Something Old, Something New

Dear Stephanie,

My mother is buying my wedding gown–and wants me to buy a second-hand wedding dress. I just don’t want to. I know it is practical but it feels less fun and less special. It is the most important and special day of my life and I want to wear something that reflects that.  I know it’s just a dress but how do I handle this?

Sincerely,

I want what I want


Dear I want,

Thanks for writing in, and congrats that you have found someone that you love and they love you,  and you want to spend your life with them!! It’s pretty amazing because not all people are so lucky.

So, a second-hand dress is not what you had in mind for “something old”, is it? ; ) I  can 100% relate to you and your feeling of wanting a brand new special wedding dress of your own. I will want the same thing one day when I get married. Now aside from being happy for you, my first reaction was, “Well, you can’t make your mom pay for something she doesn’t want to.” Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could get whom ever to buy whatever for us?! If you want the brand new dress of your dreams I have a few options that I think will help you decide on how you want to proceed.

  1. You could just buy your own damn dress. Problem solved. Then you can buy exactly what you want. It won’t matter what anyone else thinks about the price, new, used or otherwise. If she feels upset about that, say that you would rather she buy your veil, shoes, or lends you your “something borrowed.”
  2. Your mom is probably a very practical women being that she wants you to buy a second-hand dress. So, I am sure she can handle a practical conversation about money. Have a discussion with her letting her know that you would much prefer a new dress not second hand because it is your special day, but that you also understand she has a budget. You could suggest that if your new dream dress falls within the budget: great! If not, then you would like to pay the difference. That is a reasonable and fair compromise.
  3. Do some research. There are some amazing places out there where you can find a brand new designer dress for only a couple hundred dollars. Check out the The Bridal Garden. I am certain they will have the dress of your dreams at the price point your mother’s dream.
  4. Finally, consider getting a second-hand dress…. I know this option is exactly what you do not want to hear, but hear me out. You will only wear the dress once. One day and never again. Right? Also, while this pains me to even say as a person working in the  fashion industry, it is still true… Who cares what you wear? (Yes, you do. I know. But hear me out) It will not make or break your marriage. It’s just a really beautiful dress that will be fun to wear but will not guarantee the success of your marriage and future happiness. Or even how fun your actual wedding day will be. So save the money and put it toward your honeymoon where you can cultivate exciting memories that you can draw on when life gets a little hard. Because let’s face it.. It always does at one point or another.

So with that, I hope you find the option that works best for you. No matter what you choose you will be radiant. It is a state of mind more than anything. I wish you a life time of happiness, joy and health with the love of your life.

 With Love,

Stephanie

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Leaving the Nest

I received the below submission as comment on a previous post:

“I have a question! Next Fall my daughter is going away to a University. I’ve been preparing her for over a year now on how to live alone without a parent and what things to watch out for, yet I still have a lot of anxiety over her move and being without me. We will be 3 states apart and it is really hard for me to let go. What tips do you have on letting go and not freaking out when I say good-bye….. ”

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Dear Reader,

As you may, or may not know, I am not the expert on sending daughters off to college. So, I consulted the authority on this matter…my own mother. She has successfully sent 3 daughters off to college. I thought she might have some valuable insight, having lived it 3 times over.

If her insight isn’t what you needed to hear, I just have to say it was what I needed to hear this weekend. It gave me a boost for the week, I did not know I needed. Since our quick chat, I have felt continuously thankful that I have a mother that is so self-aware, wise, selfless and encouraging.  I know not so many people are as lucky as I am. However, dear reader, I think your daughter must be as lucky and me and my sisters have been.

My Mom expressed that she felt similar emotions to what you are feeling about the impending move and separation. That worrying about the “What if she can’t or won’t?!” is perfectly normal, but instead try to think about the “What if she can and will?!”. She said that positive outlook really made a big difference for her. She was able to be excited about our futures and be excited with us for the next step, instead of dwelling on something negative. Personally, I always feel the most excited and prepared when my parents are also excited for me. Their approval and belief in me gives me an extra boost of confidence when I might normally feel unsure.

