's not always the case.

sophia_h

@Alexander Yeah, the situation with my friend is complicated and kind of embarrassing and high school-like and also involves his girlfriend! So flirting has its minefields. Also I just spent the last month at my contract job flirting hard with a guy but never mentioning my husband, figuring he'd see the ring, He did, and eventually it transpired that he has a girlfriend, but I think we were both kind of playing at being single and eventually things got really close to crossing a line (no physical contact, just that feeling when you're alone in a room with someone and you just kind of know if you get too close something might happen). Fortunately, this guy has the potential to help me with my stalled-out career, so I had that very good reason to keep things professional, but it was the closest brush with that kind of danger I've had In years. Being a human with a sexual body is hard!

AndSomethingElse

@sophia_h Ah ha, playing at being single. *nodding* All fun and games until it's not.

Being a human with a sexual body is hard! (I'm just gonna say it: that alone-in-a-room tension is great.) High five, bud. Let's order shots and drink to "May all our flirtations stay civilized."

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@sophia_h Ooof, you guys are making me glad I'm single. I just invited two different boys I want to shag to come drinking with me and my friends tonight. Guess who has two thumbs and doesn't care if either of them gets jealous?

AndSomethingElse

@quickdrawkiddo SHUT UP HOBO!

Just kidding, that sounds lovely. I will also drink to "I hope you shag whichever one(s) you decide you most want to shag."

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Alexander Heehee, thanks! Not trying to brag, I just like to put in a plug for singlehood being fun whenever I can.

just reading in a boat no big deal

@sophia_h "Being a human with a sexual body is hard!" YES. This. I totally agree with this. It's so reassuring to hear that it's normal to be happy and fulfilled long-term, and also that your body wants your forever person, anddd some new suddenly appealing person that has come into your life.

AndSomethingElse

@lamigra I think there are two kinds of amazing sex. The first is with someone you're totally in love with and you gaze into each other's eyes a whole lot and also you know exactly what weird kinks they have. The second is with someone new, where it's the first time for everything and you get to find out what they look like naked and taste like and etc. The first is better! But the second is also great. And that's the unfortunate thing about monogamy.

sophia_h

@lamigra Yeah, it's not like there aren't pitfalls to long term monogamy, but bottom line is I would say they are manageable. Still frustrating at times, but it is just sex. The person who knows your weird burrito order and always does the dishes means more than that!

hairspin

LW1: Go solo!!! I'm flying to Nashville next month to go to a friend's wedding and I'm going alone and I can't wait. and I've been to many weddings/events solo and it is fantastic. You'll be the mystery woman and maybe you'll hook up with a hot groomsman!

MollyculeTheory

When I was about 6, I told my mother that when she had her hair in a braid it made her look like a "cabbage patch witch" (?) and I STILL feel bad about it. Crypt keeper?! Way harsh, Tai.

ReginaSavage

As far as LW2 goes, in my family I AM the crazy, unkempt relative that everyone tries to get to dress better.

Here's the thing; IT SUCKS!

I have always been the less-fashionable one in my family, and then was a dirty punk rocker in my teens and early 20's. I still rock the band t-shirts, jeans and DM's when I'm not working. My work wardrobe is very, very basic.

I have been known to go out of the house in coats that are falling apart, purses that have seen better days, clothes that don't fit, no makeup and very messy hair. So any time there is an occasion where my family have to be seen with me, I get my mom calling me asking me if I want to go on a "shopping trip".

No, I don't want to go on a shopping trip. Because here's the thing; its a waste of time, money and energy. If I say no right off the bat my mom gets all upset and passive aggressive that I never want to spend time with her (which is kinda true). Then she harps on at me about how I need new clothes (which again is usually true. I HATE clothes shopping so only ever pick up what I need when I absolutely need it.) Then there's the event and she'll sneak in a bit like "Oh and since we're going to such-and-such formal event we should get you a dress and some shoes." At this point I know I want nothing to do with this shopping trip.

So I go anyway because the alternative is months of passive agressive calls from my mom telling me "This is not how family acts! Families spend time together!" Ugh. So I go, and all I want are a half-dozen pairs of black skinny jeans, some tank tops, a new pair of converse and some hoodies. Really, that's my uniform, that's what I like, that's what I'm comfortable in.

But no, somehow colourful, patterened, frilly tops get thrown on my piles of "clothes to try on" (which I then have to embarassingly model to her in the store). I hate them all. But because she's the one paying I usually have to relent and pick at least one.

Then there's the dress.... I HATE DRESSES! If you want to make sure I won't ever attend something, tell me I have to wear a dress. My mom's taste in dresses is HORRIBLE! And I always end up feeling dumb and frumpy and just plain stupid. Like the first time you wear makeup to school in like grade 7 or something? And all your girlfriends really think you look awful but just because you had the balls to do it first they all tell you that you look AMAZING! Yeah, its just like that.

And then its shoes and a haircut. The last time I went with my mom to get a haircut I ended up with a HORRIBLE awful fucking soccer-mom kate-gosselin-esque thing with blonde highlites and everything. It was so bad and I hated it, and worst I had to sit there through the whole process and say 'oh my, it looks so nice!' when quite frankly I'd rather be dousing my eyeballs in bleach.

Then at the end of it, all the clothes sit in the back of my closet and don't get worn. Then in about 2 years time I donate them to charity. The shoes stay unworn in the bottom of my closet until a girlfriend calls me asking if I have anything to go with her outfit and I just tell her to take the shoes, if they match or not, and keep them.

And all of this so that my mom has "nice family photos".

So please, please PLEASE just leave your mom ALONE!

Porn Peddler

@ReginaSavage HELLO, I LOVE YOU. This is exactly what the fuck I was thinking when I read that letter. My mom and sister are both really vain, and I am not particularly (but I do dress...somewhat well? Inoffensive and presentable? Even kind of cute sometimes?) They are constantly pulling this kind of shit with me under all these fucking pretenses and it makes me want to scream. It's just fucking endless. There is NO STOPPING THEM. I RAISE MY LIGHTER AND GLASS AND FIST TO YOU.

