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Carolyn Hax: Bride's best friend can't make weddin
I'm getting married in seven months and my best friend just told me she is pregnant with her second child and can't come to the wedding because it is during her no-fly window. By way of background, she moved overseas 12 years ago. I went above and beyond to help her plan her wedding because it ended up being a last-minute, DIY backyard wedding. I was happy to be there for her, and I felt like her wedding made us even closer. I also did it without expecting her to do the same for me. Also, I'm an older bride (mid-30s), and I go back and forth feeling like I'm too old for all the pomp and circumstance in the big white dress with a gaggle of girlfriends around me. I can recognize the important thing is the marriage, and I've settled on splitting the difference by having a lower-key wedding and my best friend as the only member of my wedding party. I don't know how to get over the hurt I feel. First, I won't have my best friend there for me, and it makes me feel quite lonely. Second, while I know the world doesn't revolve around me, I'm hurt that she didn't delay trying for this baby for a little bit longer so she could make it to the wedding. Third, this is amplifying my original feelings — that I feel ridiculous wearing a big white dress when my friends are focused on their families. I want to throw in the towel and just get married at a courthouse because I'm no longer excited about the wedding. Help! — Missing My Maid of Honor Fourth, please make this the last time you ever say out loud that she should have postponed her baby. I'll assume your disappointment left you temporarily deranged, because the alternative is too depressing. And I'll assume this bout of bridezillus horrificus has run its course, meaning by now you've reminded yourself that women in their mid-30s — or of any age, really — who want children don't "delay trying" except for reasons of personal, relationship or financial health. Even when they love their bride-to-be best friends to bits. I'm assuming too because I don't want your overreaction to swamp your valid points. I don't think it's properly understood, or even particularly cared about, how it feels to be the last of your friends to hit a big life milestone. It's like a marathon: The front-runners have a cheering crowd three or four rows deep, enjoying the novelty and excitement. Then the hours pass and the crowd goes home to its other priorities, except for the loved ones of the people still trickling across the line. And now you're in your big dress without the one person you counted on to cheer you across. It's not a calamity, but it's lonely, yes. If I were advising your group of friends, I'd remind them this is momentous still for you, and that caring about you means opening up to your joy. Advising you is more complicated. Yes, you've set your date, but ask anyone who pulled the plug at the altar: You are not wedded to your wedding. You can flex your maturity and rethink your whole plan with your partner. What do you want, who do you want, and why? Then: Can you satisfy these ... next weekend at the courthouse? Four months from now, best friend in attendance? On the planned date but with updated expectations and a killer cocktail dress? I suspect even those feted front-runners would advise this: Make it yours. Make it feel better than this. Dueling wedding dates Dear Carolyn, We're recently engaged and planning our wedding. However, my fiancé's older brother proposed to his girlfriend first, despite knowing my then-boyfriend was planning his proposal. When the brother's fiancée began wedding planning back in December, she mentioned how upset she would be if I chose the summer of 2016 since it would be too close to her wedding (that July). She was even more upset when I mentioned I had always wanted a June wedding. She exclaimed my date idea "pissed me off" and told me to reconsider. My fiancé and I have decided on the venue and are shooting for June 2016. Do you think I should reevaluate my date? Or carpe diem, and book it anyway? — J. She sounds charming. But not clever, since her threat is tempting you to stick on principle to an inconsiderate wedding date. Of all the possible dates, you need one 30-ish days from his brother's? Especially if key family members have to travel, that's a needlessly me-centric move (by someone under a cloud of suspicion from that my-guy-thought-to-propose-first assertion, as if it matters). So choose a better principle, one as warm, inclusive and decent as your future sister-in-law's was bullying, then pick a date. This someday sister-in-law seems eager to fight. You can't beat that — except by committing to do, then trust, what's right. Read more:
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Southport College students create stunning Circus
Southport College students create stunning Circus and Fairground themed fashion show Over 120 students were involved in a Circus and Fairground themed fashion show and competition at Southport College. Staff and students from Art & Design, Beauty Therapy, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, Media, Painting & Decorating, Photography and Hospitality & Catering courses joined forces to host a dazzling evening of fashion and entertainment. The collaboration saw hospitality students welcoming visitors to the event with a range of fairground themed snacks they had produced in the College’s training restaurant, Clouds. The circus-themed stage was designed and assembled by Painting and Decorating students. The models took to the stage and showcased costume designs produced by our Art students with hair and make-up design by the college's Hair and Beauty students. Media and photography students were on hand to document the event and a musical interlude provided by even more of Southport College’s talented students kept guests entertained while the judging took place. The judges were made up of a panel of industry representatives including Reece Salon Birkdale, The Style Room Formby, Dennis Williams Hair and Beauty supplies and L'Oréal. They had the unenviable task of choosing between such high-quality work but eventually settled on the following outcomes. Read more:
