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Family

17 assumptions modern newlyweds are sick of people making about their marriages.

Pro tip: Don't ask newlyweds about babies.

17 assumptions modern newlyweds are sick of people making about their marriages.


If you just got married, chances are lots of people think they know what your life is like.

These people are totally well-meaning! And also, mostly wrong.

Being married isn't exactly like it used to be. Which is great, as there are so many different, amazing ways to be newlyweds than ever before. But it's also occasionally frustrating, as we newlyweds are frequently forced to dispel a lot of myths about our relationships.

So let's get them out of the way in one fell swoop.

Here are the most common (but mistaken) assumptions strangers make when you're a newlywed couple, and what our lives are really like.


Assumption #1: We went on our honeymoon already, and we left right after the wedding.

Just like we imagined it. Because we did imagine it.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: In our dreams, we definitely did — and we had a great time!

In real life, however, most of us can't just take a week (or more) off work at will. The office is hella busy, and on top of that, we live in the only wealthy country in the world that doesn't mandate any paid vacation. Many of us were barely able to get the day of our actual wedding off (ultimately, we compromised with our manager and took a half-day).

We're planning to get to it ... eventually. But it might be a while. We promise we'll send pictures!

Assumption #2: We're going to have babies ASAP.

Yay?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: We love being married! But, you know, we actually haven't decided? About babies? We're just enjoying being married right now. But we'll let you know when it happens. We promise.

Assumption #3: We're going to move out of "the city" one day.

So many cheap noodles, so little time.

Photo by Anthony Quintano/Flickr.

Reality: It makes sense to assume that, like so many newly married couples in generations past, we're already planning our escape from our local metropolis to a less population-dense area TBD. But many of us who live in the city really, really like it! The city is great. There are good schools here. We can get nachos delivered at 3 a.m.! From either the good nacho place or the OK-but-cheap nacho place.

Sure, some of us are planning to one day move to the 'burbs for more space (and many already are), but many of us aren't. And still others of us who already live in the suburbs are making the suburbs more like the city.

Having a yard is really nice, but so is not having car insurance payments.

Assumption #4: We feel superior to our second-cousin Frieda whose boyfriend of 19 years still hasn't proposed.

Look! They seem happy!

Photo via iStock.

Reality: Even though we're feeling pretty good about being married, Frieda and Richard are adults and get to make their own decisions — no matter what Aunt Cindy thinks. Maybe they have financial reasons. Maybe they decided a long time ago they don't want to be married. Maybe they believe marriage is an oppressive, archaic, patriarchal institution that they don't want to participate in, and also they're vegan now.

In any case, leave Frieda and Richard alone.

Assumption #5: We're going to have babies soonish.

Aw?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: So, yeah. Like I said. Really haven't decided about babies. Keeping our options open. But probably not soon? You know?

Assumption #6: One of us changed our last name.

Uncanny, really.

Image by Mary Rose Pickett/Sketchport.


Reality: There's totally nothing wrong with couples who decide that one partner will take the other's last name, of course. But not all of us do. At least 1 in every 5 women decide to keep their maiden names, according to a New York Times survey. And if you haven't taken your partner's last name, it's kind of frustrating to constantly hear yourself referred to as Mr./Mrs. Someone Else (for opposite-gender couples, this pretty much applies exclusively to women).

If you're not sure what last name to use, just ask! We'll tell you what the deal is.

Assumption #7: We're having Guinness Book of World Records amounts of sex.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: For those of us who waited to have sex until marriage — which is, of course, totally cool — you might need a supercomputer to tabulate. But lots of us have been together for a long time already and may even have been living together already, so we're probably having whatever amount of sex is normal for us. It's just a regular part of our lives that throwing a wedding doesn't really have a magical impact on.

After many years in a relationship, most of us take "Netflix and chill" quite literally. And seriously.

Assumption #8: We've finished all our thank-you notes.

It. Just. Doesn't. Get. Easier.

Photo by happy_serendipity/Flickr.

