TIME Internet

Meet the Man Who Took Epic Engagement Photos With a Burrito

He's met the ultimate love of his life

We’ve all been there – some combination of overwhelmed/annoyed/depressed by the ever-increasing stream of wedding and baby photos on our social media.

David Sikorski, a San Francisco-based writer, reached his breaking point. It was time for the world to see how happy he was with the love of his life: a carne asada burrito from San Francisco restaurant Taqueria La Cumbrea.

“With so many domesticated photos of staged afternoon picnics in the park or holding hands running along the beach, I figured people would be interested in sharing the happiness of my own current love life situation as well,” he tells BuzzFeed about his (literally) cheesy engagement photos with his meal.

Sikorski hired professional photographer Kristina Bakrevski to take photos of the happy couple hanging out in front of several San Francisco landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alamo Square, as well as frolicking on the beach, as one does.

“We haven’t established a set date yet, but over the next few months I hope to be introducing our menu of friends to one another,” he says.

#engagement #truelove #blowingyourfeedsup #datburritolifedoe

A photo posted by David Sikorski (@david.sikorski) on

This article originally appeared on People.com

MONEY Face to Face

How to Tell Your Kid You Can’t Afford to Pay for Her Dream Wedding

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Use this dialogue to let your child know you can't bankroll the ceremony.

Of course, you’re delighted your baby has found “the one.” But if the prospect of paying for your child’s special day has you hearing wedding blues instead of bells, it’s no wonder.

Weddings are costly affairs, running $31,213 on average in 2014, according to TheKnot.com’s annual Real Weddings Survey. While that number is certainly skewed higher by the extravagant spenders out there—we’re looking at you, bridezillas—it’s still scarily large.

Scary especially for the bride’s parents, who contribute 43% of the total wedding budget, amounting to about $13,422 on average.

Don’t have such a large sum put aside for your kid’s nuptials? Don’t spend the big day worrying about impending bills or, worse, going into debt. Here’s how to gently break it to your child that you can only give so much.

YOU SAY: “I’m so glad you and James could come over for lunch. I want to hear all of your wedding ideas.”

Because this conversation can be difficult and you don’t want to disappoint your child, you may be tempted to put it off. But if you wait too long into the planning to state your intentions, the bride and groom could have already made (costly) assumptions.

So as soon as the celebration around the engagement dies down a bit—and before the planning starts to get underway—schedule a time to sit down privately with the couple to talk about what you can contribute.

Don’t leave the groom out! “The couple needs to hear it together first-hand since a wedding is all joint decisions and both need to know the budget,” says protocol and etiquette consultant Nancy R. Mitchell.

YOU SAY: “Your father and I want to help you both pay for the wedding, so we’ve set aside $XX,XXX for you to use to cover costs.”

Once you and your spouse have run the numbers to come up with a figure you can responsibly give without endangering your own savings goals, let your child know exactly what that amount is.

You might be tempted to simply say that you’ll cover, say, the catering or venue costs rather than naming a number. But that’s a bad idea: “Without clear budget guidelines, your child will be writing checks without knowing what the balance actually is,” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. And that could put both of you in hot water when the bills come in.

YOU SAY: “We would love to be able to help out more, but we’re still paying your brother’s college tuition and helping your grandparents with medical bills.”

If you can’t afford to help at all or the amount you can give is less than what you or your child had hoped for, explain why.

You don’t need to go in too much detail—your child doesn’t need to know the exact amount in your bank account or the total cost of the mortgage. But you can remind him or her gently of your current money obligations, says Gottsman, who owns The Protocol School of Texas.

This way they understand where the number is coming from and can truly appreciate your generosity.

YOU SAY: “Of course, you can always count on us to make centerpieces or call venues, or anything else you need.”

Remind your child that though your ability to help with money is limited, you’re willing to put unlimited (or at least less limited!) time and effort into helping make the big day special.

Wedding planning is stressful, and your child may need a supporting hand when the to-do list runs down past her knee. Let her know that you’ll always be available for a venting session or to make 500 packets of Jordan almonds at the last minute.

YOU SAY: “What are your plans for any expenses that go above what your father and I can help out with?”