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So, there's now a preschool for adults
Most children of preschool age are keen for life to speed up so they can finally achieve what they want to be "when they grow up". A group of New Yorkers, on the other hand, have set up a "preschool for adults" where grownups can indulge in their desires for snacks, nap time and finger painting. 'Preschool Mastermind' is a short course, of sorts, set up by New York media personality Michelle Joni. Of the adult preschool, Joni says, "We'll explore preschool concepts, like sharing and friendship, in order to apply and inject play, wonder, self-belief, and community into our grown-up lives." The first month-long "term" of Preschool Mastermind ran earlier this year; another is planned for fall. Cosmopolitan writer Amanda Devereux attended the initial course and wrote extensively about her experience. "For show-and-tell, I brought a pair of statuesque Jeffrey Campbell shoes with a Black Milk comic strip print on them," she writes. "As an adult, it's difficult to find a possession that you really want to take out and show people. I briefly considered my new turquoise Le Creuset teapot (which I am seriously excited about) but thought it might just send the message that my life is so boring that I get a thrill out of heating water for tea." It may amuse you to know that Devereux paid $NZ457 for the privilege of showing the class her shoes: Preschool Mastermind's fees run on a sliding scale that runs from $342 all the way to $1,028. Pay what you feel! Feelings! Yay!! Imagine, if you will, an adult human being who is a) so desperate to shuck off the responsibilities and realities of adulthood that they were b) prepared to pay $1000 to do so. From the kidults of series like Girls and films like Bridesmaids and any Judd Apatow movie, it has seemed increasingly as though the "grownup" is an endangered species in this decade. But while on-screen depictions of kidulthood is one thing, as the growing trend for "inner child" activities demonstrates, the real life infantilisation of adults continues apace. (It's worth noting that none of these "inner child" activities involve the hard work of Jungian psychoanalytic theory, but more "hooray for everything"-esque games and crafts.) This infuses our day-to-day lives, too. More than once I have remarked on the bad behaviour of an adult friend or acquaintance only to have someone reply "Oh, they're only young"; I don't buy it. As a colleague of mine once said, World Wars were fought and won by men who'd not yet celebrated their 30th birthday. When did adulthood become something that we only achieve in our 40s or later? A clue to this may be found in Joni's official description of Preschool Mastermind: "Something you may not know about me is that I have nearly half a degree in Early Childhood Education. I wanted to be a preschool teacher for many years, so that is what I originally went to college for!" Well then, take my money now! Many have wondered, presumably desperate to understand what is happening, whether adult preschool may be some sort of "weird sex thing". Sadly, this expensive frippery does not seem to be a real-life version of Broad City's nightmarish "adult baby" moment starring Fred Armisen: there does not appear to be anything, well, adult about Preschool Mastermind. Instead, the moneyed participants are evidently only concerned with accessing their "inner child" via such storied preschool activities as being given pill capsules with smiley faces drawn on them. Really: "Miss Joni instructs us to write what we want the pills to do on the scroll of paper, then put the pill back together, and put it in a little glass bottle with cork stopper, which she encourages us to decorate." Hello, choking hazard, anyone? It's difficult to decide which scenario is more troubling: the adults among us who are living a preschool life and are blissfully unaware of it, or those who are actual functional adults earning enough money to pay wads to go stick their fist in a bowl of poster paint. This whole sad shemozzle is even more galling if you consider the fact that actual children are losing the ability (or desire) to play. In a 2013 essay about "the play deficit", Boston College research professor Peter Gray wrote, "play teaches social skills without which life would be miserable. But it also teaches how to manage intense, negative emotions such as fear and anger." Could this be the true reason behind Preschool Mastermind and other "child for a day" activities of its ilk: as some sort of non-threatening self-help group? Gray noted in the same piece that "the decline in opportunity to play has also been accompanied by a decline in empathy and a rise in narcissism, both of which have been assessed since the late 1970s with standard questionnaires given to normative samples of college students." (Oh, a rise in narcissism since the '70s, you say? I'm sure narcissistic adults in their mid-30s wouldn't want to pay exorbitant amounts
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