Reality: Never. We'll be writing these until the end of time.

Assumption #9: Hanging out with one of us means hanging out with both of us.

You will listen to us talk about our trip to Block Island and you will enjoy it.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: We're still different people. Each of us is a self-sufficient being with free will. And we're probably totally down to hang out with you, even if our spouse isn't available.

Except you, Greg. We're totally avoiding you.

Assumption #10: We're going to have babies ever.

Bujjy bujjy boo?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: So um, like I said, there's actually a chance we might never have babies? We might decide we don't want them after all. We might find out we can't — in which case, these questions might become extremely invasive and painful. We might adopt a child ... who's not a baby. We haven't figured it out yet.

At the end of the day, It's kinda up to us, you know?

Assumption #11: We never use the garlic press you got us.

Such a great gift.

Photo by Lee Kindness/Wikimedia Commons.

Reality: We use it all the time! Thank you so much!

Assumption #12: One of us is going to stay home and take care of the house from here on in.

We will still make the hell out of some lemonade, though.

Photo via iStock.


Reality: Some of us might want to be a housewife or husband. Others of us shudder at the thought of giving up our careers, or urging our spouse to give up theirs. Still others of us might want to, but might not be able to forfeit the second income. There's really no right — or standard — way to do it anymore.

Assumption #13: We both have all the same likes, dislikes, preferences, outlooks, and opinions now.

Missy and I have been getting really into '80s ice dancing.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: My wife will never convince me to like jazz. And I will probably never convince her to like "Captain Phillips" fan fiction. And you know what? We're OK with that.

For the things that matter, we're committed to presenting a united front. But we're still individuals with different thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what Tom Hanks was up to two weeks before the Somali pirates attacked, 'cause honestly, that's where the real drama of the story probably is.

Assumption #14: We wear wedding rings.

Help. Someone glued our hands together. Please call the cops.

Photo by TanyaVdB/Pixabay.

Reality: Some of us like wearing a physical symbol of our connection and duty to our spouse. Some of us don't as much. So we don't wear them. But don't worry! We're still extreme double married 5000.

Assumption #15: Making us a pink cake that says "baby" on it is going to change our mind about babies.

Mmmmmmmm. Nope.

Photo by Frosted with Emotion/Flickr.

Reality: It won't. But we will definitely eat that cake.

Assumption #16: Our lives are a lot different now.

Married or not, we still have three more seasons of "Justified" to get through.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: Beginning roughly seven seconds after we say, "I do," lots and lots and lots of well-intentioned people ask: "How does it feel?!" seemingly expecting to hear: "So much has changed! We got matching ponies! Being married really is a whole new world!" It feels like we're disappointing them when we answer, "Pretty much the way we did the day before the wedding." Which is silly, since there's no shame in that.

For some couples, life is a lot different after marriage, and that's great. But if stuff is kinda sorta the same, that's OK too! Life was great before. That's why we decided to get married.

Assumption #17: If we're not going to lay out a precise plan for having babies, at least we'll probably get a pet.

Blah.

Photo by Madalena Provo, used with permission.


Reality: OK. This one is true.


This article originally appeared on 11.06.15









Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.


Ask yourself: Could I live on this small of a full-time paycheck? I know what my answer is.

(And note that the minimum wage in many parts of the county is STILL $7.25, so it would be even less than this).

paychecks, McDonalds, corporate power, broken system

One year of work at McDonalds grossed this worker $13,811.18.

assets.rebelmouse.io

This story was written by Brandon Weber and was originally appeared on 02.26.15

Family

Husband is certain wife’s baby name will cause too much pain for their child. Is he wrong?

"It's going to cause him major problems with passports and ID as well as job and college applications."

A father can't handle the name his wife chose for the baby.

It’s one thing to debate with your spouse over giving your child a name that is so unique it could cause them trouble. It’s another to fight with your spouse over giving your child a name that is so incredibly common it’s used as a placeholder when an unidentified man has passed away.