@Third Wave Housewife Please don't hate me while I may be the voice of dissent.

I agree with all of the above (both posts) ... to a limit.

There's nothing wrong with wearing simple clothes, hating shopping, and doing yo thang. But there's also this idea that dressing (well, appropriately, etc) shows respect for the event, shows respect to the people who invited you, and kind of contributes to the vibe of whatever you're going to. You don't have to wear a foofy dress to your friend's black tie wedding, but please for the love of God, do not wear skinny jeans and a tshirt because it's inappropriate and says "hi, I care more about my own comfort and interpretation of what this should be than what this shindig means to you and the hundred other people who showed up to this." But you can show up in appropriate clothing that looks nice and appropriate and everything will be okay.

But yeah, the Kate Gosselin bullshit sounds awful and hideous and nobody should ever make another human being do that.

angelinha

@ReginaSavage Thumbs up! The "I have been known to go out of the house..." paragraph is the text equivalent of a What Not to Wear-esque hidden camera day-to-day montage. Which, shut up Clinton Kelly! Let us wear whatever we want!

Mira

@S. Elizabeth Yeah, this is where I fall on this question too, only you explained it a lot better than I did. I feel for LW2 as well as her mom.

Porn Peddler

@S. Elizabeth I kind of want to freak the fuck out but I won't. The LW's mother hasn't said "I don't care if it's your wedding, I'm not getting dressed up" or anything at all, she hasn't embarrassed her daughter in front of her in-laws by wearing pants with shit stains or anything, etc. She has just been putting up with her daughter hassling her about her appearance for, apparently, a long time. If the letter read, "I asked my mother, who usually doesn't give a toss about her appearance, if she'd wear a nice suit/a dress/whatever and get her hair and make up done for my wedding and she told me I wasn't accepting her for who she is!" we might have a different story (but I don't 100% buy that either because it seems to be applied, really often, to people who aren't wearing makeup or aren't femme-y enough or whatever, and it's just.....I set a much lower bar for "respectful" attire" I guess)

ReginaSavage

@S. Elizabeth Dude, I get it. You've actually just hit the nail right on the head! I'm completely capable of dressing myself for a formal event, I've done it in the past even! I would never ruin someone's wedding by showing up in jeans and a t-shirt.

Its the assumption that somehow I'm unable/unwilling to do it of my own accord. Or its just assumed that even if I did I would fail miserably. That I somehow always need "help" with these things. That if someone doesn't help me shop and put together an outfit then yeah I would show up in jeans and a t-shirt. I'm not that stupid.

H.E. Ladypants

@ReginaSavage Ugh. In a weird backwards way, I totally feel you? Like in my real life I am bad at being girly and all that jazz. BUT! Unlike them, I live in a big coastal city and am a smidge more vain. For years I've dealt with being made fun of for wearing skirts and make-up. Getting wacked on because your life choices have resulted in a different uniform is exceedingly unpleasant because really it feels like it boils down to "I am unhappy with how you are presenting yourself." And that never, never feels good.

That said, S. Elizabeth, you totally have a point? Expecting people to meet dress code for an event is not totally crazy. There should totally always be leeway to do so in a way that makes the person feel comfortable (I've got no problems with ladies wearing nice pants to a fancy event or punked out formal wear or whatever) but by refusing to even make the gesture of making an effort, that's also sending a message that the other person isn't worth making an effort for.

Which. Maybe that's all sort of cracked and silly? But our society has evolved in a way that self-presentation is also a mode of communication and communicating in certain ways is sort of the bedrock of relationships.

TL;DR: Being picked on for dress choices is just mean but not taking into account social convention isn't that great either. I'm also pretty sure there's a nice middleground in between the two.

@ReginaSavage Oh god ladies, this was not about you! This was about the situation! And that there is a Very Fine Line when it comes to this stuff. Do I think *you personally* cannot handle dressing yourself? No, I do not.

LW#2 didn't give us a really good description of what's going on. Is it as simple as "my mom has gray hair that's wash-n-go and likes her pretty kaftans?" or is her mother legitimately a train wreck who can't seem to get it together enough to look appropriate for a wedding?

Fodforever

@S. Elizabeth Agreed! Find a way to dress appropriately for you. If you are attending a wedding but don't want to wear a dress, find some dress pants, a classy button-up and a statement necklace. There is a middle-ground that you can feel comfortable in!

And for Jebus' sake, if your mother insists on throwing money at you, at least score some leather flats or a cool vest that you can integrate into your style, but would never have purchased for yourself because of the expense.

Porn Peddler

@S. Elizabeth the letter just read as really clearly superficial to me :/ Maybe my perspective is skewed because of my sister (LaVondrius, who I hate!) but ughhh it bothered me...

@Third Wave Housewife Oh ladyfriend! *hugs* One of my aunts showed up to my cousin's wedding in awful khaki shorts and a white tshirt and plastic flip flops (At St. Ignatius Loyola ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE followed by a late lunch and dancing at a Very Nice restaurant). My cousin the bride is a saint and was all "I'm just happy that she's comfortable!" So that is how I read that letter... as uh oh.

ReginaSavage

@S. Elizabeth Hah! Don't worry, I know this isn't about me! But seriously though when she compares her mom to the "Crypt Keeper" that to me doesn't say: "My mom is pretty casual and basic in her style and I want her to step it up for my wedding and she's kinda resisting." Instead, to me that says: "My mom looks horrible and I don't want her to look like a ghoul at my wedding."

Just my interpretation of it!

PistolPackinMama

@ReginaSavage

I want to open a store called I Fucking Hate Shopping For Clothes and Dressing Up Please Can You Be A Source Of Badass Fancywear I Can Wear Forever, Please?

