Weekend Open Thread

American Living Ruched Dress, BoatneckSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Reader J wrote in to recommend this dress, noting: “I kid you not when I say I originally bought this dress last month as a part of a Halloween costume. I was going as Joan Holloway from Mad Men and needed something that reflected her figure-hugging, bold-colored, yet covered-up, style. This dress fit the bill perfectly and I fell in love with it the minute I tried it on. The material is a bit thicker, so no significant concerns about VPL. The dress is also quite stretchy and runs a size or two large in my opinion. And the color is bold without being obnoxiously bright. I wouldn’t consider it office/work-day appropriate, but would be great for an office holiday party.” Lovely — the dress wins rave reviews from the other commenters on the JCP site as well. It was $90, now marked to $56.99 at JC Penney. American Living Ruched Dress, Boatneck

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  1. Just wanted to provide a brief update on my pre-Thanksgiving father situation for the many who chimed in with helpful comments… Thanksgiving wasn’t terrible, mostly because I nipped my father’s bad behavior in the bud. He started getting nasty (sarcastic, raising his voice) at dinner Wednesday night. I interrupted him and said firmly, “No. Stop talking to me that way right now. You don’t get to talk to me that way.” It was incredibly awkward, but it worked. One or two other times, he started to behave badly, and I called him out on it and told him to stop. He did and was better behaved on this visit than most. Do I expect him to permanently change his behavior? No. Do I expect to have to do this with him in the future? Yes. I’m okay with that, though. Turns out he’s just like any other bully—he stops once his victim tells him to cut that ish out.

    • And PS, thanks to all the great ladies who responded to my original post asking for help. You all are good peeps.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m so glad it worked out well for you!

      • Thanks for the update! I’m glad it worked. I’m actually at the end of my rope with my mother (I’m the one who had the mom going crazy about the non-church wedding). I was there last weekend for a doctor’s appointment and, once again, things got so bad I ended up throwing all of my stuff haphazardly in the car and leaving on the spot. I actually might try your tactic–a simple “stop talking to me that way right now”–and see if that works. I’ve tried yelling, ignoring, crying–none of that seems to work.

        I’m glad it worked out with you! Sometimes I feel like making people feel awkward in a public place is a really good route.

        • I think most people have a tendency to respond to a parent as a child rather than an adult, and the parent then continues to treat you as a child. It’s an ingrained behavior. Sometimes it does help to talk to your parent the same way you would to any other adult, and sometimes I think it shocks them into treating you like an adult. At least, sometimes, lol.

          • Agree with this. I have recently found myself getting increasingly frustrated with my parents and feeling like I was 16 again in my reactions towards them… but then I realized that at least part of the problem is that I am still subconsciously seeking/expecting their approval and relating to them from a child’s perspective. I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t expect or seek our parents’ approval, but that our desire for their approval should be weighed against our needs as adults to make choices that best suit our lives and their opinions should just be one of many. If that makes sense.

          • This X2!!!

    • WTG Herbie!

    • am thrilled both by the news and by the update in general, I love hearing how things have turned out when people have asked for our thoughts… GOOD FOR YOU!

    • So glad you gave us the update. And even more glad you got his unacceptable behavior under control. Good job!!

  2. Hair Down There :

    Frequent poster; anon for this.
    What is considered an acceptable/normal/okay amount of hair to have “down there.” My BF said this week he’d like it if I waxed off all the hair (which I’ve never done). I lasered my bikini line pretty far in years ago. I keep the rest of the “patch” well trimmed. So I’d say it’s about 4 square inches of short hair at this point. Is bald the new normal?

    So I guess my questions are: (1) do you still have hair? (2) If so, how much? (3) If not, is getting it all removed painful or weird? and (4) If not, does regrowth cause itching? The last thing I need is an itchy crotch at the office!

    • To your BF’s request, I’d say, ‘YOU FIRST’. See what he says then.

      • karenpadi :

        Second this. I’ve said that to a boyfriend and the issue was never brought up again.

      • I said the same to my husband.

      • You first and last :

        I had a BF spontaneously shave it all off and “surprise” me. He looked like a little boy. Talk about a major turn off!

    • 1) Yes
      2) I don’t do any shaving, just “manicuring” and trimming. It’s not a lot, but it’s not just a strip either. I naturally have a very defined bikini line, so I’ve never had issues with it peeking out of swimsuits or anything like that. I just keep it trim and tidy.
      3) No experience with this, other than shaving it off experimentally.
      4) Shaving it off does cause a lot of uncomfortable itching. Very uncomfortable for a day or two. Trim and tidy doesn’t cause this issue.

      And I’m part of the younger crowd here, but don’t consider it an option to go bald. I’ve tried it, and didn’t appeal to me, or my husband, so no reason to continue.

      • I forgot to mention… the grow-out period where it is stubbly and itchy is not comfortable for me or husband when we have sex, and it is not practical to expect smoothness all the time.

    • I am like you – hair free anywhere that would show when wearing a bikini, neatly trimmed everywhere else. I like to be trimmed because it helps me feel more clean, especially during that time of the month. I’ve shaved everything before to see what it is like, and I don’t recommend it. For me it’s really hard to keep it totally smooth, and any amount of stubble is really itchy until it gets long enough to be soft (which is about the length I trim it to anyway). DH isn’t picky, but I think he probably prefers neatly trimmed to both overgrown and stubbly/prickly.

      FWIW, it kind of skeezes me out when I hear about guys who insist on having truly no hair down there, because the kind of girls who are like that all the time are … nine years old. (I am certainly not saying guys with this preference are pedophiles, but it strikes me as a kind of weird request for this reason).

      • Hair Down There :

        I’m totally weirded out by this issue as well–I think men are being trained to think “hot” = huge b**bs and bald below (while having very thick hair on the head and gorgeous eye lashes, of course)! But maybe the huge b**bs is because I’m in Texas :)

    • This is RIDICULUS for a mere boyfriend to demand this from you. What about HIM? Why should YOU itch in the office, is he doing that much for you down there? I suspect not. THEN FOOEY ON HIM!

      When I was dating Alan, he asked for alot of things and this was one of them. I did NOT do it b/c HE did not do it so why should I be miserable and itchey at work just so that HE can go around telling his friends that I am all fresh and smooth down there? FOOEY!

      I know another guy that wanted his girlfriend to do the same, and guess what? After she did, he lost interest. It is always better to be a little shy, and NOT show him everything, b/c once you do, they will LOOSE interest in her and went to another woman! FOOEY on him too!

    • 1. Yes.
      2. All of it? I might trim a bit so its not peeking out of a swimsuit.
      3 and 4 – no idea.

      It is not the new normal. Whatever is okay/acceptable is based on what YOU are okay with. But, yeah, if you’re bf wants you to shave, I’d make it a double or nothing and make him join in. Just so he appreciates the itchy regrowth.

    • Anon right now :

      None. I shave every time I shave my legs and don’t have any itching issues, but I shave my legs almost every day. It’s more comfortable for me. To each her own.

      • This.

      • Anonymous :

        Same here.

      • Me too.

        I’ve actually been doing it since I was 13 (long before I knew it was a thing and ages before I became sexually active). . . getting hair down there just skeeved me out.

      • Another anon :

        Same- hairless. I did it one time for a boyfriend because that was his preference and I just kept doing it. I like it that way. Never had an issue with itchy stubble. Now I think it’s weird to have hair there and feel dirty when it gets too long (four day grow out). I’ve tried fun little patterns but I have no skill so for me bald is easier.

    • I recently started getting a Brazilian done(meaning completely bare). I am very happy with it and will continue doing it. I think the pain/discomfort in getting a bikini wax vs Brazilian is the same..the additional fear is just psychological. So, my advice would be to give it a shot if you want to and if you do not like it, just go back to trimming.

    • Anon for this :

      I lasered it all off. Hubby likes it that way and I like the cool, bare feeling. I did waxing for awhile, but that hurt and it seemed like I was getting waxed all the time. It’s fair for us because the hubby also entertained requests that I had regarding his grooming. We’re game for whatever keeps things lively years into the marriage. :)

    • anon for this :

      No, I’m completely hairless. My SO joked about it so much in our first year together that I surprised him that Christmas. His reaction was so worth it! It’s so much more comfortable for me that I’ve kept it that way for 5 years. I shave every day. Just takes a couple minutes. Yes, regrowth causes itching, which is why I don’t wax.

      For what it’s worth, my SO decided to start shaving/trimming this year and we both find it very comfortable. We’ve talked about the prepubescent thing but neither of us particularly care about what it implies. We just like it and find it more comfortable.

    • Tired Squared :

      (1-2) I do have hair, where it would not be visible if I were wearing a bikini. That hair is trimmed and “short but still soft.”
      (3) I don’t think removal is weird–to each their own–but the waxing experience was definitely painful for me. If you do decide to do it, go to a reputable salon and ask for the “hard wax” … it was less painful for me than the hot wax.
      (4) Regrowth itches … unbelievably so. The stubble is so not particularly pleasant for you or your partner.

      I think that the decision is completely up to you, and you shouldn’t have to do anything that you’re uncomfortable with. As for the BF saying that he would like it, then tell him you’d like him to go clean too.* If he’s not willing to do that, then he can’t ask you to do it either!