As a parent, you don’t want to see your child’s marriage start in debt. But nearly half of couples do end up spending above their wedding budgets.

So some of the best help you can provide is to help your child make concessions that will help them stay within their means.

“Always pressure them to stay in budget and scale back,” says Minneapolis-area certified financial planner Sophia Bera.

“If they do decide to spend more than they have on the wedding, and it’s only a few thousand dollars over, I’d recommend dipping into their emergency savings account,” she adds.

If it’s more than a few grand, she suggests putting the costs on to a 0% credit card (MONEY recommends Chase Slate, which charges no interest for the first 15 months). “But then they need to build into their new household budget a method to pay it off quickest,” Bera says.

More on wedding planning from Money.com:

10 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

8 Ways to Throw a Memorable Wedding for Less

Say Yes to a Cheaper Wedding Dress

TIME Careers & Workplace

You’re More Likely to Be Enthusiastic at Work If You Have a Female Boss

That applies whether you're a man or a woman

Women managers have an advantage over their male peers when it comes to motivating employees, researchers say.

A Gallup study, State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, found that 33% of employees are engaged when a woman runs the show, compared to 25% with a man at the helm.

Female managers also tend to be more enthusiastic about their own jobs than their male counterparts.

Gallup found 41% of female managers feel engaged at work compared to 35% of male managers.

The study also found that women managers were more enthusiastic at work than men, regardless of whether they had children.

When it came to same-sex management, the study found that female employees were on average more likely to feel involved in their work (35%) if their boss was a woman, compared to just 25% of male employees who show enthusiasm with a male manager.

The study also found women were better at encouraging their subordinates’ development, checking in on their employees’ progress and tended to provide more positive or constructive feedback.

Gallup says it hopes the results will encourage organizations to hire and promote more women managers. Currently only one third of Americans have a female boss.

TIME celebrities

Actress Gets Her Engagement Ring Delivered by Drone

"The Grandmaster 3D" Beijing Premiere Press Conference
ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images Actress Zhang Ziyi attends director Wong Kar-wai's movie The Grandmaster 3D premiere press conference on Jan. 5, 2015 in Beijing

Crouching Tiger star Zhang Ziyi was celebrating her 36th birthday

It might be the most epic proposal so far in 2015.

Actress Zhang Ziyi, known for her role in the 2000 international hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, accepted a marriage proposal that was delivered by a drone on Saturday, while she was celebrating her 36th birthday, according to BBC, citing Chinese media reports datelined Beijing.

Her now husband-to-be, rock star Wang Feng, 43, sent her a white drone carrying a diamond ring before getting down on one knee to ask her to marry him, which reportedly brought tears and applause from those who witnessed the scene.

Neither did Zhang contain her excitement about the big news. The star posted a picture of fireworks on a social-media account Sunday with the words “I do.”

“Thank you for giving me a complete life. All the hardships are bygones. From now on, we will grow old hand in hand,” Wang wrote in response to Zhang’s post.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME celebrities

Sofia Vergara Reportedly Engaged to Joe Manganiello

Actors Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara at the AFI FEST 2014 in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2014.
Michael Kovac—Getty Images Actors Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara at the AFI FEST 2014 in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2014.

Reports say the stars got engaged on Christmas Day while vacationing in Hawaii

This summer love has gotten serious: Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello are reportedly set to wed!

The sexy stars got engaged on Christmas Day while vacationing in Hawaii, according to multiple reports. Reps for Vergara and Manganiello have not yet commented.

The Magic Mike hunk proposed almost six months after they started dating, popping the question with a gorgeous diamond ring seen in photos of them relaxing by the pool, the New York Post‘s Page Six reports.

Vergara, 42, posted a sweet message to Instagram on Sunday to celebrate Manganiello turning 38 during their island getaway.

“Happy happy bday to my love and best friend,” she captioned a cozy photo of the couple, “to the one that makes me laugh like crazy! have a wonderful year babe!!!”

As for Manganiello, he’d had a crush on the Modern Family actress since they met at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in May – when she was on the arm of ex-fiancé Nick Loeb.