And I would order in the funnest stuff, and arrange things so you'd be in and out of there in half an hour, and you are encouraged to bring your own flask. (I'd provide the beer, but I feel that might start to inflate prices stupidly?)

And formalwear might include:

(Very) slim black trousers. In heavy matte silk maybe?

A white/black/solid top, maybe in shinier silk, in a v-neck, or possibly sort of punk rock poet?

A NECKLACE

And A CUFF

And boots... bad leather biker's boots?

Makeup optional.

And then all the foxy girls and boys would fall over themselves trying to get you to dance with them because ka-pow.

Hellcat

@ReginaSavage While I don't share your aversion to shopping and hatred of dresses, I am right here with you on this beautiful phrase: "I still rock the band t-shirts, jeans and DM's." This, in my mind, will never not look wonderful and awesome. ALWAYS!

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama I would shop there. In fact, I would license you to sell my line of clothing, called "Squat," for short athletic women who wear a 10 through the back but need a 12 through the arms because of all the badass rock-climbing they do. Tagline: "You don't know Squat."

But I want a pair of long flowy black dress trousers that will fit a short chick and not make me look like a volleyball placed atop a tent.

redheaded&crazy

ok so there isn't really an appropriate place to put this but I can't wait til friday (I mean I technically can but adhd) and this is about fashion decisions kind of right?

does anybody want to make like a kind of mailing list of fashion consultants where we can send pics to each other and make suggestions and/or reaffirm cuteness of outfit

i'm asking for entirely selfish reasons pertaining to st patrick's day.....

(so unrelated. sorry all.)

PistolPackinMama

@redheaded&crazy kathleen (dot) allison (dot) teresa at the gmails

Always up for talking outfits!

Hellcat

@redheaded&crazy Oh, I might like such a thing too! hellcatnicole (at) hotmail. Looking at what other people do with their clothes often helps me look at my own stuff (specifically the stuff I love, but have no idea what to do with) in a whole new way!

frigwiggin

@redheaded&crazy Yessssss I want to be all up in this! Even though my clothing taste skews a little technicolor for some people. figwiggin at gmail you know the rest.

Donovanesque

@ReginaSavage Honestly, I don't understand why how people dress is such a big deal. I mean, I mostly wear dresses and usually wear makeup, because that's what I like. But I just feel like other people should do what they want. And I don't even get imperative dress codes for certain occasions. Like you could come to my wedding in jeans and a hoodie and that would be fine with me!

It just logically makes no sense to me. It's just like, different kinds of fabric in different kinds of styles...who cares? I think it's more important for people to do what they want. (And I understand that you're willing to adhere to dress codes in certain situations...I'm just saying, I don't get dress codes. At all.)

pixieg

@figwiggin I WANT IN. I'm going to email one of you and can you involve me please? Whee!

Chesty LaRue

@redheaded&crazy OMG, that sounds SO FUN.
rockandrollnicole @ hotmail

Hellcat

@Chesty LaRue Another Nicole! Yay!

ReginaSavage

@PistolPackinMama If you open that store I will be your biggest most loyal customer EVER! (I would probably drink all your beer though...) Oddly enough, the outfit you describe is pretty close to what I wore to my highschool graduation.

And now that Mr. Boyfriend-man is talking about getting married at some point (Eep!) I have to think about wedding shit. I'm instituting a no dress code policy! Wear whatever you want! I don't care!

redheaded&crazy

@all wooooo ok i'm going to take and send pics tonight!

Hellcat

@redheaded&crazy Are there rules? Does everyone just send pics all willy-nilly? What will happen? I'm scared a little--what if I send something is so cute and I am so wrong? And I think I've mentioned it here before, my fear of being accused of clinging to youth in an obvious and desperate way, even though I just think I am wearing what I like. Aaaaahhh, scary!

redheaded&crazy

@Hellcat oh there are RULES alright!

First rule of FASHION CLUB IS ... you don't talk about fashion club (obv)

Second rule: no fun, only judgment.

third rule: EVERYTHING YOU'RE WEARING IS WRONG.

Sound good? :D

redheaded&crazy

@Hellcat I mean I can pretty much guarantee that the first thing out of everybody's mouths will be "You are clinging to youth in an obvious and desperate way" because that's just the kind of tough love we like to show around here, am i right?

(j/k j/k j/k)

Hellcat

@redheaded&crazy So it's the real-life version of What Not to Wear, then? I'm in. How dare any of you make a quick cigarette-and-wine run in track pants and flip-flops, sans lip gloss, you... you... philistines!

PistolPackinMama

@Hellcat I like the guidelines for this blog. I've read/written here for years, and they have served the community of readers really well:

stylishly-yours.livejournal.com/profile

And you know... they are basically "be kind and respect people's choices."

Hellcat

@PistolPackinMama I will check it out. Yay, thanks! But I suppose I should actually do my job and write/edit some far less interesting stuff for those people who pay me first...

PistolPackinMama

@ReginaSavage That sounds like it could be a very fun wedding to go to... and if I get my store up and running, all your wedding needs. Addressed. Over cheap beer and popcorn, in my Shopping Den.

The Mythical Codfish

@redheaded&crazy Drink heavily and dance till you sweat it all out. Also, wear your favorite jewelry, all of it, all at the same time. That always seems to work for me.

noodge

just to throw some sympathy at LW2, wedding planning can make people temporarily insane, even if you're trying to keep it simple. Sounds like her fiance's "nattily dressed" family may have somewhat skewed priorities that she is reading and interpreting and worrying about vis a vis her less turned-out mother.
So, don't worry LW2, if that's really what it is. If it isn't, cut it out... your mother's been done all that, she doesn't need her whippersnapper daughter teaching her about things she's not interested in.

beezus.

OK, so we have this quote from A Lady:

"take a 'break' (and I do not mean this as a euphemism for or precursor to breaking up)"

How does one do this?

