Reader Survey results, Part 2

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So first, how about some more cold hard facts from the 2010 reader survey?

  • Y'all are social media geeks! 40% of you have a blog and 40% of you use twitter. 20% of you use our Facebook fan page to follow Offbeat Bride updates, and 20% of you use RSS.
  • You're mostly urban, with two thirds of you identifying as living in a large or small city.
  • Y'all are faithful: 50% of you said there were no other wedding websites you read as frequently as Offbeat Bride. Aww. That made me feel all warm and snuggly inside
  • Working with indie businesses is important to almost 70% of you, which is AWESOME — although don't lie, girls: I know a ton of you buy your dresses at that chain that rhymes with Cravid's Fidal. πŸ˜‰
  • Some of y'all have long engagements planned:

My very favorite question on the survey was “Do you identify with any offbeat subcultures?” With my illustrious undergraduate degree in Sociology, I make no secret of the fact that Offbeat Bride is in part a way for me to have a steady stream of subcultural stimulation. Metalhead! LARPer! Fanfic author! Lolita! Rollerderby girl! Rivethead! Straight edge! I am NONE of these things, but am obsessed with all of them.

I encouraged y'all to check as many cultural identity boxes as you felt applied, and here's how Offbeat Bride readers identify:

Unsurprisingly to me (but perhaps shocking to y'all) 50% of you identify as “Offbeat LITE,” which I defined as “a little quirky, but not really into any subcultures.” OBB LITEs, I love you, and here's why: I love that y'all are getting so much inspiration from the freakier side of wedding planning. There are lots of people who find folks “weirder” than them intimidating, and I really appreciate how many offbeat bride readers are able to say “Huh — a cosplay wedding isn't really MY thing, but I still read Offbeat Bride.” The world needs more tolerant awesomes like y'all!

In terms of subcultures, the most popular were DIY/Crafts, Geek, Retro, Gamer (yay nerds!), Hippie, Punk, Rockabilly, Fantasy, Goth, and Steampunk. But predictably, a huge chunk of you opted to write in your own desciptors and lordy ladies, that was AWESOME!

Let's go down the offbeat alphabet, shall we? We've got academics and artists, bohemians and burlesque dancers, comic book fans and circus freaks, drama queens and eco-nuts, lots of feminists and a few fandom folks, glam and gothic lolitas, hardcore and homesteaders, indies and jugglers, kink/BDSM and librarians, nerds and pagans, queers and rockers, sci-fi fans and surfers, theater geeks and tree huggers, vegans, vikings, and lots of vintage. WHEW! Lots of you also said things like “I'm just me,” which is awesome. I'm all for eschewing labels. But oh man. The sociologist/demographer in me LOVES LABELS. I love all of you freaks, and look forward to learning more about your corners of culture through your beautiful weddings.

The final question I asked y'all was what Offbeat site we should think about launching next. In a landslide victory, y'all said OFFBEAT HOME. This is interesting to me, because it means basically following theknot's template of wedding planning, homemaking, and babies. I love all three of these things, and am totally stoked about the idea of Offbeat Home and indeed am already scheming about it…but.

BUT! I can't deny that the feminine trinity of wedding, home, family feels uncomfortably traditional. I mean, I guess that's what Offbeat is all about: women find their ways through life transitions that are heavy with expectations and traditions. But I feel a little weird about the idea of a trio of Offbeat sites dedicated to the stereotypical path that young women have been force fed for centuries: get married, make a home, and start a family. Sure, I encourage y'all to do it in your own ways … but having a trio of website dedicated to those topics feels like an odd encouragement for women to keep doing the same things we've always been encouraged to do.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with that, but I can't deny it makes me a little uncomfortable to follow the knot/nest/bump template. I'm still scheming how awesome Offbeat Home would be, but I wanted to get my concerns off my chest…

Anyhoo, I could go on and on and on about the feedback we got from y'all … but this post is already too long. Mostly, thanks to each of you who took the time to share your opinions with me. It means so much to me that the website means so much to all of you.

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Comments on Reader Survey results, Part 2

  1. but we're all so inundated with knot/nest/bump-type information that we need an alternative! i already got married, i'm not having babies… where's the offbeat site for me? offbeat marriages/relationships/lifestyle/etc would be delightful.

  2. Wow! That's pretty amazing! I always thought of "offbeat home" as more of a genderless site because everyone kind has to live in a space, right? I think even if I wasn't married/getting married, I'd check out offbeat home for decorating ideas and whatnot πŸ™‚

    • I agree. I would imagine that "Offbeat Home" would be for stylish people who live somewhere. Woah! That's like, a lotta people! You can be young, old, single, married, LGBT or whatever and still live somewhere and be stylish. I think a "home" site would be the least traditional. Getting married and having babies come from traditional expectations of the female gender role. Living somewhere and wanting to decorate is not something I see as traditional, I see it as a basic need. Let's do it up!

      • This is actually a great point that I hadn't considered at all — while Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama are very much tied to RELATIONSHIPS, Offbeat Home isn't at all. And indeed isn't even tied to gender.

        I think you just convinced me!! πŸ™‚

        • That's the thing I DON'T like about it though. While Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama are about relationships, people, and life choices, I can see a home site being mostly about decorating, products, etc – materialistic, in other words. And this is something I would hate to see happen.

          • I don't know, I like the idea of Offbeat Home because a home is so much more than just buying things – it's about DIY, learning to live with a roommate or partner, and going through a lot of lifestyle changes abruptly, not unlike a wedding! And also not unlike weddings, discussing home choices can quickly turn to materialism, but that's why Offbeat Bride is so cool. It gives an alternative to all this. πŸ™‚

    • That's just what I was going to say. Most *people* live somewhere and want to make their space their own. I don't think of it as traditional feminine domesticity. Same with getting married and having babies, really. It's just part of the human life cycle. Isn't that the point of feminism – just doing what you want to do without asking whether it's a traditional female role or not?

    • I totally would, too! I've been obsessed with offbeat home decor since I was young, way before I was even dating, let alone married. I've always loved seeing how other people decorate their spaces, but most decor magazines & blogs are all kinda boring and homogeneous to me. I want to see the person's (or people's) essence in the space, not just a room that could have been staged by a designer, you know?

      • I've always been obsessed with decorating, but haven't been able to really exercise my own style yet: I went from my parents' house, to a dorm, and back to my parents' house. What about something for pesonalizing living spaces that aren't necessarily your own.

    • I agree. The best thing about OBB and OBM is that they don't presume that participants are women, or that alternatives weren't used. For example, while OBM might include one mother's story about her water-bath birth, it could also feature a wonderful story of a gay couple's adoption. Similarly, OBH would include LGBT and alternative relationship households. I forsee lots of awesome decorating ideas, tips to living in small spaces, features of fantastic homes (rammed earth anyone?), techy home features and lots of DIY. I'd recommend relegating relationship advice to a small column, rather than making it the bulk of the site.

      Ultimately, the thing is that we all feel that there is no better person to create a site that adequately covers a plethora of alternative lifestyles with an upbeat attitude built on dignity and respect for the people who lead these lives.

