@bowtiesarecool I also went to school in DC. My school is one of those without its own ROTC program, but I did know a few people who commuted to Georgetown for Army ROTC. Our school had a history of supporting ROTC as little as possible because of Vietnam, then Iran-Contra, then gay rights... our fans used to chant "Don't Ask! Don't Tell!" when our school would play West Point at basketball. Not our school's finest moment. From what I understand, though, that's changing. I hope?
This is true, and is maybe geographic as well as class-based. There are way fewer universities with ROTC programs in the Northeast than in other regions, especially top-tier universities. See this Foreign Policy blog post from 2 years ago for some shocking details/comparisons.
@walterce It's also buying access to an elite social group. Lots of charity groups have black-tie fundraisers; almost none of them get the press coverage of the Met Ball. Big donors get to feel like quasi-celebrities (while rubbing elbows with real ones).
We keep the lion's share in our joint accounts. My entire paycheck goes in there. I use my credit cards for a mix of joint & personal expenses, and I pay them off every month from the joint account. (Not the most transparent method, but it works for now, plus I get points.) My husband moves a certain amount of each paycheck into his personal checking for his own expenses, including gifts. His Christmas gift to me this year is a cashmere winter hat, which I of course already know about and in fact wore to work today, because it would be cruel to keep that kind of thing in hiding when it's so cold out. He also knows what I'm getting him (a Bluetooth speaker), and he'll receive it as soon as it arrives. We won't be home for Christmas, so it doesn't make sense to wrap something up and bring it with us, only to bring it back home unwrapped after the holiday. Also, he's not big on surprises (either giving or receiving), and I don't care much either way!
For those outside NYC, you can check out these national organizations: National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (which has links to a bunch of other local & national organzations for groups like veterans, LGBT youth etc).
@TheDilettantista Saja made my runner-up dress! It was so beautiful and lightweight. I ultimately decided on a less expensive dress, which was the right choice for me, but I still love to look at the photos from when I tried on the Saja :)
@cuminafterall Forgot to mention, I spent $330 and there was no crying.
I tried on a bunch by myself at J. Crew, and then I tried on a bunch with my mom and sister at a bridal shop, and I liked one from each place. I bought the J. Crew because it was 1/3 the price of the other one and I could order it online and not have to go to the bridal shop for alterations. The other one was prettier but not worth the hassle. (We had a "not worth the hassle"-themed wedding.)
Looking forward to a restful, festive weekend! I'll be doing a bunch of online gift shopping, but I'm not including it in my estimate for gift-secrecy purposes. Today: going to the gym after work, then picking up some provisions for holiday baking ($20). Chores, dinner in, reading. Tomorrow: Christmas tree sale at our local elementary school! Hopefully around $40 for a 4- or 5-foot tree. Decorating said tree while listening to The Carpenters' A Christmas Portrait, $0. Making some cookies ($0) and doing some online holiday shopping ($X). Sunday: I WILL see Catching Fire this weekend. $14 for 2 tickets to the matinee show. I might wander into Paper Source for some gift wrap business, hopefully no more than $10 worth, but we all know how that goes. Then groceries, $50. Total: $124 + gifts.
@Lily We spread the word through our parents, and also put a little note in our ceremony program (it was the only reason we even had a program-- we wanted people to know what was going on). It said something like, "Anyone who feels inclined or moved to speak may stand and share a prayer, thought, or message of support for [our names]. While we welcome intentions, we also expect periods of silence and reflection. If you would like to speak, please stand as the last person finishes."