From my perspective, I feel that it is human nature to fulfill the roles people assign to us. People who are labeled as”losers”, have been told over and over again they are a loser, they are lazy and are good for nothing. The same goes for people who are confident, successful and happy. They are built up by those around them. We start to believe and embody what the people around us think and say about us.  Since your daughter already has the tools needed to succeed, keep on encouraging her and reminding her of how great she will do on her own. Of course, there will be hard parts to college, but going in believing that she can handle it, that she is aware and that she will succeed will give her the upper hand in most situations.

In terms of letting go and how hard it can be,  my mother suggested, to be so thankful that you were able to raise a healthy young woman who can be on her own. That you can “let go”. There are many parents who wish that their child was capable of such an accomplishment. But on the day of the move, tears are inevitable! Do your best to keep it together, because it is not your daughter’s  responsibility to make you happy, but it is your responsibility to make sure she doesn’t feel guilty about pursuing her dreams.

All in all, you gave her the tools she needs, now believe in yourself that you succeeded in raising her right and share the joy and excitement that will come with the future.

With Love,

Stephanie

Keeping It Cool

Hi Stephanie,

While out for a very late night snack over the weekend my boyfriend got a call from someone named Liz. And then another, and another. Finally I asked who Liz was and with an eye roll and a sigh he said she was an ex girlfriend who “still calls sometimes”. I’m not really *worried* about it but would like to discuss it while we’re both a little more sober. At the same time I don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing. Is it worth bringing it up?

Sincerely,

Trying to be a “Cool” Girlfriend

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Dear Girlfriend,

Thanks for writing in! First, I want to say don’t worry about being the “cool girlfriend”. Of course being a reasonable person is important, but sometimes the cool persona needs to be set aside so you can stick up for yourself and protect yourself. If you’re focused on being the cool girl all the time, are you ever truly being yourself?

Secondly, I would feel the same way, of not wanting to be worried about these calls, because I trust my boyfriend, but my antenna would definitely go up because the circumstances are a little odd. Late night, multiple calls, ex-girlfriend…I would hate it, no matter how cool I am or wanted to be.

Only you will know if you can really trust your boyfriend, but I do think it is a good thing that he was upfront and honest about it when it happened. I would try to let that bring me some ease. That being said, from what you wrote and the fact you even wrote in, says to me that the whole situation still bothers you. So yes, it is worth bringing it up. If you don’t talk about it, it will fester in your mind and turn in to something bigger than it is and lead to mistrust between you and your man.

I don’t think it will be a super uncomfortable conversation. You already know the hard stuff, and you know he’s annoyed by her calling him, which is a good thing. Since you’re not trying to make this an episode of Maurie, I wouldn’t make it a big sit down conversation, that will add a lot of pressure that I don’t think is needed. When you’re running errands or some other low key thing, ask what you want to know regarding this scenario and let him know that this bothers you and that you would prefer if she did not call him late in the night, at the very least. I am sure that you just want confirmation that there is nothing going on between them.

Please let me know how this turns out! I hope for all the best.

With Love,

Stephanie

P.S – I hope you all had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Breaking PROMises

Dear Stephanie,

My 16-year-old daughter was dumped at the last minute by her boyfriend before prom after cheating on her. She had the dress and everything. Her older sister’s good friend ended up stepping in to take her, while the ex-boyfriend went with the girl he cheated on my daughter with. Late in the summer, the boy started  trying to make amends and wants  to get back together. So does she now. We’ve resisted her spending time with him and said no. Her personality even changed to being sad a lot, angry, and darker, but she and her sisters all think he is ok now, is sorry, and deserves a second chance. What do you, being young, suggest?

Sincerely,

A Momma Bear

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Dear Momma Bear,

Thanks for writing in. I really appreciate you seeking my advice on this but honestly, I am not sure at all how to approach this as a parent. I very bluntly want to say your daughters are being naive. Which is only a by product of their age. (Assuming they are all close in age.) Thank goodness they have a mom who is seeing that boy for the untrustworthy person he is.