  3. I think it would be awesome to have the trinity of offbeatness, however, I understand that you’d have reservations. I think what I like most about the “offbeat” corner of the web is that it’s doing traditional things – marriage, home, children – in non traditional ways. And that’s okay! It kind of makes me excited to know that so many creative, awesome, free thinking people want the same things I do in life – home & family. And want to celebrate the weird and eccentric ways in which we pursue and care for those things.

    Just my two cents.

  4. I think the trinity doesn't have to be seen as traditional. The way I see it, a lot of offbeat boys and girls want marriage, children and a home just like everyone else- they just want to do it in their own way. And need help. And that's where the Offbeat Empire comes in!

    • And some offbeat peeps want two (or one) of the three – a wedding and a home, for example, without kids, or kids and a home without a wedding just yet. Having the choice of any of the three websites makes it that much more applicable to offbeat lives. πŸ˜€

  5. I love the idea of Offbeat Home, because it is somewhere we could turn when all the other sites reject us or vice versa. It is super traditional to follow that format, but at the same time, it is practical, it would be great to seek solutions in the home from like minded women. Everyone has a home in some way, offbeat or not πŸ˜€

  6. I understand your reluctance, but I for one would really, really love a non-bride non-baby site run by OBB. Now that my wedding is over, I find myself missing the time I spent brainstorming, comiserating and just making friends with people on OBT. I'd love to have a forum for that to continue, without feeling like the weird already married girl hanging around the boards

  7. When I think of OffBeat home I think of recipes, DIY decor, organization/cleaning tips. These are things everyone does. i've never been on the nest but yea…also relationship advice. Make it a place for all co-habitating couples (or jsut singles). Maybe roommate advice. Stuff like that.

    • I agree — Offbeat Home would include a much larger set of people, and it doesn't have to be set in the trio as a This Goes With This sort of way. You can love offbeat Home without being an offbeat bride, or without wanting to get married at all, for example!

  8. I agree with the above comments, and wanted to say that I think the yearning for Offbeat Home stems from the fact that lots of OBT-ers — myself included — love expressing their sense of style/design and talking about strong relationships, and we want a way to keep doing that after the wedding… particularly those of us who have no interest in having children.

    If you really wanted to buck the trend & make sure that different viewpoints are respected, I know I'd love to see a (respectfully done) Childfree section of Offbeat Home… I would love it if one day having a Childfree Lifestyle wasn't met with all the "you'll see"s and looks of horror. No disrespect to Offbeat Mamas intended, it's just another choice, and having choices is awesome.

  9. When I took the survey I was a little bugged that there wasn't an option for how long I've been married. I'm not engaged, I'm not a newlywed, I've been married for YEARS. I just like your blog. The offbeat weddings are fun to see. I'm not here because of my own wedding and the survey didn't see that as a possible option, so I went with whichever option was for married folks. Maybe think about that in the future – not all your readers are here because they have something to do with weddings. Some of us just plain ol' like your blog!

  10. do it do it! There are a LOT of us who are between marriage and baby (or not ever heading for baby ever ever ever) and where are we supposed to go to see peoples' cool spaces? Apt therapy? I'd like to see how all of these lovely subcultures does their kitchens! (think of it–rollerderby kitchen. oh, man…)
    Also, I agree with the others, these things aren't traditionally feminine so much as they are normal parts of everyone's lives. The alternatives are Offbeat Career, Offbeat Travel, and Offbeat Hobbies, which are cool, but probably wouldn't draw in the lurkers in quite the same way.

    • Hear hear on the alternatives. I do think OB Career, Travel, Hobbies etc. could be offered as subsections of OB Home. Add Offbeat school to that and I would feel fully represented!

  11. I'll be married in two weeks. No kids for a good long time, if at all (we'll begin discussions in 7 years). Offbeat or not, we all need somewhere to live. And a home, whether its a house, apartment, or submarine, is as personal as a wedding. I read Offbeat Mama just to see the culture and be part of the discussion, not because I feel that societal pressure to have a baby after marriage (I do feel pressure, but I'm choosing a different route, thankyouverymuch). I don't think that by offering us a place to discuss our living spaces that you're pressuring us. You're just giving us another place to continue to share our lives, beyond wedding or baby. Also, who cares what order you started the sites? Screw the knot/nest/bump. I see nothing of myself on those sites, and don't compare myself to them…. because… blech. You shouldn't compare either.

  12. I'm pretty sure I checked "Offbeat Work/Career" (I forget the official name) on the question re: what's next, and I stand behind it. I think our definitions for "work", "professional", and "career" are changing, and I think it's time we started thinking of new, offbeat ways to deal with our professional lives. "Offbeat Career" means so many things in my mind, and I'd love to see notions of "offbeat" and "career" explored, and how they can work together.

    Just sayin'.

  13. OOh, I LOVE the idea of an OffbeatHOME!! (I just read the comments after I posted) My house definitely qualifies!! I mean, unless having a swing hanging from the ceiling in a green and purple living room of a tiny 1800's stone cottage isn't offbeat, I mean. We also have some offbeat home management (unusual room uses, unusual laundry management… I won't give it all away here though). Make an OffbeatHome blog, seriously! I'd be all over that. That would rock!!

  14. While I can see the concern, I do feel like there is a huge gap in different home sites. I voted for home because I saw it as a marriage of two of my favorite things- OBB and HGTV. The offbeat trifecta would be about creating a space to celebrate non-traditional takes on what people might feel is a role they would take on and be put in a box. That's what I've gained from OBB, is the sense that any crazy idea I might want to put in my wedding is great, since it represents me and my relationship.
    Also, I'm a lot closer in my life to having a home than a husband or baby (I'm one of those "not yet engaged" people – I just love the sites!)
    Oh, and I finally read the book! I just got the second edition in the mail two days ago, and finished it within 24 hours. If not for work or school, it would've been one sitting. Fantastic!

  15. I think it's because we're so inundated with traditionalist websites about wedding, family and home – we need an offbeat antidote!

  16. I posted earlier, but I wanted to add that I think that another Offbeat-affiliated site would be great for non-married couples as well. My husband and I purchased a home together several years before we got engaged and I would have loved a support site like this to guide me through the process of making a financial commitment without the accompanying marriage certificate. In addition to things like decorating and cooking mentioned above, OffbeatHome could be a great resource for couples looking to purchase property, navigate sharing living space for the first time.

    Also, you've mentioned before that you are especially intereted in the female side of the equation. Perhaps you could choose to focus it as OffbeatWife instead of OffbeatHome, if that would make you more comfortable. Like the link today to ASimpleWedding's guest post on married lesbians, just because we've successfully gotten through the wedding doesn't mean we don't have questions about building our new life together as a couple and what it means in terms of balance of power, gender roles, societal expectations, ect. I'd love a place to explore those issues as part of an online community.

    • "Questions about building our new life together as a couple and what it means in terms of balance of power, gender roles, societal expectations"

      I would also love a place to explore those things! I feel like sometimes there is not enough room to talk about issues like that enough. Offbeat Wife or Offbeat Life – however you term it I would be interested to read it!