This was the problem a Reddit user (The_Doeberman), whose last name is Doe, faced when his wife wanted to name their baby boy after her grandfather, John.

“My wife is six months pregnant and wants to name our future son after her grandfather, who died of cancer in September. His name was John,” the husband wrote on the AITA forum

“I liked her grandfather, and I know he and my wife were very close, but I won't even consider it, not even for our son's middle name,” he continued. “I feel that's just setting him up for a world of problems, especially when he grows up and has to apply for jobs. Nobody's going to believe ‘John Doe’ is his real name.”


The wife thought that the husband was being difficult for vetoing the name and claimed he was “exaggerating” the issues the child would face.

But he has a pretty strong argument. The name John Doe is synonymous with the unclaimed dead body that someone finds in a roadside motel in the middle of nowhere or an anonymous victim of trauma that can’t be named in court documents. It’s also often used as a placeholder, which could cause the child problems when applying for college or a job.



There is no exact answer to why John Doe was chosen to represent the “everyman,” but it has been used in the UK for hundreds of years. It’s believed because John Doe was a popular name at the time. Later, in the US, unidentified females would come to be known as Jane Doe.

The husband used Reddit’s AITA page to ask whether he was in the wrong and the commenters were overwhelmingly supportive of him.

One commenter thought that "John Doe" was a bad idea but gave a solution that could work for the wife. “People will think it's a fake name. It's going to cause him major problems with passports and ID as well as job and college applications. He may have issues with medical stuff etc.,” they wrote. Instead, they suggested using an alternative version of “John” from another language.

“As an example only: Look for other languages' version of John. For example Eoin is the Irish way of spelling Owen. Eoin in itself is the Irish version of John…” they wrote.


Another commenter was blunt about their objection.

“I'm not superstitious, but I'd feel uncomfortable having a kid whose name basically stands for ‘found dead in the park, stab wound to the chest, no ID,’” they added.

One commenter noted all of the legal troubles that could come with having the name John Doe.

“I imagine a lifetime of getting stopped by the TSA for enhanced screening, of job applications being tossed for being fake and just everything being harder than it should be because you have a fake name,” they wrote. “If giving him the grandfather's name is so important, why not give him the grandpa's middle name?”

In the end, it's touching for a mother to name their newborn son after her grandfather, but according to the father and a legion of people online, “John Doe” simply carries too much baggage and would be more of a hindrance than a tribute. The good news is that there are many ways that the wife can pay homage to her grandfather that won’t make her son’s life more difficult.

Pop Culture

Middle class families share how much money they have in savings and it's eye-opening

"I transfer money each paycheck but always end up needing to transfer it back."

Many middle class families are sharing that they have nothing in savings right now.

According to an April 2024 Gallup poll, 54% of Americans identify as part of the middle class, with 39% identifying as "middle class" and 15% identifying as "upper-middle class." That percentage has held fairly steady for years, but for many, what it feels like to be a middle class American has shifted.

Notably, inflation caused by the pandemic has hit middle class families hard, with incomes not keeping up with cost-of-living increases. Housing costs have skyrocketed in many areas of the country, mortgage interest rates have risen to levels not seen since the pre-Obama era and grocery bills have increased significantly. One government study found that cost of living has increased between around $800 and $1,300 a month depending on the state since 2021, putting a squeeze on everyone, including the middle class.

One woman shared that her family is just getting by and asked other people who identify as middle class to "chime in" with what they have in their savings account.

"I swear, every paycheck I am putting money into my savings, but needing to transfer it back within a few days," shared @abbyy..rosee on TikTok. "My registration is due. My husband's registration is due. He needed two new tires, even though they had a warranty. That's $300. My oldest needs braces, he needs a palate expander, that's $120 a month. Not to mention groceries are $200 more a week. Forget about feeding your family great ingredients because who has $500 a week to spend on perfect ingredients to feed your family?"


@abbyy..rosee

somethings gotta give #savings #middleclass #relatable

She explained that her husband makes enough money that they should be able to live comfortably, and that she quit her job because the cost of daycare was more than she was making.