Because this is exactly what I would like to do with my gentlemanfriend. Long (LONG) story, but he's leaving for South Africa, where he will be for 5 months. When he's back, I want to be with him. But while he's gone ... honestly, I don't want to have to think about him. I don't want to have to be sad, to schedule Skype dates, to be jealous of all the new things he's seeing and doing ... I just want him to do his thing and me to do my thing. You do you, Imma do me, you know?

But ... I need an explainer on how to "take a break" without it being a precursor to breaking up.

steve

@dahlface
If television has taught us anything, you simply have to not sleep with the person from the copy place.

beezus.

@steve Ha. Nice.

EpWs

@dahlface Just Talk To Him? Lay out what you want, why you want it, what your expectations are for behavior (for both of you! This is a huge thing! EXPECTATIONS), and see what he says. And don't sleep with the person from the copy place.

beezus.

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Totally, "Just Talk To Him" is usually the short answer to Feelings-type questions.

roadtrips

@dahlface Also, though, and I don't know you or your BF or your relationship at all, but be prepared for a) him not to be cool with it (in which case you would have to decide if one of you can compromise) or b) for the break to end with one of you not ready to be in the relationship again (or to want to break up altogether). I mean, talking to him is a great start and it's the only way you'll get anywhere with it. But just be aware that the reason the "taking a break without breaking up" thing works is because both partners are OK with it and feel secure enough in themselves and the relationship that it is OK to suspend it for a while. And that even the most confident in the relationship might realize during break time that what they actually wanted all along was to be out of the relationship. So, it could definitely work! But be prepared.

AndSomethingElse

@roadtrips Good advice. But still talk, dahlface!

"Or maybe you’ll dance with someone’s grandma or twirl with a toddler."

YES! THIS! I'm not out to my (huge, loud, brash, Catholic) extended family so whenever a cousin gets married, I end up drunkenly swing-dancing with one of my aunts. It's adorable and a nice alternative to bringing a date because I win major points for being wholesome and family-oriented.

chinesetwine

To the lady with the HS ex, please re-write the narrative that your romance at 16 "was perfect." All your exceptions make it NOT perfect. You state that he harassed you, was manipulative, and he degraded you by demeaning your clothing, make up, and views. That is abusive behavior and your therapist is horrible for making the statement s/he did. I'm shocked that he reached out to your mom and that she listened to him. Bottom line: you need a clean break and that's not only okay, I think it's important in this case.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@chinesetwine I mean, I don't think she literally meant that. I read that comment as "my 16-yr-old self thought it was perfect at the time, because I was 16, but duh, I know now it was far from that."

stuffisthings

I'm going to a wedding soon in Austin, where I've never been before, with lots of fun and awesome friends I haven't seen in years, and which I can totally afford. But I feel like from reading Ask A ____ that it's weird to be getting anywhere near a wedding without being consumed by stress, am I missing something??

chevyvan

@stuffisthings I think you missed the part of the letter where they said they basically wouldn't know anybody but the bride and groom and some people from high school they didn't like. Weddings with tons of friends is never an issue. Sounds like fun, even! Weddings where you're assigned a seat at a table full of people you don't know/like can be a little stressful, yes.

H.E. Ladypants

@stuffisthings Pfft. I've travelled plenty for weddings and not regretted a dime of it spent. I think they can be stressful but the majority of them aren't and therefore don't get written about.

Beth Anne Royer

I have a best pal who has been single for some time. One summer wedding season, I attended 3 weddings as her date. Strongly recommend this. Solves all the conversational problems and means you have a guaranteed good dance partner.

chevyvan

For all the people moralizing about LW#2 and how she treats her mom, It must be nice to have such black and white feelings about your parents, but not everyone does. I'm also glad that you are completely unconcerned with how any (potential) in-laws might view the life-long alliance they are making with your family, but some people kind of get self conscious about that stuff. While I whole-heartedly, unconditionally love my parents, I don't like a lot of the choices they've made. Sometimes these choices are on full display for everyone to see. I have spent a lot of time coming to terms with this and I'm still working on it. It's hard to let that stuff go. I come from a world where not everyone has it pulled together and now live/work in a world where people are super together and super liberal and tolerant until they come face to face with unpleasantness. This is life. There are grey areas and ambivalence. This is all just to say to LW#2, you are not a bad pr shallow person. There's just some stuff that you're going to have to work through.

Diana

@chevyvan

Thank you very, very much for wording this so well.

sevanetta

@chevyvan YES I like this. people who feel able to judge others for not being nice enough to their families - how wonderful for you that you have always had such an easy to get along with family that you have no idea how hard it is in a NORMAL, sometimes (or often) difficult, family situation.

datalass

@chevyvan So, so, very well put. Thank you.

I'm Not Rufus

It sounds like LW2's mom is ok with not looking anything like Helen Mirren. More people should be so sensible. If the groom's family wants to call off the wedding over LW's mom's hair, that's a problem with them, not with her (or you).

WaityKatie

@I'm Not Rufus I, for one, will never be ok with not looking like Helen Mirren.

SarahP

@WaityKatie I'd be fine with it as long as I can resemble Maggie Smith.

LRMG

I've already said a lot in this thread but I just keep ruminating on LW#2. I'll just say, mother/daughter relationships can be so hard. Even though LW#2 said her mother was a crypt keeper and that was mean I just hope they can find a way to meet in the middle. Wish them the best.

saul "the bear" berenson

@LRMG I saw a movie at Sundance that your comment made me think of. It's called Hello I Must Be Going, stars Melanie Lynsky (from Heavenly Creatures!) and Blythe Danner, and it's a really wonderful portrait of a woman who has a reaaaally complicated, hard, kind of awful, kind of beautiful relationship with her mom. Just stick it on a mental post it for when it comes out, and see it.

Canal

LW2, I'm so sorry that these comments have turned out the way they have. I would have loved to hear some real advice on this. Everyone else, she was asking how to approach the issue without offending her Mom. Have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders? Imagine that was your Mom, and his Mom was someone who wouldn't be on Hoarders. And you don't want to spend the rest of your life with his family thinking so little of Your Mom, or what your issues might be. LW2 isn't just protecting herself here.