      *My last boyfriend actually kept himself clean-shaven (all of it!) most of the time, and while it was nice, I wouldn’t ASK for that. He always said it was for the “visual,” but I always wondered what would happen if he nicked the b*lls.

    • 1. I go through phases. Right now, yes, but I have done the totally bare thing before. I like it, just sometimes I get too lazy to make the waxing appointment.

      2. As mentioned above, have done the totally bare thing. Sometimes I leave a “strip.” Sometimes, just shave the bikini line

      3. Painful… yes, but only very temporarily, and the pain is minimal if a.) you get waxed regularly and b.) your technician knows what she’s doing–there are even topical numbing sprays they can use to further minimize pain. I’m partial to waxing, and I can’t do it myself. Check yelp to find a good waxer in your area. I have only been to one salon that made me feel uncomfortable (that’s relative… it’s always a little weird to have someone closely examining that part of your body), and never went back to that woman. I have one I use consistently now and love her.

      4. Sometimes it causes itching, but not to the point you’ll be scratching in public. And the itchiness only lasts a day or two. I’ve found itching after shaving is much worse than itching after waxing.

    • (1) yes
      (2) Um. A bit, evenly spread? I trim and completely remove a horizontal strip on the side near my stomach (I don’t know how to put this, I hope you get what I mean) so it doesn’t peek out of my panties when I look down.
      (3), (4) N/A (I tried shaving once when I was younger and curious. Re-growth itched like h*ll, so it was a one-time experience.)

      I don’t think I’d ever get it all removed at the request of a partner. Too much hassle for me. (Likewise, I would never try out any of the “fashions” I recently saw an ad for in a teen magazine — cutting it into a heart shape or adorning it with gem stones? really?) I’m in my early twenties.

    • Research, Not Law :

      (1) I vacillate between no hair and trimmed-but-natural. If I’m natural, I only remove from the bikini area if I’m going to be swimming.
      (2) When I have hair, I try to keep it between about 1/2 to 1 inch. It’s not too short to be itchy, but not too long to be gross.
      (3) It’s awkward at first, but waxers are professional and you soon get used to it. Waxing does hurt, particularly the first two times. After that, it’s really not a big deal. With something like Veet, there’s no pain at all.
      (4) With waxing, not too bad because the hair grows in softer and thinner. With other methods, yes, but the phase passes.

      If you are going to wax, *absolutely* get recommendations *specifically* for Brazilian waxes. I cannot stress that enough. It’s a unique technique to other waxing. If possible, go to someone who specializes in Brazilians. It makes a world of a difference. My first wax was a horror, but then I did my research and found someone who specializes in it. She’s amazing!

      I typically use Veet to remove my hair. I loved waxing, particularly because the hair grows back thinner and softer, but we needed to save money from our budget. I’m very happy with Veet; it works better for me than Nair. Usually my husband does it for me (which he loooves), which makes it easier. I absolutely never take a razor to the area. It just causes stubble and in-grown hairs, not to mention the risk of nicks.

      FWIW, I got Brazilian as a one-time thing by husband’s request – but then I fell in love with it. I like the clean feeling.

      • Anon4This :

        I go mostly hairless and swear by Veet. Am too self-conscious to get waxed in a salon, and shaving IMO is awful. Itchy, tough to do, easy to nick. Veet or similar depiliatory is easy, quick and not itchy when the hair grows back.

    • I’m interested to hear what others say about this too. I feel like a lot of young people feel pressure to be totally bare down there. I’ve been waxed a few times, and I liked the results, but they don’t last long, and ultimately, I refuse to pay that much every month to be hairless. I would only be doing it to wow my boyfriend, and I think I can wow him just the way I am now.

      This is the comparison that always comes up in my mind when I think about getting waxed: Would I rather pay $60 to have someone painfully strip all the hair away from my most sensitive regions or would I like to pay the same amount for an hour-long massage and experience absolute bliss?

      I used to wax myself, but that was problematic. So now I trim and shave the parts that don’t react badly with razor burn.

    • 1/2) Lasered off part that goes outside of bikini (so jealous that doesn’t happen to everyone mine went like mid thigh!!), then I wax the rest. My waxer whom I’ve used for years once waxed it all off by accident (well she never asked and I never asked her to put it back once I saw what happened). I used to always leave a landing strip. But I liked it. I don’t always do it but now, I just never say anything and leave it up to the waxer. It’s always a surprise for me and the husband!

      3) When I lasered they asked how much and it seemed normal to ask anywhere from outside the bikini to all of it.

      4) Definitely is itchy, you just have to get some stuff. TendSkin is good for ingrowns in the blue bottle. “Coochy” shave cream from pure romance dot com prevents a lot of the itching. Then just moisturize and exfoliate to prevent itching!

      • How much does it cost to get lasered outside of bikini area? I’ve always imagined this would be overly expensive, but it seems like a lot of people on here have done this.

    • I think you should do what you feel good doing. To each her own. But I can say that I do resent the idea that it’s becoming the new norm. I had a waxer tell me that most women (in NYC) go bare because they like to be clean, which pissed me off because having pubic hair is not unclean. It’s there to protect your skin–it’s also there, I learned on a podcast, to broadcast your, er, scent to potential mates. So think of how sexy you’re actually coming across to men when you have it–and they don’t even know.

      To answer your questions, though: 1) yes, 2) a little more than what you’ve got–I just go in about two inches more from the bikini line. Sometimes waxing myself, sometimes getting it done. 3) from when they’ve gone further than I wanted, it’s been more painful the further you go in.

      If your bf asked you in a douchy way and not in a “hey, you know what I’m curious about” sort of way, I’d dump him. But that’s just me. FWIW, my bf told me (unsolicited) the first time he saw down there that he loved the way I had it. :)

    • i have extremely sensitive skin, I do not do any hair removal, shaving, waxing, any of it. I am so much more comfortable leaving my hair and skin alone completely. And I do not feel weird or abnormal.

      Don’t decide what to do based on what is perceived of as ‘normal’ or ‘weird’ or what your bf thinks. Do what works for your body and makes you feel comfortable. It’s your body.

    • Anon for this :

      I have been shaving it all off for about 10 years. I used to trim and shave the bikini until one day I “messed it up” and decided to remove all of it. I haven’t looked back. I prefer it and feel strange when I go even a week without shaving. I don’t get itchy or ingrowns because I shave with the growth and not against it. I plan on getting it all lasered off when I finish with other areas.

      I’ve gotten a Brazilian twice. I didn’t find the experience to be all that terrible. But I did get some ingrowns in the bikini line (only). I stopped doing it because it was too expensive and there aren’t that many places that do it where I live.

      • Diana Barry :

        I’ve gotten brazilians (leaving a patch in the middle) for about 9 years. Now I have very little hair – about 1/8 to 1/2 inch in between each hair (less on the outer edges). So I don’t get it waxed very often – maybe about every 8-12 weeks, or whenever I get annoyed by it. No itch (shaving itches). And I do it because I like it, not bc DH requested it. :)

    • Magdeline :

      I remove everything. My fiance prefers it that way, and I suppose that I like the clean look/feel. I use an epilator, which Iove and would highly recommend. (I used to shave every time I shaved my legs, and that way okay, but this is way better.)

      • I am intrigued by the epilator. Does this actually remove all of the hair, does it hurt, and how does it do on sensitive skin?

        • I’m also curious about this.
          -Does it remove all hair?
          -How long does it last?
          -Is it painful/does it leave bumps? I’ve seen some reviews saying it can.
          -How does the cleaning of it work?

          • Sorry for the slow response. I’ve been trying to stay away from Corporette this weekend due to finals.

            -It removes all the hair. You can easily move the epilators in different directions to make sure that you get everything. I actually think that it does a more thorough job than waxing does.

            -It lasts about two weeks for me. At that point, hairs start to grow back. One of the best parts of epilating is that, unlike waxing, you don’t have to wait for much regrowth. Once it starts growing back, I give it about a day, and then I epilate it off. That means that, unlike waxing, I am completely smooth almost all of the time.

            -To be honest, it hurts like h*ll the first time you do it. It takes a long time (about an hour), you aren’t used to it, and you are ripping a lot of hair from the roots at once (like waxing). I drank a glass of wine and gritted my teeth. (I have read that if you either get waxed first or only epilate a portion at a time, it isn’t as bad. I am incredibly stubborn and impatient, though.) For the subsequent times, it hurts less and less. I think that your hair gets finer and you aren’t removing as much at once, so it is much better. I’m really not bothered by it at all now.

            -For me, it does not leave bumps. (I’ve never gotten them from waxing either, but I have from shaving.) I usually exfoliate with a loofah and use Amlactin lotion to be sure that no razor bumps form. The area was red after the first time I did it, but it has not caused any redness or irritation during subsequent epilations.

            -My epilator came with a little brush that you can use to remove any hairs that fall under the tweezer like things. Some of the pieces come off (but it doesn’t come completely apart), so I take those off and use the brush. I also spray it with alcohol. It seems clean to me.

            If anyone is considering an epilator, I would make sure that it has both a light and a cord. The light sounds stupid, but unless you have extremely bright lights in your bathroom, it is actually very helpful for the bikini area. The cord is necessary because the last thing you want is to have the battery die while your bikini area is half-epilated!