If that were my sister I would hope that she would stay far far away from him. I’m a firm believer in forgiveness, but not everyone in every scenario deserves a second chance. Especially, in matters of the heart. Cheating, lying and public embarrassment are absolute deal breakers for me. Remind your daughters to maintain their high standards and  that even if he is truly sorry he does not deserve a second chance because what he did was too egregious. In my experience, a guy like him is only sorry and want’s to win your daughter back, because he thinks that’s what he is supposed to do. It’s a game for him.

As I said before, I don’t know what to suggest to you as for parenting advice but I don’t think you should force them apart, more than you have. Keep the boundaries that you set, but I think more than that will only push your daughter farther from you and the support of her family and into the arms of that fool. Even if they are “forbidden” to see each other, they will find a way through lying and sneaking around to be together. Which is the last thing you and your daughter needs.

In the meantime, keep talking to your daughters about how no one should settle for someone who hurts them in such a way. In these talks, be sure to make it clear that if and when it all goes south there will never be an “I told you so”, just a shoulder to cry on. It does seem like they need to learn the hard way, but hopefully they will just take your word for it.

With Love,

Stephanie

 

To Swipe or Not To Swipe

Dear Stephanie,

I’ve just come across a friend of mine’s boyfriend on a dating app and I don’t know what to do next. All the photos/ bio info are very recent and current. They’ve been dating for a while, so I know for a fact this was updated recently.

She and I aren’t as close as we once were and I worry if I bring it up it wouldn’t be well received. Regardless, I still care about her and obviously want what is best for her.

Should I bring this to her attention or just swipe it away?

Sincerely,
🐝

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Dear🐝,

Thank you for writing in. Let’s make the bottomline the first line here: You should tell her what you saw, regardless of where your friendship stands. Us ladies have to stick together.

I know some people might argue that you are sticking your nose in somewhere it doesn’t belong, but this is the type of scenario that you have to take a second to think about what you would want if the roles were reversed? If I were your friend, and you came across such a thing, I would want to know immediately. I don’t care if we just had a giant fight, or I haven’t seen you or spoken to you in years, or we are thick as thieves. I would be thankful for the knowledge and glad that someone has my back in a time of such deception. If you were in a similar situation, what would you want?…That’s your answer.

If you end up reaching out to her about what you saw I think there can be 2 outcomes:

  1. The Worst: Her longterm boyfriend is cheating on her in a very public way.
  2. The Best: There is some agreement between them and she is aware he is out there swiping away and things are OK.

So let’s hope for the best, that she is ok, happy and aware of what his going on in her relationship; and that she is glad that she has a friend like you in her corner.

With Love,

Stephanie

If anyone else has different approach, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your point of view.

Helping a Sister Out

Dear Stephanie,

My sorority sister is bulimic. She came back to school this year and lost tons of weight over the summer.  Everyone is like “yeah you look great” but I think that the compliments just make her more bulimic. I don’t think she throws up every single time she eats, but definitely most of the time. Sometimes she does it when I’m in her dorm room, and she uses the in-suite restroom. She knows I can hear her. One time I tried to say something but she was just like “yeah, I have issues”, and the conversation ended there.

Honestly, I feel like she’s a really dramatic person in general and she’s always seeking some kind of attention. That might make me a bad person, I don’t know, but she clearly has an issue. Also, her boyfriend is Satan, so maybe that has something to do with it? Anyway, it’s not like we are best friends. So I don’t know if I am the best person to help her. I would if I had a solid solution but I don’t. What should I do?

Sincerely,

A Worried Sister

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Dear   Worried ,

Thank you for sending me your question. I am really sorry to hear about the different struggles that you and your sorority sister are facing. Please keep in mind I am not an expert on eating disorders, but I have done some research to make sure I am giving you the best advice that I can.

That being said, the only person who could come up with a “solid solution”  and strategy for her recovery is a medical professional. In nearly everything I read,  for a person in your position it is best that you continue to be a supportive and understanding friend. As you may know, bulimia, like other eating disorders, is some sort a coping mechanism to feel some type of control over oneself and their lives. There is something bigger going on in their life that they are trying to control through disordered eating. Since, you mention her boyfriend and that he is awful, that could be one of the reasons she is turning to this destructive behavior. His presence in her life may just exacerbate what’s already there. You might not be the first person she would turn to for comfort and advice, but let her know you are there for her if she wants to talk and continue to remind her how great she is without making any mention of her physical appearance.