And we've all been to plenty of weddings. Many Moms don't look at all happy to be stuffed into their beaded gown with matching wrap, but they suck it up and get the updo because that's what family does when it's important. Just like kids behave at the company picnic or sit for family photos in matching sweater or you keep your voice down when people might hear you fighting. Everyone puts on a bit of a show for their families every day, and an extra show on THE day.

LW2, I feel for you. You obviously are sensitive to your Mom's feelings, but she should be sensitive to yours too. This shouldn't even be an issue you'd need to tiptoe around. Would it be crazy to try saying: Mom, I know you're uncomfortable getting dressed up... are you nervous about my wedding? Tell the truth, Mom, would you prefer we'd come up with a story about why you can't be there? I'd hate for you not to go, but I'd understand if it would be torture for you to wear the dress I picked out and to get all gussied up.

Diana

LW2, it's so easy for people to make flippant comments about "who cares what your in-laws think" but you are making a lifetime commitment to join that family as well, and it is entirely reasonable that you're nervous about your mom making a good first impression. Not because of how it reflects on you, but because you love your mother and want her to be accepted by everyone. You love your mother, and you want to love your new in-laws and you want everybody to love one another because you're all kin now. You're afraid that your mom's hygiene will prevent her from meshing with the new clan, and that your new family members will reject her. That is not a shallow, superficial concern. And give me a break, everybody who is trying to say that "anybody who judges her mom is superficial anyway who cares what they think". I don't care if her mom moisturizes or whatever, but going around with unbrushed hair and shit falling out of a broken bag and crazy people clothing is going to produce predictable reactions in most people, and I don't think LW is crazy for wanting her mother to be loved and appreciated rather than judged.

My mom is a very laid-back casual person who goes to work in flipflops, tie-dyed t-shirts, and shorts. And that's fine. But she'd never show up to my wedding in that outfit, because it's disrespectful in a bunch of different ways. But I also don't expect her to show up looking like Nancy Reagan. So let's set reasonable expectations for success here: her hair should be clean and well-brushed. She should be wearing something that either fits her, or which is intended to drape loosely. If it's an issue of comfort and she doesn't like restrictive clothing, that's fine - there are many dresses out there which are loose but still very presentable. Check out the Nordstroms Mother of the Bride section online. Look at something like this dress: eminently respectable and age appropriate, but loose and comfortable. I LOVE the suggestion of the customized wedding tote bag for your mom. My mom is not into getting pampered at all and it doesn't sound like your mom is, so I wouldn't bother with spa treatments, but who gives a shit if she has a pedicure? A flowy dress (you can pay to have it tailored) and clean, brushed hair is fine. Take her shopping, pay attention to her own clothing and find something structurally similar, pay for alterations so it fits her properly. An hour before the ceremony, you should have her visit you in a dressing room or whatever, and you can lovingly brush her hair yourself while you talk to her about all your marital dreams and worries. Then give her a hug and tell her how much you love her, how much you appreciate her being there, and how grateful you are for everything she has done for you.

timesnewroman

@Diana +a million

sevanetta

@Diana oh this is beautiful :)

@Diana You win at life.

LW#2, when you have that hugging before the ceremony talk, spray on some Oscar Blandi dry shampoo. Brush like crazy. Everything will be okay.

ineptus

LW2 here. Y'all have made me feel a little awful, but I think you misunderstand. I sincerely hope I'm not a shallow, ungrateful daughter interested in glitzing my mom up for a set of wedding photos. Nor am I trying to turn my mother into something she isn't in order to impress my in-laws. And despite the tone of my letter, which was obviously a misfired attempt at "jokey," I don't feel that I've been pushy or overbearing in my attempts to get my mom to clean up a little. Rather, I've been very outwardly relaxed and hands-off about my mom's appearance for many of the reasons listed by the 20,000 pinners in these comments begging me to "leave your mom alone!" However, on the inside, I am obviously a little stressed and anxious about the wedding crap and I truly don't think it makes me a bad person or an intolerant, fussy daughter to be that way.

I do appreciate those of you who have suggested that perhaps depression is at the root of my mom's change in appearance. It worries me too--specifically, that she doesn't feel as though she's "worth" maintaining. Her attitude seems to be halfway between "I'm an old lady now and nobody's paying attention to me anyway" and "All of these haircuts and lotions are wasted on me so what's the point?" To me, it's a sad attitude to have (she's an awesome, smart, hilarious woman) and giving her haircut pictures and precious lotions are ways of saying, "Look, see? These are accessible to you! It's something you used to enjoy! Let's do them together!"

However, I do also believe that it's selfish and jerky to have a screw-you-I'm-a-slob-and-screw-your-fancy-wedding attitude, too. A minimal amount of grooming just seems, I don't know, *sensible* for this type of occasion and that's where my momstress resides. I've never had a mani-pedi and I think the idea of a "day of pampering" sounds kind of gross. Honestly, I just want her to feel confident in front of a new set of people and I want to share that confidence with her. If that makes sense?

LRMG

@ineptus Thanks for replying and I'm sorry you felt piled on. I hope I wasn't presumptuous in saying she might be depressed, I just got that vibe from your letter? Can I ask though, have you actually had conversations about what to wear at the dinner/wedding/etc or are you just assuming she is going to brush you off? I put off a lot of conversations with my mom assuming she is going to say one thing but she surprises me with another.