        • Re. sensitive skin:

          My skin is mildly sensitive (when I shaved, I would often get bumps, etc.; sorry for TMI, but I suppose that is necessary given the subject), and other than redness after the first time I epilated, which lasted a day or two, I have not encountered any problems. If your skin is very sensitive or has problems after waxing, I would be cautious about using an epilator.

      • Tired Squared :

        Magdeline, I am impressed! I use my epilator for underarms and legs, but I wouldn’t have the courage to remove everything with it!

      • Anonymous :

        Epilators are great. It hurts, but epilators don’t rip off my skin like waxes do. I usually have to go over the same areas several times to catch all the hairs. I’ve considered lasering, but am concerned about skin discoloration. And I’d hate to pay thousands of dollars just to reduce the amount of hair 9 I have. I’ve heard with laser, it just grows back finer and fewer in quantity.

    • Aside from Corporette, I frequent another commenters-have-formed-a-community blog. It’s nothing like Corporette, but it does have a lot of unusual, quirky, and sometimes fictional (like Ellen) characters. One of the regulars manages to turn just about every one of his comments (I’m talking about on a daily basis) into a lament about how modern women just don’t have hair down there.

      It’s weird.

    • I really think it depends on the guys age and how much porn he watches. Seriously. I have heard everything from – I have a daughter, I want my gf to look like a woman – to (when I had an unexpected date mid – winter when I was being uber lazy) that huge untamed bush is the hottest thing ever (and he meant it & wanted me to keep it!) to my current bf whose last few gf’s all had no hair and he prefers that. I don’t like it – not to be gross – but I find it very messy to go potty (sorry for the tmi – and I the only one that has this issue?!?). So I lasered the area outside the bikini (and a few inches inside and the top) – I am a huge baby – but I took 4 advil – used ice and found it less painful then waxing. I keep the rest trimmed short with nail scissors in the shower and that’s that. Bikini ready year round. Bf gets his wish on special occasions.

    • BF is a douche. Your hair — your hair style. Doesn’t matter where that hair is on your body.

      And personally, I got a brazillian wax and the biggest problem wasn’t itch — it was sweat. Hair is hollow and absorbent, so if there is nothing absorbing all that sweat (and seriously, clothes weren’t cutting it)…ick.

      Also, there was no sex during the post wax pain period and no sex during the stubbly grow out period so really what was the point?!

      • I’d temper this response by saying that the bf isn’t a douche for mentioning that he’d like it (he’s just expressing on opinion about what he wants in his s*x life – and frankly, I’d rather know that than not know that). It moves into douche territory if he insists on you doing it, or tries to make you feel like you are weird if you don’t do it. If you want to give it a try, that is perfectly fine (in case you need an anonymous online person to tell you that) as long as YOU are comfortable doing it.

        • anon for this :

          Totally agree. When my SO brought it up, he always said it was something he would never ask me to do because of the maintenance. But he was clearly intrigued and that’s why I decided to do it initially. It has turned out that the maintenance (shaving) hasn’t been a big deal at all. Since he started shaving/trimming, too, he has also said it’s no big deal and he wishes he had done it years ago!

    • I suspect bald is less the new normal than magazines/tv/porn would have you believe.

      I still have all my hair. I trim it with a beard trimmer, but I get nasty ingrown hairs from shaving it and waxing if far more than I’m willing to spend on it. Besides, I’d feel weird without hair. I’m not judging women who do shave it, but for me personally as a bisexual woman, when either myself or another woman has no pubic hair, it removes some of that excitement that comes from seeing and touching someone naked. I don’t actually know what my current boyfriend prefers. I’ve never asked.

      I’d be careful asking your boyfriend to do it first unless you’d actually like that. I’ve had a boyfriend shave all of his chest and pubic hair off and it was a bit horrifying. And if you’re using “you first” as an excuse, you kind of have to go through with it if he does and then you’ll both be scratchy and stubbly together.

    • anonforthis :

      (1) yep, (2) I shave the outside edges (top and sides) to the skin) to keep it neat for bikini purposes, and trim the middle so it is short. I use a bikini trimmer (like a beard trimmer) to trim the hair in the very middle over the most delicate parts. (3) don’t know, never waxed it all, (5) regrowth from shaving all the bare can be a little itchy, but not bad if you keep it moisturized (I find a salicylic acid lotion- the kind meant for your face- is really helpful)

      I have never waxed it because (1) I’m a baby about pain, (2) it seems unnatural, and (3) I don’t have time for it, I barely manage to get my other hair cut on a regular basis.

      My husband may have suggested it once or twice, but never in a demanding way. He has shaved him self down to the skin just for kicks once or twice. I thought it was disturbing, freaky looking, and decidedly unsexy. The regrowth process was very itchy for him.

      I honestly don’t find it sexy when ladies are completely bare, and it wouldn’t make me feel sexy. It reminds me of fake, silicone-filled porn stars and young pre-pubescent girls. The hair also serves a function– to capture sweat and other things that may run down there, protecting your delicate area. So, it’s not for me. If you like it, go for it. Many women do, I’ve heard (and it seems to be true, from the comments). I will note that I don’t find a full natural bush very comfortable either, whatever the biological benefits. So for me the happy medium is to trim.

    • I recently started waxing EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) off. It is not very painful and I really, really like it. I feel much cleaner. I haven’t had any problems with ingrown hairs or itching.

    • Whaaaaat? Clearly I lead a sheltered life because I had no idea that bald nether regions was a common thing. Maybe because I’m too old (mid-thirties) and have never watched porn? Anyway I’m au natural except for bikini line shaving during swimsuit season. My husband has never said anything. I’m pretty sure he also has no idea it’s a thing. It just never occurred to me that going bald would have a benefit or be worth the time and ingrown hairs. Like it has never occurred to me that I should shave my arms or eyebrows. I’m obviously very much out of the loop.

      • You and me both. Mid-thirties, I do some trimming/shaving during swimsuit season, but otherwise let things be as they are. Never had any complaints, and consider my sex life to be somewhat adventurous.

        • Eh. Mid 30s here and I shave it all off. DH shaves too and I like the clean look on both of us.

    • Oh.so.tired :

      I am bare down there. It is the new normal. I don’t see why understand some of the comments regarding looking like a prepubescent girls. Most of us shave our legs and our underarms, and the only people hairless in those places are prepubescent girls, too. Not sure why this is any different.

      Fwiw, I’m in my early 20s and almost all my friends (that I know of) go bare down there, have always maintained it that way, and consider it the norm. Its probably another thing that can be chalked up to generational differences.

      • anon for this :

        Totally agree with these sentiments.

        You’re right that it’s the new normal for people in their 20s. My SO and I have talked about that a lot, given our decision to shave. I am in my mid 40s and he is in his early 60s. We like it better and that’s all that matters. It is not something I would ever have even considered if he hadn’t brought it up and now it’s the new normal for me.

      • I’m in my early 20s and would not consider this standard. Plenty of my girlfriends shave or wax, but a larger number do not, for all of the reasons other people have mentioned.

    • This cultural phenomenon is so weird to me. Vag fashion inspired by pornography? Ewww no thanks.

      • Yeah, I’ll probably get flamed for saying it but the trend seems decidedly un-feminist to me.

    • 1. Yes
      2. I trim the bikini line
      3. removing it all would be weird for me, but I know a lot of people do it.
      4. Yes, regrowth itches.

      I think the important question is: Are you comfortable doing this for your BF? If you are, then try it. If not, then tell him that.

      I think this is a common issue. I believe it is important to ask your partner what he likes/wants, but it is also important for you to tell him what you want/like/are comfortable with. My current partner says he doesn’t care. He just likes the sex. It sure is nice to be with a man who just says “do what you feel best doing, I am just happy to be with you”. I once dated a guy who was a hair phobe and wanted it all gone – along with his. I thought that was just weird and I wasn’t comfortable doing that for him – but I guess that says something about how I really felt about him.

    • I do very little trimming in that area. I want laser removal on my bikini line someday. If it matters I’ve been married 15+ years, and dh says he doesn’t really care either way, although the other week he mentioned a full wax might be interesting, this was the first time he’s ever said something like that.

      I like the ‘you first’ line. I think it’s more common now days to have very little, if any, hair. I read something somewhere once talking about how our society is becoming more & more hairless. It was interesting.

  3. I’m a law student, and I’m in the process of trying to switch to a more “grown up” wardrobe. I think I’ve done a pretty good job with business and business casual clothes, but my weekend stuff still screams teenager. Based on recommendations here I picked up some dark wash Seven jeans when they were on Gilt sale a few weeks ago to replace my worn Levis.

    I’m not sure if they don’t fit my correctly, or I’m just not used to a more adult fit. The rise is higher than I am used to, and they are more structured and so they don’t really hug my legs like my other jeans do. I ordered the size that would fit my waist, had them hemmed to be the right length, but they still feel a little boxy, and to me have a slight “mom jean” vibe. They fit like I would expect wool trousers or something to fit, but with denim, and since it’s stiffer, I feel like it makes my backside and hips look larger than they do in my previous pairs of jeans.