  17. I think the drive for Offbeat Home is pretty natural. I think we OBBs feel about a home life the same way we that we feel about weddings – that we need an antidote not only to the pressures of buying a house immediately after being married (honouring apartment living is something I'd like to see in the future OBHome), but also to the idea that our homes have to be some sort of perfect Better-Homes-And-Gardens land where there are never any stains on the tablecloths. Also, for OBBs who aren't having kids, their long-term living space is likely to be the thing that receives the bulk of their creative energy.

    And can I make the "duh" point here: home porn is almost as sexy as wedding porn.

  18. Wow. Managed to get me off my cosy RSS feed view and on to the website to comment! ____I totally get the discomfort with the trinity of weddings/homes/babies. And yet, it's precisely in these stereotypical areas that the pressure to limit how you express yourself is at its strongest. The sheer force of tradition and expectations in this trinity of traditional femininity is what makes the idea of that particular set of offbeat sites so compelling. I don't need a site that offers support and glorious inspiration in the areas of my life where I never have to justify my choices to well-meaning relatives. ^__~

  19. I think offbeat home is a great idea! because not everyone does the marriage then home then baby thing in that particular order, some do the home part first, then do the baby thing, some make a home with their friends/roommates with no intention of marrying/having babies with that person. The options are ENDLESS for offbeat home. Plus i think the non- gender specific way of decorating isn't covered. How to compromise on a kitchen backslpash (he does half the cooking, thus he gets a choice too).

  20. But it isn't just women who want to get married, have a home, and make babies. Sometimes the men in our lives (when we choose to have one) want it even more. I think all of those are human things. There's definitely some biology involved in finding a mate and procreating and building a home to shelter and nurture the family you create. We're lucky when we find partners who want all three of those things with us… if those things are indeed on our wish-list. And there are other sites out there for those who want one of those three options, two of those three options, or none of those things at all.

    • I totally hear this, but then I ask myself: are there huge online communities to help men find a spouse, make a home, and start a family (ala a male version of theknot/bump/nest)? If there is, I haven't heard of it…

  21. I'm not engaged (my man and I have been together for 9 years and we'll get to it, but no hurry) and we're not having kids. I chose Offbeat Home because I wanted to see how modern, fun people are decorating homes and apartments in a non-college looking and yet a non-ikea way. I do love Ikea's furniture, but it's becoming so popular that it's just not unique.

  22. Our engagement was 2 years and that was the perfect amount of time to think of & change ideas
    A lot of people have shorter ones and think 2yrs is crazy, I figure your going to be with this person forever anyway so whats the rush πŸ™‚

  23. Mmmmmm…. hooooouse poooooorn!

    I'll be all over that. I'm such a home improvement whore. I think I've lost square footage in the house from the number of times I've repainted the rooms.

    • Light covers. Imagine the posts that could be done on light covers alone!! YES!!! (Says she with an office the color of dirty blood…..)

    • Whenever I feel like I need a change, I rearrange the furniture. I would LOVE to see house porn on the subject! πŸ˜€

  24. I like Offbeat Home which would keep things more simple (decor, diy) or OffbeatLife/OffbeatDaily if you want to expand even more. Basically a site/blog for ALL things offbeat. I.E. have tabs at the top of the blog to categorize different posts. Tabs: Home, Job, Travel, Hobbies, Events.

  25. So why do so many OBB's use DB? I chose to start dress shopping in a "big box" environment, but just as background research in a low-stress (low budget) environment. Admittedly, that was before I found OBB- I would have done lots differently! I honestly don't know where indie folk are near me, or how to screen an indie vendor. And I don't have a ton of time to go out to stores. Should this be (is it already) a thread?

    • I'm sure for a lot of people cost is a factor. Considering how expensive wedding dresses can get, even if you largely favor indie vendors for your wedding, it could just be cost-prohibitive to get your dress handmade or custom made or what have you. Stuff like accessories, favors, etc. is a lot easier to get from Etsy or locally, I think, without breaking the bank.

  26. I lurve Offbeat Home because it gives those of us who love weddings-but are not brides, and who love kids-but are not moms, and who ARE offbeat-but all we'rve got are our little corners of the world- a place to express it! I don't think it would be giving in to expectations for the trifecta of female adulthood- it would just be something else that offbeat folks love to bond over! Pleasedopleasedo! πŸ™‚

  27. I totally understand the desire for an Offbeat Home site, and it doesn't bother me one bit that it follows the OBBT or the Offbeat Mama site. We at OBBT are a crafty lot, who spend a lot of time agonizing over the details of our environment. As a working mom and DIYer, I frankly would love another Offbeat social network site where I can find all of the friends who have helped me plan this shindig so that we can share resources for all sorts of "life-balance" and miscellaneous fun stuff: home decor, yard/garden tips, home repair (Holy Crap! My 2-pronged outlets froze over and zapped my computer!"), hobbies, and miscellaneous other fun stuff.

  28. I think the knot/nest/bump is actually happening less and less often in our culture. At least not by those who even remotely seem to embrace it and make it their own. I see women all the time who look and act chained by their families. I would love to see those who not only love it, they put their own spin on it. There is no canvas so blank and so inviting as your home. I think you can really turn up some inspiration with this. πŸ™‚

  29. Offbeat Home is a STELLAR idea! I totally feel what you mean about it feeling weird to follow the beaten path in that regard, however, I'm not having children and am completely obsessed with all things real estate and home-related! Somehow I could imagine myself spending more time at Offbeat Home than Offbeat Bride even (/gasp! I know I know, but you only get married once and I'll have a home, well, my whole life hehe). Oh man my head is already swimming with amazing ideas for articles and whatnot! Writing for a website like that would basically be the best job in the world. Yup. SO, if you do launch Offbeat Home, keep me in mind!

  30. I chose Offbeat Home because my partner and I are already married but aren't ready for children yet. I still read Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama every day though because they represent two beautiful communities of acceptance that I wish I saw more of in my every day life. Offbeat Home could encompass so much, from urban planning to recipes, that I think it would be a very worthwhile endeavor.

  31. I think I chose Offbeat Home. Either way, I'd LOVE to see that website! Hubby and I are in the process of buying our first home, and knowing how a) DYI-ish b) budget-conscious c) non-judgmental and d) freaking awesome all of the OBB are, I could easily see myself becoming addicted to such a site. And if the guest blogs and advice are anything like they are here, that'd be super helpful too. So, please! Make it!

  32. The idea of "Offbeat Wife" appeals to me as well. Though it does shut out the non-wifey types (same-gendered couples, gentlemen), it would also lend a definite, specific flavor to the site which would follow OBM and OBB nicely.
    On the other hand, I also sense the perils. Here's where I think the problem lies: Our homes may be, ironically, the last place we come to express ourselves radically. At the end of the day, you've got to eat, sleep, and answer nature's call, and there's not a whole lot of variation from person to person, is there? I feel that we're just not going to be as crazy awesome day to day as we our on our wedding day, or even raising our very unique kids. Thoughts?