"At some point, something has to give," she said. "What is going on? How do I save money?"

People in the comments chimed in with their savings account totals and it was quite eye-opening. Many people shared that they have $0 saved.

"We make the most money we ever have and have zero savings. We live paycheck to paycheck and every month I don’t know how we get by."

"I think the middle class is 1 personal disaster away from bankruptcy."

"Y’all got savings accounts?!?! 😂"

"I used to freak out if I had under $10k in savings, now I’m happy when I have over $150. 😫"

"We make almost 100,000 a year with no savings!!!! It's always something!!"

"I'm lucky if we have $500-$1K for an emergency. every single time we start saving something happens. the vet, the cars, the kids... something."

"Savings account? I transfer money each paycheck but always end up needing to transfer it back. My husband makes great money too but we are scraping by."

"$803 but we have to pay a $750 deductible this week b/c my Husband hit a deer soooo… back at it 😭 It’s exhausting. Constantly draining it, refilling it, transferring."

Some people shared that they do have some savings, but several said it was because they'd had an inheritance or other chunk of money come their way. Many people shared that their savings has dwindled as increased costs have taken their toll. Some people gave lifestyle advice to save money, but most agreed that just the basics have gotten so expensive it's harder to make ends meet much less put extra into savings.

Thankfully, the inflation issue appears to be waning, but even just plateauing at their current financial reality isn't ideal for many American families. Middle class is supposed to be a comfortable place to be—not rich, but well enough off to feel secure. That's not how many middle class folks feel, though. Most Americans don't have anything close to the amount of money saved that is recommended across the age spectrum, but at least hearing that others are in the same boat is somewhat comforting.

It can be vulnerable to put your financial reality out there, but it's helpful to hear what other people are doing and dealing with so we all feel less alone when we're struggling. Perhaps if people were more open about money, we'd all be able to help one another find ways to improve our financial situations rather than lamenting our empty savings accounts and wondering how to change it.

A kind nurse offers a flower.

As the old saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” Sadly, this hard truth becomes increasingly evident as we reach our final days. The things we take for granted today, such as our health, relationships, and time itself, become much more precious when we know they are about to end.

How much happier would we be every day if we lived with the perspective of those who are experiencing their final days?

Julie McFadden, known to her hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, as Hospice Nurse Julie, helps people appreciate their lives by regularly sharing her experiences with those who are living their final days.

Recently, she stopped by Rob Moore’s “The Disruptors” podcast, where she shared some of the big lessons she’s learned from the dying. Moore is a public speaker, entrepreneur and bestselling author of “Life Leverage.”


Given his background as an entrepreneur, Moore assumed that when people reach their final days, they regret the amount of time they spend working. "People definitely say that. 'I wish I didn't work my life away. I wish I didn't wait until retirement to do the things I wanted to do,'" McFadden said. However, there is another big regret that many share. “The main thing people say, that I don't hear a lot of people mention, is ‘I wish I would have appreciated my health,’” she added.

“I think the biggest thing I hear from people [who are] dying is that they wish they would have appreciated how well they how well they felt before,” she continued.

It seems that when people’s health begins to decline, they miss the vitality they never fully appreciated.

"I think most people take for granted things that have always been,” she told Moore. “You know, it's really easy to forget. We're so lucky to be alive in this moment. We're taking a breath right now. We're here on a rock that's like soaring through space. I mean, that alone can blow your mind."

McFadden believes that her profession reminds her to be grateful because dying is just as natural as living.

“I think because of my job, it's easier for me to see how once-in-a-lifetime this is. The fact that everything works together in our bodies to make us live and grow and I see that in-depth, too. I see how our bodies are biologically built to die,” she said. “That, right there, is so fascinating. We literally have built-in mechanisms to help us die. Our body can naturally do it. That's wild."

To get the most out of the miracle of life, McFadden writes a gratitude list every night so she’s sure to appreciate everything she has. Because, in the blink of an eye, it can be gone. “I like the fact that I can breathe, I'm walking around, I can feel the sunshine – little things like that,” she shared.