“She’s got the curves, she’s got a beautiful face, beautiful hair, just gorgeous,” he confessed to PEOPLE for July’s Hottest Bachelors issue. “Naturally beautiful. She’s feisty!”

That month, they became an item, and their romance has been heating up ever since.

This will be the first marriage for Manganiello and second for Vergara, who has a 22-year-old son, Manolo.

E! News was the first to report the engagement.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Love & Relationships

What I Learned When I Called Off My Engagement

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Let's just say that if you have major doubts about being engaged, you probably shouldn't be

xojane

My life with David* was a surprise. I had returned from a six-month stint in Osaka, Japan, to my small-town family home just out of Sydney, Australia. All my energy was focused on how I would get back to Japan — my life was there; all I had to do was graduate. When David offered to buy me a drink one night, I told him “My conversation is free — I’ll buy my own drinks.” He liked that. Independence had always been my jam, even in relationships.

We started dating and I went from playing it cool to love sick in four days flat. Wanting to hear from him all the time, to know he was interested, that I was valued. From someone who didn’t care about marriage to thinking constantly about my imaginary future children and what I would cook for my man that night.

I quietly shelved my dreams of returning to Osaka for the white picket fence. All this time I was waiting, hinting, wondering when he would pop the question.

We were in my late grandfathers’ home one night when David told me to close my eyes and he led me to the lounge. I could see the warmth of candles glowing behind my shut eyelids and all of a sudden, I was filled with a mix of “YES! It’s happening!” and a gut feeling that said “I don’t want this.”

READ MORE 5 Strange But Effective Ways to Get Over a Breakup

Opening my eyes to the man I loved on one knee, ring in hand, I knew that the only answer was “yes.” I couldn’t afford to lose my dream life with my dream man, but I was utterly bewildered by this nagging feeling and worse, it wouldn’t go away.

Let’s just say that if you have major doubts about being engaged, you probably shouldn’t be. I’m not talking about your standard nervousness; I mean debilitating, undermining doubt.

My ideas about marriage made me beyond uncomfortable. I was outright scared. From the price-per-head to musing over what makes a “good wife,” I was afraid. Without ever planning to, I set about sabotaging the whole thing, the very thing I had wanted…and one day, didn’t want any more.

I realized that my whole world was based on him. I had put aside my plans for myself to force myself into an identity I didn’t fit, all in the hope of impressing him enough to stay. Sure, he stayed, but I was directionless and depressed, jumping from one shaky job to another and running myself into the ground trying to make a meaningful life. He wanted a support person, I wanted to blaze trails. I didn’t know how to reconcile my values with who I had become. Slowly, I began to resent him for it.

One day, David told me “This should be enough for you.” It wasn’t, and I utterly despised the arrogance that dripped from that comment — that a good man should be enough for a woman.

The last straw came when I asked him to visit Osaka for a week with me. I was meeting up with my best girl. She lived halfway across the world from me, and she needed to get out of Missouri after a string of bad luck. My soul was exhausted, and this girl was my conduit to the me I had lost. At that moment, nothing was more important to me. He wouldn’t come, but he was vicious when I suggested I go alone. My blood boiled. I went anyway.

READ MORE The One Word That Sums Up Everything You Need to Do to Be Happier

I called off the engagement before the relationship ended. I took my fears to mean that it wasn’t the right time yet. He put on a brave face and said that was okay. But, dear reader, pro tip: If you end your engagement, you will hurt the other person. Even if you love them. Even if you still think you’ll marry them one day. While you’re saying “I’m not ready for this,” they may hear “I’m not ready for you,” and, wait for it, they may leave.

I spent a long time trying to reconcile my thirst for freedom and adventure with the image of domesticity that marriage presented me. I began to seriously wish I was “free.”

Then it ended, he moved out, and I was. I didn’t know what to do with all that space. I was lonely and doubly afraid. That’s what happens when you wrap your self-worth up in someone else and then they’re not there. I knew I had to set about recovering, so here’s what I did.