When the time is right to confront her again, you could again be met with that cavalier attitude, but you also have a chance to plant a seed for recovery. Maybe, check and see if your school has eating disorder support groups? Print the info for her. Let her know what resources exist. I think that time will come sooner rather than later. I feel that she is loudly crying for help. The attention seeking that you mention and the fact that she purges with you in such close quarters, tells me she wants someone to do something with her or for her—or perhaps even confront her and ask if she wants help. When and if you confront her, do it without judgment and criticism and let her know she is not alone.

As for your peers who keep complimenting her appearance, I am sure not everyone thinks she looks amazing. More might agree with you than you think, but it also won’t help your sorority sister if you’re going around trying to rally troops of people who think she looks awful and is ill. That will do way more damage than good. As I said before, keep being a supportive and kind friend and when people are raving about her appearance, you continue to focus on what is inside. Eventually other people, with less tact, will speak up and it will be known most people think she needs help. She will need a friend in that time more than ever.

The advice that I am giving is certainly much easier said than done and would take a lot of patience and kindness to not blurt out that she should get help now, but like I said and according to the professionals’ advice,  this is the best thing you can do for her right now. Last but not least in the event of a medical emergency (if she faints, for example) call 9-1-1 right away and don’t keep any secrets about your sorority sister that could impede her treatment and recovery.

So, I hope this is helpful for you and in turn your sorority sister. If anyone else has a suggestion on how to help both of these girls even further, please leave a comment below.

With Love,

Stephanie

Busting a Move

Dear Stephanie,

I have been living with one of my best friends for 2 years and it’s been great. We have the same living habits, our apartment is in a cute old brownstone in a great neighborhood, and an easy commute to work for the both of us. The only downside is that I have a much smaller room and we pay the same rent. My room is technically part of her room, just with a wall divider, so there isn’t much privacy. This has never been an issue, just more of an inconvenience for me which I’ve never felt was a problem since, I’ve been happy with every other aspect of our living space.

Things started to change when she got a boyfriend last January. Which I understand and is part of life, things change. I started dating my now BF too, and we both spend a lot of time with our boyfriends and MUCH less time together as friends. This is fine, but it’s just been a very different living situation than it was before.

So, anyways, I hadn’t any intention of moving any time soon, but my boyfriend and I were talking about the future, and discussed living together. He recently asked if I would seriously consider moving in with him and I was open to the idea, but hesitant to leave my roommate to fend for herself. I knew I was not ready to move out in the next month or so. I said I would consider it for next year ( This discussion is happening in August/September) when our lease was up at the end of February. On that note, he researched and found some places for us to look at for the future and I was interested. So, one weekend we decided to take a look get a feel for the rental market.

I didn’t tell my roommate we were going to look, because I didn’t want to alarm her. Nothing was set in stone and it was just to see what was out there just for our own research. So, off we went to get ideas. I didn’t tell my roommate and I thought I was doing the right thing by not alarming her.

When we were looking we ended up falling IN LOVE with one of the apartments. As soon as we walked in the apartment, I could picture my life with my boyfriend there. I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but once we saw the place we knew we had to move. Bonus!! – the rent would be the same as my current, but I would be getting SO much more.

After speaking with a leasing agent, she told us a few places were still available and if we were seriously interested, we should put a hold on one of the apartments for March 2018. It all happened so fast, but we felt comfortable committing to a place since we wouldn’t have to move until the end of February. At the time a little less 6 months away.

It was perfect. I was only concerned about leaving my roommate and her having to figure out a new living arrangement. After thinking about it more, I decided that I needed to do what was best for me and my life. Since, the move was 5 months out when I told her, I thought  that was enough time to let her know and for her to figure out what to do.