I don't have any suggestions for how to bridge the gap of "this is important to me I would like you to make it important to you". That is where the issue seems to rest? Maybe straight up say that to her?

leastimportantperson

@ineptus I didn't get from your letter that your mother no longer feels confident and would not feel confident in front of your in-laws. That is really sad, and I'm sorry. That's a whole different issue, and if you're helping her with it, then best of luck to you! Here's hoping you both have a great time and feel great on your wedding day.

timesnewroman

@ineptus There were a lot of seriously short-sighted comments here today and I'm sorry you had to read them! You didn't sound like a bitch or brat in your original letter to me at all.

thebestjasmine

@ineptus I would echo LRMG's question about if you've talked to her specifically about what she's going to wear to the wedding, or if this is just a general thing. Because she might be totally resistant to your ideas of how to change her appearance in general, but still recognizes that she has to dress up for your wedding. It seems like you might be trying to dance around everything, when it might ease both your mind and hers to just say "Okay mom, we've picked out what I'm going to wear for the wedding, now let's talk about what you're going to wear." I agree that showing up to your wedding in grocery store clothes is disrespectful to you, but do you think that she's actually planning to do that? And I think other suggestions of just having whoever is going to do your hair that day do her hair is the easiest thing to do.

Mila

@ineptus Hey, I just wanted to say, I didn't judge you, we all have things that make us self-conscious. One thing to think about (that I put upthread) is that she might be feeling really scared and insecure herself. My mom totally felt this way at my brother's wedding (and my mom suffers from depression and anxiety, and just going dress shopping sent her into panic attacks). She felt dumpy and like she could never look as good as the bride's glamorous family, so why should she try? She needed a LOT of hand holding to get through the wedding. So maybe try to understand where she is coming from, and approach it from that angle. It will help her, and you, because if you feel protective of her, you might feel less embarrassed by her ("What, are you looking at her unbrushed hair? Do you think you are better than her? Do you know what she has been through in her life? Screw you!")

My hippie dad refused to wear a tux at my wedding. So the groom and the groom's men all were in tuxes, my dad was wearing slacks and a sport's jacket. And you know what? It really wasn't that big a deal in the end. It bothered me in the build up to the wedding, I barely thought of it on the actual day of the wedding, and I don't think I have ever thought of it since.

With anything we feel self-conscious about, it is all about attitude. Like, say your mom wants to go full on frump. Just cultivate an attitude of "that is my cute, crazy little mother. Isn't she charmingly goofy?" (I have employed this strategy my whole life with my dad, and if I hadn't I think there would have been several instances where I would have died from embarrassment as a teenager. Like every time he talked Eastern philosophy with a boy picking me up for a first date).

sevanetta

@Mila Your dad might have refused to wear a tux BUT it sounds like he put in a big effort for him - sports jacket and slacks aren't exactly hippie wear. it's great that you weren't bothered by it on the day!

sevanetta

@ineptus Oh ineptus! I have just been hopping around the comments thread saying that I think what you want is reasonable. There's a difference between trying to makeover someone's entire style and wanting someone to dress up for a special event. I do think you might find it hard to press her on the makeup, it's pretty personal, but it's completely reasonable (and a cultural norm) to want someone to brush their hair and wear a nice outfit for their KID'S wedding as a bloody minimum. Keep trying. My mum never EVER wears makeup (literally I remember her wearing mascara and eyeshadow once when I was a child). But for my brother's wedding, the bridesmaids, bride, both mums and flower girl went to have our hair and makeup done, and my mum LOVED her full face worth of makeup and was like I'm so getting this done again. Best of luck :)

PistolPackinMama

@ineptus Aw... your mom. Self confidence is such a sucker-punch to deal with.

I'm sorry you got piled on, too. That sounds like a tough spot to be in, for both of you.

Megoon

@ineptus My heart was sinking a little as I read the comments in response to your letter. Wedding planning is really stressful, and comments like these don't help. I'm sorry!

Anyway, my mother-in-law wanders around her house in granny panties and wears sweatpants 100% of the time when not at work, but she put on a nice dress for my wedding and even let me suggest she look beyond her first choice, which made her look like a character from Little House on the Prairie. So there's hope for your mom. And tell her that people DO look at the mother of the bride at weddings, so a little bit of smoothing cream and a nice dress isn't going to be "wasted" on her - and wouldn't be anyway - because she's your mom. Oh, and be happy it doesn't swing in the other direction - at my wedding, my husband's stepmom threw a tantrum at the hair salon because she didn't like her updo, yelling at my mom and throwing the whole day off by almost an hour. She also wore a Eurotrash polyester gown with rhinestones and a train.

teaandcakeordeath

@ineptus
I think your letter brought up a really important issue. I think some women can get in to the habit of putting their own beauty aside when they are raising kids because raising kids is demanding and some families might have a monetary constraint so some women might not feel comfortable spending on themselves.
I think thats why a lot of women end up feeling uncomfortable with pampering later in life as its breaking a habit of a lifetime and might seem ... excessive? Also its soooo hard to find nice appropriate mom aged clothes these days which again removes an incentive to look nice.

All in all I know a few women that age who seem to think that beauty isnt an option for them which makes me feel sad too as I am not a very preened person but I dont think anyone should feel like they dont have the right to feel beautiful. Particularly due to their age which is never a beauty limitation.

I htink it's nice that youre concerned and there were some really nice ideas in the thread above. I think turning this in to mother / daughter time is the best way as you can have fun shopping together and make it a bonding excerise. Maybe it will help to verbally remind your mother that she is a gorgrous lady and she deserves to feel that way?

Argh im talking too much! Have fun shopping for the wedding together!

chevyvan

@ineptus There is at least one person on this forum who understands where you are coming from. No judgement here. I dread the day when my boyfriend visits my parents' home and sees the filth and disrepair. I remember my cousin's wedding when the mother of the groom was drunk and showed up completely out of it 30 minutes late (she died of liver failure a year later). It's really easy for someone else to say, "Tell everyone you love your mom and they can all go fuck themselves if they don't like her." In reality, it's more complicated than that. Not only are you concerned for your mom, but...and you alluded to this...she is actually making things more "about her" by not having basic grooming habits.

It sounds to me like you have healthy boundaries, and I really think that the "let's have fun and get ready for my wedding together" approach might be your best option (no need for a spa day). I'm really sorry you had to read all of the judgemental comments above.