    Ultimate question: is this how they are supposed to be (meaning I should just get used to them and stop trying to dress like I’m 17), or do I need to find a different brand that works better for my body? (FWIW, I’m on the smaller side – 5’4″, 100 lbs, got the 26″ waist size and like how it fits at my waist, but they seem too big for my legs).


    • found a peanut :

      It seems to me that you got the wrong size (too big). I’m 5’6″, 130 lbs and I wear a 27 or a 28. Is there a store nearby to try on a few pairs of jeans to see if a smaller size would fit you better?

    • Anonylawyer :

      It depends on the cut. Sounds like they might be more of a straight leg, which hugs the thigh less compared to a skinny or boot cut? For jeans, your best off shopping in person. Nordstrom is great for jeans. Go to the Savvy section and try a bunch on to figure out what you life. I personally love the Paige Sykline style.

      I personally like a slightly higher rise in my jeans to avoid muffin top and whale tail.

    • Do you know which Seven jeans you got? The Roxanne, Biancha, Dojo, Bootcut, etc.?

      There’s a guide at www dot 7forallmankind dot com/fitguide/womens/index dot html?ICID=womens_shopournewfitguide

      I have several pairs and although I love most of them, the Roxanne High Rise fits me a little “mom-like” how you described – it’s a high rise and the back pockets make my butt look a little longer/flatter than I’m used to. But I (also) bought them on Gilt combined with a previous return for $11 and kept them for wearing at home (super-stretchy and comfy blend).

      From your post, maybe you bought the Dojo? Which is more like a trouser jean.

    • Emma Woodhouse :

      Those sound like trouser jeans, in which case the fit is correct – they should fit like pants you’d wear to work.

    • Why dress like a grown-up on weekends? I wear suits and whatnot all week, the weekend is when I get to dress my (young) age.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. Although, I’m about to turn 30 (but am Asian and often mistaken to be much younger before I start to talk) and I know there’s a not insignificant chance that I’ll run into a firm client at a grocery store or restaurant on the weekends, so I’m feeling pressure to dress “like a professional”.

    • It’s a bootcut, and the fit isn’t that different, but enough different that it feels weird. I like them enough I will keep wearing them, but will go try on a few more at Nordstrom’s in case I want to buy another pair. I would just order the next size down, but I got the smallest size they sold, so if that’s my problem I will probably just need to find another brand.

      • whoops, I’m the OP and forgot to change my name from another post

      • What rise are you used to? If it’s say, an inch below your navel and you’re used to super-duper-ultra-crazy-low rise, it will feel like mom jeans. :) As an official “grown up” (over 30, married, have a kid) it’s also the quality of your clothes and how you do your hair and makeup that makes a difference.

  4. Tired Squared :

    I love this! Unfortunately (or fortunately for my checkbook) I don’t have a holiday party to wear it to…

  5. a nonny miss :

    ‘Rettes, I applied yesterday for a few jobs in a midwest city where I have a small network of friends that I plan to visit around New Years. I figured it would take a few days to get called, if I got called at all but lo and behold, I just got contacted about setting up an interview next week. With work commitments here in the East, I don’t feel like I can swing it. Is it out of line to ask if a phone interview is possible?

    I would have no issues/face no obstacles moving to the city if the job was offered. My friends have already advised that they have an extra room I could take until I decided to get a place of my own. Overall, I feel very stagnant where I am right now, working in a job with no mobility whatsoever and not using my degree. This job would be a huge step forward in putting my degree to use and also a huge jump in salary, so I really don’t want to let the opportunity slip away.

    • I’d ask for a phone interview or, in the alternative, an in-person interview over new years when you’ll be in town. It’s not that far away, so I don’t think it’s out of line.

      • Seattle Lawyer Mom :

        What? You applied for a job, got called right away for an interview, and you don’t want to do it? Hmm, if I were the interviewer I would immediately put you in the “no” pile. If you actually want this job, you should immediately respond, thank them for their interest, and you could — if you have to — say “I’ll be in X city on the dates of __ to __ already, so I wanted to find out if it was possible to schedule my interview then? No worries if it isn’t, I’d be happy to come out this week if that works better for your schedule, but just thought I’d ask.” Under NO circumstances should you ask for a phone interview. A phone interview screams out to the interviewer that you really aren’t that interested in the job and don’t intend to relocate. Now, even if you do the approach above of asking to put off until New Years and they say yes, you may find that by then they’ve interviewed someone else local whom they liked and are offering the job too. Bottom line, if you want the job, you should probably just suck it up and get out their to the interview.

  6. Sydney Bristow :

    Since I realized that library lending is available for the Kindle now, I’ve been wanting to make a list of books to read. What business or law books would you recommend for someone early in their career? I’m thinking along the lines of the baby shark book that was recommended here before.

    • Someone on this site recommended “The No A$$hole Rule” to me. I read it on my Kindle. Can’t help with the lawyer books, though.

      I am reading my first library book via my Kindle now, though.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Sweet thanks Bunkster. I’m totally open to things outside the legal field and just general career advice books as well.

        • Barrister in the Bayou :

          Well since you’re open to books outside of the legal field… I would recommend the Hunger Games! I know its YA, but I loved the series and can’t wait for the movie to come out in March.

          • +1 for the Hunger Games! I started the first one on a plane, bought the next one at the next airport during a layover, and made my dad drive me to the local B&N as soon as I arrived.

            The movie is going to be so great!

          • I loved The Hunger Games. Might as well buy all three right away though, because it’s as addictive as crack and you will fly through the whole trilogy in no time. I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, but I won’t say more at the risk of spoiling it. It just felt like a lot of things were unresolved.

          • Anonymous :

            I read the series in one workweek, taking lunch breaks to read and staying up past 1 am every night during the week just so I could read it. =/

        • I recommended the No A$$hole Rule! Glad you’re recommending it, Bunkster! I’d second a vote for that one.

    • Just finished Bleak House. It was a good read but long. Made me cry, which a book hasn’t done in a long time. Great food for thought about the process of law, the impact on your clients, and what your goal is as a lawyer.

      The ABA put this list out and I have most of them on my “to read” list. (I think I ignored Gloria Allred’s suggestion because I can’t stand her but that’s about it.)

    • Absolutely: Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office by Lois Frankel. I like hers on personal finance, too, Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich.

      • Backgrounder :

        NGDGTCO (it’s on my list too)…also keep in mind that the Kindle Lending Lib is only avail to Amazon Prime members and only allows you to borrow one book per calendar month. I took a look at the selection of books available for borrowing- it’s okay – sort of limited IMO. I was excited when I first heard about it but bummed about the one book per month rule.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I wasn’t even thinking about the amazon lending. My local library has kindle books available now.

          • Backgrounder :

            Oh, oops, ok got it. I’m sure your library has a better selection of e-books > amazon lending anyways.

    • Anonabus (allergies) :

      This is what I have on my list that I LOVED so far and I have never tried to get them on my kindle but:
      – Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
      – Biographies of famous lawyers (Lincoln, Clarence Darrow, Ralph Nader, Thurgood Marshall, Brandeis, Gandhi, Nelson Mandella, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Thomas More, Morris Dee)
      – Anything by David Maister, but especially “True Professionalism” and “Managing a Professional Service Firm.”
      – Time Management for Dummies (not sure of the author) and Getting Things Done by David Allen
      – The Michigan Constitution (yeah I know but I don’t practice there and it was insightful)
      – Francis Wellman’s Cross Examination
      – Plato’s dialogues, especially the Apology (great source for cross examination technique)
      – Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
      – Daniel Pertocelli’s Triumph of Justice
      – Foonberg’s writings on generating business
      – McElhaney’s Trial Notebook

    • Can I subthread-hijack and ask if anyone has suggestions in business/management consulting-related related topics? NGDGTCO is already on my list (below The McKinsey Way), but I’d be curious to hear other ideas!

    • I really, really loved Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates by Ross Guberman. Specific tips for good legal writing, with examples drawn from really brilliantly-written briefs.

    • Anonymous :

      This book isn’t on the Kindle, but The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law by Mark Herrmann (published by the ABA) is a quick and good read. I realized I had been making some mistakes that no one told me about.

  7. I’ve been waiting all week to post 2 related questions.

    The 1st: Does anyone have any recommendations for a good tailor/alteration-er (or warnings to stay away from bad ones) in NYC? I work in the Financial District and commute from NJ through Port Authority Bus Terminal so anywhere between midtown and super-downtown work for me (as they are on the way).

    The 2nd: Does anyone have any recommendations for a good leather/shoe repair shop (or warnings to stay away from bad ones) in NYC?

    Many TIA!!!!

    P.S. For anyone who gave advice on what to wear to my swearing in ceremony – Thanks! Check my linked blog on Monday to see what I wore!

    • I know a few in the Port Authority area:
      – In Port Authority, go to the side between 41st and 42nd and ask at the info booth for directions
      – Don’t know the name but there’s one on 39th st on the east side of 8th Ave

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      I usually take my shoes to the shoe repair guy in the basement of the Chase building on William and I think it’s Gold? You go in the doors on the lower level (like below the plaza), turn left to go down the stairs to the subway, and he’s through the revolving doors at the bottom. And they have a punch card. X # of heels repairs, get one free (I don’t remember the exact #). They seem fine. I usually just go to whatever shoe guy is close to my work at the time. I’ve never had anyone screw up a repair, but I’m usually just getting heel tips replaced or sturdier soles put on over leather soles. I don’t trust them to clean my good purses, though, and am still looking for a sort of purse cleaning specialist for that.

