Dear ESB, I will be attending a wedding in Mexico the first week of April. The invitation says something that translates to "evening attire" and this side of the family is known for going a little over the top. I do not see this side of my family very often and I do not want to look like a clueless American. While I can dress myself for any other occasion this one is giving me nightmares. I have a small budget due to travel expenses ($200) and I am looking for something that will pass as evening wear while having something of an edge i.e.: not a lace gown like all my aunts will be wearing. If you have any advice for me at all please help.
AAAAAAAAAAH SUCH A GOOD ONE
I'm beyond excited for you guys to shop this. Maybe I'll throw up some of my favorite suggestions and we can take a vote??
Dear ESB, Recently, my dad got engaged. I am very happy for him and excited he has found someone to share his life with. This is all pretty run of the mill stuff until I get to the part where it's my dad's 4th marriage. I am the one and only product of both my parents 1st marriage and they have been divorced for most of my life. This will be the 3rd time I have watched my dad get married in roughly 25 years. All of the marriages, including the one to my mother lasted 5ish years. His fiancé is quite a bit younger than him, about 6-7 years older than me, so in her middle-late 30s. No big whoop, but given her age, this is her first marriage. She is, in the exact opposite style of my cheapskate self, pulling out all the stops. Photographer, wedding planner, personalized wedding favors, those pieces of fabric that go over the chair with the ribbon that make the chair look like a ghost, all that shit. Additionally, she is having a wedding shower. Now while I wouldn't necessarily be having one if I was the 4th wife of the dude I was marrying, I get it. Princess for a day and all that. However, the other day I had the realization that I might be expected not only attend their wedding, which is fine and will likely be a ton of fun, but that I might also be expected to give them a shower AND wedding gift! I immediately started combing the internet for people in the same boat with wonderful advice on the subject and came up with nothing. Admittedly, I am guilty of being a little over practical and possibly rigid (Capricorns forever!!). That said, the idea of giving my dad a card full of money and some tacky-ass napkin rings from their registry at bed bath & beyond for his 4th marriage honestly fucking flabbergasts me. It feels bizarre to even consider. As an aside, I don't have a super great relationship with my dad to begin with due to some crappy childhood junk, but I am definitely in a pretty good place and would give us like a 5/10 after lots of therapy and one very patient, wonderful listener of a mother. I guess I am wondering if the concept of a 4th wedding gift for your dad is in fact as asinine as I feel like it is or if maybe our strained relationship has something to do with my strong opposition to this. It has nothing to do with money at all, it's just a matter of apparently deep-seated principle. So, is it a total dick move to not get them anything? Lots of people came to my wedding and didn't bring a gift, including my dad, and it wasn't an especially big deal to me but I have a feeling that bringing nothing might get me on her perma-shitlist. Normally I'd just DO something for them as my gift but I think that might be out (They were going to do an iPod DJ thing, so I offered to bring records and DJ and the suggestion is sort of just hanging there, ignored, in the abyss) or not her style, so I am at a loss here. I thank you for any wisdom, insight or potentially needed bitchslap into reality you and your wonderful readers can provide me with!
I'm actually sort of relieved it's $5K because, like, that's not even in the REALM. If it were $2K I would gnash my teeth and try to make it happen, even though my couch budget at the moment is precisely $0.0K
My husband and I are backing out of a business endeavor we were super excited about. Our visions weren't lining up with our prospective partners, and we realized that we weren't willing to give what they were expecting. It's fine, but I'm back to feeling lost in the whole "what am I doing with my life?" game. I've had it with my Etsy store, and always knew I wanted to switch gears when my son started school. But I'm just feeling overwhelmed. I suck at working for other people, so I need to start my own project again…. I guess I just wish sometimes that I wasn't so PASSIONATE. I should have just been an accountant.
I just had a very similar conversation with a writer friend -- she said something like “I feel sorry for people who don’t have something they’re passionate about” and I was like BUT WOULDN’T THAT BE EASIER
Lately I've been in a bit of a funk myself.
I don't want a real job (or: I prefer my real job to run 20 weeks/year) but I'm terrible at managing my time. I scaled back on blogging to give myself space to write, and then spent most of January and February staring at Twitter and/or playing Threes. I decided to use our tax refund to make a short film,* which feels amazing -- I've been casting! and location scouting! and talking about shots with my dp! I feel like a real director again! -- but now I have to get my act together and write the feature script that comes next and YES LIFE IS HARD
Wait, was I supposed to be giving you advice? I'm not sure I'm qualified.
All I can do is send you a ginormous hug across the interwebs and tell you to a) Cut yourself some slack, and then b) GET TO IT. It's okay to take baby steps. It doesn't have to be all good and finished and perfect all at once.
Sophie Vlaming by Hicham Riad for Marie Claire Belgium (March 2014) via visual optimism