  33. Offbeat Trio isnt such a bad Idea-
    totally get what you are saying about being uncomfortable with the "what we've always been encouraged to do" template- however– I think that this crew would be likely to take"home" and "family" to a whole new level.

    There are a lot of us who are career driven ladies. A place to go to find out what other awesome ladies are doing, how they are balancing home with hubby…..a good place to be reminded that even 10 years into wedded bliss, we dont need to, nor should we sacrifice our wants and desires for the sake of keeping peace and or making sure our significant other has all of his/her desires….a place to find out what other offbeat folks are doing with their kids, how they are balancing careers if at all, whether or not they're buying into all these vaccinations, etc. for infants…a home for this kind of stuff from folks who lead a less than totally regular lifestyle would be great….of course- I am sure you know this, since you've got a survey screaming it.

  34. I probably wouldn't be interested in off-beat home. As a renter who moves every couple years, I just don't have much interest in acquiring more stuff, nor do I have much control over my environment. When I think of people who are more settled down, more affluent, and own their own homes — they don't sound Offbeat to me. They sound like "norms".

    • Owning a house isn't what gives you a home. You have a home no matter where you live. The way you live, not only the way you decorate, but the way your organize your life, is what would (from what I understand) be covered on Offbeat Home.

      Also, my husband and I, who also rent and have for several years (moving almost every year) talk all the time about how we can't wait to be able to afford to buy our own house and decorate it just how we want to — super geek style. Because of our current living situation, we're not able to display his massive lifelong Star Wars figure collection (among other things — like the other 3843847 comic figures & statues, etc. we have in boxes all over the house and my collection of '80s and '90s toys) but when we own, we will be able to have display cases everywhere and posters and all the autographs we got at conventions. And I dunno, I kinda don't think that fits into most people's ideas of a "norm." =)

  35. I think that the trinity of home, wedding, baby seems overly traditional because regardless of how offbeat we all are, or how we may label and define these roles in our lives, we all have to co-exist with our non-offbeat world of friends, co-workers, mother-in-laws. So many of us aren't blessed to have an entire offbeat world so, right or wrong we are often asked to whittle our wild ideas into boxes that make other people comfortable, if only to keep a temporary peace. I would welcome all advice in the world about explaining to my thoughts on cloth diapers and high fructose corn syrup to my uber traditional, rural, midwestern mother-in-law whom I love completely for who she is.

    A component to Offbeat home could be Offbeat Career. It would deal with both careers that are offbeat and forwarding your career as a person that doesn't fit accepted norms. For example, articles on why I do or don't tell my co-workers I play D&D. That might make it more about living Offbeat in an Onbeat world and less about "wedding, family, home."

  36. I'm pretty much as non-traditional as you can get, and often have to swallow my knee-jerk, bilious reaction to someone forcing perceived gender roles on me when they're really not, but even *I* don't think there's much reason to be afeared of creating some sort of "Traditional Trifecta".

    There are many great reasons listed above, but I think the most important of which is that most everyone lives *somewhere*, and if you are reading this site you probably are interested in bringing creativity and individuality into your everyday life. I've spent years and years studying interior design from an artist's point of view, and it's immensely difficult to weed out silly trends and think outside the box. It seems even more difficult if the "you" that you are trying to represent in your living environment is offbeat.

    Rather than looking at it like Offbeat Home is completing a trio of traditional female roles, why not think of it as a natural extension of the process of "offbeat-i-cizing" your life?

    And can I just say, if you go through with it and want any extra help, I'd love to throw in my lot. This is right up my alley. πŸ™‚

  37. Ariel,

    Would you be willing to release the official numbers/answers? I'd love to do an infographic on the results of this survey.

    – Dom

  38. Maybe the name is just a bit misleading. What if it were "Offbeat Daily" – just focused on our everyday lives? Or "Offbeat Style"? (I forget the options that were listed on the survey….)

    If it focuses on a wide variety of people and situations (family in the burbs starting to have kids, metro single who travels, people who don't even have a home to decorate….) I think it will still be a Very Good Thing. πŸ˜›

    • I agree with this. I enjoy reading magazines such as Family Circle because it has recipes, travel tips, cleaning tips, gardening info, decorating advice, etc, etc. It's not just about one thing and doesn't necessarily focus on the traditional notion of family (mom, dad, 2 kids, dog). I think something like the above "Offbeat Daily" could do that and appeal to a broader audience too.

  39. I do very much understand your discomfort. Part of why I picked it was that (unlike the Knot -> Nest -> Bump model), Offbeat Home would have interested me at many periods of my life! It's not just about "you're married, now what" — it's about "how do you filter out all the noise from Martha Stewart and Good Housekeeping and HGTV to create a home YOU love," whether that home houses one person, a couple, or many people. Yes, a lot of pressure in that world is traditionally on women, but the climate it fosters ("create a Man Cave so you can escape your wife's household dominion!") hurts everyone. And it's *certainly* applicable to couples who haven't yet gotten married, and perhaps never will, whether by choice or by law.

  40. To me what would be differant about your trinity/offbeat empire is that there would be no assumptions. Its not like you're saying you get married then make a home then have babies. Some people might have babies, then make a home and then get married, there are so many combinations! And not everyone has to do everything (I am all about choices). What I love is that EVERYONE has a home be that a caravan or a cardboard box or a backpack or a cottage or a yurt. I like to think of offbeat home as providing for all of your offbeat followers. And just imagine all of the amazing homes and decor and DIY and THINGS you will cover on it. It will be a great way to feature all kinds of people and the way they live, and who they live with and stories and…'le sigh'….can't wait

    • Precisely my comment! I thought the same thing and was pleased to scroll down and find someone else had said the exact same thing. And I definitely second the person a few above who mentioned Offebeat Careers/Business. (I'm a career counselor and I dig that kind of stuff.)

  41. I want an offbeat home because I am so tired of home sites assuming that I can afford to buy a place (not so much), that I would want to buy vs rent (also not so much, even if I could afford to buy in my city), that as soon as we want kids we will move out to the suburbs, and that living downtown is dangerous unless you live in some fortified condo building with five million security guards.

    I was offbeat-lite in terms of weddings, but I am realizing now that I am completely freaky when it comes to living… plus an offbeat home site might give a place for people who aren't at the baby/marriage stage a place to still connect with others like them. Or at least others that are unlike everyone else.

  42. Ariel, maybe you can look at it this way: the knot-nest-bump thing doesn't necessarily have to be a 'trio'. 'Nest' does not have to be post-knot or pre-bump. It can just be an individual subject, for people who don't knot or bump up. Just as bump doesn't imply knot and vice versa.

    I would rather look at is as three options in life (of many more). And let's face it; 'nest' is something we all need, even if it's on the go in a trailer or wagon, or is overflown with lace doileys OR none or both! Options!

  43. wow, thanks for the info, i didn't know that most people are engaged for about 6-18 months out before their weddings. i love to here what people have to say. thanks for posting the data. aloha

  44. I missed the survey but would LOVE to see an Offbeat home site!!!

    I don't know if I'll ever get married and I'm not able to have kids; but I love offbeat bride for the decorating tips, the DIY projects, the food and cake, the ideas for awesome parties, the ways of expressing your individuality to the world at large.