      • Backgrounder :

        I liked Dino’s Shoes in midtown near Columbus Cir. They did a good job of resoling a pair of leather sandals and boots for me. They also offer free pick up and delivery I think depending on where you are.

        • I take my shoes to Luz’s Shoe Repair on 23rd St near 5th Ave. My office used to be nearby, but even now that I work near Grand Central, I still take my shoes there because they do such a good job. FWIW, I trust them with some fairly expensive shoes.

          With regards to a tailor, I’ve been most satisfied with the work from Stanton Tailor in the LES. However, they get extremely busy, so I always call before I go, and confirm how long it will take them to tailor an item. They’ve been known to pull down the gate in front of their shop to make it seem like it is closed (even when it is open), so if you get there and the gate is down, just give them a call. This probably sounds like too much of a hassle – and it is if all I need is a pair of pants to be hemmed – but for tricker items (like dresses or suit jackets), I’ve always been very satisfied with them.

      • I go to leather spa for my shoes in midtown Manhattan. Pricey, but worth it, especially if your shoes are expensive or dear to you. I refuse to go anywhere else, and even mail my shoes to them when I’m not in NYC.

    • Senil tailor on 28 (or 29?) just east of 3rd Ave is incredible — that woman can do anything. There’s also an amazing cobbler on the north side of 31st, between Lex and Park. Not sure either is convenient, but they are great.

  8. I could wear this dress to work. And red’s my favorite color, but I’m not buying anything for myself until after xmas. Maybe it’ll be on a deeper sale then.

    And SFBA, it’s a week late, but I promise to post about my office holiday party tonight, while I’m babysitting.

  9. I liked the post from the ‘are lawyers happy’ thread that said you can have 2 of 3 (top pay, responsibility, and flexiblity). It reminded me of some advice I once got about being a working mom. Thought I would post it here since that comment from the other week about the mama with the 2 month old/daycare/commute situation clearly resonated with a lot of people.

    The advice was that you can be a mom, a wife, and a career woman, but at any given moment you can only do two of those three roles well. It won’t always be the same two roles, but you aren’t going to be rocking all three of them at the same time. Curious from those in the trenches if they’ve found this to be true…

    P.S. I LOVE this dress. Would definitely wear it to work.

    • Diana Barry :

      Agreed. I think I am a great wife, a good mom, and only OK in my career right now. I just spied a friend of mine at the OB’s office today (she didn’t see me) and she is super high-powered (16 hr days, etc.) and I wonder what will happen when she has the baby.

    • I’m not sure how my experience fits in with the 2 out of 3 at a time “rule”. Maybe it’s because while I’m a hard worker and dedicated to my job, I don’t dream of climbing any ladders. That said, I have a masters degree in a sought-after field within the sciences, and I work in that field, so maybe I’ve been lucky because I’m desirable. Anyhow, my first job out of grad school had pretty good work-life balance, mostly because it was a government job. Then I got pregnant and decided I’d be an adjunct instructor and teach part time because I didn’t want to make an hour and a half commute with an infant in daycare. Then my husband and I moved to a different state when our son was 3 weeks old, and I decided to stay home until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Then when I was ready to go back to work, I found a full time job in consulting. I made a condition of my employment no more travel than one week per quarter, and my boss stuck to that. I now work part-time for another consulting firm.

      I have no idea where I fall on the continuum, but I love my job, and I feel I have very good work-life balance. I would hope that my husband would say that I’m a good wife. :) Maybe it’s because my firm is different, but I don’t fell I’m penalized for working part time. Other women who are more high-powered than me work part time, so it’s actually the norm in my company.

      • This is obnoxious and unhelpful, I think. You just seem like you’re bragging, EM.

      • are you serious a? she’s not saying “omg my life is so great blah blah….” She talked about real conditions that she put on her job to achieve work-life balance. Many women don’t want to work part time or move, or they dream of moving up the ladder. I think this shows that if you’re OK with not doing that, at least in EM’s field, you can have that balance. Sheesh.

        • Anonymous :

          EM has placed her family above working insane hours. How is that obnoxious?

    • I totally agree and, unfortunately, I’ve only managed to be a mom and a career woman in the first year of having a child. My marriage has seriously suffered and I’m having a really difficult time getting it back to where it should be.

    • I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I guess it depends on how you qualify being a good mom/wife. If the definition is being home to cook dinner every single night or picking up the kids after school every day at 3:45, then no, you can’t have all three at once. If it is being able to chaperone a couple field trips a semester, and being home for dinner more nights than you aren’t, then I think it’s totally possible. I think the key is having excellent communication and shared priorities with your partner–it all flows from there. (Two exceptions to the rule: 1. When you have an infant and are back to work, you will have moments when you feel terrible at everything. Gets easier as the baby gets bigger. 2. When you are on trial, all bets are off. But usually that’s shorter-term….)

      • Seventh Sister :

        I’m with anon on this one. I try to ask myself, “would my husband feel guilty over xyz?”. The answer is usually, no, he’d win Beehive Father of the Year for organizing a raffle at preschool and working full time. Women can be way too hard on themselves.

    • I’ve also heard this, and I think it’s true. Especially for women in law, other careers may vary. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a way of reminding yourself to be realistic about what you can accomplish and prioritize accordingly. If you insist on pursuing all three, full speed ahead, at the same time, it is very likely that one of them (at least) will suffer and you just won’t actively choose which one it is. Or, you’ll end up doing all three mediocrely and none of them well, which is ok- sometimes, that is all you can manage.

      Right now I’m only attempting two (career and wife). I want to get career in a good enough place to let it coast a little when I start to attempt the third (mom).

    • Interesting that what is left out here is ‘good to self.’ eg time for self to eat well, see friends, relax, exercise, whatever YOU like. I have cut back on those things and think it’s a challenge- but equally important as the other roles. Let’s not forget ourselves.

  10. This is embarrassing, but – have any of you had problems with break outs on your back? Any idea how to get rid of them? I use one of those asian exfoliating washcloths but that doesn’t seem to help. Thanks…

    • I use my facewash and toner on my upper back just like it’s my face. The toner really helps. I also have the Neutrogena body spray, but the smell and drying time of that is just too intense for me to use it often.

    • I had crazy back breakouts a few years ago. The doctor prescribed me ‘erythromycin’ cream/gel. Took about a month or so to go away and scars faded slower. So, if it looks/feels like acne, definitely see a doc.

    • Elizabeth :

      My best solution? Birth control. I started taking the stuff a month before my wedding, and my pimply back was blemish-free by the big day. It’s the best side effect ever, but it’s not worth taking the pill if avoiding breakouts are your only/primary motivation (obviously).
      Otherwise, you can spot treat with a product heavy in salicylic acid. If clears up whiteheads in a jiffy. Clinique has one – it’s a gel that comes in an applicator similar to an eyedropper – but it’s something almost every makeup line carries. You’ll need to be flexible or have an accomplice to apply it.

    • Yes, when I came off bc, my back started breaking out pretty horribly. I use Pink Grapefruit Acne Bodywash, and it has almost entirely cleared up. At first, it got worse, because it caused whatever was underlying in the skin to come to the surface, but then it’s been good for the past 3 weeks, and all of the marks have almost completely faded.

    • I noticed that Proactiv has a body wash. I haven’t used it myself (maybe others have?), but their face wash has done wonders for me, so I would definitely give it a try if I started breaking out on my back.

    • Anonymous :

      There is a comment below (off this string) recommending Original Head and Shoulders shampoo because it apparently has zinc. This makes total sense. Zinc is a major ingredient in ProActiv’s face mask, which has done wonders for my face and chest. I am definitely going to try the H&S trick. The low price tag is a big bonus.

    • I shower right away after getting back from the gym using a mesh puff and some OTC medicated face wash – anything with at least 2% salicylic acid. FWIW – the neutrogena face wash has the same active ingredients as the body wash and was a lot cheaper. That seemed to do the trick for me. You can also try spot treating with a benzoyl peroxide cream before bed if you don’t mind some potential pj discoloration (bleaching).

    • Have you considered whether your hair conditioner is the culprit? Try applying your conditioner and rinsing it all with your head flipped over (as if you were washing your hair in the sink) and see if it gets better after a couple of weeks.

      • Always a NYer :

        That was something that I never thought about until my esthetician mentioned it. Rinsing all the conditioner out of my hair before washing my back has really helped. I also use a back brush with a tea tree body wash from The Body Shop as well as my Clarisonic three times a week.

        • Neutrogena Body Scrub (it has salicylic acid in it). Not too drying, but it really helps. The other thing I’ve used is the Clinique back spray since I can’t always reach the parts of my back that are breaking out.

      • I keep a butterfly clip in the shower and clip my hair up while it is ‘conditioning’, for this very reason.

    • OP here – thanks all! I’m going to try the conditioner trick for now and pick up some of the recommended products next time I’m at tar-jay.

