Happy birthday, babygirl! I hope that the low-key, casual party is indeed mostly stress-free. I'm just now crawling out from under the thank you notes for the couple of pre-birth parties extremely generous loved ones have thrown for us. But I did it! They've all been sent. My 1 thing is to call J. Crew. We placed an order for a couple of things for my husband last month and got a shipping notification 4 weeks ago. The UPS tracking number from the order status led to a USPS tracking number, which is...mysteriously unfindable on the postal service website. I noticed this, oh, two weeks ago and haven't done anything about it. I guess it's probably lost? My husband's actually now on a work trip for five weeks, so I'm also trying to keep from having my second 1 thing be collapsing in a pile of tears every other moment.
@EM one of my best friends wore that dress! She looked great, it's gorgeous. Congratulations!
The part of the excerpt I really relate to was the admiration/envy of the glamorous editor, P., and Emily's disappointment that P. couldn't afford her own MbMJ bag. Married myself now, about to have a kid, in a household with a healthy income, and it was like a hard sell for me to even buy maternity clothes, much less $500 handbags. When does it get easy to just buy the clothes you want without thinking about it? One other Marc Jacobs anecdote: around this same era, one of my best friends was heading to law school, and she realized that any non-retirement financial assets she had the day school started would be used up first in a financial aid package. That is, law school would ensure she left with zero savings, so she might as well start with zero savings. She bought two Marc Jacobs handbags and a laptop.
Oh, man. I feel badly for K! I really, truly hate bridal boutiques. My Kleinfeld's experience was somewhat less terrible because I was thinking of it as a sham: I planned to have a dress made by the costumer at the opera in LA, but I went to try things on with my now mother-in-law, whose only child is a son and who ADORES such rituals. So we were just playing dress-up! I gave them an absurdly high budget! And the dresses were, for the most part, both fun and not worth the price. It was great to have my mother-in-law along, actually, because while I pulled an abstemious 3 or 4, she went through the store pointing out another 15 or so, to the consternation of the attendants. Lower point: hated Monique Lhuillier, higher point: loved Gabriela in the meatpacking district. Most down to earth service I experienced, really quite kind. When I had to give up the dream of the custom-made dress for scheduling reasons, and the search was higher-stakes, it was also a LOT less fun. I just wanted someone to stick me in a dress that was a not-exorbitant amount of money BUT made our mothers and my sisters happy and call it done.
@Non-anonymous That's because it's not actually economic thinking! Economic thinking would have you maximize your enjoyment to price ratio, basically, without regard to the bar's costs.
@readyornot I should mention, these are not money related! I do listen to Planet Money a lot, but I figure everyone knows that one.
I estimated $350 for two people on a wedding weekend away, and we went over. Friday: breakfast $5, lunch $0 (friends treated), dinner $19, tank of gas $40, and my husband bought the new Murakami novel at the airport, $28. Saturday: breakfast $36 (for a friend and for my husband and me), lunch $29, dinner at the wedding. Sunday: breakfast $24 (NOT incl. at hotel - boo), gas for the rental $30, lunch $23, cab $47, dinner $30, groceries $100. Total: $411. The expenses which we paid before the weekend were: rental car for 2 days $80, hotel for 1 night in Grand Canyon $100, hotel for 2 nights in Flagstaff $330, plane tickets $350, maternity dress to wear to wedding $100, gift $150. Is that it? I think so. Totaling a little over $1100.
@Stina it was totally gorgeous, a really fun time.
@Stina that is really sweet!
Congratulations on the Mommy and Daddy are Fighting mention! My favorite Slate podcast is definitely the Culture Fest. They're articulate, feisty, and a good escape from things I already think too much about. But on the mommyblog note, my favorite in recent memory is the children's literature one in which Dana Stevens sings her version of the song from the Little Fur Family. That's my husband's favorite book from his childhood. My favorite other podcast is Call Your Girlfriend, the podcast of journalist extraordinaire Ann Friedman chatting with her tech lady mafiosa bestie Aminatou Sow. They talk pop culture (a theme with me) but also feminism, race issues, class stuff, and friendship. It's great, I love it.