  1. I cried. I cried at home. I cried at work. I cried on the treadmill. I had so many feelings.
  2. I banned love songs and negative self-talk. I was so frequently bubbling with rejection and rage and unspoken hurt, I didn’t need to wield those two oh-so popular weapons.
  3. I lived day to day. I couldn’t cope with this “no plans” business without someone to fill the space (he was my plan), so I just disengaged and took each day as it came. Until I saw cheap flights and then I made plans…
  4. …and caught planes. Lots of them. It was lonely and beautiful and I could then cry in planes, too.
  5. I rebounded. The first post-breakup kiss made my stomach flip. I thought I was going to be sick. Next tip: If your body says it’s wrong, listen up!
  6. I travelled more. I walked more. I cried less.
  7. I made new friendships and re-learned that I wasn’t totally wretched and unlovable. I was just hurt.

There were setbacks — phone calls that I sincerely regret making — made in part to get him back, in part to punish him for leaving me. If he was going to break my heart I wasn’t going to make it comfortable for him. Still, I wouldn’t hear other people speak badly of him and publicly I kept a straight face, the whole while trying to grasp onto some idea of what on earth I had done. Last tip: Don’t make that call, you’ll regret it. Even if you think they deserve it, it’s self-deprecating and will do nothing good for your morale.

My recovery meant a million references to the “stages of grieving” and I realized that they really don’t work in a linear way. You’ll think you’re all healed up and then you’re a total mess again. Grief and rejection are vicious jerks and they will wear you out. And occasionally they are more powerful than memory, fact and rationality.

“One day it will be okay” was my mantra. And one day it was okay.

READ MORE 10 Things That Will Change the Way You Think About Love

The biggest thing I learned in this roller coaster is the value of listening to myself, knowing what is right for me and the importance of having the courage to act on that intuition. To grow my personal capital before I bank on someone else. And to honour that voice that says “Something’s wrong.” It’s better to listen up than to find yourself Googling “trapped and unhappy” in ten years.

It was close… and weddings still make me that little bit uncomfortable.

____

*Not actually called David, obviously.

Ruth Harrison is a writer. This article originally appeared on xoJane.com

Read next: The Science of Dealing With People You Hate

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME celebrities

Meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s Fiancée Sophie Hunter

The theater director and actress looks like a catch

Benedict Cumberbatch announced that he was engaged to a woman named Sophie Hunter in the Times of London this morning. The Sherlock actor had never even confirmed he was seeing anyone, so who is this mystery woman?

Hunter is a graduate from Oxford and best known in the theater world for directing plays and operas. She’s also had a few small film roles, including 2009’s Burlesque Fairytales, where she met Cumberbatch himself. Take a look at the woman who tied down England’s most popular bachelor.

TIME relationships

These Are the Top 5 Reasons People Reject Marriage Proposals

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Key takeaway: if you want them to say yes, choose a romantic setting

If you’re thinking of proposing to someone soon, then you’re presumably hoping they will say yes. Or, better, yet, “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!” or some other dramatic thing. If that’s the case, a recent study conducted by VoucherCloud about why people choose to reject proposals might be of use to you.

The company surveyed 2,144 American residents, both male and female, who were 21 years or older and had previously rejected a proposal, Bustle reports. The participants didn’t have to choose one specific reason — instead, they were asked for all the factors that contributed to their rejection. These were the five most reasons:

  1. Unromantic proposal setting: 67 percent
  2. Poor ring choice: 53 percent
  3. Bad wording of the proposal: 51 percent
  4. Lack of trust in the relationship: 39 percent
  5. Scared of the commitment: 36 percent

These results may seem a bit surprising. The reasons seem fairly: poor ring choice? Lame location? “As much as it seems silly to turn down the big question because the cost isn’t high enough, it’s important to remember that getting engaged is a huge moment in your life,”VoucherCloud’s Matthew Wood told Bustle. “It’s an investment and should be treated as such.” Of course, he added that there “are ways to make a person feel special during a proposal without going bankrupt.”

So, take all of this with a grain of salt, of course, but it couldn’t hurt to pick an extra romantic proposal location. Just in case.