      • One other thing not mentioned — I find that anything with lauryl/laureth sulfate breaks me out. I pretty much stopped getting breakouts when I switched to a sulfate-free face wash and body wash. Don’t know how much of that is the cosmetics and how much of it is just getting older, but it’s probably worth a try.

    • locomotive :

      soap with salicylic acid in it – clinique makes a bath bar that’s helped my shoulders and back clear up.you gotta be flexible to reach back there though!

  11. Does anyone have any good advice about avoiding typos/spelling mistakes? My job involes writing and responding to many emails. I made two mistakes today, one a typo, and the second using 2011 instead of 2012. Obviously I use spell check, but that isn’t enough. Tips?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Proofread like crazy!

    • If you can’t print, I’ve found that publishing the document to pdf and reading it as a pdf somehow helps me read it more carefully. I catch errors that way all the time.

      • I find that changing the format in any way before proofing helps a bit. Change the size of the window, change the font, cut and paste it into a different program, if you’re in word, change it from the “normal view” to the “print view”, or something like that.

    • Not sure if this will make sense but I purposely keep my last name out of the spell checker’s dictionary (but in my signature block) so that the spell checker picks up every single email I send (spell checker kicks in after hitting send). Then I take a second to read over the email before hitting “ignore.” I find that this extra step really helps me notice typos.

    • Print out the document and proofread on paper. For some reason, it’s so easy to miss the typos on screen.

    • Emma Woodhouse :

      For bigger things, I like to print them out and proofread them slowly while making check marks in pencil over every word and punctuation mark. Forces me to slow down and look at every word. I do the same with emails before I send them but mentally.

      • Middle Coast :

        Print it out and read it backwards from the end to the start, that way are you focusing on the indivduals words rather than the content. Also helps you to slow down and not unconsciously skip words.

    • Absolutely, 100%, read everything over before you send it.

      Including comments on Corporette.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I do better if I write in Word and then copy over. I have no explanation.

      And I always read through my response at least once, more if it’s important.

      • Do you all have any tips on improving your writing style? Books, online classes, etc?

        • AnonInfinity :

          If you’re in law — I’ve found “Point Made” to be very helpful, and I’m trying to work my way through “Writing a Winning Brief” (something like that) by Bryan Garner. It’s also pretty good and came highly recommended by someone in my firm.

        • Simple and Direct by Jacques Barzun is great.

        • OutaWork Editor :

          Hire me! : ) I don’t know “lawyer writing,” but good writing is good writing.

    • Proofread from the bottom up! Sounds crazy, but if you read from the bottom up, you will actually look at each word / sentence, instead of letting your brain read the “meaning” without reading the words.

      Also, you can try using a ruler to read. Again, it’s about breaking the words out from the meaning of the paragraph.

      • Yep, my high school english teacher taught us to proofread this way. It takes time, but it is crazy effective.

    • A classic proofreading tip is to read the document backwards. Start with the last sentence, then the 2nd to last sentence, and so on. This ensures that your brain does not “insert” words or the intended language when it is rereading material that you just wrote.

  12. Lockstep/Target question :

    Posted this earlier today but am going to post again here to see if I can get any more responses –

    For everyone in lockstep firms – what happens if you don’t meet your target (hours) that year? Do you still bump up to the next step in pay? Are there any ramifications for not making your target?

    I’m interested in working for a firm who has a compensation model which involves lockstep but if you don’t hit target you don’t step up for the next year.

    • There are 2 ramifications for not making your target, (1) generally you will not get the bonus and (2) you’ll be first in line for layoffs. If you survive (2), you will probably still get advanced in years (and salary). I’ve also heard that some firms will take a shortfall into consideration for your next year hours. E.g., if you fall short by 200 hours, they tack that on for your billable requirement for the subsequent year. Yeah, it sucks.

      And yes, (2) absolutely happens. I know 2 attorneys who were just laid off this month for not making hours.

    • Depends on the firm. Some will freeze your salary – no bonus, no raise. Others will cut your salary. Others do deferred comp– they’ll cut your salary for the upcoming year, let’s say by $20k. If you meet your hours for the upcoming year, you get your $20k back. If you don’t meet your hours, you don’t get it back.

      And, as the poster above noted, some may just fire you.

  13. I feel so embarrassed about this even though I knoooow I shouldn’t. I’ve been feeling totally down/depressed lately (months?) and I’ve been doing all I can think of to perk up… forced socializing, getting proper rest, eating insanely healthy, vitamins.. you name it, I am doing it, but nothing is giving. I really do not have the time to seek therapy nor am I interested. Anyone have suggestions or advice? Is this something I can see my regular doc about? I’m very cautious about taking meds. I don’t even know what I would say to the doc. Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!

    • Talk therapy? For a momentary pick me up, the current article on hyperboleandahalf dot com is about the author’s experiece with depression. It might help you at least feel not alone.

      It’s not something you can really snap out of. Are you open to natural remedies?

      • Yep, very open to natural remedies. Thanks for the link.

        • St. John’s Wort worked for me, for a while. It’s not a permanent solution, but if you just need something to get you over a bad time, it might work.

          • Just an FYI – St John’s Wort can negatively interact with some prescriptions, including certain types of hormonal birth control pills. Just something to mention to your doctor if you do start to take herbal remedies!

        • My MD recommends high fish oil doses (3-4 g of EPA/DHA a day) for people who are depressed. I’ve found Nordic Naturals to be a decent brand.

          • Equity's Darling :

            NutraSea is (according to my naturopath), the best brand for omega 3s. I find it does help my mood.

    • If you really don’t have time for therapy, it might mean you are too busy and you are getting burned out? Maybe you just need an extra couple hours to yourself each week to just chill and not do anything productive at all. It sounds like you are approaching your emotional wellness like a project and doing all the right things (eating right, etc) but maybe in a way the goal-oriented-“projectness” of it is exhausting you even more? Hope you feel better soon!

    • Has it been the past few months?

      I know I often get sad around this time of year. A therapeutic light really helps me.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Get tested for anemia. I found out by chance that I’m anemic and taking iron supplements made a huge difference in my mood and energy. If I skip them for a couple of days, I experience depression symptoms. After a week, I could easily be diagnosed.

    • Exercise, sunlamp (for vitamin D/seasonal depression)?

    • How are your iron levels? A lot of women have low iron and apparently depression and fatigue can be side effects. Also, are you getting exercise? I find I’m infinitely happier if I’m exercising (and outside is better than inside, especially this time of year).

      I had depression problems when I was at BigLaw. After years of trying to deal with it, finally went to a psych and got meds. I was only on them for about 6 months, but they helped a lot. My regular doc (not GYN or internist) wouldn’t prescribe anti-depressants, but a lot of women have told me that their doctors would so it’s worth asking.

      Good luck! Hope you can do something to lift your spirits this weekend. Many of us here understand what it’s like to feel like you’re living in a dark hole. I promise, you will emerge.

      • I second all of these suggestions. If you go see your primary care provider, you could ask to be tested for thyroid stimulating hormone levels in addition to your iron status, since an underactive thyroid can also cause depression-like symptoms. He/she could also lay out your options for you anti-depressant wise, even if you’re not interested in taking them yet.

        Exercise and therapy have made the biggest difference to my mood. I’m not sure why you’re uninterested in therapy, but cognitive behavioral therapy was a good fit for me. It’s very present-oriented and goal-oriented (no endless hours talking about your childhood!), and tools that they use (like filling out thought logs and situations that trigger mood changes) were right up my type-A alley. I enjoyed collecting “data” on myself and then troubleshooting my unproductive habits :)

    • been there done that :

      I have no idea how one gets over depression generally, but here is what worked for me:

      I was extremely cautious about taking meds. I went to a naturopathic doctor who prescribed some natural “meds” that didn’t have any of the side effects/chemical dependency issues I was worried about. I think it helped.

      I made a list of all the things in the world that made me happy (even simple things like drinking coffee and breathing fresh air) and I tried to indulge myself whenever I felt I needed it.

      I started drawing. My drawings were/are all crap from an artistic standpoint, but expressing myself through art was more positive than other things I was doing.

      One more thing… when I was depressed I couldn’t handle even the smallest obstacles (like not finding a parking spot) because my brain would spiral the slightest bit of negativity into a tunnel of doom/death. It sounds so stupid when I put words to it. Anyway, depression actually trained my brain to make those connections so part of healing was re-training my brain. I had to consciously tell myself not to spiral when faced with obstacles, and eventually I think I did re-train my brain (though it is a long term process with occasional relapses– the benefit now is that the spiral is not the only thing my brain knows how to do, so emerging is easier).

      Hope you feel better soon. It DOES get better. Also, if you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself, PLEASE call a crisis hotline. They are trained to help.

      • I love that you included drawing as one of your positive activities. For years, I kept a journal, but it didn’t really make me feel better because I was just focusing so much attention on the negative situations in my life. I started art journaling recently, which has been very uplifting for me. I basically cut out inspiring/beautiful pictures from magazines, make a collage, and write a few lines to go along with the theme. It’s really nice to get creative in a positive way! And since it’s a private activity, I don’t have to worry if I make something “good.”