    Yes a wedding is a wonderful exciting presentation of these things; but so is your home, and everyone has a home – unlike a wedding; and a home is forever – whereas a wedding is only a day.

    I'd LOVE to see hippy homes, nerdy homes, goth homes, punk homes, retro homes, steampunk homes, etc. I'd love to see 50s diner style kitchens in rockabilly homes and water saving ideas in hippie bathrooms and romantic gothic garden courtyards.

    I'd LOVE to read DIY tips on how to reupholster boring old furniture in fun personal funky fabrics. How to sand back furniture and repaint or collage or otherwise beautify it in your own unique way. I'd love to see tips and ads and links for crazy unique lighting suppliers or wallpaper companies or door bell makers.

    Honestly I could see Offbeat home as having a larger audience than Offbeat Brides, and an audience that would never stop reading!!! πŸ˜€

  45. Just like Offbeat Bride doesn't always focus on weddings with white, fluffy dresses and baby-pink roses, Offbeat Home doesn't have to always shine it's spotlight on a home that fits into that traditional feminine trinity.

    What about the sword-merchant mother that travels the country with her family, going from Ren Faire to Ren Faire, living her life in RVs and medieval tents? She may not be June Cleaver, but she literally /builds/ an Offbeat Home every day! Or the young, single, career-focused tech geek who only has time to cook for herself once a month, so she's mastered the complex art of Foodavers and freezer bags? Or the new homeowner who is building a secret passage (http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Hidden-Door-Booksh… to his Steampunk Laboratory? These freaky, expressive, brilliant people exist, and they deserve to be talked about! I want to learn from them – don't you?!

    One of the most beautiful things about Offbeat Bride, in my opinion, is that it proves that you don't /have/ to conform to the traditional wedding standard in order to have a beautiful, moving day that represents you, your significant other, and the commitment you're both making to the future. Offbeat Home could do the same thing – prove that you don't /have/ to have a contemporary, suburban 3-bedroom-2-bath and an ideal, middle-class family in order to have a warm, welcoming home that expresses your crazy rad self!

    I guess what I am saying is that Offbeat Home would rock my face off and I would read it every single day. I'd be so excited to see/read about/be inspired by so many different examples of "Home" – a crafter's tiny urban apartment with hand-painted, herb-garden window boxes; sprawling old farmhouses with framed, punk rock posters in the hallways; suburban split-levels with a fantasy treehouse in the backyard that was built for LARPing instead of for the kids… my imagination runs wild.

    I think /more/ alternative folks, people who choose to have a life that ISN'T defined by that traditional feminine example, would be represented than even Offbeat Bride or Offbeat Mama. Plenty of people never get married and choose not to have children – but, whether it's a house or an apartment or a beat-up van, we all have homes.

  46. I choose offbeat home because I saw it as a natural line to follow. Plus I never read home to mean home as in habiat. i took home to mean something more holslistic – such as lifestyle choices and understanding others in a diffrent light. Home is a place you belong rather than just bricks and mortar.

    I'm looked upon weridly because I paint vintage furniture, we turned our back garden (yard) into a vegetable plot and choose to spend my summer holiday camping and hiking yet in in the OB world it's normal πŸ˜‰ and I really look forward to sharing veg tips with OB-ers!!

    • I thought the same thing. While Home could obviously include decorating, I thought of it more in terms of how do you structure and build your life. Home is not only the space where you live, but the lifestyle you create for yourself. The type of living space you have — loft, apartment, condo, house, ect. — and the neighborhood where you live — rural farm, suburban community, urban area — all reflect your interests and goals in life. So not only do they need to be decorated and landscaped, they each bring with them an array of issues such as environmental sustainability, access to schools, safety and security, communication with your neighbors, and so much more. I'd love a place to discuss all of this, along with the post-marriage issues of gender balance I mentioned in my earlier post.

  47. One of the thing that continues to draw me to this blog is by getting the chance to see so many amazing and unique weddings filled with different subculture thematics. It's so awesome. I find I am becoming very bored with certain other wedding blogs out there, that, while they do display some very beautiful weddings, it's like looking at the same perfect cookie cutter wedding over and over and over. There's very little variance and it's becoming boring to me. But then I pop over here and I always smile and go "Wow!" I'm always getting a chance to see something new and different. I love ya Offbeat Bride!

  48. I'll just chime in with everyone else and say that the preconceived "holy trinity" of female goals is exactly WHY OBEmpire is awesome. It shows that there's no one correct way to have a wedding, or have a baby… why should there be a correct way to have a home? And, more importantly, why allow the only voices on the subject to be ones that are pretty anti-feminist/anti-weird?

    So many of us (especially the huge "Offbeat Lite" demographic who love you) struggle with how to hit these major milestones — the things we always feared would make us "conventional" — and remain authentic. It's tremendously inspiring to see that just because you got married and are making a home and a family, you're not going to turn into June Cleaver. Don't stop!

  49. It is traditional and that's why we need to put our own spin on it! I mean, you could have "offbeat career" but how far is that going to go for those of us being offbeat in our normal jobs? The only people who would really rock at that are artists and that leaves the rest of us as voyeurs. Offbeat home could showcase all of the weird, awesome and amazing ways people live. It doesn't have to be about houses, necessarily, but about life in general. Life after the wedding. Because I think a lot of us are losing sight of the fact that the wedding is just a celebration of a transitionary phase. It's not the end of living, it's a beginning.

    • Absolutely well said. I love the idea of it being life-encompassing, about the most important part: the marriage, and everything that goes into it.

  50. I’m for Offbeat Life – with subdivisions, because home/career or not/relationship or not/ personal style= clothing and other things on one’s person/ children or not – is all about choices and not just which choice we make but how we fulfill our own visions of our own lives. These things are what we generally encounter and what we need support for. Life is gender-free, age-free, and even location-non-specific. Are there already sites that cover said topics, yes but do they really allow as much freedom or are they segmented and clique-ish, showing approval only for those like themselves? ooo, here’s a word for you sociologist types: ethnocentric. what I love LOVE about OBB is that it is NOT ethnocentric but is instead welcoming and celebrating of everyone’s uniqueness.
    isn’t that what life should be?
    hence, an offbeat life for me!

  51. OFFBEAT LIVING: this can feature things about home, travel, work, Hobbies, Passions. I'd love to know more about what other people do. etc. Offbeat Home is too narrow – seems to focus on stuff, where to live, etc. I don't need another blog to tell me all the best stuff out there. But I'd love to know more about the lives people are living, the passions they are pursuing.

    And you can get away from the whole "Home" issue.

    I was lame and didn't fill out the Survey.

  52. Awesome! I've gotta say – I love that you are sharing all the goodies from the survey with us. It's fun to know who's out there reading with you πŸ™‚
    And also, about offbeat home – I know it's the "traditional trilogy" but offbeat home really does have the best chance at being offbeat. I mean I would LOVE for someone to have set up a website when I was simply cohabiting not planning a wedding for other people out there like me – because I know there are plenty. And The Nest was so focused on "now that you're married." Offbeat home could be like "now that you have a place to live…" so it could incorporate young single people that just moved out all the way up to old hippies that cohabit and refuse to get married.