Our lives are filled with incredible gifts, whether it’s the people we love, the amazing things our bodies can do, or the places we get to see. But without gratitude, these beautiful gifts can easily go unnoticed and unappreciated. Practicing gratitude allows us to cherish these moments, so we’re fulfilled by what we have, instead of disillusioned by what we don’t.

Pop Culture

What is 'Generation Jones'? The unique qualities of the not-quite-Gen-X-baby-boomers.

This "microgeneration" had a different upbringing than their fellow boomers.

Generation Jones includes Michelle Obama, George Clooney, Kamala Harris, Keanu Reeves and more.

We hear a lot about the major generation categories—boomers, Gen X, millennials, Gen Z and the up-and-coming Gen Alpha. But there are folks who don't quite fit into those boxes. These in-betweeners, sometimes called "cuspers," are members of microgenerations that straddle two of the biggies.

"Xennial" is the nickname for those who fall on the cusp of Gen X and millennial, but there's also a lesser-known microgeneration that straddles Gen X and baby boomers. The folks born from 1954 to 1965 are known as Generation Jones, and they've been thrust into the spotlight as people try to figure out what generation to consider 59-year-old Vice President Kamala Harris.

Like President Obama before her, Harris is a Gen Jonesernot exactly a classic baby boomer but not quite Gen X. Born in October 1964, Harris falls just a few months shy of official Gen X territory. But what exactly differentiates Gen Jones from the boomers and Gen Xers that flank it?


"Generation Jones" was coined by writer, television producer and social commentator Jonathan Pontell to describe the decade of Americans who grew up in the '60s and '70s. As Pontell wrote of Gen Jonesers in Politico:

"We fill the space between Woodstock and Lollapalooza, between the Paris student riots and the anti-globalisation protests, and between Dylan going electric and Nirvana going unplugged. Jonesers have a unique identity separate from Boomers and GenXers. An avalanche of attitudinal and behavioural data corroborates this distinction."

Pontell describes Jonesers as "practical idealists" who were "forged in the fires of social upheaval while too young to play a part." They are the younger siblings of the boomer civil rights and anti-war activists who grew up witnessing and being moved by the passion of those movements but being met with a fatigued culture by the time they themselves came of age. Sometimes, they're described as the cool older siblings of Gen X. Unlike their older boomer counterparts, most Jonesers were not raised by WWII veteran fathers and were too young to be drafted into Vietnam, leaving them in between on military experience.

Gen Jones gets its name from the competitive "keeping up with the Joneses" spirit that spawned during their populous birth years, but also from the term "jonesin'," meaning an intense craving, that they coined—a drug reference but also a reflection of the yearning to make a difference that their "unrequited idealism" left them with. According to Pontell, their competitiveness and identity as a "generation aching to act" may make Jonesers particularly effective leaders:

"What makes us Jonesers also makes us uniquely positioned to bring about a new era in international affairs. Our practical idealism was created by witnessing the often unrealistic idealism of the 1960s. And we weren’t engaged in that era’s ideological battles; we were children playing with toys while boomers argued over issues. Our non-ideological pragmatism allows us to resolve intra-boomer skirmishes and to bridge that volatile Boomer-GenXer divide. We can lead."

Time will tell whether the United States will end up with another Generation Jones leader, but with President Biden withdrawing his candidacy, it has now become a distinct possibility.

Of note in discussions over Kamala Harris's generational status is the fact that generations aren't just calculated by birth year but by a person's cultural reality. Some have made the argument that Harris is culturally more Gen X than boomer, though there doesn't seem to be any record of her claiming any particular generation as her own. However, a swath of Gen Z has staked their own claim on her as "brat"—a term singer Charli XCX thrust into the political arena with a post on X that read "kamala IS brat." That may be nonsensical to most older folks, but for Gen Z, it's a glowing endorsement from one of the top Gen Z musicians of the moment.