        • I read somewhere recently too that a person should make a list (mentally, in writing, through drawing, etc.) every day of 3-5 things s/he is grateful for. There truly is research that backs up how acknowledging them helps us to be happier.

          And for the times you can’t think of things, instead ask yourself, “what did I appreciate enough today?”

      • I had similar spirals, and one thing that worked for me was to repeat over and over the same good things (e.g. You’re a great person!). The whole time I did it, a part of my mind was going “No! Liar! You really suck!” But I think consistently doing that over several months had a huge impact on pulling me out of a several year long depressive period.

      • anon for this :

        Writing things down and list-making can be very helpful. I’ve been anxious and depressed lately, and my mind starts spinning and makes a small situation into a huge deal (thank you, anxiety), then I beat myself up over the huge deal I just created (thank you, depression). For example, this morning I was stressing about an event I went to last night, and getting myself very upset over it. I sat down and made myself a chart with categories for “good,” “bad,” “inconsequential,” and “not sure,” then every time my mind started spinning on some aspect of the event, I wrote it down under one of the categories. So under “good” I have things like “Talked to nice people,” “Found great dress on sale,” and “Didn’t buy expensive bracelet to go with dress.” Under “bad” I have “Could have lived without expensive makeup purchase yesterday,” “Was very late,” and “Possibly danced like an idiot” (which was really fun so it might get recategorized later). And so on. This was one of the most constructive things I’ve ever done to address my anxiety and depression and I think it worked well – writing things down really helped to contain and defuse them, and helped me put the whole thing in perspective.

        • anon for this :

          I should add that seeing the list is very comforting for me – instead of a stressed-out swirling mess in my mind, I have a handful of bullet points that, when I read through them, don’t seem like a big deal at all.

    • if you change your mind, I’m a licensed therapist and can work by way of skype or phone on your schedule :)

    • In House Snark :

      I can completely understand where you’re at because I’ve been (am?) there. You can go to your doctor and they can prescribe something light like effexor. Exercise if you don’t – it definitely helps. Also just getting outside for 10 minutes if it’s sunny can help.

      If you don’t understand why you’re depressed, then it could just be seasonal affective. If you’ve had bouts of depression in the past, then you might need therapy – which honestly I think EVERYONE should do.

      And if there’s something that’s happened recently (and I’m sorry if there is) then just give yourself a break. Sometimes you need to stop being so hard on yourself! :-)

      Feel better soon!!

      • In House Snark :

        And I forgot… it WILL get better. And do NOT feel embarrased (- I’m sure I spelled that wrong but eh, whatev)!!! There is NOTHING to be ashamed of! The stigma of depression is the worst.

        And I agree with the above commenter… if you ever feel as though you’re heading down the slippery slope and contemplating suicide PLEASE get help immediately!

      • I was also going to suggest exercise, preferably outside, even if the weather is icky!

    • don’t be embarrassed. millions of people have these feelings at least at some point in their lives. there is nothing wrong with you!

      If you have good insurance/money, you might try seeing a Naturopath or an MD who is also a naturopath? They are great about helping with diet, checking your levels of things like iron, your thyroid, your hormone levels on birth control, etc and helping to balance those out with medication or diet/supplements. And because they are more about holistic health, they actually want to know about emotional/psychological issues, as opposed to regular MDs who might not be as comfortable talking about it.

      • Please do be careful with naturopaths – some are quacks, straight up. So be sure you do your research. I don’t like taking meds either, but sometimes they are necessary.

    • Y’know, the placebo effect can last for up to two years. Throw some baby asprin in a bottle marked “anti-depressant” and see if that works. (I’m so not kidding.)

      But if you can’t go in to your GP and say, “I’m feeling very depressed right now, can I get an evaluation?” then you actually need a therapist. And if you don’t believe you have enough time for your mental health then you either REALLY need a therapist because it is crazy to put your mental health last, or you REALLY need to see a therapist because that is a sign of major depression, or you REALLY need to see a therapist because it sounds like you don’t like yourself very much.

      I know who’ve gotten mental health meds from their GPs: one had little to no reduction in symptoms the other had major side effects. One went off the meds cold turkey and had withdrawal symptoms and the other is still on the ineffective meds and is checking to make sure she doesn’t have a heart condition. I know people who’ve gotten meds through psychopharmacologists and even when they have side-effects their doses are adjusted quickly, or they cross-fade into a new med or their dr has a really good idea of how long the side effect will last before it tones down. So even if you just want to never talk to anyone and just be doped up — get a psychopharmacologist to write your Rx.

      • You’ve gotten some great advice above, and just wanted to add that the embarrassment can be part of the depression (e.g. “I shouldn’t feel this way, I should have been able to fix it myself, Other people don’t feel this way, etc.”). Exercise, checking thyroid, iron, Vitamin D, can all be worth trying, but it also sounds like you’ve tried doing a lot of things already and are feeling frustrated that you’re still not feeling better.

        “Therapy” can mean a lot of different things. I’m a psychologist and have found that many people expect therapy to be a long-term commitment of time & money. For the sort of depression you seem to be talking about, a short round (6-12 sessions) of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could really make a lasting difference. Google abct.org to find CBT therapists in your area if you want to consider this route.

    • cardio helped me during a similar time. learning salsa dancing in particular- the physical release and focus, the crowd of new friendly faces (seattle.. not so much in nyc/miami…) the way you can show up alone when other friends are busy not/interested and yet have fun and a ‘Cheers’ like atmosphere where everyone knows you, after you are a regular.. the warmth in winter, the uplifting music, and dressing up/in a way that is more feminine etc than the workweek. This really changed things for me in a hugely positive way and cascaded to other things.

      On a related note, pregnant so not dancing lately… and miss it dearly, feeling slumpy myself! Need to find an alternative that is less physically risky/taxing that helps in similar ways.

      Meds are okay for a while if you need them, too. I met with a MSW guy a few times and it was helpful just mainly to hear him say i wasn’t nuts or depressed, just needed to take some steps to manage anxiety better.

      • also, I ordered books online on cognitive behavior therapy and worked through some of those- but my tolerance for that was rather limited. when saturday finally comes, the last thing you want to do is FOCUS on the bad feelings and do ‘work.’ but, those were interesting to parce out some internal things.

  14. Original Head and Shoulders shampoo — put on one of those mesh body poofs, lather up, and let the suds sit on your skin for 30 seconds or more (if you can). Back when I had “bacne” this worked far better for me than the acne-oriented body washes (Neutrogena makes one, so do a few other brands, and I know some friends have had success with these, but the H&S worked soooo much better for me). Key is to get the “Original” because of whatever the zinc-something-or-other it has, without some of the other ingredients other versions have.

    Also, have you recently changed laundry detergents? I find certain detergents can break me out — especially if I’m working out frequently (and thus sweating in clothes that have been washed in the detergent). I only use unscented, neutral detergents these days, and I don’t use fabric softener (which can also be an irritant, especially if you use it with your bath towels).

    • Argh! This was supposed to be a response to pimply, but after getting “you’re posting too fast” a few times, apparently it dropped it down here!

    • karenpadi :

      I’ll second the laundry detergent tip. Also, make sure to use only the recommended amount or less than the recommended amount in each laundry load. I break out if I use too much detergent so I only use half the recommended amount per load.

  15. A mid-level manager in my office continuously SENDS out office-wide e-mails with ODD emphasis… EVERY time I read them I think I’m on CORPORETTE reading ELLEN!!!

  16. Shopping guilt :

    What do you say when people ask how much you paid for a piece of clothing?
    I’m going to buy myself a really expensive pair of shoes I’ve been coveting for months as a christmas present and I just know my mother is going to ask how much they were. If I tell her the truth, she will likely judge me as she’s the type who thinks no pair of clothing is ever worth more than $100. I don’t really want to lie either. (FWIW, I’m not putting myself in debt or anything, I’ve actually been putting away money for the shoes for quite a while now.)

    • You’re a grown up. It’s your money. And haters gonna hate, judgers gonna judge.

      Either tell the truth or tell them it’s none of their g*dd*mn business. Even if it’s your mom. (That’s what I do. Ok, maybe a bit more politely than that.)

    • “I don’t remember” If they push I might say “I’ll see if I can find the receipt” and if they’re truly persistent, I keep forgetting until they get the message.

      Or if I really don’t want to run someone around, and they’re someone close to me (usually the two go together) I’ll tell them and then say it was a splurge a treat to reward myself for xyz accomplishment.

    • the only person who ever asks is my mother, and i always either knock 50% off the price or say something outrageous like “$15!” or “it was free! incredible!” and she gets the idea. frankly it’s no one’s business, not even your mother’s – whose (who’s?) concept What Everything Should Cost may be calibrated to 1986 or Wichita, KS.

      No offense to Wichita or 1986!

    • “Enough to make it worth it” – or something equally vague?

      Or, “Don’t worry, Mom, we’ll still have enough for the nursing home?” Frankly, its none of her business, so my goal would be to find a nice way to deflect the question.

    • Anonymous :

      I would probably lie. Other options are to (a) answer her question with a question, like “Why do you ask?” or “How much do you think they cost?”, “Aren’t they fantastic?” and then not respond to the original question, or (b) ask her not to comment before telling her. If you are independent and working and have saved up for shoes, even your mother shouldn’t be asking how much you paid for something (unless it’s in a jealous, i-might-go-buy-it-myself context).