I told my roommate 3 weeks ago that I am moving out in February. She was shocked when I told her, and I don’t know if I was communicating super clearly. It was hard to show my excitement but also my empathy. She said she was upset because she feels like this came out of nowhere, and said she has nowhere to go and doesn’t want to live with anyone else or anywhere else. I offered multiple times to help her look for places or roommates and she said no.

My roommate has now been ignoring me for 3 weeks, and I’ve tried to stay friendly and say good morning and goodnight, but it’s awkward. She literally hasn’t talked to me at all. At this point, I’m not sure what to do. Its awkward and uncomfortable being at my apartment, and I don’t know how to interact with her since she won’t talk. She’s not some random person I’m living with, she was one of my best friends. I didn’t think our friendship was going to end over this, and I don’t necessarily think it is over at this point, but I don’t know how to repair it, or even if it can be repaired. I’m 100% set and excited to move and I feel I’ve offered all I can to help her for the next step.  I don’t even talk about my new apartment with someone if she’s home so I don’t hurt her feelings.

Do you have any advice on how to handle the next few months living in this situation or how to mend things with her?? Or should I let the friendship slowly go if this is how things are going to be?

Sincerely,

A Frustrated Roommate

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Dear Frustrated,

First I want to say congrats on that exciting, and big step you are taking with your boyfriend! I am sure you will both be very happy in this next adventure.

Next, I want to say thanks for your question an all the background information you gave. It painted a clear picture for me and I’m sorry that while you are so excited for the next step with your boyfriend, your friendship is suffering. But, I admire you for wanting to mend the fence with your friend. I am not that sure I am as big of a person, especially since she can’t expect you to live with her forever, and 5 months is a crazy generous amount of time for her to get it together (2 months is standard), and you are offering to help her out  AND she is acting like an absolute child giving you the silent treatment. Sounds to me like she is the one who needs some advice! But since you asked, I am more than happy to help! =)

That being said, I think there are 2 ways to make to make a difference in the coming months where you can be happier and more comfortable in your home. 

1. If I were you, I would take a second to think about why she is so surprisingly upset? My first impression is that she is she is hurt that you did not tell her about this exciting news in your life, until after you signed your new lease. She felt excluded. Perhaps, she doesn’t even realize that things have changed? It might have been an abrupt wake up call for her to realize things are different now. That on top of the relatively small annoyance of figuring out a new living situation, is why she is so upset. I don’t think this is your fault, you are allowed to keep things between you and your partner until you feel the time is right. It is part of growing in a relationship. (I personally find your timing to be generous. 5 months is a lot of time to solve a small problem.)
But anyway, if you agree and think that it is possible that is part of the reason why she is so upset, try to express to her that you still value your relationship and still want that friendship. Just because your time living together is ending 5 months, does not mean your friendship is ending that day either.
Even though she is not talking to you she can still hear you. So it might feel like you are talking to a wall, but at least she will know you still care. From there, the ball is in her court. You’re doing all you can. If she doesn’t tell you what’s up how can you make anything better? If you get no response here then I suggest point 2.
2. Leave it be. She appears to be too selfish to see past her nose. If she can’t understand that you are trying your best to do everything right, then I don’t think she deserves a friendship with someone so giving and considerate.
Now, I know point 2 is starting off pretty hard in the paint, but all I’m really suggesting is you keep on saying hello, and goodbye and being friendly. She may come around or she may not, but you can go to bed every night knowing you are being the bigger, better, kinder person. I’m sure sooner or later she will see the light and come around. Water cuts through rock not because of it’s strength, but because it is persistence. You might not be buddies in the coming months but perhaps she’ll grow by your example and you can work it out.
Regardless, you being kind to her shows that she’s not getting to you. People who give the silent treatment are looking for a reaction and she is clearly not getting one. So keep being home and enjoying your space. If she breaks her silence or not, you deserve to enjoy the comfort of your home.
I personally, want you to work it out because that is exactly what I would want in the same scenario. No one is perfect and they are your friend for a reason! You have a bond over something! BUT, we all know not all things are meant to last. Some relationships are valuable in that you learn a lot while in them, but in order to move forward and grow things have to end. This always so hard and so confusing, especially with platonic relationships. So if that is the outcome of this particular friendship, just know that nothing was a waste and you should be thankful for all the good times. Who knows, may some time apart will bring you back together even stronger.
So, I hope this was helpful and has given you some ideas on what to do next. I think, it’s all going to work out the way it is supposed to. If anything, you’ll just be more excited to move in with your boyfriend… and that’s not so bad?
If anyone else has a suggestion for this Frustrated Roommate please leave a comment below. We would both love to hear it.
With Love,
Stephanie