  53. off beat home to me doesn't have anything to with love, married, baby carriage. Maybe that is just me.
    Maybe something more like
    Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy (but in a more off-beat way)
    you started a baby site and I don't plan to have a single one, so I will never look at that site, but a house site? 100%

  54. Ariel, I would love an OffBeat Home site or something similar! I voted for OffBeat Wife, mainly because I am at that point in between the wedding and having kids (and except for the past 4 months or so, babies were not on my mind at all!) , but I think even after I have kids, I would want to reference an OffBeat Wife/OffBeat Home/OffBeat Life site for so many of the things previously mentioned (not just decor but gardening, recipes, travel, DIY, hosting parties, etc etc!)

    I think for some OffBeat Brides we still love event planning so it would be fun to see real parties/events featured and ideas/tips/recipes for hosting our own shindigs (open houses, etc etc).

    I hope you will consider adding a site that could somehow encompass all of these awesome things!

  55. I think one misnomer is the word "traditional" being an automatically negative thing. I think the key thing to remember is that following tradition isn't a bad thing in and of itself. I think there's a problem when people blindly follow tradition without thinking through the traditions they follow. Getting married, starting a home, and even having kids are all "traditional" things — but that doesn't mean they're bad or that people should swerve away from them if at all possible. You have to do what works for *you* and if it's the traditional that works for you after thinking about it, then…you're following the path you want to take because *you* want to take it!

    The traditional is often traditional for a reason — sometimes it's because it works, sometimes it's because it's fun (cakes with candles for birthdays is traditional…and awesome!), and I don't think tradition should be shunned simply for being tradition. I think that just in the way I feel following tradition blindly isn't wise, neither is shunning tradition simply because it's tradition. You have to have a balance, and I think having Offbeat Home wouldn't be pressuring people to follow the standard so much as celebrating that this is an area a lot of people enter into. A lot of people want to make homes and be homey, that's "traditional" in and of itself…but how people go *about* it can be incredibly offbeat.

    *ramble ramble ramble*

    • Yes!! My feelings exactly. Traditions aren't bad as long as they're YOUR traditions, and you don't do anything because you "have to."

  56. There's almost nothing I could say that all these brilliant people haven't already said, but here's my two cents anyway. I think Offbeat Home, or some incarnation of it, is particularly important for those of us choosing the non-traditional lifestyle of not having children after marriage. I think babies are wonderful and I love my nephews as if they were my own, but I don't want to have them for myself. Telling people you don't want children is really hard because people think that everyone is either supposed to have children or is born to be a parent and they just don't know it yet. I'm actually contemplating telling people I can't have children and leave it at that. Anyway, a home site that focuses on living alternatively, even for the most traditional people, is a great idea. I hope it happens someday. Keep up the amazing work!

  57. To me Offbeat Home would be AWESOME! I would love it! And as far as it sticking to the trinity of feminine stereotypes – well…yeah, that’s true. BUT I would think that since mostly everyone has some type of home – it only makes sense. People (male and female) want to make their home a reflection of who they are (and maybe if they have a partner let them have a self in the closet or something). I would love to see how these beautiful, amazing, interesting Offbeat Brides decorate what I can only assume would be their beautiful, amazing, interesting and offbeat homes.

  58. I would love Offbeat Home. Everyone has to live somehwere, even if that somewhere changes every night. I would argue that it's less traditional than Offbeatmama for that reason. Not everyone gets married, not everyone has kids, but everyone needs a physical place to rest their ass once in a while.

  59. Offbeat Home would be nice. Offbeat Career would be a lot cooler but a lot harder to do!

  60. Just because there might be a trio of “traditional” sites does not mean that they have to be used by the same people. For example, OBB is really useful to me as I’m planning my wedding, I’d definitely give offbeat homes a look, but nothing will get me near a site that has babies in it. Even if the sites are there, we’re still our own people, so don’t worry about that!

  61. Please please PLEASE do Offbeat Home! I'm one of the ones that identified as "Offbeat Lite" and "DIY" mainly because I do things fairly "normally" but with a subtle twist – black slacks and blazer with a white mens-style shirt and LOOOONNNGGG strand of pearls, silk pantsuit in a beautiful slate-blue color instead of gray or black, black and white checked car coat with hand-crocheted fingerless mittens, Mary-Janes with 4-inch heels, etc. I may not be the type to have a wedding with 50's Rockabilly, or have a skeleton cake, but I LOVE looking at it and getting ideas for subtle WOWs.

    Also, I'm not married, have no prospects yet, and don't plan on having children. I DO have an apartment, plan to buy a home in the near future, and I DESPERATELY need ideas for ways to decorate that don't cost me a month's salary or more per room!

    Please, Ariel, Offbeat staff, we NEED you!

  62. I would love to see OffbeatHome. It would be awesome to have a section, in addition to the featured post, where readers can upload their own photos a la Rate My Space on HGTV.com (but without the rating part). Maybe a little more involved than uploading to a Flickr pool, but still something available to all readers. It could be a place to both show off your favorite room that you worked really hard on and a forum to ask for advice when you're stuck.

    OffbeatHome would be a great way to get tips and ideas that have nothing to do with granite countertops or pedestal sinks. We bought our condo a few years ago, but I have yet to find a website that will help me make the most of my 100-year-old minimally closeted 9×12' "master" bedroom.

  63. I have to admit that I'm a little bit home-fatigued by HGTV, Partylite and the like, but I think it would be really refreshing to see a different twist on it. I just hope it's not too narrowly focused on home decor. It could include so many great things like hobbies, DIY, food, etc.

    There's so much pressure to have the two car garage and tan-painted new house that it would be so refreshing to see offbeat people who live outside of that model, or who live within it, tweak it and make it work for them. I think it could be tremendously empowering and a load of fun too!

    I've always felt a big disconnect in my life between the fact that I'm a rebel and don't really follow the rules, and the fact that I love to come home and make a big pot of stew and homemade bread. But it shouldn't be that way. We should be able to rock out, and then come home to a place we love without feeling guilty like we're buying into traditional roles. It would be great to have a place to go to see how people have meshed these two facets of life and made it work for them.

  64. I agree with other posters above that the "marriage, baby, housekeeping" combo isn't as old school as it sounds. I can see where it would give one pause "oh my god, I've become that woman in the 50's magazine hawking tips on how to please your husband, ACK!", but I think these sort of interests are not just traditional, but more universal. That is, it's not what you're supposed be, it's just what people ARE.

    Everyone wants to fall in love (Offbeat bride), most want to have a family (Offbeat mama) and everyone wants to express themselves via thier home. What makes us who are offbeat differnt is that we don't do these things "just because you're supposed to". These women have genuine passion.

    The key, I think, is self expression. How to take something that could be seen as uber traditional, how you keep your home, and showcase how the Offbeat Divas do it differently to showcase thier individuality, and generally domo-smash tradition.