      • Agreed. I’d probably lie. It’s very rude to ask. I might also say, “Well, that’s rude. It was worth the value.” and give her a look.

    • Anonymous :

      You could say what I say in response to questions about how many sexual partners I’ve had: “Less (fewer) than you might think, more than you’d want to know.”

      • I can’t believe you’re getting this question in the first place. Fooey. (The lower case letters and period convey my nonchalance).

      • i am stealing this forever. because it is awesome.

    • “I got a fabulous deal!”

    • Do what politicians do and avoid the question. I would say something like “Oh they were more than I usually spend, but that is why I was saving up for months to purchase them.”

    • Oh.so.tired :

      My mom asks me this question anytime I buy any piece of clothing. If it’s something I know she thinks is too much, I just laugh and say “completely free, can you believe it?” My mom and I have a great relationship, so I don’t mind her asking and usually tell her but she doesn’t mind when I don’t want to reveal how much I paid (mostly because she and I both know she’ll go into sticker shock).

    • Speaking from experience with my nosy grandmother who goes into fits if anyone spends anything more than the bare minimum… lie. Your sanity will thank you.

  17. You could always say, “enough to know you wouldn’t approve – and I love them!” If she asks any more questions or pushes it further, I think I’d nicely tell her you’re not going to discuss that with her, but you are able to afford them and have plenty of $ saved up as well.

  18. I had my last day of law school today :)

  19. hey…is the model for this dress the one that won America’s Next Top Model a few years ago? Danielle? Just curious. :D

    • AnonInfinity :

      It so is!!!! She is one of my favs.

      …..Not that I ever watched that show…..

  20. Okay ladies, I’ve been getting increasingly upset at how sloblike I look whenever I go out in public and see that other women manage to look put together when they go to the grocery store. The problem? I’m unemployed, and I’ve never really had nice things, so I can’t shop my wardrobe. I have a decent number of nice shirts, and a nice wool coat, but the only bottoms I own are jeans with frayed hems, and I don’t own any accessories. My shoes consist of practical boots, one pair of black flats, and sneakers.

    So, if you were in my position and only had $50-$100 to spend to spruce up your wardrobe, what would you buy? Fwiw, I’m pear shaped, 5’6″, 135 lbs, and can’t really wear high heels.

    • This may not be what you were expecting, but I would suggest a nice bag that goes with everything and works for any occasion. For me, my bag is the only item in my entire wardrobe that I use every day, all the time, throughout the year. (Unless you count hair!) You don’t think about it as clothes, but it really is a huge part of your wardrobe. You might also like to carry a nice bag to job interviews!

    • I’m in the same category… unemployed, basic wardrobe, same body type too though a couple inches shorter… I’ve found it better not to worry about others’ wardrobes and just try to have decent hair and a great attitude and no one much pays attention as they’re all thinking about their own stuff anyway. sending love, feel free to email me if you wanna chat with someone in the same boat!

    • Check out the sales going on right now (and anticipate that a lot of stores will have post-holiday sales as well). I just picked up a pair of black work pants from The Limited for about $35. Other places like LOFT have been having huge sales online. This is actually the best time of year to get items on sale so you may be able to do more with your budget than you would otherwise think. I’d recommend a pair of black pants – they instantly take outfits up a notch.

    • I’d get a pair of dark wash jeans that fit you perfectly, assuming you have time to shop all stores and try many on, and then a pair of ballet flats with a patent leather toe or a nice pair of feminine loafers. You will look very put-together if you pair these with your beautiful coat and nice shirts.

    • Assuming you have the clothing you would need for an interview in your field and have $50-100 to spend on casual/grocery store clothing, I’d buy one pair of jeans that make you feel fabulous and one pair of cute flats in a color that would go with brown or black clothing. If you shop at stores like Marshall’s, TJ Max, or Target and/or stalk sales, you should be able to get those two items for under $100.

    • Jacqueline :

      I agree about a nice bag — even when I’m full-on casual, carrying my favorite leather bag really elevates the rest of the outfit. Also, if you’re in a colder climate (I assume you are because you mentioned a wool coat and boots), I would invest in another pair of nice flat boots. If you already have black, try another color like cognac, dark brown, stone, taupe, or mustard. In the winter, all anyone will see is your winter coat and your bottom half, so it can be nice to have alternative footwear options that are chic and still comfortable. I really like riding boots in black or cognac, and you can definitely find some for under $100 at Nordstrom Rack. Good luck!

    • Get a well-fitting pair of jeans. They don’t have to be designer and you can probably find them at F21, Target or Old Navy. Remember that jeans stretch out so they should feel a little tight in the store. You can get fun and cheap accessories like necklaces, earrings, bracelets and belts, at F21. They won’t last years but start at $3.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ditto nice jeans (dark wash, flattering) and flats. I’d add mascara and some pomade or hair gel, too. Having a groom appearance goes a long way over nice clothing.

      And make sure the jean length is right so that you don’t fray them.

    • I agree–nice jeans. Try H&M or Express or the Jr. dept at Macys or Dillards for a stylish pair around $40. Also, cute flats. There are some on sale at Payless for 16.99 by American Eagle that would be good with dark wash jeans. Look at the grey ones with a bow. As for accessories, head to a Claires or similar type store in your local mall, you can pick up a pair of big hoop earings for a couple bucks, which will go with anythings. And, if you can swing it, an inexpensive sacarft. I have a couple from H&M that were $5.99. Finally, make sure you go your hair before you leave the house. Its free and will make you feel more pulled together.

    • I’d shop consignment stores and pick up nice jeans or slacks for $5, nice tops for $5 and a blazer or two for casual wear. Goodwills in my area have pretty nice clothing and some still with the tag on. Then take the leftovers and get one nice (new) pair of multipurpose shoes. A good boot with a small heel, or something that looks put together. And one set of accessories to pull the outfit together.

      • Go thrifting! Last week’s prize was a wool Theory sheath dress (yes real Theory!). Exactly my size. Looks like it’s never been worn. Three bucks.

        Had to brag.

    • Tired Squared :

      Since you can’t wear heels, what about finding a fun pair of flats (maybe in a non-black color because you have that already)? Since it’s the holiday season, you’ll be able to find something sparkly and unique, and there are coupons everywhere for stores like Aldo, Express, Limited, Macys, etc … all things that fit into your budget range.

      As for other clothes, I’d suggest a pair of dark-wash jeans. You can dress those up or down depending on if you’re going to the grocery store or going on a date.

      If you have anything left over, consider upgrading your wallet/purse, too!

    • Wow, thank you for all the advice! I forgot to mention it, but I do have a beautiful burgundy purse that I love. You’ve all made me realize that I need to devote the time in the morning to blowing my hair dry and putting on make up, even though I usually don’t have any place to go. I think it will make a huge difference in how I feel about myself. I also have the free time to go out and find a pair of jeans that really fits, instead of just making do the way I have been.

      I really appreciate all of the comments (and links), I love how helpful and supportive this community is!

    • Working Girl :

      I would get balck pants that fit well. I alo would consider buying black heels. Is the issue with heels a comfort one?

      • It’s a comfort issue. I own a couple of pairs of black heels for interviews and work, but I don’t want to look put together enough to endure that pain while running errands.

    • Go to a thrift store. Go to 10. Bonus points if you can go to a thrift store in a nice area of a city (usually a bigger selection of choice merchandise). Try on everything. If the store doesn’t have dressing rooms, wear leggings and a dress to try on pants, and wear a thin tee when trying on blouses, jackets or tops. If the store has a policy against trying things on, leave.

      You won’t find treasure in every store on every trip; it’s a process. But, you mention you’re unemployed so I’m making an assumption (possibly incorrect) that you have time to scour several thrift stores over several weeks.

      Always look closely at the garment before buying to confirm that it doesn’t have any stains or rips or other issues. You’ll be surprised at the price and quality of what you can find for $5 or less.

    • I would buy a great versatile bag and one or two statement necklaces. I have this great necklace I got at a museum shop for less than $20 (with earrings!) that has more than paid for itself in compliments. It’s just really unusual and I have worn it with everything from T-shirts to suits. I also have a couple of inexpensive bags (think Filene’s) that I get complimented on a lot because they are each in a bold and unusual color. You don’t need to spend much money, just find things that are attractive and different, and then no one notices what else you’re wearing. I hope things get better soon!

      • agree, i often wear my fun necklaces on the weekend, and that or a scarf can make a t-shirt and jeans look nice.

    • Oh.so.tired :

      I would buy a pair of nice stylish boots that come midcalf to knee high. Get them in black or Cognac and they literally go with everything and make any outlet look more stylish and hip. I picked some up from Macy’s for under $36 (with sale and coupons) and for under $50 at famous footwear.

      I’d spend the rest on a pair of nice fitting skinny jeans, an infinity scarf in the color that complements your boots, and a big stylish faux-leather bag in black, brown, tan, or cognac (a giant hobo is what I’d look for- the bigger the better). All these can be found for a combined total under $50 if you shop around at h&m, f21, thrift stores, clearance sections at department stores, etc.

      You’ll look instantly more stylish since you can add on these pieces to any and every outfit.