Carrie Ann

@ineptus I'm so glad you chimed in! I know I'm late here, but reading through a lot of the comments directed at you made me feel sick. While she is your mom and of course you owe her respect, I absolutely reject the idea that you, as her adult daughter, never get to express your concerns or ask her to do something for you. That's not disrespectful - that's being a part of a loving family relationship.

My mom and sister are in similar situations, and it worries me to no end. At the same time, it is SO difficult to ask, "Why don't you take care of yourself?" because you know what you're really saying is, "Why don't you like yourself?" Which is an awful discussion to have with your mom, whom you love and want to be happy. The way others read your letter truly baffled me, but maybe that's because I could see through the jokey-ness to your real feelings beneath it.

Regardless, here's how I handled it for my own wedding. I would say, in a very matter-of-fact manner: "Mom/Sister, here are the wedding-related events you will need to attend. This is the dress code for those events. I know that wearing this kind of thing, and getting your hair and/or makeup done is really weird to you! Sorry! Do you have any friends whose daughters have gotten married recently who could recommend some stores to check out for dresses? If not, I've heard good things about the options at _______. If you want, we could go shopping next weekend. You'll get through this, I promise!"

Just treat it like a fact of life - not like an option or something up for discussion. It's one weekend of her life - she can do this thing for you. It is by no means too much to ask.

datalass

@ineptus I'm really glad you braved the comments section and added the details you just did. The thing is, when I read your question, I thought of my own mom and I really, really sympathized. (In fact, I sympathized so much that I started to wonder whether I was just projecting; that's why I'm so glad you gave more background just now.)

I got the impression from a lot of the other comments that people were seeing a Dharma & Greg sort of in-law dynamic (and, yeah, I'm totally dating myself with this reference). That is, one mom is quirky and eccentric but confident and grounded and happy. The other mom (MIL) is coiffed and elegant but superficial and cold. Obviously, in that case, it would be just flatly wrong to say to quirky and eccentric "can't you be more coiffed and elegant."

But here's the thing. My mom (and it sounds like maybe your own) isn't owning her look. She's self-conscious. She hates being in photos because she looks frumpy and (she thinks) overweight. She avoids going to places that would require her to dress up. And so on.

When I first started picking up on her dissatisfaction with her appearance, I did the predictable thing: I tried to help. I bought her clothes when I found things I thought she'd like. I bought her moisturizers that met her (rather stringent) ingredient requirements. But, none of it really worked, and honestly I'm still trying to get a handle on all that's going on there. I suspect that a lot of it has to do with her relationship with my dad, a man who married a practical sort of woman and then spent the next 40 years mooning over glamorous women.

Anyway, like some of the others in this thread, I just wanted to chime in and say that I think I understand.

MissWorst

@ineptus Big hug. I get it. I really do. My husband's father is, um, eccentric? Pretty much only wears sweatpants, is an actual hermit, doesn't get his hair cut if husband doesn't drive up there and take him, lost some teeth and didn't say anything until we did. With my FIL, it is definitely the result of a deeper mental health issue. However, we wanted him at our wedding and wanted him to feel comfortable and confident as possible. We got him some slacks and a shirt and sort of guided him to getting ready and told him how excited we were to have him there and meet everyone. We enlisted a particularly nice uncle to help him the day of the wedding. It went fine. He wasn't in a tux and he's still, well, struggles with social interaction but I think he felt better dressed appropriately and he was really glad he was there and able to participate.

I think he probably has way more issues than your mom but I just wanted to say I get it. You want her to feel good and look good because you love her and weddings make everything so. much. more. stressful.

miwome

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me In his defense, we are in no way blood related, literally zero, and we never actually met each other until like two years ago. But still. You are my mother's stepmother's grandchild, and also I am not attracted to you.

redheaded&crazy

this was a great thread guys. do you notice how we all get really fired up about, what else, weddings and babies?!

girls, man. girls. (I mean ladies. no I mean women. no i mean daughters of the Goddess. oh god I don't know anymore)

leastimportantperson

@redheaded&crazy I believe the preferred term is "PMS-havers".

Megasus

@leastimportantperson uterus persons (sorry I am really tired y'all, just spent 3 hours in line waiting for GRR Martin! And I met him for a single second and it was awesome and totally worth it!)

boheem

oh man thankyou for posting this! perfect timing. All my close friends have moved away and I have no mutual friends with the b+g who I am only just getting to know properly now. C

tortietabbie

I know that probably no one is still hanging around this post, but I just wanted to say that I'm so glad I'm not the only "settled down" young lady who loves her dude but feels...I don't know, stuck somehow. I'm 27, we've been together almost 4 years, we live together, I am deliriously happy and I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but also lately I've been having these fantasies where I quit my job and quit my life and just LEAVE and he doesn't come with me. Which feels so fucked up to admit! Because I love him. I don't want to break up. I just want to go away and be alone for a little while.

Porn Peddler

@tortietabbie I happened to scroll down here and duuuuuuude, no. I kind of want to move out of our apartment for a month
(I am positive that in two days I would be like OMG I MISS MY MISTER :( I am mostly having sexual wanderlust....guh)

lobsterhug

@tortietabbie I feel you, lady! This is going to sound terrible, but last year, my fiance's grandfather died and he was gone for a few days for the funeral. It was amazing having all the time to myself.

tortietabbie

@lobsterhug Last year, he went to Peru for a month and I missed him but I also looooooooved living alone. I think it's my turn to disappear for a month.

lobsterhug

@tortietabbie I've been out of town for work stuff, but I'm hoping to get a solo vacation in this summer so I can go see my family.