    I'm all for it.

  65. Offbeat Home sounds like much more fun to read and write than Offbeat Employment, which is the other thing most of us probably have going on (since OB Baby is already covered). Wedding planning, home making, and baby raisin' are the things we can be proud of! I know that I can't honestly say that I'm proud of my job, it's just something I do to make money until the next, more interesting thing that lets me make money comes along (or I become a baby factory and get to take a turn as a SAHM).

  66. Sometimes it's nice to have an alternative place to go to talk about and learn about life stuff. The idea that marriage, home, and baby should always be the focus of a woman's life is so frustrating and over-simplifiying and patriarchal! Part of the issue is that many of us have much more that we are interested in, some of us are not interested in that stuff at all, we are complicated. But part of the issue is that things that are associated with the feminine are belittled and put down by that same patriarchy. The society is telling us both, "You must do this," and, "It is crap anyway." It is important not only that we have choices, but that we honor those choices and are able to discuss them in a deeper way. Off-beat bride is a good example of that, within it's context. Home, career, and babies all interest me, so personally I'd probably read whichever blog you do. But even a focus on career seams a little compartmentalized and western… How about a focus on life's work and dealing with stuff and sometimes achieving our dreams? Our communities, our interests, our relationships, our art, our families, our survival, our life's work, and the welfare of others… shouldn't that be the focus of everyone, not just women? I don't know if you will try to make a blog about that, but in a small way you already have. Thanks!

  67. I got sucked into the OBB and OBM universe because of all my friends who are getting married and popping out babies, I've stuck around because I love everything I see here! I love the ongoing discussions of like-minded people and constantly being inspired and educated. I'll be a Bride someday, and I'll be a Mama someday so I see no problem in reading up now and stashing away information!! But what I do have now is a Home that I loooove to decorate and play with. I'd love a OB-site where I might actually have something to contribute!!

  68. Thanks for posting these results! I'm a survey junkie (both writing and taking) so I appreciate getting to read some analysis of who all is reading this thing. Keep up the good work!

  69. I can see Offbeat Home totally working. I mean, we all live somewhere, whether it's a typical home in one place or a bohemian caravan, everyone has that in common – why not celebrate the ways we all do it differently?

  70. As a guy who follows OBB, and not just from the insistence of my dear loving girlfriend, but out of genuine interest for the things posted here. I would really enjoy a place like Offbeat Home.

    The most amazing thing for me, about getting married to my love, is building our life, together. From our day to day routines, to being able to come home to one another all the time (we currently live apart, though that is soon changing) to creating a Home environment that is an outward reflection of our relationship, and our selves.

    I love DIY projects, and while I am not horribly handy, I love getting involved and trying new things, new projects, even just brain storming new ideas and seeing what others have come up with. Offbeat Home, as many have suggested would appeal to far more than just OBB's. As a soon to be Offbeat Groom and Offbeat Husband, a place to express those interests and witness other people making outward expressions of themselves in their own space, bride, groom, or anyone in particular, would be an incredible outlet.

    To appeal to the sociologist in you (Anthropologist here πŸ˜‰ ) consider Offbeat Home as an exploration in to how people construct their personal space, how couples manipulate space for purposes of daily activities and as an expression of their emotional and spiritual relationship to one another. A home, at its base, is a physical space, one which we make so much more. OBH would provide you endless ethnographic material for an exploration of such topics!

    Thanks for all your sites, my love and I really enjoy them, and it is something we can share in even while she lives in PA and I am living in Northern Ireland. I look forward to anything you get going!

    -Shawn

  71. I don't think there's anything wrong with following the knot/nest/bump template as long as we're encouraged to do each one in our own way. And isn't that the whole point of Offbeat? Love ya. πŸ˜‰

  72. OB Homes is a great idea and I don't think it completes this woman template of doom. Homes are the one thing we have in common be it your Aunt's basement or an RV. We all need a nest, bride/bump or not. I must also note that "norm" culture seems to lack any home life at all, so I see it as offbeat to somehow return to nesting and to enjoy creating your own home rather than just tearing a page from a magazine and hiring someone to put it together for you. That's how the cookie cutter wedding happened.

  73. I agree offbeat home seems a little stereotypical, but so do weddings, and having kids, if you think about it…but we are rocking it our own way! My actual concern is…or rather, preferences about…I don't want to concentrate on the material. I love gushing over decorations and making a home and diet and ecolife choices and that sort of thing…but what about people who don't have a home? What about eternal travelers, circus people, roadtrippers, people who live in RVs…people who live outdoors? I agree with the fear that making it be too narrow might be putting us in a box. Also…I voted for "Offbeat Wife" or something equivalent but not gender specific like "Offbeat Life" or "Offbeat Marriage"…because in the end, we could have a "home" section or "lifestyle" section in there..but it could also focus on things that are so important after the offbeatwedding..like building a lasting marriage, keeping love kindled, adventures do to with your significant other, ways to build respect and honor in your life together, romantic things to do, advice, etc. While I love the idea of squeeing about my material possessions and doing DIY home stuff just as much as the next person…I love (ala a Practical Wedding) when people focus on the importance being the love and commitment and the soul of it all. A healthy mix of both would be best!

  74. I didn't choose Offbeat Home either, because like Offbeat Mama, I know I won't read it (we are not homeowners and won't become such things for some time, and have no plans to have kids). That's actually why I chose Offbeat Business – because following my career in an offbeat way is my other big focus outside of marriage and hobbies. Offbeat Lifestyle would fit, too, because it could encompass relationships, hobbies, home AND work.

    • One question: why does "Home" imply that people must OWN the place where they live? In thinking about Offbeat Home, I could care less about whether the spaces are owned by the people that live in them. As someone who moved more than 10 times in 10 years, I would have lost my mind if I'd put off settling into my space until I could afford to buy my own home.

      Am I misunderstanding?

  75. What about an Offbeat-Existence? Anyone who reads your blog does that. It could cover anything from relationships, travel, homes, food, hobbies, etc. Its what we are, what we do and most importantly HOW we do it. It wouldn't feel super nesty and it shouldn't because birds don't just stay at home πŸ˜‰

  76. One of the things I love about this site is that people of many lifestyles and income levels are represented, and I would love to see that in a home blog. So many of the decor/design blogs focus on products that are totally out of reach for most people. It would be great to have a home blog that, like this one, focuses on real people making their worlds beautiful and individualized regardless of what's 'stylish' or how much they spent.

    Plus, as a single, childless person, I would feel less like a weirdo hanging out there!