(h/t Bustle)

Read next: This Ridiculously Romantic Ad Aims to End Divorce

TIME Fatherhood

Mark Sanford’s Oversharing Doesn’t Make Him a Bad Dad

Sure, the S.C. senator wrote a 2300-plus-word breakup post on Facebook that reads like a romance novel--but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to see his kids

Being a hideously tone-deaf oversharer and terrible husband does not necessarily make you a bad father. An embarrassing one, yes, but not a let’s-keep-him-away-from-the-kids one. I’m speaking, of course, of South Carolina Senator Mark Sanford and his latest Facebook rant.

There are so many things wrong with the way the Senator runs his personal affairs. First and foremost, he too often seems lose sight of the “personal” part of that phrase. He justified his 2300-plus-word Facebook post of Sept. 12 by saying he believes he owes the taxpayers of South Carolina an explanation: “In as much as you sign my paycheck and you have elected me to represent you in Washington, I think I owe you my thinking on this personal, but now public matter.”

This feels a little like a butcher forcing his or her customers to watch him make the sausages, because later they’re going to buy them and eat them. No, really, sir: we’re fine.

The “sausage,” in this case, is that Sanford and his wife, Jenny, with whom he split after falling in love with an Argentinian women, Maria Belén Chapur, are fighting over how much access he has to their four sons. Attorneys are involved, and while Sanford proclaims a huge aversion to the legal profession, he’s decided to lawyer up. (Jenny’s side claims he always had a lawyer.) All of this, one would think, might merit a crisply worded 250 word press release, noting that the Senator, having tried all avenues to reach an amicable settlement with his former wife, has retained legal counsel and blah blah blah et cetera. Nothing to see here; move along.

But no. The public has to endure another in a series of Heartfelt Sanford Outpourings, which–for those who haven’t been following along–so far include the one about how he was not on the Appalachian Trail but with a woman (June 24, 2009), and how Maria Belén, the woman he was with not-on-the-Appalachian-Trail, was his soulmate and how theirs was “a forbidden, tragic love story,” (July 1, 2009).

These communications always seems to come from the Harlequin playbook, full of emotional pleas and heartsore teeth gnashing. “No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter,” writes the former Love Guv in his latest post on Facebook.

The one difference is that Harlequin novels are blessedly brief. As one wit noted, Sanford’s post contains more words than the Senator has uttered in Congress this year. It’s a small mercy that there is no accompanying video to go with this announcement, as that’s where Senator Soulmate really seems to let his emotions get the better of him.

It’s clear, though, that this post too was written in the heat of the moment and without much forethought. One sentence uses the word “way ” four times. Other phrases in his Facebook tome, with their references to faith, smack of that kid in a church youth group who always used prayer requests as an excuse to gossip about other kids in the youth group who weren’t in the room.

Still other pieces of this confessional quilt have enough lashings of self-pity to make Uriah Heep throw up a little in his mouth. “It seems that history well documents that those who work to avoid conflict at all costs wind up being those destined in many instances to find much conflict,” writes Sanford. Quick, alert the Nobel Committee: Mark Sanford, Peacemaker at a Price.

What transpires is this: Sanford and his wife continue to tussle, legally, over how often he gets to see his sons. He’s accusing her of playing dirty pool–all pretty standard high-conflict divorce shenanigans–and it is stressing him out, people. As a result of this, he’s calling off his engagement to his Argentinian soulmate, whom he has “always loved.” (Not quite enough to let her know in advance of the announcement, though, reports say.)

But while Sanford may be about the most ridiculously inept and cheesy cheating ex of all time, none of it should disqualify him from being able to see his four sons. He says, somewhere in there among all the crazy, that he didn’t get to see one of them for 17 weeks. It’s hard to tell if that’s just the anguish speaking or if it’s true and it’s generally a fool’s errand to try and second guess the family courts. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. But if true, that’s too long. There’s already enough fatherlessness in the land.

Custody battles can be ugly messy businesses and can end up in disaster and tragedy. Posting a public tear on a well-visited social media site about a mean ex-wife is clearly bad for the kids (and avert-your-eyes embarrassing for everyone else), but it does not disqualify someone from being a dad. One definite upside of regular contact with one’s offspring is that they’re not afraid to opine on how irrevocably lame attempts at social media are. Now that is advice which Sanford desperately needs to hear right now. And which we, the public, need him to hear.

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