Butting In or Butting Out

Would you look at this! A clearly great mom, who is trying to be the best mom is looking for some advice from me, of all people.

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“I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m actually the mom of 20s somethings and really need advice on how and when they may want advice from me! I know wait ‘til they ask, but what if I think it’s necessary and nobody asked? Thanks in advance for your perspective.”

Hi There,

I am so glad you have found my blog too! Thanks for your question, I hope I can be of help.

That being said, I think you are already on the right track. I think all moms want what is best for their children and you are no exception! So, when it comes to giving advice that was not asked for, it means that you are concerned for them or you think you know what is best for them. I am sure in most cases you do know what is best, since you have lived a fuller and longer life than your child. However, your life is, has, and will continue to be different from you child’s. So not every answer that you have found true for your life will be true for them.

In those moments, maybe take a second to think about your apprehension and why you want to speak up and offer advice. Is it because your child is choosing something that is currently socially acceptable, normal even healthy, but was something that would have be considered unacceptable in your youth? Is their decision hurting themselves or other people? Do you think they will be more or less unhappy? Is it immoral and unethical? (Fairly subjective depending on what you believe in.)

After asking yourself those questions, and you still feel the need to offer advice, that they are unsafe or metaphorically walking into the lion’s den, then go ahead butt in and offer advice. I cannot promise you that you will not butt heads, but your words will not fall on deaf ears. They will hear you, even if they do not want to. I am sure they will also be secretly thankful for the input.

Trust me on this one. My own lovely mother, would offer advice (butt in) when necessary, even if it wasn’t sought out. Sure, I was VERY annoyed, but I heard it and I may have even followed it after I chewed on her words a little longer. It was her suggestion, but my choice.

Which leads to my last piece of advice, trust yourself that you raised your 20s somethings to be capable adults, who will make the best decisions for their lives. Of course, they might stumble and fall but that is how they will learn what is true for them and their lives.

I hope that was helpful and offers some insight on how a 20s something might feel. If anyone else has a further suggestions, please let me and this momma know in the comments below.

With Love,

Stephanie

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Solicited Advice

Congrats and Welcome!  You have found this small piece of the internet now known as “Solicited Advice”!

Solicited Advice is an online advice column for your everyday awkward scenarios, problems, and conundrums. It never hurts to have a second opinion, with a dose of kindness and laughter.

I know you are probably wondering who is this weirdo, offering advice over the internet to strangers? Well, let me introduce myself. I am Stephanie, currently a young professional working and living in NYC. I currently work in the Fashion Industry, but lately I have been wondering if there is a way I can have more of a positive effect on the world around me? To help people just a little bit and maybe make them smile too. Especially, with all of the terrible recent current events.

So, I got to thinking, what am I good at and what do I like to do? When lead two to simple answers, 1. I want to help people and 2. I am good at giving advice. How do I know I am good at giving advice?.. Quite frankly, I have been told over and over again by my friends and I have to admit I agree. Granted, I really only “specialize” in the following: relationship and dating advice, beauty and simple health advice, fashion advice, friendship advice and roommate advice. BUT, I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes, so if you have a question that falls out of those parameters. Lay it on me! I would love to help you out and learn something new in the process. Of course, please note I am not a professional just a regular person who is eager to help.

You can submit your questions via email to the below email address or you can submit your question through the contact page.

solicitedadvicess@gmail.com

So starting sending and I’ll starting posting. Questions that are blogged about will be posted anonymously.

Let me know below what you would like to see out of blog like this? I am excited to see how this will grow.

With Love,

Stephanie