  77. Without something like Offbeat Home, where will we showcase our B-movie zombie shadowboxes?

  78. Noway, Ariel, don't EVEN think you're following an imposed stereotype. Some offbeat folks get married – that's where you started, some said folks also have chitlins – that was your next move, but to LIVE somewhere – EVERY offbeat and non-offbeat person LIVES somewhere! THAT, Ariel, is the most universal and essential of your trinity, I think. The Nest presents one side, more or less one aesthetic, goth's houses, earth homes, and everything in between go by the wayside in an effort to appeal to the masses and not, God forbid, scare anyone. Ariel, I am ALL for Offbeat Home – homes are just as intimate and fascinating (if not more so…) than weddings. Weddings are an exciting, lovely blip in *some* folks' lives, but homes… we ALL go home – be it a tudor or a trailer or a found-materials study in self-sufficiency, we all take shelter somewhere. Ariel, heed our pleas, do Offbeat Home, please, give us a break from builder's beige fanaticism, from the same ol' themes of traditional-OR-modern-OR-*gasp* eclectic. Viva los weirdo homes!

  79. Here's the thing: while I'd find Offbeat Career or Offbeat Downhill Skiing intriguing, it wouldn't necessarily resonate with me. But having a home and making decisions related to the home? That's all of us. And the nature of the gender politics involved is precisely why I think a site like Offbeat Home is necessary. I can't help but roll my eyes at some of the "homemaking" advice I get from other venues because it feels like they're trying to tidy up a home that isn't even untidy, trying to wash dishes that aren't even dirty or pay a mortgage that they're only keeping around because Daddy doesn't want to pay it off yet. Helloooo… I need to know how to grout some tile, knock out walls and get rid of tub funk, y'all.

  80. It's really interesting how discomfort with the idea of becoming this trifecta of sites occurs now, with the potential for Offbeat Home as a third site. What I mean is, the idea of conforming to the wedding "standard" did nothing to stop Offbeat Bride from being created – in fact, the urge to rebel and create an alternative to stale, entrenched wedding traditions must have been the main catalyst. Same with Offbeat Mama. Why should Offbeat Home suddenly signify some sort of nail in the coffin?

    You didn't just decide to not get married because it's so much a part of a largely expected female trajectory. Likewise, you did not let the fact that the majority of newlyweds go on to have babies stop you from later having your own child. You did these things, but in your own special way! So I say, don't hesitate to keep on creating these alternative hives; it is no more or less conformist to create Offbeat Home now than it was to create Offbeat Bride then.

    I think the majority of people gravitate toward similar things; fundamentally, we all enjoy being loved and being surrounded by an environment that comforts us. Obviously, this doesn't make us unique. The uniqueness comes in the details, in the specifics. In *what* exactly it is that makes us happiest. It's Steampunk versus Rockabilly versus Punk versus Offbeat Lite versus The Nest.

    So I really do not believe that Offbeat Home, a site about making a happy, comfy home reflective of different offbeat families' unique personalities, would be or even imply something "uncomfortably traditional." Because nothing else you have created comes even close to that phrase.

  81. Offbeat home would be my DREAM, hell even if you dont make it im already living it πŸ™‚
    I see your concern for following the trio of traditional 'womens' things, but my take on it is that home is for everyone, whatever gender…and even if you dont get married or spawn your own race, every woman and man will at some point have to create a home, by yourself or otherwise. I think an Offbeat home is IDEAL πŸ™‚
    Long live offbeat babes/boys!!!

  82. First of all, I have to say that I would welcome Offbeat Home, Offbeat Travel, Offbeat Financial Planning, Offbeat Lawn Care, or any other Offbeat offshoot you can dream up. I probably fall well within one standard deviation of "mainstream", and I love the myriad inspirations for outside the box thinking, planning and dreaming.

    As for my own equalist (feminist?) spin, the only thing I find unsettling about your fear about selling the "a woman's place is in the home" bs is that it belies that you (intentionally) target your sites at women. While the it certainly seems that your fan following (of which I proud to count myself) is majority female, there is a big difference between writing blogs for women about domestic topics and writing blogs about domestic topics that women happen to frequent. My fiance will never be enough of a planner to peruse OBB blogs, he never hesitates to jump into to photo spreads of wedding porn. I long struggled with the fear that weddings and family were somehow retrograde for an enlightened and empowered woman, but it seems better for everyone (men, women and everyone in between) that we allow and encourage everyone to be excited about planning a wedding with that special person, raising a family or building a home. Perhaps the most effective way to be simultaneously feminist and start an Offbeat Home website is also to launch an Offbeat Dad or Offbeat Groom site as well? Or better yet- just keep everything gender neutral with Offbeat Wedding or Offbeat Parent?

  83. I’m from a farm that has been engaged since October, and getting married in September (11 month engagement). Here lately I’ve been getting more ideas from OBB than knot, but I usually only read the local boards on knot cuz the rest of the girls are rude to me. (I’m apparently a TERRIBLE person because it is traditional in my area to have a dollar dance and am trying to compromise with my FH by having something that involves a dollar but he won’t have to do any dancing to earn it.) I do NOT like the store that rhymes with “Cravid’s Fidal.” I don’t know what indie businesses are. I’m a OBB lite, geek, DIY, and gamer. My FH isn’t really any of those, but he still loves me anyways. πŸ™‚ I want the wedding to be traditional in some ways because we are very traditional people, but I also want it to be very “us” by doing some more unique things. I am a heterosexual, non-feminist (I just want respect like everybody else), non-eco-friendly (I know, I’m a terrible person because I don’t think there’s enough evidence about global warming- that’s what some people at school would tell me. lol), college student, that unleashes her crazy/weird/unique side every chance she gets! πŸ™‚ I LOVE this site because this is the only place I’ve found that has unique ideas. I have gotten several wonderful ideas from real weddings that I have typed up for safe keeping. Several I have already turned into my own idea by tweeking it, and I am VERY excited to implement them that our wedding. In the end, I hope to have some wonderful photos to share with you all.

    I mean no insults to anyone. I am simply trying to respond as I would’ve if I could have taken the survey myself. πŸ™‚

  84. You know, I was just thinking: I f’ing love this website and it will be kind of sad when it no longer applies to me. I’ll still enjoy reading about all the offbeat weddings, but it won’t have the same significance as it does now, while I’m planning mine. So, an “OffbeatHome”-type site would be fantastic, especially as so many of us are DIYers and I can just imagine all the delicious examples and instructions for band shirt quilts and B-movie zombie shadowboxes (I *lurve* that idea!) and vintagey kitchen appliances and and and…

    In conclusion, I can has? plz?

  85. I think that everyone should be encouraged to find a mate (or mates) and make a home regardless of sex, and to start a family (though not necessarily one that involves having babies or even kids) but establishing a home base, with loving people around is important in establishing a stable comfortable existence, and that’s true for men, women and the rest of us.

  86. Marriage/Domesticity and children may look like the Knot, but for a kinkster like me, the question is not where to put the 52″ TV, but how to make room for it in the dungeon…How you doin?

  87. I love the idea of Offbeat Homes – just echoing the above comments….Everybody has to live someplace. Home is where the heart is – Maybe profile some nomads or boat people….just to prove a point.

    I do like the idea of Offbeat Jobs… I say jobs because everybody talks to me about having a career, being a businesswoman and I look around and the people with jobs seem happier. In other words, people have jobs that fulfill them and pay them but don’t dominate their life, don’t create a 10 year plan…just a thought…It can be like Dirty Jobs but Creative Jobs – jobs that inspire the person doing them.

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