Porn Peddler

Alright in retrospect maybe I was a little rage-y toward LW2 and as soon as I saw her comment I felt so bad for taking the piss out of a fellow pinner (I mean, it's not like she's Eli's wife!). I mentioned a bunch of times that I get a lot of appearance policing from my mother and sister (and I'm cute as shit! I just don't wear makeup or rghblrbrushmyhairsometimes) And, with respect to dismissing her concerns about the in-laws judging her mother....well, I'm actually so confrontational that I would get in someone's face about this kind of thing (as I do all. the time. ALL THE TIME. I'm a little unpleasant) I JUST FEEL BAD! I'M SORRY LW2 :( I don't know if I misread your letter or if I just don't see eye to eye with you but ugh a fellow pinner...

PistolPackinMama

@Third Wave Housewife I <3 u for writing this.

@PistolPackinMama Me too.

charizard

LW2: Your same problem is one of the primary reasons I chose not to have a fancy dress wedding. Not out of empathy for my parents, but out of not wanting to face up to the problem. It sucks and I kind of regret not facing it head on.

There's a MASSIVE difference between having a parent who wears dirty clothes in inappropriate settings/refuses brush one's own hair and having a mom who won't wear makeup. We force little kids to brush their teeth and have tidy hair, for fuck's sake. If her dad looked like a slob, she'd probably be equally as concerned. I think this is more of a "how do I address possible mental illness when people are just going to call me out for being anti-feminist". Or maybe I'm just projecting.

I mean, seriously. I fully realize some people choose not to wear makeup or "get pampered". But we all have to look presentable for important events like weddings, graduations or whatever. Choosing not to is either a sign of illness or a sign of disrespect.

janbrady

You guys, sorry to hijack LW1's question, but related:

I am flying solo at my friend's upcoming wedding, even though I have a BF of almost a year. Is that weird? He's invited, but financially strapped at the moment, so paying the flight/expenses would have been tough, and he doesn't know anyone else who'll be there. I'm in the wedding party, so I'll be kept busy and will know lots of people. I'll miss him in moments, but didn't want him to stress when I knew I could still have fun without him. Some people are saying I should have paid for him to come, or otherwise helped, and it's not like I don't love him, I just wanted to make things easier for all involved. Does this make sense? I feel like I should have done differently, or something, the ways some friends are responding to this.

HeyThatsMyBike

@janbrady Ummm this is not even a little bit weird. I have 5 weddings to go to this year and my boyfriend of 2 years may skip one or two of them just because he can't afford to go to them all (partially because we went to 8 last year). I wouldn't be able to pay for him, but even if I could, I think he would've just told me to go have fun with my friends, especially if I was in the bridal party and he wasn't going to know many people. That's a lot of money to spend to sit in a hotel room watching the history channel by yourself until you head to the church to sit by yourself until dinner.
Him not being there means absolutely nothing about the strength of your relationship. If anything, the fact that you're both cool with being independent now and then and you're each actually still making your own (financially-wise) decisions says good things about your relationship.

janbrady

@HeyThatsMyBike This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks!

Rooty

Re: LW2.

I think the way you feel is perfectly reasonable. Although yes our mothers and fathers did raise us, and love us..it is not out of the question to expect them to be a little more "groomed" on your wedding day. This is a valid reason for concern.
My boyfriend and I come from different backgrounds completely. His family is white, rich and fancy. My family is latino, lower middle class and .. very..latino. Our backgrounds completely clash. For this reason (and several others), we are thinking about eloping. Sometimes, you just can't mix two worlds together.

slutberry

@Alexander Awww, you nailed it! (no pun intended [pun slightly intended {pun intended}])Naw, it's mostly because my gramma has lived on the other side of the country for my whole life, and I want to spend time with her before she starts forgetting who I am (Alzheimer's). Hoping to find a job there.

Annnd as far as sucking at relationships... I think mostly I'm insecure because I have never been in a long-term relationship that wasn't long-distance before, so it feels like it takes up So Much Time. Also Gentleman is much more talk-y and sappy than I am, so I often feel kind of cold and standoffish (I should probably note that this is not a thing Gentleman has complained of, but I overanalyze all the things). I like to have lots and lots and lots of time by myself and get vaguely irritated with everyone when I don't get it, and since I see Gentleman more than anyone, he gets the most irritating. Also I wanna have adventurrrrrrres and sometimes having a stable relationship feels like TOO MUCH STABILITY. (but then when I'm single I get all sad because there is so little stability).

carolita

Hey, if my mother was a nice person, supportive, and loving, she could show up to my wedding (not that I'd ever get married) in a potato sack looking like a troll and I'd make everyone love her as she was. I'd consider it a test of their mettle, not hers. Leave her alone to figure out whatever she wants to look like. Have a little trust. At the most, ask her if she needs a few bucks to buy something special SHE would like to wear (if money's an issue), but otherwise, back off, daughter! Hail to the Crypt Keeper!

expattycake

A little late here but LW4? I'm potentially you 11 years down the line. I met the Mr. when I was 18 and he helped me move into my new dorm room. I had dated people in high school but he ended up being my first and only adult relationship. Not because we were all "omg you are my forevermate!" from the start but because it did actually end up that way. I was 22 when he asked me to marry him and 23 when the day came. We had our separate places right up until we got married though like you we more or less lived together the whole time anyway. Neither of us was fixed on getting married so young but we hit a point where school was finishing up and we had to start making choices about what we were going to do. Waiting for the sake of waiting after 4-5 years together seemed silly.

I would be lying if I said the idea of getting (and then being) married didn't freak me out a bit early on. Or if I said I never had a moment of wondering what crazy single adult hook ups would be like. But my freak outs never had anything to do with being stuck *with him* just stress about a huge life change which I think is pretty normal. For me the idea of NOT being with him was always a million times worse than the potential upsides of the whatifs.

We were married WAY before any of our friends but the awesome part of getting married young was that we had years together to just be us. We got to adjust to life together, moved out of the country, lived out of boxes and all that normal young person stuff without anyone pestering us about why we weren't buying a house and pushing out babies yet. I am so glad for that time and looking back I wouldn't change a thing about our timing.

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